One of the biggest plusses that that Middle-Earth series has become known for is its unique Nemesis System, which allows enemies to rise in the ranks as they kill and outsmart you. When you first start playing through the series, and even later in Shadow of War, the Nemesis System isn’t wholly explained, and it might not be very clear what the system is, how it works, or even how it affects you. Today we’ll break down the Nemesis System in Shadow of War, go over how it works, and what you can expect from the system as you play through it.

How the Nemesis System Works

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War’s Nemesis System works primarily when it comes to the Captains, Warchiefs, and Overlords in Shadow of War’s expansive open world. These enemies are some of the most powerful in the game, and you can view them anytime from the pause menu. When looking at the lineup of enemies, you can see which Captains, Warchiefs, and Overlords are available in the game. From here you can learn how to interrogate Worms, which will allow you to obtain Intel on the enemies, allowing you to take them down based on their weaknesses.

The Nemesis System really comes into play when you start taking out Captains and other high-ranking enemies. As the “dead Ranger” from the Black Wall, Talion is a bit well known by the Orc armies, and killing him is a bit of a goal for all who wield a blade for the armies of Sauron. Many times, as you make your way through the game, they’ll make comment about who you are, and if they manage to kill you, they’ll not only rise in level, but it will earn them respect from other orcs in the region.

Now, most of the time when you die, a Vendetta mission will be placed on your map, and Talion will be tasked with taking out that enemy within a certain amount of time. Of course, having killed you and grown within the army, the Captain will now be much more powerful, and you’ll have to defeat him to knock him down a few.

On the other end of the spectrum, though, Captains that you kill don’t always stay dead, and the Nemesis system causes them to seek after you, as they strive to kill you themselves. This plays out within their dialogue, as well as within the way that they act when they run into you again.

The Nemesis System also includes several “Nemesis Missions”, which trigger randomly throughout the game world. These missions will oftentimes include timers, and they’ll often be two Captains facing off against each other in battle, with only one of them able to come out on top. When this happens, we’d suggest focusing your efforts on helping the lowest level Captain win, because then you’ll be able to turn around and take him out after you defeat the first Captain.

That’s really all you need to know about the Nemesis System and how it works in Shadow of War. For more help, head back over to our Shadow of War guide for even more helpful information about the game, including in-depth guides like how to fast travel, and how to get a mount.