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Xenoblade Chronicles X: Survival Guide 2 (Battle system)

Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X is coming out on December 4th in Europe and North America, and to prepare for this long-awaited release, Nintendo has launched a series of “Survival Guide” videos. In those, the various elements of the game will be introduced, so that players can prepare themselves in order to save Humanity, stranded on Planet Mira.

In the second episode, the focus is on the battle system.

Battle screen

First, we get a look at the battle screen:

  • top: enemy detection, with name, level and HP
  • left: status for you and your teammate, with HP, Tension Points, Level, Buffs/Debuffs
  • bottom: arts palette, moral level, position to enemy, currently equiped weapon

Auto Attacks

Auto Attacks are the weakest type of attacks in the game, but they’re pretty useful. Indeed, they allow you to build up damage and tension points in-between two arts uses. There’s two types of auto attacks (based on the distance between you and your enemy): ranged and melee, and you need to go from one to the other depending your strategy.


Arts are special attacks you can use when in battle. There’s a lot of Arts for you to chose from, depending on your class. Here’s the different types of Arts:

  • melee: get up close with enemies
  • ranged: attack from a distance
  • debuffs: weaken enemies
  • support Arts: enhance abilities and heal allies
  • aura Arts: grant special abilities over time

Two things to keep in mind: some really powerful Arts require Tension Points to be used, and some classes specialises in certain types of Arts, so you really need to chose them carefully according to your playstyle and your class. If you level up your class, you can unlock even more Arts to use in battle, which allows you to experiment and try out combinations with lots of different Arts.

Each time you use an Art, you need to wait a few seconds for it to recharge: this is called Cooldown (its duration varies). Once an Art has recharged, you can wait for the green light circle to be completed: if you do so, you will get a bonus for any Art used after that. This is called Secondary Cooldown, and you can reduce its duration by equiping the corresponding weapon.


Skills gives you passive effects which can strenghten your Arts, increase your Defense, and more. All the characters learn new Skills when they level up, so you really need to experiment a bit and try out various combinations in order to find one that suits your playstyle.

Soul Voice

During battle, characters will sometimes call to each other, asking for specific Arts to be used. If you use the requested Art, you will get enhanced abilities and you will recover some of your HP. There’s also button prompts: if you press the B button with the right timing, you will perform a Soul Challenge. Soul Challenges increase the moral level of your party, but also the frequency of Soul Voices and other bonuses.

If you go to the Soul Voice screen, you can find out the trigger conditions for Soul Voices, and other useful information.


At the beginning of the game, you start in the Drifter class, but when you reach Rank 10, you get access to three different Class Chains. The various classes all specialise in a specific aspect of battle, so you will need to adapt your playstyle accordingly. Here’s some examples:

  • Striker: a beginner friendly chain, with good balance between offensive/defensive Arts, allowing you to keep attacking from up close
  • Commando: allows you to deal damaging buffs to enemies, with ranged Arts
  • Enforcer: you provide support and various bonuses from a distance, thanks to ranged Arts

In order to unlock a class in the Class Chain, you need to reach Rank 10 in your current class.

Advanced Tactics

During battle, if an enemy is hit by Topple, they will not be able to dodge for a limited period of time, and they will get extra damage. You can then chain some additional attacks and Arts to deal a lot of damage. In fact, some powerful combos allow you to kill enemies in a matter of seconds! The video explains that many Arts have a secondary effect that activates when used or under certain conditions.

Next: Battle Points. You get those when you level up and when you complete quests, and you can use them to strengthen your Skills and Arts! Finally, one thing to keep in mind when fighting enemies: your position. Depending on where you’re attacking from, you will not deal the same amount of damage. For example, some Arts are more deadly from behind.

You can attack from three different positions:

  • behind
  • above
  • below

Of course, you can also hit blind spots for massive damage.


If you accumulate 3000 TP during battle, you can use Overdrive (the spinning gear in the middle of the Art palette). Thanks to this gameplay mechanic, you can get enhanced abilities for a limited time. There’s also a counter: every time an attack lands, it advances it. The counter colour is also altered by the Arts you used, with different orders of colours granting various effects.. try experimenting a bit!


Tyrants are really powerful enemies, and you will have trouble defeating them even if your level is higher than theirs. However, it’s definitely worth it, as you can get some really nice loot by getting rid of them. You can check out how powerful a Tyrant thanks to the crown next to their name (Gold / Silver / Copper).

Here’s the second episode of the Xenoblade Chronicles X Survival Guide:

In the third episode, the focus will be on Skells!

Head after the break for the full recording of the Xenoblade Chronicles X presentation at EGX!

Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U) comes out on December 4th in Europe and North America.

Source: Nintendo


Founder and main writer for Perfectly Nintendo. Tried really hard to find something funny and witty to put here, but had to admit defeat.

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