Tips for starting Fire Emblem Engage - What to know before you play

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Fire Emblem Engage royalty.
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January 21, 2023: We've added a couple more tips for anyone starting the game this weekend.

Just getting started in Elyos? Don't do battle without these tips for starting Fire Emblem Engage. This latest adventure takes more from Awakening than Fates and Three Houses. So if you only took notice of the franchise in the latter half of the last decade, you'll learn a thing or two below.

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Right now, we have around seven tips and tricks we think will help you get the most out of Fire Emblem Engage. Whether you're playing on Classic difficulty where every choice matters, or taking it slow and steady with the story-based curve, the points below should make things a tad easier and a lot less tedious. It's a long game, and going back to do things you could have done along the way is never fun.

For more on the game, check out our extensive Fire Emblem Engage character list, voice actors list, and our preview of the game's first eight chapters. Lastly, you might want to learn how to use the piano in Alear's room. It's a bit of a tease.

Seven big Fire Emblem Engage tips

Always go back to the Somniel

The Somniel may be your base of operations, but it doesn't need to just be about planning for your next brawl. The floating fortress has a load of activities you can only do a handful of times, but these reset after any battle.

Whether it's a chapter mission, a skirmish, a paralogue, or a training battle, any activity that sends you to the battlefield will reset your Somnial allowances. So when you're prompted to go back to the Somniel or the World Map at the end of a battle, always choose to go back home. Relax, unwind, train up, and get those support levels up.

Use the Arena to level up

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Every time you clear a mission and head back to the Somniel, you'll have three chances to train your units in the Arena. The thing is, though, you can't pick your opponent. It's random. This makes it very difficult for your chosen unit to reliably win the fight, dramatically decreasing the experience points they earn.

To avoid disappointment, it's best to use the Arena not as a way to grind levels on a single character, but to tip anyone who ended the last mission with a lot of experience points over the edge to their next level. That way you can go into the next fight with a slight stat boost.

Eat and train before every fight

Speaking of stat boosts, you can supercharge a few units in your squad simply by making use of the facilities on the Somnial. Alear and two units you choose to dine with at the cafe will receive a stat boost from the chosen meal, and Alear can get another boost for the upcoming battle by doing squats or sit-ups with the gang.

Yunaka using a staff in Fire Emblem Engage.

Don't waste a turn - Use a skill!

Using "Wait" is a waste. You won't have much of a choice early on when your army is small, Emblem rings are sparse, and the enemy is miles away - it happens.

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But around the second half of the game, all of your characters should have some Class skills and inherited skills they can use in their turn. Even if they don't serve a purpose that turn, using skills like Reposition, Chain Guard, and Pivot will all award Support points between the two affected characters. Again, it's better than nothing.

And the same goes for Emblems. If you have one with a skill like Summon Doubles, bringing them out will almost always increase your Support rank one whole level between that character and their equipped Emblem. You can even abuse this in easy missions by just repeating it turn after turn.

Visit the fortune teller

Once you have the Fortune Teller unlocked back at the Somnial, you'll be able to speed up two character's Support rank. Just select one character to read the fortune of, see which character they're thinking about, and then have the two share a meal at the cafe. This extends to the battlefield for the next fight, too, so have them stay adjacent to each other throughout. If they're strong enough to be there, of course.

Louis in Fire Emblem Engage.

Use Louis. He's a chad

Most of the characters you recruit in Fire Emblem Engage start as big deal dealer classes. And it's easy to imagine why you'd stick to the plan of all-out offense. It's fun.

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But when you inevitably start to struggle as fights pit your tiny army against potentially 100 enemies, with their barrage of attacks whittling down your forces, look no further than Louis.

He might seem like a bit of a creep at times, but he's a terrific front line defense unit. He often shrugs off damage or doesn't take any at all. Have a healer close by and you'll be able to patch him up no problem, too.

Sell anything you won't use

Money is sparse in Fire Emblem games. Always has been, and always will be. And while you'll certainly notice the issue more on Classic mode when every potion and weapon upgrade counts, it's prevalent on the lower difficulty settings, too.

Though you'll be able to make do with the gear you pick up across each fight, increasing donation levels and buying gifts to give to your characters will quickly become a pipe dream.

For that, it's a good idea to sell any items you know you won't need. If you have a team of favourite units you take into every battle, for example, selling the weapons of any characters you don't use is one way to go about it. You'll also end up with a lot of duplicate weapons you can sell, too.

Always aim to break

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If you're taking on a boss character with a bunch of revive stones, chances are they're strong enough to counter and delete a couple of the characters you'll use to whittle down their HP. To get around that, always prioritize getting that weapon advantage first. Break them with one character, then surround them with the rest. They won't be able to fight back.

Use daggers!

You might think that the poison from a dagger isn't worth the time it might take to deal decent damage, but that's not how the mechanic works at all.

In Engage, poison actually causes the target to take additional damage from all sources. And it stacks. So if you're going up against a boss with multiple revives, the best thing to do is poison them early and then pile on the damage with other characters.

There are countless other little tips and tricks you can employ to make Fire Emblem Engage that little bit easier - and that much longer - but we'll leave it at these choice few for now. Have fun, and don't forget to read our Fire Emblem Engage review if you're curious whether your take lines up with our own.

For a few more guides, check out how to change the Somniel music, and how long Fire Emblem Engage is. And to get the most out of your characters, be sure to use the Fire Emblem Engage gifts guide. The higher your support rank, the more your units with boost each other in battle.