Acting as both a sequel to Fire Emblem Warriors and somewhat of an alternate retelling of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes mixes all the best elements from the wildly popular strategy game but changes out the turn-based battles for the more action-focused, hack-and-slash Musou-style combat of a Warriors title. You play as a brand new hero this time around, and that has more than just narrative implications for the story of this game.
Being a hybrid of two existing series, Warriors and Fire Emblem, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes will draw two types of players into a game that mixes mechanics from both series. Because of this, there are some systems that may not be apparent to fans of one series or the other. Rather than struggle your way through, let us be your house professor and give you a full lesson with this beginner’s guide to Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes.
Before we even set foot on the battlefield, we need to pick our difficulty and mode in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. Just like Three Houses, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes lets you pick between two modes at the start that will drastically change how you approach the game and shouldn’t be decided on lightly since your mode cannot be changed without starting a new game. The two choices are Casual and Classic.
Casual mode is geared toward those who are not looking for a super realistic or punishing experience. Despite being called Casual, you can think of this as more of a “normal” mode in most traditional games. This allows you to enjoy the full experience of the game without any extra stress of missing out on content if something goes wrong.
Classic mode is the one you want if you enjoy playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses, or any earlier entries, with the more realistic permadeath system in play. Just like in those games, any character who dies during battle in Classic mode is dead for good, meaning you can’t interact with them in any way if you lose them. This is obviously far more punishing but can also be much more rewarding depending on the type of experience you’re looking for.
Unlike your game mode, the actual difficulty setting can be changed after you select it. You begin with the standard Easy, Normal, and Hard modes, with the ability to unlock an extra Maddening difficulty once you beat the game once on any difficulty. These are fairly self-explanatory, with the higher difficulties making enemies more aggressive and harder to kill, and your gauges taking more time to fill up as you up the challenge.
Again calling back to Three Houses, a major decision you have to make in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is which house you want to be a part of. Just like the strategy games, each house has its own slightly different story to progress through, different characters you will meet and fight alongside (and as), and style of your character’s appearance.
So, which house should you pick between the Black Eagles, Blue Lions, or Golden Deer? Well, it all comes down to your preference regarding two things: which style of character you like playing as and which existing characters you like most from Three Houses that you want to spend more time with.
The members of the Black Eagles consist of:
This class has the most mage and priest class characters of any house while having the least mounted and ranged classes. So, if you want to make your character more melee or ranged-focused, there are plenty of options for magic users to back you up in this house.
Also as part of the Black Eagles, you will have the opportunity to start a war against the Holy Church, as is Edelgard’s goal to restore the Empire to its former glory.
All the members you will have as part of the Blue Lions are:
The Blue Lions are a powerhouse of melee fighters, which makes sense if you know the background of this house. Again, if you pick a magic or ranged focus class for yourself, you’ll have plenty of options for melee characters ready to go with this house.
The Blue Lion’s unique story perspective is to try and keep the traditions of their kingdom alive during a period of change.
The starting cast of characters for the Golden Deer house are:
This house has plenty of mounted characters but actually has a fairly good default balance compared to the other houses for class diversity. No matter which class you prefer, you can make a good team with this set of characters,
Unlike the other two houses, the Golden Deer’s story starts off focusing on a threat from afar that may potentially invade their kingdom.
Whew! With all that preamble out of the way, it’s time to start fighting … almost. Before you jump into the fight and start slashing away at enemies, know that Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is much more strategic than most Warrior or Musou games of the past. While it isn’t on the same level as the pure strategy of Three Houses, you will want to spend some time and thought on how you prepare for a fight before actually starting it.
Before each battle, you will be prompted to organize your units. This mainly consists of picking out the other characters you can take control of in battle, as well as your support units.
Each unit you can choose to bring into battle has its own strengths and weaknesses based on the traditional Fire Emblem system of how each class essentially acts as that unit’s type. You can check each unit’s strengths and weaknesses before placing them, allowing you to set them up to face off against units they’re strong against. This might feel unnecessary since, in traditional Musou fashion, you will be plowing through entire armies of enemy units on your own, but even so, you can’t single-handedly win a battle on your own. By placing your units intelligently, you can ensure your army is doing its part to push the front lines forward.
Going hand in hand with the previous tip, remember that you’re the commander in these battles, not just a super powerful unit. While fighting, you can and should be directing all your units depending on the flow of battle. You can give various orders, such as to attack or defend areas or even heal or protect your other playable units. To issue orders to any of your units in a battle, just hit the Plus button to bring up the map.
