Will there ever be Total War: Warhammer 40k?

Creative Assembly’s Total War: Warhammer series has been incredibly popular, introducing millions to the Warhammer world, so a sci-fi sequel seems inevitable.

Total War Warhammer 40k release date speculation - Ragnar Blackmane of the Space Wolves leads a mixed arms force in an assault

Could Creative Assembly be working on Total War: Warhammer 40k? We have absolutely no idea, but we desperately want it to be true. This speculative guide explores the earliest possible Total War: Warhammer 40k  release date, how the gameplay would translate to the sci-fi setting, what factions might be involved, and the likely recommended specs to run the game.

We’re Warhammer 40k fanatics here at Wargamer (particularly editor Alex and staff writer Tim). If you’re a Total War Warhammer III fan who hasn’t bumped into 40k before, we have full guides to the many Warhammer 40k factions that make up the setting, as well as the other great Warhammer 40k games you can already find on PC and console.

Here’s why Total War: Warhammer 40k is totally possible:

Total War: Warhammer 40k release date

Creative Assembly hasn’t announced a Total War: Warhammer 40k release date, since – as far as we know – the game isn’t even in development. If Creative Assembly is working on it secretly, bear in mind that it has never released more than one Total War game per year. Since Total War: Pharaoh will release in October 2023, Total War: Warhammer 40k won’t be announced before 2024 at the very earliest.

The last major real-time strategy game in the Warhammer 40k universe was Dawn of War III, released way back in 2017.

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Total War: Warhammer 40k gameplay

The Total War engine and gameplay style was built to handle chariots and pikemen, and has never been used for a sci-fi or even modern military setting. The massed infantry formations of the classical through to Napoleonic battlefields fare badly against automatic weapons and tank companies. Would Total War: Warhammer 40k gameplay even work?

Although 40k is set in the distant future, it’s far from a traditional sci-fi setting. The corrupt and decaying Imperium of Man teeters on the brink of annihilation, beset on all sides by the forces of the Chaos Gods and Xenos predators. Wars are often waged by masses of infantry. Although the poor footslogging humans of the Astra Militarum fall apart when subjected to explosions and assault weapons, they are by far the weakest of all the species in the setting.

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Space Marines are genetically engineered supersoldiers clad in power armor. Necrons are deathless robots that can repair their own bodies when destroyed. Orks are a horde of incredibly durable green skinned maniacs with no fear of death. Tyranids are psychically-controlled alien bugs, some of them a tide of numberless minions, others living tanks.

Hand to hand combat is also incredibly important in Warhammer 40k. It might not make any sense that an Eldar Howling Banshee can dodge a Space Marine Terminator’s 300 rounds per minute assault cannon fire and then slice through his 6” of solid adamantine armor, but it is totally awesome.

The setting is also full of totally impractical, enormous war machines, from the Astra Militarum’s Baneblade super heavy tank, the Orks Mega Gargants, or the mighty Warhammer Titans of the Adeptus Titanicus. As Total War: Warhammer’s colossal units have shown, these look totally rad when surrounded by teeny tiny infantry.

Ambitious fans have added these huge units to the original Dawn of War game for years, like the Dawn of War Ultimate Apocalypse mod, as this video by MandaloreGaming shows:

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Total War: Warhammer 40k factions

The game may not exist and cetainly hasn’t been announced, but we can confidently predict that the Total War: Warhammer 40k factions list will include Space Marines. They’re the face of the Warhammer 40k brand (well, the helmet of the brand), an elite, durable, fairly flexible force with a slight preference for ranged combat.

Traitor Chaos Space Marines are the natural foil for the regular Space Marines, with all the durability of their loyalist kin but more daemonic power and a greater penchant for melee.

The psychically powerful Tyranid swarms would also look fantastic surging across the battlefield or unleashing blasts of bioplasma – and they’re the main antagonists in Warhammer 40k 10th edition, the latest version of the tabletop game.

That leaves a forth faction, and we think the robotic Necrons are likely. Their resurrection mechanics are similar to the Undead that debuted in Total War: Warhammer, and their rigid, mindless infantry formations are a perfect fit for the Total War franchise.

Total War Warhammer 40k release date speculation - system requirements, stock picture by AMD of a very high tech gaming PC

Total War: Warhammer 40k system requirements

The Total War: Warhammer 40k system requirements are impossible to predict without knowing what year the game will release in and what features it will have. But we can make some speculations based on how the tech requirements for games built in the Total War 3: Warscape engine have ramped up over the years. These are the recommended system specs listed on the games Steam pages:

2016 Total War: Warhammer Intel® Core™ i5-4570 3.20GHz Nvidia GTX 760 2048MB @1080P | AMD R9 270X 2048MB 8GB
2017 Total War: Warhammer 2 Intel i5/Ryzen 5 series Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti/AMD RX 5600-XT 8GB
2018 Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia Intel® Core™ i5-4570 3.20GHz Nvidia GTX 770 4GB | AMD R9 290X 4GB @1080p 8GB
2019 Total War: Three Kingdoms Intel i5-6600 | Ryzen 5Intel Nvidia GTX 970 | AMD R9 Fury X 4GB VRAM 8GB
2020 Total War Saga: Troy Intel i5-6600 / Ryzen 5 2600X 2600X Nvidia GTX 970 / AMD R9 270X 2 GB 8GB
2022 Total War Warhammer 3 Intel i5/Ryzen 5 series Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti/AMD RX 5600-XT 8GB

The recommended system requirements for Total War games built in the Total War 3: Warscape engine has changed very little since Total War Warhammer released in 2016 – though a more powerful machine makes the games run a lot more smoothly and look a lot better.

Fundamentally, the core of Total War is about rendering a lot of units onscreen at once, and Creative Assembly reckons that an Intel i5 or Ryzen 5 series CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a three-generation-old graphics card is enough to play the games at 1080p.

If Total War: Warhammer 40k runs on the same engine don’t expect those recommended specs to change much. Creative Assembly will want a very broad selection of gamers to be able to play the game.

To find out how well your PC can handle Total War: Warhammer 3 or the upcoming Total War: Pharaoh, visit our friends at PCGamesBenchmark.