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Total War: WARHAMMER released for Linux, port report and video

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Total War: WARHAMMER [Steam, Feral Store] is the latest big Linux port from Feral Interactive. As someone who has only recently become a fan of Warhammer, it was fun to see this game arrive on Linux.

Note: My copy was provided by Feral Interactive.

The multiplayer is sadly only Linux to Linux. It is not cross-platform with Windows. This is a bit of a sore spot, but thankfully the single-player seems to be great. Feral confirmed to me that they are aiming to get Linux vs Mac like Empire and Med II in time for the Mac launch. You can see the reasoning why in Ellie's previous post about CoH2 here on Steam, which gives some small insight.

I will be livestreaming tonight at 8PM UTC:
You can view our livestream schedule for other events here.

Gameplay video
Here’s a preview of a random battle I did, I realise how badly I was doing everything but in my defence this was one of my first battles.
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System requirements
Minimum requirements
3.4GHz Intel Core i3-4130
3.5GHz AMD FX6300 processor
1GB Nvidia 650ti/2GB AMD R9 270 graphics card* or better.

Recommended requirements
3.4 GHz Intel Core i7-4770 processor
4GB Nvidia 970/4GB AMD RX 480 graphics card* or better.

*Nvidia cards require 367.28 drivers or newer. AMD cards require Mesa 13.0.1 drivers compiled using LLVM 3.9 or newer. AMD graphics cards are not supported when running SteamOS.

This is another of Feral Interactive's games to fully support Mesa, thanks to the hard work of the Mesa developers.

All benchmarks done with the built-in benchmarking tool on my test/benchmark PC. Due to the way the benchmark is done in TW, I will only be giving the average FPS.

Specifications: Ubuntu 16.04 64bit, Intel i5 4670K, 16GB DDR3 RAM, Standard Hard Drive, 1920x1080 resolution. Using the Nvidia 367.70 driver.

Note: All setting seem to leave Textures on Ultra (even when on Low). The only preset that uses Anti-aliasing is Ultra, which sets it to FXAA, all others have it turned off.

All benchmarks done using the presets as-is on Linux. I made sure the Windows comparisons had the exact same settings as Linux.


Windows vs Linux benchmarks

Nvidia 980ti Windows vs Linux raw details
Spoiler, click me
Windows: 98.6
Linux: 76.4
Linux performance compared with Windows 10: 77.48%

Windows: 113.9
Linux: 88.7
Linux performance compared with Windows 10: 77.88%

Windows: 148.2
Linux: 109
Linux performance compared with Windows 10: 73.55%

Windows: 203
Linux: 150.4
Linux performance compared with Windows 10: 74.09%
Nvidia 970 Windows vs Linux raw details
Spoiler, click me
Windows: 74.3
Linux: 59.5
Linux performance compared with Windows 10: 80.08%

Linux: 78.2
Linux performance compared with Windows 10: 78.20%

Linux: 88.5
Linux performance compared with Windows 10: 76.62%

Linux: 111.8
Linux performance compared with Windows 10: 82.63%

Considering that an Nvidia 970 can get practically 60FPS on Ultra settings, I would say the port is pretty well optimised.

The Linux scores are between 73% and 82% of Windows FPS, so pretty standard stuff when it comes to performance loss on OpenGL Linux ports.

I haven’t witnessed any large drops in performance during the campaign map or during larger battles, it’s been a real pleasure to play in terms of performance.

General thoughts
The game seems to be extremely stable, in my many hours of testing I haven’t encountered a single crash. It’s pleasing to see that Feral have kept putting out games that, at least for me, are very stable.

Like with XCOM 2, the Feral Launcher has a built-in Mod Manager, which uses the Steam Workshop. It’s also themed for the game once again:

As expected from a Warhammer title, the intro video is very well done and is graphically quite impressive. Would have been nice to have the intro at 60FPS, as the video is locked to 30FPS which does make it seem a bit sluggish. Still, it certainly got me interested in it right away so it did the job.

For those that don’t know, Total War: WARHAMMER is a mix of both a turn-based strategy and real-time strategy. The strategic board of the world is turn-based where you manage your empire, while the battles are intense real-time ordeals.

