Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Ultimate Combat Guide

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 can be overwhelming. Fortunately, Jake has you covered with this in-depth combat guide covering everything from Fusion Arts to Chain Attacks.

Xenoblade’s combat can be overwhelming, especially if you aren’t used to MMO style battles. So, I’m gonna do my very best to break down the basics of combat from the beginning of a fight to the very end.

At its purest form, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is all about managing meters. Auto-attacks and cooldown timers fill Arts meters, well-timed Arts fill the Talent Art meter, and a number of things such as critical hits and well-timed arts fill the Chain Attack gauge.

But before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s start with something broad: Classes. There are three different class types in Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Attacker, Defender, and Healer. Those roles should be pretty self-explanatory. Attackers deal high damage, defenders tank enemies and pull aggro, and healers offer support for your party. It’s important to keep a good balance of these three classes at all times.

Classes are further divided by faction. Each class either falls under Keves or Agnus. This symbol in the top right corner lets you know which faction they belong to. For the most part, Keves and Agnus classes play the same except for one key difference. Keves class Arts are on a cooldown timer while the cooldown on Agnus class Arts are tied to auto-attacks.

Every class has an auto-attack. Once you are in range of an enemy, your character will attack at a regular interval. Different classes have different auto-attack speeds. For example, Noah’s Swordfighter class has a relatively quick auto-attack speed compared to Sena’s Ogre class.

Depending on the class, successful auto-attacks fill your Arts meters. Arts are powerful abilities that can inflict a large amount of damage, set up combos, and heal and buff party members. Early on, each class has five unique Arts, three of which can be equipped. Once an Art gauge is full, press the corresponding button to use it. However, you shouldn’t use an Art the second the gauge is full. Instead, cancel an auto-attack into an Art. To do this, activate an Art right as the weapon makes contact with an enemy. If you timed it right a circle should appear on the screen. Canceling auto-attacks into Arts and Arts into Talent Arts speeds up your attacks allowing you to do even more damage.

Different Arts serve different purposes and it’s important to check an Art’s description in the Arts menu whenever you unlock a new class. For many, positioning plays a huge role. For example, Noah’s Swordfighter class has two Arts that are more effective with proper positioning. Sword Strike inflicts Break when directed towards the side of an enemy, while Edge Thrust gets a nice damage boost from behind. If you’re ever unsure as to which angle you are attacking an enemy from, you can reference this little arrow in the borrow right corner. An arrow pointing up means you are facing the enemy, an arrow pointing to the side means you are at the enemy’s side, and an arrow pointing down means you are behind the enemy.