Skells unlock a whole new world in Xenoblade Chronicles X. It is like having a separate character and class that you can completely customize. These mechs are tricky at first, but extremely useful when you get the hang of it.
I’m going to explain how Skells work, and the combat when using one. If you need to know how to get one, check out my guide on How to Unlock Skells. You have to get about halfway through the story, so don’t worry if you’re near the beginning of the game.
This guide will cover everything about Skell including:
- Skell Basics and Equipment Info – How Skells work, including the equipment they use.
- Skell Combat – How combat goes when using a Skell.
Skell Basic and Equipment Info
So you finally got a Skell? Now it’s time to figure out how to work it. Before anyone can use a Skell, you must register it to a character.
You can register, and do most Skell-related functions, at the computer in the Blade Barracks. Just select Barracks Hangar at the Terminal, then select the Skell you want.
Skells have similar stats to your ground character, but with a few extra.
- GP – Similar to TP for ground character, you can use this to activate overdrive for your Skell.
- Fuel – This is used when flying, auto-attacking, and Arts. When it runs out, you must refuel to use the Skell again.
- You can spend Miranium to refuel, or let it happen automatically when nobody is using it.
- Skell Insurance – If your Skell loses all HP during battle, it is destroyed. Skell insurance pays for the repairs. If you don’t have any, you can pay a huge sum of credits to repair.
- Frame Level – The level a character must be to use the Skell.
First, there are different Skell Frames.
- Light – Low fuel, armor, and HP. Faster and more evasive.
- Medium – Good all-around stats, but not expert in any one thing.
- Heavy – Slower and harder to control. High HP, fuel, and armor.
The frame is the main part of the Skell and what you need to register to a character. You can buy other frames starting at level 30. Other frames unlock as you get through the story or invest in manufacturers.
There are 3 frames you can unlock by doing affinity missions.
- EXCAVATOR – Complete all of Alexa’s affinity missions.
- POLICEMEN – Complete all of H.B.’s affinity missions.
- YUMBO – Complete all of Boze’s affinity missions.
Once you pick a frame, you can equip the parts. There are 15 individual parts you can equip. Don’t get overwhelmed, because 8 of these determine the Arts you get.
- Side Weapons – These 2 slots are the weapons you auto attack with. They don’t affect your arts and you can have two of the same type if you want. You don’t need 1 ranged and 1 melee like ground characters.
- Back, Shoulder, Arm, and Spare Weapons – There are 2 slots for each type and they give your Skell Arts.
- Some back weapons take up 2 slots so you’ll end up with only 7 arts if you use one of these.
- Armor – There are 5 armor slots, head, torso, legs, and both arms. They work just like ground character armor.
Arts, Abilities, and Skills
Your ground character’s Arts don’t matter when you use a Skell since it has its own arts. Skells don’t have Skills, but they can benefit from your Class Skills. For example, if you have Beam damage increase, your Skell can get that increase when using Beam damage.
Skell have separate battle stats from ground characters. You can tell by looking at the type of gear your ground character can wear.
Skell wear has different abilities than the other types. Normal gear might have a Melee Attack Up ability. This causes your ground character to deal more melee damage. This does not affect Skell melee damage.
You need to wear Skell Wear if you want to enhance your Skell. Skell wear might have similar ability, but it says Melee Attack Drive. Anytime you see Drive, that means it affects Skells.
Whenever you fast travel, your Skell automatically comes with you as long as you register it to someone. You can board and exit a Skell by pressing Y near one.
Your Skell fuel appears on the right of the screen, under the mini-map. You can see this at all times, as long as the Skell isn’t destroyed.
Combat in general works the same — you just use Fuel for all your attacks so you can use them as much as you want when the cooldowns are up. There are some changes, though: Appendages, Cockpit, Binding and Overdrives.
Just like many enemies, your Skell’s parts count as Appendages. This means that if they take enough damage, they can break in battle. When this happens, you won’t be able to use the weapons or Arts associated with that part.
As long as your Skell isn’t destroyed, this heals once the battle is over or you run away.
If your Skell is destroyed, you get a soul challenge. If you get perfect, the Sell gets repaired for free and does not use an insurance. Good repairs it, but uses 1 insurance. Fail repairs it using 2 insurances and leaves your character at 1 HP.
If a party member has their Skell destroyed, they get an automatic perfect and it’s repaired for free.
Whenever you use an Art, you have a chance to activate the Cockpit. The camera zooms in to your character inside the cockpit of the Skell and gives bonuses. This resets the cooldowns on all your arts, makes you invincible for a short time, and gives extra GP.
When you get close to an enemy, you have the chance to get a Bind prompt. This works like Topple and stuns the enemy. Press ZR and ZL to start the bind.
Multiple soul challenges appear and as long as you complete them, you’ll keep them bound until time runs out. If you miss any, the bind stops. You also get fuel back for binding.
Like ground characters, when your Skell reaches 3000 GP, you can activate overdrive. It works a little different, though, and each Skell type has its own overdrive. No fuel is used when attacking in Overdrive.
Light Armor Overdrives
- OBORO (Urban Type) – Deal more damage, take less ranged damage, regen appendages.
- JINRAI (Formula Type) – Accuracy, Evasion, and Critical Chance increase. Lower cooldowns.
- HAGANE (Verus Type) – Increases melee damage, twice the appendage regen, and reflects physical attacks.
Medium Armor Overdrives
- NAGI (Lailah Type) – HP and appendage regen, takes less damage, immune to debuffs.
- HIBANA (Inferno Type) – Appendage regen, increased ranged damage, and reflects thermal damage.
Heavy Armor Overdrives
- GEKITETU (Mastema Type) – Reduces damage taken, increases ranged attack, and reflect Beam damage.
- KURENAI (Amdusias Type) – Absorbs fuel with melee attacks, double Crush damage, and increases melee attack.
- KAMIKAZE (Urban Type) – Increases accuracy, attack and evasion.
- LEGION (Ares Type) – Increases accuracy, attack, and evasion. Reduces cooldowns and regens appendages.
Overdrives gives a higher chance to activate cockpit for each art used and can be extended up to 5 extra times.
- 1st – 100% chance to extend, 30% chance to activate cockpit. Last 15 seconds.
- 2nd – 100% chance to extend, 20% chance to activate cockpit. Lasts 13 seconds.
- 3rd – 50% plus 20% for each cockpit activated, 30% chance to activate cockpit. Lasts 13 seconds.
- 4th – 0% plus 20% for each cockpit activated, 20% chance to activate cockpit. Lasts 13 seconds
- 5th – 0% plus 20% for each cockpit activated, 30% chance to activate cockpit. Lasts 13 seconds.
- 6th – 20% chance to activate cockpit.
That’s it for my Skell info and Combat guide for Xenoblade Chronicles X. Please visit my Beginner tips and tricks if you want help with anything else, and let me know if you have any questions!