As spoiler-free as possible
Want some Xenoblade Chronicles 3 tips? Well, play the game first, and come here if you get stuck or are starting to feel frustrated!
If that’s the case, we have you covered.
Head to every canteen you can
This is something you should start making a habit of early on. When you visit a canteen anywhere (mostly in colonies, which are like small outposts/towns so to speak), buy the one meal available. It’ll “unlock” it for use at regular campsites as your team cook (Manana) can now wield the recipe. Canteens can be identified on the map with a handshake symbol (which is also shared by campsites): but it’ll say the words “canteen” on the screen.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of canteens and the food system in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.
Go to every map spot with a question mark, and find the Hulk structures
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 uses question mark symbols on the map to denote important locations. This can be anything from a point of interest to a whole new optional party member. It’s important to stop by and at least check them out when you’re walking around, but if you miss some, you can come back later instantly with the fast travel system.
There’s also the “Hulk” structures to account for, which are littered about the map, and are kind of like micro-factories that can generate items. You’ll come across one story-required Hulk around five hours in, and the rest are up to you to find. The thing is, they’re marked on the map when you get close to them!
While the question mark symbol (?) is straightforward, the Hulk symbol isn’t. That’s why I included it above!
Your amiibo won’t add much, but you can scan three per day
Like most first-party games in the last several years, amiibo support is a rear-view feature, which is sure to delight a lot of people who don’t feel like tracking them down.
The good news is that unless you care about the Shulk figure unlocking the Monado, the rest of them don’t really matter. Scanning up to three amiibo per day provides rewards in the form of reagents (like cooking or crafting materials) — minor stuff in the grand scheme of things.
Swap classes constantly
Whenever you find a new “hero” party member (read: a seventh guest spot you can cycle in and out), they’ll come with their own unique class. These are typically alterations of the core three roles (tank, attacker, support [healer]), but all of them have nuances and extra abilities that you can mix and match, and help you get an edge in tougher fights.
There’s a catch: when you unlock them, only one party member resonates with their class. But if you use that party member and the hero, you can slowly raise the class points of each person to unlock the class for everyone else. Some heroes will unlock classes faster than others, so when they are “done” learning them, you can swap their class, swap the hero, and repeat the process to unlock everything you have at that current moment. It helps to be proactive before you’re swimming in extra classes.
You can find the full breakdown of how classes work in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 here.
Use chain attacks right as you hit the enrage portion of a boss health meter
So this is kind of a tricky one to visualize because I don’t want to post a spoilery boss image this close to launch, but I got you.
Bosses have a health bar at the top of the screen like everyone else, but they also wield an “enrage” symbol toward the middle: it looks like a burning flame. Once they reach that their entire health bar glows with fire, and they get a little stronger. As a result, it behooves you to save big attacks (like chain attacks) if a boss is just about to enrage, as you can potentially push them over the line and finish them off just as they’re unlocking their full potential.
Keeping Ouroboros cooldowns ready, on top of your chain attack combo (used with the + button after your meter charges), and even your special party member moves (which are linked to the A button) can slash through the amount of time you’ll spend fighting an enraged boss.
Later on you’ll also have the ability to remove the rage status in some cases. Try and change the tactics of the squad (hold ZL) to “burst” to attempt this (left option after holding ZL).