Chrono Cross: Stat Boosts, Explained

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  • How Characters Get Stronger
  • Every Stat Boost Type, Explained
  • How To Boost Stats Effectively

In a game like Chrono Cross, you're sure to end up wondering how to make your characters stronger. Sure, there are Elements and weapons and armor to find, but you don't gain experience from random fights, and the stat boosts you gain after battles seem quite arbitrary.

Not to worry, we're here to break down the confusing and complex stat boost system that the game employs. It involves rather a lot of the same things as usual RPGs – fighting random battles. But there's some math involved, too. Let's take a quick look.

How Characters Get Stronger

In Chrono Cross, characters have a few different stats that determine how well they perform in battle:

HPHit points. When reduced to 0 during a battle, the character is KO'd and cannot fight until revived.
STR.Strength. Determines the strength of physical attacks.
RES.Resistance. Determines how much damage this character takes from physical attacks.
MAG.Magic. Determines the strength of magical attacks and Elements.
M.RESMagic Resistance. Determines how much damage this character takes from magical attacks.
ACC.Accuracy. Determines the success rate of normal attacks, whether physical or magical.
AGI.Agility. Determines the character's evasion rate, equal to their Agility in percent.
Stamina RecoveryDetermines how much stamina is recovered as other characters use their turns.

There are derived stats such as Attack and Hit% derived from a combination of a character's main stats and their equipment. To increase these, you'll have to raise your main stats.

Stamina Recovery cannot be raised at all and is a static number for each character in the game. Draggy has the highest at 13 and the lowest is eight, shared by Guile, Zappa, and Zoah.

To raise your main stats, you'll need to fight battles. Chrono Cross does not use a typical experience and leveling system like other RPGs, and instead boosts stats based on the characters you use in battle and how many enemies you fight. We'll explain this below.

Every Stat Boost Type, Explained

In Chrono Cross, there are three types of stat boost. We have termed them thusly:

  • Star Level Stat Boosts
  • Major Stat Boosts
  • Minor Stat Boosts

All three of these stat boosts occur during the post-battle results screen, though only in specific circumstances. Here's an explanation of each type, starting with the biggest.

Star Level Stat Boosts

As you may be able to tell from the name, Star Stat Boosts happen whenever you gain a Star Level. Star Levels are gained exclusively after beating a boss fight and provide the biggest stat boost of any boost – HP is often increased by a significant amount, and both offensive and defensive stats have a good chance of increasing.

As you can see in the image above, taken after beating Solt and Peppor in Fossil Valley, everyone in the party gained a few stat boosts, with Leena gaining four HP at once. This makes sense, as Leena has very low HP in general – Serge gained a far higher 15 HP.

All Chrono Cross characters have their own stat weightings, and they will gain stat boosts accordingly. For example, Poshul is heavily geared towards Strength and Resistance increases, while Leena has very poor Strength but great Magic.

When you gain a Star Level after beating a boss, every single character in the game gets a stat boost whether they are in the battle party or not, whether they are recruited or not. This means you don't have to worry about taking your favorites into boss battles just to get the boosts, you can use the most effective team.

The above is not true for characters who end boss fights whilst knocked out. If the fight ends and a character is knocked out, they will not receive their stat boost for that boss.

This does not mean they don't receive the Star Level and will still unlock abilities that require a certain amount.

Minor And Major Stat Boosts

Apart from Star Stat Boosts gained from beating bosses, there are also two kinds of boosts that are gained from beating regular enemies.

These boosts are not determined by the strength of the enemies you face but rather the number of battles you have fought since the last Star Level increase.

  • Minor Stat Boosts are what they sound like, minimal increases to stats, usually HP, that occur between a Star Stat Boost and a Major Stat Boost. Characters can receive multiple of these per Star Level.
  • Major Stat Boosts are more significant, often increasing more than one stat and usually increasing a character's main stats. Characters will gain only one of these per Star Level.

The number of battles you have to fight to gain these boosts is different for each character and between each Star Level, and eventually, you'll stop gaining Minor Boosts at all.

The important thing to note here is that once you gain a Star Level, the in-game battle counter for determining Stat Boosts is reset. This means that you'll want to make sure your favorite characters are gaining Major Stat Boosts as they are not shared between the entire cast like Star Level Stat Boosts are. Once you gain a Star Level, your characters' progress towards the next stat boost, major or minor, is set to zero.

How To Boost Stats Effectively

If you want the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to stat boosts, you should adopt the following process whenever you gain a Star Level:

  • Fight random battles until your party gains a Major Stat Boost.
  • Swap your party around so that different characters, preferably your favorites, are now active.

Repeat this process until every character that you plan on using has received a Major Stat Boost and only then should you proceed to the next boss/Star Level.

Sometimes a character will receive a Stat Boost that doesn't actually increase any of their stats! This is normal and means that the game's random factor has decided against you or that their stats are already close to their natural caps.

Don't worry, a character's stats will increase quicker if they lag behind due to bad luck.

While this does mean that characters you get very early on have more stat potential due to being around for more Major Stat Boosts, the nature of the game means later characters won't fall behind. They will still have decent-enough stats for the game's challenges.

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