Common reasons why playable unit is enticing to play as?

MWAHAHAHA it may be months since the last time I asked a community question but I’m still around >:)

Once again, collecting opinions. What are some common reasons why people wanna play certain characters from a hack, except for good stats.
Ex. “This character is fun to play because of (insert aspects here)”
And as a Double question, in a hack, is it okay to not have intentional bad units? or does it need some to idk “balance” it? and vice versa as well, is it okay for all units in a hack to be good and no bad ones whatso ever?-


Status (growth rate)
Special ability

I think these two are the reasons why the unit is chosen.
If status (growth rate) is excluded, I think special ability would be the reason.

For example, dancer is used even if its status is low.
That is because dancer has special ability to ignore low status.
I think that is also the reason for Lord and Supply.
You can’t Seize without a Lord, and it is inconvenient to have a unit with access to Supply.

Another reason would be that if a piece has a high WeaponTriangle (Kaitou has an extreme correction of +50%), it has an anti-weapon for the weapon that the enemy has.
Being able to form a support relationship with a strong unit or having powerful skills could also be a reason.
Extremely high mobility, extremely high defense, and the ability to use strong LockedWeapon are also special abilities.
In short, it is a kind of generic term for special abilities that other units do not have.

On the other hand, if it has low status and no special abilities… I think the rest is love for the character.
I think it’s having a good looking Portrait or having an attractive background.
If they don’t even have that, they will be sent to the bench.


The most common reasons I believe are

  1. The character looks funny/pretty.
    A good portrait can go a long way to making a character popular. Rinkah may be the worst unit in Birthright but she’s a buff lady with a tribal aesthetic so I can make her work.

  2. Battle animations are dope.
    This is pretty dependant on what character they are. Of they’re the only unit of that class you’ll get for a while then this is probably a big factor for a lot of people. Lyn may be awful but she has a cool crit animation so every new player will want to use her.

  3. Story relevance.
    Story relevance plays a big factor on who someone wants to use for those of us who read the stories of these games. Someone important to the story like Innes or L’arachel will probably see more use thanks to how much they’re shown in the story.

  4. Fun character.
    This is mostly for the people who either read the story or have played the game before. I can guarantee that most people who’ve played 3H and aren’t doing any meta strats will only use Seteth if they like him as a character.

  5. Good unit.
    Yeah this one’s pretty self explanatory. I don’t like Seth but he’s really good so I’ll probably still deploy him every map.

  6. Bad unit.
    People like putting up with garbage. Look at all the people who use armor knights in FE6 or Marisa.

Overall who’ll choose what unit comes down to how they play the game so if you’re designing units for your hack I’d keep in mind what audience you’re targeting when making characters.

Generally you can also look at you’re intended audience to determine if adding an intentionally bad unit is a good idea. If you’re making something uber gameplay focused intended for super hardcore players then they won’t take too kindly to Sophia lite. If you’re making something that people who maybe liked FE8 or god forbid FE6 then I’d say sprinkling in some bad units for flavor may be alright.


Character aesthetic and how they’re written (story, supports, personality, etc.) are things that win deployment slots for me sometimes. Though generally I, like most others I’m sure, will prioritize good units (stats/bases/growths) over our favorites if they become nonviable to use.

As for intentional bad units, implementation is everything. If say I lost a fighter early on, and the only replacement is recruited late and is just bad (bases/growths both bad), I’m not going to use them. A game can give a bad unit and it can feel bad to use, but the reverse is also true. Some take it as a challenge of making the bad unit good/usable (Est type characters are the easiest example, I personally like feeding Nino exp in FE7, even though she’s not really worth it at the point where you get her).

“Bad” is also relative within the context of the game and how the player plays. Jeigans are generally good units, but how they’re perceived can make them feel bad (they “steal” exp from early units is a common one). Ests, on the other hand, are terribly underleveled and take a lot of effort to baby them to maybe make them good. And it’s at the expense of your other already good units, which also feels bad.

Basically “bad” a lot of the time is subjective. There are of course objectively bad units looking at the numbers, but I think the usual way people perceive what is a bad unit is very subjective.


I would say it boils down to liking their class/combat role

For example, I like horseback units, so I tend to use cavalry or troubadours even if there are better units available. Conversely, I avoid fliers because I dont find them fun to use.

It also depends heavily on how they join, especially when first playing a hack. Early joiners tend to get more use in the long term, because dropping units you already like, even when units you might enjoy using join, is hard.


I love using bad units, or rather units who people perceive as bad, because the vast majority of the time they are much better than you may think. FE6 Barth is a good example of this. (no stat boosters, pretty average apart from +1 or 2 average SPD, level 20/3 or so)

Having interesting growths or a cool stat/skill build is another point. I really like Darros and Astram in FE11 because of their lopsided Defence and STR growths. So if you make Darros a Knight he can easily cap his DEF, while Warrior Astram will actually become the strongest man in Archanea.

They can also just plain look weird, cute or have a personality i like. Norton from TRS, aswell as Nephenee and Echidna are a good example for me.

Having something unique about them is another good indicatior. Tom from Tear Ring Saga comes to mind because, well, he’s a literal tank, no not an armor knight, no not tanky, but a literal WW1 style tank. That alone makes me wanna use him.
TearRingSaga (English patched v1.04)_021696_08b_01c

Lastly, if you’re ironmanning, as i always do, you can sometimes just be forced to use units you normally wouldn’t, It’s always fun if they suddenly turn out better than expected, or literally save your run, like Curate>Paladin Vyland and Hunter>Warrior>Horseman Macellan did for me. Stories like these personally make using the units again a lot more fun.

vy end
mac end


In a well designed mainline FE game I enjoy using characters based on their portrait and personality/backstory. (Boyd in FE9, Sylvian in 3H)

In lesser games I use characters based on current usefulness and perceived future reliability. (Kent and Sain in FE7). I prioritize wyverns over Pegasus knights, fighters/mercenaries over myrmidons and basically build my team around consistency.

Most romhacks have the difficulty revved up so much I don’t feel much autonomy in who I use. I use the characters I have to, and see who I can afford to sack. It’s all a matter of managing resources.

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For me it’s always “They are cool”.

I kinda suck at video games so I don’t care about stats or utility.

So either need to make a cute waifu, badass warrior and broken paladin.


Stats and contribution to the team are all that matter to me, I view all units purely as numbers to be pitted against other numbers.

This may seem highly contradictory to my writing style and tone, where i do focus a lot on characters, but when i’m playtesting my own hack, I do it with zero emotions towards any character other than what numbers they have, and the same goes for any other hack.

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i may be shallow but looks first… if i like the portait im probably using them
next is character
and last is how they are as an unit. ex. im playing tlp rn - cia had a nice look so i used her, then found out shes fun af as an unit too so its both now


Majority of people here plays for the “waifu”


Don’t forget Arden who begs to be used.

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If the project has skillsys, then I pay attention to skills and then stats.
I also always use a unit in other hacks if I have made the portrait myself creator bias funny

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