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This is a guide to Expert Mode, a feature in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition for the Nintendo Switch. Here you can find out everything there is to know about this difficulty setting, including what it does and how to use it.
List of Contents
Expert Mode is a new way to play Xenoblade Chronicles, with increased difficulty. If you are a veteran of the game, and looking for a harder challenge, this mode allows you to do just that. Essentially, Expert Mode limits the amount of EXP that your characters can receive, turning off any free leveling up that can normally be gained through Landmarks and Locations, or by completing Achievements.
The Exp that you would normally gain through exploring and completing Achievements will instead be stored as reserve EXP, allowing you to use it whenever you want it. This allows you to adjust their levels to be higher or lower, using as much or as little of the character's EXP as you want. Note that you cannot change this level to be lower than the character's starting level.
As an example, Shulk and Reyn both start at level 1. You have gotten them up to level 30, and decide to turn on Expert Mode. This would allow you to set their levels as anywhere between 1 and 30. Lowering their levels will cause excess EXP to be stored as reserve EXP, so that you can manually raise their levels again if needed.
Expert Mode is available from the very start of the game. Simply hit (+), then select Expert Mode from the menu. It will be turned off by defauly, so toggle it on by pressing on the R-Stick inside of this menu. While it is enabled, all EXP gained from Landmarks/Locations/Achievements will be stored as Reserve EXP for each character.
With Expert Mode toggled on, you can now change your characters' levels. This cannot be done for the whole party simultaneously, so you will have to adjust character levels one by one.
Choose the character you want to adjust, and then their level by holding left or right on the control stick. You can see their reserve EXP labelled as Remaining EXP. When lowering a character's level, their stat changes are shown in red, and when increasing it, they are shown in blue.
Interestingly enough, Expert Mode and Casual Mode can both be toggled on at the same time, considering they are totally different functions. Casual Mode will allow you to defeat enemies more easily, while Expert Mode will allow you to receive less EXP, so it is totally possible to play on Casual-Expert Mode.
Although Expert Mode is put in place to give more of a challenge, it can be exploited to farm EXP/AP/SP very quickly. The amount of EXP/AP/SP you get from enemies increases depending on what level your lowest leveled member is. This means that you can use Expert Mode to lower a character's level before fighting a monster, which will grant extra EXP/AP/SP when you beat it.
If your team is at a high level compared to the monsters in the area, they won't receive very much EXP/AP/SP, but lowering your character levels will allow you do receive a lot more. This may feel a bit exploitive of the game, but it is an effective way to shorten the time you spend grinding.
|Battle System and Combat Guide||Can You Switch Characters in Battle?|
|Stats Explained||Status Effects Explained|
|How to Chain Attack||What Does Tension Do?|
|How to Topple | Topple Lock Guide||What is Spike Damage?|
|Trading and Overtrading Guide||Collectopaedia Guide and Rewards|
|Presents Guide||How to Change the Weather|
|What is Weight?||-|
|Guides for Leveling and Grinding|
|How to Level Up Fast||AP Farming Guide|
|SP Farming Guide||How to Farm Money|
|How to Raise Affinity||Tephra Cave Glitch|
|Leveling Areas Post 70||How to Get Affinity Coins|
|Best Party and Team Setup||Best Skill Trees For Each Character|
|Best Skill Links for Each Character||Best Gifts for Each Character|
|Art Manuals List||What to Sell | Best Items to Sell|
|What Carries Over to New Game Plus?||What is Expert Mode?|
|Achievement Guide and List||What Happens if You Die?|
|Appearance Guide | How to Change Appearance||List of Missables|
|100% Playthrough Checklist||-|
|Colony 6 Items|
|How to Get Gogol Horns||How to Get Inferno Element|
|How to Get Black Liver Bean||How to Get Snow Element|
|How to Get Azure Hollyhocks||How to Get Dust Element|
|How to Get Red Frontier||How to Get Empress Beetles|
|How to Get Rainbow Slugs||How to Get Ice Cabbages|
|How to Get Sturdy Armor||How to Get Squall Element|
|How to Get Bunnia Scent Wood||How to Get Fossil Monkey|
|How to Get High Entia Emblem||How to Enter Hode's Lair|
|Where is Banquet Vassago||How to Get Bitter Kiwis|
|How to Enter Power Pipe Ruins||-|
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