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Mount And Blade 2 Bannerlord skills: tips for character creation

How to unlock skills

Featured post The bow skill screen in Bannerlord. A couple of the perks are unlocked and the green track indicates how many more can be unlocked.

I’ve seen complicated skill systems in the past, but I’ve never seen anything quite like the one found in Mount And Blade 2 Bannerlord. It took a while but I think I’ve managed to decipher just what you need to do to upgrade your character’s abilities.

Every skill has a bunch of perks that you can choose from. We’ll be listing the whole lot here and with good planning, you’ll make your character a force to be reckoned with in battle.

Mount And Blade 2 Bannerlord skills guide

This Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord skills guide will help you get started with building your very own leader. You’ll learn how to increase your skill level, what focus points are and how to use them, and how to create a character.

We have now included the full Bannerlord perk list with all the skills as of the latest patch.


How to increase your skill level in Bannerlord

Upgrading your character in Mount And Blade 2 Bannerlord is incredibly complicated. It took me a fair while to wrap my head around it as it’s not very well explained in-game. There are three specific areas to explain here: Attributes, Skills, and Focus Points.

  • Attributes: These are the six stats that have three skills each bound to them. For every third level up, you will also gain an attribute point which you can assign to an attribute by clicking the attribute in the character sheet (Press C on world map to bring it up). Then click the plus sign in the window that appears and confirm by clicking “Done”.
  • Skills: Your character’s skills are initially defined by their culture and background, but are further upgraded by performing certain actions to gain skill points. Each one is bound to an attribute and you need to perform an action linked to that skill to increase its skill points. You can find the actions in the table below.
  • Focus Points: When you level up your character by gaining enough skill points, you will gain “focus points”. Spending these focus points will allow you to increase your proficiency in that skill up to a maximum threshold. This is indicated by the green area. Any skill increases beyond the green area requires more focus points to be spent on that trait. It does not increase after spending the point automatically based on your performance prior to the threshold increase.

With all that explained, here is a list of all actions required to increase every single skill in the game:

Mount And Blade 2 skills

Skill Associated attribute How to increase skill level
One handed Vigor Attack with one-handed weapons (excluding polearms). Can have shield equipped.
Two handed Vigor Attack with two-handed weapons (excluding polearms).
Polearms Vigor Attack with polearms (both one-handed and two-handed).
Bow Control Shooting enemies with bow and arrows and firing long-distance shots.
Crossbow Control Firing bolts with crossbows.
Throwing Control Hit enemies with thrown weapons.
Riding Endurance Ride around on horseback in the world map and in battle.
Athletics Endurance Run around on foot in the world map and in battle.
Smithing Endurance Crafting gear, refine materials, and smelt old equipment in a smithy.
Scouting Cunning Finding tracks and hideouts in the world map, as well as travelling on difficult terrain such as forests and mountains.
Tactics Cunning Ordering your troops in battle, winning while outnumbered/outclassed, or escaping encounters.
Roguery Cunning Bribery, raiding enemy towns and caravans, leading bandit troops, or escaping from captivity.
Charm Social Improving relationship with your companions, performing social actions with nobles such as playing Talbut, and bartering with traders.
Leadership Social Maintain a high morale score and amass larger number of troops in your army.
Trade Social Generate a profit when trading, and operating caravans.
Steward Intelligence Gain party morale from increased food variety, improving settlement prosperity with constructing new buildings, and spending time in your settlements.
Medicine Intelligence Have soldiers heal in settlements.
Engineering Intelligence Build and operate siege weapons.


Unlocking skill perks in Bannerlord

As well as increasing your skill points, increasing the skill up to certain levels will unlock perks. These are additional bonuses that are applied to actions you perform or while you have equipped a certain type of weapon or armour.

