If you’ve played any of the previous Xenoblade Chronicles games, there will be plenty of familiar elements when you start in Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Many of the same terms and mechanics from previous games are reused, as is the general flow of the game. At the same time, almost everything that is familiar will be somewhat tweaked or expanded upon in this title to make it a bit more interesting. The Colonies are a perfect example.
The world you can explore in Aionios is bigger and more dangerous than ever, but settlements are your kind of safe haven in the wild once you’ve liberated them. While you can rely on them as a safe place to rest most of the time, they provide far more possibilities and functions for those who wish to work to make the inhabitants of each colony like you. It’s also an important part of ending the conflict between two warring nations, 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.
How to Increase Colony Affinity
We talked about it in the intro, but the settlements must all be freed from their commanders before you can start exploring them freely and gaining the trust of the people. You’ll have to wait until you reach Chapter 3 before the option to free a colony opens up for you, but once it does, you should free everyone you can as soon as possible. Once liberated, you will see that each colony has its own affinity rating from one to five stars, with five being full affinity.
While you might think that just releasing a colony would go a long way to increasing affinity, it’s not. In order to really start raising your notoriety around a settlement, you have a few options. The easiest way is to just explore the settlement looking for NPCs that have a gold star icon above their heads. All you have to do is talk to those specific people to get a small boost to your Affinity Rank. You can also get a small raise by eating at their local canteen and taking fallen soldiers to the afterlife with your flute. You can spot these trapped spirits on your map via the flute icon.
Collectopedia cards are another potentially quick source of affinity. Each 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 also complete them multiple times, but you will no longer get this reward. If you’ve collected tons of stuff, you can easily create an affinity just by returning those requests.
For a more substantial Affinity boost, you’ll want to focus on completing the side quests you pick up at this settlement. Each only has a set amount, so you’ll still need to use some of the other methods to fully max out a colony, but these quests should give you the majority of the affinity needed – and always be on the lookout for when a quest unlocks another new one, too.
What do you get for increasing affinity with the colony?
Along with the satisfaction of helping everyone in the area, you get some very valuable rewards for going the extra mile to max out your affinity rank with each settlement. Each star level you reach will reward you with a different passive stat bonus, with seven possible options. This also means that there will be a lot of overlap in the bonuses you get from different settlements. While it might seem disappointing, these bonuses all stack, so the more you get, the better your buffs become. You can check the level of 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 the chances of encountering rare monsters
- Slow digestion: increases the duration of the meal effect
- Swift Swimmer: increases swimming speed
- Caravan Call: Brings Nopon caravans to visit settlements