Last updated on April 14th, 2020
Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord can be a very challenging game, and there is a steep learning curve, especially at the beginning. Even players who are veterans of Mount and Blade: Warband may find themselves in the deep end, so we’ve decided to put together a couple of guides, showing you a few things that might just make getting started, that bit easier for you. In this Making Money in Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord Getting Started Guide Part 2, we will go over gathering your party, troops, doing quests for others and more.
Making Money in Mount And Blade 2 Bannerlord: Getting Started Guide Part 2
In the first part of the series, we’ve covered character creation, tracking down looters, upgrading your weapon and mount, as well as doing some basic trading. In the second part of our How to make money in M&B2 Bannerlolrd Guide, we will go into more details about ways to make money, how to build up your clan and more. Bannerlord is an open-world sandbox filled with countless possibilities, and it’s easy to get yourself into big trouble. Here we’ll focus on low-risk activities where failure is less likely and not as costly.
Gathering Your First Party
So by now you will have probably focused on lone Looters, and sold their stuff for some money. You’ve gained levels, and honed one of your weapon skills, alongside gaining some trade skills and profit in the process. Now you will probably want to start forming your army, as well as and conquering the world. You can do this one step at a time but first you will need to organise your party. At the beginning you will not be as strong nor as big as you wish in terms of party size, but it will get the job done.
What Troops to Recruit
Recruiting requires you to go villages or towns, and have some positive relations with the city’s most influential people, then choose “Recruit Troops”. At the start, you are only able to recruit Rank One peasants, but as you progress your character and your clan, you’ll be able to recruit higher tiers. Be sure to check all unit upgrade trees on our Bannerlord wiki for great details on all units, but here’s some general advice:
Vlandian Recruit: Upgrades to Vlandian sharpshooters at T5 have superior range with a crossbow, as well as good melee capabilities with one handed weapons and shield. Good all-around melee/ranged hybrid.
Sturgian Recruit: Upgrades to Sturgian Spearman at T4, make a good unit for anti-cavalry spear wall tactics.
Khuzait Nomad: Upgrades to mostly horse archers.
Imperial Recruit: Upgrades to good armored melee units.
Battanian Volunteer: Upgrades to different melee and cavalry units. No archers, but have many throwing weapons. Good for skirmish parties.
Aserai Recruit: Upgrades to good Mameluke cavalry units.
(Any Race) Peasants: Random prisoners found with Looters or Bandits. Villagers who have been captured, and now freed. You are able to recruit them into your army, and they will upgrade to mercenary units. They have a unique Mercenary Tree, and uses decent crossbows for superior range.
Certainly each of these units have many upgradeable paths, not just one or two, but this is a general idea to help you choose your initial troops.
Note that your troops types don’t necessarily need to match either your culture, or the faction you plan to join.
Upgrading usually costs gold, and raises your troops daily wage. But upgrading normal soldiers into cavalry require an extra horse in your inventory. But not just any horse, but the local horse for the troop’s type. For example, upgrading Aserai Mameluke Soldier (melee) to Aserai Mameluke regular (cavalry) requires a Desert Horse. They can be bought only in the Aserai cities, or looted from defeating an Aserai army.
How to Choose Your Companions
The next part of forming your party is acquiring companions. Companions are named characters you can find and recruit in taverns, in each major city. They have personalities, traits, and different skill sets. It might not be obvious, but you can check potential companion information before you recruit them, by going into Tavern District.
Instead of going straight into the tavern itself, you can check the panel the on top right of the screen. Here you will find all portraits of potential companions, you can right-click on it to show all information about the companion, and their skills. Left-clicking allows you to talk to them, and pay the entry fee to recruit them.
Companions can fulfil various roles in your party, and can even tell some of your troops, to perform certain quests for you. Later in the game, they will form your household and can govern over your lands for you. They also fight by your side in battle, and accompany you in town, which is important for certain activities. There are also many reasons to choose your companion carefully which we will go into now.
You can assign a Surgeon role to any companion by talking to them, and asking them to become a surgeon for your clan. A Surgeon with a good medicine skill will boost the healing for yourself and your party after being wounded in battles. It takes affect while you are traveling and when you’re waiting it out in cities, but waiting in cities has an increased level of medicine skill, gaining a slightly faster recovery rate.
