NOTE: because of the number of Blades available in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, there may be some unmarked spoilers regarding their acquisitions and mandatory appearance down the line. You have been warned.
Blades (Main game only)
- Mythra is, bar none, one of the best Blades in the entire game, befitting the Aegis's "true" form and a mandatory one at that. On top of her semi-unique element of light (since KOS-MOS and several Downloadable Content Blades also have it, while Poppi can be customized to have it), her Blade Art and Battle Skills make her ridiculously powerful: the ever-useful "Recharge Boost" allows Driver Arts to recharge faster, "Critical Up" is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, "Glint" further boosts Mythra's Critical Hit ratio, "Lightspeed Flurry" means that upon landing a Critical Hit, a portion of the recharge for Rex's Driver Arts or Blade Specials is shortened from 20% at level 1 of her Affinity Chart to 100% at level 5. Combined with a Core Chip boosting Critical Hits (the "Moon Matter Chip" being the best choice, but basically any that increases the chance of scoring a Critical Hit will work) and Aux Cores with similar effects, players will endlessly spam Rex's Driver Arts and Blade Specials whenever Mythra is in play, making her not only capable of dealing the most damage-per-second, she'll be out-damaging the rest of the party's Blade Specials just with Driver Arts alone and most notably allows her to spam her level 3 special "Lightning Buster" that pierces enemy defence and does extremely high damage output. However it's "Foresight" that really takes the cake of being strong, due to increasing accuracy and evasion at 50% to the entire party at Max Affinity, as it virtually allows Mythra and the entire party to be almost entirely unhittable with some Common Blades that increase agility each by 25%, especially when used with Shulk's "Monado Speed". It also means allies don't have to run Night Vision to hit red level enemies like in the first game. She's also the only Blade in the game who can reliably pull off a solo Blade Combo in the early-mid gamenote ; in the Post-End Game Content, with the right load-out (such as a few accessories that heal or charge the Party Gauge upon a Critical Hit), it's possible to solo Superbosses with her and Rex. While Power Creep has introduced some Blades that are even more broken than Mythra, such as Corvin and Fiora, she remains a staple on most teams throughout the postgame (let alone the story) due to her ease of access,note ease of use, and general popularity.
- While "Crit-Heal"note is the most popular Mythra loadout, it's fallen victim to Power Creep with other Blades such as Fiora doing the same but much better. However, the DLC gave Mythra some useful niches; not only can evasion-based Foresight sets be very difficult for monsters to deal with (especially with Shulk on the team), but perhaps Mythra's most powerful set of all comes from using her with Elma's Overdrive, putting both Blades on Rex with an agility booster common Blade in the third slot. The gist of it is to fill up the Party Gauge quickly with Lightspeed Flurry, switch to Elma, activate Overdrive, switch back to Mythra and fill up the Party Gauge again (especially with "Photon Edge" because of its being a multi-hit move), reactivate Overdrive,note rinse and repeat, all while the AI is set up to keep the enemy in a Driver Combo lock.note The Overdrive counter will reach 999 in no time and the whole thing can potentially last a very, very long time, making short work of Challenge Mode superbosses even on Bringer of Chaos.
- The best Greataxe Blade is undoubtedly Zenobia: while not quite as effective as Mythra when it comes to Critical Hit rate nor possessing Lightspeed Flurry, she also has Recharge Boost and Critical Up as Blade Arts. However, Zenobia can deal more damage than Mythra to make up for her lower Critical Hit ratio because of her Battle Skills "Carnage", "The Indomitable" and "Greatest Warrior", which rely on increasing damage dealt upon fighting bosses/Unique Monsters/Superbosses, higher-level enemies and more than one enemy during combat, respectively and with the two skills combined (Which is often during Post Game) she can reach a 180% increase in damage output with no downsides. Her Affinity Chart is also easy to complete, since it requires simply hunting down Unique Monsters and completing Merc Missions based on her; completing it means Zenobia further offsets the damage difference between Mythra by a wide margin. Zenobia's Level 2 Blade Special "Adamantine Axe" deals more damage to Toppled enemies by 100%, which can be increased to 150% at level 5 on her Affinity Chart, while her Level 3 Blade Special hits 7 times and is one of the strongest specials in the game, while stacking up well with her Battle Skills by doing 100% damage to enemies that are higher leveled then she is. While most Greataxe Blades are really good, Zenobia stands out as the best due to her insane attack power and passive abilities that takes advantage by fighting the toughest enemies in the game. Even with the Power Creep of the Downloadable Content Blades, Zenobia is easily a top 15, if not, top 10 Blade. Her main weakness is that her Level 1 and Level 2 Blade Specials aren't effective for Chain Attacks when the aim of the latter is to maximize damage by hitting the opponent as many times as possible.
