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The Battle For Wesnoth Manual

//This document is kept in synch with the MANUAL file distributed with the game -- please do not edit.//

If you are new to Battle for Wesnoth you might want to read the GettingStarted guide first.


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)
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
alt-e          End this player's turn
ctrl-space     Hold unit position; skip this unit when cycling through units
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-f         Toggle full screen/windowed mode
ctrl-a         Toggle accelerated game mode
ctrl-s         Save game
ctrl-l         Load game
/              Search
t              Continue interrupted unit move
z              Zoom in
x              Zoom out
c              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
ctrl-k         Update shroud
alt-l          Attach a text label to a terrain hex
alt-s          Show status table
ctrl-t         Show terrain table
ctrl-m         Toggle muting of game sounds
:              Command mode, see http://wesnoth.slack.it/?CommandMode


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.


The game takes place over a series of battles, or scenarios. Each scenario pits your troops against the troops of one or more adversaries. Each side begins with one leader in their keep.


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.

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 recalled or recruited - i.e. that lead the side or join the side 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.

Recruiting and Recalling

Units may be recruited with gold, as long as the leader is on a keep, and there is at least one vacant castle hex in the castle the leader is in. Right-click in the empty 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.

After you complete a scenario, all surviving units will be available to you in the next scenario. Right-click and select Recall to recall units from previous scenarios. Recalling costs 20 pieces of gold. A Recalled unit retains its previous Level, Experience Points, and (sometimes) any magic items acquired, but will arrive with full hitpoints.

You are not able to move or attack with a unit on the turn you recruit or recall that unit.

Unit Specialties

Unit specialties are described under Unit Description in-game.


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 2 extra hitpoints
Quick        has one extra movement point, but 10% fewer hitpoints
Resilient    has 7 more hitpoints
Intelligent  requires 20% less experience to advance a level (not Trolls)

There are also some traits that are not assigned randomly:

Loyal        has zero upkeep cost
Dextrous     does 1 extra damage per strike in ranged combat (Elves only)
Undead       immune to poison (Undead only)


When a unit is clicked on, all the places it can move to on the current turn become lit up, while everywhere it can't move is marked in grey. You can then click on the hex you want it to move to. Moving onto a village that is neutral or owned by an enemy will take ownership of it. If you select a destination which is beyond reach in the current turn, the unit will enter 'goto-mode' and continue moving towards that destination in subsequent turns. You can easily undo goto movements in the beginning of your turn; goto can be broken by selecting unit and choosing a new destination.

You may not move through hexes adjacent to enemy units (their Zone of Control) without stopping. However, level 0 units have no Zone of Control.


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. 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 attack back with its ranged weapon, if it has one.

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 generally 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.


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.


Injured units in villages will recover 8 hitpoints every turn. Injured units that are adjacent to units with the 'heal' or 'cure' abilities will also heal. 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 or regenerating.

A unit with the 'heals' ability may heal up to 8 hitpoints total per turn. A unit with the 'cures' ability may heal up to 18 hitpoints total per turn.

Units next to unit(s) with the 'heals' ability will recover a maximum of 4 hitpoints per turn; units next to unit(s) with the 'cures' ability will recover a maximum of 8 hitpoints per turn. The more units around a unit that can heal, the less each one will be healed.

An example of 'heals' with multiple adjacent units:

 Two units next to a 'healer' will receive 4 hitpoints each.
 Three units next to a 'healer' will not receive 4 hitpoints each;
 instead, two will receive 3 hitpoints each and one will receive 2 hitpoints.

A unit may be healed a maximum of 8 hitpoints per turn, with a possible 2 hitpoints extra if resting. Trolls, which have the regenerate ability, will only recover 8 hitpoints when residing in a village, not 16. Nor will a unit inside a village get extra healing from adjacent healers.

'Heals' prevents poison from causing damage while 'cures' removes poison. When poison is cured or prevented the unit does not gain or lose hitpoints on that turn due to healing/poisoning.

For more information see the in-game help.


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:

| 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              |


You can host multiplayer games with your client or connect to the 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.

Public Official servers:

 server.wesnoth.org        most recent release of the game
 devsrv.wesnoth.org        up-to-date CVS version of the game

Additional servers are listed at http://wesnoth.slack.it/?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).

  • 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. This will attempt to make a TCP connection to port 15002 of the campaign server (campaigns.wesnoth.org) so you need to ensure your firewall allows this. The campaigns are contributed by users and not all will work properly on the current release of the game -- check the forums at if you are having problems.

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 http://www.wesnoth.org/ and this links to many other pages related to the game. Of these, our wiki at http://wiki.wesnoth.org/ 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 irc.wesnoth.org in channel

  1. wesnoth or join our forum community at http://forum.wesnoth.org/ where

you can discuss the game with over 2000 forum members. The forums also contain a searchable archive of tens of thousands of posts, spanning over two years -- an invaluable source of information.

See Also