Feb 6th, 2017

Fire Emblem Heroes is Nintendo’s newest mobile game, bringing the long-running strategy RPG series onto a new platform. It’s an interesting game from Nintendo that has a very archaic in-app purchase system that doesn’t really benefit the player that much. While Nintendo wants you to fork over your cash with this free-to-play game, players have very little incentive to do so right now.

Here’s how to make the most of your time with Fire Emblem Heroes, all without spending a dime.

Play the maps on all difficulty levels.

When you first get started with the game, you’ll be doing story maps on Normal difficulty level. They’re pretty basic and easy to complete and you won’t have to worry too much about the team you put together at first, since you’ll have a random selection of heroes the game starts you with.

You get 1 orb for every story mission you complete on each difficulty level. That means once you’ve collected all 45 orbs from the Normal modes, you can get the same for Hard and Lunatic difficulties. You need at least 20 orbs to do a proper full summon, so you’ll want to do this pretty quickly.

Know the strength of the heroes you have.

The heroes that you can summon in the game aren’t created equal. In fact, there are some that are downright godlike while others that can barely make a dent in enemies even with their full levels. To know the full strength of the heroes you’re using, be sure to consult this Fire Emblem Heroes Wikia page.

Compare stats between heroes you summon.

Don’t fret if you perform a summon and find you’ve summoned a hero that you already have in your retinue. Compare the stats between the two and you might see that one has better numbers than the other. Keep the hero with better stats and either merge the other hero into your current one for an SP gain or sell it. If you’ve already leveled up the hero, you’ll probably want to merge it.

Always compose a team with a mix of strengths.

The battle system in Fire Emblem Heroes is easy to understand, but hard to master with so many different elements. You’ll need to pay attention to your mix of colors and weapons to know which are strong against which and if you see you’re taking on a chapter that has a lot of one color, you may want to stack the deck with your team of the stronger color to help you win the fight.

Bait your enemies.

On the battle screen you have the option of showing the Danger Zone, or the range in which the AI units will begin attacking you. By placing a strong unit first, the AI units will go after this unit, leaving your weaker mage and auxiliary units like Ninja and Archer free to go to town without worrying about getting stomped early on.

Don’t forget to upgrade your castle.

On the main homescreen of the game there’s a little green castle with a plus sign next to it. Click this button to be taken to the castle upgrade page, where you’ll be offered several different upgrades for orbs. The first upgrade is a 20% bonus to the EXP earned in battle and the upgrade continues at 20% levels for each orb you spend. You should therefore upgrade your castle as quickly as possible to reap those EXP benefits.

Don’t forget to teach your heroes skills.

As you level your heroes in battle, they’ll slowly gain SP. Skill Points can be used to purchase new skills and abilities for your heroes, giving them special perks according to they’re type and color. Sometimes these perks are providing extra resistance to allies, health, or evel extra damage after a unit has attacked.

Be sure to do the new special map every day.

The Special maps are time-limited maps that usually award a new character every day. Therefore you’ll need to play every day in order to unlock a new character without paying anything. You’ll get two chances to unlock the character thanks to a Normal and a Hard map being available. Normal characters are usually two or three stars, while you’ll have a higher chance of winning a four star and above character from the Hard maps.

Make multiple teams and level them up.

While it’s tempting to focus on your core set of four characters that you get when you start the game, don’t forget that you can have multiple teams running at one time. This comes in really handy when you’re trying to level up your summons, so be sure to take advantage of this feature.

Don’t forget to unlock character potential at level 20.

Once you have characters at level 20, you can unlock their growth potential by using items you’ve acquired through completing campaigns, duels, and training tower levels. This works by deleveling your character back down to level 1, but they’ll start with higher stats than they started with when you got them.