From The Battle for Wesnoth Wiki


These are the default control keys. You can change them to your taste using the Preferences menu.

F1             The Battle for Wesnoth Help
Arrow keys     Scroll
Left click     Select unit, move unit
Right click    Main menu, cancel action
Middle click   Center on pointer location
Escape         Exit game, exit menu, cancel message
ctrl-r         Recruit unit
ctrl-shift-r   Repeat last recruit
alt-r          Recall unit
u              Undo last move (only deterministic moves can be undone)
r              Redo move
m              Message another player (in multiplayer)
M              Message your allies (in multiplayer)
alt-m          Message everyone in the game (in multiplayer)
alt-c          View chat log
n              Cycle through units that have movement left
N              Cycle through units that have movement left, in reverse order
space          End unit turn and cycle to next unit that has movement left
shift-space    Make currently selected unit hold position (end its movement)
alt-space      End this player's turn
ctrl-space     End turn
ctrl-v         Show enemy moves (where the enemy can move next turn)
ctrl-b         Show potential enemy moves, if your units were not on the map
ctrl-j         Show scenario objectives
ctrl-f         Toggle full screen/windowed mode
ctrl-a         Toggle accelerated game mode
ctrl-g         Toggle grid
ctrl-c         Clear onscreen labels
ctrl-s         Save game
ctrl-o         Load game
ctrl-l         Toggle mouse scrolling 
ctrl-p         Go to Preferences menu
ctrl-q         Quit game
/              Search (find label or unit by name)
t              Continue interrupted unit move
+              Zoom in
-              Zoom out
0              Reset zoom to default
ctrl-n         Rename unit
1-7            Show how far currently selected unit can move in that many turns
l              Move to leader unit
d              Describe current unit
ctrl-d         View defensive ratings of current unit against attacks
ctrl-g         Toggle grid
alt-k          Toggle shroud
S              Update shroud now
shift-d        Delay shroud updates
alt-l          Attach a text label to a terrain hex
L              Set team label
alt-s          Show status table
s              Show statistics
alt-u          Show unit list
ctrl-t         Show terrain table
ctrl-m         Toggle muting of game sounds
:              Command mode, see


Each side is given some amount of gold to begin with, and receives 2 gold pieces per turn, plus 1 more gold piece for every village that side controls. In a campaign, you will have starting gold at the beginning of the scenario. Prior to v1.5, starting gold is the greater of 80% of the gold you ended the previous scenario with, and a minimum amount defined by the scenario, which is typically lower as the difficulty level increases. After v1.5, almost all mainline campaigns now use a different method of carrying over gold from scenario to scenario: the amount of gold retained is now 40% instead of 80%, but it is added to the minimum starting gold of the next scenario instead of only replacing it if higher.


The recruitment window
(Click to enlarge)

Recruiting and Recalling

The major use for gold is to build your army by recruiting new units or recalling units from previous scenarios in a campagin. Units may be recruited or recalled when the leader is on a keep whose castle has at least one vacant castle hex.

  • Right-click in an empty castle hex and select Recruit to recruit new units from the list that is presented. The cost to Recruit depends on the unit, but is usually between 10 and 20 gold.
  • Right-click in an empty castle hex and select Recall to recall units from previous scenarios. Recalling costs 20 pieces of gold per unit. See recalling units for more information.


Each unit also has an upkeep cost. The upkeep cost is generally equal to the level of the unit, unless the unit has the 'Loyal' trait (see below). Units that are not initially recruited - i.e. the leader or those that join voluntarily - usually have the Loyal trait. Upkeep is only paid if the total upkeep of a side's units is greater than the number of villages that side controls. Upkeep paid is the difference between the number of villages and the upkeep cost.


So, the formula for determining the income per turn is

 2 + villages - maximum(0,upkeep - villages)

where upkeep is equal to the sum of the levels of all your non-loyal units.

If the upkeep cost is greater than the number of villages+2 then the side starts losing gold, if it is equal, no income is gained or lost.


Battle for Wesnoth has hundreds of unit types which are characterised by a relatively large number of statistics. In addition, individual units can have specific traits that make them subtly different from other units of the same type. Finally, campaign designers can add unique units to their campaigns to further expand the options available to players.

The basic statistics for a unit include its hit points (HP), the number of movement points it has, and the weapons it can use and the damage they do. In addition, units have other characteristics, such as alignment and special abilities, that are described in more detail below.


Every unit has an alignment: lawful, neutral, or chaotic. Alignment affects how units perform at different times of day. Neutral units are unaffected by the time of day. Lawful units do more damage during the day and less at night. Chaotic units do more damage at night and less during the day.

