While Hyrule Warriors Legends was fairly well-received, it received criticism for its performance issues on the 3DS that even held back its somewhat improved performance on the New 3DS. The handheld version of Fire Emblem Warriors is optimized for and exclusively available for New 3DS in order to give it the best possible performance.
Likewise, some of the Hyrule Warriors adventure mode missions require you to play as a specific character or even a specific character-weapon combination, effectively forcing you to play as underleveled characters, with underpowered weapons, or simply using a character you can't stand to play as (like Tingle). Fire Emblem Warriors only restricts you to any of three or four characters at fewestnote without DLC, there were three each of spear, axe, and bow users; with DLC, there are the fewest axe and bow users at four each and never prohibits you from using their best weapons, and story mode barely restricts your characters at all.
In Fire Emblem Fates, nearly every possible Support conversation pairing for the royal siblings is possible. The only combinations that weren't are the siblings from opposite kingdoms of the same genders, but different age groups. These pairings are Ryoma/Leo, Camilla/Sakura, Takumi/Xander, and Elise/Hinoka. These Supports are now possible in Warriors.
The Fates DLC pack let Oboro and Niles interact with each other's lord, a thing that wasn't possible either, back in Fates.
Like in Hyrule Warriors, materials are automatically collected. This makes farming a bit less tedious, and even if you strike a killing blow on a boss, you'll still collect any materials on anyone else who was defeated at the same time.
Some people don't like the idea of the Armor Break models (as in stripping playable characters of most of their clothes), especially with younger characters like Elise, Sakura or Tiki. Thankfully, for those who don't like them but would still want to use the Armor Strike weapon skill, there's the option to disable that in the Settings.
Awesome Music: As expected of a crossover between Fire Emblem and the Warriors franchise:
The Noble Lady of Caelin History Mode map features an orchestral arrangement of The Blazing Blade's "Winds Across the Plains". It's very easy for players who got into the series with that title to just sit back and listen.
"Resolute Heart", the triumphant theme that plays when the tables turn in the Aytolisian Army's favor during Story Mode, and on certain History Mode maps. The song is empowering, giving a strong sense of victory.
Base-Breaking Character: Iago's inclusion as Fates' villain representative. Stemming from his unpopularity back when his home game came out, he's one of the most frequently criticized inclusions in the game, and is seen by many as laziness on Koei's part for reusing the same moveset that Gharnef and Validar have as opposed to using the potentially more unique Garon as Fates' villain representative. However, there are some fans who find him to be a better and more entertaining character here as opposed to his original appearance in Fates, and point out that he arguably played out the best between him and the other villains in the game, who are generally still considered to be boring characters otherwise as opposed to Iago's more trollish personality.
Cliché Storm: The story isn't anything that any Fire Emblem fan hasn't seen before. Prince and Princess have to escape from their invaded kingdom, meet a bunch of guys who join them, have to gather objects related to the resident MacGuffin, get the magic swords and end up fighting an evil dragon. In fact, the only thing in the story that isn't totally cliché is the fact that the main characters' mother actually survives.
Shadow enemies. They have high stats and can be summoned over and over again until their summoners are defeated. Occasionally there will be Rally Captains and healing Priests that can support them, so you have to kill those too. Your best bet is to go straight to the mages summoning them to prevent further summoning and weaken the Shadows. Even then a weakened Shadow is still tough to beat, and the player can run out of units to defend their own fort from other enemies.
Wyvern Riders might be weak to bows and swords, but the combos they do are frustrating to counter/dodge since they usually spam their spinning forward special, that can often trap a unit into being unable to move or recover. Their high attack and decent range also makes them difficult to fight with archers since archers have to be close enough to attack, putting them at high risk.
Depending on the scenario, Archers are often this because of their inherent Wingslayer attribute and sadistic captain assignment: Even if you have Iote's Shield on all of your flying characters, if the game gives you a flying Allied Commander or Allied Base Fort Captain, a single Archer can give you a game-over in seconds if you let it get to one of them; several of the scenarios take full advantage of this.
Ensemble Dark Horse: One of the most literal examples lies with Xander's noble steed. His horse has been getting the Memetic Badass treatment, due to all the amazing looking acrobatic feats it can do with its master riding atop in full plate during Xander's Dual and Awakening Specials.
Fanon: Fans immediately decided that Tiki's Vibrant Dress costume from the second DLC pack is a flower girl outfit for Marth and Caeda's wedding, due to Tiki's support with Caeda and Marth and Caeda getting wedding-themed costumes with said DLC Pack.
