Xenoblade Chronicles X is a pretty different experience from its predecessor. Although the original Xenoblade Chronicles had plenty of side-quests and two massive continents to explore, its storyline was fairly linear, following a strict, straight path.
Xenoblade Chronicles X Tips
Xenoblade Chronicles X however, sticks to the modern concept of true open-world games. It’s a vast, open-ended adventure that allows the players to dictate the pace of the main story, the characters you meet, as well as the tons of things you can do in the game.
Of course, the huge world and all the possible exploration options can be intimidating at first, but as you progress in the game further, everything opens up to you more as you gain power and influence.
Besides, it’s not like exploration and disadvantage – on the contrary, as exploring the world is reward with new techniques, new weapons, and much more.
Weaponry in XCX is diverse. Surviving the harsh elements and indigens of Mira will require you to have the best gear for all your essential characters. The type of weapon a character can wield depends primarily on their class.
Different characters have different classes, and its usually best to equip your characters with vastly different weapons in-terms of function to increase diversity and capability to tackle all kinds of situations.
Depending on class, every character wields two weapons at all times: melee and ranged. Melee weapons are more powerful, generate more TP per attack, but they need you to be up close, which doesn’t work well against every enemy.
Ranged weapons give characters a bit of room to work, but their attacks don’t do much damage. Characters with ranged weapons also tend to aggro enemies more than melee ones, so don’t assume you’re safe by hanging back throughout a battle.
All weapons have various attributes, such as Attack (weapon’s power), required level, manufacturer, ammo consumption, stability, upgrades, TP Increase, stability, Attribute name, and Cooldown.
You could have the most bad-ass weapons in the world, but they’re useless if it only takes a sneeze to knock you out. That’s where Armor comes in. Armor affects all your personal stats and resistances, making survival a tad easier.
Armor is segmented in XCX, meaning that you get armor pieces that you put on. There are five areas where armor can be equipped: head, left arm, right arm, torso, and legs.
Some pieces of armor tend to take up more than one body part, and these often have much better stats than comparable ensembles.
Armor can be upgraded from the sub-menu, and can also be substitute ‘visually’ – if you don’t like how a powerful piece of armor looks, you can set it as a fashion gear, allowing you to dress however you want while keeping the stats you like.
As you progress in XCX, your characters will learn special abilities and attacks known as Arts. There are five types of Arts in the game.
- Melee Arts – Arts related to melee weapons
- Ranged Arts – Arts associated with ranged weapons
- Aura Arts – Powerful Arts that consume 1,000 TP, and can be either melee or ranged.
- Debuff Arts – Arts that debuff (weaken) enemies through status ailments (poison, sleep etc.) or other means
- Buff Arts – Arts the buff (strengthen) allies by benefits such as added resistance, recovery etc.
You can find everything about various Arts in the Arts menu. Some Arts have added ‘conditions’ or special effects. For example, there are certain Arts that add TP if you attack an enemy from the front.
The Arts menu is especially useful in understanding what each Art does and how it functions. You can also upgrade Arts using battle points in the Arts menu.
Skills differ from Arts because they are mostly passive abilities. While Arts are cast in the battlefield, the effects of Skills activate automatically under the correct conditions when equipped.
You can view your party’s skills in the Skills menu.
Classes are designations that are applied to you and other party members. They dictate a number of characters. Essentially, classes are ‘specializations’ for your characters, and offer different battle roles and weaponry.
It is best to learn as many classes as possible, but making sure each party member specializes more in one class than the other. Such specialization allows you to have a diverse party that can tackle virtually every scenario thrown at you in the game.
As you go through the ranks of a class, you’ll unlock Arts and Skills, which you can then take on to the next class. You can view the classes tree in the Class menu.
If you reach the end of a tree and master the final class there, you can master its weapons. This means you’ll be able to use the weapons and the associated Arts in any class from then on.
Buffs and Debuffs
Buffs are positive effects granted to party members. Debuffs are the exact opposite – they are negative effects inflicted on one or multiple party members.
All buffs and debuffs in the game are temporary, and last for a specific amount of time. You can use various items and counter-buffs/debuffs to negate the effect if you wish.
Most buffs and debuffs are applied through Arts by your characters, and by specific abilities by enemies. However, there are quite a few ‘natural’ buffs and debuffs that are triggered by weather effects in the environment.
Combat is initiated when your character(s) draw their weapons and advance towards the enemy.
At this time, it’s useful to understand the HUD. The on-screen displays are quite dense, but a quick glance with some knowledge should help you recognize everything pretty quickly.
On the left side of the screen is your characters’ display. It shows each character, their HP, Level, TP, Class Rank, Buffs, and Debuffs. That’s the easy and more obvious bit.
The rest of the stuff, located near the bottom of the screen, includes Morale Level, which shows your party’s solidarity. This determines how well your characters work together. The better the level, the more TP you gain, as well as getting more chances to activate Soul Voices.
Adjacent to the Morale Level is the Positional Relation. This shows your position in relation to the enemy. Attacking from the side or back against certain enemies has more advantages, so this is quite a useful display.
