Fire Emblem: Three Houses not only makes you work to win confrontations out in the field — it forces you to prepare your units for battle in the classroom. Here’s how to make the fiercest party members armed only with a book in hand.
Pick your golden child, and train them early
You want to spread experience between your party members as much as possible (having them score killing blows in combat boosts them the fastest), but it helps to have an ace up your sleeve for tougher boss fights. Some elite enemies can slice through weaker party members with one ability, so bringing in a beefier unit along with the protagonist, Byleth, is a good plan of attack.
Make them a focus for weekly class training exercises (you can read more about heavy armor, riding, and flying in our Fire Emblem: Three Houses class system guide), and start planning their future for those big three stats early. You can also feed them stat-boosting items as you acquire them through combat rewards or the greenhouse, and you can give them the latest gear in the shop.
This strategy isn’t just self-serving: Other units can piggyback off of their high stats, too. By pairing underperforming students with someone who excels at an activity (denoted by an up arrow icon when selecting the activity), you can raise their proficiency while ensuring a perfect rating. Use this to train up the rest of your party and help them ease into new roles.
Create lesson plans and constantly adjust them
Students can focus on two goals at a time (such as sword for swordsmanship or faith for healing magic). By default, Fire Emblem: Three Houses will automatically choose these focuses for you, but you can adjust them at any time through the pause menu in the Goals section.
Look ahead at advanced classes, and plan your goals around their requirements. If a lance user can eventually upgrade into a holy knight, you might want to drop your lance focus once its high enough (C or higher) and alter your goals to riding/faith (which requires A and B+, respectively).
The earlier you send your units down the correct path, the sooner they can morph into an advanced class.
Sometimes you might want to just focus on one stat. In that case, choose custom goals, select none for the first choice and any stat you want for the second. You’ll net a 1.5x multiplier for your troubles.
Don’t overextend — sometimes lower class tiers are better
It’s a common trap to assume that you need to upgrade a unit to a newer, more advanced class as soon as possible. Depending on your group composition, that might actually downgrade the efficacy of your party members.
A perfect example is the warlock class. Unlocked as an advanced class (tier three of four), the warlock provides a passive class bonus of two times the normal amount of black magic uses. If you decide to take the next step to the (seemingly better) master class of mortal savant, you’ll lose that passive spell bonus and trade it for bonus sword damage instead.
Each class provides a unique edge for your party — to see them, press ZR when viewing individual classes in the Certification menu. Try not to double up any units if you can help it, and don’t always rush to master.
Don’t stress too much about certification tests
While class stat requirements seem heavy-handed, they’re actually pretty relaxed. As long as you meet the minimum for one stat (and have a 30% chance to pass), you can take a certification test. Taking a test only requires two resources — an accompanying seal and a chance that, if you fail, you’ll be locked out of certification tests with that character for one week.
Depending on how much of a risk-taker you might be, you can take the test at any percentage, but we recommend having at least 50% odds of passing.
If you ever need more seals, you can earn them handily from gladiatorial combat in any given week in the monastery or buy them from the marketplace. The actual monastery marketplace will grant you access to more badges than the home base menu.
If you’re really worried, you can save before you take an exam and quickly soft reset (+, -, L, R) to recover your seal if you fail.
Keep your students happy
This is the most important bit of advice to heed — students can’t progress through normal lessons if their happiness meter (each tick in the meter denotes one lesson) is bottomed out. Happiness is clearly denoted by an emoji meter that’s visible in multiple areas of the game, most notably when speaking directly to a student or in the goals menu.
You can increase your student’s happiness with several methods:
- Giving them a gift directly at the monastery
- Engaging in an activity with them such as sharing a meal or praying at the chapel (typically these are done with pairs of students)
- Choosing the rest option while browsing the calendar
- Hitting a perfect lesson rating while teaching
- Ending a current month/story chapter
Depending on your professor rating, you do not need every student to be happy at all times. If you have a rating that allows you to give three lessons per week, only three students require a full happiness meter to max out your allotment.