Good Bad Bugs: Appraising a locked weapon attribute costs 10x the amount of Gold as the kills needed to unlock it. For the hefty Boost skills, this can set you back up to 50,000 apiece. However, resetting the game immediately after seeing the locked attribute will let players keep the money, potentially saving a lot of gold and time spent grinding out said attribute in the long run.
Hinoka and Elise's supports become really sad when one remembers that in Birthright Hinoka is there to witness Elise's death, meaning she wouldn't be able to make paper cranes with her like they discussed if they returned home and the games occured anyway.
Xander and Takumi's support, where Xander comments on how similar Takumi is to him, takes on a darker turn when you recall that both end up dying, Takumi in Conquest, and Xander in Birthright, both for somewhat similar reasons.
Heartwarming in Hindsight: In the support conversation between Lyn and Tiki, Lyn tells Tiki of two dragon allies she had: Nils and Ninian. She promises Tiki that she'll find a way to introduce them to her some day. During Halloween season for 2020, Tiki teams up with Ninian as a Harmonized unit in Fire Emblem Heroes, which implies that Lyn has fulfilled her promise.
Memetic Badass: Xander's horse (sometimes referred to as Sieghorse) has been getting this treatment from the fans due to it being able to pull off some hilariously impressive feats of agility and acrobatics. All while carrying around a knight decked out in full armor, no less.
Memetic Mutation: "Yeah, I can't win this..." note A defeat quote said whenever an enemy mage or archer gets defeated. Given that there is no other defeat quote for the mage or archer, expect this quote to pop up several times. The frequent usage of the line, compounded by its nonchalant vocal delivery, was used by the fanbase to lampshade the hack-and-slash nature of the Warriors games, which involves cutting through countless amounts of Mooks.
The sound that accompanies any boost in Support points between characters fits perfectly for hearts appearing in mid-air.
Hearing the classic Fire Emblem "Level Up!" fanfare in the middle of a battle, especially if it happens to the player-controlled character after defeating a tough foe.
Hearing Caeda, Cordelia, and Hinoka shout "Triangle Attack!" whenever the three of them execute it after all three max out their Supports with each other and unleash Caeda's Awakening finisher.
Whenever Armor Strike is triggered, it is accompanied by a very satisfying shattering noise as the target's armor is damaged. However, this can quickly become the opposite if your character's armor is the one to break.
The little jingle that plays whenever you collect a material. If you receive a gold one, it plays a far more triumphant jingle, which is also the same as collecting one of Anna's Mementos. It's especially satisfying if you're trying to farm that specific material.
Along with the screen flashing red, the sound that plays when Lethality successfully triggers.
Play the Game, Skip the Story: The general consensus on the game seems to be that while the story is nothing home to write about, the gameplay receives a good amount of praise for combining the challenging strategic elements of Fire Emblem games and the flashy hack-and-slash style of Warriors games in one fun package.
Averted with the History Mode stories, however, which take up 94% of the game and which have been well received due to being nostalgic scenes from previous games with the added benefit of being fully voiced.
Or more accurately, the Base-Breaking Character heap. Corrin's characterization in Warriors has been far better received compared to that in their debut game. Not only because they are given a more well-defined personality, something many criticized them for lacking, but said personality has endeared a substantial number of fans to them, with some even wishing they were portrayed as such from the beginning.
Iago in Fates was despised for being a shallow villain with nothing at all to like about him, in a game that tried to present a Gray-and-Gray Morality conflict. Although he is still polarizing, his inclusion in Warriors earned him fans thanks to being used the best out of all three of the returning villains, and as well being more entertaining of an enemy to face off against. He still isn't loved, but he has more fans now that have a Love to Hate feeling instead of just hate.
Character battle intros are nice and all, but they have a major negative impact during battle due to the fact that once you run into one and it plays, the game forces you into a cutscene that will abruptly stop any combos you are doing and reset you to where you were before. This is incredibly frustrating when you are about to kill an enemy, only for a cutscene to appear and reset you to having to do the attack again. It also negatively effects the Stun Gauge too, since it will often cancel it out or move the enemy back a bit, causing you to lose the stun gauge before you could use it. Mercifully, this can be toggled off in the game settings.
Enemies having super armor during some of their attacks. While this is mostly limited to actual characters, this mechanic is blatantly unfair for how difficult it is to prevent. Some enemies like archers will charge powerful attacks, and even if you use a strong attack, they might not be stopped from continuing. This is especially bad with generic units like Generals and Mages though, because their attacks come out too fast to reliably counter.
