Free Time Guide | Fire Emblem: Three Houses (FE3H)

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This is a guide to Free Time in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Read here to find out about what to do with Free Time in FE3H, the various activities, their benefits and drawbacks, and how to use your Free Time wisely!

What Is Free Time?

At the start of every month, you are assigned a mission that will happen at the end of said month. Every weekend, labelled in red, you have free days where you can choose what to do with your time. You can only pick one of four options each weekend: Explore, hold a Seminar, Rest and Battle.

If you are curious as to which of these activities are the best use of your time, see the guide below!

Best Use of Free Time

Exploration

Explore allows you to wander Garreg Mach, use its facilities, and interact with the students and staff. This is where you will spend the bulk of your time, and this will allow you to access most of the game. This section is where Activity Points come into play, because they dictate how many of certain activities you can do. The more activity points you have, the better this becomes as an option. You can find out how to increase your number of activity points in the guide below.

How to Raise Professor Level

Accept Quests

FE3H Explore Quests.jpg
Side quests can only be accepted while exploring. You can see all available side quests in the bulletin boards around the monastery, or see the scrolls with an exclamation mark (!) on your map. Some quests require you to simply run around the monastery, while others require you to participate in a battle another day. These quests give various rewards that are shown once you accept them.

Should You Do Side Quests?

Find Items

FE3H Finding Items in the Monastery.jpg
If you wander around the monastery, you'll find blue auras you can interact with. These are items scattered around Garreg Mach. They can either be lost items, consummables, materials for cooking, bait, tea, or texts to raise professor experience. Either way, they're all worth keeping an eye out for and it doesn't hurt to pick them up.

Lost Items Guide | List of Lost Item Locations

Talk to Your Students and Allies

FE3H Talking to Students.jpg
Every month, students will have something new to say about the goings-on of Garreg Mach. Sometimes, you can reply to them, and choosing the correct reply will increase their support with you. However, they only come up with new things to say every month, so exploring more than once will not give them any new dialogue. If your answer did not raise their support with you, they will not prompt you again for a response the next time you talk to them that month. From here, you can also engaging in various other activities like Advanced Drills or Tea Time, or giving them Gifts.

Support and Romance Guide

To determine which students' monthly dialogue you have not heard while wandering, look out for the speech bubble icon next to their portrait in the map.

Accessing Special Shops

FE3H Marketplace
While you can access the main four shops outside of exploration (Item Shop, Blacksmith, Armory, Battalion Guild), there are a few select stores that you can only access through exploration. Completing the Clearing the Way sidequest in Chapter 5: Tower of Black Winds unlocks the Southern Merchant and Eastern Merchant. Completing The Secret Shop in Chapter 15 will unlock Anna's Secret Shop, and Taking Care of Business in Chapter 16 will unlock the Dark Merchant. All four can only be accessed by talking to them.

Share a Meal With Your Students

Sharing a meal with two other characters in the Dining Hall allows you to build a bond between the three of you. This is first unlocked by doing Sylvain's quest Share A Bite. available in Chapter 1: Three Houses.
FE3H Sharing A Meal.jpg
The first meal is always free, any meals after this cost ingredients from your own inventory. You can only do the free meal once per exploration, but you can dine with others as many times as you want provided you have the ingredients and activity points. Each student has their own likes and dislikes, and there are sometimes Dining Hall events which give bonuses when dining with certain students. These events will be marked on the calendar with a fork and knife icon.

Cooking Together

FE3H Cooking Together
For one activitiy point, you and one of your allies can cook a meal in the Dining Hall. You can unlock this after completing the head chef's quest Creative Cuisines in Chapter 2: Familiar Scenery.

Cooking a meal with a character in the dining hall increases their bond with you, and gives your house/army a bonus for the rest of the battles of the month depending on what meal you cooked. Specific food give different stat or skill buffs, and each requires unique ingredients found in battle, harvested from the greenhouse, or purchased from merchants unlocked later in the game.

Choir Practice

FE3H Free Time - Choir Practice.jpg
In the Cathedral, you can get two students to join in choir practice will you. First you will need to complete A Passion For Music, a sidequest that first appears in Chapter 2: Familiar Scenery. Afterwards, you will be able to get two students to join you for choir practice once per exploration. This will strengthen the bond between the three of you, increase the faith skill of all three of you, and increase your character's authority skill.

Training Tournaments

Starting from Chapter 4: The Goddess' Rite of Rebirth, every month, there is a training tournament that you can enter students in by talking to the Tournament Organizer in the Training Field. In the Calendar, the type of tournament and the reward is listed at the bottom.

If your student wins, you get the reward listed and some money, but if your student loses, you cannot retry the tournament until another exploration. In some tournaments, you can get Certification Seals that are still limited to buy in the store, so if your army has units that can get certified, it's recommended that you do these.

Faculty Training/Advanced Drills

Faculty Training, and later in Phase 2, Advanced Drills, allow you to improve one of your skills, similar to teaching your students at the start of the week, at the cost of one activity point. Each character offers different skill trainings, mostly they offer to train you in their strength. Take note that regardless of what you make them main as, they will always offer these set of skills. For example, if you recruit Hanneman and make him a Grappler, he will still offer classes in Bow, Reason, and Riding.

