In Mount & Blade 2, every culture has its pros and cons. However, some cultures do better in the game than others. Here’s what you need to know as a player.
After more than two and a half years, Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord is finally out of early access. With the game’s release, both old fans and new players are jumping into Calradia to try everything it has to offer and see what’s new.
But while players are storing butter and taking over castles, they will have to make many important choices, like which troops to focus on and who to marry. In Mount and Blade 2, the most important choice is which culture to play as. There are six different Bannerlord cultures, and each one has its own pros and cons. Players will want to know which one is the best.
- Campers are 30% less expensive.
- The trade punishment has been cut by 10%.
- Traveling in the desert doesn’t slow you down.
- 5% pay raise for troops
The Aserai live in the desert and are known for how well they ride horses. Caravans are cheaper to build and have less of a cost when it comes to trade. This is a good way to make money, especially early on. They also don’t have to move slower through areas. Because of these things, Aserai people make great traders. Aserai forces are pretty well-balanced, with a good number of good infantry, archer, and horse units for players who also want to fight. This makes them flexible and means they don’t have any obvious weaknesses, but it also means they don’t specialize as much as other groups.
The later in the game you get, the more important it is to control towns than it is to be good at trading. Also, since there are no deserts outside of the Aserai Sultanate, their speed advantage doesn’t help them when they fight other Kingdoms. Aserai characters also have to pay their troops more every day, which makes it very expensive to keep forces. Other countries have more to offer players who want to play a game with a lot of fighting. But an Aserai character is a great choice for someone who wants to make the best trader Calradia has ever seen.
- It costs 25% less to hire and improve rifle troops.
- Armies lose 25% less solidarity per day
- Kingdom choices will hurt relationships by 20% more.
Based on the Kievan Rus and the Vikings, this culture is for players who like the idea of strong army troops pillaging and looting across the continent. It costs less to hire and improve infantry, and forces work better together. These benefits are useful for the whole game because they save money and influence and let players build huge armies. Also very useful are Sturgian units. Their Heroic Line Breakers and Spearmen are some of the best infantry in the game. They can make a shield wall that can stop even the greatest attacks.
Their shock cavalry is also a surprising good way to fight enemy horses. If a player wants to play aggressively and loves the idea of being in the middle of things, they don’t need to look any further. If a player wants to try smithing, they might also want to try Sturgia. They would spawn on the border with Battania, which is a great place to start.
The downside is that Kingdom choices cost Sturgians more influence, which can set players back in the late game if they are trying to keep territory or keep the peace. Players who are Sturgians may also find it hard to set up their Kingdom because their land is spread out thinly across the top of the map and is covered in thick forests. This makes it hard to get around and makes it hard to protect the whole area. Also, it seems like Grand Prince Raganvad loses more fights than the other faction leaders.
- 5% more fame from fights
- 15% more money when you are a mercenary.
- 10% more production from towns connected to castles
- When hiring lords, the cost of influence will go up by 20%.
Vlandians are great sell-swords and soldiers. Battles give them more fame, which helps their clan move forward. Once their clan gets to Tier 1, they can become mercenaries for a lord. This is a great way for new players to learn the game because they can just follow another character’s lead and fight in their battles. It’s a good way to make money and gain power. Along with the village output bonus, these bonuses can help Vlandians improve their clan, income, and castles in the early stages of the game. Their crossbowmen and horsemen are some of the best units in the game.
As the game goes on, these bonuses lose some of their value. Players probably won’t still be mercenaries by the end of the game, and a little more production from towns isn’t as important as the benefits other cultures get. People might say that fame becomes less important and that impact becomes more important. This is a problem because it means that Vlandians have to pay more influence to get masters. So, Vlandians don’t make good leaders if the goal is to take over the whole map. But they are a great way for new players to learn the game, and there’s something charming about being a simple soldier who doesn’t want a crown.
- Mounted units cost 10% less to hire and improve.
- Horses, mules, cows, and sheep in their villages get a 25% output boost
- 20% less taxes from their towns
In Mount and Blade 2, cavalry is very powerful, and players who want to get the most out of this should make a Khuzait character. This lets them get lancers and horse archers before any other culture and makes it cheaper to hire and improve horseback units. Khuzaits also get a bonus to how many horses, mules, cows, and sheep are made in the towns they control, which can help them make more money. Because most Khuzait forces are mostly mounted troops, they can move faster around the map. Because of these bonuses, Khuzait characters make great leaders, and archers can take on any task because their horses are so strong. With the help of Khan’s Guard units, players can easily take control of the whole continent.
Even though the only bad thing about being a Khuzait is that places give them less tax, this can be very expensive. As the game goes on, towns can be a great way to make money, so this may even out the fact that their horse units are cheaper.
- Garrison men should get 25% less pay.
- 25% more power when you’re in the army
- Village growth will be slowed by 20%
When in an army, players whose culture is the Empire get more power and make less money. Later in the game, when players can keep much bigger garrisons in their castles and decide what happens in the game through kingdom decisions, these features become very powerful. The Northern, Southern, and Western Empire Kingdoms all have the same customs, which is another benefit of the Empire.
This means that the player has three times as many loyal fiefdoms on the map if they choose the Empire culture. With units like the Imperial Elite Cataphract and the Imperial Legionary, their men are also very well equipped. This makes the empire the best choice for players who want to take and hold territory.
Characters in Empire hurt the growth of their towns, which is a shame. This can make it hard to grow enough food to feed their troops and garrisons. The Empire’s land is also in the middle of the map, which means that each group of the Empire is almost always at war, sometimes with more than one other faction. Empire starts in the bottom right corner of the map, which makes the player feel pretty alone and makes it easy for Steppe robbers to swarm them. These things can make it hard to play, especially at the beginning, but if you handle them well, the Empire culture is very strong.
- When in forests, you can move 50% faster and see 15% better.
- Towns can make one more military member
- 10% longer to build
A Battanian person is at home in the woods and can see farther than people from other countries when they are in the woods. This lets them sneak up on enemies when they are fighting in a forest. Their movement speed is also less influenced by forests, so they can outmaneuver any army as long as there are forests nearby. Then, their strong shooting units can kill enemy troops from a safe distance while they take their time.
In Calradia, there are woods almost everywhere, which is a very good thing. The fact that the Battanian Fian Champions are the best shooters in Eggy Car game makes it even better. Towns that are owned by the Battani also get a small boost to how many troops they can make. This isn’t as powerful as having a longer range or being able to move faster, but it’s a nice benefit when protecting settlements. Starting as a Battanian also gives players some freedom, since they are well-positioned for a smithing or trade playthrough and will be safe from bandits because of the dense forest.
The punishment for the Battanian way of life is also not too bad. The fate of a player’s town or kingdom will never depend on how long it takes to build something. Fighting for the Battanian faction can be hard because they don’t start with a lot of fiefdoms, and because they are surrounded by enemy factions, they often lose some of these fiefdoms early in the game. Even though this is the case, choosing Battania as a culture is still a very safe choice because it gives the player’s army very strong perks.
Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord can be played on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S.