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Mount and Blade 2 beginner guide

In this guide we will go through 10 of our best tips to help you in this intimidating new world if you are new to the franchise. We were also new to the franchise, we never got our hands on Mount and Blade 1, but we didn’t let that opportunity pass this time. 

When you hit the ground running in Bannerlord as a beginner, it’s quite intimidating and there are a lot of things to understand and get used to. We set our difficulty all the way up to realistic; we believe in trial by fire here at Beards Swords Shotguns. Even if you play on another difficulty, these tips will definitely help you progress and eventually take over the world. Let’s look at what our beginner guide has to offer.

Quick access to all 10 tips:

1. The “sell all” feature

2. Keep an eye on food stocks

3. Get about 15-20 people in your party 

4. Kite your enemies on the battlefield

5. Become a mercenary

6. Join every tournament that you can when passing a big city

7. Check your travel speed

8. Get a shield

9. Save your money until you have 18k and get a caravan

10. Take care of prisoners

11. Youtube Video

1. The “sell all” feature

As you win fights, you will loot lots of items from your fallen enemies increasing your wealth in this ruthless kingdom of looters and lords. After a fight you collect shoes, shirts along with a bunch of other useless goods that’s pretty much only good for selling. You might eye a certain item in between all that junk that you want to keep for later.

The game has a nice little sell all feature which makes it super easy to sell everything after a battle, saving you about 100 clicks. However, you should be careful because when you use this feature it will literally sell everything that your character does not have equipped, you don’t want to sell horses, food or items you want to keep.

How can I still benefit from the “sell all” feature, while keeping certain items? Well, we’re glad you asked. There is a little radio button next to each item in your list. Click on the radio button next to the items you want to keep. This will lock your items so the next time you click on the sell all button it will sell everything, except the items you kept on lockdown, nifty if you ask us.

Mount and blade 2 Sell all
Make sure to use the Sell All feature [Image: Taleworlds]

2. Keep an eye on food stocks

Your army will need food to survive. We found that feeding them grain is the cheapest way to keep those tummies full and the morale in a stable position. We can recommend that you keep about 20 days’ worth of food with you at all times, to help you chase those damn looters. You can see your remaining food in days when you hover over the grain icon in the bottom right of the UI. We don’t recommend you buy food from the big cities, rather buy from the small villages that specialise in a certain food type. If you see fields next to the village, they might have some decent deals on grain, the same goes for villages next to water, they usually sell fish for next to nothing to keep your armies fed.

Mount and blade 2 buy food
Get grain at the best price from the villages [Image: Taleworlds]

3. Get about 15-20 people in your party 

It is extremely important to grow your army size between 15-20 as soon as you can. Having an army size between 15 and 20 will chase some smaller groups away, because you won’t want to fight or get captured by every single ten man looter army. This turns the table, putting you in a position where you can now hunt them down.

4. Kite your enemies on the battlefield

I purely learned this strategy because I always bite off more than I can chew in games like this. I don’t want to wait until I have enough guys to take on a slightly larger group. It is somewhat possible to do just that in this game. You will need a horse for your main character, as soon as the battle starts, order your men to charge. This early in the game you probably won’t have any heavy hitters in your army, only villagers with a can-do attitude. That is perfect, so what you do is, as you order your men to charge, you run ahead with your horse, and head straight for their army. 

Mount and blade 2 Kite enemies
Kiting looters to reduce the impact to my army [Image: Taleworlds]

As the enemy army sees Mel Gibson charging at them, they will want your head. Don’t run into their army though, you will die. Just before you collide, make a sharp turn, this will send a bunch of bloodthirsty NPC’s after you. Now your 20 men will have fewer men to deal with, giving them the upper-hand. Once they have run through the first batch you can return to your army and help slay the remaining looters. This has worked in my favour multiple times.

5. Become a mercenary

As you progress and you fall in love with a certain region, it’s a great time to become a mercenary for the faction that you like. Not only does this make you feel part of something bigger, it also gives you access to rely on support from your allies in little squabbles along the way. You can now join your faction’s big armies to conquer their rivals. This is a great way to be part of high risk fights without putting too much at risk. I always let my ally’s troops rush into battle first, then I send my cowards into the fray, minimising my losses.

Mount and blade 2 become a mercenary
Finally someone is around when I need them! [Image: Taleworlds]

You can become a mercenary by visiting different castles throughout the map. Before entering, check if there is some home first. If you see a character portrait in the top right bar, you are in business. Enter the castle and start a casual conversation with the person in charge. You can pledge your sword for the faction’s cause. Well done, you have now become a mercenary. This is a crucial part of your beginner journey.

