Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord: Character Creation and Skills

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Campaign Trailer

Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord has an awful lot of customization built in. You make your medieval leader, then take them on a grand adventure to becoming a king or queen of their own tribal fiefdom. When you first make your character, you’re going to be presented with various options. You can change anything about the physical characteristics of your leader, with hair, eyes, facial features and more up for tweaking. Once you’ve made your appearance, you actually begin Bannerlord character creation.

Each phase of character creation is defined by picking the backstory of your fighter. Each choice gives you basic skills to begin the game with, as well as a bit of lore about how you came to be in this world. You can choose between combat and economic-focused backgrounds, with bonuses in the relevant stats and skills. The first choice you make is your culture, and pick wisely, you cannot actually change your culture once the game begins.

All Cultures in Bannerlord

The Culture bonuses are unique to each choice, and again, they cannot be changed once you’ve made your character, so pick carefully.l

Culture Effect
Vlandians Bonuses: 5% more reputation from battles, 15% more income from mercenary service. A 10% production bonus for villages that are connected to castles.

Penalty: Recruiting lords into the army costs 20% more reputation.

Sturgians Bonuses: The cost of recruiting and upgrading infantry units is 25% less. Armies lose 20% less cohesion each day.

Penalty: 20% greater penalty to the relationship resulting from the kingdom’s decision.

Empire Bonuses: 20% less pay for the garrison. You gain 25% more influence for being in the army.

Penalty: Farm increase is 20% smaller.

Aseri Bonuses: The cost of creating caravans is 30% less. A 10% smaller penalty to trade. No penalty to movement speed in the desert.

Penalty: The daily wage of units in the party is increased by 5%.

Khuzaits Bonuses: The cost of recruiting and upgrading mounted units is reduced by 10%. 25% bonus for breeding horses, mules, cows and sheep in villages ruled by Khuzait rulers.

Penalty: 20% less income from taxes in towns.

Battanians Bonuses: 50% less penalty to movement speed and 15% bonus to range of sight in forests. Cities ruled by Battanian rulers receive +1 to volunteer growth.

Penalty: 10% more time to finish building town projects in districts.

Once you get through each part of the process, you will be greeted with your starting stat screen.

Skills in Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord

Attributes each have a starting value, but you’re not locked into those values. You get an attribute point every 3 experience levels. Investing a point in a given attribute will make the skills related to that attribute develop faster. You get XP fromk doing anything, from smithing to combat.

Each skill has a related attribute that works to scale the effectiveness of that ability in combat or various other gameplay systems. Keep reading below learn more about skills in Bannerlord.

Skill Attribute Development

One handed

Vigor Attacking with one-handed weapons and using a shield

Two handed

Vigor Attacking with a two-handed weapon


Vigor Attacking with polearms


Control Shooting opponents with a bow


Control Shooting opponents with a crossbow


Control Hitting opponents with throwing weapons


Endurance Riding in campaign map mode and combat mode


Endurance Walking on foot in combat map mode and combat mode


Endurance Crafting equipment, converting gear into crafting materials


Cunning Traveling in unfavorable areas (snow, forests, mountains) and finding hideouts


Cunning Commanding troops during combat, winning battles where you don’t outnumber enemies


Cunning Bribery, attacking towns, villages and caravans, controlling bandit units


Social Improving relationships with characters, trading


Social Having a large army and maintaining high morale


Social Allows for more caravans, and grants better trade potential


Intelligence Developing your locations, maintaining high morale by providing diverse food


Intelligence Treating soldiers and fixing wounds


Intelligence Building and using siege equipment

There are also two other areas of concern: Perks and Focus Points. Think of these as additional ways to power-up your leader. You get one Focus Point every new experience level.

Each Focus Point adds a certain amount of bonus to XP gain for the skill its attached to. This makes it easy to hyper-focus on particular areas. So if you’re aiming to become the best bowman in all the land, focus points should be dumped into skills such as Bow and Athletics to make you a more accurate and nimble archer. Perks are extra bonuses that can be purchased on some level up thresholds, adding new unique bonuses to the skill. You can choose new perks every 25 skill levels.

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.

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