Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed has finally arrived, giving us a glimpse into Aionios’ past while closing curtains on the masterpiece that is Xenoblade Chronicles 3. One of the best things about the DLC is that two of the most iconic characters from the Xenoblade Chronicles series return as the protagonists from the previous games, Shulk and Rex, come back as playable characters. They have new designs, some incredible playstyles and a lot of rich nostalgia for anybody who’s been with the series since the beginning.
One thing that some players might not know, though, is that Shulk and Rex aren’t confined to Future Redeemed: in fact, you unlock both of them as Heroes in the base game, allowing you to traverse the future of Aionios with these two legendary figures in tow. The game doesn’t state this outright, so figuring out how to unlock them can be a bit confusing.
Here is how to unlock Rex and Shulk as Hero party members in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.
Want more Xenoblade Chronicles content and articles? You can find more here on KeenGamer:
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- The Importance of Accents in Xenoblade Chronicles
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- Xenoblade Chronicles 3: How To Unlock All Heroes
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How to Unlock Shulk and Rex
To have Shulk and Rex join you on your original journey through Aionios, a few things need to be completed first.
First and foremost, you need have completed the main story of Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed. Obviously, this means that you’ll need to have bought the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Expansion Pass: for future reference, you’ll have to have completed the Nopon Archsage introductory quest, which showcases Time Attack challenges and how Challenge Battles work. It is also very likely that you’ll have to have beaten Xenoblade Chronicles 3 on your current save file.
Once you have rolled credits on the DLC and loaded up your newly completed save file, you should get a notice that a new Time Attack has been unlocked in the base game. Hop over to the original XC3 and visit the Nopon Archsage to see that he has a new Time Attack battle for you to try: The Two Saviors.
This will be a battle against Shulk and Rex, similar to the one you do in Future Redeemed’s main campaign. Fortunately, you get to use your entire cast of 6 Ouroboros party members and a Hero to even the odds. Shulk and Rex will be a good deal stronger than you, seeing as they’re level 80 whereas you will be capped at level 70. Additionally, throughout the fight, Shulk or Rex will gain an invincible shield around them which blocks all damage: should this happen, you need to switch to your other opponent.
To unlock Rex and Shulk as Heroes, you simply need to beat “The Two Saviors” Time Attack battle. This can be on any difficulty, even on Easy, so you can just blast through it if you want. Complete the mission, beat Rex and Shulk into submission for a second time, and you’ll have earned yourself some new allies in your fight for Aionios.
There are some important things to note about Shulk and Rex as Heroes, especially related to their classes, Grand Marshal and Master Driver, respectively.
Firstly, you cannot equip either of these classes onto other characters as you can with other Heroes: they are exclusively for Rex and Shulk alone, meaning that Noah cannot run around with the Monado REX and Mio cannot wield the Aegis blades. The other thing is that, when you have either character active, they will not appear in cutscenes like other Heroes (understandable considering that… well, they’re not supposed to be here).
Aside from those restrictions, Master Driver and Grand Marshal work exactly like any other Hero in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.
Grand Marshal and Master Driver
Shulk’s new class is called Grand Marshal and it’s a Tank class. He comes pre-equipped with Steady Strike X, Steelcleaver X and Tailwind X Gems, greatly boosting his damage and evasion tanking. Additionally, he has access to all of the Arts from Future Redeemed, aside from Monado Purge. This means that Shulk can use:
- Stream Edge
- Heavy Rush
- Slit Edge
- Monado Rage
- Monado Armor
Godcleaver Shulk is an invaluable evasion tank, like his mentor Dunban before him. With extremely high Agility and a lot of good ways of taking, and keeping, aggro, Grand Marshal proves to be one of the best tanking classes in the entirety of Xenoblade Chronicles 3. With the ability to Break enemies and provide Armor Veil to the entire team, while also having solid damage potential with his Talent Art, Monado Buster, Shulk will certainly serve you well in whatever you plan on doing.
Meanwhile, Rex’s new class is called Master Driver and it’s another Attacker class. He comes with a set of seriously strong Gems, including Doublestrike X, Steelcleaver X and Analyze Weakness X. Similar to Shulk, the only Art he’s missing is Sword Bash, giving him access to:
- Anchor Shot
- Double Spinning Edge
- Dual Blast
- Cross Blaze
- Rolling Smash
As most of you probably experienced in Future Redeemed, Stoutheart Rex is arguably the strongest Attacker in the game. While he won’t be spamming Double Spinning Edge as much as he used to, Rex can output some seriously high damage numbers when he gets going. His extraordinarily high Critical stats do a lot of heavy lifting, allowing him to regain his powerful Art on basically every hit while also having access to Topple and Launch. If you need another heavy hitter to pair with Full Metal Jaguar, Master Driver can do no wrong.
And that was how to unlock Shulk and Rex as Hero party members in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.