The Best Turn-Based Warhammer 40K Games

Written by Harry Ted Sprinks


The universe of Games Workshop’s Warhammer, predominantly Warhammer: 40,000, is an often-used setting for video games. Although many of these games take place in real-time,  there are others that follow the suit of tabletop games by featuring turn-based gameplay. Many of these games take direct influence from classic Warhammer tabletop games, such as Space Hulk and Rogue Trader.


Release DateNovember 26, 2014
DeveloperFlashback Games,
The Lordz Games Studio
Available OnSteam, GOG

This old-school, hex-based tactics game features a retro aesthetic akin to old strategy games, as well as standard, strategic gameplay. Although the game’s visuals won’t be for everyone, and there’s a distinct lack of animations, fans of hex-based war games and 40k games alike are likely to enjoy this old-school tactical experience.

Despite Armageddon’s extremely simplistic visuals, the game features a huge variety of units across a variety of factions. While some of these units are very similar to one another, the game does feature a handful of unique and distinctive troops.

However, despite the amount of variety on show, Armageddon won’t be for everyone. The game’s old-school visuals, coupled with its retro-inspired gameplay, make it a niche experience that will likely only appeal to a very specific demographic.

Sanctus Reach

Release DateJanuary 19, 2017
DeveloperStraylight Entertainment
Available OnSteam, GOG

This 3D turn-based tactics game features old-school XCOM-style combat across a story-driven campaign that centers around the Space Wolves, a faction of Space Marines. Sanctus Reach tasks players with commanding their units to battle off an invasion of violent Orks. Although the game features fairly bland environments, the 3D models of the units themselves are well-crafted. Despite this, however, Sanctus Reach is far from the best-looking Warhammer: 40,000 games.

Sanctus Reach is fairly traditional and formulaic in its design, featuring a standard turn-based action point system. However, Sanctus Reach does feature a solid variety of unit types, as well as a system for morale that adds an extra layer of strategy to the gameplay.

On top of its campaign mode, Sanctus Reach features a Skirmish mode that allows players to take on the role of the Space Wolves or the Orks themselves. With around thirty unit types for each faction, Sanctus Reach offers a hefty amount of replay value.

Space Hulk: Tactics

Release DateOctober 9, 2018
PlatformsPC, Xbox, PlayStation
DeveloperCyanide Studio
PublisherFocus Home Interactive
Available OnSteam, Xbox One,

This video game adaptation of the popular Warhammer: 40,000 tabletop game of the same name is a faithful recreation of the classic board game and does a great job of capturing its claustrophobic atmosphere.

Space Hulk: Tactics allows players to take control of both the classic Genestealers or the Terminators across two distinct campaigns. Furthermore, the game features a map creation tool that allows players to create their own missions.

The greatest strengths of Space Hulk: Tactics are arguably its atmosphere and visuals, both of which work together to create an unsettling and claustrophobic undertone. Despite its gameplay being fairly formulaic, Space Hulk: Tactics features a card system that adds an extra layer of strategy to the experience.


Release DateNovember 15, 2018
PlatformsPC, Xbox, PlayStation,
DeveloperBulwark Studios
PublisherKasedo Games
Available OnSteam, GOG, Epic,
Xbox One, PS4, Switch

This turn-based tactics RPG features a loose narrative centered around the Adeptus Mechanicus, even featuring multiple endings depending on which missions the player completes. Gameplay, as with many turn-based tactics RPGs, follows a mission-based structure.

Although gameplay can get rather repetitive towards the end of Mechanicus, the satisfying progression system and story consequences of some missions make the experience fairly intense throughout. In Mechanicus, the player’s team is mostly made up of “Tech Priests”, each of which is highly customizable. This level of customization and progression as players fight through the game’s variety of tactical missions keeps things engaging despite the somewhat repetitive gameplay.

Despite the presence of narrative events and a light narrative thread running throughout the entirety of the game, Mechanicus is a combat-first tactical experience. However, the game’s solid progression system and satisfying combat outweigh an otherwise repetitive gameplay loop.

Chaos Gate: Daemonhunters

Release DateMay 5, 2022
PlatformsPC, Xbox, PlayStation
DeveloperComplex Games
PublisherFrontier Foundry
Available OnSteam, Epic, Xbox One,
Xbox Series X|S
, PS5

Following a gameplay structure similar to games such as XCOM, Chaos Gate: Daemonhunters takes place across a long and sometimes arduous campaign packed with challenging, tactical missions. The game’s solid narrative centers around the iconic Grey Knights, a faction of space marines with psychic powers.

These psychic powers can be used in battle, though these spend precious “Willpower” while simultaneously filling the “Warp Meter.” When this meter is filled, an abundance of terrible things can happen, making the use of these powerful psychic abilities a difficult balancing act.

