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From Fire Emblem Wiki, your source on Fire Emblem information. By fans, for fans.

For the maps in Fire Emblem Gaiden and Shadows of Valentia called "Skirmish", see The Pilgrimage/Skirmish, War of Deliverance/Skirmish, and Land of Sorrow (Gaiden)/Skirmish.

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Ephraim engages an Entombed in a skirmish at Za'ha Woods in The Sacred Stones.

A skirmish or challenge (Japanese: 遭遇戦 encounter battle) is a type of battle which occurs outside the game's main chapters in the Fire Emblem games that feature the world map system: Gaiden and its remake Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, The Sacred Stones, Awakening, and Engage. In these games, groups of enemy units periodically appear on the world map, and the player can engage them in a skirmish to gain experience and clear the path obstructed by the enemies.

Fates and Three Houses also feature optional battles, known in the latter as auxiliary battles, but they work differently due to the lack of an explorable world map.


Mechanics and specifics


Technically speaking, almost every encounter in Gaiden is a skirmish contained within a single chapter. Unique to the Gaiden treatment of skirmishes is that, every few turns taken on the world map, certain enemy locations will spawn skirmish armies which are in subsequent turns capable of travelling around the world map themselves and may even ambush Alm or Celica's parties should they attempt to move to the present location of a protagonist. It is possible for enemy groups to double up, with two separate enemy armies moving to occupy the same location; in this case, the player fights both groups at once.

Unlike later games, skirmishes in Gaiden consist almost exclusively of human enemies.

The Sacred Stones

After Chapter 8 has been completed, skirmishes become available. Every time the player completes a chapter or visits the Tower of Valni or Lagdou Ruins, bands of monsters will spawn on certain locations on the world map, as marked by the group's boss. When a location is occupied, the player is prevented from being able to pass it until it has been cleared (while in theory this involves routing the enemy, the location will also be cleared if the player retreats instead). As with the Tower and Ruins, enemies are randomly generated and may be spawned carrying weapons, items, or bags of gold which they drop upon defeat.

The following locations can host skirmishes:

  • Za'ha Woods
  • Adlas Plains
  • Bethroen
  • Teraz Plateau
  • Za'albul Marsh
  • Hamill Canyon
  • Narube River
  • Neleras Peak
  • Melkaen Coast

The strength of the enemies present in a skirmish is dependent on the location, scaling in difficulty based on the location's situation in the game; Za'ha Woods houses the easiest skirmishes, while Melkaen Coast—which does not feature as a chapter in the main game—is the most difficult. All skirmishes will randomly commence with fog of war either on or off.[what probability?]


Challenges start appearing on the world map following the completion of Chapter 3, comprising bands of enemy Risen. They work mostly the same way as in The Sacred Stones, except now the player is not obstructed by the presence of challenges and can walk past them to other destinations on the world map, only engaging them by choice. All locations on the map (with the exception of the Endgame's location) are capable of playing host to challenges.

If the player opts to engage a StreetPass or SpotPass bonus team in battle to attempt to recruit their leader, this also acts as a challenge. It is possible to summon Risen groups to the world map at any time using Reeking Boxes; the group will appear on the same location the player was on at the time of using the Reeking Box. The levels of the opposing army depend on where they were summoned; they will be weaker on earlier maps, but get progressively stronger on later maps.

In Lunatic and Lunatic+ modes, the levels of Risen challenges are dependent not on what map they appear on, but on several other factors, such as progress in the main story, how many battles the player has fought, and the overall rating of the player's army. As it is not map-dependent, this can result in challenges on even the Prologue's map being so powerful to the point that their stats are capped.


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In Birthright and Revelation, challenges can be found on the next chapter menu after completing chapter 6. The player can also scout to spend gold to make a challenge appear. Challenges do not appear at all in Conquest. As with Awakening, the levels of the opposing army vary depending on where they were scouted at.

Like Gaiden, most enemies are human, but some Faceless appear.

Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

The world map system of Shadows of Valentia is identical to Gaiden's. However, the term skirmish is used only to refer to battles against monsters in graveyards (no term was used in the original).

Three Houses

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Auxiliary battles can be accessed through the map selection screen at the end of each in-game week after completing chapter 2. On Normal Mode, the first 2 options doesn't cost any activity points while the third option, of higher level, and Rare Monster Sighting battles cost a single point. On Hard and Maddening Mode, any auxiliary battle costs one activity point. Each auxiliary battle offer gold as well as monastery items such as produces or ores when completed.

While on the map selection screen, if an auxiliary battle has already been completed, the player can't access the Goals and Promotions sections in the menu. As with Awakening's Lunatic and Lunatic+ modes, the levels of the opposing army vary depending on the player's progress in the main story.

Enemies in auxiliary battles are mostly humans with the exception of some battles where a monster unit acts as a third army and Rare Monster Sighting where the enemies are all monsters. Human bosses also drop a bullion when defeated while the Rare Monster Sighting bosses will drop a rusted weapon which can be repaired to either a silver weapon or an Archanean regalia for swords, lances, axes, and bows or a pair of Dragon Claws for gauntlets. Which type of weapon is dropped by monster bosses is determined by their classes: Giant Wolfs drop Rusted Sword or Rusted Gauntlets, Giant Birds drop Rusted Sword or Rusted Bow, and Wild Demonic Beasts drop Rusted Lance or Rusted Axe. Resetting auxiliary battles by either quitting and re-entering the battle or soft-resetting the enemies may change the enemies' classes and thus, may change the weapon type of the monster boss' drop. However, the quality of the rusted weapon drop when repaired is fixed and cannot be reset.


In Engage skirmishes start appearing after completing Chapter 6, and can appear on any previously completed map. During a skirmish the player will battle Corrupted foes that they can defeat for experience and gold.

Engage also features training battles, which is any skirmish that spawns in Firene Castle, Brodia Castle, or Solm Palace. During training battles the player will face off against castle guards from their respective country, and permadeath will be disabled on Classic Mode. After a training battle, any surviving unit will receive 30 experience, the player will receive 1,000 G for each donation level they have with the country, and any fallen allies will be revived.

A skirmish may appear once any of the following conditions are met:

Appearance rates of skirmishes
Condition Normal Hard Maddening Post-game
(all difficulties)
Real time passes (max 24 hours) 3 hours 3 hours None 3 hours
Complete chapter, paralogue or xenologue 3 battles 5 battles 7 battles 1 battle
Complete Relay or Outrealm trial 3 battles 3 battles None 3 battles
Play minigames 5 minigames 5 minigames None 5 minigames

The level of enemies met in skirmishes equates to the average level of the player's X highest level units +2, where X is the number of available deployment slots. The skirmish boss will always be 5 levels higher than the other enemies. This level calculation does not apply to skirmishes at the Divine Paralogue and the Fell Xenologue, where the levels are entirely random.

Depending on the donation level of the country the skirmish appears in, there is a chance for the battle to feature either gold or silver Corrupted. Gold Corrupted drop gold when defeated, while Silver Corrupted grant extra experience. The amount of gold dropped by Gold Corrupted is dependent on the country's donation level and the game's difficulty level.

Gold granted by gold corrupted
Donation level Base money Difficulty Additional money
1–2 1,000 Normal +0
3–4 1,200 Hard +300
5 1,500 Maddening +500

If a special enemy spawns on one of the following locations, the battle will have fog of war:

  • Mountain Settlement
  • Destinea Cathedral
  • Shadowy Moor
  • Oasis Village
  • Elusia Castle
  • Dark Ruins
  • Underground Passage
  • Bracelet Altar

Etymology and other languages

Names, etymology, and in other regions
Language Name Definition, etymology, and notes

• Skirmish
• Challenge
• Auxiliary battle

• This name is used in The Sacred Stones, Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, and Engage.
• This term is used in Awakening and Fates.
• This term is used in Three Houses.



