Information about Main Quests in Fire Emblem Three Hopes, including what are Main Quests, how to start them, and how they differ from Side Quests.
What are Main Quests in Fire Emblem Three Hopes?
Once you reach Chapter 4 you’ll be introduced to two new features which will be major aspects of the game going forward: the Base Camp and the War Map. While the Base Camp contains various facilities and services that’ll help you empower your characters off the battlefield, the War Map is where you’ll put all the gains made in the Base Camp to use by engaging in battle.
In each Chapter the War Map will consist of several highlighted regions overlying a map area. Each region features either a Side Quest (marked by large silver icons) or a Main Quest (marked by a huge golden icon), the latter of which is situated opposite your Base Camp. You can only engage with Side Quests or Main Quests in regions that are adjacent to your Base Camp or to a captured region, thus the goal of each Chapter is to capture regions starting from your Base Camp en route to the region where the Main Quest battle is. Clear the Main Quest battle and you’ll end the Chapter, so be sure to complete as many Side Quest battles, conquer regions and explore Surveying Spots before you do.
Differences Between Side Quest and Main Quests
While Side Quests are arguably the more substantial bit of content just due to the sheer number of regions you’ll have to capture to reach each Main Quest, what Main Quests lack in quantity they make up for in complexity. While Side Quests generally have a 5:00 - 7:00 time limit and require you to rack up 500+ KOs to earn an S-Rank, Main Quests are far meatier, generally having a 15:00 - 20:00 time limit and a 1200 - 1800 KO requirement to S-Rank.
Side Quests and Main Quests typically allow you to deploy four primary characters, all of which can be directly controlled, but Main Quests additionally tend to allow you to field four secondary characters, who can only be issued commands via the Battle Map, otherwise being relegated to AI control. These extra characters in Main Quests will serve you well, as Main Quest battles tend to have larger maps, more enemies, and more objectives to deal with (in the form of Main Missions and Side Missions). Main Quest battles can get rather hectic, especially if you’re not over-leveled, and you’ll need to balance your forces by either commanding your characters via the Battle Map to secure objectives, or have secondary characters serve as [Adjutants] to ensure none of your primary characters get routed.
In addition to having larger maps and more objectives, Main Quest battles tend to be more densely populated with enemies, as well. This includes enemy generals, who are both more numerous and often include more elite variants, especially named, unique characters from other factions that often put up more of a fight than their generic counterparts. Some of these unique generals require you to complete Side Mission and Main Mission objectives to handle, while others can be recruited if you employ the correct [Strategies]. Speaking of which…
Strategies and Main Quests
Another unique aspect to Main Quest battles are Strategies. As you capture regions on the War Map you’ll earn Strategy Points - usually ten Strategy Points per region captured. Before you start a Main Quest battle you’ll get a chance to spend these Strategy Points, where they can be used to buy various Strategies. Strategies vary by Main Quest battle, and they always remain the same for that Main Quest battle, although it should be noted that some Strategies must be unlocked by exploring Surveying Spots on the War Map. Arguably the most important Strategies to employ involve recruiting hostile generals, and while other Strategies may help you achieve an S-Rank, you can always replay a Main Quest battle later to attempt to secure an S-Rank. During your first playthrough, however, you should focus on recruiting characters, who are otherwise missable and can’t be recruited while replaying via the Record Keeper.