Information about how to recruit Bernadetta in Fire Emblem Three Hopes.
In Fire Emblem Three Houses you could recruit many characters simply by getting specific stats and skills high enough. Once done, they’d be impressed enough to realize that studying under you would suit them better than petty considerations such as life-long friendships, national loyalty, familial duty or even religious conviction.
Unfortunately characters in Fire Emblem Three Hopes aren’t quite as malleable - some characters will join your faction as you progress the Main Questline, usually due to story contrivances entirely outside of your control. The rest, however, must be met in battle and “persuaded” to join you… often by lumping them on the head enough times to realize that they’d be better off defecting than decomposing.
Character Recruitment Strategies
In the case where a character can be persuaded to join you, this “persuasion” effort is achieved via the deployment of a Strategy. When you start a battle in which a character can be recruited you’ll first have to pick from a variety of available [Strategies]. You can find more information about Strategies on their own page, but for the purposes of recruiting characters you’ll be interested in any “Persuade [Character]” Strategies, which you must select prior to the battle to ensure you can utilize said Strategy(ies) during the battle. Deploying Strategies in turn require you to expend Strategy Resources, a currency gained by completing [Side Quests] during the chapter leading up to the Main Quest where enemy characters can be recruited.
During battle, when the character you wish to recruit spawns you must activate the Strategy to persuade them by entering the battle menu before you defeat them. If you defeat them without activating the Strategy - even if you selected it before the battle - they will die and you will not be able to recruit that character for the rest of the playthrough! Once the Strategy has been activated, the area where the Strategy is in effect (usually where the target character spawned) will be surrounded by a purple glow. Merely defeat them in this area and you’ll recruit the character.
How to Recruit Bernadetta in the Scarlet Blaze Route
As a member of the aristocracy in the Adrestrian Empire, Bernadetta is shipped off to the Officer’s Academy at Garreg Mach. She’s available from [Chapter 3] on provided you opt to join Edelgard and the Black Eagles.
How to Recruit Bernadetta in the Azure Gleam Route
You’ll come into conflict with imperial forces led by Bernadetta in Chapter 6, during the Main Quest Battle [Assault on Arundel Territory], and like most foreign captures, you must deploy the Persuade Bernadetta Strategy by expending 10 Strategy Resources.
Despite acting as the commander for this battle, Bernadetta is very much a side-show, as the Death Knight and Byleth are both prowling around the map. Dealing with them is the main focus around which most of the Strategies and objectives revolve. First you’ll need to “Defeat the Imperial Army Vanguard”, which involves splitting up your forces and cutting down some generic officers nearby, after which you’ll be tasked with “Seizing perimeter strongholds”. More of the same, really - split up your forces and sack the highlighted Strongholds, after which this battle will really get started.
Panicked, Bernadetta will open the gates to the central Strongholds, and the Death Knight and Bylet will go on the offensive. The latter will seize a Stronghold to the east, then work her way north to the Stronghold in the northeastern corner, while the Death Knight will head west, then southwest, trying to sack the two Strongholds. Byleth’s actions are fairly inconsequential, but the Death Knight cannot be allowed to take the southwestern stronghold, so consider sending units to occupy him. Just be wary, he’s quite powerful - axe-users are recommended, and sword-uses are discouraged. You’re buying time by engaging the Death Knight, don’t expect to defeat him here.
While this is going on you’ll need to invade the center of the map and capture the four Strongholds here (in the process nabbing some catapults, which will pelt you while you’re claiming these Strongholds). Once the four central Strongholds are claimed, Bernadetta will open the gates to the center-most Stronghold. Engage her, activate the “Persuade Bernadetta” Strategy, and defeat her. She’ll join your cause after this… assuming you can overcome the Death Knight and Byleth.
How to Recruit Bernadetta in the Golden Wildfire Route