Being a mercenary in video games is a lot easier and more fun than doing so in real life. Various sims and RPGs have tried to recreate the feeling of fighting for someone else’s cause, and Mount and Blade: Bannerlord puts a medieval spin on the idea.
One word of warning about mercenaries, is that they are typically under the de facto protection of the faction they join up with. Any Clan under a merc contract can still be attacked by the player, but the player will find themselves at war with the larger controlling faction. Minor factions often do this at the beginning of the game, as the AI uses this system to allow them to level up and expand their territory. You can open the Encyclopedia page for a given minor faction to see if they are active on any contract. You could also use this to your advantage if you wish, although be careful. Early in the game, you will likely be too weak to effectively fight any kind of war. So be sure to plan ahead for that.
With that out of the way, here’s how to join up as a mercenary in Mount and Blade: Bannerlord.
How to become a mercenary?
Like most things in this game, you need to upgrade your Clan Tier to the requisite level. Clan Tier in Bannerlord is basically a measure of your in-game progression. The higher your Clan’s rank, the more powerful they become. But be warned, your enemies will get stronger as well. Thankfully, you don’t have to progress too far to get the ability to join a faction as a merc. You just need to attain Clan Tier 1 to unlock the ability to join other factions as a mercenary.
How to reach Clan Tier 1
Here are the steps you need to get past to reach this first tier of upgrades.
- Earn at least 2,000 pieces of gold.
- Recruit at least 20 soldiers.
- Reach 50 reputation points.
- Hire one companion.
Once you reach Clan Tier 1, you’re ready to join the fight. Then, you need to just find a Lord or that faction. The various locations of the lords can be easily found in the game’s encyclopedia. Go through and find the lord of the faction you wish to join and speak to them. The options presented will include the option to join their faction as a merc. From now on, the faction’s enemies become your enemies, and you will receive a small salary every day.
There’s something to keep in mind though, how you made your character. When making your character in Bannerlord, you will want to pay attention to the path you want to take in each playthrough. Thanks to the game’s skill system, you have to tune your character around the gameplay experience you wish to have. If you plan to be a mercenary in Mount and Blade: Bannerlord, you need to start with good combat skills. Choose a weapon type and stick to it—no use using trade skills if you don’t plan to be a trader.
You can then get up to the fun of waging war and engaging in diplomacy. You can recruit lords for your faction, bringing more armies under your banner. There’s a lot more to learn about this game, so pay attention. Other things you might want to learn are how to properly manage your party’s size and movement speed. No use building a massive army if it’s too slow to fight. Smithing and other crafting disciplines are key to outfitting your troops. And knowing how to deal with rival lords and vassals is key to actually building that army.