35 Best Mods For Total War: Rome II (All Free)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
It was a pretty tall order to provide a follow up to the 2004 fan-favorite Rome: Total War.
While feedback from the gaming community is still pretty mixed, it can’t be denied that many of the game’s problems from launch have been patched with updates.
Some might argue that Total War: Rome II will just never live up to its predecessor no matter what. But really, it’s a great game.
A large part of this is thanks to the modding community finding ways to make gameplay better, shaping TW: Rome II into the game the fans wanted it to be.
If you’re looking to mod up your gameplay then here are some of the best mods you can get to enhance your TW: Rome II experience.
35. Better Water III HD
A quick and easy way to jazz up your game time is with a few simple graphics enhancements.
When it comes to Total War games, or pretty much every grand strategy game out there, water seems to always be on top of the list.
Better Water III HD improves water textures in the game, making oceans look much more realistic.
Two more great points about this mod:
- It aims to not impact performance at all
- It’s actually compatible with seasons – which we’ll get later on this list!
34. Rome II: Campaign HD Textures and Lighting
If you’re looking for a more expansive graphical upgrade, Campaign HD Textures and Lighting is a great way to get going.
It improves textures of mostly all terrain aspects of the game, making land, shores, and coastlines look much more realistic.
The mod even enhances lighting effects to make things look a bit more vibrant, all while trying to stay close to the vanilla color palette.
A great way to make everything look just a bit better, without really changing all too much.
33. Enhanced Particles
With little mods, it almost always seems like they won’t really make much of a difference.
While it does seem that way, it’s usually a simple case of 1+1=2, where the results can be surprisingly good when these mods are combined with each other.
Paired with the previous two mods, Enhanced Particles adds another layer of realism to the game’s visuals, making for more exciting battlefields.
The mod simply adds dust effects for when your soldiers are marching across the fields, making combat feel just a little more epic.
32. Campaign Camera
Another staple for top-down strategy games: the view.
Cameras always seem to always be one of the first things to receive an upgrade.
I don’t really understand why developers haven’t found the “perfect” camera system yet, but for some reason we’re never able to zoom in and out as much as we’d like.
This mod fixes exactly that for Total War: Rome II by giving you more control over the in-game camera.
It won’t be as difficult to get a birds-eye view of your army, that’s for sure.
31. Rome: Total War Music
Many fans just can’t let go of how Rome: Total War affected them.
And who can blame them really? Rome: Total War was a brilliant game.
So if you’re a hardcore Rome: Total War fan, here’s a simple way to get a little dose of nostalgia.
The mod “Rome: Total War Music” actually adds the entire soundtrack of the previous title to TW: Rome II.
While the music is there, do note that it might not be perfectly implemented due to some modding limitations.
Nitpicky as we are, players have found the tiniest details in TW: Rome II to tailor-fit to our liking.
These next few mods might impact only the smallest details, but are sure to change the way you play the game quite a bit.
To start off, modder CN_Vandal didn’t feel like the Colosseum mechanics in the game made much sense.
Improving your Colosseum from level 4 to 5 actually decreases the buff. And while I’m sure that was done for balance purposes, it just doesn’t make any sense.
This mod fixes that, so level 5 Colosseum’s will now give +30 public order instead of the original +12.
29. Four Turns Per Year Mod
When it comes to the grand strategy genre, patience is key.
After all, the “grand” aspect of it is there for a reason. All great things take time.
While pacing is always a matter of preference, many players like to slow things down a bit.
Four Turns Per Year does exactly as it says: changing the number of turns it takes for a year to pass.
This has a number of effects on gameplay, but one of the biggest would be that you can now get more done before your generals and agents grow old and die.
28. 12 Turns Per Year
If you want to slow things down even more, there’s an alternative that offers 12 whole turns per year.
Be warned, though, with the amount of progress you’ll make with each year, you might find that you’re approaching the end game a bit earlier than expected.
Then again, it’s a matter of preference.
So if this is more your speed go ahead and give it a shot.
27. Season Effects for Main Campaign
Season Effects is a great way to add some depth and realism to the Total War: Rome II campaign.
It basically introduces seasons, each impacting different aspects of towns and cities based on the time of year.
What’s even more interesting is that different provinces have different effects depending on geography. So winter might be worse in some areas than others.
