Top 12 (+1) Fire Emblem Three Houses Beginner Tips – Battle Mechanics

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Baker’s Dozen has guided you through how to best utilize activity points in the Garreg Mach Monastery. We’ve tackled the complexities of the monthly calendar system. By far the most important mechanic of any Fire Emblem game is the battle system. Fire Emblem Three Houses does an admirable job of explaining the overarching battle system; however, the game does not dive into the nuances of important options. With grid-style battles playing out much like a chess match, players’ decisions prior to battle can make or break a session. Especially for those willing to roll the dice with the perma-death option, no one wants to waste time restarting battles just to save a character from dying. Have no fear because GamingROI has you covered. We looked far and wide into the intricacies of the battle menus and below is our Top 12(+1) beginner tips for Fire Emblem Three Houses battle mechanics. Enjoy!

1. Convoy to Victory
Veterans of the Fire Emblem series have all done it. Just when we thought all of our “i’s” had be dotted and our “t’s” crossed, a character’s weapon breaks rendering that unit worthless until the battle’s end. Weapon durability in Fire Emblem games can arguably be more annoying than Breath of the Wild’s weapon mechanics, but the Fire Emblem series has a proverbial “get out of jail free” card. As with prior Fire Emblem installments, the protagonist Byleth holds the “convoy” of stored weapons, healing items, etc… If a character’s weapon breaks, all you need to do is move said character to a space adjacent to Byleth to have access to the convoy and VOILA — you are back in the game.

2. Ability Breakers
Previous Fire Emblem installments relied on the tried-and-true “weapons-triangle” to exploit enemy weaknesses and strengths. Fire Emblem Three Houses tosses this mechanic out the window in favor of the Combat Ability system. As characters master a given class, they earn abilities that grant additional strengths when engaging certain enemies. Equipping said combat abilities, such as Bowbreaker, can mean the difference between victory and defeat. The great aspect of Fire Emblem Three Houses is that you can plan ahead by checking each enemy weapon type prior to starting the battle (see image below). Position your characters with the necessary combat abilities that are strong against those types.

Enemy Weapon Types can be displayed by Zooming all the way out with the “-” button

3. Enemies with the Worst Intentions
We’ve all had encounters with individuals who had less than desirable intentions. If only we had something like a shiny red arrow to telegraph when people mean to do us harm. In FE3H we have just that! So we all know that the ZR button displays enemy ranges, but this does not necessarily mean that an enemy will attack an ally who moves into that dreaded purple area. Enemies will telegraph their attacks with shiny red arrows whenever a character moves into range. If multiple allies are within range, enemies will target the weakest character. Positioning your units so characters are not attacked by multiple enemies is the key to surviving (unless you are Felix….who is way too OP).

4. Need for Speed
No. We don’t mean the drug or the popular EA franchise (or the mediocre film staring Jesse from Breaking Bad….but we digress). The Speed stat in Fire Emblem Three Houses is the most important stat that the game fails to explain. Enemies can quickly defeat your party if you do not pay attention to this critical stat. We’ve got you covered so long as you can withstand the high school algebra lesson. Here’s how Speed is calculated in FE3H:

Attack Speed = Speed – (Weight – Strength/5)

Weapons, Shields, and Rings all have a “weight” that can be viewed from the inventory menu. Weapons with higher attack power often come at the cost of more weight. More weight will equate (haha, we rhymed…..intentionally) to lower Speed. So why does this matter? Because lower attack speeds will dictate how many times a character or enemy will attack per turn. When an ally’s Attack Speed over an enemy is greater than 4, the ally will attack twice during the turn; however, the inverse is also true. So think twice before equipping a heavy shield or giving a speedy unit a bulky axe. For units that are naturally heavier, like Armored Knights and Paladins, Combat Abilities can eventually be learned that reduce overall weight by several points.

5. KYT – Know Your Terrain
Horses hate walking in the sand and climbing steps. So do we. Life isn’t that simple and neither is Fire Emblem Three Houses. The game does introduce the defensive advantages of fighting in wooded areas and recovering in the healing times, but FE3H glosses over terrain that can impede unit movement. The upper left-hand portion of the Map screen is your friend so check out the video below to see how scanning sections of terrain can provide information that might hinder or benefit different character types. This leads us into our next tip….

Terrain impacts on different units (top left of the screen)

6. Mount Up (or not)
So you just found out that terrain can restrict your cavalier unit’s movement and the next battle is taking place on a beach. Oh the irony. But don’t go sidelining your mounted characters due to the terrain challenges because GamingROI has a solution for that predicament as well. Flying and Riding characters have the ability to execute “dismount” or “mount” prior to or after a turn. This means that you can “dismount” a cavalier unit, execute a foot movement, and engage an enemy in a single turn. Study that terrain and dismount/mount your way to victory.