Special Effects Failure: During Lianna's Dual Special when she's the Support, she attacks her foes with various slashes, yet when it's first started, the enemies are clearly seen being hit by said slashes before she's even swinging her blade.
Tainted by the Preview: The reveal that the roster would predominantly consist of characters from Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, Awakening and Fates quickly soured expectations on the game for many fans. The reasoning provided by the developers (that being a desire to avoid an excessive amount of sword fighters, despite the giant number of characters in the series that don't use them) when the three Original Characters wield swords only worsened the reception.
The sheer number of Lord characters, particularly that Fates's vanilla representation being only royals, wasn't met positively either. While the majority of them are still popular, plenty of fans of the series are tired of their oversaturation that's gotten even more apparent in Fire Emblem Heroes even before this game's release. The DLC alleviates this somewhat, having only one royal and two non-royal characters per pack.
Tear Jerker: The re-enactment of Chapter 5 of Fates in the Fates History Mode map, "Grief", both in the overall story and the replay of it in the map's Anna battle: It starts off with male Corrin going berserk and needing Azura to calm him down. Afterwards, a Brainwashed and Crazy female Corrin arrives as the main villain. After defeating her and returning to normal, Corrin's last words before she vanishes are, "Azura...? Wait! I remember you... I remember...!" while Azura begs her not to disappear.
Chapters 6-7 and 9-10 are annoying if you don't know who to target first or give your other units the right commands. In 6 and 9, both Sakura and Elise must be protected by making sure that the fort they are in doesn't fall into enemy hands or they get defeated, otherwise it's a game over. While 6 is fairly simple in that you can place Frederick and Robin to protect the ally fort, 9 isn't so simple in that other than enemies swarming your ally fort, you have to use Dragon Veins to cool down the hot lava if you don't want to get hurt walking/running over it should you not be using Cordelia and you can only use 3 Heroes in the first playthrough. 7 and 9-11 also have Archers as enemies who make Cordelia, Hinoka and Camilla's lives even worse. 7 also has a Timed Mission from the start with the player having exactly 20 minutes at most to complete the chapter unlike the normal 60 minutes and combined with the fact that Takumi tries to send in reinforcements at least three times that are best being stopped and how often fort leaders tend to guard themselves from normal attacks if you attack too much means that you'll be hard pressed. 8 and 11 involve saving Ryoma and Xander respectfully and not letting either of them get defeated/die. 8 isn't too bad, but in Chapter 11, Xander is already facing Soldiers and Mages from the get-go who can defeat/kill him and you can't just shortcut to him since you have both a Fog of War and enemy forts in your way.
Chapter 12 has you in a Mêlée à Trois with Hoshido and Nohr, and you need to take over both opposing armies forts evenly and very quickly to prevent Ryoma or Xander from defeating/killing the other. The Timed Mission aspect combined with being forced to juggle fighting against the two sides, protecting your forts, and dealing with the constant enemy reinforcements all make the level extremely difficult.note If one pays close enough attention as they take over both opposing sides' forts, Xander and Ryoma's HP drops as well to match what's going on. The side that has more forts remaining during the chapter as the player continues tends to have a bit more HP than the other and if both sides have the same number of forts left that aren't yet under your control, the game will mention from time to time that 'Ryoma and Xander's power is equal' and the screen also shows both leaders having roughly the same amount of HP left.
Even with careful monitoring of Ryoma and Xanders heath, its possible to go from comfortably succeeding to an abrupt game over if the two bases arent seized at the same time. Chapter 12 is generally agreed to be the point when the game hammers home that you need to understand and utilize the strategy elements (the weapon triangle, Slayer weapons, switching among playable allies, etc.) rather than play it like a straightforward Musou-type game.
Chapter 13 is a brutal Difficulty Spike. When you start the level, you're being chased by a brainwashed Ryoma and Xander, who are buffed to Hopeless Boss Fight levels, forcing you to quickly get to the nearest fort and capture it with the two of them breathing down your neck relentlessly. If rushing to escape for your life isn't enough, it is not helped by your allies (other playable characters) rushing at Ryoma and Xander at the start of the mission if they aren't given orders, both who could easily defeat them for getting in their way when you would want them to help clear enemy forts instead. And then a brainwashed Corrin who's also buffed to absurd levels appears, and now you have to reach the far away Iago and defeat him while three unkillable juggernauts are hunting you down or taking the forts you captured. And that's only the first part! Once Iago teleports away and you manage to free the three from their brainwashing, you now have to protect them from being killed due to being drastically weakened while trying to defeat Iago again and they stay in the spot they were when they were still enemies, which means you might be screwed if they're in the middle of a huge horde of enemies.
