The long awaited 1.3.0 update for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is finally available to download now. This update adds, among other things, a New Game Plus mode to the game, as well as various difficulty levels. It adds some QoL and UI improvements (all of them much needed, to be honest), and also adds the ability to earn major story blades via the Core Crystal system ahead of time, as well as the option to send story blades on mercenary missions.
The update was originally announced a month ago, and was due to release in February, before it was delayed at the last moment for an early March release. Thankfully, now it is here, and we have another reason to dig into the wonderful world of Alrest again.
You can check out the full patch notes for this update (which should have downloaded automatically; if not, pull up the menu on the home screen and search for an update) for yourself below. Xenoblade 2 is available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 update 1.3.0
- ◦Fixed an issue occurring in chapter 7 and onward, in which specific conditions caused bonded blades and drivers to not appear in the Manage Blades menu.
- ◦Fixed an issue associated with acquiring Perun’s Key Affinity Gift in which the counter for “small good deeds” required to earn it would stop, making the item unobtainable.
- ◦Fixed an issue associated with acquiring Perceval’s Affinity Gift, “Brandish,” in which certain monsters failed to count toward the requirements “Defeat Igna enemies in Uraya. (Excludes unique monsters.)” and “Defeat Tirkin enemies in Tantal. (Excludes unique monsters.)”.
- ◦Fixed an issue associated with acquiring Perceval’s Affinity Gift, “Brandish,” in which defeating high-level Tirkin enemies (around level 80) failed to count toward the “Defeat Tirkin enemies in Tantal. (Excludes unique monsters.)”.
- ◦Fixed an issue in which Blades with the condition“Deal a certain amount of damage in one hit” to acquire Affinity Gifts would not meet the condition if they were not present at the start of a battle, and were brought in via Blade Switching instead.
- ◦Fixed an issue in which Rare Blades, once released, could not achieve a level of Trust higher than S1, even if bonded with a different Driver.
- ◾After applying this update, performing an action to raise Trust (clearing quests, using pouch items, etc.) will raise the rare blade’s Trust to the correct rank.
- ◦Fixed an issue with Poppiswap in which if the player possessed a combined total of 1023 or more Skill RAM and Skill Upgrade parts, and equipped the 1024th part, they would be unable to set or crystalize any additional parts, even if they had enough energy to do so.
- ◦Fixed an issue in which the descriptions for the Silver Feather and Phantom Feather accessories was switched.
Advanced New Game has been added
◦Players with save data from the final chapter and who have cleared the game will now be able to select “Advanced New Game” on the title screen and carry over some of their data from the previous playthrough.
◦Elements carried over into Advanced New Game
◾Driver and Blade equipment and growth
◾Acquired items and gold
◾Town development status and Merc Group level
◾Status of Events Theater and defeated unique monsters
◦New system features added to Advanced New Game
- ◾Bonding with certain Blades from Torna will allow them to join your party.
- ◾Meeting certain Blades from Torna in the game world will allow them to join your party.
- ◾All Blades can be dispatched on Merc Missions.
- ◾Driver Hidden Affinities have been unlocked. New skills can also be learned.
- ◾Zeke’s “Eye of Shining Justice” has been unlocked. (The skill can be learned by developing Zeke’s Hidden Affinities)
- ◾Levels can now be decreased at inns, with a corresponding amount of bonus EXP being granted for the number of levels decreased.
- ◾Traveling Bards that will exchange Bonus EXP and special items have been added to various locations throughout Alrest.
- ◾Traveling Bards are displayed on the mini map as green shop icons.
- ◾Among the newly exchangeable items, there are those that will increase the number of accessories a Driver can have equipped.
- ◾Level 4 Specials have been unlocked for certain Blades.
◦Things to note in Advanced New Game
- ◾Quests, Heart-to-Hearts, and Skip Travel points will all be reset.
- ◾Cleared Merc Missions will be reset.
- ◾Saving after beginning an Advanced New Game playthrough will overwrite the save data in which you initially cleared the game.
- ◦Easy difficulty has been added. Due to this addition, the default difficulty will now be “Normal.”
- This only adjusts the balance of elements of battles. Game difficulty can be changed at any time via the Options menu.
- ◦Added a “simple mode” option allowing players to skip the lottery animation when bonding with Blades.
- ◦Added the ability to “lock” Blades so that they can’t be mistakenly released.
- ◦Added a “Sort” option to the Blade List, Accessories, Aux Cores, and Poppy’s Skill Parts.
- ◦Map icons will now appear on the mini map.
- ◦Adjusted AI to perform Blade Switches with no regard for Driver combos when using Drivers that prioritize Driver combos while fighting enemies against whom those combos aren’t effective.
- ◦Added the ability to receive the 4th round of items distributed via the Expansion Pass.