7. Love Thy Neighbor….Alot
In our Baker’s Dozen on Garreg Monastery, we stressed the important of increasing Support levels among your entire party. Great job! You’ve raised Byleth’s support with Edelgard from “B” to “A” (Black Eagles for life). FE3H explains that increased support levels can lead to better stats when characters fight along side one other, but exactly what stats are increased and how can we check? We’re so glad that you asked. The right-hand side of the Support screen holds the key so check out our video below to see what stats are increased when Byleth fights alongside Felix.

Support level impact of Felix fighting alongside Byleth

If you don’t want to watch the video here’s the down and dirty — Hit and Avoid are increased for all characters with each support level. Here’s the stat breakdown of Hit and Avoid for each level: C (+5), B (+7), A (+10) and S (+15). But wait , it gets better. Fighting alongside multiple allies will “multiply” the stat boost up to 4. For example, if Byleth fights alongside 4 units with an “A” support level, he/she will gain a hit and avoid stat increase of +40 (4 x 10) for that turn. That’ll pack a whallup. Once again, this tip ties into the next…..

8. By Your Side ‘Til the End….of this Battle (Adjutants Units)
Admit it — Fire Emblem Three Houses does a poor job explaining what exactly Adjutant Units can do for you. So here’s the deal. Adjutant units are like permanent support units that fight alongside an assigned character; however, Adjutant units are not displayed on the map nor can they move/engage enemies on their own. Adjutant units act purely as “support buffs” to characters and receive experience points whenever the primary unit engages an enemy. In the video above, we saw the stat buffs Byleth would receive if he/she engaged an enemy when Felix was close by. By assigning Felix as an Adjutant unit to Byleth, the protagonist receives those stat buffs at all times throughout the battle. Pretty nifty. We recommend assigning Adjutant units either to weaker characters or those that depend on accuracy as that is the most buffed stat gained from support levels.

9. Boosting our Gambits
Battalions are your friend. Not only can they disable an enemy unit for one turn, but Gambit attacks can be boosted when fighting alongside allies who also have assigned battalions. The stat boosts and rules mirror the Support levels from Tip #7; however, instead of “Hit” and “Avoid”, Gambit Boosts increase “Might” and “Avoid”. Here’st he breakdown per support level: C (Might +2, Hit +5), B (Might +3, Hit +10), A (Might +4, Hit +20), S (Might +5, Hit +25). Which leads us to….

10. Check Yo Self (Battalions) Before Yo…Begin a Battle
You get the reference. Battalions can obviously be “replenished” in the Marketplace tab prior to battle, but isn’t there an efficient way to view everyone’s battalion health prior to selecting the “fight” button? Yes, there is. In the Map screen, healthy battalions are annotated by three “green” triangles next to the assigned character (Legend of Zelda Easter egg, perhaps?). Battalions that are low on health have a singular “red” triangle next to the character. So as you scan for terrain and other features on the Map prior to battle, pay careful attention to those green and red triangles.

11. The Bigger They are, the Harder They Fall
Monsters can be intimidating at first, and understanding their weaknesses is key to victory. As with several of our Battle tips, the answer to the test lies in the Map screen. If you scan over an enemy monster, the weapon-type weakness will be displayed allowing you to plan ahead when assaulting these deadly beasts. Check out our video below, which displays the “axe” weakness on the first monster and a “lance” weakness on the second. Which reminds us…..

Monster weaknesses – check flashing armor icon

12. In Case of Emergency, Break Armor (not glass)
You’ve probably already figured out that monsters can be a bit of a handful. FE3H glosses over the mechanics of breaking a monster’s armor without going into the specifics necessary to achieve victory. We’ve got your back. Monster armor is displayed with a solid yellow block, which can be broken with either 2 hits per block or 1 hit with a gambit attack or weapon the monster is weak against (see previous video). Once that square is “broken”, your units will inflict normal damage. Here’s the kicker — hold off on smacking those monsters around until you’ve broken each “tile” of armor. Breaking a unique monster’s armor will yield unique forge materials, such as Mythril, which can be used to forge and repair unique weapons.

Our Baker’s Dozen Tip for Fire Emblem Three Houses Battle Mechanic is…..

13. Get Online
If your Nintendo Switch has been connected to WiFi while playing Fire Emblem Three Houses, then you’ve probably noticed the yellow and purple shining tiles during battles. Landing a character on a yellow tile yields a significant amount of XP while landing on a purple tile will secure a weapon. Here’s the best part — you don’t need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to take advantage of this feature! Connecting your console to the Internet will save you from some of the grind needed to level your party members as well as some cash spent in the marketplace.

And there you have it. Our Baker’s Dozen picks for navigating the Fire Emblem Three Houses battle system. Have a few additional tips and tricks we might have missed? Hit us up in the comments section below or interact with us on our social media outlets on the right-hand side. Thanks for reading and keep checking back for more Fire Emblem Three Houses coverage!

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