Temporary stat reductions inflicted by weapons or items have appeared since the first game in the series, though it has had increasing prevalence in the later games of the series.
Fire Emblem Fates expanded upon debuffs with a system of stat debuffs which are achieved by successfully striking a target with certain weapons, with the target's stats slowly recovering back to normal as turns pass. Debuffs are most prominently seen through the use of daggers, all of which give a different debuff, but weapons of other types can debuff and there is even a staff specifically designed to debuffing enemies. Certain powerful weapons even apply debuffs to the user after a successful hit, in order to balance the weapon's power.
Debuffs are also present in Fire Emblem Heroes, referred to as penalties respectively. In addition to being inflicted when hit by certain weapons, several weapons and skills apply them to multiple targets at once within the proximity of the weapon/skill's user. All debuffs last until their recipient completes their next action (attacking, waiting, etc.), at which point any debuffs they have are completely removed, instead of the Fates system of wearing off by one point per turn.
Debuffs are also present in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and behave like the incarnation from Heroes.
Types of Debuffs
A debuff is caused by certain skills which can be divided into two types based on their activation criterias: Field Debuff and Combat Debuff.
Field Debuffs are visible stat changes highlighted in red. They are usually activated at start of a turn or after a unit's combat. These debuffs do not stack together, only the highest value will be applied to an affected stat. They do, however, stack with Field Buffs.
Unlike Field Debuffs, Combat Debuffs are not visible but they instead can be observed in the Combat forecast to evaluate the outcome of the battle. They are only activated during combat. These debuffs stack together with no upper limit, along with Field Debuffs and Field Buffs if any.
|List of skills with Combat Debuff effect:|