Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord – Extensive Beginners Guide

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord - Extensive Beginners Guide
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord - Extensive Beginners Guide

I try to describe in detail what the actual settings entail. Culture selection. Skills & attributes. Things you can do in game many might not know. A fresh beginners start guide to get them going.

Beginners Tips

Table of Contents

  • Game difficulty settings
  • Choosing a Culture
  • Skills
  • Things you can do in-game
  • New Campaign Starter Guide
  • My perspective and outlook on the game

Initial game settings you want as new player.

There are only 3 difficulty settings and their in-game descriptions can be a but misleading.

  • Very easy (I’m a noob).
  • Easy (more than casual gamer).
  • Realistic (I’m a masochistic).

I honestly recommend playing at least on very easy( noob mode). At least until you get a feel for everything then increase it to easy (normal). If you are well versed in strategy and logistics or have played previous Mount and Blade titles or similar games then I’d start fresh with Easy (Normal).

For while you wont truly notice the very easy difficulty because you don’t know that much about the game. That is until you start getting into mid and definitely late game with battles.

For example: If you are using very easy setting for

[friendly troops take 1/3 damage—] Let’s say you have 125 troops consisting of and even balance from melee ranges and cavalry… going up against an army of 350. You will crush them if you have mid-max rank troops while keeping roughly 80-100 of your troops. Granted some will be wounded but you still have them.

Easy Mode (Normal) is a good balance of fun play ability and very much still a challenge.

Realistic if you are a glutton for punishment and want the true challenge the game has to offer and you have tons of time to kill and all of the Dark Souls were a very easy for you from the get go.

You know, that get hit 2 times and die bit.

There is also the same available settings for how much damage you take. I recommend (normal).

Same goes for every other setting.

Recruitment Difficulty(the rate at which you convert your prisoners to your troops.

Map movement Difficulty (the easier the setting, the more bonus movement speed you get on campaign map).

Now, it doesn’t matter what you set these to at the beginning as you can change them when you want to later.

As for “Enable Death” This makes it so all lords and kings even you can die. But it’s not something to truly worry too much over early game. If you lose a battle and become a prisoner they will ransom you off or you can escape in early game.

I don’t turn on Enable Death until I have my kingdom Or Level 3/4 Renown depending on how things are going.

Auto allocate clan member perks

On (You get to pick the perks within skill trees of your clan members as they reach each 25/50/75/100 etc).

To add to that you cannot recruit someone into your clan and change the perks they come with. This management of clan member perks are only the new ones they get while they are in your clan.

Choosing Your Culture

Now this part is one of the most important as these bonuses stay with you all game!

Choosing your culture also the way you look.

In my personal ranking order with explanations of why at bottom. This is mostly due to my playstyle.

Tier Culture

  • S Vlandians, Empire,
  • A Aserai
  • B Khuzaits
  • C Battanians
  • D Sturgians

S Tier

  • Vlandia bonus: 20% more upgrade XP to troops from battles.
  • Empire bonus: 20% construction speed bonus to town projects, wall repairs, and siege engines.

A Tier

Aserai bonus: Caravans are 30% cheaper to build. 10% less trade penalty.

B Tier

Khuzait bonus: 10% extra speed bonus for horsemen on campaign map.

C Tier

Battanian bonus: Forests give 10% less speed penalty to parties.

D Tier

Sturgia bonus: 20% less speed penalty from snow.

Ok let’s start straight from the top shall we.

Vlandians: That 20% increase to “YOUR” troops as it states is a massive advantage because you are going to be getting end game ranked troops that much faster. I picked this on my 2nd campaign.

Great for learning the game also a bit faster because you have better troops to defend yourself faster than enemies.

Empire: So, let’s break it down

  • 20% construction speed bonus to town projects.
  • 20% to construction speed of wall repairs.
  • And 20% construction speed of siege engines.

If you are going to be conquering the vast land of Calradia with your kingdom I say this is hands down the Top Pick bar none. I am currently playing this one now.


Aserai bonus: Caravans are 30% cheaper to build. Which are defaulted to 15,000 denars. 15,000×.7=10500 denars. Making it much easier to get off the ground for your first game. My first game I picked this.

