I'm not saying I have a problem — because I totally don't and it's not a problem if you have fun doing it — but I may have beaten Lunatic mode in Fire Emblem Heroes recently. Yes, it just came out a few days ago. No, I didn't spend any money on the game.
See, Lunatic difficulty isn't all that bad if you know how to take advantage of some of the game's mechanics. So if you're looking to take on Fire Emblem Heroes' greatest challenge, read on!
Oh, and for anyone wondering, no, beating the game on Lunatic does not seem to unlock anything :(
A Few Basics To Go Over First
All right, this section may be old hat to a lot of you, but just in case, it's worth going over some aspects of the game that you'll want to keep in mind before diving head-first into Lunatic.
- Try to have variety in your party. You might be able to get by without covering the game's three main colors, but you'd be making your life unnecessarily difficult. Similarly, it helps to have a mix of ranged/melee/caster heroes.
- Invest in a better castle to boost EXP gains. If you weren't aware, you can upgrade your castle with Orbs to the point of increasing EXP gains by 100%. This helps a lot.
- Check the Danger Area and where each enemy can attack. If you're not already hitting the Danger Area button on the bottom of your screen, you're missing out on a good way to see, well, danger areas. Similarly, if you need to avoid specific enemies, it helps to click on them to see their personal attack range.
- The more 5* heroes you have, the better. This one is a bit RNG-based, and not entirely imperative, but will help. I had two 5-star heroes and two 4-star heroes, and it was noticeably easier than my Normal playthrough with lower-star heroes.
- If you hit a wall, use the training tower or shards to level heroes quickly. Again, this might be obvious, but the training tower rewards decent EXP (unlike repeating completed missions) and the stamina cost to train isn't terrible either.
- Don't forget to spend SP on new abilities! If you're like me, you may get caught up in progression so much that you forget you're earning SP. Don't do that. Spending your SP on new abilities is all but required to make it through all of Lunatic mode.
Okay, still here? I hope so, because that was just the beginning. Lunatic's gonna need more than just some basics to topple, though!
Some More Advanced Tips For Approaching Lunatic
All right, once you have a handle on the basics, it's time to move into the minutiae that will push you from a Hard-mode player to a Lunatic-mode player. Again, you may be familiar with some of these, but it's the combination of them that really makes a difference. And if you do happen to know them all already, go beat Lunatic!
- It's almost always a good idea to only move to safe spaces on your first move. This is one of my personal favorites. At the beginning of the match, you'll likely be able to move each character into a safe spot. When you do, the enemy will either move into position (and closer to attack range), or it will go right back to being your turn. Using this allows you maximum time to organize your party's positioning and make sure you get the first hit on opponents.
- Always scout out every possible target before committing to an attack. It's easy to see a "0 HP" result next to an opponent and immediately strike — but wait! That one kill might put your hero in a vulnerable position and get them killed next turn. By seeing every hero's attack options, you can better optimize where you strike, even if it means delaying a guaranteed kill.
- Sometimes it's better to let your opponent move first. Let's say you can attack your opponent and bring them down to 6 HP, but you'll also bring yourself down to 6 HP. Guess what happens next turn? You die. But assuming no other enemies are in attack range, if you let your opponent go first, they bring both of you down to 6 HP and then you can strike first next turn, killing them before they are able to counter-attack.
- See if your enemy can actually hurt you. Don't forget that a small few maps have healers who can't actually attack. Yes, they're a pain if they heal an enemy, but if you're ever unsure of your odds of survival, leaving the non-attacker for last makes for an easy final target.
- Light's Blessing can instantly activate Specials. Your specials (the ones you spent SP to get!) can do massive damage and provide powerful defenses if you have them active. When making the call between starting over and using a Light's Blessing (more on that below), it's worth remembering Light's Blessings will make all your heroes immediately able to use their specials.
All right, I think we've crossed the rough terrain and made it to the other side. It may seem like a lot to keep in mind, but once you get into the swing of things, putting it all together becomes second nature.
What's It Look Like To Actually Beat Lunatic?
Okay, so what does putting all of the above into action actually look like? For me, it started with finding the right composition of heroes — I went with two blue, one red, and one green, half 4-star heroes and half 5-star, and no healer. Then, simply enough, I leveled them a bit in the training tower.
Once I felt comfortable enough, I played through Hard mode with this team — the different modes essentially form a latter, with Hard mode's first level one step above of Normal's final level. Not only did doing so help me get a feel for these characters' strengths and weaknesses as a composition, it also helped me learn which maps I was likely to struggle on in Lunatic mode and prepare accordingly.
Really, at this point it came down to figuring out when/if I wanted to use Light's Blessings versus outright starting over. In the earlier chapters, you can usually get away with starting over, especially if you recognize your mistake. Later chapters, though, become a bit of a tougher decision.
See, I ran out of Stamina Potions and Light's Blessings — which meant that later missions with high-stamina costs came down to how I wanted to spend spare Orbs. Did I want to use an Orb to completely refill Stamina and try over? Or should I use the Orb to continue from where I left off?
In most cases, I used the Orb on Light's Blessing. The reason for this is because you'll still receive an Orb for completing the mission, which makes using one to continue a 1:1 trade. If you're sure you can beat a mission by starting fresh, there's no difference between your two options. But more often than not, my chances were much better reviving my whole team and continuing from where I left off.
Really, though, I didn't wind up using Orbs on Light's Blessings until the 8th and 9th chapter, and even then it wasn't on every mission. If you're struggling before then, I'd say it couldn't hurt to revisit the training tower — and if that doesn't fix it, it might be time to power level and swap in a new hero. Otherwise, that should be all you need to make it through Lunatic!
What are your personal tips for making it through the toughest challenges in Fire Emblem Heroes?