Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord – Beginners Guide (What to do?)

Starting up Bannerlord might feel overwhelming if you haven’t played a Mount and Blade game before. It is an open world sandbox game where the player decides their own story. The problem is that new players might be left wondering what they are actually supposed to do. This is a beginners guide for new Bannerlord players.

This guide is a part of the complete Bannerlord guide covering most of frequently asked questions for the game.

Creating a character

When starting a new campaign the first thing you will meet is the player creation process. You will be able to create your own character to make him look however you want. Thereafter you will have to select your characters background and culture. These choices matter as they will decide your skills when the game starts. The culture will give a strong bonus that can’t be changed. So you decide what playstyle you want to use before finishing the character creation


Bannerlord culture selection screen
Culture selection screen

There are 6 different cultures in Bannerlord, each with their own specific advantages to your character. The cultures are the following:

  • Vlandians – 20% more battle experience for soldiers.
  • Sturgians – 20% less speed penalty from snow.
  • Empire – City projects, wall repair and siege preparations are 20% faster.
  • Aserai – 10% less trade penalty and caravans are 30% cheaper to make.
  • Khuzaits – 10% extra speed bonus for horsemen on the campaign map.
  • Battanians – 10% less speed penalty in forests.

Choose whichever culture fits your playstyle the best. If you plan on taking the peaceful approach to the game and mostly trade you should consider taking the Aserai culture as it benefits trading. Or if you want to become a renowned lord with a grand army you might want to take the Vlandian culture.

Recruit troops

Recruitment screen
Recruitment in villages

Starting out it’s only you who is in the party. You can’t do much fighting without any manpower. So the first thing you should do is run from village to village and recruit troops for your party. Level 1 troops only costs 10 denars each so they are fairly cheap. You will start with 1000 denars so it should be enough to get quite a party going.

Fight bandits

Once you have acquired some troops it’s now time to fight some weaker enemies. In the beginning of the game small bandit armies will wander around the map. There are multiple points why you should fight bandits in the earlygame.

Troop upgrades

Your new recruits will earn xp when winning battles. Upgrading units will allow you to become much stronger and take on even stronger foes. Especially in the early game when your hero is weak it is important to have a strong party with you to win the battles.

Earning money

Killing bandits will earn you money. Money is important to sustain your party. It will allow you to upgrade troops and pay their wages. When you start making big bucks you can start upgrading your equipment for you and your companions. We have a guide on best ways to make money in Bannerlord.

Gaining skill points

Character skill selection
Character skills. I recommend choosing 2 fighting skills.

It’s important to progress your character in the early game. You can try out different weapons and see what fits you best. You should choose only one or a few fighting skills as it will be easier to focus on just leveling up one.

The fighting skills are:

  • One-handed
  • Two-handed
  • Pole-arm
  • Bow
  • Crossbow
  • Throwing

I recommend selecting one melee skill and one ranged skill to focus on. I usually like playing with a one-handed sword and a bow. To upgrade the skills all you have to do is to use the weapons to slay enemies on the battlefield.

Complete Quests

Doing quests is a good way to get comfortable with the game. It will also earn you money, and good relationship with the notables in the villages/towns which unlocks more recruitment slots so you can acquire troops even faster.

To start a quest go to a town or village and look on the notables in the upper-right corner. If they have a blue exclamation mark it means they have a quest ready for you. Talk with them and accept the quests.

Note: be careful that some missions might be too hard to complete in the early game.

Upgrade clan tier

Establish clan beginners quest
Establish Clan beginner quest for tier 1 clan

One of your first goals should be to upgrade your clan tier to level 1. This will make your party substantially stronger, as it allows you to have a bigger party size and most importantly you can now become a mercenary. To find information how to upgrade your clan, you can head into the quest tab and find the quest called “Rebuild your clan”.

Become a mercenary

You should now be ready to start fighting the tougher boys in the realm. Choose a faction that you would like to become a part of and find one of their lords in their region. Talk with them and say you would like to offer them your service. As a mercenary you will get a salary which might pay off most of your maintenance costs for your troops. It will also allow you to start fighting some stronger enemies. You can now start fighting enemy lords which will give much better rewards than the bandits.

Our beginners guide for Bannerlord have covered the basics of how to start out in the game. Enjoy the game!

If you are lost or have any further questions check our complete guide.

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