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Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord – how to make money

Money makes the world go around. That statement is debatable, but it certainly enables you to move your army around in Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord. Making money in Bannerlord is not quite as easy as it seems and if you lose a few engagements early on you really are on the back foot. If you manage to get your clan’s economy going, the early game is much easier. With a good economy you can focus on building powerful armies and building your clan instead of fighting for survival. 

There are many answers to the question, how to make money in Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord? In this article we will look at the one we have found the most success with, especially during the early game. If you manage to get through the early game financial and economic barrier, making money becomes much easier.

Mount and Blade 2 how to make money
With a good economy you can own a town of your own eventually. [Image: TaleWorlds]

Making money in Mount and Blade 2 with trading

Yes you guessed it. One of the most effective ways to make money, especially during the early game, is by trading. In this guide we won’t be helping you to cheese the game by exploiting the forge or other mechanics. We will help you understand the in-game economy and maximize your gains by turning your army into a supply caravan. Once you have a baseline income to fuel your conquest, you can place your trading career on the back burner in favour of other ways of earning Denars.

What do you need to start trading?

To get to a point where you can automate your economy you will need to spend some time as a trader. The good news is that you don’t need an insane trading skill (I had 25), or a ton of time. If you can mark all the boxes in the checklist below you will only have to spend around 30 minutes to multiply your current balance by 5. Yes you read that right, 30 minutes to multiply your bank account by 5 times what it was before you became a trader. In order to start making money in Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord, use the checklist below to see if you are ready:

Have 20 units in your army ✔

Have enough food so they don’t starve ✔

Have a carrying capacity of around 800-1000 (5 mules should do the trick) ✔

Have 1000 gold in your account ✔

Have around 30 minutes to play ✔

Mount and Blade 2 how to make money
Your capacity is located in the top-right corner of the trade screen. [Image: TaleWorlds]

If you comply with these 5 items you are well on your way to having a very productive 30 minutes of Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord.

Understanding the process of being a trader

Trading and making money in Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord is not overly complex, but there are some elements that may be unclear if you are just starting out. In this part of the guide, we will take a quick look at each of these elements.

Food, drink and materials

This the bread and butter of your trading empire. Each town or city you visit will have an option to trade and we are specifically looking for the miscellaneous or production items. By using the menu at the top you can filter the available items to only see the miscellaneous ones. This group of items include things like food, beer and wine and other crafting materials such as iron and wood. These items are the best to trade and will make you a lot of money in a short time. Of course you can trade horses, armour and weapons but we would suggest you do this after you have established your economy.

Mount and Blade 2 how to make money
You can filter for miscellaneous items using this button. [Image: TaleWorlds]

Trading rumors

While the items discussed above are the physical means by which you will make money, the trade rumors show you which ones to buy and sell. When you hover over an item in the city or town’s store you are visiting, you will see one of three colours regarding its price:

Green – this means that you can buy the item for a low price. 

Yellow/Neutral – this means that the price of the item is normal. 

Red – this means that the item is selling at a high price.

Below the price at which you purchase the goods, you can find trading rumors. These rumors will give you hints showing where you can either sell something at a high price or buy something at a low price. The key to making money as a trader is reacting to these rumors.

Rumors are important for successful trading. [Image: TaleWorlds]

Buying low, selling high

To make the most out of your trading, you need to look for items that are selling at a low price and travel around to sell them at a profit. The math isn’t quite as simple and there are many factors that influence the price of an item. If you travel far between cities to trade, prices can drastically change and you can lose a lot of the money you made. The Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord economy is governed by supply and demand, so if you wait too long to respond to a rumor one of the two has likely changed. The AI has many caravans also trading around the area of Calradia and they can cause prices to change.

How to do make money with trading

Step 1 – Establish your trading route

We found a triangular method of trading to work the best. To establish your triangle of trading, visit any town on the map. We would suggest you start with one of the Empire towns to avoid difficult to navigate terrain. The area around Poros has good routes and easy to navigate terrain.

Bannerlord trading
An example of one of our trade routes. [Image: TaleWorlds]

Once you visit the town of your choosing, check its trade rumors to see which neighbouring towns are buying at a high price. Visit one of the towns trading high and see if they have any neighbours trading at high prices. By visiting these towns you should be able to draw a virtual triangle on the overworld map. This will form the basis of your trade route. 

You can of course deviate from the route if another town that is close is trading at good prices. But be careful to not venture too far as prices may change and you will lose money in this case.

Step 2 – Buy low and sell high in moderation

As we have already discussed, you need to buy items marked with a green price and sell them at the town on your route with the highest buying price. There is however one other factor that plays a role. As you buy items from a town, you are creating a demand by buying everything they have. Take grain, as an example:

Town A is selling grain at a very low price of 6 Denars per unit. They have 100 units of grain in their stores. You can buy 40 units of grain at 6 Denars, but you are causing the stores to run low by buying that much. After buying 40 units the price increases to 7 Denars per unit, and after buying 80 units the price is at 9 Denars. You can sell them at Town B for 12 Denars per unit so 9 should still be fine as you will make a profit. You arrive at Town B and start selling your grain. After unloading 50 units of grain you notice that Town B is now only paying 11 Denars per unit. This is happening because you are satisfying their demand. 

This is an important mechanic to keep in mind and therefore we suggest that you never buy out the entire stock of a town. We usually buy around 60% of the stock to avoid destroying the economy and therefore maximizing the potential of your trading route.

Step 3 – Determine a new route

After you have spent some time trading on the route you plotted, you will notice that you are starting to make less money. This means that the economy on your route has been over-stimulated and you are buying and selling the same items over and over. 

You can break this cycle by simply drawing a new triangle. It is as easy as just moving your route to new towns located directly next to your current route in any direction. Determine a few that sell low and buy high and restart the process.

Step 4 – Profit!

If you follow this process and take heed of all the tips we discussed, you should be able to multiply the amount of gold in your account by a substantial amount, only spending 30 minutes! We did three test runs on different places on the map and these were the results using our checklist and triangular trading routes:

  • Test 1 Empire – Started with 1500 Denars and ended with 7360 Denars
  • Test 2 Vlandia – Started with 1500 Denars and ended with 7290 Denars
  • Test 3 Aserai – Started with 1500 Denars and ended with 5900 Denars

So there you have it, this method can help you make a quick buck early in the game which you can use to automate your economy.

We came, we saw, and we made a profit!

We hope this Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord guide on how to make money helped you bust through the initial economic barrier. Please leave us a comment to share how much you made on your 30 minute trading runs. We would love to compare results. If you want to make money by winning in the arena you can read our arena guide here. Happy trading!