Try to find a companion with a high level medicine skill early on, they will help you from start to finish. Medicine skills also help to recover your troops from fatal wounds, so they become wounded instead of dead. Having a higher level skill will also help to recover enemies you’ve captured from battle. This is a great benefit because they will become prisoners rather than die, which helps making a profit when you ransom them.
A Scout is a companion who finds tracks of enemies who have passed an area some time ago, being able to spot enemy parties from a far, as well as bandit hideouts from a further distance. They can also increase party speed slightly and assigning a scout with good Scouting skills is a nice addition to any party.
The most basic use for the Quartermaster, is increasing your maximum party size potential, if you don’t personally invest in the Steward skill. A Quartermaster with a high a Steward skill is a must. The bonus to the party size stacks with the bonus from your clan level (which will depend on Renown earned from battles or great feats), building up slowly but steadily. It can end up with very high numbers at endgame, so make sure to start leveling yourself, or your quartermaster’s Steward skill from the beginning.
Later on, once you own fiefs and holdings, your Quartermaster can be sent to recruit troops from your villages to train them for you.
This is a more of an advanced role, as Engineers help you operate siege weapons during sieges. If we are not that far in the game, we can skip this role until needed.
This role is not listed in the menu, but a companion can be assigned to operate your trading caravan, once you get one up and running. Caravans can be a great source of income, and assigning a companion with high Trade skill, will net you more profit per day. That’s one of main sources of income, so choose wisely.
Note a companion with a high trade skill can help you buy and sell at good prices.
Again, not listed, but is a fairly obvious role. If you have filled all party roles and have room for more companions, make sure to get the best fighter that suits your tactics. If you plan on giving him a horse, make sure he has a good Riding skill. Match their weapon skills with the weapon you give him or her, they will be more effective that way. Finally, make sure to put some equipment in their Civilian tab in inventory, as these will help during fights in towns and villages in certain quests.
As a final note: remember you can assign yourself a role in the party/clan, not just companions.
How to Sustain Your Party Wages
If you hover your mouse over the money info in the bottom right panel, you will see your daily income and expenses. You start with zero for both, and your expenses keep growing the more you recruit or upgrade your troops.
Low level troops are cheap, but they are weak, and you will eventually upgrade them all into more powerful warriors or horsemen, that consume a lot Denars per day. So it will become more important to secure a steady income first, before building your army size.
Doing Quests for Others
Doing quests is not the most profitable business, but it helps you build up relationships with people. You can recognize if an NPC has a quest, by the exclamation mark next to their avatar found in the town or village menu. Talk to them, and they explain the mission, then you have a chance to accept or deny.
There are various Quests, but Poachers and Protect the Caravan quests are two of most profitable, while Family Feuds are mostly not worth your time as well as have a chance for failure. Overpriced Resources quests can be a huge profit if you are a trader, and know where to get cheap resources for the quest.
Make sure to repeat quests for certain NPCs in towns you recruit from, because positive relations open up higher ranks for recruits.
Bandits are a higher level enemy compared to Looters, with more dangerous units to worry about, and they possess horses. They can do some serious damage to your small party, that’s why you need some tactics involved, and having a good Tactics skill can prove helpful to break their morale faster.
Depending on the Bandit type (Forest, Desert, .. etc) , they may have lances in their troops, so don’t charge at them with your cavalry. Set Cavalry to follow you instead, and skirt around them. Try to distract them while your archers or crossbowmen bring them down from afar. You also can headshot their mounts to kill them quickly.
If they have many horses, form a Spearwall with Spearmen in front of your archers and crossbowmen. This will help kill their mounts and knock them down.
If they mostly consist of archers and don’t have many cavalry, charge with your cavalry towards them to get their attention. You can then order your melee units to charge while you skirt around them, avoiding their missiles. Or use your crossbow units, as you will have the upper hand with greater range, letting you shoot them down before they even get close to you.
Try different variations of tactics in battle to learn the game mechanics, and find your preferred style. By the end of the battle, you will take some valuable prisoners, and better loot. They both sell for a good price, and you might find some armour upgrades for yourself and your companions.
