Fire Emblem Heroes’ bite-sized tactics battles are exciting, but the game suffers from a greedy gacha system and grindy mechanics. Luckily, the latest update hands out some free hero summons and adds a new challenge mode.

Battles in Fire Emblem Heroes start as a brisk bit of fantasy-based strategy that only sometimes offer challenge. The game’s come a long way since release, offering a self-contained permadeath mode that spices up the experience. Unfortunately, those battles only happen at limited times. Now, a new arena mode adds some extra difficulty to the game. Arena Assault drops players into an extended sequence of battles where they can never use the same hero twice. The objective is to survive seven battles in a row, a daunting task for even high level teams. Arena Assault prevents players from falling back on their most powerful heroes and adds some extra problem solving.


A major component of Fire Emblem Heroes is making sure you have a broad stable of units to use in certain situations. For players who don’t want to spend cash, that means playing through maps to earn orbs to spend summoning heroes. Orbs are limited in quantity, which makes it hard to get new units. To fix this, Fire Emblem Heroes now gives players one free summon for every new event. It’s not a lot, but it increases chances for good units.

Fire Emblem Heroes is much more generous in handing out good units than other games. The chance of a five star hero starts at 5% and slowly increases with each new draw. For comparison, a game like Fate Grand Order has only a 1% chance of granting the best heroes. This is a change from Fire Emblem Heroes’ previous approach to summoning, which placed popular characters on banners right before new banners with super powerful heroes, effectively tricking players into a situation where they’d need to buy orbs.

Fire Emblem Heroes’ has slowly ramped up the challenge with new modes. Arena Assault tests dedicated players and encourages creative solutions. The smalls tweaks to summoning ensure that players have more chances to diversify their roster. It means more heroes and more heroic stuff to do. 

Senior Writer and Critic at Kotaku.

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