Home / Technology / Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition Battle System Explainer – art, chain attacks and more

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition Battle System Explainer – art, chain attacks and more

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition has arrived on Nintendo Switch and has a deep battle system with many different mechanics that have to be mastered. This system is essentially similar to that in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. If you played this entry, you are already familiar with the basics. Still, there are some notable differences that distinguish the two from each other.

While the in-game tutorials will get you used to the various components of the Xenoblade Chronicles combat system, there are some nuances that are not well explained. To help you out, we’ve compiled this guide, which lists the various mechanics of the combat system and how to use them effectively.

We gave the revised role-playing game a 9/1

0 in our Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition review. The critic Jake Dekker wrote: “Although not every aspect of Xenoblade Chronicles has aged as others, the Definitive Edition proves that Xenoblade Chronicles is still a fantastic JRPG with an immense strategic depth that is still impressive in 2020.”

For more information on Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, check out our summary of the top tips and things the game won’t tell you. And if you’ve played Xenoblade Chronicles 2, you’ve got another leg up at the start of your adventure. Those with XC2 save data on their switch get a nice bonus when they start Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition – 100,000 Gold.


Xenoblade Chronicles’ combat system is more like an MMO than a traditional JRPG. You can maneuver your character around in real time during combat, and they’ll perform basic automatic attacks if they’re positioned close enough to an enemy.


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When your character lands automatic attacks, they gradually build up their skills – special attacks that range from restoring HP to polishing allies to dealing direct damage and doing debuffs. Many arts do more damage because of their positioning. For example, Shulks Back Slash deals twice as much damage when executed behind an enemy, which makes your position crucial during combat.

After using an art, there is a cooldown before you can select it again. The time an art needs to cool down decreases with increasing attack. So make sure that you improve your skills regularly as the adventure progresses.

Status conditions

In addition to causing damage, most of the arts that are available to you can cause secondary effects. For example, Shulk’s Stream Edge inflicts break status on an enemy, making them vulnerable to topled when a teammate uses art. If an enemy is toppled, they are briefly disabled and can be dazed. It is important to keep an eye on this sequence of conditions and chain these types of arts together, especially when fighting bosses, as they give you a significant advantage in combat.

Since you can only control one character at a time during the fight, you have to rely on your AI companion to follow your example. While they are generally good at overthrowing enemies and creating different status conditions when needed, the AI ​​is not perfect and they can miss their clues. However, you have the option to take matters into your own hands with a chain attack, which we’ll discuss below.

Party gauge

If you do well in combat, your group’s affinity increases, which in turn fills your group display. This is shown in the top left corner of the screen and is divided into three segments. You can spend a segment to revive a fallen teammate or to warn him of an incoming attack. The battle continues as long as a segment of the ad is full, even if your character faints. When all three segments are filled, you can start a chain attack.

Chain attacks

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If you have used your party ad to the maximum, you have the option of carrying out a chain attack. This effectively freezes the time and you can manually select an art for each member of your team to use. This gives you the perfect opportunity to impose status conditions on enemies. The effectiveness of your attacks also increases if you use art of the same color in succession.

After all three members of your group have performed their art, you may be asked to press the B key. If you do this in time, extend the chain attack. The frequency with which you can prolong a chain attack depends on several factors, including the affinity of your group members for each other. However, you may be able to extend the chain attack up to 15 turns.

While chain attacks can do an incredible amount of damage to enemies, you will consume your entire group display after using one. This means that you cannot revive a teammate if they are knocked out, making you vulnerable. For this reason, you need to think carefully and find the best moment to launch a chain attack.

Monado Arts

Shulks Monado is the only weapon that can damage the mechon. Fortunately, it has its own suite of arts, separate from Shulk’s standard attacks. Most of them are about polishing your allies. For example, Enchant activates your teammates’ weapons and allows them to do Mechon damage as well. You’ll unlock more and more Monado Arts as you move through history, and you’ll often rely on them to deal with the escalating threats you face.

Change the future

The Monado also gives Shulk the power of clairvoyance, and you can use this to your advantage during combat. If an enemy wants to launch a devastating attack, Shulk has a vision of it before it happens. This gives you the opportunity to change the future.

You can change the flow of events in several ways. You can spend a segment of your party ad to warn a teammate, choosing an art to use that can disrupt the incoming attack. Shulk himself may also be able to change the future by using Monado art to protect an ally from harm. However, if you do not act in time, the vision will come true.

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