Fire Emblem Heroes: Tips and tricks to help you win battles

Fire Emblem Heroes has an excellent battle system that flows smoothly and looks gorgeous. And while Nintendo did a bang-up job on making the battle gameplay look and feel good... they certainly don't give you many hints when it comes to winning on said battlefield.

Don't worry: I'm here to help. I've collected some tips and tricks for everything you need to know to dominate any fight!

1. Know the Weapon Triangle

Almost every weapon is tagged with one of three colors — red, green, or blue. These colors are part of what Fire Emblem calls the "Weapon Triangle." Each color is strong against one color, but weak against another.

As shown above, the Weapon Triangle goes as follows:

  • Red weapons are effective against Green weapons, and weak to Blue weapons.
  • Green weapons are effective against Blue weapons, and weak to Red weapons
  • Blue weapons are effective against Red weapons, and weak to Green weapons.

These advantages and disadvantages amount around to a 20% damage bonus or penalty. For example, a Red weapon will do 20% more damage to an enemy carrying a Green weapon, but 20% less damage to an enemy carrying a Blue weapon.

Magical tomes also have these colors, and fall under the same rules.

Colorless weapons

Some units have what Fire Emblem Heroes calls "colorless weapons" — bows, daggers, and staves are typically colorless — they appear gray. These weapons are exempt from the Weapon Triangle; they do not receive and advantages or disadvantages versus any color.

But colorless weapons aren't created equal: Bows — which happen to be colorless — receive a 20% damage bonus against flying units. Keep your Pegasus and Wyverns mounted force far away from any archers.

2. Plan your team

Before entering a battle in Story Maps, the Training Tower, or Special Maps modes, pay attention to your surroundings: The game will give you a heads up on the type of arsenal your enemies are packing. Not only will you see the colors of your enemy forces, but also the weapons they're carrying into battle.

In the screenshot above, you can see that the enemies on this particular map will have Red swords, Blue lances, and Green axes.

3. Edit your team

If you head into battle with a proper assortment of heroes, you can defend appropriately against enemy attacks; this will significantly improve your chances of being victorious. If there are many enemies with Red weapons, for example, you'll want a couple of Blue heroes. Likewise, if your enemies are packing a few bows, perhaps hold off on your battalion of flying units.

You can edit your four-hero team at any time before entering a battle, and you can even have up to five teams pre-assembled: That way, you can pick your best team for each battle.

4. Check the attack outcome before you strike

It can be tricky to know which enemy to attack (and which hero should deliver the blow), but the information you need to be successful is all right at the top of the screen — you just need to look.

When you drag your hero over an enemy, the information bar at the top of the screen will tell you how much damage your hero will do to the enemy, whether or not you have an advantage or disadvantage, how many Hit Points your hero will lose, and much more.

Study these battle outcomes before you just start dropping heroes all willy-nilly, and you'll be able to coordinate your attacks more efficiently (and mow down your enemies).

5. Keep an eye on special attack counters

Some battlers have special attacks that will activate after a certain number of actions; these are represented by a purple number next to the team member's portrait. Any time a player attacks or is attacked, that number goes down.

Once the counter hits zero, it will turn into a symbol, and your units will have a purple selector around them. The next attack you launch, or that's launched against you, will automatically trigger the special attack.

Most special attacks do bonus damage or are particularly effective against certain enemies, but enemies can have special attacks too. Watch out for those purple numbers when planning your attacks, it can mean the difference between a hero living or dying.

6. Don't be afraid to sacrifice a hero

Unlike most of the games in the series, there is no "permadeath" in Fire Emblem Heroes. When a hero on your team dies, he or she are taken off the map and cannot be used for the rest of the battle, but will be ready to go the next time you enter the battlefield.

While losing a character during a fight is usually never plan A, sometimes in Fire Emblem Heroes, sacrificing a hero can be advantageous.

By moving a hero into harm's way, you can bait the enemy into attacking that unit. This can cause an enemy that's out of reach from your other heroes to move closer, giving you the ability to gang up on him with your other heroes.

While there is some inherent risk to this tactic and it can backfire if you don't plan it out properly, it can be surprisingly effective against some of the Normal difficulty AI. Use with caution.

7. Use Orbs to increase your castle

While summoning heroes is an important use of Orbs, I have found that upgrading your castle early on is an extremely efficient use of your precious orbs.

Why? Because upgrading your castle increases the number of experience points (EXP) you collect, meaning you level up your heroes way faster.

Each upgrade to the castle boosts the amount of EXP you collect by 20%. You can upgrade your castle a total of five times, giving you a 100% bonus to your earned EXP; that's double the experience for every baddie you smack down!

The more you level up your heroes the old-fashioned way, the fewer resources — shards, crystals, and the like — you will have to use.

8. Play Special Maps to unlock new characters

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 use to increase their potential.

9. Create or log in to a My Nintendo account

This is a no-brainer. If you have a My Nintendo account from Miitomo or Super Mario Run, connect Fire Emblem Heroes game, and you'll receive a bunch of free items as a thank you from Nintendo.

If you don't have an account already don't fret — you can sign up for one right in the game, and receive the same bonuses. Linking your account is well worth a couple of extra minutes of your time, so just do it!

Your tips and tricks?

Found anything in Fire Emblem Heroes your fellow readers have to know about? Let us know in the comments!

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.