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8 things to know before starting Fire Emblem Engage

Recall your memories with the help of previous Fire Emblem heroes

Boy with red and blue hair reaching for a glowing ring in front of them Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo
Johnny Yu (he/him) is a guides writer at Polygon. He has written about games such as The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Diablo 4, and Fire Emblem Engage.

In Fire Emblem Engage, you play as Alear, a hero who cleansed the realm of evil only to awaken from a 1,000-year slumber to find corrupt enemies have returned. It’s your job as the Divine Dragon to quell the opposing forces spreading across the continent, but you’re up against a major challenge: You can’t remember anything! Allow us to help you recollect your memories and get you back into shape with these tips and tricks.

Return to the Somniel often

The Somniel is your base of operations where you and your allies will relax in between missions. Returning to the Somniel is optional, but neglecting to do so means overlooking a slew of activities that will benefit you and your allies for oncoming battles. Temporarily boost your combat stats at the Training Yard or by eating a hearty meal at the Café Terrace. Bolster your characters’ abilities at the Arena and inherit new skills at the Ring Chamber. Purchase items in the Plaza and upgrade them at the Armory. There’s no shortage of worthwhile tasks scattered around the Somniel, and you’ll be missing out if you ignore them.

Remember the weapon triangle

Sword over Axe, Axe over Lance, Lance over Sword Graphic: Johnny Yu/Polygon | Source images: Intelligent Systems

The weapon triangle makes its return in Fire Emblem Engage with the addition of break, which prevents the defender from counterattacking until the next turn. The weapon triangle follows the pattern of previous Fire Emblem games: Sword beats Axe, Axe beats Lance, and Lance beats Sword. In addition to the weapon triangle, Arts have an advantage over Bows, Tomes, and Knives.

Manage your inventory

As you defeat your enemies and progress through the story, your characters will use their items and pick up more along the way. You’ll end up with more weapons than you’ll ever need because they don’t break in Fire Emblem Engage. Sell the items that you don’t need to get more gold so you can buy better weapons and support items or upgrade your donations at the bulletin board. Don’t forget to occasionally check your characters’ inventories: They may be holding onto an item they can’t even use.

Rewind time with the Draconic Time Crystal

Turns may not go exactly as planned during battles. Maybe you were taken out by a single hit from an enemy, or maybe you accidentally attacked with the incorrect unit. In moments like these, use the Draconic Time Crystal, a relic that allows you rewind time on the battlefield. Undo your mishaps and redo your turn the way you intended. Depending on the difficulty you selected, the number of rewinds you have per battle will change. On Normal difficulty, you have an infinite number of charges, while on Hard and Maddening difficulty, you only have 10 charges.

Give your characters rings

Creating bond rings for Marth but there are 0 bond rings Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo via Polygon

One of the main concepts of Fire Emblem Engage is the use of rings. There are two different kinds of rings: Emblem rings and Bond rings. Emblem rings give a character the powers of Emblems from previous Fire Emblem titles, while bond rings raise the stats of its beholder. Characters must have a ring equipped to gain skill points (SP), a resource used to inherit skills from Emblems, which will make your characters stronger down the road. Create rings at the Ring Chamber using bond fragments, a resource gained from a variety of activities on the Somniel, and equip them on any character heading into battle.

Explore the battlefield

Person with red and blue hair and a cape with a map on the right hand side of the image. Night time. Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo via Polygon

After you complete a mission, you can explore the battlefield to find adoptable animals and valuable resources. These animals, indicated by an orange dot on the map, can be taken back to the Farmyard where they’ll give you more ingredients and goods, but you’ll need to upgrade your donations level at the bulletin board in order to adopt them. Items are indicated on the minimap by a pulsing white dot, so head on over to each dot to find materials to be used around the Somniel.

You can also speak with your allies and other characters once the battle is over. You’ll receive bond fragments after some conversations, but you can leave the area without speaking to anyone to receive all of the bond fragments at once.

Take advantage of the terrain

Battlefield with multiple colors with a girl standing on top of a fort that grants multiple bonuses. Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo via Polygon

Every map will have some type of terrain that can help or hinder you. Stand in a thicket to gain 30 avoidance, which reduces your chances of being hit. Stand on forts to gain 30 avoidance, heal 10 HP a turn, and gain the unbreakable status, allowing you to counterattack regardless of weapon type. Keep an eye out for all of the different terrain types because they can change how you battle the corrupted enemies and turn the tides of battle into your favor.

Pay attention to the enemies’ attack range

Look at the danger radius during combat to see how far an enemy can attack. Hover your cursor over an enemy to see their radius or press the left trigger (ZL) on your controller to display each enemies radius indicated by purple squares. Rather than rushing into your enemies’ range, lure them out by sending one of your bulkier units just inside their danger radius.