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Everything we know about Total War: Warhammer 3

Lots of glowing blue demons
(Image credit: Sega)

Creative Assembly's gearing up to finish off its bloodthirsty, fantastical trilogy, with Total War: Warhammer 3. It's been a much longer wait than the gap between the previous Warhammers, but it's also shaping up to be considerably larger, pitting seven launch factions—four of them following the Gods of Chaos—against each other in a map that covers the Realm of Chaos and the Lands of the East.

Below you'll find everything we know about Warhammer 3 so far. Make sure to check back later, as we ferret out more details.

What's the Total War: Warhammer 3 release date?

Total War: Warhammer 3 is coming out in February 17 via Steam and the Epic Games Store.

Where is Total War: Warhammer 3 set?

We're heading to the Realm of Chaos this time, as well as the Lands of the East. The former is a warped magical hellscape where the Chaos Gods squabble and plot their conquests of reality. It's connected to the mortal world, but also very much its own thing, defying the laws of physics and being shaped by thought and emotion.

The Lands of the East, meanwhile, are a bit closer to a real-world location. Expect some similarities to Russia and China, but with hobgoblins, ogres, dragons, marauding worshipers of Chaos and other fantastical elements. 

It's also going to be huge. "In campaign map terms, it's big… roughly twice the size of Warhammer 2's Eye of the Vortex map," game director Ian Roxburgh told us in our Total War: Warhammer 3 interview.

Who are Total War: Warhammer 3's factions?

(Image credit: Creative Assembly)

Warhammer 3's launching with seven factions, predominantly full of daemons. Chaos will be represented by the armies of Khorne, Nurgle, Slaanesh, and Tzeentch, while the human factions of Cathay and Kislev will be opposing them, and the Ogre Kingdoms appearing as launch DLC, as Warriors of Chaos were in the original game.

Cathay and Kislev don't have armies in the tabletop game right now, though Games Workshop is putting together a Kislev army for its resurrection of the Old World setting. This means we're going to be in for some surprises, and you can expect some brand new daemonic creatures as well.

Are there Total War: Warhammer 3 trailers?

Yes! Give the launch trailer a watch above. It's just a cinematic, but it sets the scene. It's focused on Katarin, who is preparing to face daemons and warriors of Chaos with the forces of Kislev. At the end, we also see a map that teases Cathay. 

More recent trailers have shown us singing ogres, and a closer look at Grand Cathay complete with flying war machines, terracotta giants, and legendary lords who transform into dragons.

Are the mechanics changing?

Siege battles are being reworked, with a wider variety of siege maps more tightly themed to each faction, and with multiple layers of wall on some cities. Defenders will be able to construct barricades, traps, and fortifications mid-battle by spending supply points earned by holding key locations, and settlements will be more multi-layered with bridges and the like providing high ground.

Also new are survival battles, providing climaxes to quest chains. Each one will begin with hordes of weaker enemies, building in intensity as you take capture points and face more elite units. As with sieges, you'll be able to construct buildings mid-battle, like archer platforms, walls, and artillery towers. You'll even be able to recruit new units partway through, before facing essentially a boss battle once you hold all the capture points.

The new factions have unique mechanics as well, and all daemon factions will have access to cults they can hide in rival settlements and special actions unlocked by raising corruption levels.

Smaller quality-of-life improvements include a toggle to land flying units, a slow-motion casting option to make it easier to place spells and abilities, an idle unit hotkey, and more.

Mortal Empires is returning

Mortal Empires is a mega campaign that combines the maps and factions of the first two games. It's huge, and it's incredible. It's also going to be getting a lot larger. At some point after its launch, Total War: Warhammer 3 will receive an equivalent called Immortal Empires that combines the maps and factions of all three games. It will be free for everyone who owns all three games.

When it first arrived in Total War: Warhammer 2, Mortal Empires was very slow. Hitting 'End Turn' gave you enough time to make a cup of tea and read at least one chapter of a book. Since then, Creative Assembly's worked magic on the engine and, given the sheer scale of the campaign, it's now surprisingly quick. At least when it comes to waiting for your turn. It still takes a million years to finish a campaign.

Creative Assembly's still focused on performance, so you can expect more improvements this time around.

What about Total War: Warhammer 3 DLC?

(Image credit: Sega)

The previous games, Warhammer 2 in particular, enjoyed lots of free and premium DLC, along with lots of significant updates and overhauls. More of the same will be coming with Warhammer 3, though Creative Assembly hasn't specified what we can expect.

Hints, on the other hand, are aplenty. We know Creative Assembly wants to use every army, and we know it's also willing to include stuff that doesn't have armies. With that in mind, a Chaos Dwarf faction seems likely, and the mercenary Dogs of War a possibility. 

During our first look at Cathay, we asked game director Ian Roxburgh about potential DLC for the nations bordering it. "When going further afield and into the stuff that hasn't been developed by Games Workshop until now we never say never, but when it comes to Nippon and Ind, that's not on the radar at the moment," he said. "But certainly padding out the fringes around Cathay, there's plenty to come in the future there."

The question is what shape the DLC will take. With Warhammer 2, Creative Assembly decided against introducing lots of mini-campaigns, instead releasing loads of new lords, accompanied by new mechanics, units and quirks. It was definitely the right call, and I suspect we'll see the same here.

We do know a version of the blood and gore DLC Blood for the Blood God will be available for Total War: Warhammer 3, and once again those who own it for either previous game will get it free. 

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.