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Weapon level

From Fire Emblem Wiki, your source on Fire Emblem information. By fans, for fans.
Gordin's weapon level is high enough to wield Parthia, which, as a regalia weapon, has a high weapon level requirement.
You want to know something? You need to give weapons to those who can wield them. Otherwise, it's just a waste of a perfectly good weapon.
— Matthew, upon receiving an Armorslayer.

The weapon level system (Japanese: 武器レベル weapon level), abbreviated Wpn Lv in Path of Radiance[1] and Wpn. LV. in Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, is a system of weapon access management.

In Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, Mystery of the Emblem, and Fire Emblem: Archanea Saga, the range of weapons a unit has is dependent on their weapon level stat; like the level system all weapons are assigned a minimum weapon level required to use them. Weapon level is increased through level-ups, and it has its own growth rate. The stat applies equally to all weapon types available to the unit's class, allowing for a unit with access to multiple types equal proficiency in all of them. It was revamped in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and later fleshed out into its current form in Thracia 776.

The modern weapon levels exist in two forms, as a singular stat associated with almost all weapons and as a collective of stats for each individual unit; weapon levels denote a unit's proficiency in each weapon type, and the level associated with an individual weapon denotes the minimum weapon level in the matching weapon type required to use the weapon in question. Unlike the original weapon level system, a unit has a different weapon level for every weapon type to which they have access, all operating independently and thus preventing a unit from (in most cases) being equally proficient in all weapon types without extra effort.

Weapon levels do not exist in Fire Emblem Gaiden or Shadows of Valentia. In these games, a unit can use any weapon their class allows them to (excluding personal weapons).

In Three Houses, weapon levels are replaced with skill levels (Japanese: 技能レベル proficiency level), which are essentially the same mechanic except with the ability to level up a unit's proficiency in four non-weapon abilities, which are Authority, Riding, Heavy Armor, and Flying.

Overview

Highlighted: Lachesis's weapon levels as a Master Knight. By the standards of Genealogy of the Holy War, she has the maximum normal level for most weapon types, the lowest for light magic, and is unable to use dark magic.

In the original Archanea games, it is a stat which can be increased upon level up. If the unit's stat is greater than or equal to the weapon's level requirement, the unit can use that weapon, provided their class allows it. Weapon level numbers in these games were not standardized as they are today; for example, in most modern games, all silver weapons are leveled at B, but in the original Archanea games, the Silver Sword was level 9, the Silver Lance and Silver Bow were level 7, and the Silver Axe was level 10.

Modern weapon levels exist as a progressive scale of individual levels denoted by letters, ranging from E to A (or sometimes S); in almost all games the lowest possible weapon level is E, with weapons of this level usable by any unit with access to the matching weapon type. Generally speaking, the higher a weapon's level, the more powerful it is in exchange for greater weight and worth and lower durability. This progression is usually made evident in the naming scheme of weapons; for example, most physical weapon types come in a set of basic Bronze, Iron, Steel, and Silver variants, while anima magic types possess a series of increasing prefixes with the exception of the most powerful basic spell (e.g. Fire, Elfire, Arcfire, and Bolganone). Typically, the game's highest level (normally A or S) is reserved for a set of powerful or holy weapons which are often central to the game's plot. Depending on the game, personal weapons are either separated from the core level system or still have a level while being locked to individual units.

In almost all uses of the system, weapon levels can be increased by gaining weapon experience (abbreviated as WEx), with the unit's level 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), 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. The exceptions to this system are Genealogy of the Holy War and Fire Emblem Engage, where weapon levels are almost entirely static and are dictated primarily by a unit's class. In Genealogy, units who possess Holy Blood have their weapon levels altered depending on what kind of blood they possess. In Engage, every unit has one weapon type they are innately more proficient with, marked in blue on the weapon proficiency sheet; this weapon's level will be increased by one when the unit is in certain classes that can use that weapon—for example, Paladin naturally has A-level in lances, but a unit proficient in lances will have S-level lances as a Paladin.

Weapon levels by game

While for the most part the set of levels is static across all games, each features its own variation on available levels, with some treating A as the highest while others add the higher S or SS levels.

