Total War: ARENA is a free-to-play, team-based strategy game where players step into the boots of legendary heroes and figures from the past to forge their legacy through combat. Built on years of Creative Assembly’s experience with the critically-acclaimed Total War series, it takes the pillars of strategy, intense, tactical combat, and dedication to history the series is famous for, and distills it into epic, online combat for new and old fans alike.
In massive and fast-paced 10-vs-10 real-time strategy battles, characters control three units with hundreds of warriors and clash across ancient battlefields. Every encounter pushes each commander to sharpen their wits and strategise with their allies to secure victory. A deep progression system to level up commanders and discover new skills, weaponry, armour and abilities await as players climb the ranks. Paired with historical authenticity and a deep attention to detail, Total War: ARENA takes players to the heart of battle like never before.
Welcome to the Game Basics, Commanders!
This section contains all the information you need to take your first steps in Total War: ARENA. Learn the essentials, choose a legendary ancient Commander, and lead your army towards glorious victories. See you on the battlefield!
Resolve and power forms King Leonidas' battle plan. Forming the ultimate defensive wall, his shield bash can disrupt and break enemy lines. His ability to both hide from missile attacks and create an impenetrable bulwark allows Leonidas to hold his ground.
Powerful yet brittle, the eponymous archon Miltiades targets both body and mind. His rapid infantry charge and ability to wound downed enemies means his best work is performed on the flank. Being able to inflict targeted defence and morale damage allows Miltiades to soften up foes for more attack-minded units.
The Great King Alexander focuses on pinpoint strikes to disable and scatter enemy forces. His 'hammer' charge ploughs through units, opening them up for capture between the 'anvil', which can lock foes in place. His highly mobile cavalry units are perfect for hunting down the enemy in wedge formation.
The Illyrian Princess Cynane is a born hunter. Excelling at supporting and striking manoeuvres, her quick movement and tracking abilities allow her to pursue and mark prey on the battlefield. Her bows' lightning-fast reload speeds give rise to Cynane as a perfect hit-and-run sharpshooter.
A born leader, Caesar is adept at supporting and inspiring battle units. His abilities to bolster combat and ranged attackers, as well as impede other commanders' special orders, allow Caesar to be a pivotal, albeit indirect, commander on the battlefield.
The Roman Commander Germanicus is a heavy infantry expert, focused on dishing out damage and shrugging off ranged attacks. His bloodlust in battle allows him to deal more damage the more enemies he vanquishes with his quick and deadly attack speed.
Scipio Africanus will cut through enemies lines and utilise his cavalry and infantry assaults to overwhelm enemies. His routing charge, and piercing war cry that damages enemy defense and morale, exemplifies Africanus’ power, will, and ability to fight to the death.
Arminius, the Roman turncoat, balances reckless, swift attacks with infiltration and ambush tactics. His abilities to quickly turn the momentum of battle in his favour and whip his troops into frenzy can be paired with his talent of disguising himself as an enemy’s ally to strike a truly devastating blow.
Vercingetorix, Chieftain of the Arverni, is able to plow through units and defend key areas. His skills allow you to lock your units' morale and deliver a powerful conflagration to a surrounding area, turning enemies to ash. His ability to only succumb to damage after completing an order means Vercingetorix is defiant until the end.
Ambiorix is a cunning raider who lays deadly ambushes to crush his enemies. Haste, his first ability, increases Mobility and improves Reload Time, while Crippling Shot, a Tier III ability, launches a volley of missiles that can knock back enemies in a certain area. It can help break up a charge of the enemy infantry or cavalry at a critical moment on the battlefield. From the Shadows, the last ability, increases Missile Range and Accuracy, but decreases the Speed of a unit. Ambiorix's favorite tactic is to spring an ambush, deal damage, and quickly retreat to deny the enemy a chance to strike back.
Known as the “Father of Strategy”, Hannibal Barca was one of the world’s greatest military tacticians. He strikes swift and true, being able to whip even slow units into shape and get them moving across the battlefield. With his ability to increase the melee damage of select units, Hannibal is a master of quick, devastating attacks.
Heavily armoured infantry shines when it comes to close-combat engagements. Their main weapon is the charge, with troops sent hurtling towards the enemy for a direct frontal assault. Charging can also be used for a quick unit rotation and a tactical retreat. Light infantry act as skirmishers, running ahead of the main battle lines and aggressively harassing the enemy. Thanks to their mobility, skirmishers are well suited for reconnaissance, especially in wooded areas.
Thanks to their high mobility and improved visibility range, the role of light cavalry gains a further tactical boon when paired with artillery units on the battlefield. Cavalry are able to sneak behind enemy lines to locate and ambush enemy artillery and missile units. Medium cavalry can exploit weak points, targeting exposed enemy flanks in formations and charging into the rear of enemy lines. Skilled in close-combat, these cavalrymen are an armoured fist to punch through enemy ranks. They greatly complement melee units, and can provide the perfect follow-up blow against an enemy reeling from an infantry assault.
Long-range units are a powerful weapon when attacking distant enemies. If handled properly, missile infantry can become an unrelenting force, inflicting heavy casualties and demoralising enemy units even before they reach your main forces.
With a long range and an ability to inflict devastating damage, siege engines usually deploy at a safe distance from the main battlefield and work well with scout units. Scouts define a target, and siege engineers concentrate fire, sending the enemy into oblivion. In addition to being heavy-missile war machines, artillery units use traps, which can also reduce scythe through enemy units.
These ferocious hounds can ambush the enemy and disrupt their defenses. Sic the dogs on footmen, and there will be few left for the handlers to finish off. Wardogs are highly effective against poorly armored units and can break up phalanx formations.
To deal maximum damage, keep the dogs in terrain that lends cover—high grass and forests—and strike adversaries from the side or rear after using the Rebellion ability. Avoid prolonged fights—these will wear the wardogs down. Stay away from ranged units and remember that the dogs will bite everything in their way, so choose the direction of attack wisely!
Elephants are the backbone of the Carthaginian army. They can terrify even the bravest souls on the battlefield and are unlike any other unit in Total War: ARENA. Heavy battle machines, elephants are nearly invulnerable to enemy attacks. They can crush infantry with ease using their Trample attribute. By smashing the ground, elephants can deal huge damage to the warriors in front of them, while their roar reduces the morale of all nearby enemies for an extended time.
On the other hand, elephants are rather slow and may become an easy target for armor-piercing weapons, including pikes, falxes, and light artillery.