Fire Emblem Heroes Game Guide

Fire Emblem Heroes has a fun and complex battle system that relies on numerous different stats (some obvious, others not so much) of the heroes you have deployed onto the battlefield. Leveling up, equipping skills, and increasing potential are all important aspects of the game.

Lucky for you, I have been fearlessly playing the game (hard work, I know) and am passing all of my knowledge onto you, so you can create the best team of heroes and save the Kingdom of Askr from Veronica!

Game Modes

There are currently four different game modes in Fire Emblem Heroes, and each one functions a little bit differently, I'll break them all down for you one at a time.

Story Maps

Story Maps is the main storyline of Fire Emblem Heroes. It's broken up into nine chapters, and each chapter has five parts, for a total of 45 battles you need to complete to finish the game's campaign.

To enter into a battle in Story Maps, you need to have the appropriate amount of stamina points, which regenerates one point every five minutes. You can also use Orbs to pay for stamina if you run out.

Special Maps

Special Maps give you the chance to collect heroes — both new and duplicates. They function the same as the Story Maps, except for one main difference, none of your heroes can die, or you'll lose the battle.

The Special Maps come in two difficulties — normal and hard — and depending on which one you complete, the hero you receive will be stronger. Plus, the hero available to grab by claiming victory on a special map will change each day, so be sure you're always on the lookout!

It's a great way to get new heroes you have yet to unlock, or duplicates of heroes you already have, which you can always send home for Hero Feathers.

Arena Duels

Arena Duels are where you go to battle other players, but instead of stamina, the Arena Duels cost you dueling swords. You only get three dueling swords a day, but you can refresh them with dueling crests, which you can get by completing missions.

Training Tower

The Training Tower functions as a place to train — go figure. There are nine different training Stratums that offer increasingly harder challenges. It's the only place you can pick up Badges and Great Badges in the game, so you'll need to visit it often if you plan on raising the potential of your heroes.

Character Stats

Each character in the game has five main stats that will affect the outcome of any given attack. As your characters increase in level — whether by defeating enemies or using items — some stats will increase (I'll go more in-depth on this a little later) and some stats won't.

The five primary stats are as follows:

  • Hit Points (HP): The amount of damage a character can suffer before they leave the battlefield.
  • Attack (Atk): Attack is the measure of a unit's strength. The higher the attack, the higher amount of damage the character can inflict.
  • Speed (Spd): If your character's speed is five or more points higher than the enemy unit you will be able to attack twice in one turn. This extra attack is called a follow-up attack.
  • Defense (Def): Determines how much physical damage will be deducted when struck with a weapon.
  • Resistance (Res): Determines how much magical damage will be deducted when struck with a magical tome or dragon attack.

These stats can be altered on the battlefield by various skills and by the Weapon Triangle. The game will calculate all the outcome of every battle (barring any special attacks) in the top information bar during a fight, while you don't need to memorize this information, it's good to know to understand how characters level up.

Increasing Stats

A hero's stats will increase randomly each time they level up, meaning some levels a hero will only get a boost to one stats, while other levels they'll get a boost to multiple stats. This random leveling has been a staple in the Fire Emblem series since its creation, and it can be frustrating when your favorite hero gets many crappy stats bonuses in a row.

How to level up your heroes

You can level up your heroes using two different methods in Fire Emblem Heroes, and you'll likely need to use a little bit of both to have success in the harder Story Maps.

How to level your characters without using resources

Anytime a hero of on your team damages an enemy, heals an ally, or defeats a unit your character will receive experience points (EXP). Each level your hero gains will increase the amount of experience points needed to progress to the next.

You can receive EXP in practically every game mode; however, if your hero is five levels or higher than the character you're attacking, you will receive no EXP. Plus, healers will stop receiving EXP after they have healed five times in a single battle.

You can also increase the amount of EXP you earn, by spending Orbs to upgrade your castle. Something I recommend you do to be successful in battle and spend fewer resources in the long run.

How to level your heroes with resources

You can level up your heroes outside of the battlefield by spending different types of resources — known as Shards and Crystals — you obtain through completing the Story Maps and battling in the Training Tower, and completing missions. By leveling your characters this way, you can even increase a hero by multiple levels at a time, as long as you have enough resources.

I wish I could leave it there. Unfortunately, Fire Emblem Heroes has ten different resources you need to collect to level up heroes. It sounds daunting but isn't quite as complicated as it sounds once you understand how it works.


Shards are used to level up heroes under level 20. There are five different types of Shards. You obtain shards by completing chapters in the Story Maps mode or by battling in the Training Tower.

