This page explains the steps to take to start a game of Fire Emblem Fates.
Starting a New Game
The first time you play the game, it will initialize and create extra data on the SD Card. Afterward, there will be an intro movie that you can skip by pressing A.
At the title screen, press any button to go to the main menu.
From the main menu, to start a new game, choose New Game. You can then choose a difficulty level. If you have never played this series before, you might want to choose Normal. Hard is for those who have played the game before. Lunatic is if you want an extra challenge. You can always reduce the difficulty during the game, but you can't increase it.
Next, you will be asked to choose a game mode. The choices are Casual, Phoenix, and Classic. The mode will affect the behavior of fallen units. In Casual mode, fallen units will return in the next chapter. In Phoenix mode, fallen units return after one turn. In Classic mode, fallen units are gone forever.
Create Your Character
Next, you will be asked to create your character. You will need to choose gender and body type. After that, you will need to choose a hair style, hair accessory (girls only), hair color, face, facial detail (scar, tattoo, birthmark, bandage, eye patch), and voice. After choosing the voice, press R or tap the R arrow on the touchscreen to go to the confirmation page, then use the directional pad to choose OK.
Next, you will have to choose your character's name. The default name is Corrin. Choose "ABC" to move the cursor to the letters and numbers. Press B to go back to the buttons on the left side. When you are done, choose OK.
Next, you can choose your birthday, boon, bane, and talent. The boon and bane will affect your character's stat growth. The stats page explains the effects.
The Talent that you choose will affect which class you can pick later on.
After making your selections, you will be asked if you want to receive SpotPass notifications. Then you will be asked if you want to share gameplay data.
Next, you can choose a save slot. There are three slots total. After choosing a slot, you will be asked if you want to save your progress. After this, the game will begin.