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 game, 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 review
Fraser was smitten in his Total War: Warhammer 3 review (opens in new tab), giving it a score of 90 and calling it a bold and experimental final act.
"I've already sunk nearly 100 hours into Warhammer 3, which should give you an inkling of how much I'm digging it," he writes. "And while I'm no longer as eager to go through the Realm of Chaos campaign again, that's only a slice of what Warhammer 3 is. There's a whole other domination campaign after you defeat Be'lakor, where you get to swallow up the rest of the world, helped by some special post-campaign rewards. And though I might bristle at the idea of sending my leader off to his second job at inconvenient moments before that point, it's honestly just so much fun to play with these factions and create dream armies that I can put up with the hurdle."
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 (opens in new tab).
Who are Total War: Warhammer 3's factions?
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. The Ogre Kingdoms will appear as launch DLC, available free for the first week after launch, 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.
Creative Assembly also snuck a special faction in, the Daemons of Chaos, which lets you recruit units from every Chaos god, as well as giving you a Legendary Lord who's as customisable as an RPG protagonist.
Which legendary lords are in Total War: Warhammer 3?
At launch, Cathay, Kislev, and the Ogre Kingdoms will have two legendary lords each, with one for each of the four Chaos Gods, and a final customizable option for Chaos Undivided. As in previous Warhammers, there's room for more lords to be added as DLC and free-LC.
Kislev's legendary lords are Tzarina Katarin, a spellcaster who wields the new Lore of Ice, and Kostaltyn, a battle-priest who spends his time denouncing heretics and spellcasters. Both can be upgraded to ride war bears, as is the Kislev way.
Cathay has two lords, both able to become dragons whenever they feel like it: Miao Ying, the Storm Dragon, who holds the Great Bastion in the north against Chaos, and her brother Zhao Ming, the Iron Dragon, who rules the Western Provinces and has a campaign about running trade caravans when he's not fighting the nearby skaven.
The ogres can be led by Greasus Goldtooth, aka Tradelord Greasus Tribestealer the Shockingly Obese, who represents the mercenary side of the Ogre Kingdoms and throws spare change around to win over his enemies. Their other choice is Skrag the Slaughterer, a prophet of ogre god The Great Maw, who drags a meat-pot behind him and is accompanied by gore-gnoblars who fill it with the leftover bits of his foes. Delightful.
Nurgle's legendary lord is Ku'gath Plaguefather, the Rotting Poxmaker who brews contagions and throws infected Nurglings like artillery. Khorne's is Skarbrand, an exile with twin axes who is apparently the most powerful melee lord in the series. Two-headed Kairos Fateweaver leads the Oracles of Tzeentch, and as well as the Lore of Tzeentch he casts spells from the eight main lores as well, swapping them up between battles. Slaanesh gets N'Kari, the Arch-Temptor whose abilities let him lower enemy stats and heal him when they die.
Finally, there's Ragnar, who leads the Daemons of Chaos Undivided and can pick and choose between the four gods. He's a Daemon Prince who can be fully customized and renamed, turning him into whatever you choose.
Multiple Chaos armies? Aren't they all the same?
In the tabletop game Daemons of Chaos are a single army with units dedicated to four different gods. As lead battle designer Jim Whitson told us, "We felt there was enough content in terms of the roster of spell lores, the characters and so on for each of those gods to have their own unique playable race with their own suite of unique features."
They sure seem different. Nurgle spreads disease in battle while their own troops regenerate, and spreads plagues in the campaign as well. Even their buildings are organic and gross, some of them growing and then dying off in a cycle. Slaanesh is about speedy hit-and-run tactics, with plenty of armor-piercing, and can seduce factions to make vassals out of them. Khorne is anti-magic and focused on straightforward hand-to-hand fighting, getting battle bonuses the longer they stay in a fight. Tzeentch, meanwhile, is heavy on the magic, with a campaign currency called grimoires that can be spent to troll other factions by transferring ownership of settlements, forcing rebellions, breaking alliances, opening city gates, and more. Tzeentch armies can teleport across impassable terrain as well.
Are there Total War: Warhammer 3 trailers?
You bet. 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 (opens in new tab), and a closer look at Grand Cathay (opens in new tab) complete with its flying war machines, terracotta giants, and legendary lords who transform into dragons. There's a trailer for the Daemon Prince (opens in new tab) too, introducing Chaos Undivided.
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 are the system requirements?
- OS: Windows 7 64-bit
- Processor: Intel i3/Ryzen 3 series
- Memory: 6GB
- Graphics: Nvidia GTX 900/AMD RX 400 series | Intel Iris Xe Graphics
- DirectX: Version 11
- Storage: 120 GB available space
- Additional Notes: 8GB Memory if using integrated GPU.
- OS: Windows 10 64-bit
- CPU: Intel i5/Ryzen 5 series
- RAM: 8GB
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti/AMD RX 5600-XT
- DirectX: Version 11 Storage: SSD 120 GB available space
What about Total War: Warhammer 3 DLC?
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.