Fire Emblem Heroes - battle tactics
Fire Emblem Heroes - battle tactics. Image: TheUSBport.

Fire Emblem: Heroes launched as a free download app for iOS and Android on February 2, 2017. FE is very popular among fans of tactical role-playing games, and Nintendo did a great job with the mobile adaptation.

Mobile games are all about mechanics, so do not expect a thick plot from FE: The art is fantastic, and there are many memorable characters from the franchise.

Nintendo made out the most out of that. The company held an online survey called “Choose Your Legend” to rank the popularity of the heroes based on fan feedback so that they could release official wallpapers and art.

The app has already more than a million downloads, and around 179,000 people have rated it resulting in a solid 4.6-star score (out of five) in the Google Play Store.

Tactical RPGs are unique. Some people assume that level and equipment are the most important things when they see the “RPG” label, but they are going to have a hard time with FE.

The most important rule of combat

There are three basic elements players have to understand to win every winnable match in the game: The character stats, the map, and the equipment. Now, all of them are important, but FE has a very simple but effective battle system.

In previous titles, there were three melee types of characters based on their weapons: Swords, Axes, and Lances. There is a circle that you need to understand and respect, or you will lose your matches, and that is Swords > Axes > Lances > Swords.

That principle is more important than any of the other factors. So, you should make your heroes fight against the ones they are more likely to defeat.

For example, Hector (an ax-wielder) should never face Lyn (a swordswoman) because he will probably lose regardless the level or equipment. You should make your squad with that in mind and respect the law, then everything should be okay.

A good commander masters the battlefield

FE maps affect the battle. For example, if there are many sword-wielding enemies, you can use a single spearman to deal with them on a bridge or any other narrow space. However, you should be careful because you can change the map by destroying walls and other objects.

A good strategy is to gain the high ground. That privileged position lets any hero to dispatch foes easily, or at least evens the odds if he/she is in weapon-type disadvantage. It even affects accuracy and damage, so you are to follow three rules regarding terrain.

If you can, claim the high ground and wait for your enemy. If you can’t do it, keep your enemy from gaining that position. If the opposing party has the terrain advantage, you have to lure them out but will never pursue.

Using the same example, Hector could probably defeat Lyn if he holds the high ground and the stats are similar.

Ranged characters and special moves can even the odds

In FE there are archers and mages, but they are different. The law will apply to magic, as it usually falls under one of the three types but not to archers.

They don’t usually do a lot of damage, but they can attack from afar. So, you can use them to weaken enemies before the melee combat starts which is vital if you have terrain or type disadvantage.

There are no “free shots” in FE. Any hero will counter attack if possible which is why ranged poking is useful.

Fire Emblem: Heroes features special attacks. These moves hit harder and have more accuracy, so you could use them to finish off a damaged enemy regardless terrain and type. However, the latter two will diminish the effectiveness of the attack.

Technical information

Fire Emblem: Heroes is available for both iOS and Android, but for some reason, Nintendo suggests a 2 GB RAM Android smartphone whereas Apple users will only need 1GB RAM.

You will need to create a Nintendo Account to link the game to it. Once you do that, you can play on any supported device with the same hero roster.

You can use orbs to upgrade your characters, and you can get them for free or via in-app purchase. However, the counter will only show 999. If you have more than that, you can see it in the Virtual Currency Balance at the Customer Support menu.

Sometimes, it will take a couple of hours for the app to reflect an orb purchase. You can either reload FE: Heroes or wait for them. However, Nintendo warns people not to delete the app until the transaction is completed. There are no refunds at all, so take your time to shop.

Lastly, enjoy the game. The mechanics are simple, but an accomplished general will take a while. Fire Emblem: Heroes is one of the few mobile games that can offer long fun sessions, and it has beautiful scenery, great characters, and a straightforward plot.

Source: Fire Emblem: Heroes FAQ

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