Middle-earth: Shadow of War buyer's guide: Editions, preorders, and release dates

Following up to Shadow of Mordor, 2014's critically acclaimed RPG set in Tolkien's iconic universe, Middle-earth: Shadow of War is shaping up to be a worthy successor. Building upon what made the original so captivating, the game delivers huge improvements to its immersive "Nemesis" system, further depth to combat and a new tale spanning the world of Mordor.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War also promises to deliver an impressive portfolio of features of Xbox One owners, with cross-platform support via Play Anywhere and planned upgrades for Xbox One X. But with a wide range of editions available, which one is best for you? We've rounded up all Shadow of War editions to help you choose.

What's new in Middle-earth: Shadow of War for Xbox One and Windows 10

Middle-earth: Shadow of War release date

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is currently slated to hit Xbox One and Windows 10 devices on October 10, 2017. While its publisher had previously announced a release date of August 22, 2017, the game was delayed into the fall earlier this year. A patch is also currently in the pipeline for Xbox One X, promising 4K resolution and HDR on compatible displays.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War preorder bonuses

For those looking to preorder Middle-earth: Shadow of War, various bonuses are being offered at select retailers, including additional content and physical collectibles. All major retailers are providing access to the four Legendary Orc Champions and Epic Sword of Dominion, however, GameStop and Best Buy also offer physical items in-store.

  • Xbox Store: Four Legendary Orc Champions, Epic Sword of Dominion.
  • Amazon: Four Legendary Orc Champions, Epic Sword of Dominion.
  • GameStop: Four Legendary Orc Champions, Epic Sword of Dominion, exclusive Shadow of War Bottle Opener.
  • Best Buy: Four Legendary Orc Champions, Epic Sword of Dominion, Ring of Power replica.

(Note: If you redeem a digital code for Middle-earth: Shadow of War from any retailer, your copy will be playable on both Xbox One and Windows 10 through Xbox Play Anywhere.)

Middle-earth: Shadow of War (Physical)

The standard version of Middle-earth: Shadow of War costs $59.99, with additional bonus content dependent on the retailer. This version of the game is most common and stocked by a majority of video game retailers.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War (Digital)

A digital version of Middle-earth: Shadow of War is also available for $59.99, sold as a pre-paid code to be redeemed via Xbox Live. Most retailers that stock codes will distribute them ahead of launch as Xbox Live currency, to give players the chance to preorder and pre-load the title. Like digital copies purchased directly from the Xbox Store, these copies of the game will unlock at 12:01 in your time zone. Codes are valid for both Xbox One and Windows 10, with included support for cross-platform functionality through Play Anywhere.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Silver Edition (Digital only)

If you're looking to take your Shadow of War experience beyond the base package, the Silver variant of the game adds some additional downloadable content (DLC) for a discounted fee of $79.99. On top of the base game, players will get the Slaughter Tribe Nemesis Expansion, the Outlaw Tribe Nemesis Expansion, and a Silver War Chest of loot. This version is only available as a digital purchase, however, comes with the added benefit of Play Anywhere support.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Gold Edition (Physical)

Shadow of War's Gold Edition might be paired with a high price tag of $99.99, although with a huge amount of content, can be a worthwhile purchase in the long-term. As a part of the Gold Edition, you'll be getting a physical disc-based version of the game, packed inside an exclusive collectible steelcase. This version also includes an abundance of additional content, including the Slaughter Tribe Nemesis Expansion, Outlaw Tribe Nemesis Expansion, The Blade of Galadriel Story Expansion, and The Desolation of Mordor Story Expansion. Players will also find a Gold War Chest included inside the package, containing additional in-game loot.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Gold Edition (Digital)

For those who prefer to maintain a digital library, Shadow of War's Gold Edition is also available for download, providing access to similar content for the same $99.99 price point. Included inside are all in-game bonuses seen in the physical version, however, by going digital you'll be missing out the included collectible steelcase. However, this version does allow players to take full advantage of Xbox Play Anywhere, with cross-platform features between Xbox One and Windows 10 devices.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Mithril Edition

For true fans of Tolkien's universe, Shadow of War's Mithril Edition is the ultimate bundle of content, goodies and bonuses priced at $299.99. On top of all content seen in the physical Gold Edition, this includes a 12-inch statue of Tar-Goroth Balrog fighting Carnan Drak, a cloth map of Mordor, a collection of lithographs and a premium case with the Magnetic Ring of Power. This version also includes access to the official game soundtrack, and an exclusive Mithril War Chest for redemption in-game. It might cost the price of a new console, but should fulfil the needs of any dedicated Shadow of War fan.

See at Gamestop

Xbox One S 1TB Middle-earth: Shadow of War Console

While the focus will soon lay with the Xbox One X, the Shadow of War Xbox One S bundle is a great way jump into Microsoft's ecosystem while securing additional savings. Currently sold as the entry point to the brand, the Xbox One S holds up as a great machine, even in the wake of a new upcoming flagship.

As a part of the Shadow of War bundle, buye's will get a white Xbox One S console packing a 1TB internal hard drive, one standard white Xbox One controller and all the associated cables for setup. You'll also find a standard physical version of Middle-earth: Shadow of War inside the box, and four Legendary Champions and the Epic Sword of Dominion for use in-game. Two weeks of Xbox Live Gold and one month of Xbox Game Pass are also included, providing a taste of the console's two in-house subscription services.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.