Money is everything in Caladria. It’s used to pay the wages of the armies you field, buy better weapons and armor, and make diplomatic dealings go your way. Just like real life! Lucky for you, we’ve put together a guide on the best ways to make money in Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord to help get you up and running.
The Mount and Blade series is known for many things, but hand-holding is not one of them. Within the first few minutes of rolling a new character, you’re given a brief combat tutorial and a quest to fight some bandits, then you’re dumped into a complex and uncaring world full of scheming nobles and ruthless bandits. With this guide, you’ll be conquering the world of Caladria with money to spare in no time.
5 Best Ways to Make Money in Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord
Like Scarface once said, “First you get the money, then you get the power….” Since everything worked out great for him, this seems like solid advice for making your way in the feudal landscape you find yourself in.
There are a few ways to make money available to you even when you first start out. More will become available as you increase your clan level through gaining renown. You’re going to want to find a way to get that Clan Tier up to at least Level 1 while making some cash on the side.
While all of the methods on our list can make decent money on their own, it’s usually best to use a combination of some or all of these techniques. This will help you quickly build up your riches and start making your mark on Caladria.
We’re not ready to start declaring war on the various nations of Caladria quite yet, so fighting bandits will be one of the easiest ways to make money at lower levels. The mechanics are pretty straightforward — the larger the bandit party is, the more renown you will receive for defeating them. Larger bandit groups also have a higher chance of dropping decent weapons and armor that you can use or sell at a town for a tidy profit.
Once you’ve got a small warband of halfway decent units, you can start fighting sea raiders. Sea raiders are the toughest type of bandit, as most of them are wearing chainmail and carrying steel weaponry. You can most commonly find sea raiders on the west coast of Caladria, in Vlandian territory. Be careful not to get captured! Sometimes those small bandit groups will swarm and create a pretty hefty challenge for a new player.
You’ll likely want to fight these first few battles in person, as opposed to sending your troops in to do your dirty work on their own. It’s also a good way to familiarize yourself with the basics of combat and commanding your warband. As the game progresses and you start becoming involved in battles between armies, looting becomes even more important. Loot from defeating a large army can net you as much as twenty grand for a single battle. So always remember to loot!
After you’ve defeated enough bandits to get to Clan Tier 1, you should be sitting on a couple thousand gold. This little nest egg will allow us to start our career as a travelling merchant.
The basic idea of trade is simple — buy low, sell high. The tricky part is having an idea of where to buy and sell without trucking your goods all across the world just to find out that the grain shipment you’ve been carrying for months is actually worthless in the city you chose to sell it in.
To prevent this, first we need to understand how the economy works in Caladria. Don’t worry, this won’t be a repeat of the Econ 101 class you slept through. The economics of Bannerlord are robust and dynamic, but fairly simple at the same time.
Let’s take the town of Galend, for example:
If we look at the four villages in the immediate area, we can see little icons next to their names. Those icons represent what those villages produce. Those commodities will be cheap and plentiful in their respective villages, and likely in Galend as well. Since there are two villages selling olives, let’s stock up on those.
I visited the markets of Ortysia on the way here, where olives sold for a whopping 51 gold apiece. It’s time to stock up and run these to Ortysia to make a solid profit. Keep in mind that if you flood the market with too many of the same item, the price will quickly go down! You may need to spread your sales out across multiple towns in the area. Get in the habit of doing this as you travel in order to have a continuous supply of money while you’re chasing your other ambitions.
As you start to make some money and max out your cargo capacity, be sure to buy some mules and cheap horses as you expand. This increases your max inventory space, while also increasing your speed on the overworld map. This means fewer days on the road, and fewer days of paying your troops to keep you safe.
Tournaments pay out in two ways: bets you can place on yourself before every round, and rewards. The quality of the prize depends on how many lords and other named characters are participating in the tournament. If you’re lucky enough to find a tournament with several lords participating, the prize can sometimes be a high-tier horse. Most of these will sell for ~17K, so they can be an excellent way to get rich quick.
This can be a really tough way to make money if you haven’t found a good suit of armor yet. Since high-level troops and any lords you go against will likely have full chainmail or plate armor. Even if the prize is just some mid-tier armor, it may still be worth taking the time to get a few small wins under your belt so you have the right gear to take on bigger targets.
Note: The health you have upon joining the tournament will be your max health at the start of every round. You have a few days to enter a tournament, so you may want to rest up before throwing your hat in the ring. From there, simply enter the city, go to the arena, and click “Join Tournament” to begin.
Becoming a Mercenary
Being a mercenary has several benefits. It’s an excellent way to get to know how the armies of the different factions fight. You can build relationships with notable lords without fully committing to working with them long term. It’s also the easiest way to cover the expenses of a medium size warband of decent troops.
To become a mercenary, all you need to do is approach any lord and ask to join their service. Once you pledge your sword to a faction, their enemies are your enemies. If you thought bandit swarms were ruthless, you’re going to have a rough time with warbands of a hundred men each. If they catch you, they’ll throw you in a dungeon and demand a good chunk of your hard-earned money for release.
That said, any time you defeat an enemy of your hired faction, you earn ~100–200 gold pieces. Bandits also count as enemies, so you can still make quick cash by decimating bands of looters as you travel. The best part about being a mercenary (as opposed to a vassal) is that you can stop at any time with no penalty. If the faction you’re working with decides to declare war on half the world at the same time, all you need to do is find the leader of your faction and tell him you’re done.
Starting Your Own Business
Once you’ve saved up around 30K, you should start looking in to investing that money in a business venture. In the early game ,there are two ways to do this: assign one of your companions to a merchant caravan, or buy a workshop that produces goods.
To begin either of these businesses, you just need to talk to any of the local merchants in a town. For the caravan, I just need to select a companion for the job and pay a startup cost. This ranges anywhere between 10–30K. When choosing a companion, it’s best to have one with a decent trade skill, as well as decent combat and leadership stats in case they’re ambushed.
Caravans make a larger profit more quickly, but are vulnerable to bandit groups and enemy lords. A solid caravan will make quick work of most bandit attacks, but an enemy army will absolutely decimate them, requiring you to pay the startup costs all over again. Be careful when creating a caravan during wartime!
As far as buying workshops goes, I chose Aeric the Tanner in Pen Cannoc. Purchasing the tannery gives me the option to change the type of goods produced here. Since Pen Cannoc is surrounded by villages that produce fur, a tannery seems like a good idea — I’ll leave it as-is.
Workshops are also vulnerable to the politics of Caladria. Workshops in cities that belong to factions you’re at war with will be temporarily shut down and stop creating income. Cities that have recently been under siege may also have shortages of raw goods that will prevent them from being able to produce more product.
Join the High Ground
That’s it for our list on the best ways to make money in Mount and Blade: Bannerlord — thanks for reading! Feel free to leave a comment below with other topics you’d like us to cover, and subscribe to our newsletter for more gaming news and guides.