For those who have not completed games in the Xenoblade Chronicles series, this page contains spoilers regarding the plot. Discretion is advised.
Difficulty Levels are a mechanic in the Xenoblade Chronicles series. The difficulty level of the game can be selected from the Game Settings on the System menu.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, it is possible to select the difficulty level of the game from the Game Settings in the System menu. In version 1.3.0 an easy mode was added to the game, and with version 1.5.1 the difficulty settings of Bringer of Chaos and Custom were added for the owners of the Expansion Pass. To unlock them, the item New Difficulty Levels must be redeemed from the Expansion Pass menu.
By selecting one of the difficulty levels, enemy attacks, their maximum HP and the duration of debuffs, among others, will change. In Custom mode, it is possible to freely choose any configuration through a series of multipliers. Regardless of the chosen difficulty, rewards earned from battles and challenges remain the same.
Bringer of Chaos
- Enemy Attack Power increased by 25%.
- Enemy Attack Frequency increased by 50%.
- Enemy HP multiplied 2.5 times.
- Enemy Debuff status duration doubled.
- Player's Blade Combo buffer duration is halved. (30s → 15s)
- Party Gauge Gains reduced by 75%.
- Special Gauge recharge gains halved.
- Player HP restoration halved.
- Base Chain Attack damage multiplier halved. (300% → 150%)
- Enraged enemies can perform Rage Strikes.
- Enemies with resistances become more resistant to Driver Combos, Knockback and Blowdown:
- Ascended state activation consumes the entire Party Gauge.
- Aggro generation and depletion are increased in certain situations.
- Volatile aggro depletion is increased by 25% when over 8 meters away from the enemy.
- Aggro and volatile aggro generated whenever a party member creates an elemental orb is increased, if they are not currently targeted by the enemy.
- Critical Hit Rate decreases by 4.5% (multiplicative) for each consecutive Critical Hit inflicted. The effect is reset when the character fails to inflict critical damage. If more than 10 consecutive critical hits have been performed, failing to inflict a critical hit will instead halve the counter of consecutive Critical Hits, partially reducing the penalty.
The following chart displays the available multipliers that can be used to customize the game's difficulty and their respective ranges. The equivalent default values are shown for each of the predefined difficulty levels.
|Enemy Attack Power||-||-||Easy||Normal||Bringer of Chaos||-||-||-||-||-|
|Enemy Attack Frequency||-||-||Easy||Normal||-||Bringer of Chaos||-||-||-||-|
|Enemy Maximum HP||-||Easy||-||Normal||-||-||-||-||-||Bringer of Chaos|
|Enemy Debuff Duration||-||Easy||-||Normal||-||-||-||Bringer of Chaos||-||-|
|Player Blade Combo Buffer Time||-||Bringer of Chaos||-||Normal||-||Easy||-||-||-||-|
|Party Gauge Gains||Bringer of Chaos||-||-||Normal
|Player Special Recharge Rate||-||Bringer of Chaos||-||Normal
|Player Health Restoration||-||Bringer of Chaos||-||Normal
|Chain Attack Damage Multiplier||Bringer of Chaos||-||-||Normal
An additional parameter is unlocked at the start of Chapter 8:
|Multiplier||No Cost||1 Bar||2 Bars||3 Bars|
|Ascended State Party Gauge Use||Normal
|-||-||Bringer of Chaos|
Enemy Attack Power
Unlike with other parameters, the "Enemy Attack Power" multiplier has multiple effects besides its primary purpose to alter damage dealt by enemies.
- If its value is less than the default setting of 100%:
- Enemies larger in size than the player no longer gain additional Break resistance.
- If its value is greater than the default setting of 100%:
- Unique Monsters and Challenge Mode Enemies have their reaction resistances boosted by 20% of the parameter's value.
- Enemies larger than the player gain between 2% and 6% of the parameter's value in additional Break resistance. The larger the enemy, the greater the penalty.
- Due to a bug, performing any Cancel will lower the base Chain Attack multiplier to 100%, ignoring Burst Symbols and related Affinity Chart effects.
- Volatile aggro depletion is boosted by the parameter's percentage when over 8 meters away from the enemy. Effect caps at 200%.
- Aggro and volatile aggro generated whenever a party member creates an elemental orb is increased, if they are not currently targeted by the enemy. Aggro generated becomes the maximum between: (200 × Parameter3); 10% of their current aggro; or (0.3 × Parameter2) of the difference between their current aggro and that of the targeted party member.
- Critical Hit Rate multiplied by (0.962 × Parameter-0.03) for each consecutive Critical Hit inflicted. The effect is reset when the character fails to inflict critical damage. If more than 10 consecutive critical hits have been performed, failing to inflict a critical hit will instead halve the counter of consecutive Critical Hits, partially reducing the penalty.
Party Gauge Gains
This parameter also affects the rate of Party Gauge depletion from effects that lower the Party Gauge.
Chain Attack Damage Multiplier
It affects the Chain Attack's base damage multiplier and all effects that increase it, such as Burst Symbols and some Driver Affinity Chart skills. The base multiplier is calculated as follows:
Torna ~ The Golden Country
In Torna ~ The Golden Country, the Normal and Easy difficulties are available from the beginning of the game. Bringer of Chaos and Custom are unlocked upon finishing the game. The difficulty parameters are the same as in Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
In Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, the Easy difficulty is available as "Casual Mode", alongside the default normal difficulty. A new mode called Expert Mode was also added, that allows for greater control over player progression. These modes can be selected in the System and Options menu.
If the player is defeated multiple times in quick succession, the game might prompt them with the option to turn this mode on. These messages can be disabled by changing the Tutorial notifications in Notification Settings to "Don’t Notify". It changes multiple parameters during combat in order to reduce difficulty.
- Party damage doubled.
- Damage received halved.
- Party Gauge gains doubled.
- Spike damage reduced by 90%.
- Debuff inflicting Spikes have 50% less chance to trigger.
- No evasion penalties against higher leveled enemies.
Rather than changing the game's difficulty directly, Expert Mode allows the player to change a party member's level by either increasing or decreasing it at the expense of stored reserve experience points gained from discovering landmarks and locations, clearing quests and completing achievements. This works similarly to the Inn and Bonus EXP system from Xenoblade Chronicles 2. However, unlike in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, not all party members can have their levels lowered all the way to level 1. The minimum level a party member can be set to is the lowest possible level that character is able to be when they first join the party. Below is a list labeling the lowest possible levels for each character.
- Shulk - Level 1, Level 60 (In Future Connected)
- Reyn - Level 1
- Dunban - Level 20
- Sharla - Level 10
- Riki - Level 22
- Melia - Level 23, Level 60 (In Future Connected)
- Fiora - Level 40
- Kino - Level 58
- Nene - Level 58
Xenoblade Chronicles 3
In Xenoblade Chronicles 3, it is possible to select between "Easy", "Normal", and "Hard" difficulty at the beginning of the game. Additionally, the difficulty can be changed from the Game Settings in the System menu.