Weapon levels by game
Game Level (Lowest → Highest) Notes
E D C B A S SS
Genealogy of the Holy War Units who possess Holy Blood increase their weapon ranks if their class can equip the Holy Weapon of their lineage. Minor Holy Blood grants +1 rank in the relevant weapon type while Major Blood marks weapon rank as a ★, equivalent to an automatic A-rank in addition to being able to use the relevant Holy Weapon.
Thracia 776 --
The Binding Blade --
The Blazing Blade A unit may only possess a single S level at a time; once an S level is obtained, all other weapon types will stop at an A level.
The Sacred Stones A unit may only possess a single S level at a time; once an S level is obtained, all other weapon types will stop at an A level.
Path of Radiance A unit may only possess a single S level at a time; once an S level is obtained, all other weapon types will stop at an A level.
Radiant Dawn For classes with access to multiple weapon types, typically their maximum levels are uneven with a single S or SS, while others are forced to be A or S at maximum.
Shadow Dragon --
New Mystery of the Emblem --
Awakening --
Fates All non-human weapon types share a weapon level (e.g. A Keaton-fathered male Kana raised to a B level in dragonstones as a Nohr Prince will also have a B level in beaststones as a Wolfskin). With the exceptions of Paladin (A-Swords + A-Lances), Master Ninja (S-Shurikens + B-Katanas) and Maid/Butler (both S-Staves + B-Daggers), all playable multi-weapon advanced/special classes have one weapon type with an A-rank cap and B-rank caps on all other weapon types. With the exceptions of Songstress (C-Naginata) and Ballistician (B-Yumi), all playable single-weapon advanced/special classes reach S-rank in their only weapon type.
Three Houses Each skill level also has a "+" level that is unlocked before reaching the next letter grade (i.e. gaining enough skill experience at E rank will raise it to E+, gaining enough skill experience at E+ rank will raise it to D, and so on until S+).
Engage If a unit's weapon proficiency is denoted with a blue icon instead of white, this will grant them a +1 rank in the corresponding weapon type for certain advanced classes (e.g. Goldmary's lance proficiency icon is colored blue, increasing the lance rank of her advanced class, Hero, to a B rank instead of the C rank the class normally has).

Weapon experience requirements by game

Main article: Weapon experience

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 level increase by game
Game Level progression (total weapon experience)
Base E D C B A S SS
Thracia 776 50 100 150 200 250 -- --
The Binding Blade 1 51 101 151 201 251 --
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 --
Radiant Dawn 1 31 71 121 181 251 331
Shadow Dragon 1 31 76 136 196 -- --
New Mystery of the Emblem 1 31 76 136 196 -- --
Awakening 1 31 71 121 181 -- --
Fates 1 21 51 96 161 251 --

Three Houses adds additional "+" skill levels that are not featured in previous games. The skill level progression for Three Houses is as follows:

Skill experience requirements for level increase in Three Houses
Game Level progression (total skill experience)
Base E E+ D D+ C C+ B B+ A A+ S S+
Three Houses 0 40 100 180 300 460 680 960 1320 1760 2520 3600

Weapon level bonus

All games from Shadow Dragon to Fates have featured a weapon level bonus, which further increases the unit's strength and/or accuracy with their chosen weapon type. The weapon level bonus only takes effect when the unit's weapon level for their current weapon type is C or higher. The bonuses received vary depending on the type of weapon equipped. If the unit has a weapon triangle disadvantage, the weapon level bonus does not take effect.

Weapon level bonuses in Shadow Dragon[2] and New Mystery of the Emblem[3]
Weapon C level B level A level
Sword Attack +1 Attack +2 Attack +3
Lance, Bow, Tome Attack +1 Attack +1, Hit +5 Attack +2, Hit +5
Axe Hit +5 Hit +10 Hit +15
Staff
(Only in New Mystery of the Emblem)
Heal +1 Heal +2 Heal +3
Weapon level bonuses in Awakening[4]
Weapon C level B level A level
Sword Attack +1 Attack +2 Attack +3
Lance, Bow, Tome Attack +1 Attack +1, Hit +5 Attack +2, Hit +5
Axe Hit +5 Hit +10 Attack +1, Hit +10
Staff Heal +1 Heal +2 Heal +3
Weapon level bonuses in Fates
Weapon C level B level A level S level
Sword/Katana, Dagger/Shuriken Attack +1 Attack +2 Attack +3 Attack +4, Hit +5
Lance/Naginata, Bow/Yumi, Tome/Scroll, Dragonstone, Beaststone, Monster weapons, Automaton weapons, Breath Attack +1 Attack +1, Hit +5 Attack +2, Hit +5 Attack +3, Hit +10
Axe/Club Hit +5 Hit +10 Attack +1, Hit +10 Attack +2, Hit +15
Staff/Rod Heal +1 Heal +1, Hit +5 Heal +2, Hit +5 Heal +3, Hit +10

