Most of the Blades in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are simple characters. It is easy to change their equipment. It isn’t difficult to see how to boost properties. But Poppi is far more complex. Playing through the Tiger! Tiger! minigame becomes a must for upgrading purposes. Then, there are the additional Poppi QT and QTπ forms that can make her more powerful and give Tora additional options, since he can’t bond with new Blades like the other characters. The thought of using her may be overwhelming. But, it can be worth it.
Poppi is upgraded with Poppiswap. This is a special menu where her Energy Converter, Role CPU, Element Core, Arts Cards, Skill RAM, Special Enhancing RAM, and Skill Upgrade can be found. She starts with some basic parts and as a tank. Ether Crystals can be used at the Energy Converter to increase the amount of energy you have to equip Arts, Skills, Specials. Basically, to make the most of Poppi, you need to find Technical Manuals found around Alrest to collect higher tier equipment for Poppi, crystalize mods or parts to make it possible for her to equip them, and play a lot of Tiger! Tiger! to ensure she’s on par with the other blades that grow a little more naturally.
Tiger! Tiger! can be rather difficult, as players have to guide a Nopon in a submarine through five levels, collecting treasures and Ether Crystals along the way. After reaching the bottom of a stage, it is necessary to find a way all the way back up to complete it. Three kinds of power-ups can be found floating or from enemies to help: health potions, invincibility orbs, and wrenches that let you temporarily move diagonally instead of only up, down, left, and right. Sea creatures roam about, with each having having different weaknesses. (Except algae and sea urchins, which can’t be killed.) Bonus medals are awarded if you avoid taking damage, collect all treasure chests, and find all Ether Crystals. Practice makes perfect, so investing a lot of time is a good way to build up resources.
Then, there are Poppi’s different forms. Poppi α is the version that joins alongside Tora. As part of the story, players will unlock Poppi Quixotic Tutelar. Which is Poppi QT (cutie) for short. This form has a heart-to-heart event that leads to a new quest to unlock Poppi Quantum Technochampion π. (Yes, that means cutie pie.) In chapter eight, you can visit the Leftherian Archipelago and experience a Heart-to-Heart with Poppi QT near Fonsett Village, on the island not far from the Fonsett Arch. This opens up Powered-Up Poppi at Tora’s House.
Powered-Up Poppi is a rather extensive questline, one which I have yet to complete. (I am at the boss fight.) It involves collecting items, visiting people to speak with them around Alrest, having Blades with Ancient Wisdom level three and Forestry level five skills, and a boss fight. If you want to prepare, know that you will eventually need 10 Golden Cogs, five Cubic Diamonds, 12 Ambler Stigmas, and Genbu Weave Cloth. It is a lot of effort, but people who are fans of Poppi and use Tora often may want to consider it.
Poppi may be a little intimidating, what with her not being like all the other Blades. But, the ability to customize her facets and role make her quite a powerful ally. While it can take time to get good, Tiger! Tiger! Isn’t some impossible task. Plus, you can eventually take on a side quest to unlock her final form and make her even more useful. She could very well be worth players’ time.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is available for the Nintendo Switch.