Recruiting Students in Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Fire Emblem: Three Houses asks you to make a tough choice almost right off the bat: which House you'll align yourself with. That's really just a different way of saying "which groups of students you won't get in your party" — for a little while, at least.
After your first main battle, you get the option to recruit students from other Houses, which means they permanently become part of your party (assuming you don't let them die, of course).
It's not as easy as asking them to join you, though, which is why we've put together this guide for how to recruit students from other Houses.
Recruiting Students from Other Houses
In White Clouds Chapter 2, you get a new dialogue option when you speak to students from other Houses: Recruit.
You quickly discover there's a set of specific conditions you have to meet to get a student to leave their House for your own. These requirements are related to Byleth's skills and stats; each student requires higher proficiency in one skill and one stat.
What the game doesn't tell you is that a C-rank support relationship is required as well, or rather, the necessary amount of bond points that would allow for a C-rank support relationship.
C-rank seems to be the key for skills as well. It's a bit murkier for stats, but it appears the required stat needs to be around 15 or higher.
There is some indication a higher support level could take the place of a skill or stat too. For example, after inviting a few students to a couple of support activities like dining, they expressed a bit more interest in joining my House, where they initially had no interest.
Students You Can't Recruit
Additionally, some students won't join you regardless of your skill and stat levels: House leaders and their second-in-command
Hilda is technically an exception to this general rule, but only under very specific circumstances. Should you not choose Golden Deer, Hilda is only available in the Silver Snow branch of the Black Eagles path. It's the default BE path, but we discuss it more here.
The stat requirements for getting Hilda on your team are very high by default, so your best bet is actually just raising her support level to B or higher and work on Charm (which is easy, since it raises during tea parties).
These are the students you can recruit, along with the requirements for each.
Black Eagles Recruitable Characters
- Hvy Armor
Blue Lions Recruitable Students
Golden Deer Recruitable Characters
- Hvy Armor
The Time Skip
Without venturing into spoiler territory, there are some recruitment changes that take place after the game's big time skip. Some characters might leave but can be re-recruited after a battle, and others you didn't recruit before might be available to recruit again.
In short, you'll still get the chance to recruit after the time skip, so don't feel too pressured to do it all while at school.
Faculty Training to Raise Byleth's Stats
It can be difficult to meet some of the recruitment requirements because you're having to raise Byleth's own stats and skills, which can't be done through instruction.
However, you can use Faculty Training to meet those requirements and make up for the weapon skills you aren't raising during battle. Here's what stats and skills each faculty member can help you improve. Note that Faculty Training is the only way to raise Byleth's Riding, Hvy Armor, and Flying skills.
- Heavy Armor
- Hvy Armor
Naturally, you'll want to prioritize the faculty members who offer the most bonuses, so Shamir and Catherine shouldn't be high on the list, while Gilbert (once he's available) takes precedence over Alois.
Seminars are the other way to raise Byleth's non-dominant stats. These are an option for your free days and raise skills for other members of Byleth's class too, with the skills getting the benefit depending on which faculty member you choose.
Unfortunately, seminars focus only on the faculty's two strongest skills, so you can't expect choosing Seteth to raise all five of his associated skills. Still, it's a good way to knock out two tasks in one if you have other characters in need of improved proficiency.
If you're wondering how to raise support levels with students who aren't in your House, it's rather easier than it might seem. In fact, you have multiple ways to raise support levels with other students.
Two methods don't cost any Activity Points.
The first is requesting a student accompany you temporarily, using the "Mission Assistance" dialogue option; keep in mind you can only do this for one student per month.
Choosing this option adds the student to your roster for each fight you take on. That means it's best to do early in the month, so you can take them on at least one skirmish fight, as well as the end-of-month main mission.
Each action taken during combat gains a support point. If you use the student often in combat, you can rack up quite a few support points in one go. However, the student's equipment can't be changed, and they don't earn experience, nor will they automatically join you after that month is over.
Returning Lost Items
The other way is finding lost items and giving them back to their owners. You can find more about that in our lost items guide, but there are several items each month, and returning them is an easy and free extra support point.
Choosing to dine with students and inviting them to join you for choir practice will also boost your support points. Dining in particular has the chance to substantially boost support points, if you choose the right dish for the right dining partners.
Because you can bring two students for dining and choir practice activities, they're the best options for raising support levels with students who aren't in your roster.
Not only can you spend all your Activity Points on one student (should you so wish), you can make the second student another one you want to eventually recruit or fill the second slot with a student from your own House.
That being said, it's best to include one of your own students at least once, to help keep their motivation up.
Should you make raising your Professor level a priority, which we strongly recommend you do, you could have up to five Activity Points by the start of White Clouds Chapter 5. If you choose to explore at least twice during the month, that's a lot of chances to work on raising support points with other students.
Don't forget some of the items you find, plus the flowers and vegetables you can grow in the Greenhouse, make great gifts. You can choose to give any student a gift, but try to make sure it matches their interests, else you won't get any support benefit.
Finally, don't ignore birthdays when they come up in the calendar.
Initially you can only buy flowers. However, after you unlock the Tea Party in White Clouds Chapter 4, you can choose to host a Tea Party in that student's honor.
Tea Parties have four stages. In the first three, you have to choose the right choice from three possible dialogue choices, and you only have 15 second to do it.
The "right" choice is determined by the other character's personality, but the options tend to change during each Tea Party; if all else fails an you screw up, don't hesitate to soft reset (press L,R, + and - at the same time) to try again.
If you choose right for the first three, then you get a fourth option that's basically the same thing, along with the chance to offer a gift.
If you're successful in all these, you get a huge support point boost with the other student.
Recruiting students from other Houses takes time, but fortunately, you've got 12 months to work on building up your skills, stats, and relationships.
While you're improving Byleth in all ways, check out our other Fire Emblem: Three Houses guides for even more ways to maximize your experience in the game.