Top 12 (+1) Fire Emblem Three Houses Beginner Tips – Calendar Choices

The plethora of choices in Fire Emblem Three Houses can leave newcomers feeling exhausted and paralyzed. From the countless activities found in Garreg Mach Monastery to the complexity of mission battles, players are constantly forced into make-or-break decisions. Few components of the game are as complex as managing the monthly activity calendar, but have no fear because we here at GamingROI have you covered. This week’s Baker’s Dozen will have you navigating Fire Emblem Three Houses’ calendar like a pro.

Before we dive in, here is the basic framework of each month:

  • The last day of each month is the main mission battle. Prior to the main mission, players are afforded the option of performing various activities to increase the strength of their party members. Doing so is critical to recruiting new characters, increasing party strengths, and inventory management.
  • Each Sunday is a “day off” where the main character is given the choice of Exploring, Battling, Seminars, or Rest. Deciding between these four options is the crux of managing the monthly calendar.

Now that the stage is set, let’s get right to it!

1. KYI – Know Your Icons
The calendar icons are the most important pieces of information to managing monthly calendar activities, yet Fire Emblem Three Houses doesn’t even give players a legend. Scrolling over various icons is the only way to gather information about monthly activities. Don’t fret — we’ll spell it all out for you right here:

  • Crown/Birthday-Cake Looking Thingy – This icon denotes a party member’s birthday. You have the option of sending flowers to the character for $200 or hosting a tea party. Both options will increase support levels.
  • Fish-Hook – This icon means that the fishing pond in Garreg Mach Monastery is ripe for catching rare fish. The Goddess Messenger is the holy grail of fish and can only be caught when exploring on a Sunday that has a Fish Hook icon. (Hint — the Goddess Messenger can be used in the dining hall to cook meals that boost a myriad of stats for the month).
  • Fork & Knife – This icon is fairly straight forward and denotes a special meal in the dining hall that dramatically boosts the support levels of certain students. Use the Explore option to take advantage of accelerated affinity between characters.
  • Plant – As with the Fork & Knife icon, this one is pretty straightforward. The Plant icon grants specials in the Greenhouse that can increase the number of harvested items.
  • Music Note – Like its two predecessors, the music note is simple in that it depicts a bonus for players who choose to Explore and visit the monastery’s Choir Director. Doing so costs one activity point but grants increased support and faith.
  • Green Exclamation – This icon depicts a Paralogue battle that can be fought if players select the Battle option. These battles feature select party members and provide in-depth lore as to character motivations and background. These missions are important for understanding why party members behave in a certain manner.
  • Red Exclamation – Saddle up because this icon indicates a rare monster battle. Defeating these challenging beasts can yield unique ore, gold, weapons, and other valuables. Not to mention, Byleth can earn significant Renown, which can be spent in the cathedral during Exploration days to increase stats, experience, Divine Pulse points, etc…
  • Green Quill Pen – These are Mondays where Byleth can teach students. These dates are the most important to manage because Sunday activities can enhance or limit Byleth’s ability to maximize student learning. Don’t worry because we’ll dive into that paradigm below.
  • Class Crest – This icon will appear on the last day of the month and represents the main month mission (M3). Some activities should NEVER be performed on the Sunday prior to the main mission, and we’ll go over that momentarily.

And there you have it. The main icons and explanations players need to be aware of each and every month. With those explanations out of the way, let’s dive into the specifics.

2. Connect Online
On Sundays, players are afforded the option of Exploring, Battling, attending Seminars, or Resting. Selecting one of these four options is critical to maximizing opportunities for leveling up your party, increasing support levels, etc… But deciding which of these four options is best for your party can be a daunting task so why not poll the Fire Emblem community? Nintendo built this functionality right into the main game for players who have an internet connection. By connecting online, players will be able to see the percentage of players who chose one of the four options each Sunday for that given month and house path. For a majority of the time, players overwhelmingly select one option over the other three, and we recommend following the herd….to a certain degree (don’t worry, we wouldn’t jump off a cliff with everyone else either so we’ll let you know in the sections below where to deviate).

3. Avoid Rest & Seminars
So here’s the thing — Rest & Seminars are the easy way out. Rest increases the overall motivation of your party in preparation for a Monday lecture (because common….who doesn’t love sleeping in on the weekend?!) and Seminars increase the weapon/skill proficiency of up to six (6) characters, including the Protagonist Byleth. Here’s what FE3H doesn’t tell you though — you can perform both of those functions BETTER by either Exploring or Battling. Don’t select Rest or Seminar unless you are blazing through a NG+ playthrough or just want to get through the main campaign.

4. Explore Days w/the Most “Monastery Icons”
Nine times out of 10, the first Sunday of each month will contain the most “monastery” icons, which are the Fish-Hook, Fork & Knife, Plant, and Music Note icons. On those free days, Exploring is by far the best option to choose as those days provide maximum opportunities to increase support levels and weapon/skill levels. Each month it will be painstaking obvious which Sunday contains the most “monastery icons” so explore to your hearts content! If you are unsure as to what to prioritize during Exploration days, check out our Baker’s Dozen Garreg Mach Monastery page.

5. Never Explore the Last Sunday B4 that Month’s Mission
So here’s the deal — Exploring Garreg Monastery is the primary means of increasing party member motivation levels, which is critical during teaching sessions (think Green Quill Pen). You will never have a teaching session the Monday before the monthly mission so the benefits of Exploration are severely degraded. We recommend performing additional Battles to increase character levels or (we cringe at the thought) attending a Seminar to level up skills/weapons.