These will grant you various perks that can help in battle. To unlock a perk, you will need to do the following:

  1. Press “C” on your keyboard in the world map to bring up the character sheet.
  2. Click the skill you wish to upgrade.
  3. Click a highlighted logo in the timeline view of the skill in that trait. To see in advance what they do, just go into the skill and hover your mouse over it.
  4. Click the perk you wish to unlock and confirm the selection by pressing “Done”.

Bannerlord perks list

Here is a list of every single perk currently in Bannerlord. We will be updating this list in the future as the game is updated, as TaleWorlds have indicated that more perks are coming to the game in the near future.

To use the Bannerlord perk list table below, search for the skill in the top-right corner. This will filter the list down to just the perks on that skill perk tree. If there is more than one perk listed with the same skill level requirement, you can only choose one of the two perks to unlock.

Perk name Associated skill Skill level requirement Perk effect
Edge Placement I One-handed 25 +4% one-handed weapon damage
Extra HP I One-handed 25 +3 HP
Raider I One-handed 50 +4% weapon speed bonus if one-handed weapon is equipped
Shield Bash I One-handed 50 Shield Bash causes +50% damage.
Bruiser I One-handed 75 +10% damage if one-handed mace is equipped
Long Strides One-handed 75 Half weight effect of shields on movement speed in combat.
Bulwark I One-handed 100 -25% to damage received to shields
Sword Master I One-handed 100 +8% damage if one-handed sword weapon equipped.
Arrow Catcher One-handed 125 Larger shield protection area against ranged weapons on shields.
Edge Placement II One-handed 125 +5% one-handed damage.
Bulwark II One-handed 150 -25% to damage received to shields
Bury the Hatchet One-handed 150 +10% damage if one-handed axe is equipped.
Sword Master II One-handed 175 +10% damage if one-handed sword is equipped.
Shield Bash II One-handed 175 Shield Bash causes an additional +50% damage
Raider II One-handed 200 +4% weapon speed bonus if one-handed weapon is equipped
Duelist One-handed 225 +10% damage when wielding a one-handed weapon without a shield.
Basher One-handed 225 +20% damage and extended stun duration with Shield Bashes.
Steel Core Shields One-handed 250 -15% damage to shields.
Secondary Experts One-handed 250 +10% damage with axes and maces.
Shield Bearer One-handed 275 Shields don't affect character's combat weight.
Extra HP Two-handed 25 +3 HP
Extra Damage Two-handed 25 +1.5 extra two-handed damage
Garrison Capacity Two-handed 50 +10 garrison limit
Reduced Wage Two-handed 50 -5% garrison wages
Power Basher Two-handed 75 +2% speed and +5% damage to two handed weapons with less than 85 speed
Speed Basher Two-handed 75 +1% speed and +2% damage to two handed weapons with more than 100 speed
Notorious Two-handed 100 +10% renown gain after battles
Quick Plunder Two-handed 100 +5% raiding speed
Multi-hit Two-handed 125 +40% hit damage for secondary successful hits
Edge Placement Two-handed 125 +3% cut damage
Shield Breaker Two-handed 150 +10% damage against shields
Eviscerator Two-handed 150 +30% morale loss to enemies when using two handed weapons
Mounted Two Handed Two-handed 175 Lower attack penalty while mounted
Berserker Two-handed 175 Speed bonus modifier increased while player is on foot
Legendary Two Handed Two-handed 200 Enemy begins with -1 morale
Inspiring Leader Two-handed 200 +40% XP gain for up to 5 troops within a 10m radius whenever you defeat an enemy
Horse Slaughter Two-handed 225 +20% damage to horses
Vandal Two-handed 225 +40% damage to objects
Dominator Two-handed 250 +10% chance to crush through with two handed weapons
Knock Down Two-handed 250 Increased chance to knock down an enemy with a successful attack
Two Handed Mastery Two-handed 275 +0.2% speed and +0.5% damage for every skill point beyond 200.
Deflect Arrows Two-handed 275 A chance to block arrows with two handed weapons
Extra HP Polearm 25 +3 HP
Standard Bearer Polearm 50 +15% morale to troops in formation at the start of battle