Chapter 15 becomes one not too long after it begins. The objective is simple, Defeat Gharnef. Well, after all the initial dialogue ends the boss decides to summon two enemy Sages, one on the far left and far right side of the upper map to simply hit your entire army with long distance lightning and this is just the first part. If you don't defeat them quickly, they can easily result in you losing nearly all of your units who aren't in a base (ally or enemy) as even your more magically resistant characters take heavy damage from the lightning. Outside of the the map being relatively huge as some of the characters comment on, you have two enemy forts on both sides to either take over (or ignore if you can't waste time) in your way so you're going to be facing some issues with reaching the Sages and healing your team constantly. While you're trying to defeat the Sages, the boss summons dragons who can both tank hits and hit hard at the same time. Once you defeat the Sages and defeat Gharnef, it's revealed that you only fought a shadow copy and the real one out of the three is somewhere else on the map. The second problem is defeating the enemy Sages creating the shadow copies and keeping them alive (as the shadows simply revive and regenerate HP after defeat while the Sages are on the map), while protecting your forts due to the real deal sending in enemy reinforcements right after he 'reappears'. So unless you can memorize which 'Gharnef' you fought but never really defeated, you'll be running in loops to find the real one. Oh, thought you could shortcut to where the real Gharnef is once his location is revealed? Too bad, you have a few Archers ready for any flier you send over there.
We never get to see Yelena in battle or see much of her personality outside of being a fair queen and good mother. She just appears in the first two chapters, and promptly vanishes for almost all of the game. And this is despite not suffering the fate of many Cornelius archetypes before her.
Not only do we never get to fight King Oskar, we only see him in-person during one chapter, where he never interacts with any of the Heroes and is killed by his possessed son as a sacrifice to the Chaos Dragon when his plans to use Yelena as such is foiled.
Since none of the villains are playable (including Darios), there's no opportunity to support with them and learn more about them, or to pair them up with the other villains or even the characters they oppose. Even in the story, the non-original villains show up for only one level (or in Validar's case, two) and do repeats of events from their home game before leaving and never being mentioned again. Even worse is they never show up in the final battle, and their reason for working for Gristonne is never explained.
Tier-Induced Scrappy: Corrin is considered to have the worst moveset in the game, primarily due to lengthy startup times- even with Astra- and looking more flashy than practical due to basically none of the combos having enough range to KO a large group of enemies at once. Not helping is that if the enemy has the Stun Gauge on them, using Corrin's special will immediately remove it, something none of the other playable's specials do. It also doesn't help that they have a crippling weakness to dragon-slaying weapons, which a large chunk of the cast have built into their signature weapon.
While many were expecting a Pegasus Rider in the game, most expected Caeda or Sumia as the first picks because of their ties to their potential Lord love interest. Cordelia is a fan-favorite, but most people didn't believe she would be picked.
Once male Robin was announced, people assumed it was done to balance out Corrin being made female, and that the game would follow the trend set by previous games where the male variant would be the only one to make any appearance. Despite only being available outside the game's story mode, female Robin's announcement came as a surprise.
Lyn, despite being a fan favorite, simply because she hasn't been in a mainline Fire Emblem game since Awakening (only as a bonus character), something she only shares with Caeda from Shadow Dragon. The creators also once claimed that the rosters are 'mostly' from Shadow Dragon, Awakening and Fates, so many didn't expect Lyn to even be featured.
For similar reasons, Celica being announced was a shock to many despite her remake being released earlier the same year. Even moreso due to the fact her fellow protagonist Alm is nowhere to be seen and she was actually planned before Shadows of Valentia.
Generic enemy Manaketes are back, which is somewhat surprising given their absence in many newer games.
Visual Effects of Awesome: The game looks gorgeous with special mention going to the effects for the Musou-equivalent Warrior Special attacks.
In Japan, the evil dragon is named Evilzerg. In English, the name was changed to Velezark, which not only doesn't sound like a generic bad guy's name, but references most of the previous Fire Emblem dragons.
There is a part in Tharja and Camillas English support where they joke about each other bird-watching and dragon-watching, respectively. This has been found quite humorous and clever to the fans thanks to the Stealth Pun with Robins English name.