- Poppi QTπ has the highest attack power out of all Blades in the game, made possible by maxing out her Poppiswap slots, acquiring Master Mods and reaching S+ ranked Trust with Tora, something neither Zenobia or any other Blade has; made further possible since she has six Aux Core slots spread out through Poppi's three forms, and QTπ's Battle Skill "Overclock" (a weaker version of KOS-MOS' "Hyperclock") increases damage dealt by 100% when Affinity is at maximum during combat at level 5 on her Affinity Chart. As the most heavily customizable Blade, Poppi can be of any element, including light, and gives Tora the only party member in the game access to the entire Break-Topple-Launch-Smash Driver Combo sequence via Poppi's forms, while possessing the Driver Art "Speedy Sword" from QTπ, which has the best Break properties of all Driver Arts in the game since it hits three times, ensuring Break is dealt each time, which fundamentally changes how the game is played. Furthermore, Poppi QTπ's other level 5 Battle Skills of "Nanomachine Repair", where 1.4% of total Hit Points are restored per second if HP is 30% or less, and "Reflection", which adds a 15% chance to reflect enemy attacks, means Tora can easily get out of sticky situations by himself without help. All of her blade specials end up being some of the most powerful in the game due to her insane damage output, and the fact that most of them completely pierce enemy defences and her level one special "Poppi Ignition" is also incredibly fast. The only difficulty with QTπ is her level 5 Affinity Chart requirements are extremely hard to complete, which includes dealing 9,999,999 damage in a Chain Attack and finishing enemies with a Driver Combo 250 times. However, put in the effort and Poppi QTπ can also solo Superbosses, some of whom can be beaten in less than three minutes. It's little wonder she's considered the best damage dealing-Blade in the game, since "Eye of Shining Justice"-Pandoria needs support due to her low Critical Hit rate and this Super Mode only lasts 90 seconds and Pandoria isn't as useful in Challenge Mode due to the enemies having very high health pools, while Fiora doesn't have nearly the versatility. Poppi QTπ is so overwhelmingly powerful, especially for Driver Combos, that a few Attack! Attack! Attack! strategies such as the aforementioned Overdrive Mythra recommend removing Poppi's other two forms from an AI Tora so that he doesn't switch to them and ruin combos or loops.
- KOS-MOS, by default, has the light element, and while slightly Overshadowed by Awesome if she becomes Rex's Blade (since he already has Mythra through story-related events)note , she possesses Hyperclock, one of the strongest Battle Skills in the game: at level 5 on her Affinity Chart, whenever KOS-MOS reaches max Affinity in combat, her Driver takes 30% less damage from enemies, while simultaneously dealing double the amount. Combined with the "Crit Heal" strategy (see the next section), the need for a healing-based Blade becomes almost unnecessary. Also, KOS-MOS' "Encephalon" Battle Skill at level 5 reduces the amount of Aggro build-up from Driver Arts and auto-attacks by 40%, ensuring her Driver won't always be the enemy's target, although this is her weakest ability due to her making the Driver rather bulky when moving around the battlefield. The Battle Skill "Phase Transition Tech" at level 5 nullifies enemy defense and increases the damage of her Blade Specials by 100%. This means every enemy will take full damage no matter what including Strategizer Nitro. This gives her pierce on everything and makes her specials hit damage cap very easily, making her amazing in Chain Attacks when combined with her 16 hit Level 3 Special. Thanks to her naturally high damage output that's boosted via Hyperclock and Phase Transition Tech, despite Ether Cannon Drivers having the lowest Critical Hit chance of any weapon, their Driver Arts hit multiple times, thus giving them the chance to score a Critical Hit, regardless; additionally, she has Critical Up as a Blade Skill, too. Finally, her Level 2 Blade Special "H-Effect R" is capable of restoring Hit Points to the entire party upwards to 50% of damage dealt to enemies which is usually always a full heal. KOS-MOS's only flaw is being the rarest Blade to acquire in the game.