10% less trade penalty. Meaning you can get that first 10500 de ars faster. But I would get a Caravan right off the RIP for a few reasons I’ll touch up on later.


Khuzait bonus: 10% extra speed bonus for horsemen on campaign map is good for all of Calradia. Not just in desert, snow, marsh or forest, etc. Its good for everywhere so you can either catch or get away from people easier.


Battanian bonus: Forests give 10% less speed penalty to parties. This means you and any parties you make. Not bad. There are forests everywhere except the desert. I mean if you wanna be a band Robin Hoods this is for you.

D Tier

Sturgia bonus: 20% less speed penalty from snow. It’s really only good for campaigning in the snow. I mean with choices like 10% everywhere speed bonus or the 10% less speed penalty from other cultures, The Sturgians are just not worth it in the games current stage.

Skills and Attributes


When to get and focus them and hopefully some tips to train them.

  • 1st thing to note that to the left of all your skill sections there are three letters.
  • They represent *attributes*such as:Vigor, Intelligence etc.
  • Each 3 player levels achieved Grant’s one attribute point.
  • On your character sheet you can see your progress of your current level.
  • To gain those levels you need to gain experience in your skills.
  • Having points in your attributes increases the rate at which you learn all the skills to the right of that specific attribute by a decent margin.
  • Each Player level earned grant’s you focus points which also increase the rate at which you learn that specific skill. Each skill caps at 5 focus points.
  • In order to achieve high level Perks faster which are granted at every 25th level of that skill you need to much a lot of focus and attribute points in the corresponding location.
  • For example if I want to get my trade skill to 150+ quickly, I will need to put numerous attribute points into social and a high amount of focus points into Trade.

My personal rankings for skills based on my current playthrough

A Tier

  • I use all of these at certain times. at the very least get 1h, so you can use a shield. It will save your life.
  • [VIG] Vigor: Governs melee combat, including one handed, two handed and polearm.

B Tier

  • For my ranged killing potential.
  • [CTR] Control: Important for ranged characters who enjoy throwing stuff or using bows and crossbows.

C+ Tier

  • I’m using just for Horse riding and sprinting right now.
  • [END] Endurance: The ability to run across the battlefield without breaking a sweat. This oversees horse riding, sprinting, and smithy.

A Tier

  • Tactical Gameplay, getting to place troops before battle and bribing etc.
  • [CNG] Cunning: This is a useful attribute if you wish to better anticipate actions of others for counter strategizing. Tactical gameplay. Giving orders, scouting, etc.

S Tier

  • Reasons below.
  • [SOC] Social: If you’re interested in becoming a trader, convincing nobles to join you and getting married.

A Tier

  • Raiding and governing and having/being a high level medic decreases downtime and casualties. Not the mention the Steward is one of the best skills to have.
  • [INT] Intelligence: Medics, engineers, and stewards all require a decent level of intelligence.

Instead of ranking each individual skill I just gave my reasoning for having the attribute at a certain tier and which ones I’m using and why. This is already long enough. But there so much the game doesn’t tell you. And some of that aspect of not knowing and learning on your own can be even more of a thrilling experience.

What I like to do for fast level gain, is try to make sure my starting and next level up points go well rounded in to a lot of things I will be actively doing. In doing it this way I can train skills faster, meaning level faster and get my attribute and focus skills from levels that much faster.

Things You Can Do In-game & Tips and Tricks


Press “N” for in-game Encyclopedia. This is your Bannerlord Bible. Need to find a suitable me Spouse but dont know where to look? press N search for your suitcase mate. See what area they were last spotted. Btw you can click on all the names of things that are highlighted and it will direct you to that page. You can track the town,castle city and start heading there. I frequently hit up towns along the way and check encyclopedia again to see if their location has changed.l so I can reroute my heading.


Look carefully at some pole arms for the couch ability. Be on a horse, gain enough speed having lance out, Press X and you will couch the lance and when an enemy is struck you can do INSANE levels of damage. I’m talking like 250-700 without certain perks.


Saving, having multiple save’s are your friend.


