Fire Emblem Fates: Class and Promotion Guide

Fire Emblem Fates has a wide array of classes to explore and upgrade. This guide will explain when it's best to promote your characters, and which classes lead to particular upgraded ones.


In Fire Emblem Fates, choosing the right assortment of classes is the key to victory. To properly plan your conquering strategy, you need to plan which classes to use, which to spend your precious upgrades on, and when to upgrade. This guide will help walk you through the basics of when it's right to upgrade a character, as well as provide a resource for which classes lead to various upgraded classes.

When to Promote

Each base class has one upgrade, which you can activate using a Master Seal on a character. Master Seals are more plentiful in Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright than they are in Conquest. Many of the class upgrades let you choose between two upgraded classes, and other items (Heart Seals, Partner Seals, and Friendship Seals) can change a unit's class altogether.

Learn more about the differences between Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, Conquest, and Revelations.

In general, it's best to hold off on promoting a unit until it reaches Level 20. At that point it will have achieved its stat upgrades and unlocked any ability perks available to that class. Promoting it will reset it to level 1 of the new class, giving it 20 more levels to increase its stats and gain more abilities.

Upgraded versions of classes usually come with extra perks like better movement range or tougher armor, and can equip a wider variety of weapons. The ability to equip several weapons at once makes classes much more versatile in combat, since it gives them a range of options for the rock-paper-scissors style combat encounters. However, if an upgraded class specializes in just one weapon, it is a much more powerful version of that specialty. 

Hoshido Base Classes

  • Archer (Bow) - Upgrades to: Kenshi Knight, Sniper
  • Diviner (Tome) - Upgrades to: Onmyoji, Basara
  • Herb Merchant (Bow) - Upgrades to: Great Merchant, Mechanist
  • Kitsune (Beaststone) - Upgrades to: Nine-Tails
  • Monk (Staff) - Upgrades to: Great Master, Onmyoji
  • Ninja (Shuriken) - Upgrades to: Master Ninja, Mechanist
  • Oni Savage (Axe) - Upgrades to: Oni Chieftan, Blacksmith
  • Samurai (Swords) - Upgrades to: Swordmaster, Weapon Master
  • Shrine Maiden (Staff) - Upgrades to: Priestess, Onmyoji
  • Sky Knight (Lance) - Upgrades to: Falcon Warrior, Kenshi Knight
  • Spear Fighter (Lance) - Upgrades to: Spear Master, Basara
  • Villager (Lance) - Upgrades to: Weapon Master, Great Merchant

Hoshido Upgraded Classes

  • Basara (Lance, Tome)
  • Blacksmith (Sword, Axe)
  • Falcon Knight (Lance, Staff)
  • Great Master (Lance, Staff)
  • Great Merchant (Lance, Bow)
  • Kenshi Knight (Lance, Bow)
  • Master Ninja (Sword, Shuriken)
  • Mechanist (Shuriken, Bow)
  • Oni Chieftan (Axe, Tome)
  • Onmyoji (Tome, Staff)
  • Nine-Tails (Beaststone)
  • Priestess (Bow, Staff)
  • Sniper (Bow)
  • Spear Master (Lance)
  • Swordmaster (Swords)
  • Weapon Master (Sword, Lance, Axe)

Nohr Base Classes

  • Cavalier (Sword, Lance) - Upgrades to: Paladin, Great Knight
  • Dark Mage (Tome) - Upgrades to: Sorcerer, Dark Knight
  • Fighter (Axe) - Upgrades to: Berserker, Hero
  • Knight (Lance) - Upgrades to: General, Great Knight
  • Mercenary (Sword) - Upgrades to: Hero, Bow Knight
  • Outlaw (Bow) - Upgrades to: Adventurer, Bow Knight
  • Troubadour (Staff) - Upgrades to: Strategist, Maid (female), Butler (male)
  • Wolfskin (Beaststone) - Upgrades to: Managarm
  • Wyvern Rider (Axe) - Upgrades to: Wyvern Lord, Malig Knight

Nohr Upgraded Classes

  • Adventurer (Bow, Staff)
  • Berseker (Axe)
  • Bow Knight (Sword, Bow)
  • Butler (Shuriken, Staff)
  • Dark Knight (Sword, Tome)
  • General (Lance, Axe)
  • Great Knight (Sword, Lance, Axe)
  • Hero (Sword, Axe)
  • Maid (Shuriken, Staff)
  • Malig Knight (Axe, Tome)
  • Managarm (Beaststone)
  • Paladin (Sword, Lance)
  • Sorcerer (Tome)
  • Strategist (Tome, Staff)
  • Wyvern Lord (Lance, Axe)

Special Classes 

  • Nohr Prince or Princess (Sword, Stone) - Upgrades to Nohr Noble (Sword, Stone, Tome) or Hoshido Noble (Sword, Stone, Staff)
  • Songstress (Lance) - Only one specialized character
  • Dread Fighter (Sword, Axe, Shuriken) - Available via DLC or in Special Edition
  • Dark Falcon (Lance, Tome) - Available via DLC or in Special Edition
  • Lodestar (Sword) - Special Amiibo Class
  • Vanguard (Sword, Axe) - Special Amiibo Class
  • Grandmaster (Sword, Tome) - Special Amiibo Class
  • Great Lord (Sword, Lance) - Special Amiibo Class

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