Here are 25 Tips I learned while playing Xenoblade Chronicles. If I think of any others I may add them later on. I avoided spoilers.
1- More Silver and Gold. There are ways to increase the chances of the enemies dropping Silver or Gold Chests. Killing the same enemy type in the same battle will chain the chest drops together resulting in a much better chance of receiving a silver or gold chest drop. Also, Heropon Riki has two abilties that you can equip that raises the percentage chance of silver as well as gold chests drops. The best part? You can skill link this ability to your other party members which means that the percentage stacks by how many characters have the skill linked. You can raise the chance of silver chests being dropped by 70% if fully linked!
2- Raising Affinity. A great way to earn affinity in batle is to recover your party members when they are suffering from low tension or a status problem. Walk over to them and recover them for an affinity boost. It can happen several times in battle so always be on the lookout for party members in trouble. Burst Affinity is a timed button action that can happen during battle and its reward is 3 affinity hearts if you time it perfectly and 1 if you hit it but not perfectly. Also give gifting and Heart-to-Heart moments raise affinity.
3-Colony 6 & Missing Collectibles. As you rebuild Colony 6, certain rare collectibles will start to appear in specific spots in the city. The more you build, the better the collectibles get. After reaching a specific point in the story, some areas in the game become inaccesbile which means that if you missed a collectible, you’ll no longer be able to go back and get it. Some of those collectibles at that point will only appear in Colony 6, giving you a good reason to participate in the city’s building.
4-Heart-to-Heart Moments. It might seem obvious, but save before doing a heart-to-heart. This is so you can reset if you answer either of the two questions wrong. It is not always so obvious which answers are right. Getting both questions right means more affinity for you!Also, you might want to answer the questions wrong on purpose before you reset, just so you can read the other dialogue that occurs from a wrong answer. Some times wrong answers can be informative and entertaining.
5-Quest Bonus Affinity Tip. When accepting or turning in quests, it’s a good idea to put characters in your main party that you want to boost affinity between since there is a chance a party member might jump into the conversation during the dialogue which will boost the affinity between the characters. You wouldn’t want to place in characters that have already maxed out affinity if you have characters that haven’t yet.
6-Affinity Coins. Running out of affinty coins from linking too many skills? Back track to areas you previously visited and hunt down those unique enemies. They may have been a challenge for you in the past, but they will be a breeze if you are leveled significantly higher than they are. Defeating a unique enemy for the first time will always reward you an affinity coin, regardless of your current level.
7-Increase Your Movement Speed.There are green gems you can equip called Quick Step which will increase how fast you can move in battle and in the game world. The max speed increase is 25% but it does provide a noticeable difference, especially when exploring large areas.
8-Overtrading For A Second Item. We mentioned before that you can trade items with the named NPCs in Xenoblade. If you trade something significantly more valuable than the item the NPC will trade you for in return, the NPC will reward you with a bonus item. This means that every named NPC has at least two items they have that can be traded. You won’t know what the other item is until you have overtrade for it. This can be repeated as often as you like.
9-“Other” Collectopedia Category. There is a category in the collectopedia in which the items can only be found by trading with named NPCs. So be on the lookout. The rewards for this category are some of the best gems in the game such as AP Plus V.
10-Triggering Weather Conditions. Changing the time of the day from the game clock in the menu can work for triggering weather conditions. This is handy if you are looking for an enemy that only appears under specific weather conditions. Just change the time (to what doesn’t matter), check to see if the weather has changed and if not, change the time again until it does. This will likely take you several tries, but it does work.
11-Unique Enemy Tip #1. Don’t be in such a rush to kill off every unique enemy that you come across. Many of the unique enemies are part of a quest. When you defeat an unique enemy, it can be a very long time before it appears again. Usually when you defeat an unique enemy early, it won’t be there again when a quest giver sends you out to defeat it later. We’ll post another unique enemy tip tomorrow for those that want to ignore this tip and defeat the unique enemies anyway.
12-Unique Enemy Tip #2. So you were sent on a quest to defeat an unique enemy, but the problem is, you already defeated that enemy and now it is nowhere to be found. What to do? Well probably the only thing you can do really besides just waiting and coming back later is to save your game right where the unique enemy should be. Then from the menu, choose to reload your last saved game. Reloading from the menu can work for triggering the reapperance of unique enemies. If a unique enemy is not where it is supposed to be due to you already defeating it, keep reloading until it appears. It may take a long while, and several reloads, but it will eventually reappear as long as the required conditions are right. Cheap? Yes. But effective!
13-Time Limited Quests. There are quests that have to be completed before reaching certain points in the story. These quests will have a red clock next to them in the Quest Log. You should try to get these completed as soon as possible or you may miss out on them for good.
14-Resetting Gold Chests. If you defeat an enemy and get a gold chest, save your game before you open it. If you open it and don’t like the contents, Reload your saved game. When you reload, the chest will be waiting for you. This is particularly handy when trying to get the Advanced Art Books after you reach about the middle point of the game and after.
15-Use The Menu Map! Some people seem to not realize that the menu map lets you travel to any location. The Map button only opens the location you are currently on. Though one benefit to the map button is that it is quicker, but it also shows heart-to-heart locations in the area in which the menu map does not.
16-Blue Dots on the UI Map. Those little blue dots on the UI map show you where the named NPCs are near you. Non-named NPCS don’t show up.
17-Mega Heating your Gems. You should try and raise affinity between Reyn and Shulk in particular because when it is maxed they have a great chance of mega heating gems. Heating gems raises the rank by one. Mega heating gems gives you two gems with a raised rank.
18-Most Useful Gems (IMO). The Gems that are the most useful in the game seem to be Agility, HP Up, Double Attack, Electric Plus (Melia), Critical Up, AP Up, and Haste. Of course to each their own and I’m likely forgetting others.
19-Defeat an Enemy with a Chain Attack for Bonuses. If you defeat an enemy with a chain attack you get double SP, more AP, and more Experience.
20-SP and EXP bars. In the character UI in battle, the orange bar represents experience while the yellow bar represents the current skill you are learning.
21-Elementals and Mechon Vulnerable. Both Elementals and Mechon are vulnerable to Ether attacks. Melia and Sharla to an extent are great against them.
22- Raising City Affinity by talking to named NPCs. Talking to named NPCs is very important in raising city affinity rank. You should make a habit of talking to every named NPC you see three times at a time as they say different things and one could trigger an affinity boost. Progressing the story, doing quests, and talking to other named NPCs will effect what named NPCs say so you should regularly talk to all the named NPCs three times to raise your city affinity rank.
23-Changes when the City Affinity Rank Goes Up. When you raise the city affinity rank, named NPCs may get new items to trade with. The overtrading item however remains the same. Some quests will only become available once you reach a specific city affinity rank.
24- Strange Achievements. There are some strange achievements you may not know about. Falling to your death from up very high will get you one, dying for the first time will get you one, two wrong answers on a heart-to-heart will get you one, having Riki Gift bugs to part members will get you one, and the list goes on and on. If you want to find all the achievements in the game, you really have to experiment.
25- Fighting Higher Level Enemies. Agility gems increase your agility which affects how likely you are to hit or miss your target. It also affects how likely your enemy is to land a hit on you. If you are battling an enemy at a higher level than you at 5 levels or above, your chances of even landing a successful hit on it are slim unless you have your agility level high enough from gems and skills. In fact, agility gems are one of the more useful gems in the game.
If you have tips of your own share them in the comments!