Things you should know before playing Fire Emblem Fates (no spoiler edition)

I know it’s too late for my fellow Americans, but the European release of Fire Emblem Fates is soon, so I’m making this list of things I would have liked to know before I started playing. To clarify, I won’t be pointing out any obvious mechanic changes (like the fact that weapons no longer break and the fact that children are recruited with a free master seal after chapter 19).


No, you don’t get to pet your waifus. Get over it.

Which Version?

Birthright is seriously easier than you expect. I’ve been saying this a lot, so I won’t spend too much time on it. It might also make for a better experience if you play Birthright before you play Conquest. I did the opposite and almost didn’t want to finish Birthright. Also, ignore what some people might say about Conquest. Play it if you like the challenge or just generally better level design…don’t worry about it being too hard for you (you can always lower the difficulty or turn off permadeath if you’re having trouble…no shame in that). Honestly, I really didn’t like Revelation, but if you want to make a lot of cross-version pairings (like true Cordelia-Caeldori and true Tharja-Rhajat), you can only do it in this version. And no, Revelation doesn’t allow you to use more units per map…so most of your units will never see the light of day.

Character Creation

In Awakening, you could pretty much always make Robin go magic and he’d be fine. Corrin can go both ways. I think the popular builds are Strength boon Ninja and Magic boon Diviner if you’re having trouble deciding. I did Speed boon in my first run and it wasn’t fun. If you’re playing Birthright or Conquest, you might also consider choosing a secondary class that isn’t available in your version. You can use Friendship Seals and Partner Seals to get access to all of the other classes later in the game.

Oh, and dragonstones scale off of magic.


A more expensive weapon is not always better. Steel and silver items in this installment of Fire Emblem give debuffs as trade-offs to their higher attack. This doesn’t make them unusable, but make sure you check before using them. Also, a lot of Birthright weapons have secondary effects, even the basic ones.

The traditional weapon triangle that you might know and love still exists (swords > axes > lances > swords), but now ranged weapons have been added to the mix. If you’re confused by it, the weapons all have a colored background with a main color at the top and a smaller color at the bottom which is the color that they beat (red > green > blue > red).


Don’t bog yourself down too much with the children characters in this game. Yes, they were a great part of Awakening, but they’re not as overwhelming as they were in the previous game. It’s fine if you don’t pair everyone. There is one important exception here. In Conquest, experience and resources are limited. Each child character has a special chapter where they are recruited, which may provide needed resources if you’re having trouble in Conquest (you can use castle battles to grind supports to unlock them).

Yes, I know Hayato comes at level 1 in Chapter 8 of Birthright when your average level is probably 8. However, his daughter is Rhajat and I know a lot of you guys loved Tharja. If you can wait until Revelation, Hayato comes at a better level, so you can use him more easily…

Other Mechanics

  1. Class change seals don’t become infinitely available until Chapter 20 (on every version). If you use Master Seals as you get them on any random character that reaches level 10 or level 20, you will run out. Something I tried to do in my run was use Master Seals on parents that I was going to toss at level 10 to get their first promoted skill to pass to their child. This doesn’t really work…you run out really fast.
  2. Pairing up is not the same as you remember if you played Awakening. If you pair two units up, the supporting unit will not perform a second attack. This only happens if two units are next to each other. Keeping your units separated is actually really important in the early game, so don’t jump on the pair up command too quickly. Also, you can change which unit supports you if multiple units are adjacent…I missed that the first time.
  3. Birthright and Revelation each have a character that can permanently die because of story. It’s unavoidable in Revelation and probably not a big deal, but in Birthright, it’s completely avoidable if you have a high enough support with the character. To avoid spoilers, I won’t tell you who it is, but if you don’t want to lose a character in Birthright, check who it is before doing Chapter 16. It wasn’t a problem for me because I already had the requirements to save the unit without doing anything extra, so you might not even have to worry about it.
  4. I don’t care how overpowered Frederick was in Awakening…Gunter is not worth it.
  5. All hail Xander! (may require Speedwings)

Did I miss anything? Do you have additional questions going in? Well, let me know and I’ll try to answer them.

4 thoughts on “Things you should know before playing Fire Emblem Fates (no spoiler edition)”

  1. Ok given a good read to the article to prepare myself. The most important bit that I’m thankful for is the one about the avoidable permanent death. If I can avoid a death I’ll try to avoid it.

    A bit of a shame that they haven’t fixed the character count overload. I remember I didn’t use lots of units in the original game as the main team was just stronger and it was pointless to try and level them up…:(


    1. like i said, it’s probably not a big deal since im pretty sure you get that character early and getting an A support with the character is easy, but hey…some ppl on the internet seemed to have been trolled by that.

      you would have thought they’d at least fix this in revelation. why combine the versions if you can only use 12 units?


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