Auto Attack is a battle mechanic in Xenoblade Chronicles. During a battle, a character will automatically perform an auto-attack with his or her Weapon if he or she is within range. Sharla can perform an auto-attack at range with her ether rifle. All other characters will need to be in melee range to perform an auto-attack.
It is not possible for a player-controlled character to stop auto-attacking if the character is within range and is involved in combat. For a character controlled by the player to stop auto-attacking, one will need to move out of range, use an Art, or be in the process of helping a Toppled, Dazed, or Sleeping character.
Note that auto-attacks will not occur if the character is swimming. Characters that are swimming also cannot use their Battle Arts.
The range of damage dealt through auto-attacks can be seen under the Auto-Attack Damage under the Change Equipment screen. Auto-attacks are considered Physical Attacks.
Different weapons will have different auto-attack ranges.
There are various gems that add various bonuses to a character's auto-attack. Please reference the Gem page for the various types.
Some arts affect auto-attacks such as Sharla's Drive Boost, Reyn's Berserker, Dunban's Spirit Breath, and Fiora's Speed Shift.