All 40,000 Dawn Of War Games Free To Try On Steam

By 2017, every human being on Earth will be developing a Warhammer 40,000 game. I suppose it’s possible that at least one of those 7.125 billion titles will go on to be as beloved as Relic’s Dawn of War series, but it does seem unlikely.

If you’re one of the few people yet to play a Dawn of War – perhaps because you’ve been too busy making Warhammer 40,000: Tyranid Dating Sim* – then good news: the entire franchise, including every single expansion pack and piece of DLC, is free to play on Steam all weekend, and heavily discounted if you want to keep any or all of it. Also, the first DoW is getting a brand new map. Pretty good going for an 11-year-old game.

Dawn of War 1 and 2 and all their 7.125 billion expansions are free to play on Steam from 10am PDT on September 24th through to 1pm PDT on September 27th, which in Proper Imperial Correct Nothing Else Matters Damn You English time is from 5pm last night through to 8pm on Sunday .

If you want to keep ’em, everything is 75% off for the duration too. There are various different bundles, most of which involve a slew of minor Dawn of War II DLC that you really don’t need unless you’re a total Space Marine nut. Absolutely everything – the franchise pack – will cost you £24.99, but I reckon you could grab the Dawn of War II Master Collection for £9.99 and the Dawn of War I Master Collection for £7.49 and have everything you realistically need.

If you just want to tinker, or want a place to start in this maelstrom of similarly-named games, the must-haves as far as I’m concerned are Dawn of War II Chaos Rising for £3.74 and Dawn of War 1 Dark Crusade for £2.49.

Dawn of War 1 and 2 are very different games really, the latter moving away from RTS and into ARPG, so it’s definitely worth grabbing one of each if you can.

Meanwhile, the original Dawn of War gets its new map, like so:

“The Temple of Cyrene is a brand new, official multiplayer map we’re adding into the Dawn of War I rotation. This map will be playable in DoW I, as well as the Dark Crusade and Soulstorm expansions. The Temple of Cyrene sits on the blasted landscape of a world scoured clean by the Exterminatus of the Imperial Inquisition. Homeworld of Gabriel Angelos, Cyrene is now a ghost-world of ruined cities and ashen fields. Fight for supremacy amidst the remains of Cyrene’s once-mighty temples. Claim the three critical locations at the heart of the ruins or drive into enemy bases and deliver annihilation.”

Dawn of War II is receiving a bonus too, though it’s unlocking hard-to-obtain bits of Wargear for everyone rather than brand new stuff:

“The Vanguard, Sniper, Sternguard, and Destroyer, to equip in the main campaign that were previously only available as pre-order DLC, or as rare loot drops. Now everyone will be able to equip items like the Veteran’s Grenades, Blade of Ulyus, Armor of the Destroyer, and many more to complete your sets.””

So yeah, you’ve got until Sunday night to try all this stuff out. Neither DoW is quite my dream 40K game – the scale is too small, the customisation and army-building too limited – but they’re pretty much as good as digital 40K gets so far. Very much recommended.

Incidentally, while looking up the total population of Earth to reference in the introduction to this post, I established that it has doubled during just the space of my own 36 years on Earth. I am very, very frightened all of a sudden, and will probably close the curtains and play Dawn of War all weekend to try and block out my rising paranoia about Armageddon.

* make it make it make it make it make it make it


  1. Kefren says:

    The population explosion scares me. In the future there is only babies.

    • BathroomCitizen says:

      Right at ya.

      Gonna be a father soon :_)

    • JFS says:

      Population explosion will become the new Cold War/nuclear apocalypse. Do you think they will make games about it?

    • Zmobie says:

      Hey, dont panic, this is what Hans Rosling is on about. The amount of children born per woman is decreasing and the average amount of children per woman in the world is around 2.5 i think, and its decreasing.

      • Kefren says:

        However, a decrease in birthrate is not the same as a decrease in population. Even when birthrates go down, the population is still increasing. Just increasing at a slower rate. The scary thing is stuff like this: link to

        • Hart says:

          As long as technological innovations in agriculture continue to happen, and climate change doesn’t largely affect our ability to make food, population increase isn’t anything to worry about. Then again, those are two pretty big ‘ifs.’

  2. Belsameth says:

    On top of thatr, The Last Stand from DoW II is also pretty fun!

    • sonson says:

      It’s wonderful. Gives all the fun of a MOBA lite and playing with other people without any of the anxiety and stress and practice that tends to come with such things.

      • SebfromMTL says:

        Right on! I really wish they had more stages for Last Stand, 2 is not enough.

