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Gondor - Out nowRohan - Out nowMordor - Out nowIsengard - Out nowLorien - Out nowDunland - Out nowRivendell - Early February Harad - Coming SoonThe Deep - Coming SoonErebor - Coming SoonMirkwood - Coming SoonDol GuldurRhunArnorDale Southern Fiefdoms of GondorLindon

Return of Shadow adds many, many new features to the game such as an expanded spell list of 12 instead of the regular 8, new unit types, larger horde sizes for bigger battles, upgraded Outposts with defence plots, the new Faction Upgrade system that adds new upgrades to each faction improving various attributes of the faction like unlocking extra units and heroes or improving structures, Watchtower plots for map control and expanding Command Point Limit when you build more bases you can build more units.
Structures are also tougher adding more realism and emphasizing upgrades, heroes and Siege weapons.
Heroes are also more resistant to regular damage to counter the larger horde sizes and to keep them viable.

An enormous amount of new maps have been added to the game (over 70 at last count) showing settings from all over Middle-Earth from the frozen wastelands of Forochel in the far North, to the idyllic villages of The Shire, green pastures of Rohan, the bleak lands of the enemy in Mordor and all the way to the far south and east in the lands of Harad and Rhun.

Return of Shadow also greatly expands the amount of factions that will be playable taking it from the 4 in the original game right up to 17 factions.
Currently the mod has 6 factions Rohan, Gondor, Mordor, Isengard, Lorien and Dunland but as time goes more factions will be released and added to the roster.
Very soon Rivendel will be making it's debut with Beta 0.2.
Over the coming months other factions will be added as they near completion.

Another new feature for Return of Shadow is the Game Modes feature which acts like submods of the original that will change various things for the mod from the small easter egg type stuff to the bigger projects like Chocolate which takes the game back to 1.03 but replaces the art with the Return of Shadow art, or Onslaught which will give a faster pace and more simplified style with 2 factions Good and Evil.
Game modes are accessed via the mod launcher by entering in codes.
There are even some secret game modes and various functions for the launcher built in.

Adding on to the Game modes system is the Custom Game Modes or CGM for short.
Custom game modes are player made game modes that can be launched via the custom1, custom2 or custom3 codes in the launcher.
This opens up Return of Shadow to everyone to play with.
You could tweak all kinds of things like moving units from one faction to another, rebalancing stuff as you'd like or even something big like reworking the factions the choice is yours.
I'll even be subhosting some CGMs here on moddb and over on the forums and the best CGMs may be made official and built into future versions of the launcher.
Head over to the forums for more information.

The current installation procedure and launcher can be a bit tricky for some before you try to install the mod make sure to read the installation guides which can be found over on the forums or here at moddb.

Return of Shadow will have new releases roughly once a month the size and type of these releases varies.
If you see a bug or balance issue please be sure to post it so I can address it in the next release.
I read all bug and balance reports and regularly update a public list of changes (about once a week) which can be tracked here.

Beta 0.15 Download -

Out now - Adds 2 new factions Lorien and Dunland.

Troubleshooting Topic - The forums have a better chance at a response.

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Return of Shadow Beta 0.18 Preview Return of Shadow Beta 0.18 Preview Return of Shadow Beta 0.18 Preview
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Return of Shadow is back

3 comments by Radspakr on Jan 24th, 2015

Return of Shadow

Back from Valinor or where ever

So since I've been back for a couple weeks I should probably explain what's happening with Return of Shadow.
Two weeks ago I decided to install BFME again for the first time since retiring and changing to new (at the time) computer.I played a quick game of my against bots with Dunland while I had fun I started thinking like most modders and saw things to fix. Next thing I know I was back at work fine tuning the work I had left unfinished last year (it took quite a while to recover all the files from my old laptop since the mod dev files are around 16gb).
My first goal was to work on the stuff left unfinished from my work towards Beta 0.2 which was mostly Dunland and Rivendell.Most of those changes were rolled out in Beta 0.17 and 0.175.With only 2 things really left for Dunland and only a few things left for Rivendell.

Since I usually only have 1 hour of high speed internet a day I can only manage 200mb file uploads in that time.

Also since it's public internet I can't set up the torrent this time although I am considering finding a work around for these limitations.

Since I've been gone for almost a year some of my testers and staff have moved on to new things leaving me a bit short handed.

