The Pirates are a unique faction: they are always at war with all factions, and cannot be negotiated with at all. In addition, their unit rosters are completely unique. They operate only in the American and trade theatres, attacking any ships there. However, they never launch land invasions.
Unusually for a minor faction, Pirates are playable in multiplayer, though only for naval battles.
At the start of the Grand Campaign, they have in their possession two regions: Trinidad & Tobago, and the Leeward Isles. They are emergent from more regions than any other faction in the game, as any of the islands in the Caribbean are spawning points for them.
The Pirates have only two land units: melee-oriented Buccaneers limited to six regiments, and the unique Pirate Mob, which number at 120, compared to the European Firelock Armed Citizenry who have only 60. In addition to being more numerous, the pirate mob have better stats in everything, including ammunition and accuracy. This can sometimes create a nuisance for players who have not invested heavily in the Americas, as the spawned militia can outnumber and destroy small armies.
Pirates have plagued seas since classical antiquity. The pirates depicted in Empire: Total War, however, were historically most influential from 1650 to 1714, commonly referred to as the "Golden Age of Piracy", plaguing Spanish, French, British, and Dutch ships alike. As national navies became better organized and armed, pirates found attacking merchant ships more and more difficult.
In the modern day, piracy persists in parts of Africa and South-East Asia.
- There was no one "nation" of pirates. Every pirate gang used their own flag. Skulls were a common motif.
- They speak in a British accent when selected. Also, their Government and Generals all have British names.
|Empire: Total War Factions|
|Major Factions||Austria • France • Great Britain • Maratha Confederacy • Mughal Empire • Ottoman Empire • Poland-Lithuania • Prussia • Russia • Spain • Sweden • United Provinces • United States|
|Minor Factions||Afghanistan • Barbary States • Bavaria • Cherokee Nations • Courland • Crimean Khanate • Dagestan • Denmark • Genoa • Georgia • Gran Colombia • Greece • Hannover • Hessen • Hungary • Huron Confederacy • Inuit Nations • Ireland • Iroquois Confederacy • Italian States • Knights of St. John • Louisiana • Mamelukes • Mexico • Morocco • Mysore • Naples & Sicily • New Spain • Norway • Persia • Pirates • Plains Nations • Portugal • Pueblo Nations • Punjab • Quebec • Savoy • Saxony • Scotland • Thirteen Colonies • Venice • Westphalia • Württemberg|
|Other Factions||Powhatan Confederacy • Virginia Colonists|
|Unused Factions||Khanate of Khiva • Tuscany • Mecklenburg • Schleswig-Holstein • Swiss Confederation|