Fire Emblem Three Houses Guide: How To Prep For Lunatic Difficulty

Fire Emblem: Three Houses boasts some of the most complex systems in the series to date. Not only does it represent a culmination of various elements built throughout the series, but it also introduces new features that completely shift how the majority of the game is played.

Though the game hosts in-depth tutorials and guides to explain the bulk of its mechanics, some of the finer, crucial details can still evade most users. The onslaught of new information and mechanics will surely feel overwhelming regardless, especially to players who are new to the series.

To that end, this guide serves as a good primer on the important things you should focus on if you’re looking to get the best out of your characters. Some of the tips here might also help if you’re planning to tackle FE3H’s hardcore Lunatic difficulty.

Manage Your Time Efficiently Through The Calendar System

The game uses a calendar system that limits the amount of time you can spend on activities per month. Activities can be used to further your bond with characters as well as improve their abilities. Given that the story will progress at a set pace, you’re expected to carefully manage your time so that characters can have the edge in upcoming battles.

If you’ve played games like Persona, the idea of a calendar system with finite time can sound a little daunting. Rest assured, Three Houses’ calendar is nowhere near as complicated, though it’s still possible to end up wasting valuable time.

The game broadly divides your time between weekdays and weekends. On weekdays, you are working as a professor and teaching your students in the class. Weekends is when you’ll be spending your free time, in which you can choose between battling (to gain experience), exploring Garreg Mach Monastery (to interact with characters and complete side quests), or attending seminars (improving the proficiencies of yourself and a group of students).

During the beginning of every month, you’ll want to explore the monastery first and squeeze out everything you can from it, such as important side quests and conversations. Once those are done with, they will remain complete until the next month begins when you must start the cycle anew. This helps make your decision-making on the following weeks easier, where you can focus solely on your relationship with characters and their battle potential.

Learn This One Thing In Being A Good Teacher

As a professor of Garreg Mach Monastery, most of your weekdays in a month will be spent instructing the students. For every week, you will have the option to manually instruct students, set goals for them to study certain proficiencies on their own, as well as to pair two characters in a group task.

Manual instruction is probably the most important one of the bunch. You’ll have a set number of activity points per week that you can use to improve students’ proficiencies. The catch, however, is that students must first be motivated for you to even use these activity points on them. Low motivation levels can mean you’ll have no one to teach during a week, thus wasting your allotted activity points.

This is where the balance between activities during the weekdays and weekends comes into play. If your students aren’t very motivated for next week, you’ll want to spend your weekends having a meal with them or giving them gifts. There is plenty to do in the monastery on the weekends, but students’ motivations should always be prioritised so that your weekdays don’t go to waste.

In terms of goals, you can set two proficiencies for a student to study on their own. Would you like Edelgard to focus on Reason and Axe? Go for it. What you prioritise is ultimately up to you, but keep in mind that each student has their own stat growths and favourite proficiencies, so the effectiveness of your investment may vary.

For group tasks, you can have two students engage in a weekly activity based on one of three movement types: cavalry, flier, or armoured. Decide on which movement type you want your students to specialise in and make sure to pair together ones with the best synergy to achieve better outcomes. If you’re looking to improve the synergy between select students, you can do so by improving their support levels through spending time together in battles and on weekends.

Recruit More Characters Through Hard Work & Charisma…

After picking a house to lead at the beginning of the game, you’ll find yourself stuck with just eight students from your chosen house. Even so, this doesn’t mean that other characters are completely walled off.

It’s possible to recruit students from the other houses, as well as your fellow professors, into your fold if you meet the right conditions. To do so, you’ll have to achieve a high level in any of the two proficiencies they prefer.

But don’t just stop there. You may notice that FE3H also has a Charm stat. Though Charm is described to affect your Batallions and Gambits, for the most part, it’s also important if you want an easier time recruiting the other members.

You can improve your Charm by hosting a tea party on characters’ various birthdays throughout the year, or on weekends. This option unlocks once you complete the ‘Tea for Two’ side quest. You’ll need tea leaves to participate in these, however, so be sure to always have some ready through gardening at the greenhouse or by purchasing some from travelling merchants.

Besides that, support levels also play a role in how easily you can recruit new members. Considering that you aren’t in charge of these students (yet), you’ll have to get creative by inviting them to weekend activities and temporarily recruiting one of them each month to improve your support levels with them.

With more units to choose from, you’ll have a better time making decisions on the battlefield. No one character is the same after all, and all have their own strengths and weaknesses.

…Because There’s A Secret Class That You’ll Want To Unlock

We’ve mentioned Charm and its importance in recruiting new members to your house, but there’s also another part where this stat plays a significant role. During Chapter 9 of the story, there will be a special dance event that unlocks the Dancer class. If you’ve played previous Fire Emblem games, you’ll know that this class has the ability to grant another turn to an allied unit, which is a huge boon in a tactical RPG.

