Fire Emblem Awakening Tips and Tricks

fire-emblemTurn on the battle lines guide

Hit X at the start of every level to turn on a pink grid which shows where enemies can hit you. Keep your healers and weaker units out of range!

You can have two types of battle lines. If you press the A button in an enemy you can see a red grid wich shows their individual hit range on top of the pink one. This will help you plan ahead. For example you can select all of the enemy archers with the A button so you can put your fliers in the pink zone but not in the red zone where they are most likely to get killed.

Don’t skip conversations

Sometimes during the course of a battle, enemies will discuss strategies and where reinforcements could be coming from, and other things like that. Being prepared for an ambush is a big advantage.

Turn off battle animation

If you pause the game on the map screen you can set a number of options, including whether you watch battle animations for one or both sides. If you turn them off, you’ll still get a good sense of the action in retro-pixelated form!

You can also hold the L button before the start of the battle animation to avoid it for the moment or press the Start button to skip it and just get the results.

Use ‘View Map’ to change positions

At the beginning of each battle you’ll be given the option to View Map. You can use this option not just to look at the environment you’ll soon be fighting in but also to arrange your troop formation to your liking. Often times this option can give you an upper hand in battle, allowing you to move units a few steps closer to and from enemies and helpful terrain. It can also be used to help move Support pairs closer to one another. Don’t just view the map. Use it.

And if you see any archers on the map, be wary of where you start any flying characters — arrows and wings don’t mix!

Pair up!

Pairing up Characters can result in extra attacks, blocked attacks and an improved relationship — and that can lead to marriages, children and more recruits.

Pair up a strong, slow character (e.g. Chrom) with a flying character (e.g. Sumia) to cover great distances — you can switch your strong, slow character before ending your turn to protect the flying character. Only the character “in front” takes damage! This is also great for training units such as Donnel who die almost instantly and do only small amounts of damage. Basically, pairing units will allow for the character in front to take all of the damage; the weak character can then take out the opponent.

Healing isn’t just for healers

Each of your units can carry several Items and Weapons. Empty slots do nothing for you whereas spaces loaded down with weapons and, more importantly, healing items like Vulneraries, Concoctions and Elixirs can make the difference between losing a unit in battle and having them live to fight another day. Make sure every unit going into battle has their own healing item and don’t be stingy when the time comes to use it.

Arm your army

Those inventory slots we mentioned? Use them to bring a variety of weapons to battle so that you’re ready for every situation. And most units can be armed to deal with every situation. Hammers. Javelins. Throwing Axes. These items and more can be used to turn a melee fighter into a ranged fighter and a grunt into a knight killer. Explore your arming options and employ them to deadly effect.

Don’t bother using the weapon forging system at merchants — you can’t upgrade any non-breakable weapons, and common weapons are pretty darn good in capable hands. This is true, unless your training weapon levels on newly upgraded units, and the E level weapons aren’t doing enough damage. Forging weapons can be especially helpful with units like bishops who need to level up their light magic. Also, weapons with criticals are hard to come by, and they can save your life in a pinch (or make you die in some cases), so I would consider adding a critical bonus to your weapon.

Talk your way to new recruits

Chrom, My Unit and a few other characters (depending on the mission) may approach characters in the field and activate the Talk option. When you do this you can often recruit the character.

To determine who you can recruit on a field, hit the LEFT TRIGGER to cycle through the enemies before you even start the map. Any character with a name will be a boss or a recruit!

The trick is to not kill the recruit before you can talk to him or her. There are some tricks for this, and these are included in the Walkthrough.

Another tip: if the unit you are recruiting is Green, you can use the Rescue staff to pull that unit closer to you, making it easier to talk to them.

The best offence is a good defence

While it can often seem the more boring option when compared to charging headlong into your enemy, swords waiving and battle cry wailing, your best bet for a smooth victory and survival is to play defensively.

Generally speaking, you are always going to be outnumbered, and the enemy units are often just as capable of inflicting the same painful wallop that you do. Finding a nice spot where you can hunker down and exploit the terrain to even the odds is a much safer bet than sending your paltry army off to die in a toe to toe battle that you can’t win.

Play it safe and smart

Find choke points, natural obstacles and strong formations (a line of melee in front of a line of ranged is a good bet) to turn the tide. And be certain to remember that if you don’t take advantage of these things, your opponent will.

Instead of just waiting around, use passive abilities like Rally to reinforce your characters, and Items to heal up.

Keep your characters moving in a huddled mass, with units vulnerable to upcoming enemies placed behind the front line. If the path splits, consider forming two or three troops to protect on multiple fronts. Keep complimentary characters together. For example, move an archer alongside a mage if you know there are flying units ahead.

Don’t ignore weak characters

A long running Fire Emblem tradition is that you start off with the majority of your units being about as weak and useful as dirt. This is a tradition that Awakening proudly carries on. You’ll be gifted with only a single truly capable fighter at the game’s start, Frederick. Use him, but be sure not to rely on him.

If you don’t put in the time to properly train the entirety of your army, you risk putting yourself in a situation where your forces are grossly underpowered and not up to the task of battling the various forces of evil you’ll have to contend with. It can certainly be risky throwing these fragile-as-fairy dust grunts into the fray, especially if you’re playing on perma-death Classic mode, but giving the chance to earn experience and level up is a necessity.

Your early heavy hitters should serve primarily in a support role to the rest of your army. Use them to keep your other units safe and to take down tough to beat bosses, but be sure the rest of your army carries its weight!

Suggested characters to level up early

Nowi – Nowi’s manakete attacks are extremely powerful and ranged.
Virion – Your only archer and thus your short answer to any flying enemies.
Gaius – He is one of your faster units making him hard to hit and he’ll almost always strike twice if well trained.

More tips at IGN…

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