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Why you should explore the Somniel in Fire Emblem Engage

Strengthen your team’s skills and bonds

Castle/cathedral-esque structure with a dog doing a handstand Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo via Polygon
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.

After each chapter and mission in Fire Emblem Engage, out now for Nintendo Switch, you can head back to the Somniel, the headquarters for you and your allies. You can also go straight to the next chapter or another mission without returning, but you’ll miss out on a slew of benefits that you’re better off reaping sooner than later. Continue reading to learn what you can do to strengthen your allies — and why you should spend your time exploring the Somniel.

What is the Somniel in Fire Emblem Engage?

Overview map of a floating island that even has a pool! How do they do it? Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo via Polygon

The Somniel is your floating island sanctuary where you can purchase items, socialize with allies, hone your team’s skills, and perform a variety of other tasks that’ll bolster your squad. As you progress in the story, more people will take shelter at the Somniel, and you’ll unlock more activities and tasks you can complete. Any action you take will provide some sort of benefit, such as stat boosts or extra resources. Returning to the Somniel is completely optional, so you might not complete any of these activities, but you’ll be missing out on a lot of buffs to your characters if you skip them.

What can you do at the Somniel?

When you travel to the Somniel, you’ll spawn at the Plaza, a shopping center where you can buy items, upgrade weapons, and change outfits. Restock your items and change out your gear while you’re here, if you’re running low on heals or not dealing enough damage during battle. The Plaza is also the center of the Somniel, so head over to any connecting area or fast travel to any location by using the map.

Boy with red and blue hair and an animal that looks like a dog with sunglasses loitering around a bar Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo via Polygon

One of the Plaza’s connecting areas is the Café Terrace, where you can check the bulletin board. Support other countries at the bulletin board through donations, which will increase the rewards you receive from missions within a supported country’s borders. You can also claim bond fragments, a resource used to create Bond rings and increase bonds with Emblems, by completing achievements listed on the bulletin board. Your bedroom can be found just above the café. In your room, you can rewatch cutscenes, rest in bed to change the time of day, and lower your difficulty level.

From the Café Terrace, you can go to the Ring Chamber and the Arena, two of the most important areas on the Somniel. At the Ring Chamber, you can use the Emblem rings, rings that have the power of Fire Emblem characters from previous games, in your possession to gain passive abilities by spending SP, a resource earned through battles, and create Bond rings, rings that increase stats and allow units to earn SP.

Red haired girl wielding a dagger and cape readies her attack in a starry lit room Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo via Polygon

In the Arena, you can train your allies to gain experience and bond levels.

  • Participate in standard training to have two allies spar one another for experience; this costs nothing, but you can only train three times between missions.
  • Select emblem training to increase the bond between an ally and an Emblem; this costs bond fragments, and you can train as much as you like — as long as you have fragments to spare.

These two areas will change the way you play the game by allowing you to customize how you want your characters to fight. Raise the bonds between your characters and Emblems to learn how to use any weapon, giving you more flexibility in how you play.

Red and blue haired boy squatting to DDR Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo via Polygon

There are a few ways to boost your characters’ stats for the next mission. Head to the training yard to complete minigames, that’ll increase a single stat for the next battle. You’ll also gain bond fragments, with more resulting from harder difficulties. As you progress, you’ll unlock Wyvern Riding, a minigame that’ll provide you with bond fragments and battle items. Over at the Café Terrace, order a meal for two of your allies in the dining area to boost your support level — the relationship level between characters — and combat stats for your next mission. Catering the dishes to your dining partners’ tastes will result in a larger increase to your companion’s stats, but be careful: The chef can mess up your dish, resulting in a stat decrease.

Suspicious dog with shades standing ontop of pedestal in cave Image: Intelligent Systems/Nintendo via Polygon

There are a ton of resources, indicated by pulsing white dots on the map, you can gather around the Somniel. These materials can be used to cook a meal at the café, refine your weapons in the Plaza, or as gifts to boost support between you and your allies.

As you progress through Fire Emblem Engage, you may have adopted animals that you’ve encountered. Let them roam the Farmyard to obtain animal specific goods that you may need. For example, dogs tend to drop ingots that can be used to upgrade your weapons. If you’re looking for more bond fragments, visit the Grotto to find Sommie, the watchdog of the Somniel. Feed and pet the guardian spirit to receive bond fragments after every mission. (Yes, Fire Emblem Engage lets you pet the dog.)

Located at the southern tip of the Somniel is the Tower of Trials, which is unlocked after completing Chapter 11. At the Tower of Trials, you’ll complete a series of battles that’ll reward you with experience and crystals. Crystals can be used to raise stats like Might and Hit for Engage weapons, weapons available to you after Engaging an Emblem ring in battle, at the Ring Chamber. You can also participate in multiplayer content at the tower by cooperating with one another or facing each other head on. Any change to your army will be reverted back once the trial is over, so don’t worry if a character falls in battle.