Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is out now for the Nintendo 3DS and the turn-based tactical fighting game returns in this remake of a classic Fire Emblem title.

However, if you’re familiar with how weapons work in the recent Fire Emblem games this title may have changes that surprise you. These changes streamline the game and make it simpler for those who are playing Fire Emblem for the first time, but a lot of the mechanics still remain the same, like character movements and classes.

Here’s our primer on how to fight in Shadows of Valentia.

BASICS

When players enter a battle, they’ll see their army lined up in a random formation. In this menu, before the fighting begins, you can look at the entire map to see where the enemy army is and any terrain/obstacles you may come across.

This is also the best time to manage your inventory and what each character has equipped. But the biggest part of the pre-battle preparations is swapping your army around. You can adjust where each character begins the battle.

To move your characters around, highlight a unit and blue squares will appear on the map. This shows where that unit can move. If you highlight an enemy unit, red squares will appear and show where they can move. Plan where to place your units to avoid being in the crosshairs of an enemy.

To attack enemies, you need to move your unit adjacent to the enemy and choose attack. A screen will appear in the lower screen that shows how much damage you’ll deal, the hit percentage and whether there will be a follow-up attack.

WEAPONS/SPELLS

In previous Fire Emblem games, a weapon triangle was introduced to make it easier to figure out which weapon was strong against which. In Shadows of Valentia, that weapon triangle is thrown out. This puts each weapon on equal footing, with the exception ofarrows being strong against flying characters and weapons with special attributes.

This streamlining of the weapons system makes fighting in Shadows of Valentia just a straight beat ‘em up and a race to make the first move.

Another big change is that archers and mages can now counterattack against those who attack from one space away. In the past, an archer or mages’ greatest weakness was that they couldn’t counterattack sword, axe or lance wielders.

Sword, axe and lance wielders still can’t counterattack weapons that have a range of two or more spaces.

Mages who use attack or recovery magic will be depleting their own health to use it. In the past, there was a separate magic bar alongside the health bar, but in Shadows of Valentia magic uses up a bit of health so be aware of how much you’re sacrificing.

WEAPON SKILLS

Each character can become proficient with a particular weapon. Under each weapon that is equipped, there is a progress bar. On the side, there is a list of skills and abilities that a character can learn based on their class or weapon. If the skill has question marks, it hasn’t been unlocked yet and only using that weapon in battle will unlock it.

The progress bar will slowly fill up after every battle and inform you when a skill has been unlocked.

Some weapon skills, like magic spells, cost some health to perform. You cannot do multiple strikes with these skills, unlike a normal attack.

MOVEMENT SPEED

Think of each map in Shadows of Valentia as a chess board. You’ll move your units around the board until you reach your mission objective.

Every unit has a certain amount of spaces it can move on the map. This number can be found right below both the LV and EXP. Each unit’s class affects this stat and can’t be changed in any way.

It’s worth noting that any unit with a steed (such as a horse, pegasus or wyvern) will have a higher movement number and those with heavy armor like Knights and Generals will have lower movement numbers. Keep that in mind when choosing your units.

TERRAIN

Every map will have different terrain, whether it’s tall grass, mountains etc. you’ll have to maneuver your units across these obstacles.

Flying steeds like Pegasus and Wyverns can fly over almost anything. Large body of water? Just have one of them fly over it. Any unit on horseback will also be able to travel over different types of terrain like mountains and cliffs easier than anyone on foot.

But terrain in Shadows of Valentia doesn’t just affect movement, it can affect battles. If your unit is in a different type of terrain like tall grass, it will give your unit a boost in stats specifically your SKILL stat on offense and your chance to avoid attacks on defense.

This is also true for the enemy so be sure to get the terrain advantage first.

STATS

The stats of every unit determines what role they play in battle. For example, frontline tanks have high attack and defense.

Here are each stat and what they do:

STR = The strength stat affects damage the unit deals with physical attacks.

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.

MAG = The magic stat affects the damage from tomes.

LCK = The luck stat has various effects that normally affects a unit’s ability proc rate. But it lowers the risk of enemy critical hits.

SKILL = This affects the hit rate and the frequency of critical hits.

DEF = The defense stat reduces damage from physical attacks.

RES = The resistance stat reduces the damage from magical attacks.

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

There are various items in the game that can raise certain stats permanently or equipments that will raise/decrease stats as long as they are equipped.
Is there any other battle tips in Shadows of Valentia that we may have missed? Let us know your favorite strategies in the comments section below.