        On that note as anyone here actually played Dark Nexus Arena? I’ve had the beta for a while now but I just can’t get behind the whole pvp moba thing…

  3. TheAngriestHobo says:

    There’ll probably be an article about this later, but this is as good a place as any to mention that Mordheim finally rolled out its long-anticipated progression update last night, and it’s awesome. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some rat-men to stab before work.

  4. Syra says:


  5. BathroomCitizen says:

    Sorry for my ignorance, but can someone illuminate me (like Spacemarines often like to do) on why Chaos Rising is more highly regarded than Retribution?

    • Xocrates says:

      Probably because it has the best campaign of the DoW 2 lot.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        This. Chaos Rising has a really tight, story-focused singleplayer campaign.

        Vanilla DoW 2’s campaign is a lot lighter on story and absolutely packed with missions that only pad the length.

        Retribution suffers from every campaign recycling the same maps and overall mission structures (though the order changes and a lot of the races have decently written stories/dialogue within each map.)

        Retribution is definitely the best one for MP though since the previous DoW 2 games suffered from GFWL while it was Steamworks from the getgo and received a lot more support from Relic due to that.

    • Syra says:

      Yeah ret has fairly dull campaigns but Dow2 and CR have great story modes.

      Multiplayer in Ret is the best by far though. My most played strategy game ever.

      • David Bliff says:

        People still play Elite Mod for Retribution. It makes it into a much more deep and balanced game than Relic were able to manage before they had to abandon the game

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Personally I really like the small squad micromanagement of DOW2 and Chaos Rising, to me this was somewhat ruined by the unit spam they added in Retribution.

  6. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Tyranid Dating Sim:
    The Hive Tyrant has turned you down, because you don’t own your own house, but you do have messages from a Carnifex and a Termagant.

    • Dilapinated says:

      You give 50C to the Genestealer Cult Priest.

      You have been blessed with a new conversation option: SPIT ACID !

    • heretic says:

      *throws money at screen*

  7. mrpier says:

    I never finished the DOWII: Chaos Rising campaign, so I think I’ll take a stab at it again this weekend.

  8. Doom Kitten says:

    I’ve never played any of the games in this series before. Which one is the best to try first? Is there coop and how is the coop if it exists?

    • Andelect says:

      The Dawn of War 1 games play more like your average RTS with base building, unit upgrades and the like. It is one of the best RTS games I’ve ever played.

      Dawn of War 2 is a smaller take on the formula with 4 squads to take command of in single player, it;s also about the gear of your squads and how you level them up. During multiplayer you have more squads but there are still only 4 people in a squad most of the time and it becomes more about cover and positioning than overall strategy. The campaign to DoW 2 is coop with one person in charge of two squads and the other person in charge of the other two. DoW 1 doesn’t have a coop campaign but you can comp stomp together.

      So it’s whatever you feel floats your boat.

  9. Chiron says:

    A super detailed Sims style character editor for Tyranids and other assorted Warhammer factions would be fucking amazing.

  10. sunburned says:

    Never tried a Warhammer game as far as I can remember. Which of the free ones can you recommend for me to try this weekend? Prefer short multiplayer matches nowadays due to work & life.

    • Danarchist says:

      DOW1 is much better for short games, actually I prefer it overall. I have never been into the new hotkey oriented RTS style that became popular with starcraft, and DOW2 is all about the hotkeys and conveniently placed cover. Nothing quite like rushing 5 squads of Sisters of Battle into a horde of orcs, flamers flaming

  11. fuggles says:

    As a long time member of the Dow community (11 years apparently) then I advise you get soulstorm over dark crusade. Granted dc has a better single player campaign; just, but all the mods tend to be for soulstorm, including a mod that isjust the scripted missions from soulstorm and dark crusade.

    There are heaps of new races both complete and ongoing. Our team has just finished a long awaited one and is doing final qa, whilst I have been working on blood angels.

    As ever, thanks for any article about Dow and still happy to write an article on it, modding, anything as its just the most complete wh40k game that will ever be – it really hit a modding sweetspot.

  12. GCU Speak Softly says:

    I have the GOTY edition on Steam as well as the physical box plus Soulstorm, but have never got the Steam version to load *sadface* Should I now delete everything and re-buy the individual bits?

    • sojuhasu says:

      >I have the GOTY edition on Steam as well as the physical box plus Soulstorm, but have never got the Steam version to load

      I would encourage you to try again.
      Bought Soulstorm’s physical cd years ago and couldnt get it to activate in Steam. Maybe they made some changes since I tried activating it this morning just in case and it worked.

      My Dark Crusade cdkey still wont work though.

      • Asurmen says:

        Soulstorm is the only expansion that activates on Steam. All the others don’t work. The GOTY edition of the base game is the only one that activates on Steam. All other base game versions don’t activate.