Looking for a Total War: Warhammer 3 faction tier list? Whether you’re playing a solo campaign or going up against friends in multiplayer, you’ll want to know the best Total War: Warhammer 3 faction. With that in mind, we’ve ranked every Total War: Warhammer 3 faction from best to worst based on their strength, simplicity, and unique mechanics, so that you know which to use and which to avoid.
Below, we'll provide our Total War: Warhammer 3 factions tier list and then explain these rankings, covering what made each faction deserve their position.
Total War: Warhammer 3 factions tier list
While every faction has their own strengths and weaknesses in Total War: Warhammer 3, there are clear winners that rise above the rest. Here's a list of every Total War: Warhammer 3 faction, ranked:
Khorne is a melee specialist, with no missile units or spellcasters at their disposal. That isn’t a weakness, though. In fact, focusing purely on melee and raw damage is Khorne’s greatest strength. Whether you’re a complete Total War beginner or Warhammer 3 is the culmination of a decade-long obsession, Khorne is undoubtedly the best faction in Total War: Warhammer 3. Their units are ferocious and brutal, able to crush any foe within minutes.
As you rack up kills in combat, you’ll charge up a meter that lets you use extra abilities to tip the scales even more in your favour. This gives you destructive capabilities that let you boost melee damage for your units and even unleash a fiery explosion on the battlefield that could completely wipe out some of your opponents. When paired with the barbaric strength of Khorne’s army, these abilities will help you ensure victory and devastate anyone who stands in your way.
Legion of Chaos
If you aren’t going to use Khorne, the Legion of Chaos faction is an excellent faction that blends all of the Chaos factions together. With the Legion of Chaos, you can mix and match units from across Khorne, Slaneesh, Tzeentch, and Nurgle’s rosters to create a hybrid army that will rip through the opposition from every angle.
The main hero of the Legion of Chaos is a heavily customizable Daemon lord. Like other heroes, you can swap out armor and weapons, but the Daemon lord also has various body parts that you can change to make it excel in different areas. This lends itself to a variety of playstyles, but they’re all bloodthirsty and ferocious. Just remember, as with all Chaos factions, diplomacy will tend to come as a last resort. That shouldn’t be a problem, though, as the Legion of Chaos are ruthless in combat and able to devastate any opponent on the battlefield.
The Ogre Kingdoms are technically the first DLC for Total War: Warhammer 3, although they are free to claim for anyone who purchases the game within the first week and those who preorder before launch. They’re also one of the best factions in Total War: Warhammer 3, with extremely strong monsters and beasts at their disposal.
The greatest weakness of the Ogre Kingdoms is their solitary infantry unit, the feeble Gnoblars. The Gnoblars are not known for their strength, but it’s still worth using a few in your army as they’re great at overwhelming the enemy. Fortunately, you can send in some towering monsters as your first attack, and then sweep through with Gnoblars to clean up once the enemy army is fractured.
The simple strength of the Ogre Kingdoms' beasts and monsters is the best trait for this faction, but there are plenty of other units that you can use to bolster your army. With a range of spellcasters and missile units available for the pro tacticians, the Ogre Kingdoms can easily adapt to most situations and come out on top.
Kislev are the first human faction on this list and they’re perfect for beginners who need a well-balanced faction to lead through their first campaign. Indeed, Kislev are the faction that you pilot through Total War: Warhammer 3’s prologue, and they’re also central to the story of saving Ursun, making them the obvious choice for everyone’s first run.
Kislev adopt a hybrid approach to unit types, with a wide range of melee, missile, spellcasting, and cavalry units at their disposal. This lets you create a versatile strategy in combat that can adapt to a wide range of situations. However, it also means Kislev are masters of nothing, leaving them open to the more specialised and bloodthirsty factions, such as Khorne and the Legion of Chaos listed above.
While playing as Kislev, you’ll also need to focus on diplomacy a lot more than you would using Khorne or the Legion of Chaos, who turn Total War: Warhammer 3 into a simple game of murder everything. Regardless of whether you play as the Ice Court or the Grand Orthodoxy - Kislev’s two sub-factions - you’ll find yourself embroiled in a civil war. This leads to Kislev’s unique mechanic: supporters and devotion, which will decide who takes the Kislev throne and who consolidates their army under the rule of the opposition. It can seem quite complicated at first, but Kislev’s role in the prologue makes them a useful introduction into the realm of politics in Total War: Warhammer 3.
