Guide & Walkthrough Total War: Rome II Emperor Edition


This Total War: Rome II Emperor Edition guide is mainly intended for beginners, especially for those players who are playing the Total War series for the first time. But more experienced generals also will find some interesting information here.
The guide was written based on the Hard difficulty level. It is a perfect balance between mindless hack and slash on easy difficulty level and the complicated gameplay full of careful calculation and risky tricks on legendary difficulty level.
Below you'll find, among other things:

  • Basic information for beginner generals
  • Advice to help you complete the Prologue
  • Information on expanding your empire with sample provinces
  • A guide to recruiting and moving your army, fleet and agents
  • Description of tactical battles

First Steps

Before you start playing I recommend selecting graphics options in the menu on the left side of the screen and then selecting Advanced Options. There are two interesting elements: Unit Size and Run Benchmark.

The first option allows you to increase the number of units you can see during a land battle. When set to Ultra, your biggest units will consist of 160 soldiers. Battles will look much prettier this way, with thousands of soldiers on the field at once instead of hundreds.

The other option, Run Benchmark, allows you to test your graphics settings. When you check it and view the prepared movie "forest", you'll be able to watch a few minutes of animation, after which you'll get information about your machine's performance. If you haven't noticed any problems with graphics and the movie played smoothly, you can go right on to the game. Otherwise I suggest modifying the graphics options you set previously.


Whether you've played the Total War series before, or if Rome II is your first Creative Assembly game, I recommend starting with the Prologue. This is a mini-campaign, which will familiarize you with the controls of both the tactical battles and the strategic campaign.

New campaign

After selecting "new campaign", you'll have to make the most important choice in the game: you have to decide which faction you want to lead to victory. Factions are grouped into different cultural circles, which will be of great importance in alliances with other nations in the future.

Once you decide which culture you want to represent, you have to choose a particular faction. This choice influences not only your starting position on the world map, but also additional bonuses or penalties which affect your empire. In the case of Rome or Carthage, regardless of the chosen family, you always start the game with the same provinces. The house or the dynasty you chose will affect the further gameplay, while the other two political factions will be active only in the Senate (more on this in the Politics section).

Your last step should be to check victory conditions and campaign settings. Beginners should have the "Show AI Player Moves" option checked, in order to better understand the situation on the world map. Unfortunately after several dozen turns, AI movements take too much time, so I would suggest unchecking then this option.

Another important option is "Battle Realism" mode. It makes battles more demanding, so it should be considered for use only by more experienced players.

The only thing left is to set the game difficulty slider and start the campaign!

Interface (strategic map)

After starting the game you will be taken to the strategic map. The ancient world is divided into dozens of provinces, and these are divided into smaller regions. Each region consists of a central settlement, with surroundings lands.

When you select a settlement, you'll see the province management screen. This shows all the settlements in the province. The province capital is always the first city on the left side of the menu, while the remaining towns are its subordinates.

For regions under your control, this menu always shows a list of existing buildings. Neutral locations have a gray background and regions controlled by enemy factions are red. If your spy is located near the enemy settlement, you'll get an access to the intelligence screen: just move the mouse cursor over the eye icon in the upper-left corner of the region screen. Additionally, under each discovered location you can see fortress and ship icons. When you move mouse over these icons you will see information about the number of troops in the local garrison.

If you control at least one region in the province, you will see a development bar in the upper-left corner of the screen. This shows the population surplus which can be directed (or "spent") to any of the settlements in the province in order to expand it.

Pressing the 2 key will show the province details screen. The Wealth & Income field allows you to check the earnings in each region. When you move mouse over the settlement name, you'll get more details. In addition you can see how taxes, slaves and corruption affect your income.

  • Public order measures the level of satisfaction of residents in the province.
  • The culture screen shows the influence of other cultures on your province.
  • The security of the province shows the resistance to enemy agents' attacks. The higher the values, the harder it will be fore hostile agents to perform actions against you.
  • The tax province option, visible in upper-left corner, allows you to turn taxes on or off in the province. Turning it off will increase public order. Keep in mind that turning off taxes also takes that province out of your faction-wide food supply system, potentially affecting other provinces.

A short list of this information can be seen in the bottom-left corner of the main screen. There is information on public order and culture, food production, income and various effects affecting your province.

It is worth mentioning that as long as you have an excess of food in your empire, it will be evenly distributed among all provinces. Problems will crop up when food production does not keep pace with consumption. In this case provinces which were importing food will begin starving. Public order will decrease and soldiers will slowly desert from the army. Therefore I suggest that each province be self-sufficient with its food supply.

Expansion and development of the province

When you select any settlement in the province, you'll be able to start its expansion. In order to expand your settlement and add a new building slot, you have to have sufficient population surplus. The number of people needed to expand the settlement can be seen by moving the mouse cursor over the uncultivated land symbol.

If all requirements are met, click LMB on the expand town option and your region will get new building slot. Now select it and then choose one of the available buildings: you'll see the price as well as building time in turns for each option. If you do not have a required technology or resources, just move the mouse cursor over the red icon to check what requirements are not fulfilled.

Always use empty building spots! If they remain undeveloped, after two turns they will automatically become slums. Slums consume large amounts of food and decrease public order in the province, contributing only a minimal amount to population growth. In addition, removing slums and converting them back into development sites costs money and time.

Each building built in a settlement provides bonuses for the entire province.

The province capital is the only town with 6 development sites. The remaining settlements in a province can only have up to four buildings. Additionally, some buildings can only be constructed in province capital cities, while others can only be constructed in the subordinate towns.

In Total War: Rome II Emperor Edition you can build several construction at the same time. This helps you to more easily reorganize a province. Just destroy unneeded military buildings and in the next turn you'll be able to start building new farms, marketplaces or ports.