- This article is about the species in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. For the military organization in Xenoblade Chronicles X, see BLADE.
Blades vary greatly in appearance. Most of them, known as "Common" Blades, resemble blue-skinned humanoids wearing white and dark grey armour, with glowing blue lines across their body and a round blue Core Crystal on their chest. Some Common Blades are quadrapedal, shaped more like a feline predator; these have their Core Crystal on the top of their head instead. There are also unique Blades known as "Rare" or "Legendary" Blades. These have entirely unique and distinct designs, appearing as a wide array of different colours and species. Even among the Rare and Legendary Blades, they all have a blue Core Crystal on their chest, with very few exceptions (e.g. Pyra's crystal is green, and Dromarch's is on his back).
Blades begin their existence as nothing but their Core Crystal. In order to take form and awaken, a potential Driver must resonate with the crystal. The awakened Blade provides their Driver with additional abilities and a summonable weapon. Each Blade can only be attached to one Driver at a time, while Drivers can have multiple Blades at once.
Blades fight alongside their Drivers in combat, waiting for an opportunity to use powerful special attacks. It is generally futile to attack a Blade, as they possess a universal barrier ability and heal very quickly from most injuries. However, Blades can still be exhausted if forced to do too much too quickly. In addition, a Blade's Core Crystal is a weak point. If the crystal is damaged or fragmented, their healing abilities are compromised, and if the crystal is sufficiently damaged the Blade can be killed outright.
If their Driver dies, the Blade instantly reverts back to an inert Core Crystal. Such a crystal turns a dull black, and the Blade cannot be reawakened. After some time, the crystal will regain its glow, and the Blade can be reawakened by another Driver. When reawakened, the Blade retains its personality, but loses all memories of its previous awakening.
In Torna ~ The Golden Country, it is revealed that the strategy of a Driver sharing the Blade's weapon between them both is a relatively recent invention. Prior to this, it was normal for a Driver and their Blade to fight with their own individual weapons. The idea of sharing a Blade's weapon was created by Lora and Jin, mostly because they only had one weapon between them. Addam became intrigued by the idea, and from there it spread to become the standard.
Unusual types of Blades
Some Blades have distinct origins or powers.
- An Aegis is an especially powerful Blade created by the Architect.
- A Flesh Eater is a Blade that has absorbed human cells by some means, which grants additional powers and drawbacks.
- A Blade Eater is a human that has all or part of a Core Crystal implanted within them, which grants them several properties of being a Blade.
- An Artificial Blade is essentially a robot that behaves as a Blade, allowing them to be Driven by someone that lacks a Driver's aptitude.
A driver can have up to three Blades equipped at once. The player can swap between Blades mid-fight, but only after a certain cooldown. Although Blades are not controlled directly, it determines the Driver's weapon type, and with that its Driver Arts. The Blade itself has individual Specials needed for Blade Combos.