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Affinity is a game mechanic in Xenoblade Chronicles. The relationship between each character can be improved or worsened by doing various things. The affinity progression and results between the playable characters or the NPCs, as well as the global area affinity can be viewed on the affinity chart, from the main menu.
Playable Character's Affinity
Each character's affinity can be improved by battling together (Burst Affinity and helping characters with status ailments or who are knocked out), completing Quests, completing Heart-to-Hearts and gifting collectables. However, it can also be lowered through the latter two means.
The affinity between each character is calculated by the number of affinity points amassed throughout the game. Upon joining the party a character has 500 affinity points with each of the others, with the partial exception of Fiora, whose affinity with her sweetheart Shulk starts at 2000 points (blue), and with her brother Dunban starts at 1000 points (green). Affinity is indicated on the affinity chart by a coloured symbol, with a pink heart representing the highest affinity:
|Symbol / Colour||Total Points|
|Yellow||0 - 999|
|Green||1000 - 1999|
|Blue||2000 - 2999|
|Lavender||3000 - 4999|
There are a number of benefits that result from a higher affinity between playable characters:
- An additional Skill Link slot is unlocked at each level of affinity, allowing the two characters to borrow each other's skills. In order to use Skill Links, the characters will need Affinity Coins which are gained from levelling up or defeating Unique Monsters.
- During Gem Crafting, higher affinity improves the chances of creating better gems in two ways. First, the number of turns is dependent on the affinity between the shooter and engineer. Second, the probability that other party members will also assist is dependent on their affinity.
- Heart-to-Hearts are unlocked when the affinity between two characters reaches a certain level.
Affinity between playable characters can be raised by actions during battle, by accepting and completing quests, and by exchanging presents.
There are several ways to gain affinity during battle.
- Chain attacks - Every activation of chain attacks will grant 10 affinity points (1 heart) to all the active battle members. It becomes increasingly easier to activate a Chain Link at the end of a Chain Attack as the affinity between characters grows.
- Helping battle members - 20 affinity points (2 hearts) will be granted between two battle members for helping a battle member who is either in KO, topple, daze, panic, etc. status.
- Burst affinity - This can be triggered by chance if one of the battle members dodge an attack, perform a critical hit, or miss an attack. If the B button is pressed when the ring touches the rim of the circle, 30 affinity points (3 hearts) will be granted to all active battle members. Otherwise, 10 affinity points (1 heart) will be granted.
The affinity between the two playable characters can be increased by accepting and completing quests. The amount of affinity points received depends on the character used to talk to the NPC. See below for details:
- 2 hearts is worth 20 affinity points
- 3 hearts is worth 30 affinity points
- 4 hearts is worth 50 affinity points
- Big heart is worth 100 affinity points
Players will have a chance to increase the playable characters' affinity depending on the choice selected by the player. One of the choices will increase affinity by 50 points (4 hearts) while the other one will decrease affinity by 50 points (4 hearts). At the end of the heart-to-heart, regardless of the outcome, 300 affinity points (big heart) will be granted to the participating playable characters.
The affinity between the two playable characters can be increased or decreased by giving specific items to the recipient. The amount of affinity points lost or gained depends on the item and the recipient. For example, giving an ether plum to Dunban will result in a loss of 20 affinity points between the giver and Dunban. It is possible to deduce what the character likes or do not like based on characteristics such as the type and colour.
- 1 heart: 2-14 affinity points
- 2 hearts: 16-20 affinity points
- 3 hearts: 22-30 affinity points
- 4 hearts: 100 affinity points
NPC Affinity Links
Talking to a named NPC for the first time causes that person to be registered on the Affinity Chart. If their name is later mentioned by another named NPC, they will be linked on the chart. This conversation may occur during a quest or at a particular time of day. In the latter case, the conversation will not occur while a quest involving the NPC is available or in progress because the NPC's normal dialogue is replaced by quest-specific dialogue. In some cases the conversation will not occur until after a particular story event or quest.
The Affinity Link will have a caption describing their relationship, and a colored icon will indicate how much they like or dislike each other:
- Red (lowest affinity; the two NPCs strongly dislike each other)
- Blue (highest affinity; the two NPCs are at least very fond of each other)
The affinity between two NPCs can be improved or worsened by completing certain quests or by making a decision during a quest or conversation.
Registering NPCs and establishing or improving/worsening affinity links between them also raises/lowers the party's Area Affinity with the area where they reside.
Area affinity can be increased or occasionally decrease by completing quests and talking to NPCs. Some quests will also change affinity between NPCs. As area affinity increases, more quests and better trades will become available in the locations.
The affinity for each area is calculated by the number of area affinity points amassed throughout the game. See details below:
- 1 star: 0-1999
- 2 stars: 2000-3999
- 3 stars: 4000-5999
- 4 stars: 6000-7999
- 5 stars: 8000+
The area affinity points (reputation) prerequisite for quests for example, is indicated in this wiki as follows:
- ☆1 : 0
- ☆1.25 : 500
- ☆1.5 : 1000
- ☆1.75 : 1500
- ☆2 : 2000
- ☆2.25 : 2500
- ☆2.5 : 3000
- ☆2.75 : 3500
- ☆3 : 4000
- ☆3.25 : 4500
- ☆3.5 : 5000
- ☆3.75 : 5500
- ☆4 : 6000
- ☆4.25 : 6500
- ☆4.5 : 7000
- ☆4.75 : 7500
- ☆5 : 8000
The number of area affinity points received from quests depends on the difficulty of the quests. Each star is worth 50 points. A big star is worth at least 250 points.
Area affinity is split into 5 areas: Colony 9 (which also accounts for Tephra Cave), Colony 6 (which also accounts for Bionis' Leg), Central Bionis (Satorl Marsh, Makna Forest and Frontier Village), Upper Bionis (Eryth Sea, Alcamoth, and Valak Mountain) and Hidden Village (Fallen Arm, Mechonis Field, Central Factory, Agniratha ).