The two "day" and "night" phases are differentiated as Morning, Afternoon and First Watch, Second Watch, by the positions of the sun and moon in the time of day graphic.

The following table shows the effects of different times of the day on the damage dealt by lawful and chaotic units:

Turn Day-phase Lawful Chaotic
1 Dawn -- --
2 Day (morning) +25% -25%
3 Day (afternoon) +25% -25%
4 Dusk -- --
5 Night (first watch) -25% +25%
6 Night (second watch) -25% +25%

For example: consider a fight between a Lawful and a Chaotic unit when both have a base damage of 12. At dawn and dusk, both will do 12 points of damage if they hit. During Morning or Afternoon, the Lawful unit will do (12 * 1.25) or 15 points, while the Chaotic unit will do (12 * 0.75) or 9 points. During First or Second Watch, the Lawful unit would do 9 points compared to the Chaotic unit's 15.

If an equivalent Neutral unit were fighting, it would always do 12 points of damage regardless of the hour.


Units have traits which reflect aspects of their character. Traits are assigned randomly to units when they are created. Most units receive two traits. The possible traits are as follows:

Strong does 1 extra damage per strike in melee, and has 1 extra hitpoint
Dextrous does 1 extra damage per strike in ranged combat (Elves only)
Quick has one extra movement point, but 5% fewer hitpoints
Resilient has 1 more hitpoint per level, plus an additional 4 hitpoints
Intelligent requires 20% less experience to advance a level (not Trolls)
Healthy has 2 extra hitpoints, and regains hitpoints faster (4 instead of 2) when at rest
Fearless doesn't take dawn/day/dusk/night damage minuses due to its alignment (lawfuls and chaotics only)

There are also some traits that are not assigned randomly:

Loyal has zero upkeep cost
Undead immune to poison and drain (Undead only)

Unit Specialties

Certain units have special attacks. These are listed below:

This attack deals double damage if there is an enemy of the target on the opposite side of the target, and that unit is not incapacitated (e.g. turned to stone).
Whether used offensively or defensively, this attack presses the engagement until one of the combatants is slain, or 30 rounds of attacks have occurred.
This attack deals double damage to the target. It also causes this unit to take double damage from the target's counterattack.
This unit drains health from living units, healing itself for half the amount of damage it deals (rounded down).
This unit always strikes first with this attack, even if they are defending.
This attack always has a 70% chance to hit regardless of the defensive ability of the unit being attacked.
When used offensively, this attack always has at least a 60% chance to hit.
When a unit is killed by a Plague attack, that unit is replaced with a unit identical to and on the same side as the unit with the Plague attack. (This doesn't work on Undead units or units in villages.)
This attack poisons the target. Poisoned units lose 8 HP every turn until they are cured or are reduced to 1 HP. (Poison can not, of itself, kill a unit.)
This attack slows the target. Slow reorders the attacks allowing the attacker to strike one more time until the defender an fight. Slowed units move at half normal speed, do not emit a zone of control, and always lose initiative in fights. [Effect on damage? Needs to be clarified.]
This attack turns the target to stone. Units that have been turned to stone may not move or attack (or be attacked).
The number of strikes of this attack decreases when the unit is wounded. The number of strikes is proportional to the % of HP/maximum HP the unit has. For example, a unit with 3/4 of its maximum HP will get 3/4 of the number of strikes.


Some units have abilities that either directly affect other units, or have an effect on how the unit interacts with other units. These abilities are listed below:

