Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord: 5 Steps To Become A Mercenary (2024)

Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord is a strategy action role playing game from TaleWorlds Software made available on Xbox GamePass on 14th Feb 2023. Similar to its predecessor Warband, the game cleverly blends 3 games together like a cross between Kingdom Come Deliverance, Total War and Chivalry 2 - it's not just a role playing game with NPC dialogue, an evolving story and character progression, it's also a very good strategy game where players manage their own clan and eventually an entire kingdom, recruiting troops, setting up businesses and trade routes, buying or stealing supplies, as well as all the typical tactics, troop placements, orders and formations that would be expected in a fully fledged RTS title.

Related: How to increase party speed on Bannerlord

On top of that the game is also a realistic medieval battle simulator. Players can find themselves in battles with numbers around 1000 vs 1000 and higher. There may only be a portion of those on the battlefield at any given time like 800 at once, but the effect is visually impressive as players charge their horses into ranks of infantry as part of a large force, with bodies and arrows flying through the air in a real maelstrom of action that sums up the chaos and tactics of a medieval battle perfectly.

The question many new players may ask however is how do I get into all this? Seems at the start that nobody wants to know their name and especially won't be letting them into their castle for tea and biscuits. Full on wars with thousands of combatants seem out of reach but becoming a mercenary allows all of this to take place and is thankfully relatively simple to accomplish.

1 Complete Tutorial

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Before players can get into the real nitty-gritty it is necessary to complete the 'tutorial' section, although this term is used loosely as it's really only a few missions at the start to ease players into the game, and does help to show some of the new mechanics like hideout missions and areas where the game has improved on Warband.

Complete the initial quests and take care of any bandits causing problems. This will also handily set the player up with some basic loot to equip themselves for the tasks ahead.

2 Recruit Troops

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From the very start of the game it is possible to recruit fighters from towns and villages. Simply go to the drop-down menu for the settlement and the recruit troops option is there. Only around 20 maximum soldiers will be allowed in the gang initially, but this number can be quickly bumped up by leveling up skills such as Leadership and Steward.

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Apart from villages and towns. Troops can also be recruited from the tavern districts - these are generally stronger troops but are much more expensive. The soldiers coming out of the villages seem quite low rent, but these can be ranked up through experience as they are used in battles so just gather whoever is available initially.

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While players would not be expected to be rolling around at the very start of the story with the best armor in the game and a blade that can cut through steel, it is certainly worth getting together a reasonably good selection of equipment for the main character and also any companions that may have joined the crew.

Prices in the shops seem expensive at first but anything that is needed can be looted from any fallen enemies after battles with the typical looters and bandits players come across when roaming around Calradia. While it's worth spending money to get some key items ie main weapon, shield, body armor, horse etc., players should resist the temptation initially to blow all their hard-earned denars on all the best weapons in the shop - a mistake many new players will make. Getting tooled up on Bannerlord includes getting wages and food for the troops so don't spend it all at once.

4 Reach Clan Tier 1

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To achieve this players simply need to get 30 Renown which is essentially the Bannerlord version of XP and represents the player's level of fame among the citizens of Calradia. Renown can be earned in a variety of ways such as the more obvious completing quests, helping people out, winning tournaments and battles but also for more devious activities such as raiding villages, executing prisoners and robbing caravans.

Related: Best Workshops in Bannerlord

Players should however take caution when it comes to raiding and hitting trade caravans as the consequences are slightly more severe than in Warband. In the previous title raiding villages was a relaxing pastime to be enjoyed by all but in Bannerlord it will trigger a war with the faction that will be very hard to get rid of. Existing wars will also affect the chances of joining a mercenary contract as players will not be able to join any faction that is at peace with an existing enemy of the clan. Players should therefore resist the temptation to invade the nearest village as soon as they have the numbers to trouble them.

5 Approach Noble And Sell Sword

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Once the required 30 Renown has been reached to get to Clan Tier 1 players should approach a Noble or Lord from the faction of their choice and enter into a dialogue with them by clicking on their character on the Calradia map, where it is easiest to reach them. Following the dialogue option "There's something I'd like to discuss..." leads to the player being able to sell their sword for the 'right price'. The NPC lord will then explain the pay available and upon acceptance the player will sign a mercenary contract with that faction.

Being in a mercenary contract is almost like a license to kill. As long as the settlement or group of people belong to an enemy faction then anything goes. As a mercenary players can also join forces with larger armies where several parties or warbands have grouped together. Mercenaries can also take part in sieges, taking over castles and towns as part of the larger army. The wages offered seem modest, but these are a drop in the ocean compared to the money made from looting and selling equipment following a battle, where players can make several thousand denars from one fight.

Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord is available now on PC, Playstation and Xbox Game Pass

More: How to Heal in Bannerlord

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