A WiFi Battle is the multiplayer mode in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and Fire Emblem: Shin Monshō no Nazo ~Hikari to Kage no Eiyū~. It is played using Nintendo WiFi connection, or locally using the Nintendo DS's wireless features. It is for two players only. On the 27th of Feburary 2014, Nintendo announced that it would cease WiFi Connect for all games, as such, after the switch-off date (May 20th, 2014) none of the DS Fire Emblem games would be playable online.
WiFi battles take place between two Squads. Each Squad can have up to five units and an optional Card. Players can fight each other over the internet or via local wireless. Internet battles are done through Nintendo WiFi Connection, and can either be played against random opponents with a default set of rules ("with anyone") or against people who have exchanged friend codes ("with friends").
There is little difference between the WiFi battles offered in the two games. The main difference comes from the various single player options that are available, such as the use of arenas and stat-increasing items. Teams made in Shadow Dragon will generally possess lower stats, and cannot go above their stat caps. Although these single-player discrepancies make a notable difference in the way the game is played, the actual mechanics are not notably different.
Victory can be obtained two ways, either defeating all of the opponents units, or having the Castle's flag your colour at the end of the turn count. Defeating the opponents units is the most straightforward and intuitive way to win.
In the case that the turn count is exceeded, the battle will end regardless of who has more units. The winner is decided by whoever was on the Castle last. Placing a unit on the Castle will change the flags to your player's colour. However, it will also make a capturing sound, that warns the other player of where you are. The Castle is only taken if a unit is set to "wait" or after some action on the Castle itself. Warping a unit onto the Castle will not change the colour of the flags until the unit is explicitly set to wait.
If neither player take the Castle and the turn count runs out, both players lose the battle.
Squads are groups of 5 units made from a single player campaign. Loan units cannot be used on WiFi battles. The order of the five units on a Squads can be adjusted while making a Squads, depending on how the player selects units. For example, if a player just highlights 5 units they will be arranged in the default order these units were in. However, if a player selects just one unit, then exits the unit selection screen, the next time they enter that screen, the highlighted unit will be moved to the front. As such it is possible to re-order units in any formation. Items can be given to units, but there is no shop nor is there the ability to forge weapons in the Squads creation menu. All items must come from the in-game inventories/convoy. Despite this, it is still possible to use items (such as the stat-enhancing Boots) in the Squads creation menu. Individual units can be class-swapped in the Squads creation menu. Squads cannot be modified after they are created, aside from changing their card.
A card is awarded to a player whenever they win a WiFi battle. Cards are awarded at random, and have no specific quantity. You start with no cards, getting one card will mean you have that card forever. Getting duplicate cards does nothing.
Cards that appear in Shadow Dragon:
- Strength - Raises strength of all friendly units by 1.
- Magic - Raises magic of all friendly units by 1.
- Skill - Raises skill of all friendly units by 1.
- Haste - Raises speed of all friendly units by 1.
- Adamant - Raises defense of all friendly units by 1.
- Guardian - Raises resistance of all friendly units by 1.
- Whetstone - Raises friendly units' hit rate when using swords by 10%.
- Spearhead - Raises friendly units' hit rate when using lances by 10%.
- Battleaxe - Raises friendly units' hit rate when using axes by 10%.
- Fletcher - Raises friendly units' hit rate when using bows by 10%.
- Sorcerer - Raises friendly units' hit rate when using magic by 10%.
- Fleet Feet - Raises movement of armored units by 1.
- Maelstrom - Lowers movement of enemy fliers by 1.
- Gravity - Raises movement cost for all terrain by 1.
- Dazzle - Nullifies critical hits from both friendly and enemy units.
- Apotrope - Nullifies bonus damage from both friendly and enemy units.
- Umbra - Lowers visibility for both friendly and enemy units to 1.
- Judgment - Lowers HP of all enemy units by 20% in the opening turn.
- Recovery - Restores 2 HP to all friendly units each turn.
- Generosity - Awards two cards if you win the wireless battle.
All cards that would increase a stat cannot increase stats above the cap. Umbra takes priority over devices like torches.
The following are settings that can be decided before entering into a WiFi battle:
- Map - Select a map on which to battle. There are seven options, either one of the 6 maps, or Random. The default value is map 1, but with anyone uses Random.
- Fog of War - Limit visibility to spaces surrounding your units. If this is turned off, either player can see the entire map. If fog is turned on, players can only see 2 spaces away from units, or the area where units have been. Fog revealed by units moving is closed after the end of that players turn. Although unobtainable in the game, Torches can reveal more fog than the default 2 spaces. Unlike other games, Thieves do not reveal more than 2 spaces of Fog. Umbra reduces Fog vision range to 1, and cannot be overwritten. Units can only be warped into areas that are not covered by Fog. The default setting for Fog is on.
- Turn Limit - Set the maximum number of turns. There are 5 options, varying from 5-10. The default value is 10.
- Time Limit - Set the time limit for each phase. There are 3 options: 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes. This specifies how long a player has to complete their turn. If the time limit runs out during a turn, it automatically switches to the opponents turn. The default value is 5.
- Cards - Turn the use of cards on or off. If this is turned off, cards have no effect on the game. The default value is on.
- Autohandicap - Sets unit to level up based on opponent's skill. If this is turned on the game will attempt to balance player stats. It does not alter weapons. The default value is off.
Player order cannot be decided in the game settings, nor can the choice of teams. Both of these are determined before entering the menu. On with anyone, the player order is determined by non-random selection, all other modes determine the player order based on who created the room as being player 1.
There are 6 maps on WiFi.
Map 1 is a small map with the Castle in the centre. This was the only map available in the Japanese release of Shadow Dragon.
Since map 1 is small, with the use of boots and warp, it is possible for player 1 to defeat two of player 2's units before player 2 has a turn.
Map 2 features a tall map with bridges on either side, and the Castle at the top.
This map is tall, but relatively narrow. As such, player 1 can use the same tactic as in map 1 to gain the upper hand in the first turn.
Map 3 has all of the units split up and placed in individual boxes.
If player 1 possesses units with 9 or more movement, they can trap player 2's corresponding units inside their boxes, making it impossible for player 2 to attack with these units.
Map 4 features a central Castle, with doors and walls separating both players.
This map makes it highly desirable to have a key on a squad. This map is unusually tall, and the bottom third of the map is almost never used. With the use of warp, player 1 can blockade player 2's doorway on the first turn, however the advantage is not as absolute as in map 1, 2 or 6. Map 4 is one of the more balanced maps.
Map 5 is easily the most spacious map. Player 2 starts considerably closer to the Castle than player 1. There is also a river running along the left-hand side of the map. This river can only be traversed by Berserkers or Flying units.
This map gives an advantage to player 2, since they start closer to the fort, they have optimal choice of terrain.
Map 6 features both players split into the corners of the arena, with two different corners in which there are 2 characters on each corner. (the two corners on each team are diagonal from each other, not next to each other) Players with high-movement characters and the warp staff benefit greatly in this map.
If Umbra is not in play, it is possible for player 1 to use warp to attack 2 of player 2's units on the first turn, like in map 1 or 2.
In Fire Emblem: Shin Monshō no Nazo ~Hikari to Kage no Eiyū~, if the player selects Katarina into their wifi squad, she will have her own unique battle theme that plays when she is faced as a Red Unit (or if Second Player is controlling the Red Team). This is presumably because she is the only recrutable character who is also a boss, and thus the game will play Tearing Shadows (her boss theme) when she is on the "enemy" side.