Season Effects is also compatible with the Turns Per Year mod, so you should be able to adjust time according to your liking.
26. A World To Explore
Exploration is always a big part of strategy games, as we’re all familiar with the fog that covers unexplored areas of the map.
Stepping foot in uncharted territory is usually the only way to reveal what’s underneath, but that isn’t the case with TW: Rome II.
A World To Explore brings that exploration aspect to TW: Rome II, removing the city icons that are otherwise visible over the fog.
With this installed, you basically won’t know where anything is.
This is great for encouraging you to explore the map, but also reintroduces the value of agents who specialize in exploration.
25. Realistic Legionary Tactics
For many fans, Total War’s epic battles just can’t be beat.
With that, there are tons of mods out there that improve combat even further. And Realistic Legionary Tactics is one of them.
The mod team already warns that Realistic Legionary Tactics throws balance out the window, as in their own words, “history is not balanced”.
The mod introduces a few new battle formation mechanics, focused on giving these ancient battle tactics justice.
The Romans were known for their advanced combat tactics. And this mod lets you take advantage of those.
24. Pikemen Start Battles With Pikes
Another small mod, but something that will surely prove useful once you get it installed.
Modder Boicote looked back at Rome: Total War and wondered why pikemen weren’t holding pikes at the beginning of battles in TW: Rome II.
This mod changes that.
So it removes the need to click a button for their pikes to appear.
This may seem like a negligible change, sure.
But it actually makes things easier when it comes to identifying the different units you have deployed on the field.
23. Kill Animation Overhaul
It’s always a treat watching the epic battles of Total War games play out, and Rome II is no different.
There isn’t anything like watching hundreds of units duke it out with their bows, swords, and spears – especially after spending so much time preparing them for combat.
Kill Animation Overhaul makes battles just a bit more exciting to watch, adding a few new kill animations as well as making rarer ones occur more often.
Battles will look more like a movie playing out on your screen. Less repetitive battles, more fun!
22. B.A.M. : Better Arrows Mod
Here’s another cool little mod that adds a ton to the realism and immersiveness of TW: Rome II – the Better Arrows Mod by 101VaultBoy.
101VaultBoy felt that archers were a bit underpowered in TW: Rome II, and fixes that with a few tweaks here and there.
He makes changes to arrow ranges, velocities, and damage, making archers a bit more useful in the game without making them too overpowered.
The mod also introduces some interesting new ammo types for archers, including broadhead, hardened steel, flaming show, and poison arrows.
21. Maybourne’s Armoured Romans
Archers aren’t the only units getting some love, though.
As there are tons of other mods out there that give you exciting new units to play around with.
Maybourne’s Armoured Romans is another example, providing us with a few new units for the Roman factions in Rome II.
The mod adds 8 completely new units including paladins, royal hoplites, and royal archers.
These units are stronger variations of vanilla units, so it might make the Roman factions a bit OP.
It’s still always fun to have new units to explore though.
20. Lord Buio “SPARTA ANTHOLOGY RESKIN”
Lord Buio’s Sparta Anthology Reskin is a bigger units mod that you might want to check out as well.
As the title suggests, the mod gives Spartan units a makeover.
So it introduces over 40 new models and over 400 new textures. Leaves me wondering how long did this took to create!
Lord Buio did his research, combining armor from different historical moments of Sparta to come up with realistic armor sets for your units.
Other than the reskins, the mod also adds a few new units including basilikons, hoplites, and Spartan swords.
19. SGL70’s Elite Units All In One Mod
SGL70’s Elite Units is another great alternative if you’re looking to spice things up with some new units.
Instead of dumping tons of new units in the game, this mod takes a different approach by only giving a number of elite units to some of the playable factions of the game.
Some of the new units include the Praetoriani Praesidi for Rome, Greek Champion Hoplites for Athens, and Sacred Band The Lions of Carthage for Carthage.
18. Forgotten Factions Unit Compilation
It’s no surprise that most of these unit packs heavily focus on Roman factions.
But modder Will wanted to go the opposite route and give some attention to some of the less popular factions in the game.
The Forgotten Factions Unit Compilation actually combines four different mods, all giving new units to explore for North African, Arab, East African, and Etruscan factions.
There are over 50 new units for you to combat with, which includes a good mix of ground and naval units.
17. Better AI Recruitment
Another way to make things a bit more interesting is through some of the AI improvements the mod community has to offer.
