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August 2022

Dune: Spice Wars

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Funcom
Developer: Shiro Games
Release Date: 2022

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'Dune: Spice Wars' Steam Early Access Update Adds New Features, Reworks And Fixes

by Rainier on May 23, 2022 @ 2:44 p.m. PDT

Dune: Spice Wars is a real-time strategy game with 4X elements based on Frank Herbert’s groundbreaking novel Dune.

Set in Frank Herbert’s legendary sci-fi universe, Dune: Spice Wars invites players to the unforgiving planet of Arrakis, where they will battle for possession of each drop of water and load of spice.

Spice is the most valuable resource in the universe. The spice extends life, it expands consciousness and makes interstellar travel possible. Create your own story and play as one of several factions, including House Atreides and House Harkonnen, and compete for power over Dune and the spice.

Scan the landscape for wormsign or risk losing your troops and spice harvesters to titanic sandworms who will burst through the sand dunes to swallow and devour them whole. Best your opponents through political intrigue, crush them in combat, and undermine them with your network of illusive spies.

Dune: Spice Wars features asymmetrical gameplay, will have several playable factions, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as multiple ways to achieve your ultimate goal – control of the spice on Arrakis. You can deploy agents to sabotage, assassinate and spy on your opponents, use political means to influence the Landsraad and pass beneficial resolutions, amass incredible wealth and simply overwhelm the other houses through economic and technological supremacy, or you can opt for open war.

Dune: Spice Wars is based more on the original novel than on the movie, but since we’re both drawing on the same intellectual property, there will be some similarities.

Launching into Steam Early Access with four playable factions, Dune: Spice Wars ($/€29.99) will continue to grow before the full launch, with multiplayer, more factions, and a campaign most likely to be at the top of this list.

Community Update #1 is now live! With this update, we have made a number of changes based entirely on the feedback and suggestions of our players since launch, bringing a ton of new content, reworks, bug fixes and more to the game ahead of our next major update (Multiplayer)!

New Features:

  • New 10k hegemony bonuses for every faction:
  • Atreides: Permanent prod bonus upon being elected for a positive resolution
  • Harkonnen: Can convert captured agents
  • Smugglers: Can build Underworld Headquarters in enemies’ main bases with new buildings
  • Fremen: Can build special buildings in allied Sietches
  • Unit actions queue system (Shift + Right Click):
  • Combat view (F3):
  • Drones now beep boop
  • New click feedback for actions with associated colors
  • Auto pause when opening menus (can be turned off in game options)
  • Added the option to remove communication requests
  • New special region - White Rift:
  • New special region - Acid Lake:
  • New Underworld Headquarters buildings (Workers Guild, Weapon Dealers, Activist Quarters)
  • Retake of some units' blocking radius to match with their unit size and reinforce their role in the roster
  • Oppressed trait is removed upon rebellion
  • Marauder Camp discovery
  • Development Advanced Thumpers (Fremen)
  • Village building (Investment Office)
  • Harsher penalty for losing too much Landsraad Standing
  • Mission complications UI rework
  • Alert for the Council Speaker when they are allowed to reroll resolutions
  • Kulon Caravan death animation
  • Confirm prompts when clicking a button in the escape menu might make you leave your current game
  • Can no longer miss click and exit selection when choosing a target for missions, worm riding or shuttles
  • New input to cancel current unit actions (C by default)
  • Any faction can contest an occupation
  • Agent traits Mentats and Suk Doctors now have distinct visuals on the agent's portrait
  • New icons
  • Relation loss with targeted faction when a mission is detected
  • Standing loss when you attack a main base
  • Ornis now boost escorted harvesters for all factions but fremen
  • Option menu reload create its own new save slot
  • No longer see faction specific unlock conditions when playing another faction
  • Spying window header (unify all windows)
  • Auto remove outdated traits from structure village traits (for old saves)
  • Shuttles now fly at random heights for a more organic fleet look
  • Escorting units with an ornithopter is now correctly supported
  • Visual Effect for ornithopter escort
  • Agent traits are now active even when agents are unassigned (but not when captured)


