Warhammer 40K: Rogue Trader FAQ — Gameplay, trailers, everything we know so far

Promotional screenshot of Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader
(Image credit: Owlcat)

Whether you're a long time cRPG fan or a newcomer thanks to the likes of Baldur's Gate 3, you definitely need to keep Warhammer 40K: Rogue Trader in your sights. 

On June 1, 2023, Owlcat Games (the makers of Pathfinder: Kingmaker and Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous) revealed a new videogame set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe (WH40K for short) called Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader. Unlike most WH40K's videogames which tend to be either strategy games like Dawn of War and Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector, or action games like Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun and Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2, Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader is WH40K’s first cRPG.

In Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, you will get to explore the Warhammer 40,000 universe like never before in previous WH40K video games. You will be able to visit worlds and converse with civilizations mentioned in the tabletop game’s lore, get involved in complex plots that have multiple outcomes based on your actions, fight iconic enemies in brutal turn-based battles, and more. 

Owlcat is an excellent developer that has been utterly consistent with high-quality releases. This fact makes Warhammer 40K: Rogue Trader one of our most anticipated upcoming PC games and upcoming Xbox games

Here is everything you need to know about Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader: What is it about?

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader has you assume the role of a Rogue Trader, a sanctioned privateer in service of an empire known as the Imperium of Man. One day, you have been tasked by the Imperium to sail the stars in your massive voidship and explore the Koronus Expanse, a backwater sector of the Imperium rife with uncharted worlds waiting to be discovered.

There, you will explore these undiscovered worlds, interact with diverse cultures to determine if they are worthy of the Imperium’s protection or if they to be executed for heresy, and destroy any enemies of the Imperium hiding there like Tyranids, Necrons, Chaos Daemons and more. However, you don’t have to serve the Imperium to the letter if you don’t want to…

As a Rogue Trader, you have the freedom to decide what path you wish to take in the story. You can be a loyal servant of the Imperium, commit crimes to steal riches for yourself, help save populations that the Imperium has deemed heretical despite being innocent, or obtain ultimate power by selling your soul with the Ruinous Powers of Chaos.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader: What is the gameplay like?

The gameplay of Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader follows the classic cRPG formula. You begin the game by creating your Rogue Trader by deciding their looks, background history, and abilities. From there, you will explore the Koronus Expanse in whatever manner you see fit. You will engage in plenty of conversations where you can learn about the Warhammer 40,000 universe and choose dialogue options that will leave impactful consequences on the game’s story and your character’s alignment.

Furthermore, you won’t be alone in your adventures, as you can recruit a plethora of companions to your crew to help you out in exploration and combat. You can enlist powerful warriors of the Imperium like Ulfar the Space Marine and Argenta the Sister of Battle, reality-warping psykers like Idira Tlass and Cassia Orsellio, and helpful supporters like Cassia Orsellio the Techpriest. 

Depending on your choices, you can also recruit alien allies outside the Imperium, like Yrliet Lanaevyss the Aeldari Ranger, or Marazhai Aezyrraesh the Drukhari Raider.

As you travel across the Koronus Expanse, you will often come into conflict with hordes of monsters and heretics in isometric turn-based battles. During these battles, you must defeat enemies by utilizing your party’s weapons and abilities while using the environment to take cover and avoid getting shot at. Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader’s turn-based battles will also incorporate gameplay mechanics from the tabletop game that you need to be aware of, like maintaining your squad’s morale, so they don’t falter in battle.

Turn-based battles aren’t just limited to the ground, you will also be engaged with enemies while traveling space in your voidship. In space battles, you will assign members of your party to operate weapons of your ship and use them to unleash holy fire upon enemy vessels before they have a chance at destroying you. In addition, you will need to order party members to activate your ship’s defensive countermeasures to mitigate incoming damage.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader: When is it coming out and on what platform?

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader is launching on December 7, 2023, and will be released on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PlayStation 5, and PC via Steam, Epic Games Store, and GOG.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader: Will there be a special edition?

(Image credit: Owlcat)

The console versions will have the standard edition of Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, while the PC version shall receive several digital pack editions and a collector’s edition. You can pre-order these special editions of the PC version on Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader’s official website.

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Special PC editionsContent
Core Digital Packa copy of the PC version of Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, a Discord role on Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader’s official Discord server with an exclusive profile pic, and access to Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader’s beta.
Premium Digital Pack all the content of the Core Digital Pack, three exclusive in-game items, a unique voidship model of the Falchion-class escort frigate and your name added to the game’s credits
Ultimate Digital Pack all the content of the Premium Digital Pack, a digital soundtrack, a digital artbook, and a poster. In addition to your name being added to the credits, your name will be etched onto the Shrine of Remembrance, a memorial shine you can visit in the game.
Developer’s Digital Packall the content of the Ultimate Digital Pack, access to the earliest alpha version of the game where your feedback could influence the final product, a special Alpha Supporter Badge Banner, and your name being inducted into the Special Thanks credits section.
Collector’s Edition all the content of the Developer’s Digital Pack, an 8-inch statue of Cassia, a hardcover artbook, a Warrant of Trade document you can personalize with your name, a Rogue Trader banner, and a sticker pack.

Are you ready for high adventures in the grim darkness of the far future?

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader is shaping to be one of the most unique videogame interpretations of the Warhammer 40,000 franchise. It is honestly surprising we haven’t seen an RPG set in this universe until now. Warhammer 40,000 is packed with decades of fascinating lore, unique settings, and complex stories that would provide abundant rich source material to create high-quality RPGs.

However, will this title have what it takes to use its source effectively and provide an entertaining cRPG adventure for WH40K and cRPG fans alike? Will Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader be able to stand out alongside some of the best PC games in the RPG genre like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Wasteland 3?

Join the Rogue Trader’s crew and sail into the vastness of the void to find out when Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader releases on December 7, 2023, for Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation, and PC.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader | Coming soon to Steam

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader | Coming soon to Steam | GOG.com | Epic Games Store

Sail into the Koronus Expanse and begin your crusade for glory in Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader. Will you enact the Imperium of Man's will and purge the enemies of man, or succumb to the temptations of Chaos in pursuit of power?

Alexander Cope

Alexander Cope is a gaming veteran of 30-plus years, primarily covering PC and Xbox games here on Windows Central. Gaming since the 8-bit era, Alexander's expertise revolves around gaming guides and news, with a particular focus on Japanese titles from the likes of Elden Ring to Final Fantasy. Alexander is always on deck to help our readers conquer the industry's most difficult games — when he can pry himself away from Monster Hunter that is!