'Fire Emblem: Three Houses' Battle Guide: Basics and How to Use Battalions

The Fire Emblem franchise is a traditional top-down strategy action game. While the battle mechanics over the years have gone mostly unchanged, the latest installment, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, has added some new, unique features.

The addition of the Brawler weapon style, Battalions, Divine Pulse and more, make Three Houses arguably the deepest Fire Emblem game to date.

And while Fire Emblem veterans may take to the new battle features easily, there are those who may need an explanation or two about what to expect when fighting in Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

Here is everything you need to know about battling in Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

fire emblem three houses gambit boost


On the battlefield, each unit can move a certain number of steps. The amount of steps a unit can take is determined by the Movement or MV stat. This can be found usually next to the character's HP stat. The spaces a unit can walk to is colored in blue on the battlefield, so simply select your unit and select where you want them to move.

Each unit can take a number of actions during each turn after moving. Attack will allow that unit to strike a nearby enemy. How close you need to be to the enemy is determined by that unit's weapon of choice—we'll get to that later. Combat Arts is another action, which you learn more about below. Items will allow that unit to consume a stat or health boosting item. If you're next to a teammate, you can even swap items.

Convoy allows for your character to use an item that is placed in an area that's not on that unit's person. Wait is the final option, and will allow for a unit to simply stay in their spot without attacking or doing any other action.


The stats of every unit determines what role they play in battle. Some are frontline tanks with high attack and defense while others can be well-balanced or healers.

Here are each stat and what they do:

  • STRENGTH (STR) = Affects damage the unit deals with physical attacks.
  • SPEED (SPD) = The speed stat affects a unit's avoidance rate. It also allows a unit to strike twice if the speed stat has five more than the opponent.
  • MAGIC (MAG) = The magic stat affects the damage from tomes.
  • LUCK (LCK) = The luck stat has various effects that normally impact a unit's ability proc rate. But it lowers the risk of enemy critical hits.
  • DEFENSE (DEF) = The defense stat reduces damage from physical attacks.
  • RESISTANCE (RES) = The resistance stat reduces the damage from magical attacks.
  • DEXTERITY (DEX) = Affects the hit rate and critical hits of this unit.
  • CHARISMA (CHA) = Raises gambits' might, hit rate, and avoidance.

Each class is strong and weak in certain stats and with every level up, those stats will increase faster than others.


There are various weapons in the game, and they all havetheir own durability. This durability number is noted above the weapon's name. Each time a weapon is used, that number goes down. Once it hits zero, that weapon is broken. You can fight with a broken weapon, but your Might (MT)—how much damage a weapon deals—and hit rate will be reduced and enemies will make follow-up attacks more easily. You can repair weapons at the Smithy in between battles.

Tomes also have a certain number of uses per battle, but their number replenishes once a battle ends.

In previous Fire Emblem games, there was a weapons triangle that gave one style of fighting an advantage and disadvantage over another. In Three Houses, this weapons triangle is gone so battling becomes more about strategy and strength then a weapon type.

However, there are some weapons that still have unique advantages/disadvantages. Bows, for example, do more damage to flying units like Pegasus Knights and Wyvern Riders. Some weapons also have specific traits that can do more damage to units on horseback or armored units. Be sure to check your weapon's stats and abilities before each battle.

Some weapons also have varying range of attack. Bows and Tomes, for example, can attack units two spaces away. However, in the case of most Bows, they won't be able to defend against units who attack from one space away.


In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, units can gain proficiency with certain weapons. The more a unit uses a specific weapon, the higher their skill level becomes. The higher the skill level, the stronger their attacks.

There are also ways outside of battle to increase the weapon skill level, such as lectures.


Combat Arts are powerful techniques that use more weapon durability than usual. They do not typically allow for follow-up attacks. These techniques can help a unit defeat a powerful foe in a pinch, so don't be shy about using them.

Units learn more Combat Arts when their weapon skill levels go up. There are no Combat Arts for Reason (Dark Magic) or Faith (Light Magic), those skills grant magic instead.


When you attack an enemy that is also in attack range of one or more of your other units, you will trigger a linked attack.

During linked attack, your avoid rate (Avo) and hit rate are higher than normal. Linked attacks between certain units will also raise Might (Mt).

Linked attacks will also build support among the units involved.


Certain terrain on the battlefield will have effects on the unit occupying it. Forests, for instance, raise a unit's evasion and defense.

You can see the effects of terrain by pressing the x button on an empty space to toggle terrain information and unit icons. Be sure to use Terrain to your advantage, especially against enemies that have more units than you.


Divine Pulse is a brand new mechanic in Three Houses that allows for players to rewind back to a previous turn in the battle. Press the ZL button during the player phase to trigger. You only have a certain number of Divine Pulse you can use so select the times to use it wisely.

At the end of each battle, Divine Pulse uses will be recharged.


Another new feature are Battalions. Players can assign small groups of soldiers to a unit to increase their stats like Attack and Hit Rate. You'll gain Battalions toward the beginning of the game, but players can equip any unit with a Battalion.

There are different types of Battalions in Three Houses. Some are strictly soldiers using swords and lances, while others can contain mages.

The more a Battalion fights alongside a unit, the stronger their level—and their benefits—increase.

When deciding how to attack, you can choose the Gambit feature. This will send out your Battalion to attack. If you hit a unit with a Gambit, they will become rattled, which prevents them from moving, using gambits or benefiting from their own Battalion. They also suffer a 10 percent penalty to all their stats.

If you use a Gambit on an enemy within the attack range of one or more of your other units, a Gambit Boost will activate. This will increase the Might and hit rate of the Gambit.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is available now for Nintendo Switch.

Is there any other tips about battle in Three Houses that we missed? Let us know in the comments section below.