- The best defensive tank in the game by far is Poppi α: not only does she draw Aggro easier with certain Poppiswap items, with a "Dilation Chip" as her Core Chip and "Block Rate V" as an Aux Core, she can reach the highest block rate in the game at 94%! When maxed out with a Master Tank Mod via Poppiswap, she has a 50% physical defense and 45% ether defense, meaning even un-blocked enemy hits will do jack against her. Alongside "Ultimate Shield" (either via Aux Core or through Poppiswap), there's a 50% chance to negate damage entirely. Auto-attacks from Superbosses can only do up to 800 points of damage to Tora; even the most powerful attack in the game, "Falak Buster", often a One-Hit KO on most Drivers, can be blocked and will only do roughly 5000 points of damage, more than enough for Tora to take since he already has a naturally high pool of Hit Points. Finally, Poppi α's Driver Art "Big Boost" for Tora has the Topple effect, which will be advantageous since Poppi QTπ's Driver Art Speedy Sword has Break, starting the Driver Combo sequence for Tora.
- Upon unlocking Pneuma, the game explicitly details how utterly broken this Blade is: sure, it's only available upon reaching a full Party Gauge, can only be used once per battle and has a duration, this Blade can activate any element on the Blade Combo chain and shatter all elemental orbs during a Chain Attack. Inevitably, this Blade will deal more damage than Mythra can, particularly upon achieving a "Full Burst"; even without triggering a Chain Attack leading to a Full Burst, this Blade has Mythra's Foresight granting 50% evasion and accuracy to the entire party. Also worth noting is throughout this Blade's activation, Rex cannot be knocked out no matter what, perfectly viable against a One-Hit KO from the Final Boss and certain Superbosses. This is before mentioning this Blade's effects on the party, which includes raising Critical Hit rate to 100%, decreasing enemy Break resistance by 50% (the same function as a legendary-tier "Master Scope" accessory); simultaneously, Pneuma has 60% to ether and physical defense, while doubling the chances of enemies dropping items.
- There's no denying Zenobia is the best Greataxe Blade in the game, but fellow Greataxe Blade Dagas comes the closest for a different reason: at level 5 on his Affinity Chart, "Kaiser Zone" increases damage dealt and Area of Effect attacks by 120% at max Affinity for the entire party, a perfect combination alongside high damage-dealers such as Fiora, Poppi QTπ, KOS-MOS and Zenobia. This makes Dagas the best offensive support Blade in the game with the single most useful Battle Skill; only Pneuma and Shulk has him beat due to their respective Battle Skill sets. Dagas is no slouch either, having the same Greataxe Driver Arts T-elos and Zenobia have, with three Aux Core slots to further increase his own damage potential, next to his Arts Plus and Critical Up Blade Arts. To put Kaiser Zone into perspective, players must reach 200% with Elma's Overdrive to even match its damage capabilities, no easy feat to do within the latter's 90 second-duration. Dagas' downside is he's the only Blade in the game who has two Affinity Charts - Kaiser Zone's 120% effectiveness and getting three Aux Core slots requires players unlock the second Chart after completing his personal Sidequest, and with his first Affinity Chart, he's incredibly bad.
Downloadable Content Blades
Due to the result of Power Creep, DLC Blades get their own section.
- Not only does T-elos have the same damage multiplier and weapon type as Zenobia, she possesses incredibly powerful Battle Skills that also rely on increasing damage. Like KOS-MOS, she too has Phase Transition Tech, meaning she can hit the damage cap in combat very quickly, and Critical Up and "Arts Plus" (boost the power of the next Driver Art) for Blade Arts, but its her exclusive Battle Skills "Heaven's Tracker" and "Heartbreaker" that take the cake: at level 5 on her Affinity Chart, the former increases damage her Driver deals by 200% each time a party member falls in combat (upwards to 500%), while the latter increases damage dealt for every enemy defeated by 100% (upwards to 300%). With the Crit Heal strategy in use, it's easy for T-elos' Driver to regenerate from damage dealt by enemies other than a One-Hit KO, and unlike KOS-MOS, she's one of the easiest Blades to get in the game by simply finishing the story and continue play via Post-End Game Content, without the need to enter New Game+.
