Fire Emblem: Three Houses is an investment. My Blue Lions run took 57 hours, and I am now past 70 hours as I head into Black Eagles. It is a huge story with different shades of grey and lots of nuance to it. While you can go in once and just be done, it is for the best if you take more time with it to figure out the whole story and understand everyone’s motivations. Fortunately, it has one of the most helpful new game plus systems in place to help people easily make each subsequent run better than the rest.
First, someone might want to know which route order might be the optimal one. It is a good idea to go with the most comprehensive, story-wise, first, then go on to the other routes as you see what the other groups are up to. I would suggest one of the Black Eagle routes first. (You can go with the default one, or the one that requires you to get a C+ support level and make choices that show your trust in Edelgard.) Then, I would suggest going with Blue Lions, followed by Golden Deer. After that, go with the Black Eagles route you didn’t see the first time around. This ensures you see every possible side of the story, as well as an additional option for Black Eagles. While every house is important in its own way, some do offer different sorts of revelations than others, and Black Eagle is one of those.
Once go you through a run once, you get clear data. While clear data does not automatically give you access to anything you earned, it does allow you to start spending points that makes your current run a little easier. When you start, you have all of the battalions you earned from your last run, the Saint Statues you invested in last time retain their progress, and all of the shops will have the same inventory they did at the end of your last run. So right away, even if you don’t invest any renown into unlocking, you are in a better position than before.
Except the renown you do have left over is incredibly helpful. The first time you are able to choose to explore Garreg Mach in Fire Emblem: Three Houses new game plus, you can check Byleth’s desk to look in a journey. When there, you can choose which appearance a character uses, if you want to restore your Professor Level from the last game, if you want to restore the Support Level from the last game, if you want to restore the Skill Levels from a prior game, if you want to restore the Class Abilities from a past game, and if you want to see the Crest Items you unlocked or can pay renown to unlock to grant people additional abilities. (As long as one of these Crests is in a characters’ inventory, it can trigger in a fight.)
Professor Level is the most critical one here, as it increases the number of actions you can perform right away. Spend as much renown as you can to max it out as soon as possible, so you can start building relationships and building stats. Then, you should consider Support Levels. If a character from a different class is at B-rank, they might automatically ask to join your house. It can save you a lot of time and let you focus on characters you may have missed the first time around.
Then, there is the amiibo Gazebo. If you have scanned a Fire Emblem series amiibo, you will find you are able to enter the Holy Tomb. This means that the drops immediately around the gazebo may not be as plentiful, but you could start finding higher quality items by visiting the tomb whenever you choose to explore. Also, speaking to Sothis there for the first time will give Byleth the Sothis’ Shield ability. When used in a fight, this skill will boost the entire army’s resistance for three turns. The first turn, you get +7 res, though it goes down each turn.
The Fire Emblem: Three Houses new game plus options are great about helping you set up the game you want to play. You could refuse to spend renown and accept the challenge. Or, if you prefer, you can start to put yourself in a better position by applying additional Crests to people, boosting your Professor Level so you can do more during each weekend, and visiting the Holy Tomb. It’s handled very well and makes it easier to experience the whole story.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses is available for the Nintendo Switch.