Total War: Warhammer Suffers Server Issues At Launch

Unless you’be been living under a rock for the past year and a bit, I’m sure you’re aware that Total War: Warhammer [official site] is A Thing That Exists. Yup, The Creative Assembly’s adaptation of Games Workshop’s warworld has grabbed the headlines via its multitude of trailers, DLC controversy, and is by all means is a pretty good game and faithful crossover. That is, if you’re able to play it.

It launched today, see, yet hundreds of players have been unable to take to its orc-infested battlegrounds as a result of crashes and server issues. Sega have since responded with a statement and suggestions on how to get it sorted.

Disgruntled players/not players have taken to social media to vent their frustrations and, at the time of writing, over one third of 650 Steam user reviews had been marked as negative. The high volume of players attempting to access the game, say publisher Sega, is the root cause of the problems. As such, they issued the following statement that offers remedial advice:

“We have a server load issue with Total War: WARHAMMER, where the amount of people trying to run the game is making it crash out for some people. We have 40k+ people currently playing the game in the first hour, about unfortunately a few hundred players having trouble getting in.

“In 90% of cases, restarting the game with Steam set to Offline mode will solve the problem. The remaining issues appear to be solved by graphics driver updates and verifying your Steam cache (right click on the game from the Library > Properties > Local Files > Verify integrity of game cache…).

“We will continue to investigate solutions to the load on the servers, but expect the problem to dissipate as launch day goes on.”

I fired up my copy of Total Warhammer and appear to be one of the lucky ones with no obvious issues. On Steam, though, certain players have suggested Sega’s advice hasn’t helped and beyond the stated server issues, there are also reports of other problems; such as the HUD on the campaign map flickering, and significant frame rate drops during battles.

If you’ve been affected by any of the above, or anything else for that matter, Sega suggest referring to the Total War support area. Fingers crossed any issues get worked out ASAP.


  1. BobbyDylan says:

    Total War game. Something I used to pre-order without a second thought. I’ve not bought any expansion for R2 and I’ll not be buying this. They hit their high watermark with Shogun 2 then dived off a cliff.

    I’m also totally sacrificing my nerd-cred here but I think the Warhammer setting is silly.

    • Rizlar says:

      I’m also totally sacrificing my nerd-cred here but I think the Warhammer setting is silly.

      Any real Warhammer fan ought to agree with you!

      • Creeping Death says:

        Oh yeah, Warhammer is utterly ridiculous. It’s why the setting is interesting in the first place.

      • CraftyBanana says:

        Warhammer, and it’s sister world Titan (of FIghting Fantasy Gamebooks fame) were both extremely silly, but in ways that ultimately made them feel more real to me. The actual world is frequently silly as well. In settings where the world building was very obviously Serious Business, there’s often a coherency and consistency of tone that ends up feeling forced. Warhammer, in all its glorious ridiculousness, felt like a proper world.

  2. DThor says:

    Restrict your paying customers by forcing them to talk to the mothership whenever they play and then despite pushing your product hard and building up buzz fail to have a robust infrastructure in place on launch. Clever girl!
    Why do these people never learn? It’s so simple, design the system to simply flip to offline mode if the server doesn’t respond. If you hadn’t been sold a bill of goods by the coders that was pure horseshit you’d have realized that no matter what they said it would take weeks to iron out and designing from the start for quick offline play was the answer. By forcing an offline steam restart you’re showing how that’s possible by inconveniencing your clients.

    • Baines says:

      They don’t learn because it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. People are going to buy the game anyway.

      That, and because the people making the decisions think it isn’t worth the costs of addressing such issues.

    • CloneWarrior85 says:

      It’s the principle.

      Piracy is a thing you can’t avoid, just like you can’t avoid cheap brand imitations, but if you don’t protect what’s yours, you can’t complain it gets stolen.

      At least, CE is using only steam as DRM and Denuvo for authentification, after that you can play offline, you can install it all the times you want, the version of denuvo doesn’t grip your hdd, etc. It’s the most friendly DRM system on a good AAA title that doesn’t fuck the loyal costumers.

      • Horg says:

        Well that explains why it took so bloody long to load the first time. I got through fine though and it hasn’t been a problem since. Sounds like this will resolve itself naturally by the end of the day. This is definitely not ”Diablo 3 launch day 2: Electric Boogaloo”.

  3. Grizzly says:

    I’m very surprised that this can be a thing considering that, afaik, CA uses Steam for the authentication stuff, and the games are as much online as the Paradox Grand Strategy games are.

    • C0llic says:

      It uses Denuvo. A common implementation is that the software periodically dials home (every few weeks or so, but this varies) to verify the game files haven’t been tampered with. It tends to be used alongside steam-works or another DRM. For some reason as a piece of DRM (technically tamper prevention) it’s gotten virtually no press at all.

      This could be what’s causing issues.

      link to

  4. MeestaNob says:

    It’s probably the Denuvo authentication servers which are the issue, it uses that and Steam.

    40K users activating at once wouldn’t make Steam flinch these days.

    • Ragnar says:

      DRM – because preventing one hypothetical lost sale is worth having hundreds of paying customers unable to play the game they paid for.

      • Baines says:

        Ah, but from the corporate view, it isn’t a 1:100 ratio. Don’t forget that some companies and devs believe that piracy rates are 90% or higher, and seemingly that all pirates would have otherwise have bought the game, so they see the ratio as going in the other direction.

      • Czrly says:

        Matters not at all. They care about *selling* the game. Whether anyone plays it or not is irrelevant. Next time round, they’ll just pump more money into the marketing engine to compensate for their technical failures of the past. That, too, is their bread and butter: executives know marketing. Gaming – not so much. Marketing is their comfort zone.