- While he's only (initially) available in the game's Challenge Mode, Shulk turns out to be one of the best Blades following Poppi QTπ, Eye of Shining Justice-Pandoria, Mythra/Pneuma and Fiora, possessing the highest auto-attack value at 1974 with S+ ranked Trust, more damage than what normal Pandoria can do. His Battle Skills, at level 5 on his Affinity Chart, include "Monado Speed", a slightly weaker version of Foresight, and "Monado Enchant", which increases damage dealt by the party by 40%; furthermore, he's also of the light element like Mythra and KOS-MOS (and Poppi QTπ upon customized by players). However, it's his "Vision" Battle Skill that makes him broken: if an on-coming enemy attack, one that's likely to be a One-Hit KO occurs, the attack will be negated against the party so long as players successfully complete a button challenge (alongside a 60-second Cooldown); it even works against defensive enemy Arts that can cause "Shackle Blade" or "Doom". Meanwhile, Shulk's Level 1 Blade Special "Monado Purge" at level 5 on his Affinity Chart has a 100% chance of getting rid of the "Awakening" status in Challenge Mode, turning fights into a cakewalk, while Level 2 Blade Special "Monado Cyclone" increases Critical Hit damage by 85%; since the latter Blade Special is an Area of Effect that hits a lot of times, it ensures maximum damage is inflicted as much as possible and his Level 3 Blade Special "Monado Buster" breaks through defenses so it will always do max damage no matter what. While Shulk isn't as good at dealing Critical Hits like Mythra, Zenobia or Fiora, nor does he recharge Driver Arts as quickly, his damage passives are so high and the effects of Vision are so powerful, his pros outweigh his cons, making him another character who can solo Superbosses.
- Crossette may not have the late-game potential of her fellow DLC Rare Blades, but she makes up for it in terms of her ease of use and low-risk, high-reward kit. Her Level 1 and 2 Specials, Go! Great Star! and Go! Shooting Star!, are both very potent Specials with the healing capability of spawning up to two health potions and healing the whole party by half of the damage dealt, respectively, while her remaining two are tailored to demolish bosses with defense-ignoring properties and sizable critical damage. Her Battle Skills reach similarly high heights at level 5, with Alchemy Adept boosting Fusion Combo effect by up to 30% and Pyrotechnics increasing the whole partys damage against Launched enemies by 300% (strong though relatively niche in use). However, the real star of the show is Gathering Sparks, which increases Crossettes damage by 60-100% to a cap of 500% upon picking up a health potion, with the caveat of resetting when shes switched out. Not only does she have an easy time ramping up her damage between her Level 1 special and an Art shared by all Party members, she can reach the 500% damage cap as early as skill level one. Thats not even going into Crossette being able to leverage Zekes Bitball arts (specifically Pulverizing Dunk, which features a two-second cooldown) with her conditionals to allow her to deal massive damage and with setup, reach the highest DPS in the game, beyond both Fiora, and Shining-Justice Pandoria. This effectively burns a hole in even the tankiest superbosses. Couple the above advantages with her availability, and its small wonder how this firecracker of a gal is the lynchpin for the games world record speedrun.
- Corvin is the best offensive tank in the game, having incredibly high damage-per-second for a tanking Blade, and possesses incredibly strong Blade Specials much higher than anyone else except for his Level 4, and his Level 2 Special is the only way to purge Rage in the entire game. One of his Battle Skills, "Ensis Lucis" at Level 5 has the ability to give a 150% increase of damage at max affinity, and makes you have an evade rate of 25%. His other Battle Skills are very strong such as "Alae Custodiae" which increases the Party Gauge by 16 every time you deliver a Critical Hit, and he has a max Critical Hit rate of 60% with a Moon Matter Chip, which is higher than Mythra. This means it is easier to revive someone, or make getting the Chain Attack very quickly. His last one is very situational, but can make high Level Mob fights a complete joke with Zeke, as his "Ictus" battle skill boosts the recharge for Driver Arts by 2.5 whenever you evade an attack. On the art "Galactic Strike" for Zeke it has Evasion, AOE and Smash on it, and in Mob Fights with Pouch Item recharge you can spam the art endlessly, making it alongside Screw Edge the easiest art to recharge in the game and makes you unable to be hit while using it. This art by itself makes Mob Fights a complete joke, and puts him into Tier-Induced Scrappy for being too good by default. Oddly, Corvin's weapon provides Smash for all drivers, which provides Zeke with a faster means of Smash, or a means of Smash at all for Nia, making him all the more versatile. Of course, when it comes to fighting Superbosses or various challenge fights for Nopondemonioum, Mòrag is by far the best choice. Her already incredible agility skyrockets with Corvin, making her hard to hit even on Bringer of Chaos, and all his passive abilities come well together to make Mòrag unstoppable. Combined with other evasion blades like Theory or Aegaeon, Mòrag becomes an unstoppable tank. And even better, among all the 'evasion tank blades,' Corvin actually has pretty spectacular defenses and an adequate block rate, meaning the few times an attack slips through the cracks, Mòrag will be just fine.
