Tips & Tricks

A Beginner’s Guide to Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

31 July 2020

Looking for that next big adventure to sink your teeth into? Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is that game! If you’re new to the series and want to know more, this article is for you!

The History
Xenoblade Chronicles was the first game in the Xenoblade Series that took off in Australia and New Zealand back when it was originally released on Wii, with a version of the same game released on New Nintendo 3DS a few years later. Since then there have been a few other entries:

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X on Wii U

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on Nintendo Switch

  • Plus the expansion, Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country on Nintendo Switch.

If you haven’t played these games before, fear not! Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (which includes updated graphics, heaps of new features, and an all-new epilogue chapter, Future Connected) is the first game chronologically in the Xenoblade Chronicles series…so what better place to start?!

The Story
The story begins with a battle between two giant beings known as Titans – named The Bionis and The Mechonis.

The clash of these two titans resulted in their deaths, leaving their lifeless bodies frozen in time. Many years later whole civilisations developed on their bodies. On one titan, organic lifeforms and flora bloomed, while on the other, mechanical life thrived – hence the names Bionis and Mechonis.

However, the battle between the two sides didn’t end with the deaths of the Titans. The people of Bionis are constantly under threat by the robot army of Mechonis, whose aim is to wipe out all life on Bionis…for reasons unknown. The only weapon successful against the endless onslaught of the Mechonis is a mysterious and powerful sword: The Monado (you may have heard its name mentioned before). But of course, The Monado cannot be wielded by just anyone. Enter Shulk - a young man thrust into a world of adventure as he battles to stop the Mechon once and for all.

There is so much more to the story than that, but lest we spoil any of the epic twists, we’ll leave the summary there!

The Characters
There are quite a few memorable people you’ll meet in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. Of course, there are those who’ll join you on your adventure and we’ll tell you a bit more about them below! In addition, many people of the colonies have their own stories to tell, relationships to grow, and monsters for you to defeat! To say there are a fair few side quests is an understatement…

Shulk is a researcher at Colony 9, a military outpost on Bionis set up as a line of defence against the Mechon. Fiora and Reyn, friends Shulk has known since childhood, are constantly worrying about his obsessive dedication to researching the Monado.

Fiora is a caretaker at Colony 9, primarily looking after her older brother Dunban, a war hero and previous wielder of the Monado. She also ends up looking after Shulk, as he often forgets to look after himself.

Reyn is a Soldier at Colony 9, patrolling and protecting the citizens from the monsters that roam the Bionis, and from the ever-present Mechon threat. He often accompanies Shulk on his salvaging adventures in the wilds outside town, and the ruins underneath the surface of the Bionis.

Fiora and Reyn will form part of your team, and the Affinity system in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition rewards you for having strong bonds with them, other companions, and the people you’ve helped in town. So, if you become better friends with your companions, like Reyn and Fiora, you’ll unlock new abilities and bonuses in combat.

By helping the people of the various settlements and villages you visit, you unlock all sorts of rewards like armour and weapons. As you progress through these side-quests, the people form an interconnected web of relationships, which all serve to build on the rich narrative of each community.

Hot tip: Start small in Colony 9, by helping to cull various monsters and collect materials for people. Take it one quest at a time and check them off the list as you go, so you don’t get overwhelmed by everyone’s requests!

We’ve only mentioned a few of the characters, but there are so many more to meet and countless places to visit - we’ll leave those for you to discover!

The Combat

The combat in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is real time, with elements of turn-based strategy. The creatures and monsters you see while out exploring can and will attack if the mood strikes (or you get too close), so be alert!

The benefit of real time combat is that you can move anywhere within the battle area to find the best position to strike your enemies. This is especially important in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition because most of your attacks become more effective depending on where you stand. For example, Shulk’s backslash attack is far more devastating when you slash the back of the enemy.

Makes sense, right? So be sure to check out each character’s attack descriptions to know where to stand to deal the most damage. If you need more help, the Attack icon itself also indicates the optimal position:

Characters will automatically use basic attacks if they are in range of their target, and these basic auto-attacks continuously fill up your Arts meter. What are Arts? They’re stronger power attacks that are perfect for unleashing when the moment calls for it.

Different Arts have different effects besides dealing damage, and some of them even combo if used in the right order. Doing this right can make a huge difference in battle, so it’s worth getting the hang of it.

The three most prominent types of Art effects are: Break, Topple and Daze.

Use a Break attack to break the guard of the enemy, then use a Topple attack to knock the enemy to the ground while they are still in a “Break” status. Toppling is crucial to defeating certain enemies and stops them from attacking OR defending – creating a perfect opportunity for you to deal massive damage. Finally, Daze effects can be triggered when an enemy is in a “Toppled” state. Daze stuns the enemy and removes most auras (status buffs that protect enemies from various attacks).

The icons are colour coded like this:

Just remember: First Break (Pink), then Topple (Green) and then Daze (Yellow)

Follow these basics and you’ll be letting off chain attacks and toppling giant caterpillars in no time!

Hot Tips:

  • Don’t stress if you get defeated in the wild, you will return to the nearest landmark with no consequence.

  • If you’re struggling to beat an enemy, consider whether your level is higher, lower or equal to theirs. You may want to try a different strategy or come back once you’ve levelled up. Don’t forget that you don’t need to fight every enemy you come across.

Whatever your combat play-style preference – be it simple or a little more strategic – Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition has got you covered, with two new game modes in addition to standard mode:

  • Casual for those who prefer questing, adventuring and soaking up the amazing story rather than challenging themselves with combat, and

  • Expert for those who love all the above, plus the thrill of mastering some truly difficult battles.

If you want to experience an incredible storyline, compelling characters, intelligent combat, and stunning visuals, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is OUT NOW on Nintendo Switch! So, what are you waiting for?!