The Blazing Blade and The Sacred Stones feature a rudimentary version of the weapon level bonus, where a unit possessing an S level in the currently-equipped weapon type receives +5 to hit and critical hit rates. This bonus is the same for all weapon types, and is not nullified by a weapon triangle disadvantage. Three Houses does not provide direct weapon level bonuses like previous games, but instead provides various "Prowess" abilities; these similarly grant bonuses only when a particular weapon type is equipped, and they become stronger in effect as one's skill level increases.

Items and skills affecting weapon levels and WEx

Items and skills affecting weapon level and experience
Item Effect Games
Is snes01 manual.png Manual Permanent +5 increase when used. Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, Mystery of the Emblem
Is snes01 taurus shard.png Taurus Shard +5% to growth rate when in inventory. Mystery of the Emblem
Is snes01 gemini shard.png Gemini Shard −10% to growth rate when in inventory. Mystery of the Emblem
Is snes01 virgo shard.png Virgo Shard +20% to growth rate when in inventory. Mystery of the Emblem
Is snes01 libra shard.png Libra Shard +10% to growth rate when in inventory. Mystery of the Emblem
Is snes01 capricorn shard.png Capricorn Shard +30% to growth rate when in inventory.
Bonus not applied due to a glitch.
Mystery of the Emblem
Is snes01 aquarius shard.png Aquarius Shard +10% to growth rate when in inventory. Mystery of the Emblem
Is snes01 starsphere.png Starsphere +30% to growth rate when in inventory. Mystery of the Emblem
Is 3ds01 arms scroll.png Arms Scroll Permanently increases all weapon levels/the level matching the user's current equipped weapon by one level each when used. Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn, Shadow Dragon, New Mystery of the Emblem, Awakening, Fates
Is 3ds01 discipline.png Discipline Doubles the user's weapon experience gain when equipped. Radiant Dawn, Awakening
Is ns01 mastermind.png Mastermind Doubles the user's skill experience gain when equipped. Three Houses
Is ns01 gem.png Knowledge Gem Doubles the user's skill experience gain when equipped. Three Houses

Flavor text

Game Text
(English)
Text
(Japanese)
Path of Radiance
The weapon levels for the weapons
this unit can wield.
ユニットが使える武器のレベルです
Radiant Dawn
The weapon levels for the weapons this
unit can currently wield.
現在使える武器の種類とレベル

Trivia

  • In Thracia 776, every character has their own "weapon growth" that dictates the chance the character has to gain a point of weapon experience from every attack or staff use. This mechanic is effectively unused as all playable characters have 100% growths for all weapon ranks, though most non-playable units only gain weapon experience 20% of the time.[5]
  • The game TearRing Saga: Yutona Heroes War Chronicles, a game directed by Shouzou Kaga, features the weapon level stat as it functioned in the early Fire Emblem series games. In its sequel, TearRing Saga Series: Berwick Saga, weapons only require a certain character level to equip without penalties. Instead, the Skill stat is split between weapon types. Each weapon's skill stat goes up both when leveling (like weapon level) and when attacking with that weapon (like weapon experience).

Etymology and other languages

Weapon level

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

Weapon level

--

English
(unofficial)

Weapon rank

Colloquially used to distinguish the lettered system of Genealogy of the Holy War onward from the original numbered system.

Japanese

武器レベル

Weapon level

Spanish

Destreza

Prowess

French

Niveau d'arme

Weapon level

German

Waffen-Level

Weapon level

Italian

Livello arma

Weapon level

Korean

무기의 레벨

Weapon level

Simplified Chinese

武器等级

Weapon level

Traditional Chinese

武器等級

Weapon level

Skill level

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

Skill level

Japanese

技能レベル

Proficiency level

French

Niveau de technique

Skill level

References

  1. "Wpn Lv" — Award Exp menu, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
  2. Shadow Dragon - Calculations, Serenes Forest, Retrieved: July 31, 2013
  3. Heroes of Light and Shadow - Calculations, Serenes Forest, Retrieved: July 31, 2013
  4. Awakening - Calculations, Serenes Forest, Retrieved: July 31, 2013
  5. Zane, FE5 Tidbits, Fire Emblem Universe, Published: January 26, 2021, Retrieved: April 8, 2024

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