- Even though Fiora is a healing Blade, she focuses on Critical Hit damage-per-second; a Crit-Heal Fiora build is far superior to the same build on Mythra despite the latter having Lightspeed Flurry. With a 15% Strength mod by default, while giving her the "Tachyon Chip" as her Core Chip and "Critical Up VI" as an Aux Core, Fiora can earn a 50% Critical Hit rate (which reaches a whopping 90% when her Affinity Chart is filled out) with a 25% increased Critical Hit damage, with Driver Arts for each party member (sans Tora) that recharges Arts every time a Critical Hit occurs. Her Battle Skills "Warrior Valkyrie" and "Explosion of Energy" respectively increases the party's Critical Hit rate by 40% at max Affinity during combat and damage dealt by 15% each time a Critical Hit lands (upwards to 300%), the latter of which means her damage output keeps going higher the longer she stays in combat. In Challenge Mode's Horde Battles, Explosion of Energy comes in handy as Fiora's Blade Specials are heavy on Area of Effect and restore Hit Points, too. Combined all this with the Crit Heal strategy, her Driver can outlast Challenge Mode for a long time; even if a One-Hit KO is present, it's incredibly hard to knock her Driver out since they'll simply regenerate from all the Critical Hits they're dealing from Fiora's Battle Skills. With Rex there's access to "Screw Edge" which hits 4 times, has a very high damage output and recharges based on a Critical Hit, meaning it becomes the most spammable attack in the game, and Mòrag gets the very similar "Universe Flicker" which has been cited as being even better (and on top of that, putting Fiora on Mòrag also gives her access to a full party heal). Alongside Poppi QT Pi, she is considered the best Blade in the game, with almost no reason to not use her.
- Elma, the third Crossover Blade via Challenge Mode, is similar to Fiora, but with a lower Critical Hit damage-per-second ratio: at level 5 on her Affinity Chart, her Battle Skill "Crisis Catalyst" increases damage dealt by 150% and Critical Hit rate by 40% upon hitting max affinity during combat. Coupled with her level 5 Blade Special "Sliding Slinger", which increases damage dealt to higher-level enemies by 100%, Elma won't have trouble against Elite Mooks and Superbosses. In addition, most of her Blade Specials hit up to 14 times, making her ironically very good in Chain Attacks. What's different about her compared to any other Blade in the game is she brings the "Overdrive" mechanic from Xenoblade Chronicles X, a Super Mode where additional bonuses (damage dealt, damage resistance, Cooldown effectiveness, reducing enemy resistances) are granted to the entire party the more they attack enemies throughout its duration upon activation at a full Party Gauge. While it lasts 50 seconds by default, reaching level 5 of Elma's same-named Battle Skill increases it to 90 seconds, more than enough time to defeat Superbosses and you can continue to restart it without losing any progress just like in Xenoblade X. Furthermore, Overdrive can be activated even when not playing as Elma's Driver, as her Driver will just switch to her and activate Overdrive when the player requests it. This lets the player use Overdrive more conveniently and with other Blades whose Arts are easier to spam thn Elma's, such as Mythra's "Photon Edge". Just about the only downside to Overdrive's potency is using it negates Chain Attack. Then again, using Overdrive instead of Chain Attack can be very beneficial in some situations, such as when you've sealed a particularly nasty status effect on the opponent such as Affinity Down, Reinforcements or Blowdown, and adding a new orb to the enemy would let them trample all over you again. Even better, if you fill up the Party Gauge while in Overdrive, you can reactivate it without switching to Elma, allowing Overdrive to be extended indefinitely without having to switch Blades and possibly break synergy.
- So long as players don't mind grinding, the salvage mechanic can make increasing each town's Development Level, as well as obtaining lots of cash, extremely easy. Sure, it'll take a while, but investing into the town as early as possible unlocks more items for every shop players come across in short order. Notably, having enough cash means players can also purchase the ever-expensive "Inherited Core Crystal", which unlocks Rare Blade Sheba, at Torigoth in as early as Chapter 4.
- Depending on the load-out, Chain Attacks: by setting up and breaking four or more elemental orbs acquired during Blade Combos, players can accomplish a Full Burst. Since damage for the latter increases depending on the number of intact orbs not broken during the Chain Attack, the damage ratio can go upwards to 5500%; only the Final Boss and Superbosses can survive a Full Burst. Such a set up can be ridiculously easy if players learn to master Fusion Combos (see below), increasing Blade Combo time between one another, and Battle Skills that take advantage of switching Blades during combat.
