Wesnoth Game - The Battle for Wesnoth: Turn-based Strategy Game

The Battle for Wesnoth is an open source, turn-based strategy game with a high fantasy theme. It features both singleplayer and online/hotseat multiplayer combat.

Category: software, open source, free, games

Stable Version: Wesnoth Game 1.16.9

Release Date:

Runs on: windows, mac, linux, openbsd, freebsd, netbsd, solaris

windows mac linux openbsd freebsd netbsd solaris

 Download Wesnoth Game / Install Binaries: Links on the Official Website
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  Get the Source Code of Wesnoth Game / Software Source Code Download


  • Project Developer: Wesnoth Game Development Team
  • License: GNU General Public License (GPL) v2
  • OpenSource, Free: Yes
  • Written in: C++, Lua
Building from Source: dependencies
  • Boost, SDL2, LibVorbis, Cairo, Pango, HarfBuzz, GTK+3, D-Bus
  • GetText Tools, FontConfig, FreeType2, Icu4C, GLib2, GObject2
  • LibXSLT, LibReadline, LibCrypto, LibBz2, LibZ
  • CMake or SCons
  • LLVM or GCC compiler


0 5 4.9
The Battle for Wesnoth Game is a turn-based wargame played on a hex map. The strategy of battle involves trying to fight on favorable terrain, at a favorable time of day, and, if possible, with units that are strong or well suited against the enemies. Other concerns are capturing villages that produce gold for unit recruitment, and positioning units to restrict enemy movement. The games come both in the form of single-player campaigns and multiplayer matches.
Each unit in the game has its own strengths and weaknesses. A unit's defense (which means in this case dodge chance) is based on the terrain it stands on. Elves, for example, are difficult to hit when fighting in a forest. Different types of attacks (melee and ranged), weapon types (pierce, blade, impact, arcane, cold, and fire), and a day-night cycle (in most maps) that alternately favors lawful and chaotic units, altering the amount of damage a unit deals. Units can advance to higher level counterparts and become more powerful as they participate in combat.
A central design philosophy of the game is the KISS principle; for a new idea to be accepted, it should not complicate gameplay. Another important facet of the game is randomness and its manipulation: it is never certain a unit's attack will fail or succeed, only likely or unlikely. Developers have stated that the potential for a skirmish to go better or worse than expected adds excitement, replayability and strategic depth to the game.
The stable version of the game comes with 17 single-player campaigns, each of which has various difficulty levels. The original campaign for game was "Heir to the Throne", a campaign with 23 gameplay scenarios where Konrad, a young heir to the throne of Wesnoth Game, allies with rebellious elves and other races to claim the throne from the usurper queen Asheviere, her loyalist army, and her orcish mercenaries. Characters from "Heir to the Throne" are protagonists in campaigns such as "Legend of Wesmere" and "Delfador's Memoirs". Other campaigns feature different factions, like the dwarves in "The Hammer of Thursagan" or "Northern Rebirth" or "Sceptre of Fire", the loyalist army of Wesnoth Game in "The South Guard" or "The Eastern Invasion", and undead in "Descent into Darkness" or "Secrets of the Ancients". Even mermen can be played in "Dead Water", or orcs in "Son of the Black Eye". Finally, "Under the Burning Suns" is set in the distant future, long after the time of the other campaigns, featuring elves who fight better during the day.

Pros +
  • Units hand-animated in a vibrant pixel art style, with semi-realistic portraits used for dialog.
  • 17 singleplayer campaigns and 55 multiplayer maps to choose from.
  • Over 200 unit types in seven major factions, all with distinctive abilities, weapons and spells.
  • Face off against other players over the Internet, or challenge your friends over a private/local network or hot-seat.
  • Translated into over 30 different languages.
  • Highly moddable engine combining WML and Lua scripting.
  • Tons of player-made content available from the official add-ons server: new campaigns, factions, and multiplayer maps with new and unique mechanics and artwork.
  • From the plains of Weldyn to the forests of Wesmere, from the mines of Knalga to the soaring peaks of the Heart Mountains, take part in over a dozen adventures.
Cons -
  • At a first look the game looks a bit complicated to learn and play, but after training a bit using the "Battle Training" campaign the full charm of this game comes alive and captures the player inside the world of Wesnoth Game.
  • There are fewer settings and options to set at the begining of game, it would be nice to have more.
  • Some factions are a bit unbalanced, having more strengths than other


Play the Game: Explore the world of Wesnoth Game and take part in its many adventures ! Embark on a desperate quest to reclaim your rightful throne... Flee the Lich Lords to a new home across the sea... Delve into the darkest depths of the earth to craft a jewel of fire itself... Defend your kingdom against the ravaging hordes of a foul necromancer... Or lead a straggly band of survivors across the blazing sands to confront an unseen evil.


