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Game Basics

God forbid, what did the Xenogears team do with my cute sprite from Chrono Trigger?! This sprite looks sooo stupid! ....*Ahem* As I was saying, welcome to the Xenogears basics section. I, the genius Lucca, will be your guide.

Basic Controls when moving

Button Usage
Triangle Jump (inside cities, dungeons, etc)
Square Open the Menu Screen
X (Cross) Confirm Options, open doors, chests, etc.
Circle Cancel, hold Circle to run (inside cities, dungeons, etc.)
L1 Rotate the camera
R1 Rotate the camera
L2 Switch lead character (only in the world map)
R2 Switch lead character (only in the world map)
Start Pause the game
Select Show/Hide the map

Basic Controls when fighting

Button Usage
Right/Left Switch to regular/special options, browse around options
Triangle Confirm Action, Weak Attack
Square Confirm Action, Strong Attack
X (Cross) Confirm Action, Fierce Attack
Circle Cancel action
Start Pause the game

Basic Controls when "Battling"

Button Usage
Up Moves away from the screen
Down Moves toward the screen
Right/Left Moves away/toward the opponent, dash away from opponent
Triangle Jump (you can attack while jumping)
Square Close Attack (works as combo with Cross)
X (Cross) Close Attack (works as combo with Square)
Circle Dash
L1 Defense
R1 Ether Bullets (Long Range)
Start Pause the game (You can give up when you pause)

Watch your gauge when dashing or using ether bullets or else you'll end up hurting yourself.

The best way to win most battles is just dash and repeat Square-Cross combos. Yes, it's really simple, but it works perfectly. Just don't give a second to your enemy. And ether bullets work too, if your gauge ain't filled.


Those are innate abilities (usually Ether) that some characters have. You learn new abilites by leveling up (refer to the Abilities section for a full list of abilities).


There are 3 types of attacks during a regular battle: Weak Attack (Triangle, costs 1 AP), Strong Attack (Square, costs 2 AP) and Fierce Attack (X, costs 3 AP). Deathblows are sequences that you make with these type of attacks resulting in Special attacks. To master a Deathblow and actually use it, you must repeat the process of combining attacks until the combination shows up in the Deathblows option in the Status Screen (you can see a percentage meter and watch your progress while you're training).

Hint 1: Most Deathblows (except for the ones that cost 7 AP) require the same combination for all characters. This makes it easier to guess which combination you should try instead of making random combinations.

Hint 2: If you keep using the last 6 AP deathblow (the sequence is X, X), you'll automatically train all others, speeding up the process of mastering Deathblows. The same thing can be done when you learn 7 AP Deathblows. The only drawback is that to learn the best Deathblows you need higher levels, so don't be surprised if you have 100% in one Deathblow but cannot use it yet.

Fighting outside the gear

Right when you start a battle, there are 2 groups of attacks you can choose by pressing Left or Right. The group with the regular Attack, Defense (halves the damage of the enemy attack), and Chi (or Ether) and the group with Combo, Escape, and any other options (the Item option is included in both groups).

Action Points (AP): When you start your turn and attack the enemy, you have a certain number of AP to use. The amount of AP you use on each hit is the cost of the type of attack you're using (Weak, Strong, or Fierce). When there are no more AP left (look at the lower left bar), the turn ends (this does not apply to Ether or Chi attacks). By leveling up, you can increase your AP, allowing you to perform more attacks in one turn.

Note 1: Weak Attacks have higher hit rate but lower damage and cost 1 AP, Strong Attacks have medium hit rate and damage and cost 2 AP, and Fierce Attacks have lower hit rate but higher damage and cost 3 AP.

Note 2: Combo attacks are extremely powerful! Sometimes when you kill an enemy without using all your AP or cancel your attack, you accumulate AP into the AP counter (below the character's portrait in battle). When you stock a certain number of AP, you'll be able to use combos. Combos only work with Deathblows, though.

Fighting with the gear

When fighting with gears, besides worrying about your HP, you must always pay attention to the Fuel Meter. The more powerful the attack or special option is, the more fuel it will use. Stop and charge every time you can to prevent difficulties.

Gears need to build up their Attack Level to use Deathblows, and the Gear Deathblows are usually 2-button sequences. It doesn't matter if it's a Triangle or a Cross attack, keep using them to raise your Attack Level (You probably won't have anything more than Level 1 attacks in the beginning, but eventually you'll learn new skills). After each normal attack, one level raises in the following order: Level 1 (Deathblows starting with Triangle), Level 2 (Deathblows starting with Square), Level 3 (Deathblows starting with Cross), Level Infinity (special ones that require only one of the three buttons).

The booster option is very important, especially later in the game, doubling the speed of your Gear, but also wasting extra fuel every turn (even if you don't attack). Make sure you have lots of fuel if you're gonna use it and try to use it only against bosses.

To win gear fights, leveling up isn't nearly as important as upgrading your parts. Upgrading often (especially the engine) and equipping the best parts will give you the advantage in most battles. Also notice that some of the accessories equipped on the pilot (not the gear) will also work while riding the gear (try the Speed Ring or the Ether Doubler).

Controlling the Yggdrasil

To move it, just use your usual directional buttons.

To unload your gears, press the Circle button. To return to the Yggdrasil, press the Square button.

Besides resting and tuning up your gear inside the Yggdrasil, you can also check a map chart on the bridge.

While moving, press the Square button to go inside the Yggdrasil, automatically repairing any damaged Gear!

Saving the Game on the Memory Cube

See the yellow object to your left? It's a memory cube. While walking on the world map, you can just press Square and open the Menu Screen, go to File and save the game. But inside dungeons and cities, you must find a Memory Cube, stand on it, and press Square to save the game.


Attack - Sets how much damage you take from the enemy.
Hit% - Percentage to hit the enemy (although it does look really low, you can hit most enemies just fine).
Defense - Your resistance to enemy attacks.
Evade% - Percentage to evade enemy attacks.
Ether - Your "spellcasting" power (even if it isn't Ether :P).
EthDef. - Your resistance to other spells.
Agility - Your speed to start another turn. I've never raised it by leveling up, but you can do it by equipping specific accessories. One agility point makes a LOT of difference.
Weight - Can be raised/lowered many times during the game. Supposedly, it influences other stats, but I never noticed any change.


Train your Deathblows early in the game and start with the toughest deathblow you can get (i.e. if you have 6 AP, use Cross, Cross attacks). All the other weaker Deathblows will also raise slowly (in some cases you might even learn it before using it even once!), and don't worry if the bar reached 100 and you didn't learn it, you just need to level up.

Instead of relying on Survival Tents, use Omegasols. They're cheaper, have the same effect, and can be used anywhere on the map.

Try to have as many accessories as possible (especially parts for gears). Changing a couple of accessories/parts might change the outcome of a battle.

This is mostly useful for my walkthrough only, but in any case learn to move around following the compass directions (in the lower-right of the screen).

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