Total War Arena

TotalWar Arena: Terrain Types

Source: TotalWar Arena Portal

Every Total War: ARENA map is unique: you can examine the landscape on the loading screen or right in a battle using the free camera mode. However, do not forget that hills, slopes, and folds are not the only elements of a map’s terrain. The game features different terrain types, which we will discuss in more detail.

Ground types can affect the stats of your units in a positive or negative way, or not at all. There are eight terrain types in Total War: ARENA. For example, Long Grass is highly effective at hiding units, but reduces their View Range. It does not have any additional effects on the unit stats.

The remaining ground types are Road, Light Forest, Forest, Shallow Water, Mud, Wet Mud, and Neutral. Let’s start with the Neutral one, as you generally start a battle on this type of ground. There is not much we can say about it, because it does not affect the stats of your units.

When you select a destination for your units, pay attention to the mouse cursor, as it reflects any deviation from the neutral ground. If you point at a forest, a tree icon will appear near it; if you order your units to follow a road, you will also see the corresponding icon—everything is pretty logical.

So how do you know what kind of effects will be applied to your unit (positive or negative)?

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It is pretty easy if you are in a battle: select your unit and click LMB on any ground type. In the upper left corner of the battle interface, you will see the ground type name and a list of bonuses or penalties to the stats of your unit, which will be applied as soon as the unit enters the respective ground type. This simple method will allow you to study all terrain types on the map before giving your units a move order.

If you want to know whether terrain bonuses or penalties are applied to your unit in a given period of time, look at your squad panel. The ground type icon appears over the unit card if your unit is on any terrain different from Neutral. As soon as you hover over this icon, you will see a tooltip with the bonuses and penalties applied to your unit.

The art of choosing the right place to fight will definitely influence the battle result. Please note that even if a small part of your unit is placed on a certain ground type, bonuses and penalties will be applied to the whole unit.

The first part of this small tutorial is over. We tried to cover the most accurate ways to determine terrain types, how terrain types affect your units, and how to anticipate the development of battle events. Now we will talk about units that you have not researched yet.

All units have different weapons and equipment that affect their Mobility on difficult terrain. If the Mobility of a selected melee infantry unit falls into the 410–600+ range, it means that its equipment can be considered light. Therefore, if this unit finds itself in a Forest, Light Forest, or Mud, it will have an advantage over the units with medium (306–355) and heavy (150–290) equipment due to more significant bonuses and less severe penalties. On the contrary, simple terrains (like Road) will allow a unit with heavy equipment to show its full power in melee (+20% to Melee Attack and Melee Defense). Mud and Wet Mud (with the latter being a more unpleasant sort) will negatively affect all units, but higher Mobility will still provide an advantage, as a unit with light equipment will receive less severe penalties than soldiers with heavy equipment.

Let’s move on to cavalry. If the Mobility of a cavalry unit falls into the 695–777+ range, its equipment is considered light; the range of 537–567 corresponds to medium equipment, and 400–450 is for heavy equipment. The necessity to fight while mounted automatically means that Forests negatively affect cavalry units. However, the principle of better Mobility works here as well: penalties from difficult terrain are lower for more mobile units, and simple terrain gives an advantage to units with heavy equipment.

War Elephants break this system though. These huge animals completely ignore Shallow Water and do not receive bonuses or penalties from this ground type. However, the size of the elephants backfires in Forests, where significant speed penalties are applied to this unit type (30% to 40%). The same penalties apply to their Melee Defense.

It is better to place artillery units on Neutral ground to facilitate the gameplay. Theoretically, you can build engines anywhere, as they are immobile most of the time, but the unit will still be affected by difficult terrain penalties if it tries to move the engines or leave the area. Moreover, if artillery stays in Forest terrain, Missile Dispersion is increased by 25%.

If you know the strengths and weaknesses of your unit on different terrain, you can open the Tech Tree and analyze how the subsequent units are going to perform at all the research stages. If the Mobility of subsequent units stays in a more or less similar range, you will not have to change your tactics after you research units of higher tiers. You can carry out the same analysis for any unit featured in the Premium Shop to understand how it is going to perform in battle and whether you need to change your gameplay style.

The table shows the values of the Mobility stat group. As you can understand from its name, this stat group comprises all stats that account for the mobility of a unit in battle.

