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Warcraft vs. Warhammer: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on March 3, 2024
Warcraft is a fantasy video game franchise by Blizzard, Warhammer refers to tabletop war games and fantasy universes by Games Workshop.

Key Differences

Warcraft is primarily known for its expansive video game universe, starting with "Warcraft: Orcs & Humans" in 1994. Warhammer, on the other hand, began as a tabletop war game in 1983, known as "Warhammer Fantasy Battle". Both have rich lore, but Warcraft's narrative is conveyed through its games, while Warhammer's story is told through game manuals, novels, and other media.
The gameplay in Warcraft includes real-time strategy games and the MMORPG "World of Warcraft". Warhammer's gameplay is based on tactical battles using miniature figurines on a tabletop setup. The interactive nature of Warcraft games contrasts with the physical, strategic planning required in Warhammer.
Warcraft's universe is centered around the conflict between the Alliance and the Horde, with multiple races and factions. Warhammer is divided into two main universes: "Warhammer Fantasy", with its medieval fantasy setting, and "Warhammer 40,000", set in a dystopian future. Each universe has its own distinct races, histories, and conflicts.
The fan communities of both Warcraft and Warhammer are extensive, with Warcraft fans often engaging in online gaming and community events. Warhammer enthusiasts frequently participate in painting miniatures, assembling armies, and attending gaming tournaments. The social experiences of both franchises are unique and cater to different types of engagement.
Merchandising for Warcraft includes video games, novels, and collectibles. Warhammer's merchandise primarily consists of miniatures, game expansions, and books. Both franchises have made significant cultural impacts, but their primary modes of engagement and types of merchandise reflect their distinct gaming formats.

Comparison Chart


Video game series by Blizzard Entertainment.
Tabletop war game series by Games Workshop.

Main Medium

Digital: video games, especially MMORPGs.
Physical: tabletop games with miniatures.

Universe Setting

High fantasy with orcs, humans, and magic.
Divided into fantasy and futuristic (40k) settings.


Real-time strategy and role-playing.
Tactical wargaming with miniatures.


Online gaming communities and eSports.
Tabletop gaming, painting, and modeling communities.

Warcraft and Warhammer Definitions


A video game franchise focused on fantasy conflicts.
He spent hours playing Warcraft, immersed in its lore.


A tabletop war game involving miniature figurines.
They gathered every weekend to play Warhammer, strategizing over the tabletop.


The art or skill of conducting a war.
The general's warcraft was evident in his strategic battlefield maneuvers.


A symbol of martial power or authority.
The king's warhammer represented his rule over the land.


Strategy and tactics in military contexts.
She studied warcraft to understand historical battles better.


A type of weapon used in medieval warfare.
The knight wielded his warhammer with deadly precision.


Knowledge or expertise in warfare.
His warcraft was unmatched, making him a formidable opponent.


A fictional universe with elaborate lore and armies.
The Warhammer universe fascinated him with its detailed races and histories.


The use of warships in naval conflicts.
The navy's warcraft were crucial in securing the maritime routes.


A tool for forging or blacksmithing in fantasy settings.
The blacksmith used his warhammer to craft legendary weapons.


(uncountable) The art or skill of conducting a war.


(countable) A warship.


Can you play Warhammer online like Warcraft?

Warhammer has digital adaptations, but its core experience is rooted in physical tabletop gaming, unlike Warcraft's primarily digital format.

How do Warcraft and Warhammer differ in gameplay?

Warcraft gameplay primarily involves digital real-time strategy and MMORPG elements, while Warhammer focuses on tactical tabletop gaming with miniatures.

What is Warcraft?

Warcraft is a fantasy video game franchise developed by Blizzard Entertainment, featuring a rich lore and universe where players engage in epic battles and quests.

What is Warhammer?

Warhammer refers to a series of tabletop war games and associated fantasy universes created by Games Workshop, involving strategic gameplay with miniature figurines.

Are Warcraft and Warhammer set in the same universe?

No, Warcraft and Warhammer have distinct universes, with Warcraft centered around Azeroth and Warhammer divided into Fantasy and 40,000 (40k) settings.

Do Warcraft and Warhammer both involve elves and orcs?

Yes, both franchises feature races like elves and orcs, but with different lore and characteristics unique to each universe.

What is the Warhammer Fantasy setting?

Warhammer Fantasy is a medieval fantasy universe within the Warhammer franchise, featuring races like humans, dwarfs, and vampires in a war-torn world.

Are there novels set in the Warcraft universe?

Yes, the Warcraft franchise includes a series of novels that expand on its lore and characters.

What is Warhammer 40,000?

Warhammer 40,000 (40k) is a futuristic dystopian setting within the Warhammer franchise, characterized by interstellar war and advanced technology.

Does Warhammer have video games?

Yes, Warhammer has inspired several video games, but these are separate from the tabletop experience.

What is the World of Warcraft?

World of Warcraft is an MMORPG within the Warcraft franchise, offering a vast online world for players to explore and adventure in.

How do the communities of Warcraft and Warhammer differ?

Warcraft's community is largely online, engaging in multiplayer games and forums, while Warhammer's community often gathers for tabletop gaming and miniature painting.

Is there a competitive scene for both Warcraft and Warhammer?

Yes, both have competitive scenes; Warcraft in eSports and online tournaments, and Warhammer in tabletop gaming competitions.

Are there movies or TV shows based on Warcraft or Warhammer?

Warcraft has a feature film adaptation, while Warhammer has various animated series and is explored for potential adaptations.

What are the main factions in Warcraft?

The main factions in Warcraft are the Alliance and the Horde, each comprising different races and cultures.

Can Warcraft be played without the internet?

While some Warcraft games require internet, others, like the early real-time strategy titles, can be played offline.

What inspired the creation of Warcraft?

Warcraft was inspired by a combination of high fantasy, including Tolkien's works, and previous strategy games.

How do beginners get into Warhammer?

Beginners can start with introductory sets and painting kits to learn the basics of game mechanics and miniature assembly.

What role do dragons play in Warcraft and Warhammer?

Dragons are significant in both universes, serving as powerful beings with deep lore, though their roles and origins differ between Warcraft and Warhammer.

How did Warhammer influence the gaming industry?

Warhammer set a standard for tabletop war gaming and has influenced numerous video games and fantasy settings.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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