With Fire Emblem: Three Houses being a critical and commercial success for the Fire Emblem series, it’s no surprise that some people might want to try out Fire Emblem Heroes in order to get to know more of the characters that make the series great. That said, the early stages of Fire Emblem Heroes can be confusing for new players, so here’s a general guideline to help new players know what to prioritize and where to get started.
Grab Fire Emblem Heroes Free Units
While reset marathoning for your favorite character or a character you like is a staple in smartphone games (and for those coming in from Three Houses, all the characters from that game are quite strong), new players should not underestimate the free units that are given out through various means in Fire Emblem Heroes. If you follow the Hero’s Path quests, which can be found on the top left of your Home screen, you’ll be able to get access to highly popular and strong Heroes like Brave Ike, Reinhardt, and even the dragon-type dancer Ninian. Brave Ike in particular is potent after receiving his weapon refine, which makes him a strong, solid tank who almost never dies. Meanwhile, Reinhardt has been a terror in the game since 2017 and does exceptionally well at defeating enemies just with his personal weapon Dire Thunder paired with Death Blow 3 (perhaps inherited from a four-star Klein).
Apart from Hero’s Path, Legendary Ike is also available via a Paralogue. By completing Chapter 1 Part 5 on Normal difficulty for Book 2, 3 and 4 respectively in the main story, you can unlock Fjorm, Eir, and Peony as allies. Eir and Peony are both very strong units on their own, with Eir being an offensive-oriented dagger user who can also act as a mage tank or deal chip damage, while Peony is a dancer who can give another ally an action and increased movement range (under certain conditions).
Finally, if you begin playing between March-April 2020, you’ll be able to get Altina, a flying sword user with bow weakness nullification who was voted by players into first place of the top eight most useful characters in the game.
Don’t underestimate the Askr trio!
Like the other games in the series, Fire Emblem Heroes is a very character-focused game. A lot of the work goes into equipping characters with skills that fit their builds and improving upon them in various ways, no matter if its merging, Skill Inheritance, or Dragonflowers. This applies to Alfonse, Sharena, and Anna, the three characters you receive at the start of the game. At first glance, they’ll seem pitifully weak at four-stars, but unless you have other characters you’d rather prioritize, it’s common to bring the trio up to five-stars in order to unlock their personal weapons and then refine them to unlock their true potential. Despite not being able to be merged and a rather underpowered statline, Alfonse, Sharena, and Anna are always bonus characters in two of what essentially constitutes the game’s PvP sections: Arena and Aether Raids.
Even if you plan on working through the single-player content first, it’s helpful to upgrade them sooner, rather than later, because there are also nearly almost always quests where you can gain Orbs when you defeat characters with them. Alfonse can do well just with common skills like Brazen Atk/Def 3 (from say a four-star Ares) and Vantage (from maybe a four-star Lon’qu), especially after you refine his personal weapon. Meanwhile, Sharena can do well with many sorts of builds depending on what you want from her, but I would suggest Lancebreaker (from perhaps a four-star Oscar) as a good budget B skill to help her deal with two different colors in the color triangle. Finally, Anna isn’t that good at fighting against physical enemies, so focus on baiting in low defense enemies for her to finish off with her quick speed. However, with her personal weapon refine, Anna surprisingly makes for a good escape route out of tough situations, as she can teleport next to allies two spaces away. This is why the assist skill Reposition is very useful in a ton of situations, but especially on Anna.
Take it one step at a time
Fire Emblem Heroes has been out for three years now, and it’s natural that players can be eager to jump into as many things as possible. But unlike more grindy smartphone RPGs out there, it’s not really in Fire Emblem Heroes‘ design to make you play a lot each day. Spend some time each day to do the daily missions or whatever events are on, but take the rest of the content slowly, as sometimes you’ll be faced by roadblocks like needing a certain number of Blessed Heroes in order to access the Blessed Gardens maps. This means the game is a great fit for players who want more of a pick up and play experience, but are also fans of the series or characters.
Personally, I’d recommend going for finishing the main story chapters first, which will net you a large amount of Orbs. (I would recommend saving them until you see a particular character you really like.) Once you complete Book 1, you’ll unlock the Weapon Refinery and Sacred Seal Refinery, which opens up a lot more strategic options to customize your favorite units. Meanwhile, Tactics Drills are also a great way to familiarize yourself with some of the skills in the game, especially some of the more commonly seen skills like Armor March and Vantage. Keep chipping away at Hero’s Path to earn a ton of extra rewards, and focus on bringing characters you like to higher rarities and higher merges, which definitely helps out quite a lot. There are also three different Hero Battle rotations that change based on the day of the week, and they net players additional characters to fill out the rather empty roster early on.
Either way, despite news like the Feh Pass and a rather finicky gacha seemingly making the game seem like its in a bad shape, it’s still a good game to try out even now, especially if you want to build up your favorite characters and would prefer a more light mobile game experience rather than one that forces you to grind for hours at a time. Take your time, chip away at the all the content that has accumulated over the three years, and have fun!
Fire Emblem Heroes is available on iOS and Android.