10 essential Total War mods

6. Medieval 2: Lands to Conquer

If you're tired of the Medieval 2 campaign, check out the alternatives provided by Lands to Conquer . The early, high and late era custom campaigns offer varying experiences from the short, action packed expansionist feel of the early campaign to the long, settled, diplomatic style of the late era. Lands to Conquer also makes a few general changes, incorporating a few aspects of other mods to improve battle AI and slow down the pace of empire expansion to a more realistic rate.

7. Empire: Darthmod Ultimate Commander

Many grizzled Total War veterans have fallen to Darthmod's cunning AI over the years. There's been an edition of Dathmod for almost every iteration of Total War, but Ultimate Commander for Empire: Total War is the best, bundling Dathmod's traditional swathe of AI updates and difficulty tweaks with a series of smaller mods that improve almost every aspect of the game. Most notable of these submods is the excellent Blood and Smoke update, which does a brilliant job of making Empire's gorgeous battles even more brutal and satisfying.

8. Empire: The American Revolution

The American Revolution doesn't exactly revolutionise Empire, but it certainly expands it, adding four new campaigns, new units and beautiful, carefully researched new skins and uniforms for many of the existing units in the game. It's an ideal mod for Empire players looking for a bigger and better version of the original game, who don't particularly relish the crushing difficulty of Darthmod. The 24-bit skins are another fantastic addition if you have the machine to support them.

9. Empire: Period Music Mod

Empire requires you to spend an ungodly number of hours on the campaign map, and it's only a matter of time before the eternally looping music begins to grate. Avoid a slow descent into psychosis with the Period Music Mod , which adds 50 period accurate pieces to the mix. It's a quick and easy install process so you'll plotting massacres to the jaunty sounds of Mozart in no time.

10. Napoleon: All In One

Napoleon: Total War has been out for less than a year, but the Total War modding community has already released hundreds of mods, tweaks and additions for the game. There are almost too many, which is why the super helpful Napoleon: All In One mod is so useful. It incorporates over 50 mods into one big package. Most of the updates focus on retexturing many units to help differentiate them on the battlefield and, where possible, bring them more closely in line with their historical counterparts. More sweeping changes include an increase in unit size to ensure even bigger battles and some alterations to unit AI that should see them stay in a fight for longer. Have a look at the trailer below for an overview of the changes.

That's just ten of the hundreds of mods out there for the Total War series. If these ten aren't enough then you'll find many, many more over at the excellent Total War Centre .

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.