Total War: Three Kingdoms Beginner’s Guide – Factions, Diplomacy, Battles

Total War: Three Kingdoms

In this Total War: Three Kingdoms Beginner’s Guide, we will give you a brief understanding of how the game works, and what you should expect from it. Our beginner’s guide will help you especially if Total War: Three Kingdoms is your first Total War game, in terms of factions, diplomacy, battles and more.

Total War: Three Kingdoms is a historical strategy game, where you can conquer and rule in China. However, the game is not only about war and conquering, but also keeps you in check for domestic policies, administration, officer relationships, diplomacy and more.

In the game you play as a great leader from history, charged with building a kingdom of your own. You do this by making money, and raising mighty armies. You then send your armies to conquer your enemies and seize their territory, and essentially expanding and developing your empire city by city

Total War: Three Kingdoms Beginner’s Guide

This part of the guide will detail what you should expect from the game, and how you should get on track if you are just starting with Total War: Three Kingdoms.

Game Modes

The game has to main modes. Records Mode and Romance Mode. Records Mode will give players a more grounded experience where your battles are more realistic and tactical, while officers are surrounded by bodyguards.

Romance mode is more about leadership skills and solo duels, where heroes can face off against entire armies.

Battles Mode

Unlike the campaign where factions take it in turns to play Battles play out live Each side commands their armies at the same time in Total War: Three Kingdoms.

Armies consist of bands of warriors such as spearmen, swordsmen, archers, and cavalry, collectively known as units. To win a battle, you must order your units to attack and destroy the enemy’s units. You can also shatter their morale as they are fleeing from the field in retreat.

When one of the sides is victorious you will then go back to campaign map to continue your turn. As your empire starts to grow and expand across the map, you will meet new faction leaders. These can either be loyal to you and support you in battles or can become your military rival.

Campaign Mode

The campaign puts you in a vast geographical map, which sets the stage for the game. Your who progression will be based on conquering and acquiring this vast area.

Within this map, you will have to make key decisions and execute your plans for dominance. However, before you begin a new campaign, you must choose a faction to play as

Total War: Three Kingdoms Factions

There are currently five different types of faction leaders Total War: Three Kingdoms. Each faction in Total War: Three Kingdoms has its own playstyle and characters and begins the game in its own area of the map.

Your job is to lead your faction against many others, who are also out to expand and conquer their own lands and fight their own wars. Here are all the Faction Leaders in the game:


These are leaders such as Liu Bei and Cao Cao who expand their territories to earn prestige. If you capture the city where the Han Emperor resides, it will allow you to vassalize the Han Empire. Once any Faction leader becomes a king, they will declare themselves as emperors. To win the campaign, you have to take out the seats of your two rival emperors


These are leaders like Liu Biao and Ma Teng who are loyal to the Han. The progression is the same as Warlords in the campaign, including capturing the Han Emperor. However, when they do become king, they do not declare themselves emperors automatically. Their goal is to take out all the three other pretending of having the Throne. If you successfully mage to capture a pretender’s capital, then you will declare yourself as their equal.


These are leaders like Zhang Yan and Zheng Jiang, with the same progressing as the Warlords. However, they cannot vassalize the Han. But a key feature is that Zhang Yan can have diplomatic relations with the generic Yellow Turbans faction.


There is only one example of this faction leader, and it is Dong Zhuo. This leader goes at war with every other faction. The advantage is that you might have Lu Bu at your side, with a high faction rank that allows you more armies, administrators, and spies compared to your rivals. In addition, you already have the Han Emperor under your control and Han Empire itself as a vassal

Yellow Turbans

This faction leaders are He Yi, Huang Shao and Gong Du who are rebels seen as a different subculture compared to the Han Officers, allowing to field different units.


The game contains hundreds of characters in the game, where many are generic and non-historical additions. Still, there are several actual historical officers that have ruled at the time.

Characters will a golden nameplate are considered legendary. The have slightly better stats, and may offer you more perks when assigned to positions. The thing that stands out is that Legendary characters suffer more wounds rather than being killed.

Characters also come with a satisfaction mechanic, depending on how loyal they are to you. Satisfaction can either increase or decrease due to random events, length of time spent together in the same location or army, or the need for higher positions in your government.

When you see a red X marking on two people in the same army or city, it means they are not getting along too well and will lead to dissatisfaction for both.


In order for you to have other faction leaders to be on your side, you need the diplomatic approach. Diplomacy in this game has been reworked from its previous titles and is definitely more in depth now. The Quick Deals panels will allow you to see every type of diplomatic arrangement you can try whereas the Negotiations panel offers you more options.

Here you can trade food, gold, ancillaries and arranged marriages, allowing you profit through trade deals, form alliances and much more. With sustained effort, you can even persuade a faction leader to join you, and give you all his lands and armies to your control.

With diplomacy, you can conquer another faction without the need for any battle.

This concludes our Total War: Three Kingdoms Beginner’s Guide. Feel free to comment below.

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About the Author: Salik Shah

An ardent lover for first-person shooter games, Salik has been part of GamesHedge all through its journey. His love for competitive gaming started with Counter-Strike and Call of Duty, and now can be seen lurking in Valorant and Rainbow Six: Siege.

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