Unlike games such as XCOM and other similar tactical experiences, Chaos Gate: Daemonhunters doesn’t feature a hit-chance system. Instead, any shot is guaranteed to hit if the selected unit has a line of sight to their target. However, cover still plays a vital role in Chaos Gate, as good cover can reduce damage taken or even negate it entirely. This lack of RNG makes Chaos Gate an extremely rewarding tactical experience that’s rarely frustrating.


Release DateJuly 22, 2021
PlatformsPC, Xbox, PlayStation
DeveloperBlack Lab Games
Available OnSteam, GOG, Epic,
Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S,

This tactical turn-based strategy game features objective-based missions and a progression system that revolves around varied skill trees. The game’s narrative focuses on the illustrious Blood Angels as they battle against hordes of bloodthirsty Tyranids.

In Battlesector, players control various squads, each with their own individual units. As a squad is attacked, members of their unit lose health and go down, weakening the squad. While this means that players often strategize in broader strokes, it also puts a heavier focus on positioning, as improper tactics can result in losing an entire squad.

Battlesector features the classic melodramatic narrative and voice lines that fans of Warhammer: 40,000 have come to expect, and the talented voice work helps to elevate the over-the-top dialogue barks and quips. Battlesector also attempts to distinguish itself with its Momentum system; players build up their momentum as they fight, eventually allowing them to take extra actions and use improved versions of their combat abilities. Although Battlesector’s unit variety is somewhat lacking, and its extra factions are locked behind DLC paywalls, its production value and satisfying gameplay make it a worthwhile experience.

Gladius – Relics of War

Release DateJuly 12, 2018
DeveloperProxy Studios
Available OnSteam, GOG, Epic

Although Gladius hides a few playable factions behind DLC paywalls, the four factions included in the base game are varied and distinct. These factions include the Astra Militarum, Space Marines, Orks, and Necrons. Each of these factions has its own distinctive play style, as well as its own unique technology tree that helps to further distinguish them from one another.

Gladius is a 4X game (eXploration, eXpansion, eXploitation, eXtermination) with a heavy focus on the “extermination” element of the genre. This Warhammer: 40,000 adaptation of the classic 4X genre takes a combat-heavy approach to its design while still maintaining the elements of strategy and civilization-building that these games are known for.

Throughout a game of Gladius players will often find themselves in brutal turn-based combat, but city-building and resource management play an integral part in a player’s success. In order to expand and push into enemy territory, players must first ensure that their own territory is well-defended and their resources are managed well, all in order to replenish units and reinforce their front lines consistently.

Rogue Trader

Release DateDecember 7, 2023
PlatformsPC, Xbox, PlayStation
DeveloperOwlcat Games
PublisherOwlcat Games
Available OnSteam, GOG, Epic, Xbox,

This deep and story-driven tactical RPG puts players in the shoes of a Rogue Trader, a powerful member of the nobility in the Warhammer: 40,000 universe. This position of power opens up an abundance of interesting opportunities for role-playing and allows Rogue Trader to feel unique in a fairly well-trodden genre.

Rogue Trader is a squad-based RPG that sees players building out an entire party of unique characters, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and personalities. Combat in Rogue Trader is brutal, tactical, and often challenging. Although the game is loosely based on the tabletop game of the same name, Rogue Trader feels distinct and modern, featuring rules for cover and systems that encourage tactical positioning and making use of the environment.

Despite several reported bugs and sub-par performance, Rogue Trader is a deep and tactical RPG and arguably one of the most faithful games to the expansive source material of Warhammer: 40,000. Rogue Trader has high replay value, great turn-based combat, and well-written dialogue that makes it a worthwhile experience in the universe of Warhammer: 40,000.


Despite there being an abundance of Warhammer games on the market, and many of them being turn-based, it can be hard to find a solid and worthwhile experience. Although many of the games on this list have their problems, they each feature satisfying and rewarding turn-based gameplay that makes it easier to look past their issues.

Games such as Battlesector offer deep and tactical combat-focused experiences that manage to capture the feel of the tabletop game, while games such as Rogue Trader take a story-driven approach to their gameplay that allows them to take full advantage of the deep and storied history of Warhammer lore. If there’s a beloved turn-based Warhammer experience that didn’t make it to this list, be sure to let us know on Discord, Twitter, and on our YouTube channel.


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Harry Ted Sprinks

With a deep love for strategy games that began when he first played Stronghold as a kid on his parents’ home computer and a passion for linear narrative games like Telltale’s The Walking Dead and old-school shooters like Blood and DOOM, Harry loves video games of all shapes and sizes. His knowledge of games new and old is broad, but Harry’s biggest passion is indie games, which he loves to champion in his writing. Harry’s favorite games include old-school rogue-likes like Caves Of Qud, older RTS titles such as Red Alert 3, modern classics like Halo 3, and survival-horror games like Resident Evil. When he isn’t writing or playing games, Harry can likely be found developing small games of his own or making music. Although Harry enjoys the occasional AAA game, his attention is primarily focused on representing indie games.