Every Xenoblade Chronicles game has its own unique combat system and mechanics, but Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has by far the most complex in the series. A big part of this is the class system, which essentially works the same way as the job system in some Final Fantasy entries. The classes bring a ton of variety to Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and make setting your party up much more important than being skilled at the actual combat. So if you’re looking to get a sense of what the best classes are for your six playable characters, then keep reading.
Each class has a specific inheritor that can immediately access it once you unlock the class through side quests. Every character can use every class in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, but characters need to battle alongside someone using the class in order to unlock it.
With that detail in mind, we’ve put together some picks for the best classes to use across the entire game, including at the start and end. We’ll separate them out into the three main groups, and because Attacker has the majority of classes in the game, we’ll have more recommendations there.
Best Attacker classes
- Ogre (Available from start) — Ogre is easily the best of all the starting attackers, with the highest sheer damage output even if it has the lowest auto-attack speed. At the same time, its knockback and blowdown abilities are hugely useful for interrupting enemy attacks or even just stunning them for a few vital seconds.
- Full Metal Jaguar (Complete “A Gray Matter” mission in Aetia Region) — Full Metal Jaguar is exceptional at area-of-effect attacks and has some extremely high output damage to boot. This class is all about positioning, but its ranged attacks mean that it’s easier to navigate around the battlefield. It’s a great pick for mid- to late-game, and even with other classes, using Full Metal Jaguar arts for fusion can be a great pick.
- Soulhacker (Complete “Doing It My Way” mission in Cadensia Region) — Soulhacker is a fascinating class, as it’s basically Xenoblade’s equivalent of a Blue Mage. It won’t be super useful at first, but every time you kill a Unique Monster with a Soulhacker in the party, you’ll unlock a new skill or art. This means that if you’re willing to put in the time, Soulhacker can be the most useful class in the entire game. It’s the only class that can switch its focus. This means you can make Soulhacker an Attacker, Defender, or Healer, and there are even two options in that focus on different aspects.
- Seraph (Complete “A Twist of Fate” mission in Aetia Region, Upper) — Seraph is a late-game class that has absurdly high damage output at the cost of damaging itself. This means that if you want a Seraph, you’ll need to make sure you have a good healer in your party, like War Medic, that consistently keeps healing up. If you play Seraph, make sure to equip arts that have high damage for fusion, and you’ll cause some serious pain for enemies.
Best Defender classes
- Heavy Guard (Available from start) — Heavy Guard is generally the best choice for a Defender early on, as it’s the best at drawing enemy aggro. It may not have as much damage output as Zephyr, but drawing aggro and staying alive is much more important if you build your party right.
- Lone Exile (Complete “The Wrath of Ashera” mission in Keves Castle Region) — Lone Exile is a fantastic pick for a late-game defender as it has high HP and can draw aggro, but also has more damage output than any other defender in the game. It can also be great for setting up Launch combos with its Ascension Blade art, setting other characters up to do major damage with a Smash.
Best Healer classes
- Medic Gunner (Available from Start) — You’ll obviously want two healers in your party at any given time, but War Medic is the better pick for which one to stick with. This is simply because it does a better job of healing than Taion’s Tactician class, which focuses on a mix of healing and buffs. Medic Gunner also has the Power Ring art which gives an attack boost to anyone in the field, which is super useful for high damage output attackers.
- War Medic (Complete “The Kind Right Hand” mission in Fornis Region) — War Medic is by far the best healer in the entire game, and luckily you unlock it pretty early on in the main story. Every War Medic move will heal or buff the party in some way, meaning you’re getting benefits at all times. Multi Blast is the War Medic’s best art, causing damage and healing for a huge amount at the same time. If you have multiple characters learn Multi Blast, you can put a fusion on almost every character that heals when it hits.
- Strategos (Complete “Unwavering Resolve” mission in Colony Lambda) — Strategos is a good middle-ground healer that does a good job of buffing, healing, and causing damage, even if it doesn’t excel at any. The No Love Lost art is extremely useful at it lowers the enemy’s defense, and Moondog puts down a field that constantly heals while it’s up. The best idea for Strategos is to equip it with extra arts that focus on offense, creating a kind of hybrid Attacker-Healer.
Best party setup in Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Now that we’ve covered the best classes in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the big question is how you should go about building your party. If you’re playing on normal it’s generally a good idea to go with three Attackers, two Defenders, and three Healers. If you’re playing on Hard, it’s a good idea to switch to two Attackers and three Healers.
Make sure at least one of your healers is a War Medic, and it’s oftentimes the best idea to simply have Valdi as your seventh party member. This is because you want your party members to be attackers, as they can equip six arts while Heroes will only have their basic three. This means your party members will naturally cause more damage. You can realistically go with any mix of Attackers, as long as you have at least one of the classes we recommended. Yumsmith is also a good option for battles that have a lot of enemies, as it can set up a damaging AoE field.
For your other healer,r go with either Medic Gunner or Strategos as we recommended to complement the sheer healing of War Medic. For Defenders, there’s no need to have Heavy Guard and Lone Exile at the same time. Pick either class then go with another Defender that can cause more damage, like Zephyr.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is currently available on Nintendo Switch.