Nintendo is closing in on the late-July release date of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, but there’s more to be done before the game launches. For example, teaching potential players how to use the Arts system. A new edition of Nintendo’s ongoing “Xenoblade 3 Notes” blog series explains Arts to the laymen in the audience.
As in previous entries in the series, Arts are basically the techniques and special attacks used by characters in battle. Typically characters will automatically attack the targeted enemy, but Arts forms the core of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 combat. They’re assigned to the face buttons by default for easy access, though using an Arts technique will trigger a cooldown time that varies depending on the technique’s power and complexity.
In Xenoblade Chronicles 3, a character’s Arts are determined in part by their class. Each class specializes in a different combat style, and has 5 Arts to choose from. However, players can only slot 3 Arts at a time, making it important to choose the best tools for the enemy at hand. Each character, even within the role archetypes of Attacker, Defender, and Healer, has their own class assigned at first. Even distinctions between the character origins, such as a class being from Agnos or Keeves, can affect how their class operates. Characters can also change classes to master certain Arts and take them over to different classes. Using these cross-class Arts can result in combo effects from Arts Fusion.
Here are the initial classes for the playable cast:
- Noa (Attacker/Swordfighter) – Has balanced abilities and is well-suited to fighting bosses and unique monsters
- Sena (Attacker/Crusher) – Devastates foes with a heavy war hammer. Her powerful attacks can break through an enemy’s defense, but she attracts attention easily and needs defending.
- Mio (Defender/Gale Master) – Toys with enemies through high mobility, countering with her twin rings. She can also keep nearby allies from taking enemy attacks by buffing their evasion or deflecting strikes away.
- Lanz (Defender/Heavy Guard) – Wielding massive shields and large weapons, Lanz specializes in taunting Arts and taking hits meant for squishier party members.
- Eunie (Healer/Medic Gunner) – Eunie’s Arts create safe spaces that buff allies and heal them so long as they remain in the area of effect. These can attract enemy attention, though.
- Taion (Healer/Tactician) – Taion dazzles enemies and supports allies with stratagems. He can put enemies to sleep, preventing them from harming the party.
Noa’s Swordfighter class specializes at flanking an enemy, so his Sword Strike and Thrust Edge Arts deal more damage when executed on an enemy’s side or back, respectively.
Meanwhile, Mio is a Gale Master, a Defender-type class. As a Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Defender, she has Arts that can draw in enemy attacks while keeping herself safe through her high mobility and evasive movements. Mio’s Butterfly Edge forces enemies to target her , while the Air Fang does more damage to enemies targeting the user.
Besides regular Arts, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 characters have special Talent Arts, which are charged up by performing actions suited to one’s party role. For example, an Attacker will charge their Talent Arts by landing flanking attacks, while a Defender will charge up by blocking or dodging enemy strikes.
The Swordfighter’s Talent Arts is the Exceed Buster, a powerful blow that does even more damage if the enemy is stunned.
The Gale Master Talent Arts is the Gemini Strike, a strike that pulls in enemy targeting while boosting one’s own evasion.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will release on July 29, 2022 on the Nintendo Switch.