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Mount and Blade 2 arena guide – How to win arena tournaments and practice on realistic difficulty

Mount and Blade 2 released with Steam Early Access on the 30th March 2020 and if Steam’s stats page is anything to go by the game is doing very well. Hundreds of thousands of players are flocking to Calradia to establish their own kingdoms and clans, but the road to the top is a tough one. Here at Beards Sword Shotguns we play with all the difficulty settings set to realistic to really simulate the struggle of building a kingdom in a merciless and gritty ancient world. In this Mount and Blade 2 arena guide, we will help you win tournaments and practice matches early in the game, even on realistic difficulty.

In search of renown, a currency used to level up your clan, we traveled to the nearest large city to see what opportunities it had for us to grow. You can chase around looters and small groups of bandits, but with a small army made up of weak troops this isn’t necessarily a viable choice early in the game. The arena caught our eye as a potential opportunity to make some gold and gather some precious renown.

The arena

The Mount and Blade 2 arena has two different modes, an official tournament mode and a practice mode.

Mount and Blade 2 tournament mode

mount and blade 2 arena win
Winning is nice. [Image: TaleWorlds Entertainment]

This is probably the most lucrative of the two modes, as you can make some decent money and win sweet gear if you are victorious. 

Tournaments consist of four rounds with the fourth and final round being a one versus one situation. The other three rounds take on different forms and can include fights where everyone fights at the same time, four versus four scenarios or even one-on-one combat. 16 combatants enter the tournament, but only one can be the winner. 

By winning these tournaments you can achieve three important things that put you ahead in the early game.

  • One can make decent money by betting on yourself. For this to work you obviously have to win matches and in the rest of the Mount and Blade arena guide we will help you do just that;
  • The reward for winning a tournament is usually a higher tier item, which you will not be able to afford during the early game. You can either use or sell these items but either way they boost your standing in the world of Calradia;
  • You gain 3 renown per tournament win, which is a decent amount, especially in the early stages of your clan and kingdom.

Mount and Blade 2 arena practice

mount and blade 2 arena practice
May the best fighter win! [Image: TaleWorlds Entertainment]

The arena has a second mode that is available when no tournament is active in the city you are visiting. This is the practice mode. The practice mode is decidedly less lucrative than the tournaments, but can still net you a good amount of money if you manage to win. 

During a practice round in the arena, you are required to be the lone survivor in a pool of 30 other combatants. They spawn in waves as the round progresses, so you won’t have to fight them all at once. If you manage to survive the entire ordeal you are rewarded with 250 pieces of gold, which is a decent amount early in the game. You can make gold by beating a certain number of combatants and losing, but winning is worth exponentially more. 

Unfortunately, there are no other rewards for the practice rounds, but they are extremely fun to play and will regularly leave you with that “just one more round” early morning gaming sessions.

How to win in the arena?

Now we get to the juicy part of this arena guide, how to win tournaments and practice rounds.

How to win arena tournaments in Mount and Blade 2?

As we discussed earlier, the tournaments give better returns for the time you invest, and therefore we would suggest you go for them whenever they are available in a city you are visiting. Each tournament will be slightly different, but these tips should help in any circumstances.

1. Support your teammates

This is probably the most important tip to get you through the first two rounds, as these rounds are generally team-based battles. Mount and Blade 2 is not a game where you will easily win a fight with two or three other combatants without support. This is only amplified when you play on the realistic difficulty level. As the battle starts, try to follow and support your team and help them bring down their targets, this way you will give yourself the best chance to survive the encounter and qualify for the next round.

Stay with your allies to have the best chance of winning the round. [Image: TaleWorlds Entertainment]

2. Have your teammates support you

There are times when you are engaged in one-on-one combat and another enemy troop decides to join the fight. It is difficult to fight two combatants at the same time, and on realistic difficulty you can easily die from two or three shots. If you find yourself overwhelmed, try to kite your attackers toward your allies and hope they join in and help you. By having your allies support you, they will create openings where you can strike for big damage and hopefully slay some enemy troops before they slay you.

