Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s New Game Plus DLC Detailed, Includes Easy Difficulty

Xenoblade Chronicles 2's latest update brings much more than a New Game Plus mode for Nintendo Switch -- including UI updates and an Easy Mode.

on March 4, 2018 10:41 AM

After an unceremonious delay, Nintendo Switch owners now have motivation to head back to Alrest and enjoy Xenoblade Chronicles 2. In a recent announcement, Nintendo revealed that developer Monolith Soft has completed update 1.3.0 for the action RPG adding in the much-anticipated New Game Plus mode.

Revealed in a tweet from Nintendo, the publisher let fans of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 know that the update was now available for download:

Perhaps more interesting, though, is the patch notes (below) that reveal what is available outside of standard bug fixes and New Game Plus. Along with the other additions, Monolith Soft has added an Easy difficulty mode that will make “Normal” difficulty the new default. This difficulty can be changed at any time, so anyone who has been having constant issues can quickly change difficulties to get past sticking points.

Along with this, other quality of life changes have been added to the game including tedious animation skips, blade locking, sorting options in inventory menus, and map icons appearing on the mini-map. The update similarly opens up the ability to download future DLC for the game, in case you have the season pass.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2‘s New Game Plus mode was revealed in late January for a February 2018 release, however that date did end up getting pushed to March following some technical set backs. DualShockers reviewed Xenoblade Chronicles 2 when it released, awarding the game a 9.5 out of 10.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is available exclusively for Nintendo Switch; as mentioned, the DLC is available now. Check out the full patch notes, below:


  • Issues Fixed
    • Fixed an issue occurring in chapter 7 and onward, in which specific conditions caused bonded blades and drivers to not appear in the Manage Blades menu.
    • Fixed an issue associated with acquiring Perun’s Key Affinity Gift in which the counter for “small good deeds” required to earn it would stop, making the item unobtainable.
    • Fixed an issue associated with acquiring Perceval’s Affinity Gift, “Brandish,” in which certain monsters failed to count toward the requirements “Defeat Igna enemies in Uraya. (Excludes unique monsters.)” and “Defeat Tirkin enemies in Tantal. (Excludes unique monsters.)”.
    • Fixed an issue associated with acquiring Perceval’s Affinity Gift, “Brandish,” in which defeating high-level Tirkin enemies (around level 80) failed to count toward the “Defeat Tirkin enemies in Tantal. (Excludes unique monsters.)”.
    • Fixed an issue in which Blades with the condition“Deal a certain amount of damage in one hit” to acquire Affinity Gifts would not meet the condition if they were not present at the start of a battle, and were brought in via Blade Switching instead.
    • Fixed an issue in which Rare Blades, once released, could not achieve a level of Trust higher than S1, even if bonded with a different Driver.
      • After applying this update, performing an action to raise Trust (clearing quests, using pouch items, etc.) will raise the rare blade’s Trust to the correct rank.
    • Fixed an issue with Poppiswap in which if the player possessed a combined total of 1023 or more Skill RAM and Skill Upgrade parts, and equipped the 1024th part, they would be unable to set or crystalize any additional parts, even if they had enough energy to do so.
    • Fixed an issue in which the descriptions for the Silver Feather and Phantom Feather accessories was switched.
  • Advanced New Game has been added
    • Players with save data from the final chapter and who have cleared the game will now be able to select “Advanced New Game” on the title screen and carry over some of their data from the previous playthrough.
    • Elements carried over into Advanced New Game
      • Driver levels
      • Driver and Blade equipment and growth
      • Awakened Blades
      • Acquired items and gold
      • Town development status and Merc Group level
      • Status of Events Theater and defeated unique monsters
      • Play time
    • New system features added to Advanced New Game
      • Bonding with certain Blades from Torna will allow them to join your party.
      • Meeting certain Blades from Torna in the game world will allow them to join your party.
      • All Blades can be dispatched on Merc Missions.
      • Driver Hidden Affinities have been unlocked. New skills can also be learned.
      • Zeke’s “Eye of Shining Justice” has been unlocked. (The skill can be learned by developing Zeke’s Hidden Affinities)
      • Levels can now be decreased at inns, with a corresponding amount of bonus EXP being granted for the number of levels decreased.
      • Traveling Bards that will exchange Bonus EXP and special items have been added to various locations throughout Alrest.
        • Traveling Bards are displayed on the mini map as green shop icons.
        • Among the newly exchangeable items, there are those that will increase the number of accessories a Driver can have equipped.
      • Level 4 Specials have been unlocked for certain Blades.
    • Things to note in Advanced New Game
      • Quests, Heart-to-Hearts, and Skip Travel points will all be reset.
      • Cleared Merc Missions will be reset.
      • Saving after beginning an Advanced New Game playthrough will overwrite the save data in which you initially cleared the game.
  • Other Updates
    • Easy difficulty has been added. Due to this addition, the default difficulty will now be “Normal.”
      • This only adjusts the balance of elements of battles. Game difficulty can be changed at any time via the Options menu.
    • Added a “simple mode” option allowing players to skip the lottery animation when bonding with Blades.
    • Added the ability to “lock” Blades so that they can’t be mistakenly released.
    • Added a “Sort” option to the Blade List, Accessories, Aux Cores, and Poppy’s Skill Parts.
    • Map icons will now appear on the mini map.
    • Adjusted AI to perform Blade Switches with no regard for Driver combos when using Drivers that prioritize Driver combos while fighting enemies against whom those combos aren’t effective.
    • Added the ability to receive the 4th round of items distributed via the Expansion Pass.
 /  Editor-in-Chief
Lou Contaldi is the Editor-in-Chief at DualShockers, specializing in both reviews and the business behind gaming. He began writing about tech and video games while getting his Juris Doctor at Hofstra University School of Law. He is maybe the only gaming journo based in Nashville, TN.