Wondering how to make money fast in Bannerlord? When you first begin Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, you'll only have a paltry sum of gold to your name. Gold is an especially important resource when it comes to succeeding in this game, and of course you'll want a lot of it. Why? To fund your war campaigns of course!
So in order to build up your army and keep them fed, you'll need to make some smart investments. This can be done by trading profitable items with traders and getting tips of which items sell for a lot of money by talking to caravans. On this page, we'll show you how to make a profit with trades; how to set up your own caravans, and other ways to make money.
How to set up caravans to improve Bannerlord's trade economy
You can set up a caravan by talking to people of influence in a larger town. Caravans cost 15,000 gold and require a companion to set up, but that is mostly to pay for the guards that will be protecting the caravan from looters and bandits.
The purpose of caravans is somewhat unclear from the outset. It takes a while but they do earn you money when they make a profit on traded goods, as seen in the Clans tab, as well as bring items into towns that you own.
The companion that you choose to lead the caravan also gains skill points in the Steward skill. They also act as an NPC caravan who gives advice on where to buy and sell goods, and also acts as a trader. They sadly don't sell goods to you at a discount, the cheapskates.
Your caravans will also visit towns to sell items and boost the local economy, meaning that if a town is short of a certain type of item, but has another one in abundance, they can travel between the two. By improving the local economy with trade, you can sell profitable items for more gold to invest in securing more profit later.
Where to find NPC caravans
NPC trade caravans are indicated by the camels on Bannerlord's world map. They give you very helpful tips, such as indicating places where items can be bought for pennies, and places where that item can be sold for a sizeable profit.
In the list of stats for items that you can trade with settlements or caravans, you may find an extra line that says something along the lines of "Can sell at [LOCATION] for [GOLD]". Rumours (more on those below) don't appear in every village or town, so visit different settlements to get different rumours. There is an example of this below.
Another helpful indicator of items that may sell well comes from the description of the town you are entering. If they are suffering from a food shortage, you may be able to sell your rations for a higher price than normal. You can also get rumours by talking to the peasants while walking around settlements. It's the first thing they say before asking what you want from them.
How to exploit trade rumours
Rumours are an important thing to take advantage of when it comes to trading for lots of money in Bannerlord. All of the rumours you discover will be about where certain goods are sold for more than their usual price. Sometimes it's just a small increase, but for rarer items the potential profit could be significantly higher.
You can find out where goods are most valuable by hovering your mouse over the item while trying to sell it in a village. If the item has a green price listed, it's cheaper than normal, while red means it's more expensive.
Prices change as the village's stock of that item rises and falls, so try to sell only what you need to sell rather than everything you have. Settlements also have a cap on how much they can pay for your goods, so once you've got all their money, go elsewhere to sell the rest.
How to avoid attracting bandits
Two factors contribute to attracting bandits: movement speed, and carrying lots of items. Since movement speed on the world map is key to travelling between two locations quickly, you may find that conditions change by the time you arrive at a far away settlement.
There's also a risk that carrying around lots of items will attract unwanted attention from bandits, so it's worth assessing the benefits of carrying more than you know you want to sell at your immediate destination.
The types of troops you have in your army affect your movement speed on the world map. If you have a lot of men on horses, you'll move a lot faster than if your army has lots of looters running on foot.
Other Bannerlord trade tips
While following rumours from caravans and clever investments in certain types of items for trade is certainly the best way to make lots of money, there are a few more ways that you can make a quick buck. Here are just a few of them:
- Completing quests can give you a small cash injection. Go to a settlement and click on a person of influence with a blue exclamation point in their portraits to talk to them. Quests can range from delivering items to another town, fending off raiders, bringing estranged family back to their families, etc.
- Loot horses from defeated foes to increase your carrying capacity. You can also buy them from towns, but they appear often in loot from battles.
- Prisoners can be sold at taverns in larger towns. The better class of warrior the prisoner is, the more gold you get for the ransom.
- Sell your plunder obtained by winning battles in towns for a small amount of gold.
- Smelt weapons in a smithy to get raw materials. These tend to sell for more than the standard weapon, or crafted into better gear to sell.
- Take over Pen Cannoc, then if you have the money and resources, visit every settlement in the game and buy all the pottery shops. Change their purpose to anything else, then sell the shop back. You'll lose money in the short term, but you'll be manipulating the market so that eventually you are the only pottery producer. Then make sure all shops in Pen Cannoc are dedicated to producing pottery. This requires Clan Tier Level 3 to own three shops.
You should now have every tip you could possibly need to make lots of money on the road in Bannerlord! For more information on how to make your settlements pay out too, be sure to check out our comprehensive Bannerlord workshops guide to learn how to optimise your resource production.