Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is finally out and it has already conquered many hearts. And for good reason, too. I mean, the landscapes are amazing, the story is enthralling, and the gameplay is just * chef’s kiss *. Kudos to TaleWorlds.
Players who already tried the game consistently report how much harder it is in comparison to the previous game, and I tend to agree. Then again, the game was made to be more realistic, so this was to be expected. It doesn’t mean the game is impossible to beat, it just means you won’t be able to single-handedly fight 10 looters and win, like you used to in Warband.
Combat isn’t the only thing that changed in Bannerlord. In fact, you will have to carefully consider each and every perk and skill, in order to stay ahead of your enemies. But don’t worry, I am here to help you, with this quick guide on skills and leveling for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord!
Skills and Focus Points
Your first encounter with Focus Points and skills will be right at the character creation. When you set your character’s background story, different decisions will lead to different builds. Here it is important for you to establish the sort of character you want.
Do you want a Diplomat, with incredible haggling ability to overpower merchants with, and speech ability to charm other lords and kings? Then focus on Charisma. Would you perhaps like to move around quickly on the map and increase your movement ability? Then Athletics is the right option.
All skills will improve your character, you just have to learn about them and then choose the best options. For that purpose, I have created a table with all the perks and skills, along with their descriptions.
When you first create your character, you will have to set a background story. The story you choose will define the perks and skills you start with. You are free to choose whatever you want, just make the right choice, as you won’t be able to change them again.
The initial perks and skills you choose will always level up faster than the rest, so choose wisely. Once those skills reach a certain threshold, you will even be awarded special buffs.
Bannerlord is a very tactical game, meaning you can’t just put all your points into short-range or long-range and fight your way through. Don’t get me wrong, there will be plenty of battles and fighting, but there is just so much more to it. You will plan battles, force sieges and try to outgun your enemies. All of these things demand certain perks and skills.
TaleWorlds has also increased the difficulty in making and finding money, again for the purpose of realism. That means you need to haggle and barter your way through. In order to buy at a low cost and sell at a high price, you need those Trade skills!
So, what was my decision? Well, after dying to a couple of lowlife looters, I decided that Athletics should definitely be a focal point at the beginning of the game. You start with no army and surrounded by looters. When you are surrounded, outrunning your enemy can be a lifesaver, and Athletics does just that.
I also dedicated some points to one-handed weapons and bows, so that I wouldn’t be completely useless on the battlefield. I really feel like that mix of skills helped me survive and do well in the harsh beginning of the game.
Advice for later on in the game
I started the game, fought a bunch of looters, managed to recruit some eager young villagers, and even got on a lord’s good side. Now what?
Once you’ve actually got a grip on the game and its mechanics, it’s time to spend points on other skills. Are you approaching lords and kings and want to get their favor? Well, you gotta level up that Charm skill. It will automatically make NPCs like you better, improving your chances in the game.
Want to attack a big caravan or even a lord’s party? You can’t do that with your 25 peasant army. It is time for you to improve those Steward and Leadership skills. The first will improve your party size and the latter will increase party morale and garrison size.
Thinking of conquering a castle? Well then, you will need siege weapons. And for that purpose, you will have to level your Engineering skills.
Leveling up skills in Mount & Blade
Leveling some skills can be quite obvious. For example, we all know we won’t level One-handed weapon by using a Bow or Throwing Rocks. However, other skills can be difficult to level or to figure out what they mean exactly. And once again, I share with you a table, this time including all skills and their descriptions!
That’s it! I hope this skills and leveling guide for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord helps you in your journey through Calradia!
And if you’re looking for other good games to play this year, then check out my list of upcoming MMOs for 2020!