Pouring hundreds or thousands of hours into TW: Rome II, it’s inevitable that the AI will get a bit predictable.
Not only that, but spending so much time with the game, you’re bound to find some questionable decision-making from the AI.
Better AI Recruitment is a start at making your enemies more challenging, as they’ll be much smarter in how they build their armies.
And in Total War, challenge is what keeps things exciting.
16. Increased Spotting Distances for a More Tactical
Another option is to install this mod by Magic Cubiod.
Based on his experience of the game, enemy AI were nearsighted, only chasing after opponents that were already right in front of them. They would otherwise ignore enemy units positioned further away, making baiting too easy for more advanced players.
This mod fixes it by increasing the abilities of all units to see enemies from a distance.
This doesn’t just mean that enemy AI will chase after you from farther away, though.
They’ll also be able to come up with better tactics after you’ve been spotted, so be prepared for them to make some adjustments based on what you’re throwing at them.
15. A More Aggressive AI
Last of the AI mods is Turquoise-Falcon’s More Aggressive AI.
If you’re anything like him and hate how passive the AI tends to be in vanilla, here’s his solution to make things more exciting.
Enemy factions are now more likely to declare war against you, especially if they consider you to be unfriendly or hostile.
With wars occurring more frequently, the AI is made more aggressive during wartime as well.
Instead of idly waiting to be attacked, the likelihood that they’ll attack first is now definitely much higher. Keep your wits about you!
14. Valuable Veterans
Unit leveling has always been a part of Total War games.
But it didn’t have the impact that modder Bladeuk would like to see.
This mod makes it so experienced units will be much more valuable to you and your army, mostly by giving them buffs that affect the rest of the troops.
Veterans now get a significant morale boost, making them all much deadlier in melee combat.
They also emit an offensive and defensive aura buff, so fighting alongside these veterans will improve nearby unit stats as well.
13. Sell Your Slaves
Modder Phalangitis goes back to the history books and takes a look at how slavery was such a huge part of the economy during these times.
The result is Sell Your Slaves, a mod that gives a few new actions for managing slavery in TW: Rome II.
A new edict is introduced, and when issued, slave percentages in the region will drop by half. Ultimately this gives you increased income.
Slavery buildings have an increased impact as well, as having one will reduce slave drop, as well as reduce construction costs.
A bit of a dark mod, but certainly realistic for the time period.
12. Traits, Talents and Toadies: Character Overhaul
Now here’s a mod that will greatly affect how you play the TW: Rome II.
Traits, Talents and Toadies: Character Overhaul is quite a long name for a fairly complex addition.
This mod completely changes the traits, talents, and character systems of the game – almost making it feel like a completely new title.
Generals now have new skills and icons, and army traditions have been separated giving each faction a unique tree to progress through.
This is a mod you’ll have to try for yourself to see why it’s so great.
11. AAA: Generals – Romans (Aging, Advancing, Acclimatising)
While we covered most of the cosmetic mods mentioned earlier on the list, I just had to save these AAA mods by Benjin and Celticus till higher in the ranking.
AAA: Generals – Romans adds a whole new depth of immersion to TW: Rome II by making visual changes to generals as they age.
The three A’s represent the different factors that impact your generals’ appearance: Age, Advancement, and Acclimatisation.
With increasing age, facial attributes now reflect that the general is getting older. Ranking up in combat will give your generals access to more extravagant examples of armor as well.
Lastly, seasons will affect the way your generals dress, swapping warmer clothes during winter and cooler armor sets for the summer months.
10. People of Rome 2
“People of Rome 2” introduces some changes to the way populations work in TW: Rome II.
With the aim of making things more realistic, this mod puts a larger emphasis on managing your empire’s population.
There are a number of factors to consider here, as the population is now divided into four classes: nobles, warriors, commoners, and foreigners.
Growth plays a role in population management, as it’ll increase or decrease depending on buildings, wars, and taxation.
Immigration is also introduced, as people now move to neighbouring regions depending on the ratios of each class.
Conquest is changed here as well, as capturing a settlement now makes all of its people “foreigners” instead of transferring over to you.
9. More Diplomatic Outcomes
Battle is the focus when it comes to Total War games.
But there are players who prefer a more relaxed approach to enjoying this franchise.
