Xenoblade Chronicles 3 classes: what should you play as?

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Classes Guide, Character Party
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Whichever one of the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 classes you select, just know that it matters. From Tactician to the Stalker, there’s a staggering 26 classes to unlock over the course of the game, and each class pertains to a specific combat style.

You’d be forgiven for finding it a bit overwhelming and nebulous to grapple with at first, but don’t fret. By providing such a diverse range of combat options in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the game provides a considerable step up in JRPG storytelling. Plus, with the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Expansion Pass already available, it looks like there will be no stemming the flow of Xeno-goodies for the time being. There are even allusions to a possible Xenoblade Chronicles 4 in the works already!

In order to get the most out of your Xenoblade Chronicles 3 combat, you’ll need to get to grips with the many different classes on offer. As you progress, you’ll unlock the ability to switch between characters in battle, so it’s a massive advantage to be familiar with every class on offer so that you can make the switches in style. 

Luckily, we’re here to lay down the law with our guide to the six starting classes, as well as a comprehensive (but spoiler-free) list of every class in the game.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 classes

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Classes: the six starters

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Classes: Noah using a Chain Attack

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Early on in the storyline, you'll unlock the six starting classes for each of the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 characters. These are Swordfighter, Heavy Guard, Medic Gunner, Zephyr, Tactician, and Ogre. Though you'll eventually be able to switch your characters' classes later in the story, mastering these six classes is key to getting to grips with Xenoblade Chronicles 3's combat system. You will also unlock the ability to switch characters in the middle of battle, allowing for all sorts of varied and interesting strategies.

Later on, you'll be able to unlock new classes via Hero Quests. As well as offering rich storylines, these quests reward you with a new class. More on these extra classes later. Let's look at the six starting classes and how to get the most out of them.  

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Classes: Swordfigher

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 classes guide: Swordfighter in Jungle

(Image credit: Future)

The Swordfighter is a bread and butter Attacker class, with decent mobility and damage output. It's a great class for beginners to use to learn the ins and outs of the combat system. 

Crucially, the Sword Strike Art gives Swordfighters the ability to start Combo chains by inflicting Break. An enemy with Break is vulnerable to Topple which can be followed up with Daze to render them helpless for a few vital moments. This makes Swordfighters crucial, especially in the early game. 

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Classes: Medic Gunner

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 classes: a Medic Gunner in Jungle

(Image credit: Future)

The Medic Gunner is a solid, reliable healer, that also enjoys the ability to attack from range. This means you can keep your Medic Gunner out of the fray; more able to provide healing and support from a distance. As a Healer, the Medic Gunner can also be used to revive allies.  

As well as offering strong Healing Arts, don't neglect Power Ring, an Art that creates a field that grants any allies standing in it an attack buff. It can be a game changer if you place it correctly. On top of that, Myopic Screen allows Medic Gunners to inflict Daze – a crucial part of the Combo toolkit. 

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Classes: Heavy Guard

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 classes: a Heavy Guard in the Desert

(Image credit: Future)

The Heavy Guard is the first Defender class you'll come across. These classes manage the attention (also known as Aggro) of enemies, ensuring that they don't attack your squishiest and most vulnerable party members. 

The Crash Out and Uppercut Slash Arts are great ways to build up Aggro. Follow up with Variable Turret to help soak the incoming damage. The Bull Rush Art is also a vital early–game Combo piece, and can be used to inflict Topple on enemies which are already afflicted with Break. 

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Classes: Ogre

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 classes guide, Ogre in desert

(Image credit: Future)

Ogres are all about pure damage output. They are slow but pack a serious punch. Unfortunately, this means they often accumulate a lot of Aggro which sometimes places them in the line of fire. 

They're particularly great at exploiting enemy weaknesses. The Cannonball Art does additional damage to Dazed targets, and Hammerhead hits harder when used on the enemy's flank. Their Talent Art (an ultimate ability different for each class) allows them to Launch a Toppled enemy, making for a powerful combo piece. 

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Classes: Zephyr

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 classes guide, Zephyr in Desert

(Image credit: Future)

Another Defender, Zephyr uses agility and evasion to mitigate damage while drawing Aggro. They are extremely mobile and have access to a range of Arts that allow them to Evade enemy attacks. 

Butterfly Blade can be used to build up Aggro, while Wide Slash can be used to dodge incoming damage with the Evade status. Air Fang is a decent source of damage, which increases in output if used on a target who is already attacking you. The Speed Demon Art can be very useful if you want to increase your survivability against a particularly hard hitting boss.  

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Classes: Tactician

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 classes guide, Tactician in Jungle

(Image credit: Future)

As well as offering the sorts of healing abilities one might expect from a Healer class, the Tactician specializes in support and disruption. 

Overfall reduces the Ether Defense of the target, making them more vulnerable to magical attacks, while Hazy Figure creates a field that increases the Evasion of any allies standing within it. They can also use Dark Banner to inflict Sleep on multiple enemies – vital if you find yourself outnumbered. That said, they do have access to a solid AoE heal in the form of the Stormy Skies Art.   

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Classes: Full class list

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Classes Main Menu

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Though understanding the six starter classes is crucial for anyone looking to get the most out of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, there are a host of other classes available in the game, too.  These classes are unlocked through special side quests called Hero Quests, not unlike loyalty quests in Mass Effect. 

Here is a list of all the available classes, divided up by archetype. Where possible, we've also listed the story chapter in which their Hero Quest becomes available. 


  • Swordfighter – Chapter 2, Starter
  • Ogre – Chapter 2, Starter
  • Flash Fencer - Chapter 3
  • Yumsmith - Chapter 3
  • Full Metal Jaguar - Chapter 3
  • Stalker - Chapter 4
  • Incursor - Chapter 3
  • Soulhacker
  • Martial Artist
  • Seraph
  • Machine Assassin 
  • Royal Summoner - post-game
  • Sharpshooter


  • Zephyr– Chapter 2, Starter
  • Heavy Guard– Chapter 2, Starter
  • Guardian Commander - Chapter 3
  • Lone Exile - Chapter 4
  • Lost Vanguard - Chapter 5


  • Medic Gunner– Chapter 2, Starter
  • Tactician– Chapter 2, Starter
  • War Medic - Chapter 3
  • Thaumaturge - Chapter 3
  • Strategos - Chapter 4
  • Signifier - Chapter 5 
  • Troubadour 
  • Lifesage - post-game

Congratulations, you're now ready to take your first steps into Xenoblade Chronicles 3's deep and rewarding combat system. With these core classes under your belt and the help of our class list, you'll be unstoppable. 

Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.