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Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord settlements: How to rule effectively

How to get a settlement of your own, manage your town, and defend against invaders

Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/TaleWorlds Entertainment

How do you start a settlement in Bannerlord? It's not all just battles in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. You're also be able to take on the role of ruler in your own kingdom. This means managing the many settlements that you'll be conquering along the way. Taking over the settlements is rather difficult in itself, but keeping control and developing them further is also a big challenge.

On this page, we'll teach you the basics of how to take over and manage your own town, as well as how to defend it against invaders.

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How to get a settlement in Bannerlord

Settlements come in multiple forms. These are towns and castles which you can take over control of. The surrounding villages contribute to your town or castle's overall wealth and prosperity, but are also vulnerable to being raided for supplies by enemy nobles or bandits. Towns are a little better than castles, in that you'll have more actions you can take while inside them, while castles are easier to defend during sieges.

Work for a faction and get a settlement as a reward

The easiest way to get your own settlement is to join one of the established kingdoms as a mercenary. Later, you can talk to the leader of the faction after doing a few tasks for them or fighting their enemies, to become one of their vassals. Eventually, your loyalty will be rewarded as your leader will give you a castle or town. The downside is that it takes a really, really, long time to get a town this way.

Capture a settlement via siege warfare

The second option is to attack a local town, either on your own or with the help from others in your faction. You need to be at war with the defending town's faction, but you can provoke them easily by raiding some nearby villages.

This requires you to lay siege to the settlement in question. You'll need to spend some time setting the siege up, which leaves you open to being attacked by the garrisoned troops inside or the local lords trying to stop you from launching an attack. They can potentially have hundreds of troops, so only attack towns or castles if you have an overwhelming party size advantage.

I highly recommend picking off weaker towns or castles, so you can get skill points in engineering to help with future sieges against larger settlements.

How to manage your settlement in Bannerlord

When you first take ownership of a settlement, you'll want to invest some gold into developing it further. You can build new structures, upgrade existing ones, and even set a "Daily Default" option, which is essentially an idle action that your citizens will perform if they have nothing else to do.

Naturally your citizens will be starving, since they just went through a multi-day siege and food supplies are low. Here are a few things you can do to stabilise a settlement in the beginning:

  • Put some gold into the reserves to boost building speeds.
  • Upgrade the Granary to level three.
  • Choose the Irrigation option as the Daily Default option.

After this, you can concentrate on building up your town or castle by taking on other projects. Each project can go up to a maximum of level three. You can select multiple options to queue up so your town can develop while you're away.

My recommendations here are to increase the local militia to defend the town against hostile forces. Having upgraded barracks and training fields will make sure your troops are at maximum capacity and are well trained. I'd also invest in Lime Kilns as that increases your daily production.

Finally, do return to your settlements to check on your citizens. Their loyalty, food supplies, and the local militia's strength are indicators of how happy they are under your rule. If any of those are lowered to dangerous levels, you may face a rebellion from your own people. Setting up caravans in towns may also be a decent idea, which you can learn about in our trade guide.

How to defend your settlement from invaders in Bannerlord

You'll need to station some of your troops in a city to ensure that opposing armies won't invade your towns. To garrison your troops, you'll need to visit the keep in your town and click the garrison troops option. Your troops in your party can then be assigned to stay in the town and defend it.

If you are nearby and your settlement is under attack, you could also approach the enemy and either convince them to stop or defeat them in battle. You'll need to increase your social stats, including charm and leadership

Now you have all the tools you need to manage your own kingdom in Bannerlord. If you're looking for more related guides, be sure to check out our page on Bannerlord workshops to find out how to ensure each of your settlements is producing the right resources to maximise efficiency and gold income!

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