Horse Killer Polearm 75 +70% damage to horses
Footwork Polearm 75 +2% combat movement speed while wielding a polearm
Lancer Polearm 100 +30 couched lance damage
Push Back Polearm 125 Enemies are pushed back when blocking polearm thrust attacks with shields
Powerful Thrust Polearm 150 +2% thrust damage with polearms
Howling Swing Polearm 150 +2% swing damage with polearms
Expert Infantry Polearm 175 +2% damage with polearms while on foot
Expert Cavalry Polearm 175 +2% damage with polearms while on horseback
Rapid Lancer Polearm 200 Reduced cooldown for couching lances
Keep at Bay Polearm 225 Push opponents with successful attacks
Slaughter Polearm 250 Faster swings with polearms
Tight Grip Polearm 275 +30% couched lance damage
Marksman Bow 25 +10% accuracy with bows
Strong Pull Bow 50 +15% to hold aim duration
Faster Aim Bow 50 +10% arrow readying speed
Marsh Hunter Bow 75 +0.5% food in marshes
Forest Hunter Bow 75 +0.5% food in forests
Mounted Archer Bow 100 Can use any bow on horseback
Large Quiver Bow 100 +3 extra arrows per quiver
Intimidate Archers Bow 125 -2 morale for enemy archers at the start of battle
Intimidate Infantry Bow 125 -2 morale for enemy infantry at the start of battle
Merry Men Bow 150 +3 party size
Instructor Bow 175 An archer in your party with a lower bow skill gets bow XP while waiting
Instinctive Shot Bow 200 +10% faster to max aiming accuracy
Battle Equipped Bow 200 +6 extra arrows per quiver
Howling Bolt Bow 225 +3% flight speed and +7% damage for arrows
Pick Targets Bow 225 +10% accuracy for nearby troops
Ranger Bow 250 The player is better at firing arrows while moving
Archery Renown Bow 275 -30% ranged unit recruitment cost
Fast Reload Crossbow 25 +10% reload speed
Hasty Reload Crossbow 50 +15% reload speed
Crossbow Cavalry Crossbow 75 Reload any crossbow on horseback
Plain Hunter Crossbow 100 +0.5 food on grasslands
Improved Aim Crossbow 125 +10% faster to max aiming accuracy
Maintenance Crossbow 150 +7% damage
Recruiter Crossbow 175 -20% crossbow unit recruitment cost
Renowned Marksman Crossbow 200 +5% post-battle XP for all ranged troops
Volley Commander Crossbow 225 +10% reload speed for all ranged troops
Without Honor Crossbow 250 +20% damage to enemies hit from behind
Bone Bolts Crossbow 275 -1 enemy morale for each unit you kill with a crossbow
Steady Hand Throwing 25 +15% accuracy
Skull Crusher Throwing 50 +20% headshot damage
Fully Armed Throwing 75 +1 extra thrown weapon per pack
Skirmishers Throwing 100 +5 party size
Concealed Carry Throwing 125 Use throwing weapons while entering settlements as civilians
Battle Ready Throwing 150 +2 thrown weapons per pack
Master Thrower Throwing 175 +10% weapon flight speed and +20% damage
Perfect Accuracy Throwing 200 Increased accuracy
Well Prepared Throwing 225 +1 throwing weapon ammo for troops
Mounted Thrower Throwing 250 Reduced horseback penalty to thrown weapons
Running Throw Throwing 275 No penalty when throwing weapons while moving
Vigorous Riding 25 +6% horse HP
Spare Arrows Riding 50 +3 arrows in quivers when starting battles on horseback
Spare Throwing Weapon Riding 50 +1 throwing weapon when starting battles on horseback
Squires Riding 75 +2 party size
Sharpshooter Riding 75 +15% accuracy on horseback
Mounted Archer Riding 100 -10% ranged attack penalty on horseback
Cavalry Riding 100 -10% melee attack penalty on horseback
Bow Expert Riding 125 Use any bow on horseback
Crossbow Expert Riding 125 Use any crossbow on horseback
Horse Grooming Riding 150 +50% production in horse farms
Conroi Riding 175 +4 party size
Trampler Riding 200 +50% charge damage
Iron Steed Riding 225 -50% chance a horse is lamed when wounded
Filled to Brim Riding 250 +20 carrying capacity for pack animals
Nomadic Traditions Riding 275 +30% mounted unit speed
Extra Arrows Athletics 25 +2 arrows in quivers when starting a battle on foot
Extra Throwing Weapon Athletics 25 +1 throwing weapon quantity when starting a battle on foot
Close Quarters Training Athletics 50 +2 melee damage while on foot
Ranged Training Athletics 50 +2 ranged damage while on foot
Endurance Athletics 75 +4% HP
