'Fire Emblem Echoes' Villager max level promotion: When to class change your characters

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Unlike previous titles in the series, your initial group all starts as the same class in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia: Villager. This allows you total control over the development of your fighters. However, it makes it a bit harder to figure out what the max level you should have your characters when you give them their first class change. Villager promotion is a big decision because whatever class you choose determines a character's path for the rest of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.

Below we'll tell you when you should promote your characters from Villager into a new class and what their max level should be when you do it. Class changes and character promotion in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia has its own nuances compared to Fates and Awakening, and we'll point out the differences so you can make sure your characters are as strong as possible as quickly as possible.

Fire Emblem Echoes Villager Promotion: How do class changes work?

Your first recruits in 'Fire Emblem Echoes' will start as the Villager class.
Your first recruits in 'Fire Emblem Echoes' will start as the Villager class. Nintendo

In the two previous games in the Fire Emblem series, almost every character you could recruit was already locked into a class. Though you could change them to a new class progression using seals, for the most part, their stats fit with the class progression they're initially recruited as.

For Fire Emblem Echoes though, the five original group members — Tobin, Gray, Faye, Kliff, and Alm — start as the Villager class. You can think of the Villager as a base- class. It has no unique skills but has the capability of leveling into four classes as a female and five as male when a character hits level 3.

In Fire Emblem Echoes, you can only class change at shrines you find throughout your journey. There are no more seals that allow for immediate class changes, and 10 is no longer the magic number to move on in class progression.

Fire Emblem Echoes Villager Promotion: Changes to class progression

'Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia' class progression chart.
'Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia' class progression chart. Jason Faulkner/Mic

Leveling your characters into higher classes has changed significantly in Fire Emblem Echoes. You no longer wait until they're level 10 and use a Master Seal to move up to the next class. Instead, each of the first-level classes (Cavalier, Soldier, Mercenary, Archer, Cleric) can all be moved up to the next class at level 7. The second-level classes (Paladin, Knight, Sword Fighter, Sniper) can move up to the highest level classes at level 10.

There are exceptions to this rule, though:

•Clerics gain the ability to change into Saints at level 12

•Pegasus Knights may change to Falcon Knights at level 12

•Male mages can become sages at level 12

•Female makes can become priestesses at level 20

Fire Emblem Echoes Villager max level: When should I promote my characters to the next class?

In previous Fire Emblem titles, you could hold off on changing class and continue to reap stat boosts by leveling a class to its max level of 20. In Fire Emblem Echoes, stat gains per level are notably less than they were in Awakening and Fates, so there's no real reason to hold off on changing classes.

Another benefit of changing classes as soon as possible is that each class has a minimum set of stats. For example, the Paladin has a minimum attack stat of 12. So if you have a Cavalier at level 7 who's ready to be promoted to a Paladin, its attack stat will automatically be raised to 12.

Promoting early is usually rewarded in Fire Emblem Echoes, and if you're in doubt, it's better to get the benefits of higher classes than to miss out over a small stat gain.

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