This unit can hide in forest, and remain undetected by its enemies. Enemy units cannot see this unit when it is in forest, except for any turn immediately after this unit has attacked, or if there are enemy units next to this unit.
This unit combines herbal remedies with magic to heal units more quickly than is normally possible on the battlefield. This unit will care for all adjacent friendly units that are injured at the beginning of each turn. A unit cared for by a curer may heal up to 8 HP per turn. A curer may heal a total of 18 HP per turn, for all units it cares for. A curer can cure a unit of poison, although that unit will receive no additional healing on the turn it is cured of poison.
Allows the unit to heal adjacent friendly units at the beginning of each turn. A unit cared for by a healer may heal up to 4HP per turn. A healer may heal a total of 8HP per turn, for all units it cares for. A poisoned unit cannot be cured of its poison by a healer, and must seek the care of a village or a unit that can cure.
This unit illuminates the surrounding area, making lawful units fight better, and chaotic units fight worse. Any units adjacent to this unit will fight as if it were dusk when it is night, and as if it were day when it is dusk.
This unit can lead friendly units that are next to it, making them fight better. Adjacent friendly units of lower level will do more damage in battle. When a unit adjacent to, of a lower level than, and on the same side as a unit with Leadership engages in combat, its attacks do 25% more damage times the difference in their levels.
This unit becomes invisible during night. Enemy units cannot see this unit at night, except for any turn immediately after this unit has attacked, or if they are next to this unit.
This unit will heal itself 8HP per turn. If it is poisoned, it will remove the poison instead of healing.
This unit is skilled in moving past enemies quickly, and ignores all enemy Zones of Control. (Exception: if you stop in an enemy zone of control, your remaining movement will be set to 0 even if you are a skirmisher.)
This unit's resistances are doubled, up to a maximum of 50%, when defending. Vulnerabilities are not affected.
This unit can hide in deep water, and remain undetected by its enemies. Enemy units cannot see or attack this unit when it is in deep water, except for any turn immediately after this unit has attacked, or if there are enemy units next to this unit.
This unit may teleport between any two friendly villages using one of its moves.


Units are awarded experience for fighting. After obtaining enough experience, they will advance a level and become more powerful. The amount of experience gained depends on the level of the enemy unit and the outcome of the battle: if a unit kills its opponent, it receives 8 experience points per level of the enemy (4 if the enemy is level 0), while units that survive a battle without killing their opponents are awarded 1 experience point per level of the enemy. In other words:

Experience bonuses for killing or fighting enemies of different levels
enemy level kill bonus fighting bonus
0 4 0
1 8 1
2 16 2
3 24 3
4 32 4
5 40 5
6 48 6

Recalling units

After you complete a scenario, all surviving units will be available to recall in the next scenario. You are not able to move or attack with a unit on the turn you recruit or recall that unit. A Recalled unit retains its previous Level, Experience Points, (sometimes) any magic items acquired, and will arrive with full hitpoints.


Clicking on a unit identifies all the places it can move on its current turn by dimming unreachable hexes (pressing the number keys 2-7 will identify the additional hexes that can be reached in that number of turns in a similar manner). While in this mode, moving the cursor over a hex will identify the path your unit will take towards that hex as well as additional information on the defensive bonus of your unit on that hex and, if it will take more than one turn, the number of turns it will take your unit to arrive. If you do not wish to move the unit this mode can be cancelled by selecting a different unit (by clicking on the new unit or using the 'n' or 'N' keys) or by right-clicking (Command-click on a Mac) anywhere on the map. The orbs on the top of a unit's energy bar provide a quick way to see which of your units have already moved or can move further in the current turn.

If you decide to move the selected unit, click on the hex you want to move to and your unit will move towards that space. If you select a destination which is beyond reach in the current turn, the unit will move as far as it can in the current turn and enter 'goto-mode'. In 'goto-mode' your unit will continue moving towards its destination in subsequent turns. You can easily undo goto movements at the beginning of your next turn; you may also change a unit's destination by selecting that unit and choosing a new destination.

Moving onto a village that is neutral or owned by an enemy will take ownership of it and end your move for that unit.

Most units exert a Zone of Control which affects the hexes your unit can reach and the path your unit takes. These restrictions are automatically reflected in both the path that is displayed for your unit and the hexes it may move to on the current turn.

Zone of Control

A unit's Zone of Control extends to the six hexes immediately adjacent to the unit, and units that move into an enemy zone of control are forced to stop. Units with the skirmisher ability ignore enemy zones of control and are able to move through them freely without being forced to stop. Level 0 units are considered too feeble to generate a zone of control and all units are able to move through the hexes around an enemy level 0 unit freely.


On the top of the energy bar shown next to each unit of yours is an orb. This orb is:

  • green if you control the unit and it hasn't moved this turn,
  • yellow if you control the unit and it has moved this turn, but could still move further or attack,
  • red if you control the unit, but it has used all its movement this turn, or
  • blue if the unit is an ally you do not control.

Enemy units have no orb on the top of their energy bar.

Planchets, Team Colors, and Hero Icons

Below each unit there will normally be a colored planchet or base. The color identifies its team; in a campaign game, the human-player color is red. The team color will also show up in parts of the unit's clothing, or possibly on a shield insignia.

Usually the planchet will be a solid disk, looking like an ellipse because of the angle of view. Sometimes (usually on a level 0 unit), you will see a planchet that looks like helicopter blades; this indicates that the unit has no Zone of Control.

