Fire Emblem Heroes’ most obvious free-to-play conceit is its use of “stamina,” a finite amount of energy with a cooldown timer that can leave a player waiting a long time before they can get back into the game. That’s par for the course with mobile games, but what many Heroes players can’t stand is just how hefty these stamina costs are, even for the smallest activities.
Reddit user Selena_poketrainer summed up the “problem with stamina” in a top-rated post. According to them, the problem is threefold. First, the stamina costs are often too high; some late-stage story maps require more than 10 points to play, meaning a player wanting to regenerate their maximum store after a battle could be waiting around a while.
That’s the second problem, though: Regeneration is a lengthy process, too. With each subsequent stamina point used, it takes a little bit longer to get it back. If a player’s reserves are completely depleted — and they don’t want to pay to instantly restore them — they may not be able to play Heroes again for hours.
The cap is the third big issue, as it’s set at just 50 stamina points. That may sound like a lot to someone just starting out, but considering almost everything in the game requires stamina to do, 50 isn’t very much at all.
Players aren’t looking forward to when the launch window period is over and stamina costs jump back up for things like the training maps, which are currently playable at half the cost right now. As for equipping skills, that’s going to see the hardest hit: It will go from free to a big stamina suck in a short amount of time.
“Somebody mentioned the honeymoon period, and it's an important period to solidify the fact that a person is going to continuously invest time in the future,” another user wrote, summarizing the concerns about the mechanic. “If you quickly run into the prospect where the more you play, the less you'll be able to play, why play a game that simply doesn't allow you to play much at all?”
The honeymoon phase is still in full swing for now, though, as Fire Emblem Heroes just launched a few days ago. It won’t be until at least next week that we start to feel the constraints of the limited stamina — but who’s to say Nintendo won’t just launch another campaign to help minimize that effect? Better yet, since the free-to-play mobile game will receive new content and updates post-launch, perhaps we’ll one day see an increase to the stamina cap.
Until then, players can spend their time — and money, and stamina — rolling for new characters while they wait for their energy loads to refuel.