Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Complete Guide To Chain Attacks

Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Complete Guide To Chain Attacks

Quick Links

  • Unlocking Chain Attacks
  • Chain Attacks Overview
  • Building Your Chain Attack Gauge
  • Selecting Chain Orders
  • Tactical Points Overview

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has a deep and complex combat system, allowing you to equip each character in your party with devastating Arts that can place your opponent in various states via Combos. Furthermore, the ability to cast Buffs and Debuffs while increasing their potency with things such as Accessories and Gems adds a layer of customizability that enables creativity and experimentation.

But at the center of this expansive combat system is the game's Chain Attack mechanic, which allows you to freeze the enemy in place and strategize several attacks in a devastating sequence, which can turn the tide of battle and clinch your victory, and deal remarkable amounts of damage. Chain Attacks are crucial for defeating any boss or Unique Monster, but they can easily be wasted or poorly implemented, which we will try to help prevent from happening.

Unlocking Chain Attacks

Before we get into how to use Chain Attacks, we must briefly cover a few essential details. While you will access the ability to use Chain Attacks relatively early on in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and it's part of the main quest, you will not have it for a significant chunk of hours, meaning you may not be able to access them yet. To avoid confusion, you can see the requirements for Chain Attacks below!

Requirements

  • Reach the Fornis Region in Chapter 2
  • Complete the Standard Quest 'Riku and Manana'

If you are not yet in Chapter 2 or haven't cleared the 'Riku and Manana' Standard Quest in the Fornis Region, you must do those before accessing Chain Attacks. If you meet those prerequisites, you can move onward with the guide!

Chain Attacks Overview

Chain Attacks are a game changer in Xenoblade Chronicles 3. They can help you seal the deal or get your feet back underneath you in harrowing situations, making it a crucial system and mechanic to thoroughly understand to avoid wasting it or failing to tap into its full potential. Chain Attacks allow you to perform Combos on your opponent, heal your entire party, and even apply Debuffs on them completely uncontested, and that's not even getting into the unreal amounts of damage you can dish out. Here's the basic order of operations for using Chain Attacks:

  • Build Chain Attack Gauge
  • Select Chain Order
  • Build TP Gauge
  • Repeat the second and third steps until the Chain Attack Gauge is depleted.

But, as you could have guessed, this system is much more robust and fleshed out than the general overview presented above. Everything from building your Chain Attack Guage to the Chain Order you choose and how you can manage your Tactical Points can all be micro-managed to produce staggeringly high damage via Chain Attacks. To learn more about how to efficiently build your Chain Attack Gauge, head to the section below!

Building Your Chain Attack Gauge

Since Chain Attacks is easily the most powerful tool at your disposal, you cannot use it whenever you feel like it and will instead have to build up your Chain Attack Gauge before gaining access to them. While there are ways to focus on building your meter to get it filled faster, it takes far too long and requires you to deal too much damage, which normal enemies usually meet their fate before it's even remotely close to being filled. As a result, you will likely only get to use Chain Attacks against bosses, Unique Monsters, and a handful of Elite Monsters. Nonetheless, let's go over how to build your Chain Attack Gauge during encounters:

  • Talent Arts: Using Talent Arts, your ultra-powerful attack that builds up over time and is executed with the 'A' button is one of the best ways to quickly fill your Chain Attack Guage.
  • Combos: Executing Combos on enemies is another excellent way to fill your Chain Attack Gauge quickly, as you can constantly dish them out if you have a good team and Art composition. You can find the game's two combo routes below!
    • Break > Topple > Launch > Smash
    • Break > Topple > Daze > Burst
  • Cancel Arts: Using the Cancel feature will also build up your Chain Attack Guage, which can be paired alongside your Combos and help build towards your Talent Art, which all feeds into your Chain Attack Guage. However, you must stay on top of your rotations and role-specific duties to get the most out of this.
  • Selecting Chain Orders

    Once your Chain Attack Guage is completely filled, you activate it by pressing the '+' button. The first order of operation in a Chain Attack is to choose your Chain Order, which has several rules, tricks, and advantages that can easily be overlooked or forgotten. You will have to select one of three available Chain Orders, which are random members of your party, who all have their own unique Completion Bonuses.

    Once you select your Chain Order, you will consume some of your Chain Attack Gauge and finally be allowed to begin your attack string on the opponent, with each action building towards another meter known as the Tactical Point (TP) Gauge. Once the TP Gauge reaches 100 percent or above, the Chain Order will end, granting you the Completion Bonus of whoever you selected.

    Role Enhancement

    While selecting whichever Completion Bonus is most beneficial to you is crucial, so is gaining TP Bonuses at any opportunity, which is what Role Enhancement is all about. This essentially provides a small TP Buff to whatever Role you choose as your Chain Order, which can increase your damage output exponentially. So, for example, if you select Chain Order that is an Attacker, all Attackers in play will receive a +10 TP increase, which can lead to greater damage, more Reactivations, and much more!

