'Fire Emblem: Three Houses' Support Mechanics and Battle Gameplay Shown at E3 2019

Following the debut of the latest story trailer for Fire Emblem: Three Houses during the Nintendo E3 2019 Direct, more information on gameplay and battle mechanics was revealed on Wednesday.

Nintendo's Treehouse Live stream showed off real-time gameplay from the next installment in the Fire Emblem series. We learned how characters will interact with their students, and how the new battle system features work.

Here's everything we learned from the Fire Emblem: Three Houses segment from the Nintendo Treehouse Live stream.

fire emblem three houses support battle mechanics


The story of Fire Emblem: Three Houses brings your character to one of the three houses: Red Eagles, Blue Lions and Golden Deer. You'll become a professor charged with teaching the students of your house how to fight.

Nintendo's E3 Direct revealed there will be a time skip in the story, and today's presentation confirmed the five-year gap will find the nations of this world at war.

As for the gameplay outside of battling, players will be able to explore the house and talk to various characters to learn more about them and build up relationships.

There's also an Advice Box, where students anonymously ask questions. It's a timed event that allows you to increase your support levels with students.. Earn a high enough support and you'll be able to romance a character just like in previous games. However, this will only happen after the time skip.

There's a calendar to track events like special battles, training opportunities, holidays, birthdays, tournaments and more.

fire emblem three houses certification exam
Change classes by taking certification exams. Nintendo/YouTube


When teaching, you'll be able to determine what each student learns. While each will lean towards certain weapons and play styles, you'll be able to choose how and what they learn. Three Houses will have a function to auto teach students to progress the story faster, but they may not learn as effectively.

When speaking with characters, you'll be tasked with giving advice, like critiquing a student's poor performance. Your choice will increase or decrease that character's motivation gauge used to increase skills in certain fields.

Players can also send students to learn from other teachers in the Seminar function. Each specializes in certain abilities and weapons, so sending a student to a master of archery will increase their bow potential, for instance.

Once a student has enough levels in a particular weapon or skill, they can take the certification exam to change classes. There's a percentage of success when a student takes an exam and that's determined by the skill level they have. Changing classes take seals that you earn through the story. However, if you want to change that student's class back to the original you can without needing one.

fire emblem three houses divine pulse
Divine Pulse will rewind to a past turn in the battle. Nintendo/YouTube


The battling in Three Houses is similar to other Fire Emblem games with a few minor additions.

  • Some battles will require certain characters. If you have enough support with certain students you'll be able to unlock paralogue battles with them on your team.
  • Combat Arts return and there are new ones in the game. Combat Arts are powerful attacks that deal a lot of damage at the cost of the weapon's durability.
  • Attacking and counterattacking near characters increases support, and Gambits - special cutscenes that give increased attack power - return.
  • Some enemies can take up more than one space on the map. A Giant Wolf was shown during the Nintendo Treehouse Live and they have a lot of HP and will take a lot to take down.
  • Mounts can move one space again after their first move.
  • Crests are incredibly important. And they can allow characters to use special weapons. .
  • Divine Pulse is the feature that lets players go back to earlier in the battle. You can go all the way back to turn 1 if you want, but there are only a certain number of charges.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses releases July 26.

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