6. Stay Motivated B4 Class Sessions
Each month, players will be afforded 2-3 opportunities to teach their students (think – Green Quill Pens). Always, Always, ALWAYS select “manual” instruction as this allows you to spend some one-on-one time with a select number of students (total number is determined by your professor level). Motivation is key during class sessions as a student with maximum motivation can execute a minimum total of four (4) one-on-one sessions with Byleth (players can have five sessions with students if a “perfect” instruction is executed, which is determined exclusively by RNG). As stated, the professor level will dictate the number of one-on-one sessions available during manual instruction days. Check to make sure that the number of currently motivated students is equal to (or preferably greater than) the number of students Byleth can teach on a given day. How do you check your student motivation levels in the calendar? We’re glad that you asked because it leads into the next tip….

7. Check Your Motivations
Not going to “sugar-coat” it —- Fire Emblem Three Houses has SO. MANY. DARN. MENUS! Too many in fact that players can easily get lost. We just told you that checking your motivation level is key, but how do can you look up this information from the Calendar screen? We’re glad that you asked, and we’re even happy to announce that the solution is as easy as pressing the “X” button followed by the “A” button. From the main Calendar screen, the “X” button will pull up the Menu option, and selecting the “Goals” icon will bring up the Name & Skills of each character. Pay close attention to the smiley faces for each party member in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. The blue “meh” face means your character is out of motivation and the green “ecstatic” face means your character is fully motivated.

8. Check Mastery Levels
Keeping with the trend of calendar menu options, the Calendar menu is the only time in FE3H where players will be able to change their party members classes. Managing party member classes is absolutely critical to gaining new skills and abilities but here’s the kicker — ideally, you should only update a party member’s class once he/she has achieved “class mastery” for a given job (players get cool skills/abilities for mastering a class). Checking the status of class mastery is only one (1) letter off from “mastery” — it’s a “mYstery!” Don’t worry, we have you covered. Just as with the “Check Your Motivations” navigation, we’ll begin by pressing the “X” button to bring up the main menu. From there, scroll down to the “Inventory” icon and select the “Reclass” option. This screen will display each of your party members along with the currently equipped class, available class, and “mastered” class. The currently equipped class will have the letter “E” next to it, and “Mastered” classes will have a “star” outlined in purple. Select the equipped class by pressing the “A” button to display the “Unit Exp” needed to master the current class. Unit Exp is earned exclusively through battles, and we’ll get into Class Mastery in future GamingROI posts. Check out the video below to see exactly how to check Byleth’s class master. The main takeaway is to never upgrade classes without mastering the first class. This leads us into our next tip….

9. Certificates
About mid-way through your playthrough prior to the five (5) year “time-skip”, players will have the ability to purchase Seals. These Seals come in the form of Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Master, and Dark varieties. If you plan on upgrading a particular party member’s class, it is best to do so immediately after achieving “Class Mastery” and ideally before the monthly mission.

10. Buy Smithing Materials
Here’s the deal — you can purchase almost……ALMOST everything from the “Marketplace” tab in the monthly Calendar. The one valuable item that cannot be purchased is Smithing materials, which can be unlocked during a side-quest early on in the game and can ONLY BE PURCHASED from a marketplace vendor during Exploration days. Smithing materials are critical to repairing and forging weapons prior to key battles, such as monthly missions (did we mention those are the main quests each month???). As most Exploration will be done during the first Sunday of each month, we recommend stocking up on Smithing materials during those days.

11. Do the Paralogue Quests
Fans of the Fire Emblem series already know that paralogue quests add depth to main campaigns in the series. Fire Emblem Three Houses is no different. But here’s the catch — Paralogue Quests have an expiration date, which is often the next two or three months. For that reason, we recommend selecting the “Battle” icon and completing these paralogue quests as soon as possible. Doing so will earn significant renown as well as unique rewards (weapons, gold, etc…).

12. Battle Unique Monsters
We here at GamingROI never back down from a fight, and our advice is that you shouldn’t either. Fire Emblem Three Houses does a phenomenal job explaining most of its mechanics; however, it fails to fully explain the concepts surrounding Unique Monsters. The “Red” exclamation arrow on the monthly calendar should have players salivating at the opportunity of crafting unique weapons, but FE3H glosses over this mechanic. No doubt about it — “Red” monsters are tough. But those up to the challenge should select “Battle” on those Sundays with the Red Exclamation point and attempt to “break” the unique monster’s armor. Doing so will yield unique Ore that can be used to Forge or Repair unique weapons, which can be the difference in battle depending on the circumstance.

13. Saturday Training – Set it and (Don’t) Forget It (#GroupTasks)
Our “Baker’s Dozen” pick of the week has to do with Group Tasks. These “tasks” allow Byleth to pick two lucky students to participate in Stable, Weeding, or Sky watch duties. Party members selected for these duties will increase Riding, Heavy Armor, and Flying skills, respectively each Saturday. Here’s the catch — as Monthly Missions transition into the next Month, Group Tasks remain in effect. This means that the last instruction date of the month (think Green Quill Pen) could dictate the Group Tasks for the first Saturday next month. Carefully select your two “Group Task” characters at the end of each month knowing that your decision could bleed over into the next month.

And there you have it! Our 12 (+1) Tips for navigating the monthly calendar in Fire Emblem Three Houses. We’re sure that we missed some tips so hit us up with your tried-and-true means of navigating this massive SRPG in the social media links below. Thanks for reading and keep it here at GamingROI for more tips!

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