Warning: As with all of our Xenoblade Chronicles 3 guides, the following article contains spoilers.
There are several overlapping systems at work in Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s wonderfully strategic combat system. From returning elements such as automatic attacks, positional attacksclass tactics like drawing aggro and performing combos that will smash and topple your enemies to new things like this fantastic new Linking Shenanigans that sees you transform into powerful killing machines.
On top of all that, we still have Chain attackswhich may seem a little complicated at first glance, so let’s take a quick look at what attracts them.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 – Chain Attack Guide
As you fight your opponents in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, you will gradually fulfill yours Chain attack gauge, which is located on the right side of the screen during normal battles, as shown in the image below. When this is ready, it will flash and a quick press of the “+” button will enter the chain attack state of the game.
Once in a chain attack you will see a Chain order screen with a handful of different characters, each with their own attack order that can be executed. Go through these attack orders and see the bonuses you get for successfully completing them. For example, if you chose Mio’s “Lightning Fast” order.your bonus will be to reduce attacker and healer aggro by 100% as stated in Completion bonus details just below the order selection. Noah’s Brave Assault gives attacks a 100% chance to bypass defenses and so on.
Successfully completing the order you choose will grant you this bonus, and it’s a bonus that will apply for the duration of the Chain Attack and stack with any others you accumulate. Candy. Now we’re going to choose an order, we’re going to go with Noah because we want that defensive neutralizing bonus, and once we do that we’re going to be on our own attack. Look below and you will see our available characters at the bottom left of the screen. It is important to note here anyone who is down when you first start the chain attack will be unavailable for use, so keep that in mind when you’re about to fire one. It’s also important to note that once you use a character, it’s out of the current chain attack unless it hits reactivatedand we’ll look at reactivation a little later.
But first, let’s look at our available characters as we enter the attack order. Everyone has numbers over their heads, these are them tactical points (TP). The number above each fighter’s head is the lowest amount of TP you get when you choose to use them in a turn. What do we need to load TP for? At the top right you have a TP gauge and we need to get this TP meter above the 99% mark to successfully complete the order. So, that’s the most basic, our job is to pick characters that reach 100% and above that number. Once there, we can sit back and watch the cool animation of your enemy getting smacked. The more you get above 100%, the higher yours will be damage multiplier rises in the lower right corner of your screen, and the more energy we tear off the health status of our enemy.
This is where Chain Attacks now start to build into a lot of beautiful layers of strategy as you get used to them and start consider not only the TP numbers or the bonus you get, but also what attacks you make and how both affect you during the chain attack and later.
If you choose an attacker, you need to consider what attack to use to deal the most damage and increase TP as much as possible above this base number. For example, Noah here starts with TP 30, so that’s our base, but depending on what attack we use, how many times it hits, its position and type, it will add a lot of extra TP to the total. It might seem complicated at first, but you’ll soon get an idea of what kind of attacks large numbers cause.
Next, we need to do this consider other aspects like healing and buffs. If your party is in bad shape, low on health, you’ll want to perform healing attacks to get your health back so you come out of the chain attack in good shape. That way – and this is something to consider once you get used to the whole thing – you can save yourself from using chain attack in battle to use it when you absolutely need healing. Healers can also lower your enemy’s defense and you can also increase your team’s defense. Lots of things to consider besides the TP gauge being filled.
Now there are a few more rules that will apply every time you choose a Chain Command and start an attack.
Class specific rules
1. Using a character with the same class as the order – check the symbol on the order itself – will ensure that you get bonus TP points for moving it. For example, Noah’s Brave Assault command has a red attacking sword symbol on it, so using a character with this symbol will give you bonus points.
2. Attacking characters, if chosen first, always gain 125% of their TP at the end of their turn.
3. Support characters such as healers cannot exceed TP gauge over 99%so you can’t use them to end the round – unless they are special heroes who can get around it. It may seem annoying, but what you can do here is use the supporting characters to safely get up to 99% without having to go through and end the order. Then you can use a character with a high base TP and choose an attack that does a lot of damage to track the missile up.
3. Ending the order with the defender (blue shield icon) will ensure that you reactivate the character with the current highest base TP for the next round.. This means you can build up a character’s base TP in a few turns to really score some big points and increase the damage multiplier.
We mentioned reactivation earlier. After each successful order, you will automatically reactivate the character, so you get one person back to boost the number of attempts you have to complete the next selected order. As we said before, you can also influence who you reactivate by using a defender character to complete the order, giving your team’s highest base TP back for the next turn.
Additionally, depending on the TP meter score you end up with at the end of the order, you’ll get more and more reactivated characters to play with. Score above 100% and you get one character back. A score over 150 gets you two and anything over 200 means you three teammates advance to the next round.
There are plenty of other ways to affect reactivation beyond these few parameters, mostly by using make sure you have a hero character on your team, each with a special ability during chain attacks. Play with heroes and remember to choose wisely when attacking to max out and keep the chain attack moving.
Interlink attacks in a chain attack can cause massive damage and you just need to remove them complete the chain order of two Ouroboros partners. So, for example, complete Lanza’s command and then complete Sena’s command, and when you return to the order screen, their joint Ouroboros command will be waiting for you. The great thing about these orders, aside from all the extra damage they do, is that they reactivate your entire party to join.
However, these attacks, once made, it will also end your current chain attack, so be aware of that if you want to maximize your moves. Besides, you can actually perform two link attacks by entering a chain attack once your link level reaches 3 during a normal battleso increase your link level by doing fusions, combos and so on and when you’re ready, hit the chain attack button.
Overkill. This is very straightforward. If you can handle it kill an enemy during a chain attack that hasn’t finished yet, you’ll go into Overkill mode, giving you sweet bonus XP gains. You can see these XP gains as a percentage in the lower right corner of the screen just above the damage multiplier. Keep completing orders up to the maximum allowed and you’ll keep collecting XP bonuses. Simple.
Be sure to check out the game guide if you’re confused about any aspect of Chain Attacks and try out some of the tutorials to get a really good grasp of everything and you’ll soon be pushing the TP Gauge over 500% to be an absolute beast. Good luck!
This article is part of our series of Xenoblade Chronicles walkthroughs and guides. We’ll help you survive your travels across Aionios with the information you’ll need to get the most out of the game, such as How To Unlock Traversal Skills (Wall Climbing, Rope Descending, Rubble Walking, Hazard Neutralization), How to Unlock and Upgrade All heroes and classes, how to get affinity and XP rewards from Collectopaedia cards and how to unlock Nopon coin exchange.
We’ll also let you know where to find each resting place, all unique monster locations, along with locations in the Keves Castle region, the Pentelas region and the interior of origin, and every Ferronis Hulk location, plus all the food recipes, effects, and where to go Find them and advice on whether you should play the previous Xenoblade Chronicles games before starting XC3.
And finally, you can check out our review and where to buy Xenoblade Chronicles on Nintendo Switch if for some reason you haven’t picked up the game yet!
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