Pay attention to your food supply and try to keep it diverse. At a trade area look and see what is consumable, your troops will eat/drink it. But grain is your best friend to get by with.


Train on looters in early stages. When training on looters, you can hyper focus your skill so gains by holding back your troops and soloing looters. Alternatively you can auto resolve on looters for better troop xp.


Sea Raiders, Mountain bandits, Steepe bandits etc offer much better rewards but they are much harder than the bottom feeding looters. And armies are even better loot.


Fight thugs with your companions in major cities at the clearing and back alley areas for good loot early on. Gang boss will show up after a while for more potential loot.


This game has physics. So if you are standing still hitting an idle target with a javelin it will do its minimum damage. change their speed toward you, or yours toward them or both and your damage will increase significantly like in real life.


You can lock items in your inventory to never be sold. Useful when fighting a lot and trying to quickly sell junk.

Fresh beginner new to game guide to get you going.

If you are new or having trouble getting up and going take a look at a guide I quickly put together to get you started.

A. New game

  1. If brand new, do the combat tutorial trust me.
  2. Go to nearby towns, they are the small ones and grab at least 15-20 recruits while also getting roughly 30 or so grain to last you a while.
  3. I heavily recommend you spend a lot of time in practice arena in a major city.
  4. Winning a Practice Tournament nets 250 denars. You dont need to kill everyone, just be the last man standing. Enemies respawn in here.
  5. Winning Arena Tournaments, which you can bet on at each phase as well on yourself nets 3 renown and an item(weapons, armor horse) that is mid-late game tier. Also while looking for major cities to do tournaments in I highly recommend paying attention to the troop movement around you. You will see people roaming around with a blue exclamation on them and they are part of your main quest. Talk with them and the quest option is highlighted.
  6. Having high charm later with a perk that gives you 10 influence per tournament victory is huge.
  7. So, you’ll start capping out around 1100-1600 or so denars (if i remember correctly) by betting on yourself at tournaments and winning them.
  8. Pro scummy tip, you can run circles on them, stay to your right on their left, and keep horizontally swinging ar their head for easy wins on 1v1s using a sword and shield.
  9. In tournaments you do not bring your own weapons, but you do however bring tour own armour. I make mine a tank.
  10. You can jump from city to city doing this.
  11. Finish the rebuild your clan requirements (2000 Denars, recruit a companion, which I recommend once you are at 3k+ ish denars, having × amount of troops in party not wounded or prisoners, having × amount of renown).
  12. Once your are Clan level two maybe even a but before, start scouting for a mate to continue and expand your lineage. Once you get married you want to be in the same party so you can create offspring. Save everytime before talking to them as their are conversation checks. after a successful one save. leave for a while save, talk success they will tell you to talk to their leader , find them , give them the east amount of denars you can ranging from 3-6k Denars then boom you are wed just like that.
  13. Find a kingdom you like, find their leader and become a mercenary.
  14. This will net you steady stream of xp, renown, denars, troops, prisoners, loot influence, morale for troops mainly if they are at war with someone.
  15. Get enough denars to get a caravan and send a companion with it. It takes a while to get it going but be prepared to lose 150-250 Denars day until it starts to ramp up. going somewhere between net 300 to over 1.5k denars.
  16. You are also able to purchase workshops in Major cities that cost about 13k Denars for the first one and it increases with each one you get. just make sure to recon the surrounding areas for competition and supply availability for the type of workshop you want to build.
  17. Once you are Renown lvl 3 you can become a vassal and start reaping better rewards and more importantly influence at a substantial rate. You dont need to cancel becoming a mercenary and then become a Vassal, you can just simply upgrade at the kingdom leader if you wish to stay with that particular Kingdom for a while.
  18. I’d recommend once you have at least 50k or so denars with a good steady stream of income and you have max companions with a few caravans and workshops, a relatively high amount and tier of troops to finish the main quest Neretzes Folly.
  19. Do this by talking to 10 leaders I mentioned at the beginning of the tips part.
  20. Talk to Both of the quest people and do their quests.
  21. You go to a hideout they tracked on your minimap wipeout the troops and co grats you have 1 more pieces. Repeat same quest from other quest giver, just tell both of them you are siding with them. You can make your decision after all 3 pieces.
  22. Choose which side you want to be. You can help the Sith, I mean Empires, or everyone else. I have see the option to show my new banner to the kingdom ruler but havent selected that option yet.
  23. This doesn’t necessarily mean that those options make the opposing side all hate you though.
  24. Pick a strategic start point for whatever you chose after talking to the correlating quest giver to complete the quest.
  25. As of current patch you cannot initiate war through the diplomacy panel. But you can go to the targets villages, take hostile actions, (loot, recruits or raid) and they will dry swiftly declare war on you.
  26. You can then raid castles and cities. But it’s a good idea to raid towns if you can to rob those castles and cities of supplies and food so their garrison starts to starve.
  27. Sieging- at minimum I recommend to always bring a battering ram. If you are able to, a Siege tower.
  28. One trick I have learned is that you can create a trebuche etc ,once it completes immediately click on it and send to reserve. Do this 4 times if you can without other armies crippling you. Because they ARE coming with a vengeance.
  29. Pause and deploy all trebuche and watch the magic happen. You wont need battering ram or siege towers with this method.
  30. But, there is a but. The chances of you being able to do this without being whittled down from incoming armies is not something that will regularly occur.
  31. Remember, the battering ram and one siege tower if possible.
  32. Once you are able to take the city or castle sit on it for a while. do upgrades and at the garrison build up. even go as far as to drop off units there to insure it will not be targeted, or if it is, that it can handle itself. This step is actually key if you want to finish the main quest to get your kingdom with no hassle of having to siege another castle/city to own a settlement of your selected quest type. Imperial or Non Imperial.
  33. Now Calridia is your oyster.
  34. Conquer and destroy the infidels or Join the empire and crush the rebellion or, Kill everyone. It’s really up to you.

