If you have played either of the previous Xenoblade Chronicles games, then there will be a lot of familiar elements when you get started in Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Many of the same terms and mechanics from prior games are reused, as is the general flow of the game. At the same time, nearly everything familiar will be somewhat changed or expanded upon in this title to make them that little bit more interesting. One prime example of this is the Colonies.
The world you can explore in Aionios is more vast and dangerous than ever, but Colonies are your kind of safe haven from the wilds once you’ve liberated them. While you can count on them as a safe place to rest most of the time, they offer way more possibilities and functions for those willing to put in some work to make the people of each Colony like you. This is an important part of ending the conflict between two warring nations as well, so the rewards you get are just icing on the cake. Here’s everything you need to know about Colony affinity in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.
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We touched on it in the intro, but Colonies all need to be liberated from their commanders before you can start exploring them freely and earning the people’s trust. You will need to wait until you make it to Chapter 3 before the option to liberate a Colony opens for you, but once it does, you should be liberating every one you are able to as soon as possible. Once liberated, you will see that each Colony has its own affinity ranking of one to five stars, with five being full affinity.
While you might think that simply liberating a Colony would go a long way toward raising the affinity, it doesn’t. In order to actually start boosting your fame around a Colony, you have a few options. The easiest way is to simply explore the Colony looking for NPCs that have a gold star icon above their heads. All you need to do is talk to these specific people to get a small bump to your affinity rank. You can also get a small increase by eating at their local canteen and ushering fallen soldiers to the afterlife with your flute. You can spot these trapped spirits on your map via the flute icon.
Another potentially quick source of affinity is the Collectopedia Cards. Every liberated Colony will give you tasks in your Collectopedia to collect specific materials in exchange for affinity, XP, and a reward the first time you complete it. You can complete them multiple times too, only you won’t get that reward again. If you’ve been gathering up tons of stuff, you can easily grind out affinity just by turning in these requests.
For a more substantial boost to affinity, you will want to focus on completing side quests that you pick up from that Colony. Each one only has a set amount, so you will need to still do some of the other methods to fully max out a Colony, but these quests should give you a majority of the affinity needed — and always be on the lookout for when one quest opens up another new one, too.
Aside from the satisfaction of helping all the local people, you do get some very valuable rewards for going the extra mile to max out your affinity rank with each Colony. Every star level you hit will reward you with a different passive stat bonus, with seven possible options. This also means there will be a lot of overlap in what bonuses you get from different Colonies. While that might sound disappointing, these bonuses all stack, so the more you get, the better your buffs become. You can check the level for each of these bonuses in the Party skills menu. Here are all the bonuses and what they do for you:
- Speed Jogger: increases running speed
- Item Retriever: increases item collection range
- Silent Steps: reduces monster detection range
- Shiny-Hunter: increases chances of encountering rare monsters
- Slow Digestion: increases meal effect duration
- Swift Swimmer: increases swimming speed
- Caravan Call: causes Nopon Caravans to visit the Colonies
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