Mega Man X3 art
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Mega Man X3 Guide > Basics

The final Mega Man X game for the SNES before the series moved to Sony's PlayStation, Mega Man X3 packs in more upgrades, more bosses, and higher difficulty than the prior entries in the series.

Mega Man X3 screenshot - Basics

You can tackle most of the stages in any order, defeating bosses, stealing their weapons, and using them to defeat other bosses. Each boss is weak to a specific weapon, so once you defeat one boss, the rest can be easy as pie if you know what you're doing. Feel free to explore on your own, visiting levels and fighting bosses in whatever order you like. This guide is just one of many possible routes through the game.


  • B - Jump/Wall jump
  • Y - Shoot (Hold to charge your weapon)
  • A - Dash*
  • L - Cycle back through weapons
  • R - Cycle forward through weapons
  • START - Pause/Open pause menu

*I strongly suggest mapping Dash to one of the shoulder buttons. Cycling through your weapons in two directions without pausing is useful, but it's less useful than being able to dash while shooting. If you're playing the Wii U Virtual Console version, you can map Dash to ZL or ZR and leave the weapon cycle buttons alone for the best of both worlds.


Thanks to the efforts of famed Reploid scientist Dr. Doppler, Maverick tendencies can be suppressed in renegade Reploids and the world is at peace. Some of the more advanced Reploids have joined with Dr. Doppler to form a utopian new robot city called Dopple Town.

Mega Man X3 screenshot - Basics

However, it's only a matter of time before these peaceful Reploids turn Maverick and revolt. It seems that Dr. Doppler is the mastermind behind the attack, but is he really? (No, it's Sigma, this is a Mega Man game, it's always either Sigma or Dr. Wily and Dr. Wily is dead.)

Weapons, Items, and Upgrades

Aside from the eight basic weapons you'll collect from the bosses, there are also upgrade capsules and enhancement chips left behind by Dr. Light that will upgrade X's various body parts for different effects.

Mega Man X3 screenshot - Basics

Each of the eight main levels also contains one health upgrade, and four of them contain energy tanks you can use to store excess life for later. Ride Armors are also collectable and play a greater role than before. You won't be able to collect them all the first time you visit each level and you will have to backtrack if you want to collect everything. This guide will help you track down every single upgrade and item this game is hiding!

Dr. Doppler's Henchmen

Mega Man X3 screenshot - Basics

After you clear a couple of stages, the Nightmare Police will begin to attack X in random stages. What's more, Vile's personal stage will become accessible. These boss fights are tough, and must be cleared a certain way in order to determine which bosses you'll fight in the final stages, among other things. See the Nightmare Police and Vile sections for more details.


Mega Man X3 screenshot - Basics

Zero finally appears as a playable character in X3. From the pause menu, X can call on Zero to take over for a while once per level. Zero will be taken out of action of he dies, though. He only has one life and it's best to keep him alive until you are given the opportunity to harvest his parts. Er, until he gives you his Beam Saber. To do this, you'll have to defeat Vile permanently. Take a look at Vile's section to find out how.

Zero starts with a maximized life meter. He can't use any of X's weapons or upgrades, but his standard weapon is very powerful. When fully charged, he can unleash a powerful sword slash that does tons of damage.


Mega Man X3 screenshot - Basics

Eww! Yes, Mega Man X3 uses passwords instead of a proper saving system. On the one hand, this means you'll have to deal with passwords every time you want to save or load if you're not playing a version with save states. On the other hand, this gives you the option to be lame and skip parts of the game by using passwords found by other, better players before you. But there's no need for that! I've got your back. Stick with me, and we'll get through this together.

NEXT: Walkthrough