Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord continues the majestic, immersive gameplay of its forebears, tasking players with starting from dirt, but working their way through the ranks to become an all-powerful conqueror leading their own army. The delicious new graphics make the combat even more compelling, and the vast sieges are awe-inspiring.
However, starting out from absolutely nothing is tough at first, especially when weapons need to be bought, food needs to be consumed and soldiers need to be paid wages. Players can very swiftly empty the coffers before they realize it. This guide will help to focus on what activities can generate the most cash, from the beginning of the game, right through to the later stages. Prepare to get rich!
Early Game – Character Creation
Players generally create their character according to their preferences, but many are unaware of the short or long-term consequences of their choices. When assigning character skill points, if money is what is needed, then Trade is a good skill to put several points into.
Beefing up the Trade skill allows the player to gain more cash from each item they sell to the merchants who buy from them. While the gains may seem modest at first, a decent Trade level will start to really save money and keep the bank account flowing much more freely.
Early Game – Smelting Weapons
While operating as a humble Blacksmith may seem like a slow way to make money, it is actually incredibly lucrative. When entering town, just head to the smithy and explore the options for smelting weapons. There are many custom orders that can be fulfilled, and some of the high-end orders really line the pockets!
While the options available at the beginning may be on the lower end, they still pay a lot for early gameplay. Then, as the Smithing skill is leveled up, and as better smelting materials are purchased, more options and more lucrative commissions will be opened up. Just be sure to sell smelted weapons in cities that pay a higher rate. Usually, this will be in the southern cities but travel around to get a good idea of market values.
Early Game – Going On Quests
Quests can be an easy way to make money in the early game, but it pays to be selective about which quests are accepted. The quest description usually gives a decent idea of how difficult something will be. For example, the delivery quests are usually as simple as they sound: carry something from A to B. Other simple quests include training some new recruits and leveling up their fighting skill.
Other quests can be high reward, but some have significantly higher levels of danger. Any quest that asks the player to fight somebody or something can get quite challenging and should not be attempted right at the beginning, but rather a bit later when players have some of their own soldiers as backup.
Early Game – Choosing What Not To Buy
There are almost limitless ways to spend money, so it is all too easy to start throwing around cash and depleting coin reserves. While many purchases are very tempting, focus on precisely what is needed at that moment.
Is a companion really needed yet? Are the wages of those extra soldiers going to drain money too fast? Is that sharp new sword good enough to justify the price tag? Is that sexy new helmet really going to aid the defense rating, or is it just to feel cool? Whimsical purchases can easily be made in the later game once an economy is flourishing, but use money very judiciously on the absolute essentials in the early game.
Mid Game – Work The Trade Routes
Players who enjoy the mercantile lifestyle can scour the land to find places to purchase commodities low, and then sell in other locations at a much higher price. Some materials keep fairly consistent prices, while others vary hugely depending on location and demand. Certain breeds of horses especially can be traded for very large profits in certain places.
Autonomous caravan routes can even be set up to run without the player actually being present, although this can be risky in the early game owing to the higher danger level from bandits and thieves. Be sure to watch the market for resources in scant supply, or even hoard those resources to create an artificial demand. Then sell high when the market has overpriced that particular item or resource.
Mid Game – Buy A Workshop
Workshops can be set up in a number of different industries, like brewing beer or weaving velvet. Just like in real life, prosperous towns can produce more but will charge a hefty supplement to set up in the first place. The workshop will generate a moderate income which will pay back the purchase price gradually.
The best place to set up a workshop is a place far from any battle lines since besieged or war-torn towns will produce less income and the workshop could even be lost if the town is taken over by an opposing faction. Additionally, the value of the produced item will be affected by supply and demand in the area. Find an industry that does not have much competition in nearby towns in order to keep higher profits.
Mid Game – Choose A Master
At a certain point in the game, players will earn the ability to offer allegiance to one of the factions in the game. This will mean being invited to join raids and wars, as well as the chance of receiving lucrative fiefs in reward for loyalty.
Alternatively, players can opt for a mercenary lifestyle, completing potentially difficult but well-paid missions as a sword-for-hire. The additional benefit of either of these paths is the chance to net some really great loot, some of which can be used to boost the game character or their companions, while the rest can be sold or smelted for profit.
Late Game – Expand, Expand, Expand
By the late game, players should already have a decent revenue stream coming in. Now just upscale everything. Get workshops in every town, being careful to vary the industries so the market is not saturated with too many of a particular item. Set up more caravans and trade routes. Conquer plenty of prosperous towns that can yield an incredible amount of plunder. Decimate enemy factions and caravans.
At a certain point, money should be coming in faster than it can be spent. There’s not a vast benefit in being a Bannerlord billionaire, as once all the finest weapons are purchased, the shiniest armor is possessed, and the fastest horse is being ridden, there isn’t too much more to spend coins on. Just the warm glow of success in the heady knowledge of being the most powerful character in the world!
Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord is currently available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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