Buying a Shop
Now we are getting serious with our money making techniques. Buying shops are a great investment, and require some savings. You need around 14,000 gold to buy a shop, and will need to do the following:
- Go into a major town, preferably one with more prosperity.
- Walk around the town, and press Left Alt to see where the shops are.
- Shops can be anything you want, a silversmith, brewery, or any artisan shop that takes your fancy. It doesn’t matter what you buy, because you will immediately have a chance to change the profession of the workshop.
- Go to the shop and talk to any worker, then choose “I want to buy this shop”
- Choose a workshop type. Try to use common sense when deciding this, for example if a town produces an abundance of clay and it’s cheap, a Pottery workshop might make profit more easily.
- Exit the town and go on with your normal day to day, and you will soon see your income growing.
- You can change your workshop profession later if it proves unprofitable for long term (a month with bad profit). To check this, open your Clan screen and go to Other tab.
Operating a Caravan
Caravans are a bit more expensive than shops, so I’d not recommend getting a caravan before getting a steady income from a shop first. To operate a caravan you need 15,000 gold, and do the following:
- Go to a major town, preferably one with a middle position and access to many trade roads to other towns.
- Talk with different NPCs until you find the one with the option “I want to build a caravan”
- Choose a companion to lead your caravans, preferably one with good trade skills.
- Have an extra few thousand gold with you, because caravans guards take their wages regardless of whether the caravan has made a profit.
- Be patient as it will take some time to turn a profit, but the caravan will start to make a profit soon.
This part requires a huge investment in your character, and that’s why we have run alone for some time, spending all our gold upgrading our gear and investing in skills. You can enter Tournaments by going to the arena in any town, and asking the arena master if he knows of any currently ongoing. He will name a few towns with tournaments happening, and you can go to any.
You can watch rounds that you are not taking part in, to evaluate your opponents. If you find an opponent too great of a threat, don’t place high bets on yourself, in case you lose your money.
When it’s your turn, place a bet on yourself, and get fighting. They will provide you with random training weapons, but you will enter with the armour you have currently equipped, so make sure you have selected some good armour before heading to the arena. You will fight in teams for the first few rounds, before it gets down to 1 VS 1. If you win all rounds, you are the champion of the arena, and you earn a decent amount of money, plus the profit from betting on yourself.
You might get unlucky and they’ll give you a weapon which you have no training with, but you can pick another weapon from the dead combatants to have better fighting chance. You can also equip two shields, one in your left hand and one on your back, to get extra protection from random arrows shot from behind.
Tournaments can become major sources of gold and glory if you master the fights, and it doesn’t require a good party to engage in them.
Participate in Fighting
A lesser version of the Tournaments is always available by talking to the arena master and picking “Practice the Fight”. You enter without any armour and a random weapon. This is more like a survival game with 25 men against each other, with a maximum of 4-8 participants in the arena at any given time, and a replacement for the defeated will keep entering one by one.
You can earn up to 25 denar by defeating 10 opponents, or win a total of 250 denar by being the last one standing. It’s moderately challenging, but it has zero risk, as you pay nothing to participate, and defeat doesn’t leave you physically wounded. You can re-try countless times until you get the desired outcome.
Clearing Gangs from Towns
Another hidden activity in Bannerlord is to clear some gangs from towns. Just go to the town center, gather your companions and go find some “thugs”, usually located at the Waterfront or down the Backstreets. Strike up a conversation with them, reply to them rudely, and they will engage in an attack. Kill them with the help from your companions, and this will take you to a choice of “Stay to prevent the gang from coming back”, press “Yes” and wait. Another prompt will pop up, and you are able to fight a bigger gang in the street. Defeat them all, and you will loot very valuable trade goods, and improve your relationship with other NPCs in city.
To be more effective in this battle, make sure to equip good armour and weapons from your inventory located in the Civilian tab. Only a select few weapons and armour can be equipped here, others will be marked in blue meaning they can’t be used, so be sure to get the best possible equipment.
This wraps up our Making Money in Bannerlord, Getting Started Guide Part 2 of our starter series, and I hope this helps you get going with with the game. Stay tuned for more guides for Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord, as we plan on sharing more in the upcoming weeks. In the mean time, be sure to drop by the Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord wiki for all the latest info, and check our Part One of the this guide.