Some campaigns use a star-shaped planchet to indicate leaders; others use a shield-shaped hero icon next to the unit's upper-right corner. Still others have no specific hero indicator at all. Which (if any) is used is a stylistic choice left to campaign designers.


If you move next to an enemy unit, you may attack it. Click on your unit that is next to an enemy unit, and click on the enemy you want to attack - this will bring up a window that presents further options for the fight. Every unit has one or more weapons it can attack with. Some weapons, such as swords, are melee weapons, and some weapons, such as bows, are ranged weapons.

If you attack with a melee weapon, the enemy you attack will be able to strike back at you with its melee weapon. If you attack with a ranged weapon, the enemy will be able to strike back with its ranged weapon. If an enemy does not have a weapon of the same type as the one you attack with, they will be unable to strike back and do any damage to you in that fight.

Different types of attacks do different amounts of damage, and a certain number of strikes may be made with each weapon. For instance, an Elvish Fighter does 5 points of damage with its sword every time it hits, and can strike 4 blows with the sword in one exchange. This is written as 5-4, meaning 5 damage per hit, and 4 strikes.

Every unit has a chance of being hit based on the terrain it is in. For instance, units in castles and villages have a lower chance of being hit, and Elves in forest have a low chance of being hit. To see a unit's defense rating (i.e. chance not to be hit) in terrain, click on the unit, and then mouse over the terrain you're interested in, and the defense rating will be displayed as a percentage value in the status pane, as well as shown over the terrain hex.

You can obtain additional information, including the chance that the attacker and defender will be killed, by clicking on the 'Damage Calculations' button in the fight window.

Attack types and resistance

The 6 attack types
  • Blade : Weapons with a cutting edge, used to chop pieces of meat from a foe. Examples: dagger, scimitar, saber, drake claws.
  • Piercing : Weapons with a sharp point and either a long handle or a missile, used to perforate foe's body and damage internal organs. Examples: Knight or infantry pike, arrow.
  • Impact : Weapons having neither a sharp point nor a cutting edge, but heavy enough to break an enemy's bones. Examples: mace, staff, Troll fist.
  • Arcane : Magical weapons blessed by a deity. Example: A white mage's magic attack.
  • Cold : Weapons based on cold or ice missiles. Example: A wizard's ice bolt.
  • Fire : Weapons using fire to roast the foe like a chicken. Example: A drake's fire breath.
Unit resistance

Each unit is more or less vulnerable to the different attack types. 6 figures in the unit description show strength and weakness of the unit against the 6 attack types. A positive resistance figure indicates that the unit will suffer less damages from the attack type. A negative resistance figure indicates that the unit is especially vulnerable to this attack type.

Examples : Drake scales protect them from most of attack types except from piercing weapon, cold weapon and arcane attacks. Human Cavalry units are generally well protected except from piercing attacks which are their weak point. Undead are very resistant to blade and piercing weapon but very vulnerable to impact attacks and arcane attacks.

Use the best attack type against enemy units.


A unit may be healed a maximum of 8 hitpoints per turn. A unit that does not move or fight during a turn is 'resting' and will recover 2 hitpoints. Hitpoints recovered through 'resting' are added on top of hitpoints recovered through healing so it is possible for a unit to recover up to a total of 10 hit points per turn.

There are two basic ways for a unit to be healed:

  • Resting in a village. The unit will heal 8 hitpoints every turn.
  • Being adjacent to units with the 'heals' abilitiy. The number of hitpoints healed is specified in the unit's ability description. This is invariably 'heals +4' or 'heals +8'.


Trolls and Woses have the ability to heal themselves naturally through regeneration. They will heal 8 points each turn if they are injured. Note that because all units may only heal a maximum of 8 points per turn, Trolls and Woses gain no additional benefit from being on a village or next to a healing unit.


Some attacks can inflict poison damage on your unit. When this happens you will take 8 damage each turn until it is cured. Poison can be cured by resting on a village or being next to a unit with the 'cures' ability. Units with the 'heals' ability can only prevent the poison from causing damage that turn, not cure it. When poison is cured the unit does not gain or lose hitpoints on that turn due to healing/poisoning. A unit can not be healed normally until it is cured of poisoning.

Some other hints about healing:

  • A unit may take several turns to be fully healed.
  • Healers (Elvish Shaman, Elvish Druid, Elvish Shyde, White Mage, Mage of Light, Paladin) heal all wounded units around them, so you can keep units close to the battle without losing them.
  • Healers will first heal their own units and then all friendly ones.
  • Healers do not heal enemy units.
  • Healers cannot heal themselves, but see next point.
  • Use your healers in pairs, so they can heal each other if needed.
  • Healers can heal the same unit and speed up healing.
  • Trolls and Woses cannot regenerate other units.
  • Trolls and Woses cure themselves from poison as a village does.
  • Trolls and Woses cannot be healed by healers and a village.


