Tales of Xillia consists primarily of two major areas: the field map and a battle screen. The field map is a realistically scaled 3D environment traversed by foot. On the field maps, various skits between the characters can be viewed. They involve animated character portraits, subtitles, and full voice acting. Skits concern anything from character development to side details. The battle screen is a 3D representation of an area, in which the player commands the characters in battles against CPU-controlled enemies.
During battle sequences, the game uses the Dual Raid Linear Motion Battle System. The top four characters are chosen to battle and characters not controlled by a player are controlled by artificial intelligence with instructions set by the players beforehand. The "Assault Counter" (AC) denotes the number of skills and actions a character can perform. Usage brings the AC down and is recharged over time. Skill usage costs "Technical Points" (TP) which can be refilled by attacking or using items. During battle, characters can link to each other to perform unified attacks.