Total War Warhammer 3 races guide: All faction mechanics & bonuses

Total War Warhammer 3 screenshot showing Kislev battling KhorneCreative Assembly/Sega

Total War Warhammer 3 is finally here, and its factions offer unique playstyles and bonuses. Here’s all we know about the Total War Warhammer 3 races and their unique mechanics.

Total War Warhammer 3 is here, offers the franchise’s unique mix of turn-based diplomacy and real-time combat in Games Workshop’s fantasy universe. That means it’s not uncommon to see a Pikeman slain by a dragon, or even a huge polar bear with a warrior on top.

Total War Warhammer 3’s factions are a huge part of the game, too. Each plays differently, some with more subtle abilities, and others that change the game entirely. Whether it’s the icy nation of Kislev demanding Devotion from their people, or Khorne’s inability to engage in diplomacy because they’d rather take up arms instead, there’s a playstyle, and a faction, for everyone.

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Here’s all we know about the races in Total War Warhammer 3, as well as their unique play mechanics.


Total War Warhammer 3 Queen Katarin Kislev Ice Magic With LogoSEGA / Creative Assembly
Every race has its own unique playstyle.

Daemons of Chaos

Total War Warhammer 3 screenshot showing the Daemon PrinceCreative Assembly/Sega
Build your own monster with the Chaos Daemons

The Daemons of Chaos faction is your very own monster factory — you can mix and match parts to make your own hideous, yet powerful, leader of the army.

You’ll get even more abilities the more they kill, too, making this the perfect faction for those that like to lead from the front.

Daemonic Gifts

Equip body parts and weapons granted by the Chaos Gods to customize the Daemon Prince.

Daemonic Glory

Ascribe glory to the four Chaos Gods to be granted boons in the form of Daemonic Gifts and units

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Grand Cathay

Total War Warhammer 3 screenshot showing a huge Grand Cathay dragonCreative Assembly/Sega
Did we mention dragons?

The Grand Cathay race offers a nice range of melee and missile (ranged units), with a focus on keeping them close together to achieve “Harmony” — buffing their abilities.

Lord characters also increase Harmony, while Spellcasters can support each other. That makes it important to keep unit types close together. Oh, and there are dragons, too, while the Ivory Road mechanic helps keep your coffers full.


Balance both Yin and Yang to achieve Harmony, which will confer powerful effects.


Direct the Wu Xing Compass to defend Cathay from threats north of the Great Bastion.

The Ivory Road

Gain wealth by sending out caravans to deliver cargo to faraway cities in the west.

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Total War Warhammer 3 screenshot showing KislevCreative Assembly/Sega
Snow leopard fans will find Kislev very cool (sorry)

The wintry nation of Kislev is protected by a strong army of infantry, cavalry, and the huge polar bears we’ve been itching to command since the game’s first trailer dropped. There’s even a devastating Snow Leopard that’s restricted to one per army.

One of the most exciting parts of Kislev are the Frost Maidens and Ice Witches, who fling magic. You can train them before recruitment, making them even more powerful.

The Motherland

Amass Devotion to invoke the gods of Kislev. Use these to gather your supporters and secure your power.


Assign an Ataman to govern a province and get unique benefits.

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The Ice Court

Train Frost Maidens and Ice Witches to gain powerful traits before recruiting them.


Total War Warhammer 3 screenshot showing the Khorne factionCreative Assembly/Sega
Khorne, unsurprisingly, look like a metal album cover — but with more teeth and horns.

Khorne are all about the thrill of the fight, and to that end, they get stronger with every battle so it’s all “kill, kill, kill” all the time.

Thankfully, they’ve got the units to back it up. They don’t have spellcasters, but are great at smashing into enemy forces with fervor, accruing the Blood God’s favor that can be spent on new abilities.


Fight battles, raze settlements and claim Skull Piles to gather tribute to the Skull Throne.

Drawn to Destruction

Your settlements will spread automatically into the ruins you leave in your way — or you can spend Skulls to occupy them immediately.

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Your armies are strengthened by every battle, and can even summon temporary reinforcements by razing settlements.


Total War Warhammer 3 screenshot showing the Nurgle factionCreative Assembly/Sega
Three guesses on the Nurgle faction’s favorite color.

Nurgle is a plague-based race, so you can expect to spread more than the common cold across the battlefield. With tanky units, and buffs when taking damage, its armies have impressive staying power.

Nurglish factions can create their own biological warfare, putting together different elements to create plagues that sweep through enemy ranks.


Concoct and spread plagues across the world or afflict your own assets.

Cyclical Buildings

Settlements will grow over time and will then wither and die out.

Ogre Kingdoms (DLC)

Total War Warhammer 3 screenshot showing the Ogre KingdomsCreative Assembly/Sega
The Ogre Kingdoms offer Chaos and comradery in equal measure.

Bigger is better, or at least that’s the belief of the Ogre Kingdoms. Huge monsters bear down on the battlefield, while hastily-built camps mean reinforcements are never too far away.

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Sadly, their basic infantry, the Gnoblars, are a bit weak, but if you can bring those bigger units into play you’ll be eating your enemies by sundown.


Deploy camps to create a forward base, constructing buildings and recruiting units from them.


Each army is sustained by Meat. Source it from fighting battles and being near camps.


Factions will issue you contracts, fulfill them to increase your standing.


Total War Warhammer 3 screenshot showing SlaaneshCreative Assembly/Sega
Slaanesh is able to seduce other factions. Ick.

The hedonistic Slaanesh race is a fast one, based around swarming all sides of an opponent as quickly as possible.

Killing equals buffs, too, so you can expect to reap huge rewards for aggressive play, and can actually switch the side of one enemy unit for an entire battle.

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Amass followers by raiding, sacking, and looting settlements.

Summon Disciple Armies

Use Devotees to summon armies in corrupted areas.


Compel enemy units to join your army during battles, and force whole factions into vassalage via your Seductive Influence.


Total War Warhammer 3 screenshot showing TzeentchCreative Assembly/Sega
So colorful, and yet, so violent.

These bird-like monstrosities are ideal for those that want to engage from afar, whether that’s with spells or with missile attacks while flying units can also wreak havoc on grounded units.

They’re also protected by a regenerating magic barrier that would feel like a cheat code if they weren’t so soft and squidgy in close quarters combat.

Changing of the Ways

Hatch treacherous plots to manipulate the destiny of all beings.

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Winds of Magic manipulation

Push and pull the strengths of the Winds of Magic across your territory.

There you have it, all of the Total War Warhammer 3 races. For more on the game, be sure to check out our release hub, as well as the PC requirements and our full review.