Players have visited many different battlegrounds over the years with the Total War series. The collections of various campaigns and historical battles can easily take hours for the player to sift through on their way to ultimate victory. Even then, the fun of experiencing Total War doesn’t have to end there.


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Plenty of great mods exist for many of the franchise’s best titles. The ones that are the most fun to experiment with are the total conversion and overhaul mods. Total conversion mods tend to change everything from the ground up, often letting players experience new and fantastical realms. Overhaul mods keep the basic structures in place but seek to improve upon them in a variety of ways. Both types are assuredly worth the player’s time.

Updated October 21, 2022 by Mark Hospodar: When it comes to strategy games, the Total War franchise is tough to beat. Various historical periods, as well as the fantasy setting of the Warhammer universe, are ready to be conquered by players looking to test their skills.

As it happens, plenty of stellar mods exist for every entry in the series to take their respective games to the next level. Some of the most impressive examples are the total conversion and overhaul mods. This list has been expanded to include a few more worthwhile entries for fans to enjoy.

How To Install Total War Mods

The bulk of the mods for Total War games come from one of two places: the Steam Workshop and Mod DB. Fortunately, the process of installing a mod from the Steam Workshop is incredibly easy. While on a particular mod’s homepage, simply press the green “Subscribe” button. The mod will then install automatically, although restarting Steam itself is often a good idea.

Mod DB operates on a more old-school level. A mod’s installation instructions need to be read carefully since the process can differ slightly depending on the mod itself. However, generally, fans will need to navigate to a particular game’s directory on their hard drive. Players will then have to create a Mods folder and dump the contents of an add-on inside of it. An example might look something like this:

  • C:
    /
    Program Files
    /
    Steam
    /
    Steam Apps
    /
    Napoleon Total War
    /
    Mods

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18/18 Stainless Steel

Players who can’t get enough medieval action and intrigue should definitely check out Stainless Steel. It’s a complete overhaul mod for Medieval 2: Kingdoms, making the game more challenging and historically accurate while also maintaining the general feeling of the vanilla experience.

Most facets of the gameplay are overhauled from the ground up. Myriad bugs are fixed, graphics are updated, and a whole host of military units are rebalanced. A full accounting of all the changes Stainless Steel provides can be found here.

17/18 Radious – Total War: Three Kingdoms

For veteran modders of the franchise, Radious should sound familiar. The team behind Radious has made mods for almost every major Total War game released. Those who have conquered China in Total War: Three Kingdoms several times over already and are thirsty for more should certainly give this mod a try.

No stone is left unturned with Radious. Over 70 new units are seamlessly incorporated into the game. The economy is reworked to facilitate the fielding of larger armies, while the battles themselves have been rebalanced for a greater challenge. There’s also a nice collection of submods available for even greater variety.

16/18 Darthmod – Total War: Shogun 2

Similar to the previous entry, the Darthmod collection has spanned multiple Total War games. Total War: Shogun 2 is one of the most popular titles in the franchise, so it’s no surprise that the authors of Darthmod eventually decided to focus on it.

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One of the hallmarks of Darthmod is its overhaul of the Total War battle mechanics and A.I. Unit sizes are larger while morale is given a boost. As such, troops won’t break as easily, resulting in longer and more complex set pieces. A.I. factions will also put a greater priority on recruiting their own unique units, giving each army a more dynamic composition.

15/18 Imperium Surrectum

After releasing in April 2021, it wasn’t long before mods started to pile up for Total War: Rome Remastered. One of the most promising, though it’s still a work in progress, is Imperial Surrectum. Like other mods on this list, it aims to enhance the historical realism of the vanilla Rome Remastered.

Keep in mind, however, that this mod still has a long way to go. Since it’s relatively new, Imperium Surrectum hasn’t implemented its full suite of features yet. Nevertheless, the mod is still worth a try, if only to get hyped for the eventual release of the finished product.

14/18 SFO: Grimhammer 2

The historical titles in this series aren’t the only ones that benefit from great mods. Warhammer enthusiasts are in luck, as a truly stellar mod exists for Total War: Warhammer 2. As far as overhauls are concerned, SFO: Grimhammer 2 is all that most players probably need.

