Every Faction In Dune: Spice Wars, Ranked

There are few fantasy worlds that are as complex and political as that of Frank Herbert’s Dune. While it’s been novelized plenty of times and even appeared on the silver screen a couple of times too, there haven’t been that many games about the universe.

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Dune: Spice Wars is here to change that. Bringing the high fantasy universe that has enthralled generations to the world of strategy games, Dune: Spice Wars has a complex game of balancing mercanitle power, military strength, and the classic land grab mentality of early strategy games. While you’re sure to want to dive right in, you may want to know what of this games factions outrank the rest.

6 House Corrino

Bow To The Emperor

Emperor shaddam in Dune: Spice Wars.

The house of the emperor himself, while he’s beset upon by all sides, Shaddam isn’t ready to give up his seat on the throne. In fact, he made his way to Arrakis to stop an uprising firsthand. Since most factions in some way owe fealty to the emperor, House Corrino has a lot of pull with the factions of Dune so money isn’t of much issue, but they do have to pay a rather large sum to the spacing guild, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on your resources.

Their combat abilities are mixed, focusing on low-level troops with the exception of a small amount of strong elites. Their headquarters is the weakest of the factions, which means mistakes are punished quickly, and you can quickly be looking at the end of an empire. This makes it one of the last factions you should try your hand at unless you really want to play emperor.

5 The Smugglers

The Spice Must Flow

dune spice wars smuggler loading screen

This group of merchants knows how to work Arrakis like the houses don’t, and with that comes a unique playstyle that might be hard to master at first. The goal of The Smugglers is to stay small but wealthy, and their ability to take their first few villages relatively cheaply but the later ones with more expenses reflects that well.

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They aren’t without some more aggressive tactics though, being able to undermine other factions with Underworld black markets is quite fun, but their scouts and wreckers are more than capable of handling themselves. If House Harkonnen is heavy-handed subterfuge, The Smugglers are the lighter side of that. It takes some more brainwork, but there’s something fun about staying in your own lane while the other faction erodes.

4 House Atreides

Fear Is The Mind Killer

atreides loading screen

The house of Paul in the Dune books, House Atreides may seem like it’s on the out, but they still have plenty of strengths. Being such a lauded house, they have pretty good standing with the Fremen and other houses, although most other houses want to overthrow them.

They don’t just talk the talk though, their special combat units are incredibly deadly with wardens and heavy weapon squads mowing down foes with relative ease. It’s a good balance for new players to be able to talk or fight their way out of problems, but House Atreides lacks some of the specialization and luster that may bring you to other factions.

3 House Ecaz

Shady Sands

the preparation screen for House Ecaz in Dune: Spice Wars

Arrakis may not seem like the perfect place to host a resort, but House Ecaz has just the right touch to turn the sandy dunes into a practical oasis for the upper class. Ecaz’s special units and buildings echo their artistry quite well, it’s pretty fun to be able to bolster their villages with resorts and sanctuaries that not only add buffs but will anger the locals if destroyed.

Even their combat units like their musketeers and fencers show off their power and passion for finer things. It’s a fun binary to play as such a haughty house that isn’t really interested in the power dynamic as much as just being involved in debauchery. Combined with a playstyle that’s about defense and buffs, it makes for a pretty fun time.

2 The Fremen

The Water Belongs To The Tribe

Intro movie with Liet Kynes in Dune: Spice Wars.

Arrakis natives aren’t too keen on having so many different people interested in their planet. While they have a lot to fight against, they have some secrets up their sleeves. They have a potent homefield advantage, and if you like playing a more stealthy strategy game, then this is a great class to focus on.

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They can move farther as a baseline before becoming tired or summoning the sandworms, plus they can use the worms to travel much farther for sneak attacks. They’re mostly focused on melee combat save for units like their Kulon caravan, so if you’re more focused on brash and frontal assaults then this faction may be more of a challenge.

1 House Harkonnen

Get The Oil Bath Ready

House harkonnen intro in Dune: Spice Wars.

Sometimes, playing as the bad guy can be quite rewarding. House Harkonnen has the goal of ruling Arrakis with an iron fist, and their playstyle reflects that. While they aren’t above using subtlety with units like their stealth probes, they prefer to handle things with a little less cloak and dagger.

Surprisingly, for being the main antagonist of most of the lore, House Harkonnen is great for new players from the series, or medium-level strategy gamers. They allow you to focus on whatever playstyle you want, other than bartering and anything that has to do with playing nice of course. This allows House Harkonnen to be one of the better factions out there.

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