This guide is for anyone that wants to get the most out of Fire Emblem Heroes, but isn’t willing to spend much (or any) money on the game. Luckily, this game is very generous to free-to-players, with a significant amount of premium currency and heroes available through its single player campaign. So while you may not be able to compete at the highest levels of the Arena, almost everything else in the game will be accessible given enough time.
- 1 Is Free Play viable?
- 2 The Free-to-Play Grind and Strategies
- 3 Building an Effective Team
- 4 Getting New Characters
- 5 What Free-to-Play Players Miss Out On
Is Free Play viable?[edit | edit source]
While some Free-to-Play games are nearly impossible to enjoy without paying money, Fire Emblem Heroes is not one of them. A free player can easily gain well over 200 orbs without paying a dime from the Main Story alone. As a comparison, if you paid $75 for orbs, you would only get 140. The amount of orbs you can gain for free is constantly increasing, as new content is added. You can see a breakdown of obtainable orbs at the Orb Distribution page.
Additionally, because your team is limited to only four characters, you don’t necessarily need a huge roster of super powerful characters to be successful. Moreover, by using color advantages and abusing the easily exploited AI, good strategy can allow a free player to even compete in the PvP Arena (at least until merged heroes become more common).
The Free-to-Play Grind and Strategies[edit | edit source]
There are 2 main currencies in Fire Emblem Heroes that will help players accessing new game content as well as new kinds of game play -- namely, Orbs and Hero Feathers . Other currencies are Sacred Seal Coins , crystals and badges. The latter currencies are also useful for player progression. However they tend to accumulate simultaneously as the player grind for Orbs and Feathers without further effort.
Both Orbs and Feathers can be purchased or obtained through in-game content. Although the only way feathers can be redeemed with real world currencies is through summoning and sending heroes home. Orbs are used to summon new Heroes. For a "collectible card game", orbs is thus the main currency to unlock new game content. Feathers are used to increase "rarity" of heroes, which increases their stats and is useful for merging and skill inheritance -- all of which increase the ability of player's roster and ultimately helps players access more gameplay content.
Orbs[edit | edit source]
Usage[edit | edit source]
Additional uses for orbs include expanding Barrack, upgrading Castle and replenishing items like Stamina Potions, Dueling Crests, or Light’s Blessings. Upgrading Castle at least past the initial levels requires relatively little orb investment while expediting the grind on hero levels. The expansion of Barrack, which limits the number of heroes (and their copies) player is allowed to retain, may become necessary as the player progresses. However, careful planning can reduce the need. Stamina Potions, Dueling Crests, or Light’s Blessings can be replenished through Quest and are thus by-products of playing the game.
Sources[edit | edit source]
Orbs are the rare premium currency in Fire Emblem Heroes that usually requires purchasing with real money. However, a respectable amount of orbs can be obtained through simply playing the game.
All-in-all, you can expect to get around 150 total orbs, which is enough to fully upgrade your castle (26 total orbs) and summon approximately 30 heroes. For most players this will be enough to complete all of the single player content and earn a decent amount of Hero Feathers in the Arena. Here are all of the ways you can get free orbs.
Daily Login Bonuses[edit | edit source]
Simply by logging in each day you will receive 2 free orbs. This is currently listed as a limited time offer, available until March 14th. Additionally, for logging in during the weekend you will receive additional items like Dueling Crests and Stamina Potions, which have benefits that are otherwise purchased with Orbs.
Link to Nintendo Account[edit | edit source]
By linking to a Nintendo Account you can gain 10 free orbs. Additionally, you gain access to special quests that each reward 100 Nintendo reward coins, that can be spent on Stamina Potions, Dueling Crests, Light’s Blessings, and Universal Shards and Crystals. However, if you plan on rerolling your account to get better heroes, it’s important to wait until after your last reroll to link a Nintendo Account!
Prologue, Main Story, Paralogues, and Special Maps[edit | edit source]
Every map completed in the Main Story awards an Orb, aside from one exception, Book II Chapter 1-5 on Normal, which has a different reward of a free Hero, Fjorm. You can earn additional orbs for completing Main Story maps on Hard and Lunatic difficulty as well. This all adds up to a total of 233 orbs available through the Main Story, as of November 27, 2017, with the release of Book II. It should be noted that some later Lunatic maps may be too difficult for all players to complete. If you want to maximize experience gains while doing these quests, We recommend swapping between characters and difficulties as necessary to not out-level the maps.
