Rome: Total War

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This page is for the original game. For the 2021 remaster, see Total War: Rome Remastered.

Rome: Total War
Rome: Total War cover
Creative Assembly
Creative Assembly International
macOS (OS X) Feral Interactive
Expansions and digital Sega
OS X Feral Interactive
Release dates
Windows September 22, 2004
macOS (OS X) February 5, 2010
Metacritic 92
Monetization One-time game purchase, Expansion pack
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time, Turn-based
Perspectives Bird's-eye view, Free-roaming camera
Controls Menu-based, Multiple select, Point and select
Genres RTS, TBS
Themes Classical, Historical
Series Total War
Rome: Total War on HowLongToBeat
Rome: Total War on IGDB
Rome: Total War guide on StrategyWiki
Rome: Total War on MobyGames
Rome: Total War on Wikipedia
Shogun: Total War 2000
Medieval: Total War 2002
Rome: Total War 2004
Medieval II: Total War 2006
Empire: Total War 2009
Napoleon: Total War 2010
Total War: Shogun 2 2011
Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai 2012
Total War Battles: Shogun 2012
Total War: Rome II 2013
Total War: Attila 2015
Total War Battles: Kingdom 2015
Total War: Warhammer (series)
Total War: Arena Cancelled
Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia 2018
Total War: Three Kingdoms 2019
A Total War Saga: Troy 2020
Total War: Rome Remastered 2021


GameSpy online services have been shut down (see Network for solutions).

Rome: Total War is a singleplayer and multiplayer bird's-eye view and free-roaming camera RTS and TBS game in the Total War series.

Key points

GameSpy multiplayer replaced with Steamworks; all product keys activate on Steam.[1]

General information

Official site for the series
Official forum
Total War Center - A large fan site for the series with an active modding community
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
SafeDisc v4 DRM[Note 1]
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DRM details are not known
macOS (OS X)
Developer website (unavailable)
CD key
Requires online activation
Can only be used x times
Gold Edition. Five machines limit.
macOS (OS X)
Games for Windows Marketplace (unavailable)
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Mac App Store (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Gold Edition.
macOS (OS X)
Steam (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
The Complete Collection.
SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).
All product keys activate on Steam.[1]
Included with every purchase of Total War: Rome Remastered.
Free demo versions are available from GameFront: base game, Barbarian Invasion.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
The Barbarian Invasion Comes bundled with the Rome: Total War - Gold Edition and Rome: Total War - Anthology compilations.
Alexander Standalone; comes bundled with the Rome: Total War - Anthology compilation.
macOS (OS X)

Essential improvements[edit]


  • Every patch can be found here.
The Gold Edition is already patched to the latest version.

Skip intro videos (method #1)[edit]

Skip Intro[citation needed]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\data\fmv.
  2. Find and delete, move or rename to something else these files.

Command-line improvements (no movies incl intro, ALT-TAB support)[edit]

This "skip intro" improvement also makes the game skip new game intro videos and game menu ambient videos. The strategy mode videos are played
Command-line improvements (no movies incl intro, ALT-TAB support)[5]
  1. Add the following flags (using a shortcut, a separate batch file, or Steam's "launch options"
-ne - Borderless mode - the game becomes more friendly to ALT-TAB functionality
-nm - "No movies" - skip intro, "new game" intro videos and game menu ambient videos
-show_err - Shows detailed error upon crash

For example,

"RomeTW.exe" -ne -nm -show_err

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\preferences\preferences.txt[Note 2]
macOS (OS X)
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/4760/pfx/[Note 3]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\saves[Note 2]
macOS (OS X)
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/4760/pfx/[Note 3]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud


In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See below. Stretched UI.
4K Ultra HD
See Widescreen resolution
Field of view (FOV)
Launch the game with -ne, -w or -window arguments
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Just launch the game in windowed mode
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS

Widescreen resolution[edit]

Set resolution in preferences.txt[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open preferences.txt.
  3. Edit all values named ***_RESOLUTION and ***_MAX_RESOLUTION to the desired resolution
  5. Save changes


In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game camera settings.
In-game camera settings.