- In New Game+, every party member gains access to a hidden second Affinity Chart on top of their preexisting one. Zeke's second Affinity Chart features "Unleash Shining Justice", essentially the equivalent of Pneuma for Rex: by having Pandoria as his current Blade and at maximum Affinity during combat, Zeke can enter a Super Mode (the aforementioned Eye of Shining Justice-Pandoria) where he earns multiple Status Buffs, immunity to reactions and de-buffs (for instance, Topple and Breakdown), increased auto-attack and movement speed, and reduced Driver Art and Blade Special Cooldowns, on top of a large damage multiplier. Like Pneuma, this can only be used once during combat, yet it's possible to sweep the floor against Superbosses with little effort. The only thing preventing this from being an instant "I Win" button is it requires a ridiculous 30,000 skill points to unlock, Zeke cannot switch Blades while this is active and it lasts for 90 seconds.
- The "Overclocking Bangle" is a must-have accessory for any player-controlled Driver: it accelerates the Cooldown in relation to the number of Driver Arts ready after switching to another Blade. For instance, since Tora has access to a full Driver Combo via each of Poppi's three forms, this makes his ability to spam it in a matter of seconds very evident. In fact, the "Fast Blade Switch VI" Aux Core received as a reward for completing KOS-MOS "Artificial Intelligence" Sidequest can reach up to similar speeds, reducing the time between switching Blades by 35%. This is generally considered to be the best Aux Core for Ursula, since switching her into combat instantly restores the party's Hit Points via her Battle Skill Beary Healing.
- The "Avant-Garde Medal" has created an infamous strategy known as "Crit Heal": this accessory absorbs 20% of Critical Hit damage as Hit Points; by giving it to Drivers who are using the Critical Hit-based Blades noted on this page, Drivers can soak up a ton of damage, only to regenerate it in an instant. Not only is it better to use Crit Heal for Drivers who are dedicated fighters, the need to have healing Blades becomes unnecessary.
- Common Blades may have a chance at acquiring the exclusive Battle Skill "Orb Master", which Rare Blades do not have. At level 5 on their Affinity Chart, Orb Master grants a 100% chance of placing an elemental orb following a Blade Combo path. Since duplicate orbs of the same element are invalid, that means if a player triggers a Blade Combo using three different elements, all three elemental orbs will appear after a single Blade Combo. This makes earning all eight elemental orbs faster than normal, in as little as three minutes, giving players the chance to destroy high-level enemies much quicker via Chain Attacks and the subsequent Full Burst.
- By combining Driver Combos like Topple with Blade Combos, both can be stacked to create Fusion Combos, which increases the damage of everything dealt, including any damage-over-time mechanic. As an example, by using Nim to achieve a Blade Combo that leads to "Volcano" via a fire element-based Poppi QTπ, it's possible to hit for 300,000 damage over time, increasing every time Tora uses Smash from Poppi QT's Driver Art "Dented Shield"; hitting the damage cap for every second in an attack isn't out of the question. Mastering Fusion Combos and their affects means killing Superbosses and Challenge Mode enemies on "Bringer of Chaos" difficulty in less than four minutes are viable, particularly the latter, given that Chain Attacks and earning the Party Gauge on Challenge Mode has been Nerfed with the mode's release.
- Playing in New Game+ and bards will appear in every town, who will offer to trade valuable items in exchange for stocked Experience Points: these items include Master Mods and Ether Crystals for Poppi, making the normally onerous task of maxing her out via "Tiger, Tiger" child's play, Legendary Core Crystals, Accessory Expander Kits and Overdrive Protocols. Furthermore, New Game+ unlocks a new feature at inns where players can reduce Character Levels all the way down to level 1, thereby restocking accumulated Experience Points. Since experience is scaled based on Character Level rather than the enemy's, it becomes incredibly easy to generate enough points to trade for the bards' items, while having enough left over to put the party back to players' desired levels.
- Also on New Game+, custom difficulty when used for unlocks/grinding. If the player wants an unlockable Blade or item that's locked behind some Harder Than Hard challenge, they can simply turn down the difficulty for an overpowered, hyper-aggressive party and weak, passive monsters, and while it might take a bit of grinding it can provide some nice early access to unlockables (even if the difficulty is turned back up afterwards). For instance, it's possible to beat "Dino-Drama" at around Lv. 60 to unlock Shulk and Fiora and use their unique strengths during an otherwise normal postgame or New Game+ playthrough.