14 features you probably aren't taking advantage of in Xenoblade Chronicles X

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Xenoblade Chronicles X is a massive game. In fact, there's so much content to cover in this game that most players might feel a little overwhelmed. This leads to some of the neat or useful features in the game being overlooked. Some of these are little things that don't really affect the game, and others are ones that might have simply gone over the heads of players. As such, I'll be listing some of these features that you - or maybe someone you may know - might not have noticed while playing through the game.

So, what are we waiting for? Let's dig in!

Change "Fashion Gear"

While Xenoblade Chronicles X might not be the worst for armor designs, sometimes you want to wipe the floor with alien scum while kickin' it back in a tanktop and a pair of jeans. Thankfully, Xenoblade Chronicles X lets you do just that by going into your Ground Gear menu, then pressing "X" on the gamepad to open up the sub-menu. From here you can access Fashion Gear any article of clothing over your current armor as a skin.

While your outward appearance will look like the Fashion Gear you place over your Ground Gear, your stats will retain the stats that the Ground Gear provides. You can re-open the sub-menu at any time to remove all of your Fashion Gear, so don't worry about being stuck in it forever. This trick also works with lower level armor and is available at the very start of the game, so don't be afraid to give it a shot!

The AM Terminal

Found in Armory Alley in the Administrative District, the AM Terminal is one of the most undervalued features in the game. JRPG veterans typically see purchased items as inferior to weapon drops from monsters, however, in Xenoblade Chronicles X you can upgrade your AMs to develop not only new items - which will, in turn, start appearing in the battlefield - but also upgrade the purchasable items so that they will be just as effective as some rare drops in the field.

The AM Terminal has a few other nifty features as well. First, there's the ability to upgrade your current gear by using collectables you have found on your adventure. Second, you can add engineer augments for your gear that act as slottable items for weapons. This menu is particularly useful since you can also read up on what each weapon's abilities actually do. Lastly, there are many "craftable" items that can be made via the Develop Gear menu that cannot be found anywhere else.

Affinity Missions

Affinity Missions are more than just a way to learn more about your favorite characters. In fact, a lot of Affinity Missions do more than boost your inter-character... umm... affinity.

Some Affinity Missions can unlock new characters such as the Skell obsessed Alexa, or Bozé, the sci-fi Buddhist War Monk. Other missions can unlock new Arms Manufacturers such as the Nopon Commerce Guild, which specializes in Thermal weapons. Other features can be unlocked through Affinity Missions as well, so don't forget to scoop up as many of them as you can!

FrontierNav

If you aren't in the group that ignores the usefulness of FrontierNav you have earned my respect. However, the rest of you need to learn how useful this little Wii U Gamepad feature is!

Many missions require certain minerals or materials that can only be found by using the FrontierNav's mining features. However, the usefulness of the probes themselves extends into earning you a decent amount of spending money, Miranium to use at the AM Terminal, and more! This is without mentioning the constant ability to fast travel, search for affinity mission minimum requirements, and function as a standard map by pressing the big green button!

In particular, selecting a probe location can show you what minerals can be mined from that location. This can be useful for some missions where ores are required since placing a mining probe in these spots ahead of time can ensure that you have all the items needed ahead of time.

Also, don't forget to chain identical probes or place container probes. Doing so will yield much higher resource collections at the end of each cycle without wasting any of the excess. This can make leveling AMs much easier down the road.

Follow Ball and Auto-Run

Mira is a really big world. Even my fellow GameSkinny guide writers have complained about how tedious it is to hold down the forward button for minutes on end or to find where the next mission objectives are. When I mentioned the Follow Ball and Auto-Run features, several of them had completely forgotten about them!

Follow Ball is a useful item that you get after rescuing a certain Nopon that Lin (and my own character, Vic) can't help but stare hungrily at. By holding down R and pressing X, players can activate the Follow Ball, which will lead them to whatever goal that is marked on the map. This is particularly useful for bounty missions, as well as story and affinity missions.

Auto-Run, on the other hand, will spare you at least from holding up on the analog stick. This can be activated by holding down R and pressing B. You will still have to jump or occasionally change the angle you are facing, but otherwise, it can save you some major thumb cramps. It's particularly useful for swimming across the ocean to get to Sylvalum before you get your Skell License.

Max out your missions!

Most people probably know that you can take up to 20 missions at once. However, did you know that you can just hit ZL or ZR to see mission requirements?

This can be crucial for those looking to farm BLADE points toward their next Field Skill level since Gathering missions can be time-consuming. Most Gathering missions are completed on-the-spot, and so if you accept a mission that you already have all the items for you will be instantly rewarded!

Furthermore, you can filter the mission requests by their category by pressing the Y button. It's a basic feature, but it can work wonders!

Change up your arts from time to time!

Keep your gameplay fresh by switching up your arts now and then. While it may seem like it wouldn't change much, changing your arts - and leveling them at that - can drastically improve the otherwise repetitive fights that start happening around the Level 30 mark.