But whereas some other games will provide you with a Dancer as part of the story, FE3H wants you to work for that class or miss out completely on it. Also, only one of your characters will get this class, so be sure to choose wisely on whose Charm you invest on.

To succeed in the event, you’ll want to exceed a certain amount of Charm, which will be given to you during the chapter. One way to improve Charm is to host successful tea parties with your desired character. You should also garden often for a chance at obtaining Golden Apples, which can permanently improve a character’s Charm. Certain Battalions can also improve your Charm stat when equipped.

If you’ve expended all these opportunities, you’ll get one last shot at bringing character’s Charm up to snuff through dance practice during the event.

Optimize Growth Rates

Like in previous Fire Emblem games, characters have different growth rates set to their stat points for whenever they level up. For instance, Dimitri may often see his Strength improving, but is nearly inadequate at raising his Magic.

But depending on the role you’d like these characters to cover, there are still ways for you to influence their growth rates, albeit slightly. Various classes that you can unlock in-game can confer to certain improved growth rates on top of the characters’ personal rates.

These rates aren’t listed out in-game for you, but you can generally make an educated guess on what influences what. A Swordmaster may focus on offensive power such as Strength, a Thief may boost Dexterity and Speed, while a Fortress Knight will surely focus on Defence. Make sure to read each of the classes’ descriptions to have a better idea.

As for determining characters’ growth rates, taking a look at your characters’ favourite proficiencies and base stats can help point you in the right direction for where their stats may inevitably end up. As an example, Dorothea starts out in the game with 5 Strength and 11 Magic at Level 1. Naturally, this would imply that she values magic-type efforts more so than physical, so you should allocate your investments accordingly. One way to do this is by sticking to magic-type classes such as a Priest or Dark Mage for the majority of the game in order to optimise her stats.

Hoard Those Abilities & Arts

Many of the classes in Three Houses come with their own sets of unique abilities. Thieves can open chests without requiring a key, Priests get a boost to their healing magic, and so on. The classes you use can offer various strategic advantages that other classes don’t. Naturally, these abilities disappear the moment you decide to use another class.

But what’s interesting are unlockable abilities and arts that you can equip even on different classes. For instance, you can obtain the Speed +2 ability and Swap art (exchanges positions with the ally next to you) from the Myrmidon class. These skills are then permanently added to your character, which you can equip and unequip at will. Getting these skills at all, however, requires that you master the class by defeating enemies in battle and gaining experience.

There’s a lot of customisation to be had here, and some abilities and arts can be extremely powerful when combined with certain other classes. It’s easier than ever to switch between classes compared to previous entries, but don’t forget that it can still pay off to dedicate yourself to just one for the time being.

Save Lives With The Power of Math

As a tactical RPG, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a game that deals with a lot (a lot) of numbers. While you can reasonably estimate that a unit with 15 Defense and 5 Resistance may be weaker to 20 Magic than 20 Strength, it’s always valuable to know what all the mumbo jumbo actually means.

For instance, imagine that a unit’s weapon is a physical axe with 5 Might (Mt). This will be added to the unit’s 20 Strength to get 25 overall Attack. When used against a unit with 15 Defense, this will net you 25 – 15 = 10 damage. This value is then deducted from the enemy’s total HP. Magic users use the same sort of calculation but against the opponent’s Resistance stat.

Another important battle aspect that you will see often is double attacking. This is based on two units’ respective Attack Speed (AS). If one is higher than the other by a value of 4, the unit will attack twice, often leading to devastating damage. AS also affects your Avoid rate, with a higher value meaning you’re more likely to evade incoming attacks. The formula is as follows: Attack Speed = Speed – (Weapon Weight – Str/5).

With this in mind, as a rule of thumb, you’ll want to keep your slow units away from units with higher AS unless your units have high Defense or Resistance to withstand the blows.

Of course, there are also some aspects of the game that use more complicated math formulas. Besides the simpler damage and attack speed calculations, there are hit rates, critical rates, bonuses based on terrain and weapon weaknesses, and more. You don’t have to know the calculations for these, but it helps to know all of the factors that can influence these values.

For now, here’s a list of the key character stats and what they generally do:

Strength (Str): Affects damage the unit deals with physical attacks.
Magic (Mag): Affects damage the unit deals with magical attacks.
Dexterity (Dex): Affects hit rate and critical hits.
Speed (Spd): Affects avoidance rate (Also helps determine whether a unit can attack twice).
Luck (Lck): Has various effects. Lowers risk of enemy critical hits.
Defense (Def): Reduces damage from physical attacks.
Resistance (Res): Innate resistance. Reduces damage from magical attacks.
Charm (Cha): Raises gambits’ might, hit rate, and avoidance.

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