Dexterous Athletics 75 +3% movement speed
Powerkick Athletics 100 Increased kick damage
In Good Shape Athletics 125 +2% foot soldier HP
Furious Charge Athletics 150 +10% foot soldiers speed
Salt the Wound Athletics 175 Extra damage while lower than half max HP
Unburdened Athletics 200 Lower penalty for being over-encumbered
Peak Form Athletics 225 +10% HP
Spartan Athletics 250 -5% party food consumption and wages
Mighty Blow Athletics 275 Bashes and kicks knock enemies down
Efficient Iron Maker Smithing 25 3x Crude Iron for 1x Iron Ore
Efficient Charcoal Maker Smithing 25 2x Charcoal for 1x Hardwood
Steel Maker Smithing 50 2x Iron into 1x Steel. 1x Crude Iron by-product
Curious Smelter Smithing 50 +100% chance to learn new designs while smelting
Steel Maker II Smithing 75 2x Steel into 1x Fine Steel.
1x Crue Iron by-product
Curious Smith Smithing 75 +100% chance to learn new designs while smithing
Steel Maker III Smithing 100 2x Fine Steel into Thamaskene Steel.
1x Crude Iron by-product
Experienced Smith Smithing 100 +10% chance to craft "fine" weapon if difficulty requirements are met
Practical Refiner Smithing 125 -50% stamina cost to refining
Practical Smelter Smithing 125 -50% stamina cost to smelting
Vigorous Smith Smithing 150 +1 Vigor
Strong Smith Smithing 150 +1 Strength
Practical Smith Smithing 175 -50% stamina cost to smithing
Artisan Smith Smithing 175 -50% penalty when trading smithed weapons
Master Smith Smithing 200 +10% masterwork weapon crafting chance if difficulty requirements are met
Enduring Smith Smithing 225 +1 Endurance
Fencer Smith Smithing 225 +1 focus points for One-handed and Two-handed skills
Sharpened Edge Smithing 250 +2% cut damage for crafted weapons
Sharpened Tip Smithing 250 +2% thrust damage for crafted weapons
Legendary Smith Smithing 275 +5% legendary weapon crafting chance if difficulty requirements are met, that is increased +1% for every smithing skill point above 300.
Pathfinder Scouting 25 +2% party movement speed during daytime
Night Vision Scouting 25 +2% party movement speed during nighttime
Navigator Scouting 50 +1% party movement speed
Investigator Scouting 75 Tracks give more information
Farsighted Scouting 100 Increased chance to spot other roaming parties
Eye for Ambush Scouting 125Q Spot hideouts from further away
Forest Lore Scouting 150 +5% movement speed and -50% food consumption while on forests
Desert Lore Scouting 150 +5% movement speed and -50% food consumption while on deserts
Hills Lore Scouting 175 +5% movement speed and -50% food consumption while on hills
Marshes Lore Scouting 175 +5% movement speed and -50% food consumption while on marshes
Forced March Scouting 200 Bonus speed with high party morale
Grassland Navigator Scouting 225 +5% movement speed while in grasslands
Healthy Scout Scouting 250 +8% HP
Lay of the Land Scouting 275 +3% movement speed on map
Companion Cavalry Tactics 25 +10% enemy morale loss with cavalry attacks
Tactical Superiority Tactics 50 +5% troop damage in simulations
One Step Ahead Tactics 75 Place all troops before battles begin
Logistics Tactics 100 +20% ammo for ranged units
Ambush Specialists Tactics 125 +60% archer damage in simulations while in forests
Phalanx Tactics 150 +50% infantry damage vs cavalry in simulations
Hammer & Anvil Tactics 150 +50% cavalry damage vs archers in simulations
Elusive Tactics 175 -50% troops left behind when retreating
Swift Regroup Tactics 200 -50% disorganised duration
Bait Tactics 225 +30% reinforcement distance for allies
Trusted Commander Tactics 250 Reduced army cohesion decay
Rational Leader Tactics 275 Decreased army supply consumption and disorganised duration
Raiding Party Roguery 25 +10% faster village raids
Eye for Loot Roguery 25 +5% loot from village raids
Commanding Presence Roguery 50 Lower relationship penalty when using intimidation
For the Thrill Roguery 75 +10% morale from raiding villages
Scavenger Roguery 100 More loot from enemies
Concealed Blade Roguery 125 Can use one handed weapons as a civilian
Slip Into Shadows Roguery 125 -20% chance of being caught while sneaking in towns
Negotiator Roguery 150 +50% easier bribes
