Titans seem to be a marvelous piece of technology from the past, so advanced that they can no longer produce them. So the Imperium oft launches whole campaigns, sacrificing a lot of lives and resources just to get hold of a single Titan.

What makes them so valuable? As far as I have seen it, they don't use them to try to understand the technology involved, they acquire them only to be used in battle. However, the Imperium possesses equipment with much higher firepower, and a titan is a large target, and can be wrecked with a well placed hit from above, nuked from orbit, etc. As it is a lone target, maybe the only one on the whole planet, the opponents would surely target it from orbit as highest priority.

Maybe when they could be easily mass-produced it was worth it, but now, are their military capabilities really worth the time and effort to acquire them?

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    Just a little nit-pick: Human lives in the 40K universe are worth nothing. Only one matters: The life of the Emperor.
    – user15742
    Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 23:37
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    @fredsbend : of course, they are worth nothing as of our understanding, but they are still a resource. They are not that stupid to expend a large amount of this "resource" when nothing of worth can be gained.
    – vsz
    Commented Jul 6, 2013 at 7:25
  • New Titans can be built but they must follow existing designs. There are several forgeworlds that hold Titan Building factories both Imperial and Traitor held.
    – Richard C
    Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 14:13

4 Answers 4


Ton per ton, a Titan has value on a number of levels that if rumors of a working one that is not in the hands of the Imperium should surface, all haste is made to get it. If it is in the hands of the enemy or the enemy is fielding their own Titan, every resource is made available to destroy it. Titans can turn the tide of battle so completely as to render infantry completely useless against them and only the mightiest of tanks have even a ghost of a chance to damage them.

Various Titan Classes showing scale to each other, with the Warlord being the middle of the range

Various Titan Classes showing scaled to each other, with the Warlord being the middle of the range

  • Damage-dealing: Titans were designed to lay siege to the entire battlefield, with the right modifications, no structure could resist them, no matter how well fortified, no tank, or smaller war machine could survive even a grazing blow from their super-sized weaponry and only another Titan on the battlefield could do enough damage to overcome their mighty Void Shield projectors.

  • Even without their Void Shields, a Titan was proof against normal weapons on the battlefield. Only specialized technology could penetrate their armor. As far as nuking them from orbit, they possessed a variety of technologies for destroying incoming planes, nukes or missiles long before they could reach them. They were righteous engines of destruction.

  • Ancient technology: Some of the ancient Titans were self-aware or had access to technology not currently in use. Self-aware machines were a hit and miss technology but when it works, it makes a Titan nearly unstoppable because the machine works at peak efficiency, far better than when a human crew, no matter how well trained use it.

  • Finding a Titan is finding a treasure trove of technology no longer being made. In an area with the right mix of tech priests and resources, while the Titan may not be reverse-engineered, due to its holy status, any technology found with it might.

  • Morale: As a weapon of an earlier age of destruction, Titans give morale to Imperial troops, just seeing one crest the horizon on a battlefield could spur troops to continue giving their all, turning the tide of battle. Varying in size from 50 feet to 400 feet tall, these war machines could provide an entire army with support from a distance, keeping troops from being overrun and removing enemy tanks/heavy weapons from the battlefield. Morale is the grease of the Imperial Army and Titans provide a whole-hell of a lot of it.

Yes, there are Imperial weapons that provide devastating firepower coming from the Forge Worlds today. Some of them are quite capable of ruling most battlefields quite effectively. But none of them are LEGENDS from a time of the Imperium when Mankind waged war at an epic scale and ruled millions of worlds nearly without equal. These are the machines with which warfare was defined in a bygone age. They are still so amazing that even a thousand, two thousand years later, they can hold their own and even dominate modern battles. To a citizen of the Imperium, only the living, fighting Emperor himself could inspire more awe as they stride across the battlefield leaving devastation in their wake. What's not to love?

Warlord Titan, showing scale to other Imperial Units

Warlord Titan, showing scale to other Imperial Units

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    And it is extremely unlike that the Emperor is going to come down off his throne any time soon.
    – Xantec
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 20:25
  • 10
    HERETIC! You are speaking heresy! Commented May 8, 2013 at 20:26
  • 2
    I've always been an Orc at heart, so may your God Emperor stay on his throne until I drive my axe into his head.
    – Xantec
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 20:40
  • 1
    +1 for mentioning they are relics from the glorious past of the Imperium.
    – Taladris
    Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 2:04

You mean besides the capability of obliterating entire armies with one shot from one weapon and being nearly indestructible and almost impossible to create?

Well... they look awesome.


Have you ever found an old toy you used to play with thought was gone forever? You no longer play with it as you used to but you cherish it when you happen upon it.

As far as hard evidence of their importance? I'd think it is in a similar category as STC designs. Technical goodies that they find that let the Imperium survive another day. It's just something that reminds humanity how awesome they used to be and gives them a pretty tangible reason to be dying by the million if the Emperor isn't quite done with his nap.

The Dark Age is all but lost to time, these are doorways to all that lost knowledge...but with war ending weaponry for doorknobs.


I remember reading somewhere that titans are still being produced but it takes years to finish just a part of it. Time also varies on what Type of titan is being built as well. The book I read was about night lords invading a forge world I think

  • Can you cite a source?
    – Null
    Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 4:59

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