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Xenoblade Chronicles beginner's guide

Arts and Skills


Arts are combat abilities directly utilized in between your party leader’s auto-attacks. Because you can only control one character at a time, the AI will govern the use of your allies’ Arts. New arts are learned as your characters level up, but unlike skills, you are not told which arts will be learned next. Keep an eye on each character during the level up animation to see if “Art Learnt” appears above their head. When it does, open the Arts menu to see what’s new.

In the Arts menu, you can organize, level up, and swap your Arts. Initially, you won’t know enough Arts to fill the eight open combat slots, but eventually you’ll have to make some tough choices about which Arts to bench. When that happens, take into account the type of enemy you’re fighting, your party makeup, and whether or not you or the AI will be controlling the character.

Above: Advanced art books also available on Kindle

Initially, you can only level arts up four times. You’ll need to purchase books to gain access to intermediate levels (5-7) from various shops throughout the land. Books allowing access to an Art’s advanced levels (8-10) are only found in specific areas or are randomly dropped by high-level monsters.


Skills are passive, individualized abilities that serve to automatically enhance a character both in and out of combat. Each character starts with three branches featuring five skills each. You can change which branch to focus on learning at any time, but all skills can only be learned from top to bottom. Make sure to switch to another branch after mastering one, or else all that SP you earn during battle will be flushed down the toilet.

Skill links allow characters to use each other’s skills at a cost of Affinity Coins, which are obtained through leveling or by killing unique monsters. As the affinity between two characters increases, so does the number of skills that can be shared.

There are two additional branches for each character; they can be obtained from NPCs after some seriously time-consuming requirements have been met.