This is where I leave you. I know there’s stuff I’m forgetting, there’s just so much you can do in this game and there are still many things I am learning and figuring out.

For those thinking about buying

  • Yes the game is in early access and it’s like 34 USD right now, but having never played any of the Mount and blades and coming to this game. I absolutely love it. Yes there are bugs. But I dont think I can name too many games that have zero bugs.
  • The dev’s are on FN on point with the patches and exploit and bug fixes. This game has such amazing potential. I cant wait to see where it is at 6 months or even a year from now. Not to mention from what I’ve heard, the modding community is gonna be booming with this game.

Look at it in this perspective

  • You buy a triple A game for 60 dollars or even over 100 with premium stuff. If its singleplayer you get maybe 10-30 hours of it and it done. Especially the ways some game companies have been lately. Not with this game.
  • You will be playing this game a ton once you get use to everything. You could find a good build, a secret strategy or what not to use with your Heirs or a new game campaign.
  • And that’s after over 100 hours of playing. Also, there is multiplayer for skirmishes, sieges etc with a leveling/ranking system.

I for one really hope the dev’s or the modders add in Coop campaign. That would just freaking rock. I can only imagine playing this game with like 3 or 5 or whatever amount of friends. some working with some against, that one person that wants to see their friends empire burn to ground, that sorta thing. I cant wait.


Top 10 things from this guide:

  1. Play on easy (which is really normal difficulty) at the least.
  2. Invest wisely in skills and attributes and perks.
  3. Make friends and go to war alongside them for phat loot.
  4. Get married, have kids expand Dynasty.
  5. Keep at least 20 troops in party at all times or get rekt.
  6. You can lock items in inventory to save time quickly selling junk and getting back out there.
  7. Gear your companions well.
  8. Couch lancing is amazing press X when you have a sufficient speed and the correct type of lance. It will say stuff like one handed, two handed, and couch.
  9. Focusing Charm early game is amazing Steward and Leadership are great mid to late game.
  10. You can be pretty much anything you want, but it takes time.
Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2706 Articles
My first game was Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation) back in 1996. And since then gaming has been my main hobby. I turned my passion for gaming into a job by starting my first geek blog in 2009. When I’m not working on the site, I play mostly on my PlayStation. But I also love outdoor activities and especially skiing.

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