  • Build up a formidable fighting force, starting from a single leader and a small amount of gold.
  • Over two hundred unit types in six major factions, all with distinctive abilities, weapons and spells.
  • Experienced units gain powerful new abilities as they advance.
  • Several multiplayer options available, including Internet play.
  • Scores of different custom-designed map and unlimited random maps.
  • Hundreds of campaign scenarios available for download through a simple in-game dialog.
  • Fog of War feature available for a true test of generalship.
  • Sophisticated markup language lets advanced users make their own maps, factions, or campaigns.
  • Excellent language support: 54 different languages currently available.

Game Play
There are two basic ways to play the game:
  • Play a sequence of connected scenarios, known as a campaign, against the computer (Campaign)
  • Play a single scenario against computer or human opponents (Multiplayer)
Campaigns are sequences of battles with a connecting storyline. Typical campaigns have about 10-20 scenarios.
Regardless of whether you are playing a scenario or a campaign, the basic layout of the game screen is the same. The majority of the screen is filled with a map which shows all of the action that takes place in the game.

Local Game
This creates a game just running on your computer. You can either use it as hot seat game where everyone plays at the same computers by taking turns in the hot seat. You can also play a scenario against AI opponents (computer) rather than other human players.

MultiPlayer Game
Click this button to play single scenarios against one or more opponents. You can play the games over the internet or at your computer, against computer or human opponents. When you select this button a dialogue will appear and allow you to choose how you want to play the scenario.

Game Objectives - Playing the game
Build up a great army, gradually turning raw recruits into hardened veterans. In later games, recall your toughest warriors and form a deadly host that none can stand against ! Choose units from a large pool of specialists, and hand-pick a force with the right strengths to fight well on different terrains against all manner of opposition.
The game has many different sagas waiting to be played. Fight to regain the throne of which you are the legitimate heir... step into the boots of a young officer sent to guard a not-so-sleepy frontier outpost... lead a brutal quest to unite the orcish tribes... vanquish a horde of undead warriors unleashed by a foul necromancer, who also happens to have taken your brother hostage... guide a band of elvish survivors in an epic quest to find a new home... get revenge on the orcs by using the foul art of necromancy...
There are at least two hundred unit types, sixteen races, six major factions, and hundreds of years of history. The world of Wesnoth Game is absolutely huge and only limited by your creativity - make your own custom units, create your own maps, and write your own scenarios or even full-blown campaigns. You can also challenge up to eight friends - or strangers - and fight in epic multiplayer fantasy battles.
Fight to regain the throne or use your dread power over the Undead to dominate the land of mortals, or lead your glorious Orcish tribe to victory against the humans who dared despoil your lands. Game has many different sagas waiting to be played out. You can create your own custom units, and write your own scenarios or even full-blown campaigns. You can also challenge your friends or strangers and fight in epic multi-player fantasy battles.

Game Factions - The Creatures
The game contains several races that have joined forces into different factions. Here, Elves and Dwarves fight side by side against Orcs and Humans. In most campaigns, you will mostly control units from one faction, but often you will have a recruit list with units mixed in from other factions, and will not have some units from a faction available. Basically, your recruit list is determined by the plot of the campaign, not by a predetermined ruleset. Sometimes factions make alliances with others, so you may face more than one faction in a scenario.
  1. Drakes: a Dragon like race that fights better by day - most can fly and breathe fire
  2. Dunefolk: is a relatively new faction of Humans from far desert lands, who choose to not use magic
  3. Knalgan Alliance: a faction of slow but sturdy Dwarves with strong melee attacks and their outlaw Human allies
  4. Loyalists: a faction of Humans cavalry, mages and infantry who are loyal to the throne
  5. Northerners: a faction of orcs and goblins, along with troll and naga allies
  6. Rebels: consist mostly of elvish units, with ent-like woses, mermen, and mages
  7. Undead: a faction of undead creatures and human practitioners of dark arts, they rely on easy access to magic and poison attacks

