Most of the details were already covered by Famitsu, especially the articles released on 29th May and 19th June. That said, there are a few cool tidbits. I’ll also recap most of the key information, just in case.
As you may know, during weekends, one of the things you can do is explore the Garreg Mach Monastery, through a third person perspective. The monastery is equipped with various facilities that you can make use of, to enrich your time at the Officer’s Academy. You can use these facilities to improve your abilities and deepen your bonds with your students.
Making Use of Facilities
The monastery where the students all reside features many different facilities. Depending on the facility, you can do different things, like getting to know the students and monastery occupants better or obtaining items, etc.
Here’s a quick look at some of the notable facilities:
Share a meal together or work together to prepare your own food. If the characters like the food, their Motivation will really go up.
By mixing different seeds, you can grow crops like vegetables that can be used as ingredients in the dining hall or flowers that can be given as gifts.
Here, you can select a class representative and challenge an opponent in aim of victory. If you succeed, you can earn a prize (such as passes to take exams to change class).
This seems to be the inter-house tournaments that we’ve seen bits and bobs from in the past. It basically functions like a casual arena (or the drill grounds in New Mystery of the Emblem). You can check the suggested level, your opponent’s weapon and potential rewards. It seems your weapon is based on the tournament rules (here, it’s Lance).
Use your timing to pull your fishing rod and try to score a big catch. There are also special days where you can catch rare fish.
Simply called the “amiibo Spot” in the Japanese version. Here, you can scan compatible amiibo to receive items and other rewards.
Recruiting Others to Your House
The houses that each student belong to are pre-determined from their nation of origin. But the students themselves are always eager to study under a better environment, so if the protagonist can meet their conditions, you can recruit students from other houses into your own house.
The required conditions are varied. So it’s important to train hard to make yourself into a charming teacher who they can look up to as a role model.
The better you are in the students’ strong skill areas, the easier it’ll be to earn their respect. From the above screenshot, it looks like Annette is a potential recruit (indeed, there appear to be many, with the exception of the house leaders and a few others).
The “train hard” bit links to a video showing the protagonist receiving Faculty Training. This is one sub-activity you can do while exploring, which lets you boost your own skill levels by speaking to other monastery staff.
The staff member looks to be Gilbert, a character we don’t know much of. He can teach Lance, Axe, Heavy Armour and Riding skills. From his skill set, I’m guessing he’s a member of the Knights of Seiros?
Getting to Know Each Other
The monastery during weekends is full of people spending their time in their own ways. If you can return a lost item that you’ve found while exploring or give them a nice present, they’re sure to be happy.
Additionally, there’s a unique activity designed for the upper classes gathered at the monastery–“tea parties” where you can sit down and enjoy tea and conversation. The more you can keep the conversation going, the more you’ll closen your gap.
As the bonds between companions grows, special conversations will occur and the “support rank” will increase. The higher the support rank, the better you’ll perform in battle. Why not try to get friendly with many students?
Often, you may find shocking lost items on the floor. Who on earth could have dropped this?
During tea parties, it’s important to choose topics that the other person is likely to be interested in. If the conversation proves fruitful, you can spend more time together than usual.
The “special conversations” bit links to an explanation of support conversations.
When the protagonist and a student, or two students form a deep enough bond, a special “support conversation” can occur. Viewing this will increase the support rank. You can see different sides that you wouldn’t have normally known, thus deepening your friendship.
The conversation contents vary according to the students, such as confessions of anxiety or being caught up in a sudden incident.
Though each student has different backgrounds and goals, they all study under the same house and fight together as allies. So it’s wise to keep note of the friendship between students as well.
When connected to the Internet, the monastery will be filled with “exchange students” from players across the globe. By speaking to exchange students, you can do many things, like buying items. Note that a Nintendo Switch Online paid subscription is required.
The available options are: Purchase Specialty (an Iron Sword in this case), Ambush Training for 1, Ambush Training for 4 and Hire as Assistant.
The two exchange students are labelled as “Valmese Exchange Student” and “Valentian Exchange Student”. I’m guessing you can choose your title? The “Hire as Assistant” may mean you can recruit them as a support-only unit for the Assistant system (the new version of Pair Up).
Taking on Quests
In the monastery, there may be requests from people who need help. If you answer to these requests, you can receive rewards and increase the protagonist’s Renown within the monastery.
All quests can be found in the bulletin boards dotted around the monastery. Be sure to check them out from time to time.
Battling Alongside Students
Besides the field studies at the end of each month, you can enter battles during weekends, to freely earn experience points (this can be done infinitely in Normal mode, but not Hard mode).
Among these, there are “paralogues” separate from the main story, featuring battles focusing on specific characters
Note: If you select “battle”, you cannot select “explore” during the same weekend. Also, some paralogues may only be available for a certain amount of time.
Each battle has a recommended level. Try to find a battle that’s a reasonable difficulty for you.
All characters live with complicated circumstances behind them. In “paralogues”, they will confront some of the problems that they face.
Time is of the Essence
Your time in the monastery is limited. There’s also a limit to how much the protagonist can get done in a day. By improving your Instructor Level, you can gain more activity points to spend. The better you are as a teacher, the better your weekends will be.
The number at the top of the screen show’s the protagonist’s activity points. Points are consumed when using certain facilities or performing certain actions.