In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Main, SFX, Music, Speech
Surround sound
Up to 7.1[6]
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
EAX 3 via Creative Alchemy


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Japanese release only.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
Hot seat
Use Play By Email Multiplayer/Hot Seat Campaign.
LAN play
Online play
8 GameSpy is offline; activate key on Steam to use new servers.[1]
Asynchronous multiplayer
Use Play By Email Multiplayer/Hot Seat Campaign.

Connection types


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 3783, 6500, 6667, 28900, 29900-29901
UDP 6515, 13139, 27750, 27900
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

Issues fixed[edit]

mss32.dll was not found[edit]

You have installed Rome Total War on a 64-bit system, but there is a bug in the installer which installs the game files in the wrong location by default. The incorrect default location is C:\Program Files; the correct location to install these files is C:\Program Files (x86). To fix this uninstall Rome Total War and all its expansions and patches, then freshly install the game again, making sure to installer selects "C:\Program Files (x86)" to install the game to. Warning: uninstalling the game and its expansions and patches will delete any saved games, the save game data folders should be copied to another destination and replaced after the fresh install.

Failed to find Steam[edit]

This issue is common with the Steam version of the game, with the error window appearing when attempting to launch either Rome: Total War or the expansion Barbarian Invasion.
Copy Steam.dll[citation needed]

Copy steam.dll from the main Steam folder into the Rome installation folder. This is a fix that most likely will fix your problem.

disable Steam Community In-Game[citation needed]
  1. To do this, go to the games library, right-click 'Rome: Total War Gold Edition',
  2. Select 'Properties' and uncheck 'Enable Steam Community In-Game'.
Delete ClientRegistry.blob[citation needed]
  1. Exit Steam and go to the Steam installation folder.
  2. Locate the file ClientRegistry.blob and delete it, before relaunching Steam.
  3. Steam will then update before launching and the game should run.


Deleting ClientRegistry.blob results in those settings being lost and this is not a permanent fix.
Run as administrator[citation needed]

If neither of these methods work or if you are getting a "Steam failed to start" message, exit Steam then right-click the Steam shortcut and choose Run as administrator.[citation needed]

Low FPS[edit]

Note that these fixes have been reported to work for some but not others.
Disable fullscreen optimizations
Only applicable to Windows 10

Apply the Disable fullscreen optimizations compatibility setting to the game's EXEs.

Run in compatibility mode

Run the game in compatibility mode targeting Windows XP or Vista.

Limit game to 1 or 2 CPU cores
It's possible for this fix to reduce FPS further.

Use one of the methods listed here to limit the game to run on 1 or 2 CPU cores.

Use a DirectX wrapper
This game uses DDraw, DX8 and DX9. You might need to wrap all or only some of these versions.

There is a list of wrappers you can try here.

Other information[edit]


ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)
PowerPC processors were briefly supported in patch 1.1 of the OS X release (including all retail releases), but was removed again in later digital releases.


Middleware Notes
Multiplayer GameSpy, Steamworks


Europa Barbarorum:

Europa Barbarorum is a total conversion modification. The modification affects all areas of RTW; all vanilla units have been removed, all new models and textures, a new economic system, new traits system, new scripts, and in general new gameplay. No area of RTW is left untouched.

Roma Surrectum:

Roma Surrectum 2 is a full conversion mod to Rome Total war 1.5 and the predecessor to the original Roma Surrectum mod featuring unique Roman legions, new factions, units and a stunning high detailed map. Roma Surrectum 2 is developed for Rome Total war, but it will also run on both of its expansions, Barbarian invasion and Alexander.

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 98 SE
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium III 1.0 GHz
System memory (RAM) 256 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 2.9 GB
Video card (GPU) 64 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0b compatible
Shader model 1.0 support
macOS (OS X)
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 10.11.6
Processor (CPU) Intel 1.4 GHz
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 10 GB
Video card (GPU) 128 MB of VRAM
Support for PowerPC processors was briefly added in a patch before being removed later.


  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[2] or Windows 11 and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[3]
  2. 2.0 2.1 When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).
  3. 3.0 3.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/4760/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (4760) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.