Players of Fire Emblem: Three Houses arguably have more control over the development of their characters than in any other game in the series. Growth and mastery are no longer solely dictated by fortune on the battlefield, instead being heavily influenced by performance in the classroom. This grants players a great amount of freedom, but also more responsibility in making sure their characters reach maximum potential. Acting too late or investing too heavily in one or two skills can leave units barred from achieving a Master Class. Fortunately, avoiding that fate is actually not that difficult to do, it’s just a matter of following a few simple guidelines.
Choose Sooner Rather Than Later
Preparing one’s characters for multiple classes can yield very useful results, especially at the game’s outset. Once the various master classes are revealed, however, one would do well to decide exactly what class they want each of their units to qualify for. This is because most master classes require high levels in three skills, rather than the one or two that all previous class ranks ask for. By laying the groundwork for a given master class early, one can avoid the massive headache of scrambling to level up a needed third skill later on.
While individual instruction and grinding battles helps improve characters’ skill mastery, they’ll always gain most of their points from their weekly studies. Since the only skills that gain mastery each week are those set as goals, one needs to keep a tight hold on each units study goals. Make sure to put a week or so into the extra third skill every so often, even if a unit’s two primary skills still haven’t in “A” rank. This will mean having less work to do later on.
Get the Knowledge Gem
Over the course of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, players will have a couple of opportunities to acquire “Knowledge Gems.” These items boost the amount of mastery gained in combat, making battle much more useful for developing one’s units. The first of these can be acquired from a chest in Sothis’ early-game paralogue mission; make sure to by a chest key from the item shop, as none of the enemies will drop one. Another gem can be gained from completing chapter 11 and fulfilling the extra objective for the battle. Make obtaining these gems a priority, as they’ll noticeably speed up the skill mastery process.
Attempt and Re-Attempt
In order to obtain any new class, a character must first pass an exam. Their chances of passing depend on how well they meet the given class’ requirements. If they meet or exceed them, then the character is guaranteed to pass. If they fall short of those requirements though, then they have a chance to fail, and that chance increases the further away they are. If a character has a reasonably high chance of success, it might be worth saving and reloading the game until they pass. One can’t just use a save from the same day, however, as chances for success and failure appear to be set at the start of each week. Save scumming the certifications can save one some trouble, but it’s not a foolproof method.
Successfully preparing one’s characters for master classes in Fire Emblem: Three Houses is more dependent on good planning than on anything else. Items like the Knowledge Gems and possibly some light save-scumming can speed up acquisition of a master class, but it still mostly boils down to slowly and properly guiding one’s students into roles in which they excel. As much as it plays with series convention, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is still classic Fire Emblem at its core, and that means careful planning is always king.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses is available now for Nintendo Switch. Check out our review for the full scoop on how this latest Fire Emblem games works and what it offers to its players.