One of the more addicting qualities to Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the ability to recruit members of other Houses. While some purists may find more of a challenge in sticking to the initial members, being able to play as any character is as enticing as your favorite character getting into Super Smash Bros. But with 25 additional characters possible to recruit, one could struggle to gather them all. This Three Houses guide is designed to maximize recruiting efficiency so that you can play with new characters sooner. And when all is available to you, you’ll have more time to worry about other things, like supports!
A couple disclaimers before continuing:
- This guide assumes the player is on the Normal difficulty. The effectiveness of some steps highlighted here will depend on it.
- These steps are not listed in any particular order of importance (though I will inject some personal preference). What will work better for you will depend on the type of player you are. Hopefully, patience is a virtue for you.
What I believe to be the most important aspect of recruitment is to grind. Sounds counter-intuitive, no? Grinding through battle actually provides a large assortment of benefits to the realization of easy recruitment. In Three Houses, there will always be one auxiliary battle that will not cost any activity points (on Normal difficulty), meaning one can replay battle to their heart’s content. By doing so, players can reap the rewards of fighting that will lead to making recruitment easier.
You see, the battle system is essentially the catalyst that allows recruitment to be so efficient in Three Houses. This guide’s effectiveness is predicated on always battling, so while I noted before that there are no set order of importance to these steps, battling is one thing that is a requirement. How much battle is up to the player, but grinding to some extent is necessary.
Successful auxiliary battles lead to a number of things: obtaining money and loot, leveling units/skills, and building relationships. These three things are what makes battling so essential—some more than others. Acquiring a ton of money allows for buying gifts to use to build relationships with others, as well as seeds and bait (more on this later). Some potential recruits require Byleth to be a certain level, and mastering skills is also required for recruitment. Partaking in battle makes for a lot of background work in-between gathering the resources needed to have everything come together.
Level Up Professor Level
Fire Emblem: Three Houses has a fun little system where fishing, gardening, eating with others, reading, and answering questions raises one’s proficiency with teaching. The “Professor Level” rewards the player with perks in the form of activity points, needed to do certain things while exploring the monastery, and adjutants, kind of like an “Exp. Share” in Pokémon logic. Beginning players start out with one activity point, and a maximum of ten at the highest Professor Level. Getting to that ten makes recruiting faster.
With activity points, one is able to partake in faculty training, where certain instructors and faculty member boost Byleth’s experience with certain skills. Seeing as recruiting characters requires proficiency in specific areas, the faculty training is undoubtedly important. These training sessions provide far more experience than one could receive from matches, lest one only uses Byleth in battle. Careful planning can allow for a balance of different skills Byleth can work at to appease as many recruits as possible.
For quicker Professor Level grinding, one must wait until after chapter four, when a quest to help out merchants becomes available. After completing it, merchants will arrive at the monastery that Byleth can buy materials and other items from. One of these merchants provides bait used to catch fish, which can help squeeze out experience for the Professor Level. Catching bigger fish yields more experience, and with all the bait available, one can realistically fish for over a half an hour. Again, patience is necessary to see it all come to light, but for the sake of the students, it’s worth it. Otherwise, gardening helps, too, but that can only be done once a week.
Initially, I wasn’t sure if building a rapport with potential recruits would change anything, but a certain reddit user unearthed a dark secret: it does. In the long run, continually building supports can have one be recruited even when skill levels are still at E rank. But to cut the middle-man, it’s better to focus on building both simultaneously. Some things allow Byleth to build relationships automatically, though there are other activities that could make recruiting faster.
Delivering lost items allows a nice boost of camaraderie to form, so be sure to find every owner possible. Protip: Lost items are placed where characters were located the previous month, so that’s a huge hint to the owner’s identity. Tea parties are also very beneficial to building supports, as a great or perfect teatime builds heart points significantly by the end. When characters’ birthdays roll around, the player is given a free opportunity to exercise tea parties, so make use of it. Finally, giving gifts is a bullish (but expensive) option to boosting support levels exponentially in Three Houses. Again, however, it’s most effective after chapter four, when the merchants are available to purchase from.
Should one build up enough support, some expectations of students are lowered to make it easier to recruit. From personal experience, I had one run where I did not interact will Sylvain whatsoever, and I needed a B rank in Reason to recruit him. In another run, I had him at a C-rank relationship, and he only required a C rank in Reason to recruit. Continuing to dote on students will only lower the requirements in certain fields necessary to recruit them.
With the specific advice through with, these are the conditions the Three Houses recruits desire before joining your class:
- Alois – Recruitable outside Crimson Flower route on Chapter 12.
- Annette – Magic/Faith
- Ashe – Charm/Lance
- Bernadetta – Strength/Bow
- Caspar – Strength/Brawl
- Catherine – Joins automatically on Chapter 12 of Silver Snow route; recruitable starting on Chapter 4 of Verdant Wind/Azure Moon routes with high enough level.
- Cyril – Joins automatically on Chapter 12 of Silver Snow Route; recruitable starting on Chapter 4 of Verdant Wind/Azure Moon routes with high enough level.
- Dedue – Not recruitable
- Dorothea – Charm/Authority
- Felix – Speed/Sword
- Ferdinand – Dexterity/Heavy Armor
- Flayn – Joins automatically following Chapter 6.
- Gilbert – Joins automatically during Azure Moon route.
- Hanneman – Recruitable following Chapter 7.
- Hilda – Axe/Charm (Note: Cannot be recruited in Crimson Flower route.)
- Hubert – Not recruitable
- Ingrid – Dexterity/Flying
- Leonie – Strength/Lance
- Linhardt – Magic/Reason
- Lorenz – Charm/Reason
- Lysithea – Magic/Faith
- Manuela – Recruitable following Chapter 7.
- Marianne – Magic/Riding
- Mercedes – Magic/Bow
- Petra – Dexterity/Riding
- Raphael – Strength/Heavy Armor
- Seteth – Joins automatically on Chapter 12 outside Crimson Flower route.
- Shamir – Recruitable following Chapter 5 with high enough level.
- Sylvain – Charm/Reason (Note: If female Byleth, can be recruited immediately.)
Hopefully this guide to faster recruiting times in Fire Emblem: Three Houses helps you. If there’s anything you wish to add, feel free to comment below! And for more guides on Three Houses, check out our fast-leveling guide!