GamingTurn-Based StrategyGuide to make Custom Factions in Age of Wonders 4

    Guide to make Custom Factions in Age of Wonders 4

    Age of Wonders 4 is a turn-based, 4X, strategy video game created by Triumph Studios and distributed by Paradox Interactive. It is a fully customizable game that offers tons of options for world-building, factions, cultures, weapons, and even the traits you want your units to have. One of the custom options in Age of Wonders 4 is faction building, and this guide will help you through the process of customizing it.

    What is Faction

    At the start, while you’re building your game, you must decide which faction you want to play. This selection comes before you have chosen your Tome of Magic. Faction is basically the race of your people, which can range anything from humans to rats, with each having its own traits.

    Once you get into this step, you’ll be able to see up to 20 premade options for factions already there. If you don’t like to spend a lot of time customizing the faction and can just roll with one of the ones there, go for it. This can save time and is a good option for people who are not too picky. Hover over the desired faction to see their traits and choose the one you want.

    Customize Faction

    If you decide to custom-make your faction in Age of Wonders 4, here are the few steps you’ll need to go through.

    • Physical appearance
    • Body traits
    • Mind traits

    Physical appearance

    There are a total of 10 races you can choose from which determine the physical appearance.

    • Human
    • Elfkin
    • Orcoid
    • Dwarfkin
    • Halfling
    • Goblinoid
    • Feline
    • Ratkin
    • Toadkin
    • Molekin

    For appearance, you can choose from any of the races without worrying about how your physical appearance would affect you in the game. This is because you can choose the body and mind traits afterward separately, then rely on the traits according to appearance. You can have any physical form and then any combination of body and mind traits. There are a total of 14 of each Body and Mind trait, and you can mix and match accordingly.

    Body Traits

    Once you select the appearance, you can see the default traits. If you click the change button, all of your available options will appear on the right side of your screen. Body traits are the main traits that help you in combat. They determine the physical strength of your units. Here is the list of all the body traits you can choose from.

    Body TraitDescriptionEffects
    BulwarkBuffs the defense mode with additional defense and resistance.Defense +2
    Resistance +2
    Fast RecuperationAbility to regain additional HP each turn.Heals +15
    HeartyExtra HP for all individuals.Hit Points +10
    Keen-sightedRanged attacks get more accuracy.Accuracy +20% (Physical and Magic attacks)
    Quick ReflexesMakes enemy attacks easier to dodge.Less accurate enemy attacks by +30%
    ResilientResistance to status effectsResistance +3
    ResistantResistance to magical attacksResistance +2
    ResoluteResistance against multiple negative status effectsStatus effects last -1 per turn.
    StrongIncreases Physical damage Damage +10%
    ToughIncreases defenseDefense +2
    Nightmare MountsBoost for mounted units (no effect on others)Hit Points +10
    Gains Intimidating Aura (Enemy loses morale)
    Spider MountsMounted units get spider abilitiesHit Points +10
    Gains Web ability
    Unicorn MountsA boost for mounted units.Hit Points +10
    Gains Phase ability
    Wolf MountsA boost for mounted units.Hit Points +10
    Gains Pack Hunter ability
    Gains Enfeebling Howl

    While selecting body traits, it’s best to consider what would help you the most in combat, which mental traits cannot do. For example, if you choose to go heavy on defense traits, you can counter the attack by choosing a comparative attack-heavy mind trait or vice versa. If you’re unsure, I’d advise you to choose something that is always good and commonly used. Those include Bulwark, Strong, Tough, or Hearty.

    Mind Traits

    Next are mind traits. Mind traits are like assistance to the body traits. You can either use mind traits to enhance the body trait chosen or go with an entirely different one so that you have a balanced faction. Here is the description of all 14 mind traits found in the game.

    Mind TraitDescriptionEffect
    AdaptableFaster rate of growth for unitsExperience +30%
    Arcane FocusMagic damage is increasedMagic damage +15%
    Cold BloodedLess chance of losing moraleMorale loss -50%
    Defensive TacticsBetter defense (Only when next to friendly unit that has Defensive Tactics)Defense +1
    Resistance +1
    ElusiveBest for mobile hit-and-run tacticsDefense +6
    Resistance +6 (Against retaliation and opportunity attacks)
    Fast InitiativeUnits can move up to 4 hexes6 hexes for first half
    4 for the rest
    FerociousBest for close combatRetaliation and opportunity attacks deal +40% damage
    Overwhelm TacticsAttacks in groups to use this trait (Only when next to friendly unit)Critical Hit chance +20%
    SneakySmart positioning is rewardedFlanking attacks +25% chance
    TenaciousUnits at low health will deal a lot of damageLess damage due to Casualties
    Arctic AdaptationBest for moving around and navigating snowy areas.Build farms on Snow areas
    Snow and Ice terrain move points cost -2
    Desert AdaptationBest for moving around and navigating desert areasBuild farms on desert areas
    Desert terrain move points cost -2
    Underground AdaptationBest for moving around and navigating underground.Build farms on cavern floors, Mushroom Forest, Fungus Fields, and Rocky terrains.
    Cavern floors move points cost -2
    Water AdaptationBest for moving around and navigating swamps.Build farms on Swamp areas
    Swamp terrain move points cost -2

    While selecting mind traits, keep in mind that they are not going to be completely what you are looking for, but rather an enhancement you can add on. If you can’t select one, you can go for Adaptable, Sneaky, and Tenacious. If you want to try a magic-based trait, go for Arcane Focus.


    Once you’ve decided on the traits, you can finish custom-making the faction and play with it. Although this may be a long process, it can still be quite fun to mix and match and try to see what works for your type of gameplay.

    Faction-making in Age of Wonders 4 may sound tiring, but it’s super simple once you understand how to match basic traits with each other or understand what works best for you. Hopefully, this guide helped in making it easier.

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    Izna Anjum
    Izna Anjum
    Izna is an avid reader, gamer and anime-lover who likes to express thoughts through words. She has years of experience playing single-player games and writing guides about them. In Retrology, she has been a professional gaming guides writer for 1+ year. She is currently playing Hogwarts Legacy and Valorant.
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