Hey everyone! I’m David from DBolical and today we’ve got an article covering the top five active RTS mods on ModDB! ModDB is a community rich with fantastic mods and total conversions to experience, so stick around for more lists like this to get ideas on what mod to play next! If you enjoy it, remember to share and check out the YouTube video too for gameplay footage of the mods on this list!
There’s a common theme amongst the mods on this list - all of them transform the original game into a whole new experience. Warcraft: Total War is no exception! Built upon Medieval 2: Total War’s Kingdoms expansion, it features twenty playable campaign factions drawing upon all facets of Warcraft lore. Dozens of new units across all the factions are usable in new custom campaigns that take place in a new world map. The original RTS Warcraft games were hugely popular on release, and it’s awesome to see their legacy continued and the scale of battle expanded in Medieval 2’s engine. Great amounts of care have been taken to create factions that expand the gameplay loop of the original game whilst paying homage to the Warcraft 3-era of the franchise. With the possibility of another Warcraft RTS growing more distant every day, mods like Warcraft: Total War help keep the Warcraft RTS community bustling.
Command and Conquer is home to some of the best RTS games ever made, and Generals is amongst the top contenders. The End of Days mod manages to take the foundation created by the Zero Hour expansion and take it even further, creating a fourth faction to choose from with its own tech tree and set of unit choices. The base factions also received revamps, from a change to how hero units and superweapons work (allowing both more active participation in the gameplay) to subfaction support for on-the-fly strategy adaptation. The challenge mode they’ve been working on this year allows you to take these changes into the general-VS-general fights of Zero Hour, putting your skills to the test in a gauntlet of difficult yet rewarding combat scenarios. With new weapons like the SOCOM Ion Cannon or tactical options like the combat revival system for medics, you’re sure to get more out of Generals than you thought possible with this mod.
Star Wars: Empire at War and its Forces of Corruption expansion are fondly loved by the Star Wars community for the space battle fantasies they enable you to act out. Thrawn’s Revenge goes so many steps beyond in its overhaul of the game, breathing new life into an old experience. Following on from the events of Episode 6, the mod expands Empire at War’s campaign and faction roster immensely, tapping into the rich and varied material in the Legends lore. Eras ranging from mere months to decades after Episode 6 allow you to experience a growing and evolving galaxy. Play as the Imperial Remnant or any of its derivative factions as you try to survive the collapse of a galactic dictatorship, or play as the fledgling New Republic in their quest to put the galaxy right again. Numerous one-off scenarios allow you to expand your experience even further, trying out all manner of superweapons and starships from the Legends universe and even allowing you to play as the galaxy-ending Yuuzhan Vong. For a Star Wars fan, it’s hard to find a stronger visualisation of the potential of the franchise.
The Edain Mod for Battle for Middle Earth II: Rise of the Witch King brings so much to the table for long-time fans of the Lord of the Rings and RTS games. A greatly appreciated change is simply the inclusion of lots of content from the first entry in the series - multiplayer maps and gameplay geared towards restoring much of the loop from the first Battle for Middle-Earth, for example. This is only the start, though - with eight new factions, ten new subfactions, and dozens of new heroes, the moment-to-moment gameplay is freshened up with new options in combat and ways to wage war in Middle-Earth. The castle system, also restored from the first game, addresses a common complaint about strategies employed in the vanilla game, and unique Ring Heroes for each faction solidify the One Ring as crucial to the decisions made in gameplay. One of the features that looks most impressive is a custom hero creator - revamped and rebalanced, it allows you to either create those heroes from the canon that Edain has not already restored, or bring a new character forwards to represent your forces. With work still underway on improving the Misty Mountains faction, Edain Mod promises to offer more and more as development progresses.
Last but not least, we have the Unification mod for Dawn of War: Soulstorm. Carrying forward the collective work of many parts of the Dawn of War modding community, Unification is an ultimate collection of many race mods over the years, combined, balanced, and now continued in development by a dedicated team. With an incredible 26 factions, four new game modes, and dozens of new units, fully voiced and modelled, Unification is a personification of Warhammer 40k and the Dawn of War modding community’s hard work. The mod also includes numerous quality of life improvements, including bug fixes over the base game, an AI overhaul that plays more intelligently than ever before, a better tactical camera, and so much more. It also expands the scale of Dawn of War’s battles significantly with the addition of Titan units that overpower and outclass all other units on the battlefield. There’s simply too much to cover in one go, and the hard work of the Unification team is evident over the years they’ve been active. If you want to experience the grim darkness of the 41st Millennium, this is the way to do it.
That’s all for this count-down! A video edition of this article is available too for anyone who fancies watching some footage of the mods we’ve talked about today. If you enjoyed the article, please remember to share and leave a comment down below about what you think the best RTS mods on ModDB are. We’ll see you in the next article!