Every faction in the game is given a rework in some manner, bringing everything more in line with Warhammer lore. The sheer number of additions is immense, with hundreds of new buildings, technologies, abilities, skills, and so much more.

13/18 SFO: Grimhammer 3

Of course, fans of the previous mod will undoubtedly be interested in its sequel. With the release of Total War: Warhammer 3, it was only a matter of time before work was started on an overhaul mod. Although it’s still an ongoing project, SFO: Grimhammer 3 is the quintessential overhaul mod for the game.

The list of changes to the campaign and battles is already quite extensive. Players can expect a vastly different experience in terms of mechanics since nearly everything is given a tweak or rebalance in some capacity. As work on the mod continues, fans can look forward to even more content to be added in the upcoming months.

12/18 Europa Barbarorum

Rome: Total War is typically cited as one of the best titles in the series. Navigating the politics of the ancient Roman world proved immediately engrossing to fans. However, longtime veterans of the game tend to dominate the proceedings once the basic gameplay mechanics have been mastered. All of the challenges eventually disappear.

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A better test of skill is offered through the Europa Barbarorum mod. This mod prides itself on historical accuracy, which it pulls off quite well. Factions and their unit/building rosters have been rebalanced in addition to new ones being added as well. Playing as a new faction now feels like a wholly unique experience, giving the game some much-appreciated variety.

11/18 Third Age — Total War

Perhaps the most beloved Total War mod of all time, Third Age brings the battlefields of Tolkien’s Middle-earth to life. Ever get tired of commanding human foot soldiers and cavalry? Try leading hordes of orcs and trolls instead! Famous battles and events depicted in the movies can also be reenacted with ease.

The main campaign is another highlight of the mod, which focuses on the dramatic War of the Ring. A whole host of factions encompassing all the races of Middle-earth are available to play in this conflict. Most players don’t need another reason to revisit the classic Medieval 2: Total War, but this fantastic mod will surely tip the scales.

10/18 Divide And Conquer

Despite its beloved status as one of the greatest Medieval 2: Total War mods, the previously-mentioned Third Age add-on is quite old. Fans who want a more robust experience playing in Tolkien’s world of fantasy should consider Divide and Conquer, a Lord of the Rings mod for Medieval 2: Total War: Kingdoms.

Divide and Conquer is a lovingly crafted mod that features 26 playable factions and almost 200 units. Fans can look forward to hundreds of scripted events and reworked mechanics from the Kingdoms expansion for an entertainingly immersive LotR experience. For fans who crave the definitive Tolkien overhaul mod for Total War, this mod won’t disappoint.

9/18 Divide Et Impera

Total War: Rome 2 had a bit of a rocky launch when it was released in 2013. Many fans were left with the impression that the sequel failed to live up to the high standards set by the original. Nonetheless, Rome 2 still possesses some interesting options when it comes to mods.

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Similar to the Europa Barbarorum mod for the original Rome: Total War, Divide et Impera brings more historical realism to the base game. It’s also more of a challenge when it comes to combat. There’s no steamrolling an enemy with this mod. Battles need to be fought carefully and with tactics to prevail.

8/18 Medieval Kingdoms 1212 AD

The setting of Total War: Attila revolves around the fall of the Roman Empire under the weight of barbarian invasion. It’s a much tougher game compared to Total War: Rome 2 as managing a large realm is a more complicated proposition. Like its predecessor, Attila also has a nice collection of total conversion and overhaul mods.

One of the most popular mods currently available is Medieval Kingdoms 1212 AD. It serves as an unofficial sequel to Medieval 2: Total War. The setting takes the player out of the Dark Ages and into the high point of the Middle Ages. New factions, units, and events are built from scratch to deliver a truly impressive medieval experience.

