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Total Warhammer 3 is out now, but performance is a problem

It's on Game Pass too

Almost six years after the historical strategy action of Total War crashed into Games Workshop's wacky fantasy world of Warhammer, the trilogy wraps up today with Total War: Warhammer 3. Oh I'm sure expansions will follow, and the game-joining Mortal Empires campaign is still to come, but Total Warhammer 3 is here now. Sadly, the launch is somewhat blighted by many players suffering serious performance problems.

Twarhammer 3 sees factions fighting over the remains of a dying bear god, for various reasons. Along with the forces of Chaos, this one introduces the armies of Kislev and Grand Cathay, who previously existed in the fiction but have been massively fleshed out to appear in the game. And the game's a good'un.

"Though best considered as the final part of an excessive strategy megagame, [it] is a heavyweight in its own right," Nate's Total War: Warhammer 3 review said. "A little too much RTS grind in the midgame is easily outweighed by transformative changes to multiplayer, sieges, diplomacy and more."

Nate also talked about "the game's impossibly hench arse", the upcoming update which will finally join the trilogy together for one giant rumble in the Mortal Empires campaign, for people who own all three. Also still to come are the official modding tools. Those are probably a way out; hopefully we see some patches soon.

Three hours after launch, only 43% of Twarhammer 3 player reviews on Steam are 'Positive', giving the game a 'Mixed' rating. Many, many complaints about technical problems, including bad performance, the game being wonky with a 1440p screen resolution, crashes while alt-tabbing, and more.

The resplendent ogre king in a screenshot of Total War: Warhammer 3's Ogre Kingdoms DLC.
Resplendent Ogres come with DLC that's free in the first week.

The official Known Issues support page does warn, "Some PCs running Windows 10 with Intel 12th generation CPUs ('Alderlake' family) may encounter inconsistent framerates and/or stuttering". They offer two workarounds: 1) create a wee script file to tell the game how to use your CPU (instructions included); or 2) uh, upgrade to Windows 11.

However, performance problems do not seem isolated to this combination of operating system and CPU. Numerous people with AMD CPUs are complaining about performance too.

The Known Issues post also acknowledges the commonly reported problem where alt-tabbing can crash the game. For now, the devs suggest either running the game in windowed mode or just not alt-tabbing. They say they're working on permanent fixes for the Known Issues, but it sounds like those known unknown issues need work too.

Total Warhammer 3 is out now on Steam, the Epic Games Store, and PC Game Pass. If you buy the game within the first week, you'll get the Ogre Kingdoms DLC pack for free, which lets you play as that greedy gang.

Do be aware that the Total Warhammer series doesn't share game and DLC access across storefronts. This is particularly relevant to Mortal Empires, where you'll need to own all the games on the same store to play them together. The devs have said they would like to add a way to link store accounts through Total War Access so you can play games and DLC wherever, but make clear that they "cannot guarantee this functionality at any point".

Disclosure: RPS co-founder Alec Meer (RPS in peace) wrote on Twarhammer 3.

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Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice is likely in the sea.

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