Picking the best arts in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a key part of building a well-rounded party, and, especially on higher difficulties, you need to put some careful thinking into how you build each class.

Early in the game, you unlock the option to add a second set of arts to your loadout, with more slots unlocking until you reach level 40.

Secondary arts are dependent on you unlocking and probably mastering the class they come from, so it’s worth spending some time – or Nopon Coins – leveling up several classes even if you plan on just sticking to one.

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Best Swordfighter build

xenoblade chronicles 3 arts guide | the best arts for each build

The Swordfighter isn’t the best attacker class, but it does have some merits if you’re after a straightforward attacker role.

Best Swordfigther arts

These are basic arts, but Air Slash and Edge Thrust in particular can still deal a respectable amount of damage:

  • Air Slash
  • Edge Thrust
  • Sword Strike

Swordfighter Secondary arts

  • Night Hunt (Stalker)
  • Violent Flurry (Thaumaturge)
  • No Love Lost (Strategos)

This build boosts attack power from back strikes with Night Hunt, while lowering enemy defense with No Love Lost.

Violent Flurry is a strong choice for anyone since it could ignore enemy defense completely, but if you’re after something with a bit more oomph, try the Ogre’s Giant Swing. Its knockback effect can’t be beat.

Swordfighter Gems

Since the Swordfighter is a no-frills class, your best bet is an equally straightforward approach with their gems.

  • Steelcleaver (attack boost)
  • Steady Attacker (increases auto attack speed)
  • Empowered Combo (damage boost when cancelling arts)

Best Zephyr build

xenoblade chronicles 3 arts guide | the best arts for each build

Zephyr is a solid defender role at any point in the game, and you can make it even better with the right arts and gems.

Best Zephyr arts

Zephyr excels at evasion, but also has some unique aggro-generating skills.

  • Air Fang
  • Wide Slash
  • Butterfly Blade OR Glow Ring

Butterfly Blade is the foundational skill and boosts aggro by 70%, so it’s always handy.

Air Fang is essential, as it deals higher damage if the enemy is targeting you. In some cases, though, it’s best to use Glow Ring instead of Butterfly, since Glow Ring forces one enemy to target you.

Zephyr secondary arts

Defenders are the most versatile class in Xenoblade 3, since you can mix support skills in the mix to give them an even better method of controlling crowds.

  • Advanced Cooldown (War Medic)
  • Energy Grenade (Yumsmith)
  • Hidden Thorn (Flash Fencer)

Advanced Cooldown is the key skill here, since it creates a broad field that raises the defense of any ally inside, including you. That’s pretty excellent for a defender class.

Energy Grenade and Hidden Thorn help whittle down your opponent’s health. The grenade deals continuous damage, and Hidden Thorn inflicts bleed, which also saps their HP.

Zephyr gems

  • Tailwind (agility boost)
  • Ultimate Counter (deals attack damage when you take a hit)
  • Perilous Presence (starts battles with aggro)

This is a fairly standard defender build, but it gets the job done. Perilous Presence is especially important, since you can quickly get defeated if an enemy group targets your healers first.


Best Medic Gunner build

xenoblade chronicles 3 arts guide | the best arts for each build

The Medic Gunner is a tough class to get to grips with at first, especially since its arts recharge with time instead of by auto-attacking.

Your best bet is focusing on support early on, and then with more classes unlocked, you can turn it into a strong ether attack class.

Best Medic Gunner arts

In the game’s early phases, you have a bit of a branching development path for the class. Medic Gunner is the only way to inflict Daze for a while, which is good for combos.

It also has two healing skills and a field art placement, the latter of which is the only way to charge the class talent art and heal in larger numbers. Since healing is so limited until chapter three, we recommend sticking with the Daze-healing art combo.

  • Myopic Screen
  • Group Heal
  • Vortex

Later when you’ve got healing covered more efficiently, you can swap out Vortex for Ether Cannon and deal better ether damage.

Medic Gunner secondary arts

  • No Love Lost
  • Overfall
  • Dark Banner

This is an odd class and not one that’s really worth sticking with for long. Most of its best secondary arts come from Taion’s Tactician class and help turn it into a viable support role.

Medic Gunner gems

  • Lifebearer (increases healing)
  • Livesaving Expertise (faster ally recovery)
  • Disperse Bloodlust (reduced aggro)

Most healers need the same things, and those things are better healing and faster recovery times when reviving allies.


Best Tactician build

xenoblade chronicles 3 arts guide | the best arts for each build

The Tactician is a better support class than Medic Gunner, but still struggles with healing out of the box.

Best Tactician arts

  • Stormy Skies
  • Hazy Figure
  • Avenging Eagle

This is almost a purely support build, but it’s certainly the most useful in the first several chapters.

