Heroes in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 are an essential part of combat planning, and now that the game's been out for a little while, we've updated with every remaining hero. The final two are quite spoilery, so be aware of that as you read on. While you don’t have to invite a hero to join your team, it’s a pretty good idea to do it anyways, especially if you’re playing on harder difficulties or taking on superbosses.
Aside from the obvious extra benefits of having a seventh party member, heroes play a key role in chain attacks and covering whatever weak points you have in your party lineup.
On this page:
- How do you unlock heroes in Xenoblade Chronicles 3?
- All Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Heroes and how to unlock them
- Who are the best heroes for each role in Xenoblade Chronicles 3?
- What are Heroes and chain attacks in Xenoblade Chronicles 3?
How do you unlock heroes in Xenoblade Chronicles 3?
The hero system becomes available immediately after chapter two. It unlocks automatically, so you can’t miss it, but a few quirks in the story means you can’t actually invite your first hero until making your way further through the Ribbi Flats, roughly a third of the way through the chapter.
You meet Valdi at the foot of a cliff, and the story quest branches into a new quest type: Hero Quests. You’re required to complete the Hero Quest this time, since Valdi teaches the party a crucial exploration skill. Most other Hero Quests are optional, with a few exceptions, so you can either ignore them completely or tackle them at your leisure.
New Hero Quests pop under a few different circumstances. Some, especially the very early ones, show up after you reach a certain story milestone. Others require you to liberate a colony first, and most will end with a boss battle against a Consul or, the hero themselves, or both.
All Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Heroes and how to unlock them
Below are the heroes you encounter in roughly the first half of the game or so. The list includes some character spoilers, so if you’d rather go in completely fresh, check out our recommendations for the best classes in Xenoblade 3 instead.
- No Want of Courage
- Colony 4. Unlocks automatically during chapter 2 (can't invite for story reasons).
- Where the Heart Is
- Colony 9. Unlocks after chapter 2.
- The Kind Right Hand
- Ribbi Flats. Unlocks automatically during chapter 3.
Inscrutable Teach (healer)
- Going Beyond Power
- Colony Gamma. Unlocks after chapter 2. Head north from the Gura Flava Lowlands landmark.
- A Gray Matter
- Millick Meadows. Unlocks after chapter 2 (requires the climbing ability you gain from Valdi).
Riku and Manana (attacker)
- A Nopon’s Counsel
- Urayan Mines. Unlocks automatically during chapter 3.
- Unwavering Resolve
- Colony Lambda. Becomes available in chapter 4.
- Natural Selection
- Colony Tau and Maktha Wildwood. Unlocks automatically during chapter 4.
- The Wrath of Ashera
- Syra Hovering Reefs. Becomes available at the start of chapter 5. After you destroy the Annihilator, fast travel to the Penshia Portal landmark and move towards the quest marker.
- Her Reasons
- Fornis desert. Unlocks in chapter 3, but the enemies are level 40. From Zem’s Crossway landmark, turn right and continue under the arch until you encounter a squad of Agnian soldiers. Unless you arrive much later in the game, there’s no way to defeat them so just let the scene play out and go on your way. Return with a level 40 party or higher, push towards the colony, ignoring the foes on the way if you want, and you’ll start “Her Reasons” once you reach Colony Iota.
- Vandham's Heir
- Chapter 5. Becomes available in Swordmarch after the tour of the city.
- Transparent Dreams
- Chapter 5, Colony Mu. Becomes available once you get the ship. Head north-northeast from Corne Island, and you eventually find Conchrock Beach, the only landing spot nearby.
- Doing It My Way
- Chapter 5, Colony 15 in the northeast portion of the Eryth Sea
- Unlocks automatically as part of the story in chapter 5
- Side Story: Mio
- Unlocks during chapter 6
- A Twist of Fate
- Complete Side Story Mio, then travel to Colony Omega
- Complete side quests in Colony 4 until the Severed Connections quest appears. Complete it and Writer's Block after, then travel to Colony Omega where you find the Inhumanity quest. Complete that to unlock Segiri.
Who are the best heroes for each role in Xenoblade Chronicles 3?
Hero’s permanently join your team after you complete their quest, with one or two exceptions. You can swap them out at will or, if you want, you can also remove the seventh party member completely. The best hero is going to depend heavily on your current party composition in most cases, which itself will probably change depending on where you’re at in the story.
For example, Valdi should stay in your party until at least one of your characters masters the War Medic class. The two starter healing classes just don’t have the abilities to keep the party alive in some of the challenges ahead, so Valdi is essential.
Once you get a fair few new classes under your belt, think of your Hero as a way to supplement what everyone else is doing or to fill a gap – adding an extra defender to keep your healers safe if you’re focusing on an attack-heavy party, for example.
You’ll also want to spend a bit of time with every hero. You unlock new classes for everyone aside from the class inheritor by increasing affinity with that class’ hero. You can do that by raising affinity with their colony, but it seems more effective if you fight alongside them.
Best defender hero - Zeon (early game)
Xenoblade 3 is a bit skimpy on the defenders, so your only choices are Zeon or Ashera. Zeon’s class is more passive than most and relies heavily on maintaining aggro, so he’s actually a good choice for a hero if you want to take an active role yourself in combat.
By the time you reach chapter 5, you may want to swap Zeon for Monica. She's much more effective at blocking, so if you need someone to draw aggro, she's the hero for you.
Best attacker hero - Riku and Manana (early game)
Riku and Manana are an excellent choice for most of the early and middle game. They don’t have any spectacular skills, but they do inflict break easily and have an ability that creates a field of continuous damage, which makes them more useful than other straightforward attackers like Gray.
Once you leave Keves Castle for the first time, head back to Fornis and the desert, then make your way to Colony Iota to complete Alexandria’s quest. After you recruit her, she’s an excellent hero to keep around.
Her class is built around dealing critical hits, and Alexandria comes prebuilt with high-grade gems and equipment designed to help maximize her strengths. It’s easier than spending resources to do it yourself, and she deals a respectable amount of damage.
Best healer hero - Isurd (early game)
It’s worth repeating Valdi should be your main hero until at least two characters have access to the War Medic class.
After that, Isurd is a fantastic healer who blends HP restoration with debuffs and offense. The physical defense debuff his arts inflict is particularly useful in softening up foes for the rest of the party.
After recruiting Fiona in chapter 5, she's an excellent choice. Fiona has health regeneration skills and, more importantly, can apply random buffs to the party and spread them to everyone. Her Signifier class isn't the most exciting one to play as, but having Fiona around to do the support work means you still get the benefits without having to do it yourself.
What are Heroes and Chain Attacks in Xenoblade Chronicles 3?
Another solid reason to have a hero on your team is their role in chain attacks. Activating a hero order – one of the three panels you choose before picking everyone’s attacks – doesn’t use up the chain attack gauge.
Most heroes have special benefits when you use their skills in a chain attack as well, such as adding more talent points to everyone’s attacks or, in the best cases, automatically ending the chain attack with a Bravo or Amazing rating, which reactivates more characters in the next round.
Even if you don’t care about factoring heroes into your usual strategy, it’s absolutely worth bringing one along just for the chain attacks.
Heroes are one thing, but picking out the best classes in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is another matter entirely.