Xenoblade Chronicles X Guide: Data Probes, Mining and sources of revenue
Those Skells can be damn expensive
While you're adventuring across the planet Mira and its five continents, you'll find that money does indeed make the world go 'round. From equipment and weapon upgrades, to new Skells and Skell weapons, and even upgrading various Arms Manufacturers for more gear, you'll need both a ton of Credits and Miranium if you hope to make the most out of your stay on Mira.
Sure, questing could be your primary source of revenue, but you'll also have a constant stream of revenue thanks to Data Probes and mining. Why do all the hard work yourself, when the game can do most of it for you.
What are Data Probes?
Scattered across the various continents on Mira are mining locations that will allow you to place Data Probes in. These are helpful for numerous reasons. First and foremost, they unlock the ability to fast travel, which in a game this size, is certainly appreciated. However, their second purpose is to start a steady stream of both Credits and Miranium. Once you plant one in, you'll start receiving both at certain time intervals. Once you place one, you can simply walk away and let it do its thing. However, you don't want that, at least if you want to maximize your profits.
Data Probe stats?
Each Data Probe location has a certain statistic tied down to it, letting you know if it's rich in resources, revenue or combat support. For the purposes of this guide, I won't be going over combat support and instead focus strictly on making money and resources.
You want to consider these stats when picking the right Probe to place once you already occupied it.
This one for example has an A stat on Production, which means you'll earn a lot more Miranium from this particular spot than you would money.
Likewise, this spot has a much better Revenue stat of A, which means you'll earn a lot more money than you would Miranium. It's important to take these into consideration when placing specialized Probes down. Note that there are no penalties for placing a Probe down. You can freely switch them whenever you want.
What are Mining Probes?
Once a Data Probe is placed, you can then place down a Mining Probe in its place. This specialized Probe will increase the production of Miranium. Like I showed above, you'll want to place these in locations that have a good stat rating under Production.
What are Research Probes?
Basically sightseeing Probes, these will continually grant you money over time. These Probes are used by New LA's population to see into those areas, without actually having to go out. As such, they pay for these luxuries and you reap the benefits.
There is one instance when you don't have to take Probe location stats into account, or at least not as much, and that's when you're linking them.
Linking Probes for bonus income
Some Probe locations are connected, as indicated by a blue line once you have them unlocked on your map. This means that they directly benefit from one another, if they all concentrate on the same thing. For instance, linking the same Mining Probes together will producte a percentage bonus, and linking up to five together can give you a 50% increase in production.
For this example, I chose the area East of New LA, in the first continent of Primordia. This is a good spot to show this off, especially since the stats in these locations favor resource production. There are a few errors that I'm making here but first let me talk about what's going on here.
The red circles indicate that those locations have been linked together, which are also indicated by the red line in between them. To enable linking, you not only have to place down the same type of Probe, meaning mining or research, but it also has to be of the same grade. Basically, you can't place a Mining Probe G2 next to a Mining Probe G3 as that wouldn't activate the chain. Sometimes it makes sense to chain five G1s next to each other, rather than placing more potent ones who you don't have multiples of, simply because you want the percentage boost.
The first error in this picture, and what you want to avoid, is chaining more than five of the same probes together, simply because the bonus never goes beyond 50%. Another error in this picture can be found to the North, where I have to G6s linked. The bonus doesn't activate until you have at least three Probes linked, meaning two won't do you any good. Instead, what those locations offer are a spot to place one of the enhancement Probes. Placing a Booster or a Duplicator Probe right next to a Mining or Research Probe will increase its potency.
You can see the enhancement Probes in action to the West, where I have a Booster and Duplicator Probe linked, along with a few yellow Storage Probes, which increase the amount of Miranium I can have stored up at once.
Leave the game on when you're taking a break
One of the first things the game asks you when you start playing, is if you'd like to disable automatic power-down of the Wii U when the game is idle. I would suggest turning this on as it allows you to keep gaining income, even when you're not playing.
The late game can be really expensive when upgrading gear and Skells, so the extra income you can earn by simply having the game on can be a really good idea. And since the Wii U doesn't use up a lot of power, you won't have to worry about your electric bill being high.