The big change is my main 3d guy DIGI_Byte has moved onto different things and will be unlikely to be contribution much going forward.
This does impact on somethings since it was DIGI who would usually make the more elaborate structures and part kits I work with like the Orc weapons, Elf gear and so on.
So there'll probably be a bit more kit bashing using the assets I've currently got.


In an effort to streamline things I've decided to combine the Deep and Dol Guldur factions into the new faction Strongholds (Holds for short).
This faction is made up of about 70% Deep and 30% Dol Guldur.
The Deep count for the weaker units, cavalry and trolls while Dol Guldur is the stronger units, Olog Hai and Heroes.

The Strongholds faction has a good spread of various unit types from the weak Goblin units to the stronger soldiers of Dol Guldur.
The faction also has various evil creatures such as the Warg Riders, Great Spiders, Cave and Stone Trolls as well as the powerful Olog Hai.

I'm also looking into the next possible faction after Rivendell with a few factions as good candidates.

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Return of Shadow Patch 0.175

Return of Shadow Patch 0.175

Jan 9, 2015 Patch 16 comments

An update to 0.17 which was unfortunately bugged, this version is a reupload and will overwrite and replace 0.17 if present as well as 0.165a Requires...

Return of Shadow Beta 0.16

Return of Shadow Beta 0.16

Jan 19, 2014 Patch 6 comments

Requires Return of Shadow Beta 0.15, Requires BFME Patch 1.03, Replaces 0.155 This patch adds 1 new unit, 1 new Faction upgrade and other fixes and balance...

Return of Shadow Beta 0.15

Return of Shadow Beta 0.15

Jan 5, 2014 Full Version 82 comments

After many months of work Beta 0.15 is finally here and with it the anticipated 6th faction for Return of Shadow: Dunland. This version is standalone...

Return of Shadow - Manual 0.15

Return of Shadow - Manual 0.15

Jan 1, 2014 Guides 5 comments

The newly updated Instruction Manual for Beta 0.15. Contains updated information on all the factions including Dunland.

Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 1,370)
numan1111 12hours 7mins ago says:

It is good to hear that nice news from you.I want to ask something in my mind.As I remember gandalf was summon hero and he was quite weak.Can you change him as permanent hero and make stronger?Also Sauron was weak.I think he must be strong as summoning balrog in vanilla bfme.Not only against units or heroes but also against structures.And of course that selection bugs for some units.Yeah you said that I fixed most of them.But it is annoying even if there is still a bit selection bugs in mod.Can you fix all of them please :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Radspakr Creator
Radspakr 10hours 26mins ago replied:

The Mithrandir summon is actually rather strong when used right
A combination of Sunder and Lighting sword can break a castle door allowing a fast breach, as for Sauron his main strength is his Domination spell it has a much bigger range than Saruman's.

+1 vote   reply to comment
freakyplayer 18hours 25mins ago says:

Will you change Celeborns skin please ? :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Radspakr Creator
Radspakr 12hours 35mins ago replied:

Why I quite like my armour design.

+1 vote   reply to comment
KingDainIIIronfoot Jan 24 2015, 6:19pm says:

I wanted to ask why the Banner for Erebor is Green I do not see it quit efiting for Dwarven Kingdom!!? :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Tar--Elendil Jan 24 2015, 6:10pm says:

Goo to have you back :) I hope the next faction will be Arnor :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
freakyplayer Jan 24 2015, 10:49am says:

Why is easy, and medium enemy not supported ?

+1 vote     reply to comment
saruman_the_wise Jan 23 2015, 6:15pm says:

I have to say this is the BEST MOD FOR BFME!!!! I have EVER!!! played thumbs up to you sir :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
Radspakr Creator
Radspakr Jan 21 2015, 10:21pm says:

Looks I'm back in the top 100 for the first in a very long time, I'll have to write a new news post to clear up the confusion.

+3 votes   reply to comment
johnstar145 Jan 21 2015, 10:44pm replied:

I have 1 question...

did you set your settings in low? cause some of the screenshots has blurry textures

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Released Sep 14, 2011
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140 votes submitted.

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Highest Rated (3 agree) 10/10

I didn't play it yet but because of the variety of factions that will be available (I hope) I give you a grade 10. Hope to see a full version soon.

Jan 21 2013, 2:21pm by Chernobog

Lowest Rated (5 agree) 5/10

I understand that a lot of work went into making this mod, and I really like it original ideas. However, this mod did not feel complete, fully thought through, has several glitches and the graphic skins were poorly done.

Oct 22 2012, 6:08pm by johnbeckjr

Real Time Strategy
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