I've been trying to archive my xamarin.android project for publishing but I keep getting this error:

Error MSB4018: The "LinkAssemblies" task failed

I've searched this error and tried the suggestions that I came across and none of them worked. One weird thing I noticed though is that when I set the build configuration to Debug instead of build Release the project builds and runs perfectly fine. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

While I think you would be better off in Xamarin forums, I will ask a question since this is in Visual Studio. Nod first to their own forums at https://developer.xamarin.com/

As you know, there is no sin in using the Debug build. But in VS you would examine how your Debug build varies from your Release build. Therein lies why.

I tried using the debug build, but for some weird reason when I try to run it on my device it doesn't run, weird because its the exact same apk vs created and automatically transferred to and ran on my device, but when I do it manually as previously mentioned, it doesn't work, the app just shows the splash screeen and crashes.

Far be it for me to replace Xamarin support but from what I see there are probably more files to be installed than just the APK. I remember other VS based dev systems like this one and new developers would crash and burn on topics like this.

That is, my bet is Xamarin documents how to deploy your apps. I don't duplicate such because I don't use this system but am familiar with another system and this really upset our new developer. (they were upset when I sate with them to go over the how to deploy pages in the docs.) They didn't last long. I don't understand that developer. I have no problem with sitting down (and getting paid) to review the docs.

In this other system you can deploy the Debug version so that's an easy fix to the Release build problem. I know some developers won't dig into what's different between the builds.

Well unfortunately it seems that you can't use/deploy the debug version. I have posted the question on xamarin forums, waiting for a response. Thanks for all your support and insight rproffitt, I really appreciate it.