3. Use the environment

You don’t have a say about which weapons you spawn with, but as soon as combatants start to fall in battle you can pick up their shields and weapons if you prefer what they had. You can also use horses that have lost their riders, which can make it much easier to clean up the remaining combatants. 

Some arenas have tree stumps and other debris, and you can use this to your advantage. Kite enemy combatants around these objects and when they hit them with an attack, you will have an opening to strike.

mount and blade 2 arena pickup
Feel free to take the items of your dead allies. [Image: TaleWorlds Entertainment]

4. Get a shield

If you spawn in as an archer, try to get a melee weapon and shield as soon as you can. If your teammates die, the enemy will charge at you and will probably win the fight if you can’t block their attacks.

5. Be patient

In the one-on-one situations, be patient when engaging another combatant. Wait for them to give you an opening where you can land a shot. Don’t be too stressed about the durability of your shield (in the cases where you have one). If you fail to beat your opponent before your shield is broken you didn’t take the chances to strike you were given during the fight.

6. Target heavily armoured combatants during the early rounds

If you have the chance to lead the attack or your teammates have already died, focus on heavily armoured combatants. The earlier you can force them out of the tournament, the better the chances are that you won’t have to face them in one-on-one combat in the later rounds. This will make your life much easier and give a chance to snatch the win.

7. Use cut attacks

We have found that using cut or horizontal attacks give the best results when fighting on foot. Enemy combatants seem to easily block piercing attacks or vertical attacks aiming for the head. Try moving around and using cut attacks to look for an opening to strike.

8. First do tournaments in the Empire

The tournaments that you find in the Empire cities are the easiest to beat. If you travel further North, you will have to win one-on-one fights with two-handed weapons, and this is much harder than winning with a sword and shield.

If you follow these 8 tips, it won’t be long before you have your first victory in the bag. You don’t need high tier armour to win a tournament, you can do it by being smart and using your teammates and the environment.

Empire City
The city where I won my first tournament. [Image: TaleWorlds Entertainment]

How to win arena practice rounds in Mount and Blade 2?

The arena practice rounds are more random and therefore more difficult to predict. You spawn with no armor and a random assortment of weapons, so things can get quite hairy very quickly. Luckily, it is possible to rack up quite a few wins if you follow these tips.

1.  Get a shield

Even more important than in the tournaments, try to get a shield ASAP. If you are lucky you will start with one, otherwise hang around the arena and look out for other combatants that spawn with shields. Once they lose a fight, swoop in and pick up their shield.

mount and blade 2 arena shield
Enemy with shield identified, now I just need him to be dead. [Image: TaleWorlds Entertainment]

2. Don’t engage if you don’t have to

It is quite tempting to charge every new enemy that spawns, but this will probably end your round prematurely. The trick to winning the practice rounds is to only engage an enemy when you have to. Let them slay each other and get you closer to the 250 gold pieces for winning!

3. Keep moving

Not engaging in combat doesn’t mean you should stand still. If you stand still and watch the fighting, there is a good chance you will take a javelin or an arrow to head and collapse in a dramatic fashion. Always keep moving and keep an eye on all the areas combatants are spawning from to ensure that you will not be ambushed.

Shield win
If you don’t move the shield will be your body. [Image: TaleWorlds Entertainment]

4. Don’t camp with a bow or javelin

Related to the third tip, don’t stand still and try to snipe combatants with your bow or javelin. If you spawn with a bow, it is very tempting to do this, but we have had countless deaths when we were struck by an enemy spawning behind us or one we didn’t notice. Keep moving and save your ranged weapons to slay charging enemies. 

The horns sound and the ravens gather

We hope this Mount and Blade 2 arena guide helped you win some arena tournaments and practice rounds. They do become easier as your skills increase and you get better gear but they are 100% beatable on realistic difficulty even early in the game. Feel free to use the comments to tell us about some epic battles you have had.