This is a guide to team setup and choosing the best party to use in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitve Edition (XC1) for the Nintendo Switch. Here we will explain the best tank, best healer, best player to control, and the best party combination.
List of Contents
In Xenoblade Chronicles, you are allowed to choose three party members at a time. One of them you will control, and the other two will be controlled by AI. It is important to keep in mind each character's role, abilities, and AI when selecting your team. Here we will explain the different types of roles in Xenoblade Chronicles.
Simply put, physical attackers will target their enemies and deal damage based on their Defense. Characters in this role rely primarily on high strength and Physical Arts.
Characters who attack through ether generally make less use of their Strength stat, and instead target the enemies' Ether Defence. Characters who can fit this role are excellent for battling with bosses who have high Defence stats. Characters in this role rely on their Ether stat and Ether Arts.
This character can draw an enemy's aggro, allowing their teammates to target said enemies with Arts while making the best use of positioning. This type of character will either need to rely on high Defense stats or Agility.
This type of character can cast support buffs to their allies, boosting stats like Strength, Agility, etc., or raising tension. Having that extra power will help tear through tougher enemies.
This type of character can inflict detrimental statuses on their foes in order to slowly drain their health via Poison/Chill/Blaze, Topple them, or otherwise lower their battle capability.
Xenoblade Chronicles doesn't make use of potions or healing items like in other RPGs, so the only way to heal mid-battle is through Battle Arts. Characters who can fill this role need a high ether stat to heal more HP, as well as Arts that will restore HP to allies.
Warning: This section may contain spoilers. If you are reading this before completing Chapter 9, proceed with extreme caution.
A very balanced team that fills each of the roles above very well. Dunban will be your tank, making use of his excellent Agility stat to absorb aggro and dodge most of the enemies' attacks. This allows Shulk to move freely and attack with position-based arts such as Slit Edge, Back Slash, and Air Slash. Riki will inflict a series of enemy debuffs and ether damage to foes.
Shulk and Riki are both capable of healing, through Light Heal and You Can Do It respectively (the second of which can heal all allies!). Combined, your party should have no problem holding on to their HP.
Shulk and Dunban both have Skills that will allow them to raise tension, while Riki's Art Hero Time prevents tension loss. With high tension, and several-position based Arts, this party will have no problem filling up the party gauge quickly so they can activate Chain Attacks.
During a Chain Attack, You will want to inflict Break with Air Slash, followed by Steel Strike to topple the foe. Riki can use Happy Happy to immediately raise the Party Gauge by one block, or inflict one of his many debuffs. After this, assuming you trigger Chain Links, you will either want to daze the foe with Shaker Edge (which can also be done after the chain attack), or chain together Physical Arts to inflict massive damage (with enough Chain Links, you can do both!).
The following list is an example of a Chain Attack that can be used to inflict heavy damage to an enemy.
(Soaring Tempest can also be used in place of one of Dunban's other moves to fill the talent gauge.)
The main difference between how these two function in battle is that Reyn tanks enemies attacks through high defensive stats, while Dunban dodges them through his high Agility stat. Either one of them is fine, but using both in your team is redundant (unless you are going for a Topple Lock centered team). Having one of these two on your team is essential though.
Sharla's entire identity is based around healing, so no surprise here. Sharla is wonderful at supporting the team through her many buff and healing Arts, although she is squishy, incredibly lacking when it comes to damage, and her Talent Art is unquestionably the worst in the game. She does get bonus points for being able to keep a long distance when fighting, however.
Riki, on the other hand, doesn't have quite the same buff capability of Sharla, but he does have You Can Do It, which is arguably the best Healing Art in the game. On top of this, Riki has the highest HP stat of all characters, and can inflict many debuffs on the enemy, plus he can use both physical and ether attacks. Overall, Riki is one of the best characters in the game for being so well-rounded.
Shulk also gets an honorable mention here for Light Heal, which, since it can only heal one member at a time, is not the best healing Art in the game by any means, but it does have a pretty quick cooldown, and can get the job done if leveled and another party member can also help with healing.
Melia is hands-down the best ether attacker in the game with her incredibly high Ether stat and ether-centric Art set. She fits the mage archetype better than any other character in the game. However, this is a double-edged sword, as her low HP and agility make her very easy for foes to take down, so she needs to avoid gaining aggro at all costs.
Fiora is a close second when it comes to ether attacking. Fiora is a bit more well rounded too, as she can make use of physical attacks in addition to her ether ones, and she is much better at surviving enemy attacks when pressured. You still don't want to use her as a tank generally, but she is one of the most well-rounded characters, save for her lack of party healing Arts.
When using either of these characters, you will want to control them yourself though, as the AI on these characters often struggles to understand how to use the character correctly.
When starting off the game especially (since it won't be a choice for quite awhile), Shulk is the character you will want to use as your party leader. He is probably the most well-rounded and best character in the game overall (not to mention he is essential for a large part of it, thanks to the Monado's power to damage Mechons). While Shulk's AI isn't bad, and you can certainly use him as an AI-controlled character with no problem, he really is best made use of when controlled, so that you can use the appropriate Monado Art when called for, and make use of his many position-based Arts to fill the Party Gauge.
As mentioned above, Melia and Fiora are both characters that you will want to set as the team leader and control to get the most out of. Both of them are excellent characters when used in this fashion. With Melia especially, it is extremely essential not to mindlessly spam Arts, but instead to space them appropriately and allow the team Tank to absorb enemy aggro. Fiora can tank, if you really want her to, but she is much more useful in the attacker role, letting Dunban or Reyn attract the enemy eye. Like Shulk, she can used position-based Arts to fill the Party Gauge.
While you can of course play as whatever character you enjoy most, we highly recommend trying one of these three!
|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||-|
Best Party and Team Setup
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