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In The Secret World, factions represent secret societies that hide behind the shadows of the real world. Players must become a member of one of the joinable factions in order to participate in the game. There are three factions that players are allowed to join and they are The Dragon, the Illuminati, and the Templars; in addition there are also non-joinable in-game factions as well as groups that have appeared in the ARGs.
- Main article: Secret Societies
Factions are chosen during character creation and are permanent; there are no restrictions for race, ethnicity, or abilities. The three factions are designed to be equal and balanced in power and ability, but faction specific special abilities do exist. The goal in choosing a faction is for players to pick based on the ideals and mindsets of the group as a whole, rather than the one with the most powerful abilities.
Each joinable faction has a headquarters where players can gather, find vendors and trainers, and other facilities: the Dragon in Seoul, South Korea, the Illuminati in New York, United States, and the Templars in London, England.
In PvE, players of all factions are allowed to group together and finish missions. PvP will pit the factions against each other and players in PvP zones will be distinctive by both faction and role as everyone will be wearing uniforms.
Furthermore, despite any similarities to real life, all factions in The Secret World are purely fictional. They are not tied to any religion or mindset in the real world.
Before launch, there was a flash-based quiz players could take that would recommend a secret faction for them to join. The questions asked and the factions the answers aligned with can be see on the Initiation article.
- Main article: The Dragon
- Main article: Illuminati
- Main article: Templars
These are the groups and factions that players know about and encounter in the game, but cannot officially play a member of.
|CDC||The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is the national public health institute of the United States whose duty is preventing new or unusual illnesses and epidemics. Because of this they can been seen in Filth hotspots.|
|Council of Venice||The Council of Venice oversee the hidden conflict between the secret societies, act as a mediator of the Secret War, and maintain the secrecy of the secret world.|
|Cult of Aten||A cult working in the Valley of the Sun God that works towards awakening the deity they worship, Aten, and his most faithful servant, Akhenaten|
|Drăculești||The legacy of Vlad Dracula|
|Guardians of Gaia||Gigantic golems embedded with the natural forces of the earth that are activated by The Gatekeeper. A defensive mechanism of Gaia that protects where she is most wounded.|
|Immortals||A bunch of creatures and individuals that seem to have been around since the dawn of time and can be Gods, demigods or other god-like creatures that are above and beyond the Secret World that we know of.|
|Jingu Clan||A clan of Samuri in Japan tasked with protecting Japan from Demons|
|Kingdom||Their members seem to primarily be mummies and other creatures who have been living since this group was founded back in ancient Egypt.|
|The League of Monster Slayers||What started as a typical boys-only club became a monster hunting group for all the children of Solomon Island|
|Marya||"The Young Warriors". Founded in the time of Tutankhamen, they vowed to fight the Cult of Aten and defend Egypt. |
|Morninglight||The Morninglight is a group that publicly appears as a new-age, self-help and religious, but seem to show up in areas of occult activity.|
|Orochi Group||A public mega international corporation that does extensive operations in various areas involving the supernatural.|
|Brotherhood of Phoenician Sailors||Phoenicians are a member of the Council of Venice and another faction responsible for keeping the secrecy of the Secret World.|
|Red Hand||A branch of the Russian military dedicated to researching the occult and supernatural and turning it to military uses. Now believed to be defunct.|
|Sanctuary of Secrets||Present since the They Are Coming Back ARG event, SoS is a mysterious group operating from the shadows. They're said to collect and hide dangerous secrets the world can never know of, and hide behind puzzles and names of history. Led by an oracle who has seen a bleak future and desires to change the course of events.|
|Seven Sentinels||Ptahmose and his children were charged with keeping Aten and Akhenaten in the black pyramid in the City of the Sun God.|
|Wabanaki Tribe||A Native American tribe found on Solomon Island, that has been there for as long as any can remember with histories stretching back before their battles with invading Mayans. Today their tribe is few in number and had been weak in belief, but recent events has strengthened their resolve to carry on their ancestral duty to protect the evil that sleeps beneath the island.|