Melee Infantry (410–600+) Melee Infantry (306–355) Melee Infantry (150–290)
Road +4% Speed +6% Speed
+5% Acceleration
+9% Speed
+10% Acceleration
+20% Melee Defense
+20% Melee Attack
Light Forest +5% Charge Impact
+15% Melee Defense
+15% Melee Attack
–5% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–5% Missile Weapon Range
–5% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–5% Missile Weapon Range
–5% Charge Impact
–10% Melee Defense
–10% Melee Attack
–10% Speed
–5% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–5% Missile Weapon Range
Forest +8% Charge Impact
+25% Melee Defense
+25% Melee Attack
–10% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–10% Missile Weapon Range
–10% Speed
–10% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–10% Missile Weapon Range
–20% Speed
–8% Charge Impact
–20% Melee Defense
–20% Melee Attack
–10% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–10% Missile Weapon Range
–30% Speed
Shallow Water –5% Speed
–10% Melee Attack
–20% Speed
–15% Melee Attack
–30% Speed
–25% Melee Attack
Mud (Wet Mud) –5%(–15%) Speed
–10%(–20%) Melee Defense
–10%(–20%) Speed
–20%(–30%) Melee Defense
–15%(–25%) Speed
–30%(–40%) Melee Defense

Cavalry (695–777) Cavalry (537–567) Cavalry (400–450)
Road +14% Speed +16% Speed
+5% Acceleration
+20% Speed
+10% Acceleration
Light Forest –10% Melee Defense
–5% Missile Weapon Range
–5% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–10% Melee Attack
–15% Melee Defense
–5% Missile Weapon Range
–5% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–15% Melee Attack
–5% Speed
–20% Melee Defense
–5% Missile Weapon Range
–5% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–20% Melee Attack
–10% Speed
–10% Charge Impact
Forest –5% Charge Impact
–20% Melee Defense
–20% Melee Attack
–10% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–25% Speed
–10% Missile Weapon Range
–10% Charge Impact
–25% Melee Defense
–25% Melee Attack
–10% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–35% Speed
–10% Missile Weapon Range
–20% Charge Impact
–30% Melee Defense
–30% Melee Attack
–10% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–45% Speed
–10% Missile Weapon Range
Shallow Water –5% Speed –10% Speed
–5% Melee Attack
–15% Speed
–10% Melee Attack
Mud (Wet Mud) –5%(–15%) Speed
–10%(–20%) Melee Defense
–10%(–20%) Speed
–20%(–30%) Melee Defense
–15%(–25%) Speed
–30%(–40%) Melee Defense

Missile Infantry (490–550) Missile Infantry (400–420)
Road +4% Speed +6% Speed
+5% Acceleration
Light Forest +15% Melee Defense
+15% Melee Attack
–5% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–5% Missile Weapon Range
–5% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–5% Missile Weapon Range
Forest +25% Melee Defense
+25% Melee Attack
–10% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–10% Missile Weapon Range
–30% Speed
–10% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–10% Missile Weapon Range
–20% Speed
Shallow Water –5% Speed
–10% Melee Attack
–20% Speed
–15% Melee Attack
Mud (Wet Mud) –5%(–15%) Speed
–10%(–20%) Melee Defense
–10%(–20%) Speed
–20%(–30%) Melee Defense

Artillery War Elephants
Road No effect +5% Speed
Light Forest –5% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–5% Missile Weapon Range
–30% Speed
–30% Melee Defense
Forest +25% Missile Dispersion
–10% Missile Weapon Penetration Damage
–10% Missile Weapon Range
–40% Speed
–40% Melee Defense
Shallow Water –40% Speed
–35% Melee Attack
No effect
Mud (Wet Mud) –40%(–50%) Speed
–40%(–50%) Melee Defense
–10%(–15%) Speed
Please note that with new features appearing in the game and changes being made to different mechanics, the data given in this table may differ from the real parameters in battle.

In addition, the game has several exceptions:

  • Berserkers, Tier VIII, Barbarians. Their Mobility equals 334, which corresponds to the second category, but they are subject to bonuses and penalties from the first column.
  • Veterans of Cannae, Tier IX, Carthage. Their Mobility corresponds to the third category, but they are subject to bonuses and penalties from the second column.
  • Athenian Pikemen, Tier VI, Greece. Their Mobility corresponds to the third category, but they are subject to bonuses and penalties from the second column.

This list of exceptions may turn out to be incomplete, so the first method for assessing terrain bonuses and penalties described in our article can give you more precise information.
However, you can be sure about one thing: if you know the terrain bonuses and penalties that will be applied to your units, you will have an advantage that can bring you many victories and make the actions of your enemies more clear and predictable. Choose the terrain that will give you the edge you need and apply your knowledge to win.

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One comment

  1. loved this game, but not enough time to invest and the fact that is not linked with other Wargaming titles, denies me any will to spend more time with it.

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