Game Story
The Land of Wesnoth Game is generally divided into three areas: the northlands, which are generally lawless; the kingdom of Wesnoth Game and its occasional principality, Elensefar; and the domain of the Southwest Elves.
The Kingdom lies in the center of the land. Its borders are the Great River to the north, the Lower Hills in the east and south, the Green Swamp to the southwest, and the Ocean to the west. Elensefar, a once-province of Wesnoth Game, is bordered by the Great River to the north, a loosely defined line to the east, the Bay of Pearls to the south, and the ocean to the west. There is no government of the Northlands. Various groups of orcs, dwarves, barbarians and even elves populate the region. The northern and eastern borders are not defined, the southern border is the Great River, and the western border is the Ocean.
As you travel around the land you will encounter peaceful villages where you can heal your troops and obtain a good income to support your army. You will also have to cross mountains and rivers, either on foot or mounted, push through forests, hills and tundra, or brazenly cross open grassland. In each of these areas different creatures have adapted to live there and can travel more easily and fight better when they are in familiar terrain. In the hills, mountains and underground caves orcs and dwarves are most at home. In the forests the elves reign supreme while in the oceans and rivers mermen and nagas control the waves.

Game Strategy
Strategy Before Tactics: Tactics relate to move-by-move decisions relating to the units on the map. When tactics are not related to a sound strategy, they may be sometimes overcome by a weaker or less tactically advanced force which is better able to craft such a strategy. In general, before you begin a scenario or battle, you should survey the map. The following considerations are important:
  • Areas where your forces can/cannot move quickly
  • Areas where your forces have defensive advantages
  • Areas where your opponents' forces can/cannot move quickly
  • Areas where your opponent has a defensive advantage.
  • Size of the map (larger maps stress scouting and mobility while smaller maps stress close fighting more.

Screenshot: Main Screen
Wesnoth Game Game - Main Screen

Changelog Highlights

2023-04-16 : version 1.16.9

notable changes

  • Stability and Bug Fixes
  • Update some translations
  • Use two-color orbs for allies' units (configurable by preferences)
  • Orb color preferences dialog layout and tooltip
  • Reduce log spam about the postponed removal of the SPECIAL_NOTES macro
  • Revert HttT S03: Rewrite intro, hint about training troops
  • Fix crash in scenario editor when placing units
2023-01-22 : version 1.16.8

notable changes

  • Update some translations
  • Stability and Bug Fixes
  • Rename database column SOURCE to ADDON_ID
  • Correct path to unit portraits
  • Add OpenSSL explicitly ; ignore openssl 3 deprecations on windows
  • Handle out-of-bounds side numbers in Lua's sync.evaluate_multiple
2023-01-15 : version 1.16.7

notable changes

  • Stability and Bug Fixes
  • Update some translations
  • Set linux interval+count to something better for clients
  • Fix unknown speaker errors
  • LoW S9: Remove standard enemies-defeated as a victory condition
  • Fix [special_note] duplication when unstoring units
2022-09-08 : version 1.16.6

notable changes

  • Fixed animations not clearing properly when zoomed
  • Fixed the {IS_HERO} macro to avoid losing the hero ellipse when a unit levels up
  • Fixed drake flare leadership animation over water
  • Fixed highlighted movement range when hovering over units after their owner ends turn
  • Fixed out of sync errors occurring when unused add-ons contain the [resistance_defaults] or [terrain_defaults] tags
  • Update some translations
2022-07-13 : version 1.16.5

notable changes

  • Campaign fixes - Eastern Invasion, Northern Rebirth, Under the Burning Suns
  • Units - Fixed Warden’s and Arbiter’s animations popping on water tiles
  • Fixed path finding visibility bug that sometimes caused OOS errors on maps with tunnels and at least three sides that do not share vision
  • Fixed being unable to interact with units when Scroll Lock is active
  • Removing the Protect Unit Micro AI no longer causes a Lua error
  • Fixed chance of being unscathed in damage calculation for some fights in which both units can die
  • Fixed visibility bug in ai_helper.get_attackable_enemies() for some complex filters
  • Fixed bug in Bottleneck Micro AI involving units without moves on terrain with multiple open passages
  • Fixed error in Castle Switch CA of the Experimental AI after a leader was killed
  • Fixed error in retreat-injured CA when regenerate ability code does not include a value= key
  • Retreat-injured CA no longer takes villages from allies
  • Experimental AI no longer uses generic_recruit_engine: fixes a data leakage bug between Experimental AIs of different sides
  • Experimental AI recruit rushers: include unit types from extra_recruit
  • Fix segfault when weapon is removed during attack
  • Add no-unit error message for unit debug command
  • Significantly improve efficiency of move-to-any-enemy CA
  • Updated Translations
2021-10-15 : version 1.16.0

