Ever since Final Fantasy VII first gave us Materia, gamers have been excited about jamming powerful stat-boosting crystals into their equipment. That's what makes Xenoblade Chronicle's gem system so exciting, because not only can you swap out these magical artifacts to help customize your characters, but you can also craft your own unique gems in the game! Thing is, gem crafting is a bit complicated, especially for first time crafters. Luckily, GameZone has stepped in to provide this gem crafting guide!
How to craft gems in Xenoblade Chronicles
To start, first seek out the Gem Man in the Commercial District of Colony 9. Later on in the game you'll be able to craft gems wherever you are, but for now you'll need to use his furnace. It will first become available after the Mechon invasion of Colony 9.
The important thing to note is that there are two different items that result from gem crafting: the actual gems themselves, and ether cylinders, which can be used to craft even more powerful gems in the future. The key is to plan your gem formulas to result both in high powered gems and cylinders, while ensuring that none of your materials go to waste.
Step 1: Choosing Crystals and Cylinders
A good way to begin crafting is to pick the qualities (or attributes) you're interested in making a gem for. For instance, let's say you'd like to create a simple "Attack Up" gem. Search through your inventory for any crystals or ether cylinders which offer that stat, and add them to your formula above. The more ingredients you add containing a certain quality will raise that quality's strength score. Unfortunately, you cannot simply jam every "Attack Up" material you have into the gem furnace in hopes of making some ultra godly gem. Once the strength of one or more qualities exceeds 100, you cannot add any more gems or cylinders to the formula.
Here, since the Agility Up quality exceeds 100% (127%), no more crystals or cylinders can be added to the formula.
Instead, try and add ingredients until the strength of your chosen quality is close to 99 as you can get. Then, add your most powerful ingredient on top of that, pushing the strength beyond the limit!
For instance, if you had two level 40 "Attack Up" crystals, and a level 90 "Attack Up" cylinder:
- Doing it wrong: Put the 90 in first, then a 40. Strength is 130, no more ingredients can be added.
- Doing it right: Put both 40s in, then the 90. Strength is 170, welcome to awesome gem town!
Once your formula is ready, it's time to fire up the furnace. Whatever quality exceeded 100 will be turned into a gem, and the more strength poured into that quality, the more powerful the gem will be. But what if along with the "Attack Up" 170%, there's a "Defense Up" 70% in your formula? Good question!
During the crafting process, qualities will be raised depending on your crafting skills. If the value of that Defense Up quality goes over 100, it will also become a gem! If it doesn't manage to reach that level, you'll have the option to turn some of your unused qualities into cylinders for crafting later. That means, you could start your next crafting session with a Defense Up cylinder of strength 70! Planning for both high powered gems and creating strong cylinders from unused qualities is the key to success!
Protip: Only crystals and cylinders of the same rank can be combined (I, II, III, IV, or V)
Part 2: Picking your Shooter and Engineer
The second part of the gem crafting process involves choosing your crafting partners. Unfortunately the game is very, very vague about the shooter and engineer roles, though the basics work like this:
The Shooter provides their unique effect to gem crafting. For instance, Shulk raises the chance that the team will go into Fever mode, and craft a higher ranked gem than normal. Experiment with these abilities as new members join your party.
The Engineer provides the flame for the process, and you should pick an engineer who is more likely to provide a flame that benefits what you're attempting to craft.
The three flame types are:
- Strong Flame: This will greatly raise the quality of a single random formula attribute. Look for an engineer skilled at this if you are trying to create a high-level gem, and only have a few attributes which could be raised.
- Medium Flame: This will slightly raise all the qualities of your formula attributes. Use this if you have a gem very close to getting over 200 in quality, or if you're trying to craft some powerful cylinders without accidentally going over 100 and making one into a gem.
- Gentle Flame: This increases the cylinder count, meaning you'll be able to turn more of your attributes which didn't get over 100 into cylinders, for later crafting. Use this if you have a ton of different attributes in the formula, and don't want to see them go to waste.
After picking your Shooter and Engineer, sit back and watch the fun. If you've planned things right, one of your gem qualities may exceed 200, putting it into Heat status and netting you a gem one rank higher. If the qualities manage to exceed 300, you'll get Mega Heat, giving you two full-strength gems of that attribute! Also, keep your eye on the green bar to the right of the quality window. Every time it fills, you'll get the chance to turn another of your unused attributes into a cylinder for later crafting.
Here we have a single super-high Terrain Defence quality. We want an engineer skilled at Strong Flame who can boost it even further.
Success! Even though only Level I materials were used, the Heat bonus will result in a level 2 Terrain Defence gem!
The most important thing to note about gem crafting however, is that it is greatly influenced by your party affinity. Make sure your shooter and engineer like each other, while also making sure to befriend the rest of the party, who will actually cheer you on during crafting!
Anyhow, those are the basics. Good luck!