The Fire Emblem series is no stranger to branched storytelling—Shadows of Valentia featured two interlocking tales and Fates forced you to choose between two opposing armies (with a secret third option available afterward), but Three Houses tops them all with four separate story campaigns. Whether you choose to lead the Black Eagles (which has two paths), the Blue Lions, or the Golden Deer, you’ll find a 40+ hour route ahead of you with different twists and turns.
So then, what’s the best way to play Fire Emblem: Three Houses? If you’re only going to go down one route, which one should it be? And which full order offers the best story experience? Here’s what we prefer!
Azure Moon (Blue Lions)
The Blue Lions’ route is the best “starter pack” for Three Houses. It features lovable characters with struggles and backstories that tug at your heartstrings, gives house leader Dimitri a fully realized character arc, and doesn’t bother with most of the esoteric lore elements that other routes get into. The battle maps are usually fairly straightforward as well, so it’s perfect for a beginner to get their feet wet with the turn-based strategy gameplay. If you’re only going to play this game once, Azure Moon is the way to go.
Verdant Wind (Golden Deer)
The Golden Deer house is full of scoundrels and weirdos, so it makes perfect sense that their route isn’t as concerned with the overarching war plotline as the others are. Instead, it focuses on the history of Fodlan and its neighboring countries, as well as the secrets the church seems to be hiding from the common people. House leader Claude always has something up his sleeve, but he’s a reliable companion who never drags you or his house down. For a chaotic ride through the deeper lore of this world, be sure to play Verdant Wind next.
Crimson Flower (Black Eagles – Edelgard)
Edelgard, the house leader of the Black Eagles, is usually the main antagonist of the other routes. She strives for a peaceful, unified Fodlan that dispenses with the discriminatory Crest system and the Church of Seiros, but that noble goal is soured when you realize that she’s willing to cut down anyone in her way to accomplish it.
But, if you choose to join her in this endeavor, she simmers down considerably and adopts a more tactical approach (even though she still kills plenty of people). Crimson Flower is best played after at least one of the other routes since it serves as more of an inside look at Edelgard’s perspective rather than a fully fleshed out campaign. Still, the Black Eagles themselves are great characters and this route has some amazing battle maps, so it’s definitely worth playing!
Silver Snow (Black Eagles – Church of Seiros)
Now that you’ve grown attached to the Black Eagles through Crimson Flower, you can pick back up with their story by choosing to side with the Church of Seiros instead of Edelgard. This route shines a light on main character Byleth’s past, finally giving some closure about where they came from and how they’re related to Rhea and the other church members. It also delves into some of the same lore as Verdant Wind, so it’s highly advisable not to play the two routes next to each other. If you adore the Black Eagles and want a final wrap-up of the story’s loose ends, give Silver Snow a shot.
Each of the four routes is entertaining and fulfilling in its own way, so this order is by no means absolute. But if you’re planning on sinking hundreds of hours into this game (like we did...), it’s good to have a roadmap.
What did you think of our order? Which route did you play first in Fire Emblem: Three Houses? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!