Below the Positional Relation is your currently equipped weapon. Right at the bottom of the screen, below Morale Level and Positional Relation are circular signs. These are your equipped Arts.
You’ll often need to use items, or simply flee if a battle is too tough. Or, you could simply order your party members to follow specific tactics. For doing any of these tasks, you’ll have to access the Battle Menu.
Your character will automatically attack an enemy once battle begins. These are basic auto-attacks, carried out periodically. The interval between two auto-attacks is determined by weapon stats.
While attacking, you can use the Positional Relation display to move about. Click your right stick during battle against certain enemies and aim for specific spots, such as appendages. Each appendage has its own HP and resistances.
Attacking weak appendages gives you benefits as your damage on the enemy increases for each appendage destroyed. You can also disable certain enemy Arts by destroying specific appendages, as well as gain special materials.
Your character will continue to auto-attack unless you command them to use an Art. Once an Art is used, a cool-down period takes place. During this period, you’ll be unable to use that Art again for a set time, which varies from Art to Art.
Once the cool-down timer has passed and the Art is usable again, a secondary cool-down is activated. This optional timer can be ignored, but if you wait it out, you’ll have access to more powerful versions of the Art.
Soul Voices and Soul Challenges
During battle, you and your party members will call out specific commands and tactics. You can respond to these calls by observing the color of the Soul Voice that is produced from them.
Activating an Art of the same color as the Soul Voice will successfully complete it, which can result in recovered HP, increased Affinity between all characters, increased Morale.
Soul Challenges are unique to player characters. After certain conditions, you’ll see a diagram. You need to press B while the shrinking orange circle is overlapping or within the white circle to complete the Soul Challenge.
If the orange circle is within the white one, you get a good circle. If it overlaps more or less perfectly with the white one, you get a Perfect score and a TP boost.
You can customize your own Soul Voices in the Soul Voices menu.
Tension Points (TP)
Yeah, we’ve been talking about TP and generating TP, and you’re probably wondering what it is. Well, TP is a generated resource that rises with each auto-attack, as well as by fulfilling certain conditions with some Arts.
When your TP reaches 1,000, you’ll be able to use Arts that require TP. These Arts are quite powerful and unique, so it’s well worth it.
If you manage to reach 3,000 TP or above, you’ll be able to dismount from your skell to revive a character or activate Overdrive. Overdrive enhances all your combat abilities for a short amount of time.
TP is not lost once a battle finishes. You’ll store it, and it will be available for the next battle. However, becoming incapacitated resets your TP to 0.
Once you collect 3,000 or more TP, you can activate Overdrive to really enhance your character’s output. You will unlock even more powerful versions of your Arts for a limited time.
Overdrive is all about momentum. When you use an Art during Overdrive, a counter will appear at the bottom of the screen. It changes colors based on the last Art used. Each successful hit from the Art increases this counter.
Using Arts, ranged or melee attacks back-to-back will not increase the counter.
To the side of this Counter is a meter. It diminishes over time, and your job is to prevent it from doing so by keeping the Overdrive Counter up. Note that Overdrives are only available after Chapter 5.
Once a battle finishes, you’ll gain Experience. There are two types of Experience you gain: EXP and Class EXP. EXP goes towards your character’s level, whereas Class EXP goes toward the character’s class rank.
In addition to EXP, there’s also a chance that enemies drop items. You can choose what to take, and what to sell after the battle in a menu.
After completing Chapter 6 of the main story, you’ll be able to take a Skell license test. Once you pass these tests, you’ll receive a Skell of your own. Skells are essentially battle mechs.
Skells are awesome, to say the least, and their main application is taking out the indigens of Mira.
In addition to having stats similar to character stats, Skells also have additional stats such as Frame Level, Skell Insurance, Armor, and Fuel. Skells come in three different types: Light, Mid, and Heavy.
Heavy Skells are the most expensive, have high fuel capacity, high HP and armor, but take a while to refuel with Miranium.
There are multiple modes for the Skells.
Vehicle Mode is when your Skell turns into a vehicle. This is an excellent way to move about at high speed.
Once you beat Chapter 9 of the main story, a mission will open up. If you manage to beat it, your Skells will be able to fly. This allows you to reach places in Mira that you couldn’t possibly access before.
Skell Customization Maintenance
Skells are customized and maintained in the Skell Garage. This is located at the BLADE Barracks. Approach the barracks’ main console and select BLADE Barracks Hangar. Here, you’ll be able to register Skells, Change Gear, Refuel, Rename, Customize Colors, and even sell your Skells.
Skells have access to their own set of weapons. One Skell can equip the following:
- Two auto-attack weapons – These can either by ranged and/or melee.
- Two Back Weapons – These count as Arts.
- Two Shoulder Weapons – Also count as Arts.
- Two Arm Weapons – Yup, also count as Arts.
- Two Spare Weapons – Guess what? They count as Arts.
- Armor – Five individual pieces max.