Briber Roguery 150 Higher chance a bribe option appears in dialogue
Camoflague Roguery 175 -10% chance to alarm enemy settlements when passing nearby
Escape Artists Roguery 200 +30% faster when escaping captivity
Bribe Master Roguery 225 -50% bribe amount
Slave Trader Roguery 250 +20% better deals with ransom broker
Merry Men Roguery 275 Recruit bandits to party
Ice Breaker Charm 25 +10% chance to gain +2 relations when introducing yourself to lords
Diplomacy Charm 25 -15% barter penalty
Adventure Stories Charm 50 +1 renown for each issue resolved
Show Your Scars Charm 50 +20% more renown from battles
Forgivable Grievances Charm 75 -20% persuasion critical failure chance
Meaningful Favors Charm 75 +10% chance to have doubled persuasion success
In Bloom Charm 100 +20% relationship gain with those of the opposite gender
Young and Respectful Charm 100 +20% relationship gain with those of the same gender
Champion Charm 125 +10 influence from winning tournaments
Respectful Opposition Charm 125 +30% chance to negate relationship penalty from kingdom decisions
Effort For The People Charm 150 +10% chance for governor to gain +1 relation with random notable person (lord or noble) per day
Promoter Charm 150 +1 notable relations with settlement owner for every project completed
Our Great Leader Charm 175 +20% influence from personal actions
Pro Familia Charm 175 Clan member parties gain +10% influence from actions
Moral Leader Charm 200 +10 security bonus for towns
Natural Leader Charm 200 +10 loyalty bonus for towns
Courtship Charm 225 +1 influence per day for each allied lord's party not currently in an army, and while waiting in the same town
Parade Charm 225 +5 loyalty per day when you visit your settlements
Charm Charm 250 This perk is not currently enabled
Immortal Charm Charm 275 +1 influence per day for every 5 charm skill points after 250
Combat Tips Leadership 25 Small XP boost each day to your party
Raise the Meek Leadership 25 Medium XP boost each day for troops of tier 1-3
Inspiring Attacker Leadership 50 +20 morale in battles when you're attacking
Star Defender Leadership 50 +20 morale in battles when you're defending
Stiff Upper Lip Leadership 75 +20% security effectiveness of town garrisons
Gratitude Leadership 75 +20% town loyalty gain
Levy Sergeant Leadership 100 -15% wages for troops of tier 1-4
Veterans Respect Leadership 100 -15% wages for troops of tier 4-6
Dispenser of Justice Leadership 125 +5 town security while waiting
Disciplinarian Leadership 125 Convert bandits into regular troops
Drill Master Leadership 150 +20% XP for garrison
Citizen Militia Leadership 150 +20% chance that militia spawns with more experienced troops
Inspiring Leader Leadership 175 -20% influence needed to call parties to army
Assuring Presence Leadership 175 -20% army cohesion decay
Public Talker Leadership 200 +10% more effective boosts from forum, festival, arena, temple, and market place
Inspiring Warrior Leadership 200 +20% faster notable recruit replenishment
Swords As Tribute Leadership 225 +20% XP for heroes under your command
Companions Leadership 225 +20% XP for troops under your command
Leader Leadership 250 This perk is not currently enabled
Ultimate Leader Leadership 275 +1 party capacity for every leadership skill point above 250
Appraiser Trade 25 +5% selling price for your equipment and profits are marked
Whole Seller Trade 25 +5% selling price for your trade goods and profits are marked
Caravan Master Trade 50 -20% wages for caravans and +30% party carry weight
Town Merchant Trade 50 -20% wages for workshops and +30% party carry weight
Traveling Rumors Trade 75 Caravans gather trade rumours and mark item prices relative to the average price
Local Connection Trade 75 Workshops gather trade rumours and mark item prices relative to the average price
Distributed Goods Trade 100 +10 income for every villager party that enters town
Toll Gates Trade 100 +25 income for every caravan that enters town
Artisan Community Trade 125 +1 renown for every profitable shop you own
Great Investor Trade 125 +1 renown for every profitable caravan you own