While there is a simple in-game tutorial when you play as The Empire, you can also access an overview which brings up a Youtube instruction video. I recommend watching it if you’re not familiar with Total War at all or, if like me, it’s been a long time since you last played one. It was very useful just to get a quick idea of what to expect.

Armies are each commanded by a Lord—who can level up, equip special items and banners, and gain skills. Each army can also have powerful hero units, which are interesting, as they can serve two functions: wander alone on the campaign map providing benefits to provinces they are in, or as a powerful unit within an army. Heroes also gain experience points from fighting and performing other actions, which can be used to upgrade them as well. These special units can be very useful in actual battles and they can sway the battle with their power.

It’s all rather familiar to anyone who has played any Total War, Civilization or other grand strategy type games. You will be dealing with research and diplomacy, rebellions and so on..The variety in gameplay comes from all the differences between the in-game factions. For example, Dwarfs will need to keep an eye on their grudges and act accordingly. Whereas the Vampire Counts spread corruption and things like that. It makes each faction a unique experience to play as, which is spices things up across multiple playthroughs.

What I really like about the game that helps me be genuinely interested in it is that it’s not bound by history. We have plenty of historical games, so it feels rather fresh. The variation in the different types of units is fantastic; seeing soldiers run at big lumbering monstrosities while massive artillery fire comes bearing down sure is a sight to see. The battles themselves are certainly brutally beautiful.

What I like about the battle system is that you don’t actually have to command the battles yourself. You can have them auto-resolve and the AI will just do it and present the outcome to you. This is particularly useful if you have an army that will quite obviously stomp all over an enemy easily. It saves you time when you might not want to even bother going directly into the battle yourself.

The battles are immensely fun, especially when you manage to hide entire legions of your troops inside a section of forest to flank your enemy. Using charging horses to break through enemy lines while archers and artillery strike, to thin them out, is glorious.

There is a bit of a controversy surrounding the DLC in the game. I won’t go on about it too long, but I feel the need to point it out. Warhammer as a universe is pretty violent, and this game is largely about destructive battles. To see any blood or gore you need to buy a cheap DLC and enable it. I admit it’s a complex issue due to ratings boards and if it was included by default, or as a free DLC the game would likely have a much higher rating. I don’t agree with it personally, but it is what it is. It’s a really minor feature that doesn’t actually add anything substantial to the gameplay, but I needed to mention it for clarity.

There’s also the fact that one extra playable race costs over a third of the price of the entire game, I’m certainly not a fan of the DLC model here.

Feral Interactive don't control the DLC or pricing though of course, so it's down to the original developer and publisher.

Still, even without the extra DLC on offer, there’s likely tens of hours you could put into it without needing any of it. The Total War games usually have a rather active modding community too, with Total War: WARHAMMER already having over 2,000 mods.

The problem I find is still the same as it is with all Total War games: I am horrific as a tactician when it comes to actually participating in battles. Not even my newly-found enthusiasm for Warhammer helped me learn to not lose all my soldiers repeatedly. Even though I’m really not very good at it, I found it to be the most interesting Total War game I’ve ever played. Likely because it doesn’t have a huge amount of depth to it (so it’s easy to get to grips with) and because it’s rather good-looking.

If you like Total War or Warhammer, this is probably a no-brainer purchase for you. If you’ve not played Total War before, this is probably a fantastic entry to get you into it as it’s quite easy to understand.

You can find Total War: WARHAMMER on Steam and the Feral Store. Article taken from
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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SlithyTove 23 Nov, 2016
0aTTHere is a good video:

Even with a GTX 1070 the Game can't hold the 30 fps line. For me it's a riddle why all claim it would run with 60 fps on a GTX 970. Is there a video to prof this?