Nurgle focuses on weakening the enemy with poison attacks. They will slowly eat away at an enemy army, making them vulnerable to your attacks. As the poison spreads, your opponent will become slower, weaker, and suffer huge losses to armor. As they try to fight back, your army will just soak up the hits, as Nurgle’s units tend to have plenty of health and armor.
As you take damage, you have fewer reasons to worry than most. As their army sustains damage, Nurgle unlocks powerful spells that you can use to spread more negative effects through the enemy army. You can slow your opponents or deal poison damage that spreads between units, quickly infecting up to 5 units with devastating illnesses. You’ll also unlock the ability to heal your own troops in a similar fashion, spreading a plague through your disgusting ranks of bugs and fiends that rapidly restores their health.
This all sounds like it would make Nurgle a powerful faction, but they have a great weakness. Their slow speed makes it easy for enemies to quickly regroup and counter-attack. Nurgle also has a lack of missile units, so you won’t be able to attack from a distance. If your opponents are prepared, they could rip your army apart with spellcasters and ranged attacks before you even get close enough to attack.
Slaanesh are another Chaos faction, but they’re a little more specialised than Khorne and the Legion of Chaos. Slaanesh focuses on speed and ferocity, but this comes at a cost. While your units will rip and tear through armoured opponents with ease, you’ll also find that your troops will die a lot quicker. Slaanesh’s units tend to have less armour and health, meaning you’ll need to outnumber your opponent if you want to win.
With that in mind, you’ll need to pay much more attention to unit composition and battle tactics when leading Slaanesh through a campaign. You’ll need to study their unit roster to build the perfect army, and then master flanking manoeuvres and other tactics to overwhelm your opponent from all angles. If you just collide with the enemy head on, you’ll likely see your army get torn apart before you can even react.
Tzeentch is the big spellcasting faction in Total War: Warhammer 3, but they also come with powerful missile and flying units. Tzeentch units all have a magical barrier that protects them from some damage, giving you time to gain an advantage. However, this barrier will fall quickly to sufficient damage, and Tzeentch units don’t have very high armor. As your barriers drop, your units won't be able to sustain much damage, leaving your army weak and vulnerable.
Playing as Tzeentch will leave you feeling torn. Total War: Warhammer 3 constantly encourages you to cast spells while playing as Tzeentch, offering buffs and extra abilities as you use magic. However, you'll also want to fill your army with infantry to protect your ranged spellcasters and missile units, as only using ranged units will leave you weak to melee attacks. However, Tzeentch's infantry units are much weaker than the likes of Khorne or the Ogre Kingdoms, meaning other factions will easily punch through your defense and attack your spellcasters anyway. It's a constant battle to defend your spellcasters so that they can deal some damage, but they ultimately feel weak and ineffective compared to other factions.
While you can survive by quickly casting a range of destructive spells and useful boons for your troops, this requires a lot more strategic depth than the other armies listed above without feeling noticeably stronger, making Tzeentch much harder to use and far less effective in battle.
Like Kislev, Cathay is a human faction that provides a range of unit types. If you’re looking for a blend of infantry, missile, spellcasting, cavalry, and flying units, Cathay has it all. However, Cathay units are closely linked through the Harmony trait. This applies either the Yin or Yang trait to each unit in the Cathay army. When a Yin unit and a Yang unit stand together, they’ll form a harmonious bond that grants them a boost to leadership and other unit-specific stats.
While this may seem like a positive, forcing your army to stick together to perform at their best is extremely punishing when you suffer damage. As units rout and run away, you’ll find your whole army starts to waiver. This can prove fatal, and Cathay has very few powerful abilities that you can use to regain strength. The Chaos factions all gain powerful effects through battle, granting new spells and skills that turn the tide of battle. Kislev is able to withstand great damage without losing morale, ensuring that their forces rarely abandon a fight. Cathay troops will quickly retreat, which negatively impacts the rest of your army and could snowball into a sudden defeat.
Cathay certainly is capable of victory if you plan your actions and fight strategically, but you’ll find that wins come much faster and much easier with most other factions. Cathay will feel weak and disorganised in comparison, making them the worst faction in Total War: Warhammer 3.
That covers our Total War: Warhammer 3 faction tier list. If you’d like more help in this strategy threequel, check out our Total War: Warhammer 3 beginner’s guide to find some crucial tips and tricks. If you want to read more of our thoughts on the game, take a look at our Total War: Warhammer 3 review.