7/18 Constantine: Rise Of Christianity

The Roman Empire saw some tumultuous periods in its history. One of the most severe was the aptly named “Crisis of the Third Century.” This time period was actually explored in an official DLC for Total War: Rome 2 called Empire Divided. Stability was eventually restored when Emperor Diocletian established the Tetrarchy, a political structure whereby power was shared between four individuals.

The Constantine: Rise of Christianity mod examines the final days of the Tetrarchy and the rise of Constantine the Great. When Rome once more descends into civil war the player has the option of taking control of one of the leading tetrarchs of the empire. The goal is to reunite Rome under the leadership of a single emperor, which is not a simple endeavor.

6/18 Alexander The Great Campaign — Hellenic Edition

In Total War: Rome 2 the effects of Alexander the Great’s conquests can be witnessed on the campaign map. Known as the Successor Kingdoms, these states continue to vie for dominance amidst the remains of Alexander’s empire. But what about the conquest itself? Like the previous entry, there’s actually a mod for that scenario, called the Alexander the Great Campaign.

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Set in 334 B.C. the mod starts at the cusp of Alexander’s invasion of the Persian Empire. The mod is framed as a singleplayer, narrative-driven experience, almost as if it were an official expansion to the base game. Events and decisions are tailor-made for the scenario, giving it a uniqueness that sets it apart from many other mods.

5/18 Napoleonic Total War 3

The Napoleonic Wars was a massive conflict that raged for over twelve years. Napoleon: Total War captured the essence of that struggle, but not everything was executed perfectly. It fell short of conveying the sheer grandness of Napoleonic military splendor. It’s the details that are often found lacking.

The Napoleonic Total War 3 mod fixes that. Although complete historical accuracy in a video game is impossible to achieve, this mod does an admirable job of trying. A plethora of new units and uniforms are included as well as various tweaks to the game’s balance and combat. After trying this mod, it’s hard to go back to the vanilla version.

4/18 Westeros: Total War

It was only a matter of time before Total War received the Game of Thrones treatment. The two genres actually go quite well together and the Medieval 2: Total War game engine is the perfect glue. Instead of leading armies of Roman legionaries and Napoleonic infantry, the player commands the forces of the North, Casterly Rock, and all the rest of the Westerosi nations.

Fans of the show, as well as the books, will find there’s plenty of fun to be had with Westeros: Total War. The units are arguably the best things to observe. Seeing the rows of troops in their full House panoply is pretty cool to witness. If you can’t get enough of A Song of Ice and Fire, then this is a mod that definitely deserves your attention.

The Elder Scrolls franchise has one of the best fantasy worlds in video games. Like the other fantasy entries on this list, Tamriel is a perfect fit for the Total War series. Experiencing the magic of The Elder Scrolls series can be done through the appropriately named The Elder Scrolls: Total War mod for Medieval 2: Total War: Kingdoms.

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Fans can take command of 20 playable factions during the waning years of the Third Era. Famous factions include, among others, the Empire, the Stormcloaks, several great houses of Morrowind, and the Aldmeri Dominion. Influencing Tamriel from the global level proves to be just as fun as a lone adventurer with a destiny!

2/18 The Great War

The Total War franchise has explored quite a few historical eras over the years. Curiously, one of the time periods that has never been given any attention by the series is the First World War. However, very little ever stays unexplored for long when mods are involved.

The Great War, a very popular mod for Napoleon: Total War, swaps out the 19th century for the horrors and savagery of the Western Front. Muskets are discarded in favor of machine guns and artillery. Cavalry slips into obsolescence as tanks slowly rumble across the battlefield. It offers a nice change of pace from the massed columns of line infantry the player would normally command.

1/18 The American Revolution

Empire: Total War allows players to lead a country through an entire century of warfare. The scope of the game is rather broad and there’s not a whole lot of attention given to individual events. One of the seminal moments of the 18th century was the American Revolution, an episode that’s not really expanded upon in any great detail in the game.

The aptly-titled American Revolution mod focuses on this event. The amount of new units added by the mod is massive. In addition, multiple campaign bookmarks allow the player to experience the Revolution from different stages of the conflict. The AI has also been overhauled, making enemy encounters that much more deadly.

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