  • Load and Save game menus to be easier to use and allow custom names
  • Economic dev tree
  • Ranged units and projectiles impact position is more directional (better combat readability and spectacle)
  • Rebellions no longer try to liberate the village and only occupy it instead, until someone makes them stop
  • Worm riding is cleaner and more fluid
  • Black Market & Settled Hiereg discoveries
  • Sandstorm effects
  • Paracompass development
  • Weapons Facility building (Smugglers main base building)
  • Combat drugs adjustments
  • Hegemony victory is now 30 000
  • AI will stockpile spice a little bit less often
  • AI targeting balance
  • Agents timer is less exponential
  • New Sandworms detection, roaming and attack delay values
  • Infiltrator 40 power on first hit
  • Discovery rewards and time to complete adjustments
  • Ornithopters cost less solaris
  • Spying operations infiltration requirements new values
  • Council Eye now gives +2 max agents and given agents are now taken to compute total agents; they can't be dismissed or captured
  • Vibrations (less vibrations generated while in combat)
  • Craft workshop rework
  • Improved AI recon


  • Ornithopters sometime did not listen to a direct recon order and simply moved instead
  • Missile batteries don't target shuttles anymore
  • Locals units' factions are now more lore friendly
  • Army models possibly not removed from their army (#Kulons)
  • Iakin Nefud was refunding more for AI
  • Long freeze when opening pause window
  • Terrain deformations around main bases
  • Military units will now automatically join nearby sieges when they are idle
  • House guards passive could be bypassed by some damage types such as the combat drugs DoT
  • Crash when trying to display multiple saves
  • Set the "add to selection" action to same input as shift queue
  • Allow pause space rebind, allow to pause via "PauseBreak" button
  • Input key names are now limited in width
  • A faction under NonAggression Pact cannot contest an occupation of the other part
  • Crowd manipulation can't be launched on a village while it's militia is out
  • Updated the report bug link
  • Units:
    • Stealth Drone health 200 > 100
    • Stealth Drone power 12 > 15
    • Stealth Drone armor 2 > 1
    • Stealth Drone range increased
    • Stealth Drone upkeep reduced
    • Fedaykin armor 4 > 3
    • Elite Militia power 15 > 14
    • Mercenaries melee > range
    • Mercenaries passive now works on enemy kill (was working on ally before)
    • Mercenaries health 500 > 400
    • Mercenaries armor 3 > 2
    • Mercenaries training time reduced

Also a lot of balancing, quality of life, fixes and changes that could not be listed here

Keep the feedback and suggestions coming, they're gonna be invaluable as we continue to develop the game over Early Access and of course, thank you all for your feedback since launch which has helped us compile this update!

Stay tuned, as we'll have a roadmap to share with you all later this week and more news on upcoming updates over the coming weeks...

Shiro Games

Key Features:

  • Frank Herbert’s Dune: Experience the unique Dune universe – one of the most influential sci-fi settings ever created. Play as iconic characters, such Duke Leto Atreides, the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen and more, and guide your faction to victory. Watch for the constant threat of the massive sandworms, who dominate the dangerous landscape of Dune.
  • Forge your own path: Choose between subterfuge, political influence, economic supremacy, or open warfare toprevail and gain control over the most important planet in the universe! Use secretive agents to sabotage the plans of your opponents. Vote on political resolutions in the Landsraad to further your strategy.
  • 4X in real-time: Explore Dune with ornithopters to discover resources, villages, and points of interest. Expand with your troops to take control of more and more regions. Exploit the resources through buildings and spice harvesters to dominate the economy. Exterminate your enemies with a strong military but beware as outright aggression can have high political repercussions.
  • Growing throughout Early Access: The game will be updated and expanded during Early Access based on your feedback. More features and content, improved balance and new game modes will be added in the Early Access period, based on the crucial input of the community.

Dune: Spice Wars is the first game based on the Dune IP to be published by Funcom and is not to be confused with the open-world survival game the studio is developing. Dune: Spice Wars is created by the same team that released critically acclaimed RTS Northgard in 2017, using their expertise in creating strategy games to bring the Dune universe to life.

Dune: Spice Wars is in development for PC (Steam).

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