Village Connections Trade 150 +25% workshop production
Content Trades Trade 150 +10% tariff income
Insurance Plans Trade 175 Caravans have more elite troops and return 5000 gold when destroyed
Rapid Development Trade 175 +70% town taxes while waiting and shops give 5000 gold when captured by an enemy
Granary Accountant Trade 200 +20% production for grain, olive, fish, and dates in "bound villages"
Tradeyard Foreman Trade 200 +20% production for clay, iron, raw silk, and silver in "bound villages"
Everything Has a Price Trade 225 Trade settlements while bartering
Influential Trader Trade 250 Caravans and workshops generate influence
Mercenary Trader Trade 275 +15 party size
Tax Collector Steward 25 +10% tax from villages
Supreme Authority Steward 25 +1 influence if you're a ruler
Agriculture Steward 50 +30% farm production
Prominence Steward 50 +1 influence if you're a vassal
Nourish Settlement Steward 75 Quadruple settlement prosperity growth while you wait there
Warmonger Steward 75 Less influence needed to summon vassals for war
Bannerlord Steward 100 +2 party size for each fief you own
Logistics Expert Steward 100 Parties in armies you lead move faster
Prosperous Reign Steward 125 Double village growth rate
War Rations Steward 125 -20% food consumption
Enhanced Mines Steward 150 +50% tax income from mines
Swords As Tribute Steward 150 +10 party size for every vassal
Does not work
Man-At-Arms Steward 175 +5 party size for each fief you own.
Does not work
Mount Expert Steward 175 -10% trade penalty for horses
Reeve Steward 200 +1 companion
Does not work
Stand United Steward 200 If you're leading a siege, any party that leaves or enters the area must engage your army first
Food Rationing Steward 225 -40% food consumption in a settlement while you're under siege
Assessor Steward 225 +10% taxes from villages
Ruler Steward 250 +1 companion for each town you own
Agrarian Steward 250 +30% farm production
Reconstruction Steward 275 Faster recovery for villages after being raided
Self Medication Medicine 25 +10% character healing rate
Preventative Medicine Medicine 25 +10% HP
Triage Tent Medicine 50 +20% healing rate for party while stationary on world map
Walk It Off Medicine 50 +10% healing rate for party while moving on the world map
Mobile Aid Medicine 75 -50% party speed penalty due to wounded members
Doctor's Oath Medicine 75 Medicine recovery chance also applies to enemies
Best Medicine Medicine 100 +10% healing rate when at high morale
Good Lodging Medicine 100 +10% healing rate when resting in towns
Siege Medic Medicine 125 +30% chance of siege bombardment casualties being wounded instead of being killed
Pristine Streets Medicine 150 +1 settlement prosperity each day
Bush Doctor Medicine 150 +20% village hearth growth rate and +20% party healing rate when waiting in villages
Perfect Health Medicine 175 +20% clan member fertility
Health Advice Medicine 175 +10% clan life expectancy
Physician of People Medicine 200 +1 settlement loyalty each day
Clean Infrastructure Medicine 200 +1 prosperity each day for every town project related to health and sanitation
Cheat Death Medicine 225 One-time chance to avoid death when terminally ill
Fortitude Tonic Medicine 225 -50% chance of heroes dying in battle
Horse Healer Medicine 250 +30% chance per day for a lame horse to recover
Minister of Health Medicine 275 Troops gain bonus HP before battles
Construction Expert Engineering 25 +30% construction speed for castles and walls
Ballistics Engineering 50 +30% catapult effectiveness
Imperial Fire Engineering 75 Enables construction of fire-throwing siege engines
Improved Masonry Engineering 100 Stronger fortifications
Armorcraft Engineering 125 +10% armour effectiveness
Good Materials Engineering 150 +20% HP for siege engines
Heavier Siege Engines Engineering 175 +20% increased bombardment damage vs other siege engines
Wall Breaker Engineering 200 Increased damage to walls during sieges
Resolute Engineering 225 Lower morale loss during sieges
Builder Engineering 250 1.5x building development speed
Everyday Engineer Engineering 275 +60% effectiveness for default town projects

