Total War: Pharaoh – what you need to know

Total War: Pharaoh has been announced by Creative Assembly, but what do we know so far? Total War fans might be wondering why they have picked this era to focus on, what their design style will be like for the game, and most importantly whether Total War: Pharaoh will be focused on the history or the fantasy of Ancient Egypt.

So far, there has been a cinematic trailer and a few gameplay trailers released, so we have a good idea about what the game might be like. It’s also worth mentioning that this title has also been developed by Creative Assembly Sofia, a subsidiary of Creative Assembly, who have only developed Total War: Troy before this. Perhaps this is their chance to make a standout Total War that’s up there with the greats.

When is Total War: Pharaoh set?

Total War: Pharaoh is set around the Bronze Age Collapse, which was a cataclysmic era of warfare and cultural change. This will mean when you are playing the game, you will be fighting to become Egypt’s last Pharaoh before 1200 BC.

What will the factions be?

There will be eight factions available to play in the base game, split into three cultures: Egyptian, Canaanite and Hittite:

  • Ramesses
  • Seti
  • Tausret
  • Amenmesse
  • Bay
  • Irsu
  • Kurunta
  • Suppiluliuma

As with most Total War titles, it’s likely that there will be factions added in subsequent DLCs.

Total War: Pharaoh diplomacy screen
The Total War: Pharaoh base game will have eight playable factions

Projected Gameplay

There will be some minor tweaks as always, but there are some significant battle changes that will appear in Pharaoh:

  • Battles will have a slower pace, and gameplay will be more focused on decision making
  • There will be a decreased emphasis on reaction times
  • Flanking and stamina will be more important

The armour system has been expanded from Troy, and there will be an armour degradation mechanic, meaning that armour quality will determine how effective your defence is.

Light troops will also be able to use more hit-and-run tactics, so you can use them more effectively as shock troops to disrupt, but not take too many losses.

Fans are also excited for two new mechanics – the first being a push mechanic, which means that your troops will push forwards into the enemy, not necessarily to kill them, but to force them back into potential hazards such as fire or a more vulnerable flanking position. The second is that they have added a mechanic in that allows your troops to walk backwards while facing forwards, so no more retreating and getting hit in the back.


Maps have also been changed slightly, and even though the three distinct maps are much larger than Troy, there are fewer settlements. This is to encourage more strategy in the game and reduce the frequency of settlements being captured over and over again, which is often the case in previous titles. Pushing towards a settlement will be more of a commitment, and defence will be easier, meaning that capturing a settlement will be an even greater achievement.

Weather has also been increased as a factor, and the game will now have extremes of weather that severely alter the course of battle. Extreme heat will fatigue troops, but there is also heavy rainfall that will turn the ground muddy and affect unit movement. Fire has also been upgraded, and will behave differently depending on the weather, so your attention to the elements will be all the more crucial.

Will Total War: Pharoah be historical?

This is the main question on the minds of most Total War fans, as much to the discontent of the fanbase, Total War has been leaning towards becoming more fantasy heavy.

However, according to Rock Paper Shotgun, Creative Assembly’s creative director Maya Georgieva and lead battle designer Milcho Vasilev announced that the company has no plans to make this a fantasy title, much to the rejoicing of Total War fans. It’s been noted by many in the community that Total War titles were starting to lean towards being more mythical in their styles, and push superhuman characters and heroes that would win you the battle. But it seems as if they have made an effort to move away from this – as Georgieva stated, “the tone of the game we’ve selected is history first and foremost.”

When is Total War: Pharaoh coming out?

Total War: Pharaoh is due to be released in October of 2023. This date could be delayed, as games often are, but we can be assured that it will be out by at least 2024, as Creative Assembly have been pretty steady in their releases, releasing a Total War title almost every year to two years since the year 2000 with Shogun: Total War.

There are also preorder versions available: Standard, Deluxe and Dynasty editions, all with increased DLCs and pre-order bonuses.

Stay posted on Gaming Kingpin for more Total War: Pharaoh updates in the run-up to its release, and let us know in the comments what your predictions of this game are.

Total War: Pharaoh screenshot
Total War: Pharaoh will be released in October 2023
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