6. Join every tournament that you can when passing a big city

This is one of my favourite activities in the game by far. Proving my battle hardened skills in a tournament setup. You can bet on yourself if you have confidence with the region’s weapons. I love the northern part of the map which makes most of my tournaments in snowy arenas with axes, shields and spears. Each tournament offers a different item as a reward. I have seen horses, armor and weapons. Even if the weapon you win does not entirely fit your playstyle, rather lock it and keep it as a gift for when you recruit a special character from the tavern, giving them more of an edge in battle. The rewards do not stop there, you also gain a bunch of renown which levels your clan, the higher level your clan, the bigger your maximum army size. 

Bannerlords Join tournament
Tournaments is a great way to get rewards and show off your skills [Image: Taleworlds]

7. Check your travel speed

We have all been there, you get used to combat, you feel confident about winning a fight and your eye catches a 40-man group of looters, begging for a beating. You immediately double click on them to make your journey towards them to take what they have. Assuming you have enough food and enough money to keep your army alive, you can set out on long journeys. When chasing a particular group always check their speed compared to yours, simply hover over your party and the party you are chasing to get this information.

Bannerlords troops speed
Currently my speed is 4.9, not too bad. [Image: Taleworlds]

If they have more speed than you, you won’t ever catch up to them, except if they run into a dead end. Chases like these can be costly on your resources. I have chased a small bunch of looters across the map until they met up with their buddies, increasing their numbers. Once their numbers were more than mine, they turned around and now they have the upper hand. There is no turning back here. You will fight a large group, you might even lose because of your mindless chase. Better give your troops a damn good pep talk. Godspeed.

8. Get a shield

We all want to be swinging the biggest and baddest two-handed axe that the game has to offer, but for survival we would recommend you get your hands on a shield as soon as possible. Parrying with only a weapon requires a lot of skill and good reaction time, when you have a shield it makes it easier to block shots from most directions. The shield also helps when the enemy rains down a flurry of arrows upon you and your army. The shield can either be a great training wheel or a way of life, your choice.

Bannerlords Shield
Any shield will suffice at the start of the game [Image: Taleworlds]

9. Save your money until you have 18k and get a caravan

This is where you’ll see that you start breaking out of the state of living day to day and only making ends meet. I would recommend save your money the best you can, while still maintaining a decent army. After all, you will need an army to make money, slay every 20+ group of looters and take on some mountain, forest and sea raiders while you have strength in numbers. They are much tougher than the looters but they offer better rewards when slain. You will lose some troops when engaging with them though, so don’t be overly confident when approaching a big group of raiders. Once you have 18k, use 15k to buy the caravan and 3k to maintain your army’s expenses.

Bannerlords Caravan
“I wish to form a caravan in this town” [Image: Taleworlds]

Head straight to your favourite city and seek any merchant. Engage in conversation with them and you will see some options pop up after the basic introductions. Choose the conversation that says “I wish to form a caravan in this town”, they will ask you to hand over 15k and a person who will run and maintain the caravan for you. If you don’t have someone like this yet, head to the tavern, press left-alt to highlight points/people of interest. If you see a named person in the tavern, you will be able to recruit them. If this was not part of your budget of 18k, head out and slay more looters and come back when your money situation looks better. When you appoint this person to the caravan, they will no longer accompany you in battle. If your struggling to get money, be sure to check out our guide on how to make money here.

10. Take care of prisoners

The last tip in our Bannerlords beginner’s guide is how to handle prisoners. We found out about how this mechanic worked a little too late. We could have saved a couple of hours trying to go from peasants to knights in our armies. Once you slay an army and after the battle has concluded, you have the option to take some prisoners of war. When you slay for example a group of raiders, you might take some higher level prisoners. Now that you have some prisoners tagging along, here are a couple of options to choose from.

You can either sell them at your nearest city to fill some holes in your pocket, or you can keep them in your army, you will have to feed them until you decide what to do with them. Once they have traveled with you for a couple of days, you will be able to recruit them into your army. When you head over to your party menu, find the list on the right labeled “Prisoners”. There you will see a list of all the prisoners you are currently tagging along. Once they become ready to recruit you will see a little “Recruit Prisoner” icon on them as demonstrated in the screenshot. If you have some open spots in your army, rather recruit higher tier units, kick those damn peasants to the curb!

Bannerlords Prisoners
Fine, I’ll take the damn prisoners [Image: Taleworlds]

If this is not enough, we even made a video guide!

Mount and Blade Bannerlord beginner guide 

We hope this guide taught you something new, please let us know in the comments if you found some great tips to help you conquer the world!

Forward!

Beards Swords Shotguns