  • Universal Shards: These yellow shards can be used to level up any hero under level 20. You can use universal shard in conjunction with other shards listed below to help spread your resources around.
  • Verdant Shards: These green shards can be used to level up any character with a green weapon wielding hero under level 20.
  • Azure Shard: These blue shards can be used to level up any blue weapon wielding hero under level 20.
  • Scarlet Shard: These red shards can be used to level up any red weapon wielding hero under level 20.
  • Transparent Shard: These gray shards can be used to level up any colorless weapon wielding hero under level 20.


Crystals are more powerful versions of shards and are used to level up heroes level 20 and over.

  • Universal Crystals: These yellow crystals can be used to level up any hero level 20 and over. You can use universal crystals in conjunction with other crystals listed below to help spread your resources around.
  • Verdant Crystals: These green crystals can be used to level up any green weapon wielding hero level 20 or over.
  • Azure Crystals: These blue crystals can be used to level up any blue weapon wielding hero under level 20.
  • Scarlet Crystals: These red crystals can be used to level up any red weapon wielding hero level 20 or over.
  • Transparent Crystals: These gray crystals can be used to level up any colorless weapon wielding hero level 20 or over.


Leveling up your characters is only half the battle, to beat the most challenging battles in Fire Emblem Heroes you'll need heroes with high potential.

Potential is represented by a star rating — five stars being the highest — and it affects the chances of getting better stat increases when leveling up. Furthermore, the higher a hero's potential, the higher their base stats will be, meaning a level one hero with three stars will be less powerful than the same hero that has four stars.

Potential isn't all about stats either; some heroes will be unable to unlock their most powerful skills until they have a certain number of stars.

Technically, the easiest way to acquire heroes with a 5-star potential rating is to summon them by spending Orbs; however, depending on the day, you only have about a 3% chance of getting that lucky. Instead of spending Orbs to summon heroes and relying on luck you can increase the potential of your heroes by spending other resources you collect.

How to increase potential

You can only increase the potential of a hero that's level 20 or higher, and only by one star at a time. Once you increase the potential of a hero, they will be put back to level one, but start with the base stats of their new potential level, which means you will have to put in some time and effort to level them up again. When you do get them to the level they were at before, they will be stronger than the were previously.

To increase the potential of a 3-star hero to four stars, you'll need 2,000 Hero Feathers and 20 badges that match their color either Verdant Badge, Azure Badge, Scarlet Badge, or Transparent Badge.

To increase the potential of the a 4-star hero to five stars, you'll need 20,000 Hero Feathers and 20 Great Badges that match their color either Great Verdant Badge, Great Azure Badge, Great Scarlet Badge, or Great Transparent Badge.

How to get Hero Feathers

You can collect a few Hero Feathers by tapping on the heroes hanging around your castle in the Home tab of Fire Emblem Heroes' main menu, but the way to get the most Hero Feathers at once is by sending heroes home.

As you summon heroes, you are bound to get many duplicates, and while you can merge them together (more on that later), you can also send them home. When you do, you'll be awarded Hero Feathers. The more powerful the hero you send home — both in level and potential — the more Hero Feather you'll get in return.

Badges and Great Badges

The only way to earn Badges and Great Badges is by winning battles in the Training Tower. Claiming victory in the 1st - 5th Stratums will earn you Badges, and any of the harder Stratums will award you with Great Badges.

Each day Nintendo switches the color of Badges you can earn in the Training Tower so if you're saving up to increase the potential of a certain hero, make sure you take advantage when that color is available.

Skill Points

As your heroes level up, or you merge allies (see below), they will be awarded skill points (SP) that you can use to teach them skills. Each hero has six skill slots, but not every hero will have access to a skill for each slot. Skills can cost as low as 50 SP or as high as 500 SP, and usually the more expensive the skill, the more powerful the skill.

The right mix of skills — offense, defense, and support — between the four heroes in your party can turn the tide of battle, so make sure you diversify to ensure the best results.

Merging Allies

As you summon more and more heroes, you will undoubtedly acquire many duplicates, and instead of sending them home you can always merge them.

Merging two of the same heroes together will grant that hero SP and sometimes even increasing their level. The more powerful the hero you merge, the more SP you will be awarded.

What else do you need to know?

There's a lot going on in Fire Emblem Heroes, and if you're new to the game, it can be a little overwhelming. Was there anything I missed in this guide? Do you have a question about the game? Let me know in the comments or even hit me up on Twitter and I'll be happy to help!

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.