The character creation screen for Bannerlord which can determine some starting skills.

Choosing your culture

A lot of your initial skill points and perks will come from your character’s creation at the beginning of the game. Your first task when creating a character is to choose your culture.

There are six cultures to choose from and they’re all named after one of the kingdoms or regions. Your choice therefore, is the region your character grew up in.

They comes with their own bonuses. Some cultures affect how troops move in certain terrains, while others give bonuses to experience or reduction in costs.

  • Vlandians: 20% more upgrade XP to troops from battles.
  • Sturgians: 20% less speed penalty from snow.
  • Empire: 20% construction speed bonus to town projects, wall repairs and siege.
  • Aseri: Caravans are 30% cheaper build cost and 10% less trade penalty.
  • Khuzaits: 10% speed bonus for horsemen on campaign map.
  • Battanians: 10% less speed penalty from Forest.

Since you start out in areas that are not covered in snow, picking the Sturgians might give you a bit of a hard time when compared to the other cultures.

If you want my opinion on which ones are the best for beginners, go with either Empire or Vlandians, as their bonuses can help with fortifying your towns or troops. Try the Aseri if you’re looking for a more trade-focused campaign, while Khuzaits help out with amassing a superior cavalry.


Deciding your background

It’s not just your culture that you can choose. Later on in character creation, you’ll be asked to define your background. Picking one of the options available will give you some skill level and focus points to spend on that skill.

You’ll also get attribute points which affect all three skills in that attribute’s scope (for example, Vigor has one handed, two handed, and polearm skills).

There are six questions you’ll need to answer to create your character. It’s worth noting that question five gives some additional renown and some points in unrelated stats to the ones used for levelling up.

To make it easier for you, click the following links to go to the question you need to answer.

