If Three Houses is your first game in the Fire Emblem series, prepare to appreciate the reset function of your Nintendo Switch. Or maybe not, depending on your difficulty setting. If you are trying to go hardcore, you'll soon learn of one of Fire Emblem's defining mechanics: permadeath. Once one of your beloved students dies in battle, they're gone for good. So you should probably learn the easiest way to get a do-over.
The Value Of Soft Reset
Fire Emblem: Three Houses offers many opportunities to strengthen your units. Even the weakest members of your team can somewhat keep up thanks to weekly instruction and the adjudant ability. In the older games, however, this was not so.
Fire Emblem started on the NES, and it wasn't until the 3DS entries that extracurricular battles became standard. Some games dabbled in side missions, but for the most part you had a fixed number of enemies you could defeat during a given run. That meant no grinding, just story missions. That also meant a fixed amount of EXP for your entire army to share. If you dumped a hearty amount of that limited EXP into one unit only to see them die to an unlucky enemy crit, you were probably done for. It was pretty much impossible to grind up another unit to take its place.
The answer most players came up with was reseting the game and starting that particular map from the beginning, doing things differently in an attempt to keep everyone alive. As you can imagine, the process could be tedious and downright infuriating on harder maps that required multiple resets. Due to this, Fire Emblem fans have made it a point to learn how Nintendo consoles "soft reset." A soft reset is different in that it doesn't actually turn the console off. It just brings you back to the game's main menu, saving you some time and your machine several reboots.
How To Soft Reset In Three Houses
The Nintendo Switch has the soft reset feature. Just press and hold the +, -, L, and R buttons simultaneously. This will bring you back to Three Houses' main menu, where you can reload a previous save and take on your current battle with hopefully better results.
Divine Pulse and Retreat Also Help
After years and years of Fire Emblem, fans have shared the tradition of the soft reset with one another. It's gotten to the point that the developers themselves are aware of the habit, and have actually put in game mechanics to make it less necessary.
First is the Divine Pulse ability. By pressing the L button, you can rewind the clock back to a previous move or even turn. The implications are obvious; you can redo a move that put a unit in danger or an attack that didn't go as planned. Rather than reset the whole game, you can just take back a lethal mistake. It is limited, however, by a number of uses per battle.
Alternatively, there's the "Retreat" option in the pause menu. This will end the battle and return you to the monastery. Dead units will come back to life. If you're playing on Normal difficulty, you'll even retain all the EXP you got during the battle. Hard difficulty and above won't let you keep your EXP, but will still return your dead units to you. You can retreat as often as you like and start the map from scratch.