Stormy Skies is your standard healing move. You should target your defenders with Hazy Figure to help keep them alive longer with its evasion-boosing buff – a handy supplement while your healing arts recharge – and Avenging Eagle reduces your foes’ evasion.

You can also swap Avenging Eagle for Overfall if you have several ether attackers in your party, since Overfall reduces enemy ether defense.

Tactician secondary arts

  • Multiblast (War Medic)
  • Ether Cannon (Medic Gunner)
  • Energy Grenade (Yumsmith)

Tactician only has one healing skill, so Multiblast is pretty essential. The others help boost the class’ ether damage output and adds a handy way to support the team by reducing enemy HP.

Tactician gems

  • Lifebearer (increases healing)
  • Livesaving Expertise (faster ally recovery)
  • Disperse Bloodlust (reduced aggro)

OR

  • Swelling Blessing (boosts power of buffs you apply)
  • Swelling Scourge (boosts power of debuffs you apply)

The philosophy here is pretty much the same as the Medic Gunner, though the Swelling gems are strong alternatives if you plan on going heavy with the support side.


Best Heavy Guard build

xenoblade chronicles 3 arts guide | the best arts for each build

The Heavy Guard is probably what you think of first if “tank role” comes to mind. It’s slow, it attracts aggro like nobody’s business, and it’s not exactly the best for dealing damage. It is your only way to inflict Topple for quite a while, though, so if you’re intent on combos, make sure to pay this class some attention.

Best Heavy Guard arts

  • Bull Rush
  • Uppercut Slash
  • Variable Turret OR Solid Stance

Bull Rush is strong anyway, but it’s also your Topple skill. Uppercut Slash generates aggro and is the strongest of the class’ skills, but the third slot is a bit more flexible.

Variable Turret blocks all damage, but only from one enemy. It’s good for boss fights against single opponents, though probably not ideal if you’re attracting attention from several foes. Solid Stance reduces your damage output and damage taken by 25%. The Heavy Guard isn’t going to deal the most damage of your main classes, so this is an acceptable tradeoff on whole.

Heavy Guard secondary arts

  • Wide Slash (Zephyr)
  • No Love Lost (Strategos) OR Maxiumum Voltage (Ogre)
  • Giant Swing (Ogre)

Wide Slash’s evasion bonus makes it a strong pick considering your Heavy Guard is under fire most of the time. No Love Lost and Maximum Voltage are sort of interchangeable – the first one reduces physical defense and the second buffs your attack while making hits unblockable. Maximum Voltage is good if you’re getting ready to deal a strong hit with Giant Swing or Uppercut Slash, though No Love Lost means everyone benefits from softer enemies.

Heavy Guard gems

  • Steel Protection (increases chances of blocking attacks)
  • Ultimate Counter (deals damage when you’re attacked)
  • Steady Striker (increased auto attack speed) OR Doublestrike (chance of hitting twice with an auto attack)

The first two gems are similar to the Zephyr build and pretty much any defender class you use, but the last prospect is potentially even more important. The Heavy Guard is a slow class. It’s fine for your main arts, which recharge over time, but it does mean your utility in battle is limited mostly to blocking. These two gem options help fix that.

Best Ogre build

xenoblade chronicles 3 arts guide | the best arts for each build

The Ogre is your second pure attacker class, and its one of the most useful throughout the game, thanks to the status effects and sheer power from its arts.

Best Ogre arts

Big Impact Giant Swing Maximum Voltage

The Ogre already hits hard, and Maximum Voltage ensures it hits even harder for quite a while longer. Big Impact knocks enemies down when you’re in front of them, which creates an excellent chance to either redouble your attack or heal without being harassed, and then Giant Swing is just a fantastic, heavy-hitting skill in general.

Ogre secondary arts

  • Multi Blast (War Medic)
  • Energy Grenade (Yumsmith)
  • Advanced Cooldown (War Medic)

This set gives the Ogre something more to do aside from just dealing damage. Since the Ogre benefits from frontal attacks, staying near the defender is a good idea, and Multi Blast means you can help them stay alive. The same goes for Advanced Cooldown’s defense-buffing field, while Energy Grenade is just a nice supplementary bit of damage dealing.

Ogre gems

  • Accurate Grace (increases dexterity)
  • Steady Striker (faster auto attacks)
  • Empowered Combo (stronger attacks when cancelling arts)

The Ogre’s big downside is slightly low accuracy, which Accurate Grace helps fix. Empowered Combo boosts damage, and Steady Striker resolves the issue of how slow the hammer attacks are.

You won’t unlock multiple slots for gems and arts until later in the game, but you also don’t have much class variety for the first few chapters either. These builds should give you an idea of how to shape your party in the early moments as you work towards unlocking heroes and obtaining the best classes in Xenoblade 3.

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