Xenoblade Chronicles X Guide: Combat tips

This guide has everything you need to know about combat in Xenoblade Chronicles X!

Combat in Xenoblade Chronicles X is complicated at first, especially if you didn't play the last game. You can get the hang of it after playing a while, but there is still much to learn.

Even if you think you understand the combat system, there are little things you might miss that make a big difference. I will go over this detailed information to make sure you don't miss anything important. 

This guide will cover the combat system of Xenoblade Chronicles X including:

  • Combat and Art Info - Basics on how the combat system works, as well as details on the different types of Arts.
  • Appendages and Soul Voices - What these are and how important it is to focus on them.
  • Skills - What they do and how to upgrade them.
  • Class Tips - The different classes and why they are important in battle.

Combat and Art Info

Battles are all real time, meaning you don't have to take turns. Your character has 2 weapons, melee and ranged, which you can switch between using the "X" button. To start battle, you must lock on to a target, then press A to ready your weapon.

When you start battle, your character will continue to auto attack with whichever weapon you have currently equipped. You can check this on the screen during battle. It shows your position, as well as how effective it is.

You can switch between different Arts during battle. They have cooldowns, so you'll have to wait until an Art is finished charging to use it again.

Some Arts also have extra cooldowns. When an Art is ready to use, it will start another cooldown. If you wait until it completes, you will get added effects when using the Art.

You can also use it at anytime during the extra cooldown. Each art is used by a melee or ranged weapon. The extra cooldowns only happen when you have the appropriate weapon out.

For example, if you have a purple Art that used a ranged weapon, you must be auto attacking with the ranged weapon to continue the extra cooldown.


Xenoblade Chronicles X Arts

Arts are the abilities you use during combat. Each Art has 1 of 5 types, which has a specific color:

  • Melee - Orange
  • Ranged - Yellow
  • Debuff - Purple
  • Buff - Green
  • Aura - Blue

It is important to read the descriptions of your Arts because many of them have extra effects. For example, a melee ability might also cause Topple, which knocks the enemy down. A buff could heal you or give resistance, and a debuff could also do a certain type of damage.

Paying close attention to which Arts you equip, what they do, and when to use them in battle is very important.

You can also upgrade Arts using BP (Battle Points). Open up the Arts menu, select the Art you want, then press X to upgrade. Upgrades lower the cooldown, increase damage, and other helpful things.

Appendages and Soul Voices

Most creatures, especially big one, have different appendages you can target in battle. If you focus on these, you can break them. This is important for several reasons:

  • They may topple
  • Soul voices can activate
  • Dangerous abilities and attacks go away
  • A chunk of health goes away

If you are fighting something that has a dangerous stinger, you can target it, destroy it, then not worry about it for the rest of the fight.

To target certain parts, you have to move your character and camera until the part is highlighted and click down on the right stick to lock on. Now you'll target the part until you either destroy it, or unlock it.

You can also make your teammates focus on the target by holding R during battle and pressing Up on the control pad.

Soul Voices

This is one of, if the most, important features in battle. These are things the characters shout during battle with a certain color. The color that comes on screen is the type of art you need to use to complete the Combo. So if you see an orange soul voice, use a melee art.

Throughout the fight, sometimes you must do a soul challenge when a soul voice activates. When you see "B" surrounded by circles, press B at the right time to complete it. If you get it in the blue, you get "Good". If you get it in the white, you get "Perfect". Perfect gives a TP bonus.

Completing these combos and soul challenges grant bonus effects, damage, and they always heal. Always try to complete a soul voice combo when they come up because they make the battle so much easier.

You can change your character's soul voices by going to the soul voice menu. You cannot change other members' soul voices.

Since the voices vary, it is a good idea to get as many of the 5 different types of Arts as you can. It is also a good idea to save them during battle for when a soul voice activates.


Finally, we come to Skills. These are passive abilities you can set from the Skill menu. They do different things spending on what class you are. Some increase damage, while others can give HP recover or other stat increases.

You can also upgrade skills by using Battle Points, the same way you upgrade Arts. They share Battle points, so keep that in mind when upgrading.

You want to pay attention to which skills you set since you can't use all of them. Look at what types of weapons you use when determining what skills to use.

If you are using Gravity or Electric weapons as a Galactic Knight, you don't want to set the Skills that increase Beam or Ether damage. I would suggest using Beam weapons when playing Galactic Knight, but that's for another guide.

Xenoblade Chronicles X Skills

Class Tips

Your class pays a big role in combat as well. Your class levels separately from your player level. You start at Drifter and can switch to any of the 3 main classes when you reach Rank 10.

  • Drifter - Uses Assault Rifle and Knife with no special benefits
  • Striker - Uses Long Sword and Assault Rifle, or Gatling Gun and Shield. Focus on Melee attacks and HP.
    • Branches into either Samurai Gunner for more damage, or Shield Trooper for tanking.
  • Commando - Uses Dual Swords and Dual Guns, or Sniper Rifle and Javelin. Focuses on positioning in combat with bonuses to accuracy and evasion.
    • Branches into either Winged Viper for precise combat or Partisan Eagle for ranged combat.
  • Enforcer - Uses Raygun and Knife, or Psycho Launcher and Photon Blade. Focuses on supporting allies and debuffing enemies.
    • Branches into either Psycorruptor for controlling battle, or Blast Fencer for using energy weapons.

When you reach rank 10 in any of the main classes, you can pick between 2 specialized classes for each. Each of these classes has a 3rd class you can advance to at rank 10 for a total of 6 end classes.

Each class has certain abilities and stats that focus on different types of combat. Research each class before choosing and make sure you know what your class is good at. Don't pick the Sniper class if you want to do a lot of melee damage or have high defense.

This also goes for the gear you wear. It is good to pick gear that compliments your abilities.

Doing all of this will make battles go much easier, you just need to pay attention to what you're doing.

That's it for my Combat tips for Xenoblade Chronicles X. Please visit my Beginner tips and tricks if you want more help and guides. Let me know if you have any questions or tips of your own!

Published Dec. 8th 2015
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