You can access this by talking to the character during exploration, where it will show up as an option. You can only do this with a character once but you can do it with multiple characters per Exploration.

Tea Time

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Tea time allows you to play a dialogue minigame to increase your support with your units. First, you must complete the quest Tea for Two that appears in Chapter 4: The Goddess' Rite of Rebirth, and upon completing it you get the option to Invite to Tea when you talk with students during exploration.

Once you invite them, you select a tea, and then there will be three rounds where you must choose one of three conversation topics the other would be interested in. You can get either a perfect tea time or a nice tea time, and they will increase your support with that character, as well as raise the charm of both of your characters.

Tea Time Guide

To be able to do tea time, you an activity point and tea. You can find tea around the monastery, as a quest reward, or buy it from the Southern Merchant when you unlock him.

Where to Get Tea

Using the Green House

Once you finish Dedue's quest Green Thumb Beginnings in Chapter 1: Three Houses, you gain access to the Greenhouse. The Greenhouse allows you to plant seeds that you can harvest the next time you explore. Additionally, you can choose to spend money on cultivations to increase the yield of your planted seeds. The higher your professor level. the more seeds you can plant, and the better cultivation options you can get to increase your yield. Harvesting happens the next Exploration day, not the next month, so if you wanted to you could harvest 3 times a month if you explored every weekend.
FE3H Greenhouse.jpg
You need to have seeds to plant them, which can be either harvested from previous crops, rewarded from quests, or bought at the Southern Merchant during exploration he is unlocked.

Fishing

You can start fishing in the fishing pond by first finishing Flayn's quest Fresh Catch in Chapter 1: Three Houses. You can start fishing by talking to man by the fish stall and selecting your bait. This will take you to the fishing minigame. This does not cost an activity point, but you do need bait before being able to fish. Fishing gets you fish that can be used for meals or for selling. It also is a way to raise professor experience without using activity points.
Fishing Guide

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Bait can be found around the monastery, obtained as a quest reward, or bought from the Eastern Merchant during exploration once he is unlocked.

Where to Get Bait

Free Time Battles

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You can choose to spend a weekend participating in battles. The amount of battles you can join is limited by your battle points, which can be increased by increasing your professor level.

There are different types of battles:

Regular Battles

Regular battles are generated battles that put you up against generic enemies in maps found in other missions. One battle costs one battle point, and usually offers a randomized reward, as well as one enemy unit that carries a bulliion. It may only appear once in the battle menu, but if you defeat it with battle points to spare, a new one will be generated.

The battles will either start with Battle in the..., meaning you fight bandits, or Monsters in the..., which means you have to fight monsters. The ending will be the location.

The maps you play on will either show up in main story battles, paralogue battles, or side quest battles, but your starting position and the layout of the enemies will be vastly different from these missions. A few examples of battles that take their map from other missions are:

Location Originating Mission
Desert Paralogue: Sleeping Sand Legend
Mountains Paralogue: Dividing the World
Magdred Way Chapter 3: The Magdred Ambush
Kingdom Paralogue: Weathervanes of Fodlan
Empire Paralogue: Retribution
Ruins Chapter 9: Salvation at the Chapel
Plateau Paralogue: Falling Short of Heaven

So a generated mission might be Battle in the Empire, meaning you fight bandits in the map of Retribution, or Monsters in the Ruins, meaning you fight monsters in the map of Salvation at the Chapel.

Endless Battles (Normal Difficulty)

In normal difficulty, there is a variation of this that has a lower recommended level, and no battle point cost. If you wish to grind your units so that they are high-leveled and you do not mind grinding, or if you want to level up your weaker units, you can repeat this battle as many times as you want in a weekend.

Rare Monster Sightings

These are special battles that you can only do on the weekend they're available. They happen in the same maps as regular maps, but the mission format is your army versus bandits, with a strong monster as the third army. This has higher level enemies than the Regular Battles and are a good chance to get some experience, as well as loot items from the monster.

It is possible to let the bandits fight the monster, as it can hold its own. If you're patient and lucky, the monster will keep a number of bandits occupied to make things easier for you.

Quest Battles

Quest battles are missions that you are given from exploration. They usually have multiple rewards in the form of quest rewards, rather than just battle rewards.

Paralogues

Paralogues are unique quest battles that you can only see if you have certain units in your house. They reveal more about a character or the bond between two characters, and they have good rewards. A good number of them reward you with Hero Relics, Unique Items, or Unique Battalions relevant to that character's background. For a guide of all the paralogues, check out our Paralogue Guide here!
Paralogues

Seminars

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You can choose to have someone hold a seminar during one of your free days. In Part 1, you can have any of the professors, including your character, hold a seminar to increase the skills of all those interested in attending.

Each character gives specific seminars that are related to two of their strengths, and only those with prior interest to the skills will attend. Attendees will gain +50 motivation from attending, as well as a substantial amount of skill from the seminar. If the seminar is given by someone other than your character, your character will attend it and get the corresponding skill bonuses.

Resting

Alternatively, you can choose to rest. Doing this raises all your students' motivation, and adds more uses to the Sword of the Creator once you obtain it. Aside from this, there isn't much else to be said about resting. If you choose to Skip to a date on the calendar, all free days will automatically default to resting.

Related Links

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