Box art - Middle-Earth: Shadow of War

Shadow of War Resurrecting Captains: How to Bring Your Orcs Back From the Dead

The stars of Shadow of War are the orc captains, and when you spend a whole game with these dynamic NPCs, it can be devastating to have one of them die. Figuring out the key to resurrecting captains is a big goal in the game, and one of Talion’s ultimate abilities. There are two ways an orc can come back from the dead, and we’ve covered them below.

Shadow of War: How to Make Orc Captains Come Back From the Dead

The first way an orc can return to the world of the living after their defeat in battle required no input from you, but also has a significant degree of randomness. When a captain is defeated in battle, either by Talion or another means, there is a chance that they’ll reappear unless they’re decapitated.

The conditions for an orc captain to make his return to the battlefield after his apparent death are somewhat hazy. Besides the rule that they can’t have had their head cut off, it seems like they can bounce back from practically any other damage. I’ve had orcs that I cleaved in two later ambush me and talk about how they were put back together.

Also: 5 Tips I Wish I Knew Before Starting Middle-earth: Shadow of War

It seems like the higher level an orc is in comparison to Talion, the more likely a return. Also, the less severe the manner of death, like burning as opposed to dismemberment, seems to influence a higher rate of resurrection. If an orc becomes your nemesis, this also increases the odds. You can tell an orc captain will be coming back when their remains don’t disappear on the Army screen after advancing time.

(Major Spoilers for Middle-earth: Shadow of War below.)

Shadow of War Resurrecting Captains: How to Get the Undying Loyalty Upgrade to Raise Dead

When you get to the end of Act III, Talion becomes a Nazgul. As a Nazgul, he gains one last power that you didn’t have access to in the rest of the game: Raise Dead. With Raise Dead you can resurrect any fallen Uruk soldiers around you, and they’ll become your allies.

You can take this skill a step further by getting the Undying Loyalty upgrade, which will let you bring your orc captains back if they’re cut down. To get the upgrade, you’ll need to win all three rounds of the Pit Fights in Minas Morgul. Once you take down the champion, you can unlock Undying Loyalty and start resurrecting your captains.

If you see one of your orc captains go down in battle, all you have to do is get near them and use the Raise Dead ability, and they’ll pop back to life. If one dies and you’re not close enough, don’t worry. You can go into the Army screen and highlight your dead orc captain and bring them back to life.

There are some drawbacks to raising orc captains from the dead though. When they become undead, they lose five levels, can never level up again, and become vulnerable to fire. If you have a powerful orc you don’t want to lose, Undying Loyalty is great, but don’t crowd your fortresses with captains that can’t grow any further. Remember, sometimes dead is better.

For more info on Shadow of War and other titles, visit our guide section.