For what it's worth I have a GTX 970 and a first gen i7 at 3.5Ghz and have been consistently getting around 60fps at 1080p Ultra. It's really been much smoother than Attila was.
SuperTux 24 Nov, 2016
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SuperTuxAnyone experiencing sound issues with crackling sounds and other distortions from the game? I can sometimes play for a bit before it suddenly goes bad.
If you use ALSA on an integrated intel chipset, and you see "underrun" messages in the game output or "IRQ timing workaround is activated for card #0. Suggest a bigger bdl_pos_adj" in dmesg, you can try changing the bdl_pos_adj setting in /etc/modprobe.d/alsa.conf. After trying different values I settled on "options snd-hda-intel bdl_pos_adj=64" which solved the crackling I had in Life is Strange.

Thank you, something perhaps to go on, although I am using a Xonar DG card and from what I can tell everything is configured to output through this device. I've tried lowering sound quality and that hasn't helped.

Oddly the issue comes on faster when running Chrome vs Firefox at the same time. Oh and I am running Pulse, so Alsa is outputting through that.

Edit: Had to add use_ucm=0 in the Pulse Audio config file in etc, oh and then close Chrome. Completed my first battle without issue

EDIt 2: It came back during the campaign, I cna play anywhere from 10 minutes to over an hour. I suspect PulseAudio...

Last edited by SuperTux on 26 November 2016 at 1:56 am UTC
edddeduck_feral 25 Nov, 2016
0aTTHere is a good video:

Even with a GTX 1070 the Game can't hold the 30 fps line. For me it's a riddle why all claim it would run with 60 fps on a GTX 970. Is there a video to prof this?

I can't believe this after what I know from ATTILA. ATTILA has on my GTX 970 system a similar performance as Warhammer in the above video. And what's really crazy: Whenever the fps rate breaks sharply, the GPU utilization breaks also. This also happens when I play at the lowest level. I have a i7 6700k CPU. With other games I never witnessed such behavior.

There must be a bottle neck somewhere. I love the Total War series and will buy Warhammer anyway. But it's a little bit frustrating to know that the performance will not increase even I update to a GTX 1070.

There is definitely something wrong with your setup, the main thing I can see immediately is you are using a driver with known performance issues. Everyone else on the similar card or older are getting double the fps (Liam's video is a good example of the performance you should expect and most users are experiencing). There are even videos of people playing triple screen with much higher settings than you are using!

0aTTI think it could be the asynchronous compute weakness of nvidia cards. I was wondering why Feral used an AMD card on there TWW live stream.

We used an AMD card to show off that due to the great progress of Mesa we could support Total War: WARHAMMER which I think was a pretty big deal especially for people who have AMD GPUs

Nvidia performs just fine as always, the only performance issues we have see are down to people using unsupported drivers or other hardware.

Last edited by edddeduck_feral on 25 November 2016 at 3:41 pm UTC
Mountain Man 4 Dec, 2016
I just have to say, performance is amazing! My system specs:

AMD FX-4130 Quad-Core
GeForce GTX 760 2GB

So just above the minimum, but I'm running the game on the "High" graphics preset and getting a solid 30FPS on the campaign map and in battles. Very impressive! I could even get away with "Ultra" if I wanted, but there is some slight but noticeable stutter. Dropping down to "High" keeps everything responsive and silky-smooth.

I have to say, this really surprises me. I also have Empire: Total War, but despite being an older game, it doesn't seem to run nearly as well as Total Warhammer. I'm not sure why this is. Given my experience with Empire, I just assumed that Total Warhammer would run like a pig on anything but the lowest settings.

So kudos to Creative Assembly for some great optimization, and kudos to Feral for a great port!
14 12 Feb, 2017
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No cross-platform is really disappointing. A moment ago, I was about to organize a game day with my friends so we could play after the game is released in next month's Humble Bundle. While I still look forward to playing the game all by myself, playing with my friends was my main excitement.
GustyGhost 21 Feb, 2017
14No cross-platform is really disappointing. A moment ago, I was about to organize a game day with my friends so we could play after the game is released in next month's Humble Bundle. While I still look forward to playing the game all by myself, playing with my friends was my main excitement.

Just got snagged with this. Does anyone have an up-to-date grand list of cross-platform windows to linux games.
Eike 21 Feb, 2017
AnxiousInfusionJust got snagged with this. Does anyone have an up-to-date grand list of cross-platform windows to linux games.

Might be a useful topic for the GoL wiki?
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