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How to use Chain Attacks

Jarrod Garripoli
Vincent Lau

This is a guide for using Chain Attacks in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

Chain Attacks are a battle mechanic from previous Xenoblade games that lets you pause the action, so your characters can take turns attacking the enemy without being interrupted. If used well, Chain Attacks can turn the tides of extremely difficult battles.

Step 1: Increase the Chain Attack Gauge

As you fight, the Chain Attack gauge towards the right side of the screen will steadily increase. The gauge increases as you perform combos, cancel into Arts and achieve Role Actions. Once the gauge is full, hit Joy-Con-ButtonPlus to trigger the Chain Attack.

Step 2: Choose a Chain Order

(1 of 2) First, begin by choosing one of the three Chain Orders.

First, begin by choosing one of the three Chain Orders. (left), Next, hover over a character, then press X, Y or B to use a Class/Fusion Art. (right)

New to Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is Chain Orders. During each round of a Chain Attack, you can choose from three randomly selected Chain Orders–one for each character. Each Chain Order has its own completion bonus, which triggers if you activate the Chain Order during that round. It’s important to note that it doesn’t matter which class that character is currently equipped as, since their Chain Order will reflect their initial class. For example, the Chain Order for Sena will always be an Attacker, even if she’s currently a Defender or Healer.

Chain Order Type Description
Noah Attacker Attacks during Chain Attack gain x% chance to bypass defense
Mio Defender Aggro of Attacker or Healer has been reduced by x%
Lanz Defender Aggro of Defender has increased by x% and increases the Attack of all party members
Sena Attacker Attacks during Chain Attack gain x% chance to be unblockable
Eunie Healer Reduces enemy ether defense by x% during Chain Attack
Taion Healer Reduces enemy physical defense by x% during Chain Attack

Step 3: Choose your Arts

Next, you can select a character using Joy-Con-DPad-Left and Joy-Con-DPad-Right, then use one of their Class/Fusion Arts by pressing the same buttons as during combat (Joy-Con-ButtonX, Joy-Con-ButtonY and Joy-Con-ButtonB). There will be a number above the character, which is the base amount of Tactical Points (TP) that you’ll gain from that character.

You will gain more TP for things such as if the character’s role matches the character who you selected for the Chain Order, if they’re both from Keves/Agnus etc. Reach 100% Tactical Points and the Chain Order will trigger, dealing damage to the foe and ending the round. If you fail to reach 100% TP during a round, then the Chain Attack will end, without that Chain Order being executed. Additionally, you can end the Chain Attack at any time by pressing the Joy-Con-ButtonPlus button.

Step 4: Continuing the Chain

(1 of 2) You can continue for as long as the gauge exists, but you'll have less characters as you go on.

You can continue for as long as the gauge exists, but you'll have less characters as you go on. (left), Eventually the chain attack will end. (right)

When the round ends, if the chain attack gauge hasn’t been depleted, another round will start. However, any characters you used in the prior round will be unavailable. But if you did well in the previous round, some characters may be reactivated, ready to go again. Then the cycle continues until the chain attack gauge runs out. The number of characters reactivated solely depends on how well you did. If the TP gauge only reached 100%, then a single character will be brought back. The TP gauge reaching 150% will result in two characters being brought back, and 200% will have three characters brought back (there is no bonus after 200%). Note that finishing a round with a Defender will always result in the character with the highest TP being reactivated, in addition to any others.

The longer the chain attack, the higher the damage multiplier. Also, if you KO a foe during a chain attack, you can keep going and Overkill them to boost the EXP multiplier. This is especially useful if you’re fighting an Elite or Unique Enemy, as well as bosses.

Step 5: Ouroboros Chain Orders

During the course of Chapter 3, you will unlock the Ouroboros Chain Arts, which are an additional step you can use to add even more damage to your Chain Attack. There are two ways in which one can trigger an Ouroboros Chain Art. If your Interlink is at level 3 upon initiating the Chain Attack, then you will be able to use an Ourosboros Chain Art from the very beginning. It’s important to note that if done in this manner, than the Ouroboros Chain Art will not end the Chain Attack, allowing you to continue that Chain Attack.

Completing Orders with the right characters will allow you to do an Ouroboros Chain Order

The other manner in which you can trigger an Ourosboros Chain Art to appear is if you have completed the Chain Orders for the respective characters that are joined as Ouroboros. For example, if you complete a Chain Order for both Noah and Mio, then you will be able to get an Ouroboros Chain Order on the round following whichever character you chose second. Ideally, you’d want to make sure that the Ouroboros Chain Order will appear at the very end of the Chain Attack, to make use of the high damage multiplier. The reason for this is that should you use the Chain Order in this manner, then the Chain Attack will end.

Heroes and Chain Attacks

Each Hero will have their own effect whenever you choose them in the Chain Attack

Heroes are an additional party member that you are unable to control during battle, but offer extra benefits during battles. Of course, one of those benefits is that they will be able to participate in Chain Attacks. It should be noted that Heroes tend to not follow the natural order of things in Chain Attacks. For example, a Hero that is a Healer will not stop the TP gauge at 99%, as it will continue right past it. Thus, it’s important to keep this in mind when you are choosing the characters to attack. Also, each Hero will have their own benefit during the Arts selection process, as well as their own Chain Order. Choosing a Hero’s Chain Order will not deplete the Chain Attack gauge, so it’s possible to get up to four rounds (five with Ourosboros), once you have recruited Heroes.


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Guide Information

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  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    27 July 2022
  • Last Updated
    12 May 2023
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Welcome to our guide for Xenoblade Chronicles 3 - the eagerly anticipated third entry in the Xenoblade series by Monolith Soft on the Nintendo Switch. This guide is a work-in-progress and currently contains the following:

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