The More Diplomatic Outcomes mod by wolphyx transfers the focus over to diplomatic relations instead of warfare, making peaceful means more interesting to play through in Rome II.
Completely new outcomes are introduced from diplomatic agreements, making for more variety when it comes to politics in the game.
You’ll be able to peacefully achieve trade deals, arms shipments, and even research treaties with this mod installed.
8. Wonders of the Ancient World
Another often overlooked aspect of the game would be the wonder system.
At least modders X i and Minion-J thought so, which prompted them to create this complete overhaul of Rome II’s wonder system.
They felt that wonders in the game showed potential, but were created as more of an afterthought. They wanted to increase the impact of wonders in-game.
Wonders have been given unique event messages, artwork, effects, and even increased buffs. So you’ll definitely be valuing them if you give this mod a try.
7. Guaranteed Major Faction Empires
While Rome II is meant to recreate epic battles, it can get annoying when you reach the end of your campaign just to find that the major faction you’ve been looking forward to defeating has already been wiped out by some minor faction.
That would surely make for an anti-climactic ending.
But thanks to modder Mitch, you won’t have to worry about that little problem anymore.
Guaranteed Major Faction Empires basically makes it impossible for minor AI factions to destroy major AI ones in the course of your game.
Where this mod stands out from the others, is that instead of creating overpowered enemies by giving them more money to lengthen their survival, it makes sure that they’re still around when the time comes that you get the chance to take them down.
6. Banditry & Plagues from Empire Divided
The Empire Divided DLC added some interesting new features, although lots of minor changes too.
With the state of TW: Rome II after launch, not many people wanted to spend more money for the expansion packs.
Thanks to modders Dresden and Litharion, you can take some of the more interesting mechanics of the Empire Divided right into your Rome II vanilla campaign. With a mod, for free!
This mod introduces banditry and plagues, both found in Empire Divided, and integrates them into your Rome II playthrough.
Now you can save your dough and put it towards, I don’t know maybe some other video games?
5. Constantine: Rise of Christianity Part 1
There are some really exciting scenario mods out there which should be interesting for history buffs.
Constantine: Rise of Christianity is a great example, taking you to 311 AD.
After the events of Rome II, the Roman Empire has again found itself in turmoil.
After the chaos comes the emergence of Christianity, which is what this particular mod focuses on.
You’ll be presented with 13 historical factions to play as, included that of Flavius Constantinus Augustus. Neat!
4. Alexander The Great Campaign Hellenic Edition
This time we’re taken way back to events prior to the vanilla campaign, all the way to 334 BC.
You’ll be able to play through events that directly result in those found in Rome II’s campaign, as Alexander the Great rises to the throne just a few years prior.
His ambition allowed him to conquer the whole Achaemenid Empire at such a young age, and eventually expand into Persia.
This mod includes a completely playable campaign with new tech systems, buildings, religions, and much more to explore.
3. Cyrus The Great Campaign
From the same creator as the Alexander The Great campaign, Cyrus The Great takes us even further back in time to take a look at another great warrior in Persian History.
The story begins just as the Iron Age is ending, back in 553 BC.
Cyrus The Great begins his journey to build the Achaemenid Empire, the same one Alexander eventually conquers.
This mod features a default 12 turns per year setting, along with other gameplay changes to give you a completely fresh Rome II experience.
Absolutely worth looking into, at least to keep things fresh.
2. Radious Total War
Radious has become one of the most well-known names when it comes to Total War modding, and for good reason.
His complete overhaul mods give exciting new ways to enjoy the Total War games, and Rome II is no different.
Radious Total War covers everything including AI, diplomacy, and battle mechanics, plus a lot more.
As with all Radious mods, there are also new units and abilities to discover.
If you’re looking for a completely new take on Rome II, you can’t go wrong with Radious Total War.
1. Divide et Impera
While Radious has won the hearts of many TW fans, there is one other Rome II overhaul worth mentioning.
Divide et Impera has also become a fan favorite, as it offers a different flavor than what we’ve gotten used to from the Radious team.
As with Radious Total War, DEI gives you more factions, new units, and reworked systems to play with. All the new stuff that keeps these games interesting.
And to be honest, It’s hard to claim this is actually the absolute best. Could they be tied for best mod?
It’s really a matter of preference at this point, so you might want to give both a go and see which you like better.