Your arts are tied to your weapons, not your class, so only level up the ones for weapons that you intend on keeping. Also, certain arts can only be learned by completing affinity or basic missions, so keep an eye out for them!

Upgrade your skills!

I can't believe how many people don't know about this...

Skills are a crucial part of survival on Mira. In fact, some skills can make the difference between doing 100-200 damage early game, and 1500 damage at the same level (I'm looking at you, Raygun lovers). Most skills cost between 2 to 6 BP to level up to Level 3, so don't skip out on this if you can afford it.

I would argue that this is much more important than upgrading arts in the early game since they tend to boost your damage or stats much higher than leveling individual arts.

Also, don't forget: skills are cross-class. This means that you can equip them regardless of what weapon or class you are using later.

Stay Classy!

Once you reach Rank 10 of a certain class tree, don't be afraid to switch up to another class you feel like testing out. In fact, you can use your old class's weapons, arts, and skills - albeit at a slight disadvantage due to some stat changes and the limitations of skill slots for earlier classes.

Mixing up classes is also a valid option. Feel like being a Jedi-wannabe? Grab a Photon Sabre and mix it up with beam Dual Pistols or a beam Assault Rifle. Want to play it up as Gurren Lagann's Yoko? Grab a Sniper Rifle and Knife. The options are truly endless!

Warning: Options may not actually be endless and are subject to number of classes a player has reached Rank 10 with. Other terms and conditions may apply.

The Enemy Index

This feature found under the Intel tab of the start menu is much more useful than you would think. While many players scurry to GameFAQs or other guides to find out where something might be found, the Enemy Index typically holds a lot of those answers.

The Enemy Index holds all sorts of information ranging from how much experience the creature gives, to the level range, items dropped, and more. What's best about the index is that it also shows what times and what whether conditions must be present to hunt the particular creature.

While it's not exactly the most accessible or convenient method, it's certainly something useful if your internet is down.

Collectopedia

Starving for BP for your Skills and Artes? Need some extra dough? Want to get more holograms for your BLADE Barracks' projectors? Look no further than the Collectopedia for all of these needs and more!

Typically reserved for those of us who decided to be Curator-hipsters, the Collectopedia is a great place to register any spare items you might have found while venturing across Mira. In fact, it's basically the same as the Enemy Index, except this time it gives you free stuff for registering!

That said, any item you register is gone forever, so make sure that you have enough to spare before you do so!

Change up your Soul Voices to match your personality!

Whether it be for role-playing, maximizing your damage per second, or simply a change of pace, you should pay attention to what Soul Voices your character has.

The Soul Voices menu - found under Party in the start menu - is where you can read up on the buffs that your current Soul Voices have. Here you can change them to whatever you like, and you also have the option of changing the trigger conditions of 4 custom Soul Voices. There's no difference between the various voiceovers that you can choose in character select other than what the lines actually say, so don't worry if you chose the Classic or Heroic voices.

You can also read up on what your NPC characters have set as their voices too, so be sure to look at those if you want to optimize your offline party.

Use the Network Console in the Barracks

Time and time again I hear about how someone can't find out where the Division Rewards are. The Network Console in the BLADE Barracks is the answer. These Division Rewards range from cash bonuses - in item form, so don't forget to sell them - as well as Skell Maintainance Tickets that can be used after you trash your Skell's final insurance point.

Not only does this console act as your reward center, but it can also be used to cash in Reward Tickets that are in turn used to get various collectables. A lot of collectables for missions where rare items are needed can be purchased through this, so don't forget about this important feature!

Also, be sure to check on this console from time to time if you want to start up a multiplayer mission. These can be a fun distraction from the main game, and BP is awarded among other cool rewards for harder missions.

Above all: have fun exploring!

While completionists will just want to run around, hopping from one mission to the next, Xenoblade Chronicles X's map being on the gamepad really helps immerse you into the game. Sure, you still have that little minimap that will point out key items and such, but it's not so eye-drawing that you won't be able to step outside of your Skell and enjoy the scenery from time to time. Heck, this screenshot I took is a perfect example of just taking in the beauty of the Primordia region - just one of five in the game.

I hope everyone is having as much fun with this game as I am, and hopefully, Nintendo and Monolith will release some more content shortly. I can't wait to get back into the game right now, and I hope to see you on Mira! Just look out for the Vic with the purple highlights and I'll be glad to act as a Scout with you, or maybe hunt down some tyrants in the multiplayer missions!

Also, if you're interested in unlocking the joyfully incompetent Mia as a recruitable character, you can find my guide to unlocking her here!

Published Dec. 15th 2015

Featured Columnist

Author, GameSkinny columnist, and part-time childhood destroyer. David W. Fisher (otherwise known as RR-sama) is a no B.S. reviewer and journalist who will ensure that you get as close to the facts as humanly possible!

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