notable changes

  • This release features a variety of improvements to many areas of the game including many improved campaigns, a fully re-balanced Dunefolk faction, new portraits and units, upgrades to the AI, a variety of new features for add-on authors, many many bugs fixed, and much more besides
  • Players will be automatically upgraded to a new stable series for the first time since Wesnoth was released due to our use of more modern distribution platforms such as Steam, itch.io, Flathub, and others
  • Fix - Addressing a long-standing pain point, especially for players with low download speeds and/or data limits, updating add-ons will no longer result in the entire add-on being re-downloaded
  • Many aspects of the AI have seen improvements as well, with much of the experimental AI having been merged into the default AI. This allows it to better handle healers, poison, retreating, and other behaviour.
  • Finally, the entire Dunefolk faction has been reworked and re-balanced, including a re-imagining of the unit lines, new unit descriptions and sprites, and reworking of the liminal alignment.
  • Descent into Darkness, Liberty, and Sceptre of Fire have received a multitude of revisions, including streamlining of the game-play, addition of RPG elements, various story-line and dialogue rewrites, and visual and balance updates.
  • For those looking for something befitting the upcoming night of Halloween, the overhauled, undead-heavy Descent into Darkness as well as the Secrets of the Ancients are the campaigns to play.
  • Under the Burning Suns also received revamped maps and the Quenoth faction was re-balanced to better match the other mainline factions.
  • To accompany the improved AI that was added in this development cycle, all campaigns were adjusted to retain their intended difficulties and to prevent unusual difficulty spikes throughout the campaign, most notably in Eastern Invasion.
  • The Hammer of Thursagan had several scenarios revised and others removed to modernize the story and game-play, especially to focus more on dwarven culture and the interactions between their clans.
  • Secrets of the Ancients also received a minor game-play update with new zombie variations available for creation and recruiting.
  • MultiPlayer: There have been two major additions to Wesnoth’s multiplayer content: Isle of Mists and World Conquest.
  • The add-on Plan Unit Advance is also now included in mainline ; when enabled, this allows players to pre-emptively choose what they want their units to become if they advance on another player’s turn in multiplayer.
2018-05-08 : version 1.14.0

notable changes

  • This release series brings forth a vast number of additions and changes in all areas: a new single-player campaign, a visual and functional refresh of the multiplayer lobby and add-ons manager, a refurbished display engine, new unit graphics and animations, and much more.
  • The first release published on the Steam Store, where it is available for free on Windows, macOS, and Linux platforms! We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who supported this effort over the past two years.
  • The antiquated SDL 1.2 library has been replaced with the much-improved SDL 2.0
  • Support for fullscreen on multi-monitor configurations is greatly improved, and various annoying mouse-related issues on Apple Retina devices have been fixed.
  • The user interface has also been further refined and polished ; the main menu now features a crisper 4K resolution background and a brand-new main theme.
  • The add-ons manager, multiplayer lobby, and game set-up interfaces have been completely revamped with fresh designs that address many long-standing deficiencies in each.
  • The preferences dialog has also been through a substantial overhaul making it easier to navigate and use.
  • The main campaign line-up welcomes the addition of Secrets of the Ancients, a player-created campaign brought to you by the author of Dead Water! Follow Ardonna of Tarrynth as she unearths the secrets of the ancient lich-lords of the Green Isle in her search for immortality.
  • Northern Rebirth’s first nine scenarios now have new and improved maps, making use of new terrains and simpler, more organic designs ; Descent into Darkness received similar treatment with visual improvements of its own.
  • Wesnoth’s multiplayer lobby has been redesigned from the ground up to provide a simpler experience for new players getting the hang of the game ; new features include clickable chat log links, separate tabs for private message exchanges, easier filtering of games and players, faster game creation for those using map authors’ recommended settings, and a more comprehensive display of faction attributes.
  • Wesnoth now ships with a total of 55 carefully-balanced maps with many different environments and team set-ups for players to choose from.
  • The Khalifate multiplayer faction introduced in version 1.12 has been renamed the Dunefolk.
  • It is now possible to customize the colors of the movement/attack orbs displayed alongside units on the map to make it easier for players with different color perception to identify each unit’s status.