Summon (召喚, Shōkan) is a feature of Fire Emblem Heroes.
Summoning allows players to summon new Heroes to their army using Orbs to initiate the feature. The player expends 5 Orbs or a Summoning Ticket to receive a board containing 5 Orbs. Each orb will have a random color assigned to it upon starting the board, with the color determining what equipment type the summoned Hero will have. After the player selects an orb, a Hero is summoned, with the rarity of the hero being fixed to a percentile chance, hence the player is not guaranteed a 5 Star Hero every board time.
The player is then given the option to summon another Hero on the same board for a reduced cost of 4 Orbs. The player may summon up to three Heroes on the same board for 4 Orbs, where the fifth and final orb on the board will cost 3, making a complete board purchase cost 20 Orbs. Once summoned, that Hero becomes a permanent member of the player's army and can be trained to become stronger, fused with an ally for bonus stats and SP points, sacrificed to pass their skills to another units, or dismissed for an amount of Feathers. Players are given a free summon the very first time they summon from a Banner while Summoning Tickets, granted from Forging Bonds events, grant a similar free first summon. Subsequent summons from the same Orb Board through either first summon method will be treated as if the first summon expended 5 Orbs, thus requiring only 15 Orbs to completely summon on such a board.
Heroes summoned will be 3 Star to 5 Star. Before a Hero is revealed, the pedestal where they are summoned from gives a small hint to the Heroes rarity before they are revealed. If a small quake occurs before the summoning animation, the summoned Hero will be a 4 or 5 Star Hero. If no quake occurs, the summoned Hero will be a 3 Star Hero.
Every normal unit in the game are designated under a summoning rarity. Several characters fall under two rarity category. Common units like Lon'qu and Shanna appear at 3 and 4 Star rarity while premium units like Celica and Hector appear exclusively at 5 Star rarity only. These factor the likelihood of summoning a specific character.
Before summoning, players select a Banner which highlights 2 to 4 units for summoning. These are Focus Units and they are given a special pull rate. Focus Units are always 5-Star rarity even if they are normally not summonable at that rarity in other non-Focused banners. Banners are non-permanent and constantly cycle with multiple banners appearing at the same time.
There are five types of banners:
- New Hero Banners - The most regular banner that appears at least once a month. These banners introduce new Heroes to the game and are the first opportunity for players to summon them. After three weeks, the new Heroes are added to the summoning pool and one of the units will be able to be summoned at 4 or 5 star units while the other two to three remain 5 Star only units.
- Seasonal Hero Banners - Special variations of Fire Emblem characters appear as special new characters. Like New Hero Banners, these are the first opportunities to summon these Heroes. However, Seasonal Heroes are not added to the summoning pool after their event concludes, giving them a limited time to be acquired. The lone exception are the Brave Hero variants.
- Event Banners - These banners correlate to in-game events such as Tempest Trials and Voting Gauntlet. They are designed to give units that can be used in those upcoming events
- Skill Banners - Several Banners focuses on distributing characters who share the same skill with each other.
- Legendary/Mythic Hero Banners - These are monthly banners that feature one brand new Legendary or Mythic Hero and 11 other units. These 11 other units are either a 5 Star Exclusive Hero, Seasonal Event Hero, or a Legendary/Mythic Hero. Also, each color is represented by 3 of the highlighted units. These highlighted 12 units are the only units that are able to be pulled at 5 stars and have a higher appearance rate of 8% at base.
- Book I/II Weekly Revival - After the Book I & II units that were 5-Star exclusive were removed from all New Hero/New Seasonal Hero banners, a special weekly banner was released every week with three Book I and/or II Heroes as the focus and with improved pull rates for each.
The default percentile chances for all standard Banners are as follows:
- 3 Star Unit — 36%
- 4 Star Unit — 58%
- 5 Star Unit — 3%
- Focus Unit — 3%
The default percentile chances for Legendary Banners are as follows:
- 3 Star Unit — 34%
- 4 Star Unit — 58%
- Focus Unit — 8%
The default percentile chance for the Book I Revival Banners are as follows:
- 3 Star Unit — 36%
- 4 Star Unit — 58%
- 5 Star Unit — 4%
- Focus Unit — 2%
Prior to August 7th, 2017, the default Appearance Rates for 4 Star and 3 Star Units were swapped.
As the player summons units from a Banner, the percentile chance of summoning a 5 Star Unit or a Focus Unit increases. Every 5 summons without the player pulling either a 5 Star or Focus unit, the appearance rate of both increase by 0.25% while the appearance rates of 3 and 4 Star units both decrease by 0.25%. In the case of a Legendary/Mythic Banner, Every 5 summons without the player pulling either a Focus Unit increases the appearance rate of those units by .5% while the appearance rates of 3 and 4 star units decrease by .25% each. For the Book I Revival Banners, pull percentile increased by .33% every 5 summons for both 5 star rarities while the appearance rates of 3 and 4 decrease by .33%.
Once a 5 Star or Focus unit has been summoned, the appearance rate returns to the default percentile chance after leaving the current summoning session. After the 5.0 Update, the percentile chance decrease has changed. If the player summons a 5 Star unit that is not a focus unit on the banner, the percentile chance of summoning a Focus unit or 5 Star unit decreases by 1%. Thus if the player has built a summon rate of 4.75%, a 5 Star non-focus unit summon would drop it to 3.75%. This 1% drop cannot bring the summoning rate of these categories below 3%. Summoning a 5 Star focus unit automatically drops the summon percentage for both categories to 3% however.
Summoning appearance rates do not affect Banners other than the one the player is summoning from. Hence any changes to Banner A's percentile chances will not change Banner B's appearance rates.
On New Hero banners, a special counter is given to players which grants players a free 5 star focus hero once they have summoned forty times. The number of orbs spent does not affect the counter however the banner's Free summon and any summoning granted by Summoning tickets do count towards the count. In most instances, the player can only do a guaranteed summon once per allowed banner. However, some banners do allow the player to guarantee summon multiple times, however once a player has claimed one hero from the guaranteed pulls, that unit is removed from the guaranteed pool for subsequent claims.