Aside from the more basic attack, seize, and defensive orders, you can also give units more specific orders like moving into specific locations or, if they’re an uncontrollable unit, autobattle. This is also where you can swap and take direct control of those other important characters or give them the order to either attack, defend, or stand by. If you ever need to, you can also press the ZR button to rescind all your orders and cancel any order issued so you can implement new strategies.
Switching characters is also important since maps are quite large and you won’t have time to move one character around to every place they’re needed. Spread out your heroes and quickly swap between them to instantly give support to areas that need it, plus give all your characters an even spread of XP and levels.
While not nearly as deep or complex as it was in Three Houses, there is still a relationship system in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes that cannot be ignored. Obviously, fans of the older games will naturally want to talk and interact with the cast as much as possible, but just in case you weren’t, don’t rush from one fight to the next without bonding with your team first. While at camp, you should make sure to talk, train, and have a nice cup of tea with your fellow warriors to earn Support Points.
Once characters earn enough Support Points, they will go up in Support Levels. The benefit to this, aside from getting to know them better, of course, is that the higher Support Level a character is, the more abilities they can use in battle. However, the main bonus comes via the Adjutant system. You can assign characters as Adjutants in each fight that not only give bonus stats to both characters and allow each character to use some of the others’ abilities but also unlocks a special partner attack that is among the strongest attacks in the game. The higher the Support Level each character linked up is, the better these bonuses are.
Your base camp is more than just a little hub to talk to characters between battles. In Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, this is almost a mini-town building game in itself, and all the facilities are very important to constantly be upgrading if you intend to keep up with the difficulty curve of the game.
Your camp comes with seven facilities: Training Grounds, Supply Depot, Tactics Academy, Recreation Quarter, Blacksmith, Battalion Guild, and Marketplace. Here’s what upgrading each one does.
Upgrading this area is how you unlock the Advanced and Master Classes for characters by giving the a certification exam.
This might be the most important facility to upgrade. The Supply Depot reduces the amount of Smithing Stones required to upgrade other facilities at your camp. It’ll allow you to upgrade the rest of your camp a lot more quickly.
This facility unlocks new gauges, improves abilities, and gives more slots to equip healing items.
Upgrades to this facility increase the number of Expedition locations available and will give you a better cooking success rate. These two activities are key to increasing Support Levels.
Another high priority, the better your Blacksmith, the more powerful any weapon you make or repair will be.
Not quite essential, but nice to have, the Battalion Guild makes your battalions in battle a bit stronger and cheaper to use.
Another lower priority is the Marketplace. Upgrading this just increases the number of gifts you can purchase and lowers the cost.
For some, changing classes might feel like a step down, but that’s not the case in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. Not only is changing classes free to do at any point between battle, but you don’t lose anything for it either. However high a level your character was in a class, if you switch off and then back to it, they will come back at that same level as when they left it. Don’t feel like you’re stuck in one class from beginning to end, and experiment with as many as you want to see what you like best or to best counter a specific challenge.
A unique currency you get in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes are called Strategy Resources. You will mostly get these as rewards for capturing different regions on the map or as special rewards from certain side quests. While it can be tempting to hold these until later, know that Strategy Resources do not carry over from one chapter to the next, so if you don’t spend them, you lose them. They can also only be used during the main battle for that chapter.
When preparing for the main battle, you can use your Strategy Resources on a list of different things to give you an extra edge in the upcoming fight. This can be anything from persuading enemy generals to join your side, auto-clearing the fog of war, and more. Each has a different cost, so try and spend them in such a way that you use as many as you have without any left over.
Finally, if push comes to shove and you find yourself needing to leave in the middle of a fight, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes does have a way to save in battle. Normally, you can only save outside of fights, but the game has a special Bookmark Save function for emergencies like that.
To create one, pause the game and go into the System menu option. Scroll down and simply choose to create a Bookmark Save here. While you can do this in both Casual and Classic modes, there is a difference:
Bookmark Saves in casual mode can be reloaded just like a normal save if you need to, effectively making it the same as a regular save.
In Classic mode, though, Bookmark Saves are automatically deleted as soon as you load them. So, if you die or want to reload a save after loading a Bookmark Save, you’ll have to go back to the last true manual save you made.