Encounter battle, meeting engagement


• Lucha
• Desafío
• Escaramuza

• Fight. Used in The Sacred Stones.
• Challenge. Used in Fates.
Skirmish. Used in Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.


• Escarmouche
• Confrontation
• Défi
• Expédition

• Skirmish. Used in The Sacred Stones and Shadows of Valentia.
• Confrontation. Used in Awakening.
• Challenge. Used in Fates.
• Expedition. Used in Three Houses.


• Scharmützel
• Herausforderung

• Skirmish. Used in The Sacred Stones.
• Challenge. Used in Fates and Shadows of Valentia; abbreviated as Herausfor. in Fates.


• Lotta
• Sfida
• Contesa

• Fight. Used in The Sacred Stones.
• Challenge. Used in Fates.
• Dispute. Used in Shadows of Valentia.



Confrontation. Used in Shadows of Valentia.



Encounter battle. Used in Shadows of Valentia.

Simplified Chinese


Encounter battle. Used in Shadows of Valentia.

Traditional Chinese


Encounter battle. Used in Shadows of Valentia.


Ss fe08 opening of a battle.png
  • If an enemy ambushes Alm at Zofia Castle in Fire Emblem Gaiden or Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, a battle takes place on a map not otherwise seen.
  • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, the text that appears when you get into a skirmish with an enemy has different text between the Japanese and international versions. In the Japanese version the text reads "Opening of a Battle!", while in the international versions the text simply reads "Skirmish!".

See also

Game mechanics
Out-of-battle management Base (BarracksBase CampBase conversationEveryone's ConditionsExpeditionGarreg Mach Monastery (Abyss) • My CastleSomniel) • Bonus experienceDungeonsGameplay modes (DifficultyCreature CampaignNew Game +) • GoldLessonsMila ShrinesPeddlerPreparationsRenownShopping (ArmoryBargainsForgeItem shopMerchantOnline shopSecret shop) • Supply convoyWorld map
Battles and chapters ArenaBattle saveBossCastleChapter (Alternate routeParalogueSide quest) • ChestCombat forecastEvent tilesHidden treasureObjectivesReinforcementSkirmishTerrain (Hazards) • Turn (Turn rewind) • Weather (Fog of war) • Village
Stats Units ActionAffinityAuthorityBiorhythmCharmClass (Class masteryClass relative powerUnit type) • Constitution (Aid) • DefenseExperienceFollow-up critical multiplierGrowth rateHit pointHoly BloodInventoryLevelLuckMagicMovementProficiencyResistanceSkillSpeedStrengthWeapon levelWeight
Weapons Brave weaponCritical rateDurabilityHitKill bonusMightPersonal weaponsRangeWeapon experienceWeapon levelWeightWorth
Unit mechanics and commands AdjutantAttack (Counterattack) • Auto-BattleBattalion (Gambit) • CantoChain attackChain GuardClass change (Reclass) • Combat artCrestsDance (GaldrarPlaySing) • Death (Decoy) • DismountDragon VeinEmblem RingsFatigueInventoryLaguz transformationLove (JealousyInheritance) • Pair UpRallyRecruitmentRescue (Capture) • Skills (Offensive skill) • SmashStaggering BlowStatus effectsSupportTalkTradeUnit (AvatarBond unitsBonus unitEinherjarLoan unitPrisonerReplacement unitSubstitute character) • Visit
Calculations AttackAttack speedAvoidBonus damageCritical hit (Combination bonusDodgeTriangle Attack) • Hit rate (True hit) • Random number generatorWeapon triangle (Trinity of magic)
Connectivity amiiboData transferDouble DuelDownloadable contentLink ArenaMultiplayer battleOnline shopSpotPassStreetPass
Other BarrierBirthdayClass rollGlitchesMultiple endingsRankingsSound RoomTactician bonus