Xenoblade Chronicles 3‘s second wave of DLC brought back The Land of Challenge, and with it, Challenge Battles also made their triumphant return. First appearing in the DLC of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and showing up again in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, Challenge Battles serve as a way to offer up unique combat scenarios that can’t be found anywhere else in the game, usually designed around a special gimmick or theme.
Completing them gives you special crystals that can be exchanged for strong and/or rare equipment. This time around, you’ll earn some of these items just by completing certain Challenge Battles with a high enough Rank. (Just don’t stop to think about how weird it is that half of the Nopon Archsage’s “Legendary Treasures” are swimsuits that just so happen to fit each party member perfectly.)
9/9 Pretty Fierce: Death By Cuteness
A simple enough Challenge Battle, Pretty Fierce has no unique gimmick, aside from the fact that the monsters you’ll face here are all adorable as heck. From Bunnits to Pippitos, and every enemy in between, it’s as if each monster was hand-picked for pure cuteness. Obviously, this makes the challenge battle unwinnable, as there’s no possible way you could bring yourself to harm such adorable creatures.
All jokes aside, this Challenge Battle isn’t very hard, at least compared to some other ones you can partake in. But it’s worth it alone to witness Aionios’ cutest critters firsthand.
8/9 Black Castle Chosen: Take On An Army
Keves Castle is one of the most heavily-fortified locations in the game, and one of the few places where enemies will attack you regardless of how overleveled you might be. It makes sense that there’s a whole army of Kevesi soldiers ready to take you down if you’re caught, given that it’s where the Queen of Keves supposedly resides.
That’s basically the premise of Black Castle Chosen: you versus the Keves army’s elite military. Every type of soldier and Levnis is brought out to face you, leaving your party far outnumbered, but your foes far outmatched. Makes you wonder what an Musou-style adaptation of the Xenoblade series might look like.
7/9 Ouroboros Fever: Together Forever
Ouroborus is Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s main battle gimmick, letting you fuse two party members into one, ultra-powerful party member for a limited time. In Ouroboros Fever, a special Challenge Battle, you can keep your characters fused into Ouroboros mode for a ridiculously long amount of time.
While this Challenge Battle isn’t particularly complicated to beat, and doesn’t come with any disadvantages, it does go to show just how powerful the Ouroboros forms would be if they didn’t have that time limit attached to them. Their Arts alone far exceed the damage that a normal character can cause.
6/9 Arts And Crafts: An Art Spammer’s Paradise
One of the most fun things to do in any Xenoblade game is to use as many Arts as you can in quick succession and let the chaos ensue. The developers at Monolithsoft must’ve known how fun it is, because this special Challenge Battle lets you do just that to your heart’s content.
In Arts and Crafts, all Arts recharge way faster than normal, allowing you swing around your strongest moves in rapid succession. The only drawback is that enemies also have their Arts recharge much faster, so if your Attacker draws aggro and can’t kill their target, you’ll be in trouble fast.
5/9 N And M: The Deadly Duo Returns
One of the coolest aspects of Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s Challenge Battles is that it lets you fight certain duos that you would never have the chance to fight otherwise, like Ethel and Cammuravi outside their Levnises in Double Jeopardy, or Segiri and No. 13 in Ferron x Ferron. But if there’s one boss duo that gets us pumped up to fight, it’s none other than Noah and Mio’s Moebius counterparts, N and M.
Despite the two of them desperately needing some couples’ therapy, they’ll both come after your party relentlessly, and it doesn’t take much to make them enraged. N still dishes out tons of damage, and M is as hard to land hits on as ever, but don’t let that stop you from conquering these foes a second time.
4/9 Stage Of Destiny: It’s Moebius Time
Moebius, the masterminds behind the war and the Endless Now, serve as your main antagonist, and you’ll spend most of your playthrough taking them down one at a time. But what if you could fight a ton of them at once?
Stage of Destiny has you doing just that, taking on multiple waves of these deadly foes, some of which you may recognize from the main story. You’ll fight them all atop the stage of Z’s theater, which also served as the arena for the first few phases of the final boss fight. Sadly, you won’t fight Z himself during this challenge, but perhaps that’s for the best. If Z showed up, the battle might go on forever.
3/9 The Four Devas: The Ultimate Superboss Gauntlet
If you’re one of the few players who has conquered all the game’s Superbosses, then you, like Lanz, may be looking for something a bit meatier to test your skills. If that’s what you want, then The Four Devas has you covered.
In this battle, you’ll face off against the four hardest Superbosses in the entire game, one right after another, and with no breaks in between. Their levels have also been increased, far surpassing your party’s usual level cap. Noah and company can only get up to Level 99, but the weakest foe you’ll find here is Level 150! This battle isn’t for the faint of heart; it truly puts the “challenge” in Challenge Battle.
2/9 Men! Of! The! Sea! IV: A Soulhacker’s Life For Me
A unique Challenge Battle, built around an even more unique Class, Men! Of! The! Sea! IV pushes your team-building skills to their limit by forcing your entire party to play as the Soulhacker Class.
Soulhacker is easily the most customizable Class in the game, stealing Arts and Skills from various Unique Monsters to fit just about any role you need it to. It may take you a bit of time to track down what you need to beat this Challenge Battle, if you can stand up against waves of various sea monsters, you’ll face the strongest sea monster of them all: Captain Triton himself!
1/9 Heroes Frontline: Heroes, Assemble!
There are a few Challenge Battles where you’ll fight against Heroes, characters that can accompany you as optional seventh party members, but none take it to the extreme as much as Heroes Frontline does.
In this Challenge Battle, you’ll fight multiple waves of beloved party members. From Zeon to Ashera, you never know who you’re going to see until they’re right in front of you. Taking them out one at a time is easier said than done, since their Levels are all a fair bit higher than the main party’s can reach. It just goes to show that, even without your help, the Heroes are more than capable of holding their own in a fight. Maybe Aionios’ greatest weapon was the friends we made along the way?