In addition to the Main Story maps, Nintendo occasionally releases Paralogues and Xenologues. Just like Main Story maps, these reward orbs for each difficulty level completed. A total of 135 orbs can be earned from completing all difficulties of each Paralogue map, and an additional 18 can be earned from completing all difficulties of each Xenologue map. Paralogues and Xenologues are always available, but come with limited-time quests to gain additional rewards.
Finally, from time to time, new Special Maps will be released. These include Grand Hero Battle and Bound Hero Battle maps, as well as various others. These maps are available only for a limited time, so you will want to complete these maps whenever they become available. The rewards for these Special Maps varies from map to map, though typically there are some quantity of orbs rewarded for the completion of all Special Maps aside from Grand Hero Battles, which instead reward units and feathers. Often, Special Maps will come with limited time quests as well, which may reward orbs.
Monthly Quests[edit | edit source]
Every month includes a new set of Quests. Completing these quests can give you rewards, including orbs. The quests also have different difficulty levels (Hard and Lunatic) that you can only access by completing all quests at the current level.
Feathers[edit | edit source]
Barrack Planning[edit | edit source]
Rerolling[edit | edit source]
The first free summon through the game tutorial has heightened chance of obtaining 5 heroes. It is thus conceivable for a player to reroll until a set of good heroes or player's favorite hero are obtained. Players may consult the reroll guide on this wiki. The most important rule is to not link your Nintendo account until after all rerolls are done, as the Nintendo Account will save your progress and prevent you from restarting your game!
Building an Effective Team[edit | edit source]
Regardless of if you are a Free-to-Play player or not, you will want to build an effective core team for completing story missions and competing in the Arena. Note that while you can adjust your team composition to suit the maps in Story Mode, any well balanced team should be able to complete all of the single player content up to Chapter 8 on Lunatic difficulty. A well balanced team is also helpful in arena, because you don’t have prior knowledge of what unit types your opponent will bring. This section will give you tips on building a strong team.
Build around your best heroes[edit | edit source]
The most important tip is simply to focus on building around your best heroes and choose characters that cover their weaknesses. If you already have a top tier Red Lord (like Lucina or Marth), then you probably don’t need any more red units for your team. If you have a strong tank (like Hector), then you may want to focus on finding characters that can support a choke-point strategy.
Use Strong 4- or 5-Star Heroes[edit | edit source]
It is always helpful to construct your team with individually powerful heroes. Each hero has a given potential (represented by stars, ranging from 1-5) that determines their stat growth and their available skills. As a rule, you will only want to focus on leveling characters with at least a 4 potential, as 3 and lower characters will be outclassed at higher levels because of their poor skill pool.
Additionally, different heroes have stats and skills that make them more or less desirable. While the recommendations should be taken with a grain of salt, the Tier List is helpful for deciding if a given character is worth adding to your team.
Color Balance[edit | edit source]
Color balance is essential to a good team. As the triangle in the lower right hand corner of the combat map shows, different attack colors have a rock-paper-scissors like cycle of advantages. Red beats Green, Green beats Blue, and Blue beats Red. Neutral units are equally powerful against all opponents (excluding special -Raven tomes). To make the most of this, it’s recommended that all teams include at least 2 different colors to improve opposing matchups. Also, because of how the AI behaves, it is often possible to “bait” the opponents into disadvantaged matchups, so a good color balance is very helpful for abusing the AI.
Magic and Physical Balance[edit | edit source]
In addition to color balance, it is also good to have a combination of physical and magical attackers. Physical attackers include Sword, Lance, Axe, Bow, and Dagger users, while magical attackers include Tome users, Staff users, and Dragons. The primary difference between these types of units is the defensive statistic they target. Physical attackers are effective against foes with low DEF ratings, while magical attackers do more damage against units with low RES stats. Having at least one unit of each type will help to break through walls that have a single very high defensive statistic.
Mobility and Range Balance[edit | edit source]
The last thing to consider for a good team is mobility and range differences. In order to focus fire on a single enemy unit it is useful to have a mix of infantry units, cavalry units, flying units, melee attackers, and ranged attackers. Melee units can attack most opposing ranged heroes without provoking counterattacks, and vice versa. Flying units or cavalry are often able to flank or attack units that would otherwise be inaccessible. So having a variety of character types can really help build a well balanced team.