        • naetharu says:

          I understand the feeling of frustration when there are server issues on a release day but I think you are being far too cynical. CA no doubt care a great deal about the game and it’s quality. They don’t always get things right but I do think they try. Rome two had some very bad errors at the outset which upset a lot of people but they really did fix it and today it is a great game.

          As for this new warhammer it seems really well done to me with great gameplay and loads of interesting content. It’s a game that has clearly been made with care and passion and it captures the setting very well.

          Just because a company wants to make money does not mean it does not care about the quality of its games. For some reason CA get loads of stick for this yet companies like Bethesda are given a free pass.

    • Czrly says:

      I vowed never to buy another game from Ubisoft after buying a Ubisoft game on Steam and being unpleasantly surprised that I needed to battle with UPlay in order to play it. I guess I’ll have to start keeping a sharp eye out for Denuvo borked stuff on Steam too, now.

      Or I could just kick Steam to the curb and stop buying stuff there on the grounds that DRM is foul but multiple, third-party DRM is pure evil and the need to be wary of such is tedious and annoying.

  5. anHorse says:

    Most of those negative user reviews are just from dipshits who wouldn’t wait for it to load

    • jonahcutter says:

      I sat at the very initial splash screen for over 5 minutes with absolutely no indication of anything happening. No “Loading. Please be patient. No “Checking obnoxiously slow, underfunded and unwelcome Denuvo servers”. No nothing to indicate I should wait.

      That’s not the fault of the buyer of the game (a day 1 buyer, mind).

      That’s a broken experience and they deserve a raft of shit for it.

      • Sols says:

        No, you do for being a whiny bitch. They apologised and should hopefully be working on it. Get over yourself

  6. Greg Wild says:

    Seems I’ve been lucky and had no problems.

    Easily the best Total War since Shogun 2 so far imo.

  7. C0llic says:

    I’m just going to put this here in the hope an RPS writer sees it. It would be fantastic if RPS posted another look at the game in a few days time, say early next week :) There’s a free DLC offer (for the chaos race) that runs out on may 31st. It would really helpful for any fence sitters like me.

    Here’s hoping. I’m interested, but I know from past experience to wait as long as possible before jumping on a new Total war game.

    • Rich says:

      Didn’t they already do a Wot I Think?

      • C0llic says:

        They did, but sometimes initial reviews of games like this end up being revised (Empire Total war is a good example of that, if you remember how that release went). It would still be good to hear more about how it holds up after a bit more time with the game.

  8. Alodorin says:

    40K causing problems for Warhammer huh? ;)

    • Unruly says:

      Sounds about right. After all, this is a classic Warhammer Fantasy game in the age of Sigmarines.

  9. malkav11 says:

    A singleplayer game with no meaningful online functionality having server load issues stopping people playing. Oh, what a wondrous world we live in.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      I had to do a double take to see if this was about some online multiplayer mode.

    • fish99 says:

      TW games do have multiplayer, both versus battles and co-op campaign. I know most people play them for the SP campaign, just as I do, but it’s not accurate to say the game has no MP.

      • malkav11 says:

        No meaningful online functionality is not the same as no multiplayer. There is, as far as I know, nothing about Total War that should need to connect to a server just to operate the game. Requiring a server connection when initiating multiplayer is maybe not inherent to the very idea (LAN/direct connection/same-system multiplayer have all been viable options in the past), but wouldn’t be particularly remarkable. (And I certainly wouldn’t care if they had server load issues for a multiplayer mode I will never, ever play.)

        • fish99 says:

          Describing TW as ‘A singleplayer game with no meaningful online functionality’ is clearly not accurate when the series has had MP for a long time.

  10. satan says:

    Think it’s only the second game I’ve requested a refund on. The DRM bugged me but the whole rainbow of graphical problems I had, combined with low fps on my beastly machine really sealed the deal.

    Also amazed none of the previews/reviews I read mentioned the DRM…

  11. Carra says:

    Wait, isn’t that a singleplayer game? Got to love DRM…

  12. Sols says:


    Can’t decide whether thats an Orc army or you lot whining.

    The fix worked for me, after 15 mins of panicking. If you dont spend time trying to resolve then you dont deserve to play.

    I’ve had a great day playing it!

    • malkav11 says:

      Sure, launch-related server load issues are usually quickly disposed of. But when there’s no bloody reason to rely on a server in the first place, it’s not a trivial issue that it does and there’s no guarantee at all that server issues won’t recur. To say nothing of what happens if they just straight shut the servers off, as has happened more than once in the past (albeit mostly with EA games).

    • consolitis says:

      “you lot”? Um, ok? Who… are you talking to, besides yourself? Also, the “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!” voices you quoted are actually from inside your own head. To begin with, you have just admitted “I’ve had a great day playing it!”. Since Tuesday wasn’t a school holiday, we can only assume you are an adult who has spent his entire day playing a cartoonish Disney-like videogame specifically designed for young children. So please tell us, Mr Ar”Sols”, who is the whining baby here, other than the sad, broken individual looking back at you in the mirror?

  13. mdubs2828 says:

    Wut? A TW game that’s buggy and unplayable on launch? Unbelievable!

  14. aaheel says:

    That’s an interesting post that points Warhammer server issues when launching a game but according to Kill Ping article Total War: Warhammer Server Issues I have read that these issues mostly occurred just because of the continuous jerks in the games and also if your rig is not up to the standards of the game. I have also noticed there that the game must be installed on a drive other than the operating system drive.