|“||Weapons possess a unique hierarchy:
Swords best axes.
Axes best lances.
Lances best swords.
This is called the weapon triangle.
— Weapon triangle guide in Shadow Dragon.
Weapons in the Fire Emblem series have been arranged into a few different categories. In earlier games, such as Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, there are three basic weapons: swords, axes, and lances. This also introduces the way weapons work. Each weapon has a strength and weakness in the triangle.
The weapon triangle (Japanese: 武器の相性 weapon compatibility or 武器の３すくみ), as the game refers to it (first in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War), is in a "rock-paper-scissors" format. Swords are more effective against axes but less effective against lances, lances are more effective against swords but less effective against axes, and axes are effective against lances but less effective against swords.
However, a character with a sword can still defeat an enemy with a lance, and the same holds for the other weapons. Not to mention, there are weapons that reverse the triangle such as a Lancereaver (a type of sword).
Although the weapon triangle does affect damage, it does not necessarily determine the outcome of a battle. It merely determines the strength of the weapon and the chance the unit can hit his or her opponent.
The weapon triangle has been reorganized slightly in Fire Emblem Fates, to encompass almost all available weapon types: Swords and tomes are effective against axes and Bows, axes and bows are effective against lances and daggers, and lances and daggers are effective against swords and magic.
Weapon triangle bonuses
A unit with weapon triangle advantage has one the following sets of values added to their respective stats, while one with weapon triangle disadvantage has one of the sets subtracted from their respective stats instead. Additionally, if a unit suffers weapon triangle disadvantage, their weapon level bonuses are negated during the battle.
|Weapon triangle bonuses/penalties by game|
|Game||Weapon level of unit with triangle advantage|
|Genealogy of the Holy War||Hit rate ±20%|
|Thracia 776||Hit rate ±5%|
|The Binding Blade||Hit rate ±10%, Attack ±1|
|The Blazing Blade||Hit rate ±15%, Attack ±1|
|The Sacred Stones||Hit rate ±15%, Attack ±1|
|Path of Radiance||Hit rate ±10%, Attack ±1|
|Radiant Dawn||Hit rate ±10%, Attack ±1|
|Shadow Dragon||Hit rate ±5%||Hit rate ±10%||Hit rate ±10%, Attack ±1|
|New Mystery of the Emblem||Hit rate ±5%||Hit rate ±10%||Hit rate ±10%, Attack ±1|
|Awakening||Hit rate ±5%||Hit rate ±10%||Hit rate ±10%, Attack ±1||Hit rate ±15%, Attack ±1|
|Fates||Hit rate ±5%||Hit rate ±10%||Hit rate ±10%, Attack ±1||Hit rate ±15%, Attack ±1||Hit rate ±20%, Attack ±2|
In Heroes, the weapon triangle boosts the attack of the unit with advantage by 20%, while reducing the attack of the unit with disadvantage by 20% as well.
Items and skills affecting the weapon triangle
- This list may be incomplete.
|Weapons and skills affecting the weapon triangle|
Etymology and other languages
|Names, etymology and in other regions|
|Language||Name||Definition, etymology and notes|
|Japanese|| • 武器の相性
| • Weapon compatibility|
|Spanish||Triángulo de las armes||Triangle of the weapons|
|French||Triangle des armes||Triangle of the weapons|
|Italian||Triangolo delle armi||Triangle of the weapons|
- "To begin with–and probably the biggest surprise: apparently the weapon triangle has been revised. Part of this could already be observed (in multiple screenshots, swords were strong against bows), but here's the rest. Sword and Magic > Axe and Bow > Lance and Hidden Weapon > Sword and Magic" — VincentASM, Fire Emblem if 21st May Famitsu leak: Weapon Triangle Revamped, Serenes Forest, Published: 19 May 2015, Retrieved: 19 May 2015