Weapon experience (commonly abbreviated WEx or WEXP) is a form of experience specific to a unit's weapon level, accrued through the continued use of weapons, magic or staves. Once a unit reaches a certain threshold of weapon experience in a weapon type, the matching weapon level increases and allows them to use a wider and more powerful selection of weapons. Weapon experience was first implemented in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 and is present in all subsequent titles.
In almost all uses of the system, WEx is gained through the use of weapons, with the unit's rank increasing by one after their weapon experience reaches a certain threshold. In this system, all weapons have an associated WEx value (hidden from the player's view, but generally publicized in guidebooks and online resources), and when a unit uses that weapon they gain the weapon's amount of WEx every time they successfully use the weapon to strike an enemy or, in the case of most staves, to heal an ally.
In the majority of games, WEx is gained on a per-hit basis; for example, a 2 WEx weapon will grant a total of four WEx to the matching rank if the wielder double-attacks. The exceptions to this are Awakening and Fates, in which WEx is gained on a per-round of combat basis. Furthermore, in the Game Boy Advance trilogy of games, a kill bonus is in effect in which the amount of WEx gained for a single blow is doubled if the unit successfully kills the enemy with said blow.
Weapon experience requirements by game
Upon gaining certain thresholds of weapon experience, a unit's weapon level in the matching weapon type will increase. While this mechanic has remained constant ever since Thracia 776, the required WEx thresholds regularly change between games.
|Weapon experience requirements for rank increase by game|
|Game||Rank progression (total WEx)|
|Base E||E to D||D to C||C to B||B to A||A to S||S to SS|
|The Binding Blade||1||51||101||151||201||251||--|
|Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade||1||31||71||121||181||251||--|
|The Sacred Stones||1||31||71||121||181||251||--|
|Path of Radiance||1||31||71||121||181||251||--|
|New Mystery of the Emblem||1||31||76||136||196||--||--|
Items and skills affecting weapon experience
|Items and skills affecting weapon experience|
- A common misconception is that WEx gain is directly linked to a weapon's weight. This is false in a literal sense, although in some games it is not uncommon for heavier weapons to also possess higher WEx; however, forging a weapon to boost its weight (or any other attributes) will not affect the weapon's WEx value, and will in most cases instead inconvenience the player with no benefit.