  1. Family
  2. Early Childhood
  3. Adolescence
  4. Youth
  5. Young Adulthood
  6. Story Background

Family

A Lord’s Retainers

  • Riding: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Polearm: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Vigor: +1 attribute point

Urban Merchants

  • Trade: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Charm: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Social: +1 attribute point

Freeholders

  • Athletics: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Polearm: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Endurance: +1 attribute point

Urban Artisans

  • Smithing: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Crossbow: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Intelligence: +1 attribute point

Foresters

  • Scouting: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Bow: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Control: +1 attribute point

Urban Vagabonds

  • Roguery: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Throwing: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Cunning: +1 attribute point

Early Childhood

your leadership skills

  • Leadership: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Tactics: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Cunning: +1 attribute point

your brawn

  • Two handed: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Throwing: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Vigor: +1 attribute point

your attention to detail

  • Athletics: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • One handed: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Control: +1 attribute point

your aptitude with numbers

  • Engineering: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Trade: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Intelligence: +1 attribute point

your way with people

  • Charm: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Leadership: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Social: +1 attribute point

your skill with horses

  • Riding: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Medicine: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Endurance: +1 attribute point

Adolescence

herded the sheep

  • Athletics: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Throwing: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Control: +1 attribute point

worked in the village smithy

  • Two handed: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Smithing: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Vigor: +1 attribute point

repaired projects

  • Smithing: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Engineering: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Intelligence: +1 attribute point

gathered herbs in the wild

  • Medicine: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Scouting: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Endurance: +1 attribute point

hunted small game

  • Bow: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Tactics: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Control: +1 attribute point

sold produce at the market

  • Trade: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Charm: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Social: +1 attribute point

Youth

joined a commander’s staff

  • Steward: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Tactics: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Cunning: +1 attribute point

trained with the cavalry

  • Riding: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Polearm: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Endurance: +1 attribute point

stood guard with the garrisons

  • Crossbow: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Engineering: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Intelligence: +1 attribute point

rode with the scouts

  • Riding: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Bow: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Endurance: +1 attribute point

trained with the infantry

  • Polearm: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • One handed: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Vigor: +1 attribute point

joined the skirmishers

  • Throwing: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Bow: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Control: +1 attribute point

Young Adulthood

You defeated an enemy in battle

  • One handed: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Two handed: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Vigor: +1 attribute point
  • +1 Valor
  • +20 Renown

You led a successful manhunt

  • Tactics: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Leadership: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Cunning: +1 attribute point
  • +1 Calculating
  • +10 Renown

You invested some money in land

  • Trade: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Smithing: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Intelligence: +1 attribute point
  • +1 Calculating
  • +10 Renown

You hunted a dangerous animal

  • Bow: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Crossbow: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Control: +1 attribute point
  • +5 Renown

You had a famous escapade in town

  • Athletics: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Roguery: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Endurance: +1 attribute point
  • +1 Valor
  • +5 Renown

You treated people well

  • Charm: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Steward: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Social: +1 attribute point
  • +1 Mercy, Generosity, and Honor
  • +5 Renown

Story Background

you subdued a raider

  • One handed: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Athletics: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Vigor: +1 attribute point

you drove them off with arrows

  • Bow: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Tactics: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Control: +1 attribute point

you rode off on a fast horse

  • Riding: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Scouting: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Endurance: +1 attribute point

you tricked the raiders

  • Roguery: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Tactics: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Cunning: +1 attribute point

you organised the travellers to break out

  • Leadership: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Charm: +10 Skill level and +1 Focus Point
  • Social: +1 attribute point

Mount And Blade 2 Bannerlord guide series

Thank you for reading our Mount And Blade 2 Bannerlord skills guide. We hope that this is helpful for deciding which skills to unlock and how to upgrade your own character. You can check out our other guides for the game, such as tips to get started in the campaign, and other complicated parts such as sieges and workshops.

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Who am I?

Dave Irwin

Former Guides Writer

When Dave was guides writer for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, it was his privilege to understand how to play certain games well, so that newer players can understand the more complex things about them.

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