One major aspect of Fire Emblem: Three Houses is your choice between the three titular houses, which determines your initial cast of fighters. That need not be your squad for the whole game, however – with some effort, you can steal characters from rival houses.
Recruiting different characters to join your army is a Fire Emblem series staple, but in Three Houses it works a little differently in light of the academy school-based setting, with you working to try to get characters to join your class.
Once you’ve chosen one of the Three Houses, you’ll have access to eight characters from that house, making for nine deploy-able units when you include the protagonist. You might like all of those units, or perhaps only like some of them – but the good news is that you can poach from other houses, with a few exceptions. The house leader and their immediate aide of each house can’t be recruited for obvious reasons. The aide is the character you always see with them in story scenes, like Hilda for Claude.
How Character Recruitment works in Fire Emblem: Three Houses
First of all, we recommend that you get to know the various students of the monastery after you’ve made your house choice. The best time to do this is as we suggest in our Fire Emblem Three Houses tips page – use your free time at the monastery to explore and chat to everyone. Doing so will give you an idea of their personalities and even their skill set, and that’ll help you to decide who you might want to join your cause. Once you’ve got a target in mind, your ability to recruit them is defined by three points:
- A specific one of the protagonist’s skill levels
- A specific one of the protagonist’s stats
- The support level between the protagonist and the recruitment target
Exactly what is required will vary from character to character, though a C-rank or above seems to do the trick in most cases for both skills and support levels. You can raise skills through using skills in battle and through faculty training, while your support level is determined by your personal relationship with that character, as is Fire Emblem tradition. Support Rank can be raised by giving gifts, returning lost items, spending time with characters by eating with them and inviting them to tea or by fighting alongside them if you invite them to join your squad on a more temporary basis. Some of the items useful for this can be found around the monastery, purchased in shops or drop when you scan amiibo at the gazebo.
As a warning, at a point a ways into Fire Emblem Three Houses the story takes a significant turn – and at this point your recruitment might stick or might be undone by the various story goings-on, but don’t panic – eventually, recruited characters will find their way back to you one way or another. These events also open up some more recruitment options – and we’re working to add these to this list over the coming days.
Fire Emblem Three Houses Recruitment Requirements
|Anette||MAG & Faith||Blue Lions (Kingdom of Faerghus)|
|Ashe||CHA & Lance||Blue Lions (Kingdom of Faerghus)|
|Bernadetta||STR & Bow||Black Eagles (Adrestian Empire)|
|Caspar||STR & Brawl||Black Eagles (Adrestian Empire)|
|Dedue||Unrecruitable||Blue Lions (Kingdom of Faerghus)|
|Dorothea||CHA & Authority||Black Eagles (Adrestian Empire)|
|Felix||SPD & Sword||Blue Lions (Kingdom of Faerghus)|
|Ferdinand||DEX & Heavy Armor||Black Eagles (Adrestian Empire)|
|Hilda||CHA & AXE (Blue Lions, after Chapter 3)||Golden Deer (Leicester Alliance)|
|Hubert||Unrecruitable||Black Eagles (Adrestian Empire)|
|Ignatz||DEX & Authority||Golden Deer (Leicester Alliance)|
|Ingrid||DEX & Flying||Blue Lions (Kingdom of Faerghus)|
|Leonie||STR & Lance||Golden Deer (Leicester Alliance)|
|Linhardt||MAG & Reason||Black Eagles (Adrestian Empire)|
|Lorenz||CHA & Reason||Golden Deer (Leicester Alliance)|
|Lysithea||MAG & Faith||Golden Deer (Leicester Alliance)|
|Marianne||MAG & Riding||Golden Deer (Leicester Alliance)|
|Mercedes||MAG & Bow||Blue Lions (Kingdom of Faerghus)|
|Petra||DEX & Riding||Black Eagles (Adrestian Empire)|
|Raphael||STR & Heavy Armor||Golden Deer (Leicester Alliance)|
|Sylvain||CHA & Reason||Blue Lions (Kingdom of Faerghus)|