Getting New Characters[edit | edit source]
In order to build your team, you will need heroes. While there are some heroes that you get for free, the vast majority must be summoned with Orbs. This section will show you how to get free heroes and give you tips to make the most of your precious Orbs.
Free Heroes[edit | edit source]
We wish we could say that this game gives you some great heroes for free, but that’s simply not the case. You will begin the game with the three 2 Starting heroes (Alfonse, Sharena, and Anna) and an assortment of other 1-3 heroes. By playing rotating Special Maps you can also unlock new 1-2 heroes. There are also occasional Grand Hero events that can reward heroes, but these can be very difficult if you don’t have a max level team already. Simply put, don’t expect a lot out of the free heroes.
Summoning[edit | edit source]
The primary way to get good heroes is through Summoning. To summon a hero, start by picking from one of the available summon focuses. You will then be offered five colored orbs, corresponding to the unit type that will be summoned. It costs 5 orbs to summon a unit (you must summon at least one from the offered orbs), and the remaining heroes can be summoned for 4 orbs, 4 orbs, 4 orbs, and 3 orbs, respectively. Summoning all five heroes costs a total of 20 orbs.
Tips for Summoning[edit | edit source]
While there’s certainly a lot of randomness in hero summoning, you can tilt the odds in your favor by making good choices. First, pick the best summoning focus available (the one with the most top tier heroes that you can use). Next, only summon orbs for unit type that you need to improve your team. For example, if you already have a top tier Red hero, don’t waste your precious orbs on summoning additional red heroes that will only be a minor improvement at best. Instead, focus on the colors that will most improve your team’s composition, especially if there is a focus unit of that color. While it may be tempting to summon all heroes to get the most of the additional summon discounts, getting a high value hero is worthless if it doesn’t improve your primary team.
Tips for Unlocking Potential/Merging Heroes[edit | edit source]
While a free-to-play player won’t have many opportunities to upgrade or merge their heroes, it’s worth considering the possible benefits. Unlocking potential allows you to spend crests/badges and Hero Feathers to increase the star rank of a hero (and reverting them to level 1). This is very expensive, especially to upgrade a character from 4 to 5, but it can certainly be worth it if a 1-4 character could round out your primary team. This is another good opportunity to point out that there are only 4 slots on a team, so even if you only get a small number of 5 units from unlocking potential, it can really improve your performance.
Another advanced feature is merging heroes. Merging heroes allows you to combine duplicate heroes in order to strengthen them. Merging heroes of the same star rank will give additional Skill Points and additional stats, similar to a level up. Notably, this is the only way to improve the stats of a level 40 hero, so merging heroes will likely play a big role at the highest level of play. However, a free-to-play player is unlikely to get duplicates of any of the powerful 5 heroes, especially if they follow my above advice for summoning.
What Free-to-Play Players Miss Out On[edit | edit source]
While this guide should help any players looking to play without spending money, it is still good to know what goals are going to be difficult or impossible to achieve without buying orbs. Here is a list of things you won’t be likely to do.
Arena Rankings[edit | edit source]
A free-to-play player can easily compete in the Arena to earn feathers. Achieving a top-rank on the leaderboards, however, is very unlikely. Because of the way that matchmaking and scoring behaves, players with optimized teams and multiple merges have a higher potential number of points in a single Arena run. As a result, only players willing to spend large amounts of money or devotion are likely to earn spots in the top 100.
Non-Focus 5 Heroes[edit | edit source]
Getting 5 heroes is very possible without spending money. In fact, a free-to-player has at least an 85% chance of earning one 5 hero and will find two 5 heroes on average (this goes up if you are willing to reroll). The chances of finding a specific non-focus hero with all of your free orbs, though, is less than 3%. So if there is a specific hero that you really want, expect to fork over a lot of cash.
Large Hero Collections[edit | edit source]
As stated before, you will get about 30 heroes from summons with your free orbs. Since this includes some 3 heroes, you won’t have an expansive collection with all of your favorite Fire Emblem characters. Instead of trying to complete your collection, it’s better to focus on having at least one very competitive team.
Merging 5 Heroes[edit | edit source]
While the competitive meta is not fully developed, it seems likely that merged heroes will eventually dictate the upper levels of competitive play. Considering the expense and difficulty of obtaining specific 5 heroes, getting duplicates that can be merged together is prohibitively expensive. Moreover, unless you already have a perfect 5 team composition, it’s going to be better to focus on unit colors other than the ones on your team. Simply put, don’t shoot for 5 merges if you want to play for free (or cheap).