Ether is a stat in Xenoblade Chronicles for all playable characters and enemies. This stat affects the amount of damage done by a character's ether-based arts. Higher ether stats result in higher damage output from the ether arts. Ether, like Strength, can be raised through skills, gems, arts buffs, and leveling up. From highest to lowest base ether, the playable characters are: Melia, Fiora, Shulk, Riki, Sharla, Dunban, Reyn
Ether only affects Ether Arts, which have a horizontal band on their icon in the Art Palette. While these arts might not deal as much damage as physical arts, they are often associated with dealing debuffs, many of which (such as Chill and Blaze) can deal large amount of damage at a time. In addition, ether arts are not affected by the caster or target's accuracy or evasion, allowing the attack to connect every time, although the target may resist the attack if it is high levelled enough. Ether arts are also not affected by Soul Read, making them especially helpful when fighting Telethia.
(Ether + Weapon Attack) x (Ether Art Multiplier) = damage output of art
The ether stat only affects ether arts, which are denoted by a horizontal band on the icon in the Art Palette. The strength multiplier is a stat that is dependent on the art and its level. For example, Riki's Freezinate art at level 5 has a multiplier of 0.98, while Burninate at level 7 has a multiplier of 1.48. Therefore, Freezinate at level 5 will deal damage slightly less that Riki's auto-attack, while Burninate at level 7 will deal about 50% more damage than an auto-attack.
Ether can be increased like strength. Some characters have certain skills or skill trees that will increase ether. These include:
- Shulk's Humanity skill tree
- Sharla's Ether Explosion
- Melia's Ether Awareness and Ultimate Ether
Ether can also be increased using Ether Up gems, which can result in an increase by up to 150 points. In addition, since the damage output is also influenced by the weapon's attack status, damage can also be increased using Attack Plus or Attack Stability gems. Ether can also be increased by buffs from arts, such as Melia's Summon Bolt, Fiora's Ether Drain, or stolen through Riki's Yoink!.