    Hero Chain Order

    Every now and again, Hero Characters who are currently in your party will appear as an option for your Chain Order, offering their unique and advantageous Completion Bonus. While it can be easy to want to focus on pairing two characters together for an Ouroboros activation, or you may not be hot on their Bonus, you should always choose them whenever they come up in the rotation. No matter the circumstances, select the Hero Chain Order, as they will not deplete your Chain Attack Guage, giving you a free round of attacks.

    Ouroboros Activation

    There are a couple of ways to enter Ouroboros Interlink during a Chain Attack. The most common way is by selecting two separate Chain Orders of characters who possess the ability to Interlink. They do not have to be chosen right after one another. They just have to be selected at some point during the Chain Attack. For example, if your first Chain Order is Mio, you can choose Noah as your final Chain Order and gain an additional one of their respective Oroboros Interlink. In case you forgot who can Interlink, here are the pairings:

    • Mio and Noah
    • Sena and Lanz
    • Eunie and Taion

    Since activating Ouroboros will end your Chain Attack at the end of its Chain Order, we suggest only activating it on your final Chain Order. You can tell when it's your last Chain Order by looking at your Chain Attack Gauge. If it only has a third of its meter filled, it's your final turn, so make it count! Furthermore, you can view your Chain Order history by looking at the right side of your screen, allowing you to quickly see who you can pair for an Ouroboros activation. Lastly, the pairing order doesn't matter, so long as they can Interlink. So, it can go Mio then Noah or Noah then Mio, for example.

    Alternate Ouroboros Activation

    While you will almost always use the previous method to activate Ouroboros during Chain Attacks, there is one more way to do it. This requires you to build your Interlink Level to Level 3 during an encounter, activate it, and enter a Chain Attack while in your Ouroboros form. Doing it this way will only have two Chain Orders, both being Ouroboros-led. The first will be whichever form you entered the Chain Attack with, and the other being your Interlinked partner's form. Despite offering decent damage, you will rarely use this form, as it requires you to build up two gauges throughout an encounter that both take incredibly long to fill.

    Tactical Points Overview

    Tactical Points (TP) are a fundamental part of Chain Attacks and determine your damage output, Reactivation limit, Attack Rating, and much more. Learning how to manage your Tactical Points properly will allow you to soar to new heights and annihilate your opponent with style and precision.

    How To Manage Tactical Points

    After choosing your Chain Order, it's time to start your onslaught on your opponent, but that doesn't mean you should just throw everything you have at it in one go, as that can seriously come back to bite you further down the line. Much like the Chain Order section, Roles play a crucial part in this stage of the Chain Attack as well, with each Role offering unique traits when used at specific moments of the Chain Attack. They go as follows:

    RoleBonus
    AttackerBeginning your Chain Attack with an Attacker will grant you the 'First Blood' buff, which increases your total TP gain by a large margin.
    HealerUsing a Healer will stop the TP Gauge at 99 percent when going over the limit, allowing you to follow up with another attack to try and push your TP Gauge into the 'Bravo' or 'Amazing' rating.
    DefenderClosing your Chain Attack with a Defender will automatically Reactivate whoever has the highest TP Rating in your party, which is crucial in the later stages of the Chain Attack.

    Tactical Point Gauge Basics

    Your primary goal is to try and get to 99 percent on your Tactical Point Gauge, then close things out with a Defender to Reactivate your highest performing character, then loop this process until you can end things with either an Ouroboros Chain Order or a devastating attack.

    To easily achieve this goal, the general rule of thumb is always to begin each Chain Attack with an Attacker to get their TP Buff, then use a Healer to reach 99 percent on your TP Gauge. Once your TP Gauge is at 99 percent, use a Defender to guarantee your highest TP character returns for the next wave. This pattern allows you to consistently reach Bravo or Amazing Tactical Point Ratings, which are essential for Chain Attacks. The chart below shows you why Tactical Point Ratings are so important!

    Tactical Point Ratings

    TP RatingPercentageReactivation
    Cool100-149 PercentOne Character
    Bravo150-199 PercentTwo Characters
    Amazing200+ PercentThree Characters

    As you can see, each tier of Tactical Point Ratings offers an additional character to come back during the Reactivation process that takes place after the Chain Attack. When paired with ending with a Defender, this will guarantee getting back whoever has the highest TP along with two random characters (with Amazing Rating), allowing you to keep the loop going. Additionally, the higher your TP Rating, the more damage you will ultimately do, allowing you to put a significant beating on your opponent in a short period.

    Overkill

    Lastly, suppose you are fortunate enough to defeat your opponent mid-Chain Attack. In that case, you will activate Overkill, which grants you an exceptional EXP Bonus, amongst other things, allowing you to turn your extra damage into a large pool of Experience that multiplies with each hit. Not only is this an excellent reward for carrying out a devastating Chain Attack, but it's also one of the best ways to level up in Xenoblade Chronicles 3!

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