Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Everything we know so far

Xenoblade Chronicles 3
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a Japanese role-playing game featuring huge mechs, expansive wild lands, and cool anime protagonists wielding big swords with inconceivable maneuverability. This series of critically acclaimed RPGs developed by Monolith Soft have received tons of praise for their deep action-combat systems, striking open world and innovative storytelling. As a result, this new entry could continue to impress critics.

Although its title alludes to it being the third game, it’s actually the fourth Xenoblade in the series. Xenoblade Chronicles X has no story relation to the main entries though, hence it being ignored in the continuity. Additionally, the Xeno franchise has been in existence for even longer, having started with Xenogears on PS1 in 1998. This makes it the eighth main entry in the series due to the Xenosaga trilogy that launched throughout the PS2’s lifetime.

So without further ado, here’s everything we know about Xenoblade Chronicles 3 so far, including details on its story, characters, gameplay and more.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 release date 

In a surprising move, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is actually launching ahead of schedule on July 29. This was revealed during the most recent trailer for the game after we had been told to expect it during September of this year. 

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

(Image credit: Nintendo)

However, since Xenoblade Chronicles 2 launched in late 2017, it seems like more than enough time has passed for the third entry to be ready for launch five years later, so maybe not too many pats on the back for the "early" release. Similar to the previous entry, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will be exclusive to the Nintendo Switch

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 story 

Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s story revolves around two nations trapped in a constant state of war. Keves is a country that utilizes technological advancement to fuel its military ambitions, while Agnus specializes in ether, a magical counterpart that allows machines to operate autonomously. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will feature dual-protagonists, and our two main characters belong to opposing sides of the war.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

(Image credit: Nintendo)

One of the protagonists, Noah, is a soldier of Keves and boasts a distinct crimson blade. The other protagonist, Mio, is a soldier of Agnus who utilizes hoop-shaped weapons, prioritizing speed over power. While both of these characters are on opposing sides of the conflict, it seems they’ll come together for some greater cause.

As seen in the trailer, the protagonists use their flutes as a way to commemorate the many lives the war has taken. People who do this are referred to as “off-seers,” as both Noah and Mio can be seen facing one another sharing a melancholic melody. This implies Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will deal with themes regarding the senseless brutality of war, as two characters from nations that despise one another come together to honor those who have fallen on either side.

“Fighting in order to live, and living to fight” is the opening line of the game’s reveal trailer. It’s clear that the war between Keves and Agnus has sowed nothing but death throughout these nations, stripping all meaning from their lives in service of the unending war. It’ll be exciting to see how Xenoblade Chronicles 3 further expands upon these themes.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 characters 

Through a series of tweets, Nintendo revealed details on some of the characters we can expect to see in Xenoblade Chronicles 3. As mentioned previously, Noah and Mio are the game’s dual-protagonists, each belonging to opposite nations in a seemingly endless war.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Other characters include Sena, who wields a gigantic, unorthodox hammer to crush foes as a soldier of Agnus. Her favorite hobby is also body-building, which isn’t too shocking considering the size of her weapon. Lanz is a Keves soldier who sticks by Noah’s side in battle, with his gigantic muscles allowing him to wield a sword/shield hybrid.

Taion is a soldier of Agnus who utilizes magically infused paper-mache in the midst of battle, with his high intelligence allowing him to act as a strategist. And finally, Eunie is a Keves soldier with a “Gunrod,” a cane-like weapon that allows her to heal up her allies. She also has feathered wings sprouting from the top of her head. 

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 gameplay 

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has not revealed official combat footage, but we can speculate based on previous entries in the Xenoblade series. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 featured an action-battle system that allowed the player to move freely as party members automatically attacked in battle. Players could utilize Arts that inflict status ailments, heal party members, or carry out other powerful actions. And by comboing Arts in a specific order, players could lead it into a Blade action, and if multiple are used at once, it would deal even more damage in a Chain Attack.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The reveal trailer did give us a peek at world traversal, which mostly includes running around the massive environments. We also see Mio gliding across a zipline and somersaulting like a dolphin while swimming. Another form of traversal includes some sort of naval vessel, which appeared to be a high-tech boat.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 trailer

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 received its reveal trailer at Nintendo’s February direct. In the beginning of this trailer, we see the aforementioned cast of characters locked in a battle with one another. The soldiers of Agnus, including Mio, Sena and Taion can be seen fighting against soldiers of Keves, including Noah, Eunie and Lanz. In this early moment, the line “what would possess you to side with them,” can be heard coming from Noah. This scene possibly occurs early in the game, as there are plenty of moments later in the trailer where Noah and Mio are side by side.

In the trailer’s description on YouTube, a line of text reads that the game will be a “brand-new story that ties together the futures of the worlds depicted in Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2.” This confirms the third entry will be connected, although this isn’t particularly surprising. 

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 received a direct in June, showing off 24 minutes of footage. We received an in-depth run down of characters, special abilities, lore for the setting, many of the environments, creature designs, how combat will play out, and what colonies are for. There's also information on the upgrade systems, how arts will function, and some amusing footage of the main characters sliding around the world. It's a dense presentation, so if you're a fan of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 but haven't seen it yet, get to it.

Momo Tabari
Contributing Writer

Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.