There's a lot to get to grips with in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, but one of the most integral systems of the game are the various Blades you can obtain and equip. In this Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Blades guide, we'll be going over how to get new Blades, as well as how to upgrades Blades, before moving on to the best Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Blades you can find. On top of all this, we'll be explaining the role of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Core Crystals, and how to use Core Crystals to unlock additional Blades for battle.
Should you need anything else related to Xenoblade Chronicles 2, including how to get to grips with both the combat system and the HUD of this massive game, then be sure to check out our Xenoblade Chronicles 2 guides walkthrough hub.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Blades Guide
First off, you'll start out Xenoblade Chronicles 2 with Pyra as your primary Blade, before you unlock the ability to equip a second and third Blade into your combat roster at once. At this point, you can begin to choose which Blades you want Rex to travel with, to wield in the heat of combat, but how do you unlock new Blades? Check out the rest of this guide just below to work out how to unlock new Blades.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 How to Unlock New Blades
To unlock new Blades to accompany Pyra in your roster, you'll have to head into the Blades area of the pause menu, and then go into the Bond Blades option. From here, you'll then have to select the character that you want to give the new Blade to, and then select which type of Core Crystal you'd like to use, to randomly generate a new Blade from.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Core Crystals Guide
As you can probably imagine, Core Crystals like the Rare Core Crystal have a greater chance of rewarding the character with a more powerful Blade, than a Common Core Crystal. What you want is a basically a Blade that looks distinctly different from any other in the game, with a completely different art style, as demonstrated by Ursula just below.
You can tell that Ursula is a rare and powerful Blade not only from the distinct art style, but also from the fact that she has five 'crown' symbols near the bottom of her name card. This represents how easily the Blade will bond with a user, so you're essentially going for a Blade that has a large amount of crown symbols.
Also on the name card of the Ursula Blade, you can see that she's a Healer from the 'HLR' note in the Role section, and she's also a Frost specialist, as denoted by the symbol near the top right of the name card. You should always check what role a Blade can play when you first obtain them, as well as the element type that they specialise in, in order to form a more varied stack of Blades for Rex and his companions.
So, how can you go about acquiring new Core Crystals for use? Your best bet is to basically head out into the wilderness of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and attempt to take down an enemy that as close to the level of your party as possible. While doing this isn't guaranteed to generate a Core Crystal for you, is it the best way we've found of coming across the elusive items.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Best Blades
As we mentioned just above, you can tell which Blades are better than others right from the jump, based on how many crown symbols they have on their name card. But you can't purely go assigning Blades to characters in your party based on the amount of these symbols that they next to their name, as you'll need to prioritise roles for battle.
Just below, you can see the two Blades that Rex has equipped for battle, these being Pyra and Nim. This looks like a good combination, as Pyra boasts fire attacks while Nim has stone attacks, but on closer inspection, Nim actually falls under the Healer role, while Pyra is purely Attack. Therefore, it might be better to use Overdrive to send Nim over for Nia to equip, as Nia focuses on the healing role with Dromach as her main Blade.
In this situation, it would be better to find a Blade that matches Pyra's offensive role in battle. Although the Blade known as Sazami (pictured below) might not look as strong as Nim, it'll function better in the offensive hands of Rex, while Nim slots in better to be used by Nia as a support Blade. Although some Blades are clearly more powerful, you still have to pick the right role to put them in.
Other than allowing Blades to function in the best roles possible, getting your hands on the best Xenoblade Chronicles 2 blades in the first place is basically a game of chance. We previously mentioned that you can unlock new Blades through bonding Crystal Cores with certain characters, and even this is mainly a game of chance.
Although they do have an increased chance of rewarding you with a rarer, more powerful Blade, the Rare Core Crystals can still grant a character with a standard, common Blade. Therefore, you'll have to venture out into the wilds of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and basically take down the most powerful enemies you can possibly imagine, in order to be in with a chance of obtaining a Rare Core Crystal, and getting hold of a powerful Blade.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 How to Upgrade Blades
Just like the main characters of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, their Blades can also be upgraded through their own Affinity Charts, which are effectively perk charts. To check on the Affinity Chart of a Blade, head into the Manage Blades option of the main Blades menu, then press A while on the desired Blade, and then choose the Customize Blade option.
Select the Affinity Chart option afterwards, and you'll come to the screen just above, where you've got branching paths of upgrades that can be acquired for the Blade, which in this case in Nim. The Affinity Chart upgrades work in stages, and you'll need to unlock one complete row of upgrades, before you can begin unlocking the next row.
You can hover over an upgrade to see what it requires in order to be unlocked for the Blade. For example in the Affinity Chart pictured above, we can unlock the Fierce Healer upgrade perk for Nim by using the Fierce Healer ability ten times, which will let her restore 35% of inflicted damage to the entire party, whenever she lands a hit. This method of Affinity upgrades works exactly the same for all Blades, and even the most powerful Blades in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 can always be improved through the Affinity Chart upgrades.