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Chain Attack (XC2)

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The party preparing for a Chain Attack

Chain Attacks are a major battle mechanic in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. By consuming the entire Party Gauge, the party's three Driver-Blade pairs can use selected Specials in sequence to break element orbs and deal massive damage.


A Chain Attack against an enemy with one element orb

Pressing the plus button with all three blocks of Party Gauge filled immediately spends them and shows a short cutscene of the party's three Drivers standing at the ready. From this point until the end of the Chain Attack, all party members are completely invincible. Initiating a Chain Attack will also remove all negative effects that would prevent someone from participating, such as being toppled, aside from being incapacitated. This makes simply activating a Chain Attack good for surviving powerful attacks - enemies cannot take any action while it's in progress, but they will complete the execution of a move that's already begun.

For each of the party's three Drivers, in order of slot, the player selects one of their equipped Blades. The selected Blade will do their level 1 Special against the targeted enemy. Specials used during a chain attack will not apply Blade Combos. If the enemy has any element orbs attached, the Special will deal one point of damage to a random orb, in addition to its normal effects. If the enemy has an orb that is the opposite of the selected Blade's element, that orb is targeted specifically (not at random) and takes two points of damage instead. If an element orb takes a total of three damage, it bursts. Orbs retain their damage between chain attacks.

After one round - all three Drivers have used a move - the Chain Attack normally ends. However, if an element orb was burst in this round, there is another round and the onslaught continues. At this point, a B button challenge occurs, for which there is only "success" (no "perfect"). Success increases the level of the Special used by Blades by 1 for the rest of the sequence, so the second round will use level 2 Specials, and the third round and later will use level 3 Specials (level 4 is not available). The chain attack continues if this fails, but the level of Special will decrease by 1 (to a minimum of level I) instead.

When a Blade is selected, they normally cannot be selected again the next time their Driver's turn comes up. There are two ways to remedy this: bursting an orb, and succeeding at the next round challenge. Doing either will recharge all Blades for all Drivers by 50%, meaning that doing both will fully recharge them and allow them to be used again immediately. If a Driver has no selectable Blades on their turn, the chain ends prematurely, meaning that someone with access to only a single Blade can be a severe liability.

Time is stopped entirely while the player is deciding which Blade to select or doing the next round challenge. Otherwise, time flows as usual during the chain attack - items will vanish, Driver Combos and Blade Combos will deplete, and so on. As a result, using a chain attack will generally guarantee that the current Driver Combo will expire, though its effects remain active as normal.

During a Chain Attack, the party will not take any damage (although they may still be inflicted with Doom). This makes activating a Chain Attack a viable way to avoid lethal damage, if neither a level IV Special nor a stage 3 Blade Combo are available.

The party gauge cannot be refilled during a chain attack. Instead, it is replaced by a Burst Meter, which fills based on how many element orbs are burst, and how many are burst in a single round. Filling this meter takes breaking 4-6 orbs and triggers a Full Burst, which causes all party members to attack at once and ends the chain attack. Once the target enemy's HP reaches zero, Overkill begins. The chain attack will continue as usual, but additional damage dealt will contribute to the Bonus Ratio, which multiplies earned EXP, SP, and WP. The enemy will not actually die until the chain attack finishes.

Chain attacks are effectively unchanged in Torna ~ The Golden Country, though the relative ease of attaching orbs makes it correspondingly easier to extend rounds and get full bursts.


Full Burst[edit]

The Burst Meter requires 300 points to fill. Breaking one orb provides 50 points. Breaking any additional orbs in the same round provides 100 points each. This means that breaking only one orb per round will require 6 orbs, while it can be done in as little as 4.

Achieving a Full Burst breaks all remaining orbs. Then, every Driver will do a random Driver Art with whatever weapon they're currently holding. Finally, every active Blade will do a Special. The one that broke the final orb will do a level 4 special, with the player controlling the action command. (If the Blade's level 4 special is not available, the level 3 will be done instead.) The previous member in the turn order will do a level 2 special, while the remaining member will do a level 3 special.

Damage ratio[edit]

The damage ratio is an independent multiplier on damage during a Chain Attack, expressed as a percentage. Its initial value is calculated as follows:

if EnemyAttackPower > 100% and CancelCount > 0:
    initial_value = 1 + (CancelCount / 100)

    initial_value = 1 + (ChainAttackDamageMultiplier * 2) + (CancelCount / 100) + sum of InitialRatioIncrease


  • ChainAttackDamageMultiplier is the "Chain Attack Damage Multiplier" difficulty setting (100% in Easy and Normal, 25% in Bringer of Chaos, and customisable in Custom);
  • EnemyAttackPower is the "Enemy Attack Power" difficulty setting (100% in Normal, 75% in Easy, 125% in Bringer of Chaos, and customisable in Custom);
  • CancelCount is the number of cancels performed by any party member since the last Chain Attack, or (if the Chain Attack is the first one in the current battle) since the start of battle;
  • InitialRatioIncreaseconsists of any special effects which increase initial Chain Attack damage ratio, such as that of the Burst Symbol.

The ratio increases during a Chain Attack as follows:

  • Breaking an orb adds 200%, or 100% in Torna.
  • Achieving a Full Burst adds an amount based on how many orbs were remaining.
Orbs Main game Torna
0 500% 500%
1 1000% 700%
2 1500% 900%
3 3000% 1100%
4 5500% 1300%
5+ 6500% 1500%

All increases to the damage ratio during a Chain Attack are multiplied by the Chain Attack Damage Multiplier difficulty setting.

Bonus ratio[edit]

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Chain Attacks cannot be initiated in the following circumstances:

  • Before the Akhos (Training Ground) fight in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and the Slithe Jagron (part 2) fight in Torna ~ The Golden Country.
  • If a character in the party is unable to initiate Specials. In practice, this only makes a difference in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 when Jin is in the party during the first part of Chapter 8.
  • When the Siren Gauge replaces the Party Gauge during the Malos (Tornan Titan Interior) (part 2) fight. The Party Gauge, and thus the ability to Chain Attack, will be recovered after either Siren uses a level IV Artifice Art, though the gauge will still be locked for a short while if Malos was the one that used the Artifice Art.
  • If Overdrive is active.


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Xenoblade Chronicles 2[edit]



Torna ~ The Golden Country[edit]