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Wu Xing

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Wu Xing is a game-play mechanic in Total War: Three Kingdoms based on Chinese philosophy. The system uses the traditional five elements; Wood (木 mù), Fire (火 huǒ), Earth (土 tǔ), Metal (金 jīn), and Water (水 shuǐ).

Wu Xing Historical Background

More content to follow. See also Wuxing (Chinese philosophy) on Wikipedia

Wu Xing Game-play Mechanic

The use of the five elements permeates the game. The elements provide a 'colour-coding' as follows:

  • Wood = Green
  • Fire = Red
  • Earth = Yellow
  • Metal = Purple (grey in the circular diagram)
  • Water = Blue

These colours are very noticeable in the design of UI elements for characters, reforms and buildings.

Many game features are affected by the element types. For instance, a Champion character will tend to gain advantages which benefit spearmen in his/her retinue, and if appointed to the council will tend to issue missions involving improving food levels or constructing agricultural buildings.


The wood element in game is used for the Champion character type and Agriculture Buildings. The associated units are spearmen. The wood element reforms concentrate on advantages in food production, income from peasantry, population growth, military supplies and replenishment.


The fire element in-game is used for the Vanguard character type and Military Buildings. The associated units are shock cavalry.


The earth element in-game is used for the Commander character type and Government Buildings. The associated units are melee cavalry.


The metal element in-game is used for the Sentinel character type and Economic Buildings. The associated units are melee infantry.


The water element in-game is used for the Strategist character type and Learning & Market Buildings. The associated units are archers and other ranged weapon types.

See Also

Total War: Three Kingdoms Portal

Total War: Three Kingdoms


Wei | Zhou | Yan | Heishan | Qi | Chu | Shu-Han | Liang | Wu | Zhong | Song | Tai


Cai Mao | Cao Cao | Dong Zhuo | Gongsun Zan | Guan Yu | Han Sui | Huang Zhong | Huang Zu | Kong Rong | Li Damu | Liu Bei | Liu Biao | Liu Cong | Liu Qi | Lu Bu | Ma Chao | Ma Teng | Sun Ce | Sun Jian | Sun Quan | Sun Ren | Taishi Ci | Xiahou Dun | Xiahou Yuan | Yu Du | Yuan Shao | Yuan Shu | Zhang Fei | Zhang Yan | Zhao Yun | Zheng Jiang

Character Types:

Champion | Commander | Sentinel | Strategist | Vanguard


Ji Militia | Ji Infantry | Heavy Ji Infantry | Sabre Militia | Sabre Infantry | Axe Band | Spear Guard | Heavy Spear Guard | Archer Militia | Archers | Mounted Lancer Militia | Lance Cavalry | Mounted Sabre Militia | Sabre Cavalry | Crossbowmen | Heavy Crossbowmen | Trebuchet | Jian Sword Guard Cavalry | Jian Sword Guard | Raider Cavalry | Peasant Raiders | Repeating Crossbowmen | Heavy Repeating Crossbowmen | Peasant Band | Spear Warriors | Mounted Archers | Azure Dragons | Jade Dragons | Yellow Dragons | Onyx Dragons | Pearl Dragons | Defenders of Earth | Protectors of Heaven | Cataphracts | Heavy Cataphracts | Heavy Mounted Archers | Mounted Crossbows

Faction Units:

Xiliang Cavalry | Heavy Xiliang Cavalry | Tiger and Leopard Cavalry | Heavy Tiger and Leopard Cavalry | White Horse Fellows | White Horse Raiders | Mercenary Infantry | Mercenary Archers | Mercenary Cavalry | Qiang Marauders | Qiang Hunters | Qiang Raiders | Black Mountain Marauders | Black Mountain Outlaws | Black Mountain Hunters | Fury of Beihai | Thunder of Jian'an | Infantry of Jing | Imperial Defenders | Rapid Tiger Infantry | Warriors of the Left | Warriors of Ye | Defenders of Hebei | Hidden Axes | Fists of the Bandit Queen | Yi Archers | Yi Marskmen

Gameplay and Features:

Buildings | Building Chains | Reforms | Traits | Units | Wu Xing

Total War: Three Kingdoms - Yellow Turban Rebellion

DLC Factions:

The Yellow Turbans of Runan | The Yellow Turbans of Yan | The Yellow Turbans of The West


Faction Units:

Gameplay and Features:

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