Fire Emblem Heroes’ big new update changes the game up for the better

Intelligent Systems/Nintendo

Nintendo has been pumping up Fire Emblem Heroes’ big April update for several weeks now. Today, it’s actually available in the game, and it vastly improves on what was already an excellent mobile experience.

Most notable in Fire Emblem Heroes version 1.2.0 is the increased stamina cap, allowing us to play for almost twice as long as before. Now players have a total of 99 stamina points they can use to play maps, run through the training tower and die repeatedly against the rotating lineup of special bosses. (Is that just us? That’s not just us, right?) That means there’s more time to actually play the game and not just wait for the stamina counter to refresh for hours on end.

There’s also the new space-swapping option, a feature brought over straight from the console versions of the Fire Emblem franchise. Instead of jumping right into a battle, players can now position their foursome of fighters first to optimize their strategy. It’s as easy as pressing the “Swap Spaces” icon on the map screen and dragging characters around a limited set of squares.

Other changes aren’t as visible, but their effects are felt. Pitting strong heroes against lower-leveled enemies won’t be as much of a pain; they’ll actually get an appreciable amount of experience going forward. A feature called Hero Merit gives further incentive to replay old story maps, as do the Sacred Seals power-ups. Those are earned through events and quests, and they can be attached to a hero one at a time to boost their stats.

Best of all? The incessant notifications window won’t pop back up every single time you launch the game. After reading the daily update log the first time, it will go away until the following day.

Nintendo has consistently added swaths of new content and player-friendly tweaks to the game since it launched. For a free-to-play game that could easily fall into some common, gimmicky traps to keep players coming back, Fire Emblem Heroes remains a pleasure to check in with on a daily basis.

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