Difficulty Levels and Differences | Fire Emblem: Three Houses

This is a guide to the difficulty modes in Fire Emblem Three Houses (FE3H). Here we answer whether you should play the game on normal, hard, or maddening. We also explain the difference between Classic and Casual modes and list our recommended difficulty settings to suit your playstyle and game preference.

List of Difficulty Levels

There are three difficulty levels in the game. These are Normal, Hard, and Maddening.

Normal Mode

Normal Mode.jpg
Normal mode is the easiest mode FE3H has to offer. In this mode, the least amount of enemies appear in battle. Their levels are also lower than the harder difficulty modes. The greatest bonus is you can participate in battles infinitely. This mode is recommended for first-timers to the fire emblem series.

Hard Mode

Hard Mode.jpg
Hard mode gives a slightly more difficult experience than normal mode. There are slightly more enemies, and their levels are also slightly higher than Normal mode. This mode is recommended for veterans of Fire Emblem games that are trying the game out for the first time, or for those who have beaten Normal mode and want a harder challenge.


Maddening Mode.jpg
Oh boy oh boy. Maddening is as the name suggests, truly maddening. This difficulty mode twists your common sense and renders most strategies that have up to the present seemed to be effective suddenly useless. Enemies are several folds higher than on Hard mode, and enemies are also abundant in quantity. Experience earned is also lessened so there is no power leveling for your units.

Enemy reinforcements that appear also act the turn they arrive in combat making ambushes feel like real ambushes. Maddening mode is only suggested for players that have beaten the game on Hard Mode already. And the true challenge is beating the mode without relying on New Game Plus benefits.

List of Modes

There are also 2 modes that greatly affect the way you need to play the game. These are known as Casual Mode and Classic mode.

Casual Mode

Casual Mode is a game mode where perma-death is disabled. This means that your units that fall on the battlefield only retreat temporarily. They can again, participate in future battles and survive until the end of the game. If the thought of losing units for good is too stressful for you, feel free to turn it off and just enjoy each battle one at a time.

Classic Mode

This mode is what makes the game harder than it normally is. Classic Mode enables the perma-death feature. Units you control that have their HP depleted will permanently die, and become unusable in maps afterward.

Luckily, this game introduces the Divine Pulse mechanic, which allows you to redo turns a certain number of times per battle, meaning you do not have to restart the map each time one of your units meets a tragic fate.

For more information about the death of units, see our guide just below.
What Happens to Dead Units?

Which Difficulty Settings Should You Choose?

Casual - Normal for New Players

This is the best difficulty setting to choose if you are completely new to the franchise. It takes away the tension of having your units die, and the only problem you would normally have is how to clear the battle. If you value story above challenge, this is also a good way to enjoy the rich story of FE3H.

Classic - Hard for Fans

Classic Hard mode is the best difficulty setting for long time fans of the series. It provides enough challenge for the player and the risk of permadeath makes you think carefully about every move you make, although you do have Divine Pulse to save you a few times per battle.

Classic - Maddening for Hardcore Vets

Playing Classic Maddening or even just the Maddening game mode alone is enough to traumatize new players go into it without knowing anything about the game. The Maddening mode is only for those who truly seek a challenge and understand how the ins and outs of the game work.

Fire Emblem Three Houses Related Links

Beginner Guides

Beginner Guides.png
Stats and Game Mechanics
What Does Luck Do? What Does Dexterity Do?
What Does Weight Do? What Does Charm Do?
What Does Authority Do? What Does Speed Do?
The Attack Speed Formula How To Learn and Equip Abilities
Character Guides
Recruitment Guide Lecture Guide | How to Instruct
Classes That Can Use Magic List of Unique Classes
Best Classes for Each Character What Happens When Someone Dies?
How to Change Outfits -
Battle Guides
How to Beat Demonic Beasts How to Beat the Death Knight
Gambit Guide Training Weapons or Iron Weapons?
How Do Linked Attacks Work? How to Use Divine Pulse
How to Use Auto Battle List of Terrains
How to Open Doors and Chests -
Building your Army
Best Characters to Recruit What Are Adjutants?
How to Repair Weapons Are Rusted Weapons Worth Forging?
Where to Get Umbral Steel What is Renown?
Where to Get Advanced Seals -
Maddening Guides
Maddening Tips and Guide Best Characters for Maddening
What Carries Over To New Game Plus? How Long Does It Take To Beat FE3H?
Difficulty Levels and Differences Is There a Weapon Triangle?
Which House Should You Pick? -

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