There’s a lot of things the player must balance when playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses and nowhere is this truer than on the days off. In between fights, these empty days are crucial for getting things done to improve Byleth’s capabilities and build your army.
But there are some things that are worth doing and other things that probably shouldn’t take much time. Arguably there isn’t anything you shouldn’t do as almost every activity has a purpose and benefits you in some way, but there are some things you should be prioritizing over others.
10 Best: Sharing Meals
Most of your days off will be spent socializing with students to establish bonds and raise their motivation levels to maximize their efficiency both in and out of combat. Sharing meals is one of the best things you can do when you have a free day.
Sharing meals achieves multiple things at the same time, it increases bonds between the students that sit down to the meal, it increases your bond with each student present, it raises their motivation levels, and it gives you experience points. It’s a win no matter how you slice it and definitely should be done as much as possible.
9 Worst: Finding Lost Items
Admittedly this isn’t one of the worst things you can do and odds are you’ll spend time doing it as turning in lost items to students can dramatically improve your bond with them. The reason it makes the list is that it shouldn’t take priority over other activities.
This is the kind of activity you should be doing when you’ve already done everything else. Finding lost items by exploring the Monastery is a great time filler when you have some spare action points, but not something you should plan on doing or sacrifice something else for.
8 Best: Tea Time
When you’re focusing on a particular student to join your army one of the best things you can do to raise your bond with them is to invite them to tea. Giving a gift can raise a bond by two levels, but tea parties raises it by six.
It can be a little tricky as students must trust you first, but once you’ve built that trust or if it’s their birthday, tea is a great way to get them to bond with you. Tea is one of your best networking tools so use it often.
7 Worst: Recruiting Professors
Professors can be some very strong warriors on the battlefield and honestly, you should dedicate a little time to getting them on your side. But the reason it’s not the best activity for you to be doing is that it’s not always clear which professors can be recruited.
There’s nothing worse than devoting a considerable amount of time to bonding with another professor only to find out that they’re more dedicated to their academia than defending their nations. As stated before do try to get some on your side, but don’t waste too much time doing so.
6 Best: Fishing
Fishing is a great way to increase your professor rank which in turn allows you better chances at recruiting potential warriors, how many actions you can perform on your days off, and how many battles you can participate in. Increasing your professor rank should be the main priority.
Fishing takes up none of your action points and gives you valuable experience points. You also acquire ingredients for meals that you share with students and some of the rarer fish go for quite a bit of coin at the store. Every day you should be loading up with bait and fishing until the bait runs out.
5 Worst: Faculty Training
It seems odd to say that spending time training your character is pointless, but it really is one of the worst uses of your time over the course of the game. Initially maybe spend some time raising critical skills but at some point in the story, you’ll find that it really wasn’t all that important after all.
This article won't spoil why. Just know that faculty training is something you’ll do on occasion in the beginning and then rarely towards the end of the game. Save your action points for raising your professor level and bonding with students, it’ll take you much farther.
4 Best: Gardening
Gardening is a lot like fishing but much more rewarding. Every down day you should swing by your greenhouse and harvest and replant your crops. Harvesting nets you some valuable ingredients for those meals you should be having and some flowers you can gift to students for bonding.
Later in the game, you’ll start getting access to stat boosters which will make you appreciate all that time you spent gardening and raising your professor level. In fact, gardening is such an important activity that it should be the very first thing you do the second you arrive at the monastery.
3 Worst: Seminars
At first, seminars seem like a very good idea. Your students receive valuable skills and motivation while your character also gets some skills under their belt. But the reason this is a huge waste of time is for the fact that other activities simply do more with fewer action points.
A seminar can motivate six characters, but sharing a meal with six students does the same thing with significantly fewer action points. Those action points you saved can then be spent raising bonds with students and training skills, although training your own skills isn’t that critical anyway so you can dump that time into your students even more. It doesn’t hurt to participate in a seminar, it’s just a waste compared to other activities.
2 Best: Recruit Students
This is the single most important thing you should be doing on your time off and all of your activities should be geared around this goal. Your army requires strong fighters and the more students on your side gives you more options to choose from in upcoming battles.
You’ll also find that at a certain point in the story you’ll be grateful for every last student you recruited. So get busy chatting, gifting, and headhunting students from other schools. You’ll appreciate that effort at that critical point in the story.
1 Worst: Wasting Time On Motivated Students
This is the only activity in the game that can firmly be stated as an absolute waste of time and should never be done. There are only so many action points your character has on your days off and only so many things that can be done as a result.
Spending any of that time or energy on students that are already motivated is an absolute waste of resources. You are literally throwing away action points and money by doing this so don’t do it.