More Mount & Blade 2 Guides:
- Activate Cheats Guide.
- Locate & Rescue Traveler Quest.
- Complete Spy Party Quest Guide.
- How to Get 100k Denars (Step-by-Step).
- How to Find a Location of a Character.
- Guide to Founding a Kingdom.
- How to Earn Money.
- Game Basic Guide.
Some simple math on leveling up and profit margins for Smithing in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.
As a veteran of games such as Factorio I've learned to delve into the math of crafting systems. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord has such a system with Smithing, turning Iron Ore and Hardwood into various purities of Iron. I'm making this guide in my own time using the data I calculated and gathered through experience in the game.
There are four important things to note about this guide:
- I had chosen the Efficient Iron Maker perk.
- Choosing Efficient Iron Maker instead of Efficient Charcoal Maker is a mistake currently.
- I know I made a mistake, but this is how I did the math originally and it actually furthers my point. I will run the numbers both ways to prove how much better the other perk is.
- This guide is designed assuming that you've explored the Smithy and understand the layout.
In the trade menu of each town you will see two important resources listed: Hardwood, and Iron Ore.
Hardwood can usually be bought in towns or villages for about 15 gold on average (with decent Trading skill) while Iron Ore can be bought for an average of 60 gold (with decent Trading skill).
You will need a LOT of Hardwood if you plan on getting into Smithing. Explore your area of play for villages that produce it a lot and shop around. The villages will tend to sell it to you for about the same price as the town it serves will.
Once you have a fair amount of Hardwood you can start refining it into Charcoal. If you have not already done so, choose the Efficient Charcoal Maker perk. If you did not start at 25+ Smithing, I would advice putting numerous Focus Points into Smithing as it will speed up the first few levels much more.
Note: Making 1 Charcoal nets you 15 Base XP regardless of the recipe you use. You will make orders of magnitude more Charcoal than you ever will smelt Iron Ore so keep that in mind.
Charcoal sells for ~200% the cost of Hardwood, making Charcoal a viable material to sell in the beginning if you take the Efficient Charcoal Maker perk and have a plethora of available Hardwood!
Once you have Charcoal and Iron Ore you will refine it into various purities of Iron.
- Crude Iron = 9 Base XP each
- Wrought Iron = 18 Base XP each
- Iron = 27 Base XP each
- Steel = 63 Base XP each
Skill gain modifiers from Focus Points and your Endurance stat change this to a max of x10 at character creation with 5 in END and maxed Focus.
Now if we look at profit margins for selling crafting materials with a Trading skill of about 40...
With Efficient Iron Maker, 8 Iron Ore and 322 Hardwood can be made into 21 Steel, 1 Iron, and 1 Crude Iron which can be sold for about ~6,486g. The raw materials bought at 50g per Iron Ore and 15g per Hardwood costs about ~5,230g for a total profit of ~1,256g.
With Efficient Charcoal Maker, 12 Iron Ore and 248 Hardwood can be made into the same 21 Steel, 1 Iron, and 1 Crude Iron sold for ~6,486g with a profit of ~2,166g with the only downside being that it takes an extra 2 minutes of your life (which is peanuts considering this can take almost an hour).
Considering the substantial gap which can only get higher, it's still much smarter to take Efficient Charcoal Maker until the game has been rebalanced (if it does).