You can host multiplayer games with your client or connect to the official wesnoth game server and setup your game there. If you host a game with your client, other players need to be able to connect to your port 15000 using TCP. If you are behind a firewall, you will probably need to change your firewall settings to allow incoming connections to port 15000, and tell your firewall to forward such traffic to the machine hosting the game. You should not need to make firewall changes to join games hosted on a public server or by someone else.

Official and user setup servers are listed at MultiplayerServers

Setting up a multiplayer game

  • Step 1: select multiplayer from main screen and choose to either:
    • a) join official server and create game,
    • b) join any other server or game hosted by another player,
    • c) select to host game on your client,
    • d) create a multiplayer game on your own computer as a hotseat game, or
    • e) play against the computer.
  • Step 2: select map and configure game settings (fog of war, shroud, gold per village, time limit, etc.).
  • Step 3: configure players (teams/alliances, starting gold, faction)

and then wait for all players set to "network player" to join the game. You will see "network player" replaced with their nicknames as they join.

  • Step 4: click [I'm Ready].

Campaign Server

You can fetch additional campaigns by selecting Campaign from the title screen, and in the campaign menu, selecting Get More Campaigns. There are usually two different versions of the game, a release version of the game, and a development version of the game. Each release type of game uses slightly different ports to make connections for campaign download. For a release version of the game (such as 1.0.*) the software will attempt to make a TCP connection to port 15002 of the campaign server ( so you need to ensure your firewall allows this. For development versions of the game (such as 1.1 and 1.1.1) the software will attempt to make a TCP connection to port 15003 of the campaign server ( Separation of the two services is necessary due to incompatibilities between release and development versions.

The campaigns are contributed by users and not all will work properly on the current release of the game -- check the forum if you are having problems.

Version 1.1 although a release, was released using the development port for campaign updates.



The preferences window
(Click to enlarge)

This section describes the available preference settings and what they do:

  • 1- Music Volume (slider)
Drag the slider to the left, to make the music softer, and to the right to make it louder.
  • 2- sfx volume (slider)
Drag the slider to the left, to make the sound effects softer, and to the right to make them louder.
  • 3- Scroll speed (slider)
Drag the slider to the left, to make the map scroll slower, and to the right to make it scroll faster.
  • 4- Full Screen (check box)
Check this box to expand Wesnoth to fill the whole screen, or uncheck it, to return to a window.
  • 5- Turn Dialog (check box)
Check this box to show you a prompt dialogue whenever its your turn to move, or uncheck it, to disable the turn dialogue.
  • 6- Accelerated Speed (check box)
Check this box to double move speed, or uncheck it, for normal move speed. In 1.3.x versions of the game a slider enables you to accelerate at up to 16x; note, however, that acceleration is done partly by skipping animation frames, and one consequence of this is that attack sounds associated with the frames will often be skipped.
  • 7- Turn Bell (check box)
Check this box to sound a Bell on your turn, or uncheck it, to turn it off.
  • 8- Show Grid (check box)
Check this box to outline each map hex, or uncheck it, to turn it off.
  • 9- Show Team Colours (check box)
Check this box, to show each unit's team colour, or uncheck it, to turn it off.
  • 10- Video Mode (button)
Click this button to change the screen size. Choose from a list of available sizes. Caution: Wesnoth may display badly, or not at all, if you make a poor choice.
  • 11- Hotkeys (button)
Click this button to change hotkeys. Caution: You may lose keyboard control over one or more functions, if you disable hotkeys. To learn more, see 'Keyboard Control'.
  • 12- Close Window (button)
Click this button to return to the Main Menu. All changes will be kept.

Other Resources

In-game Help is available in scenarios, press the Help hotkey or select Help from the menu. The overall homepage of the project is at and this links to many other pages related to the game. Of these, our wiki at contains contributed walkthroughs and tips for playing the game, the unit advancement tree, information about making your own scenarios and campaigns, how to contribute as a developer or a translator, and much more. You can also join us to chat on IRC at in channel #wesnoth or join our forum community at where you can discuss the game with over 8000 forum members. The forums also contain a searchable archive of tens of thousands of posts, spanning over two years -- an invaluable source of information.

This page was last edited on 29 April 2010, at 00:03.