One of the most vital (and profitable) activities you can do in Mount & Blade Bannerlord, smithing is crucial for not only supplying yourself with a steady stream of gear to use, but also as an economic endeavour to bring in piles of shiny gold. Here’s how to get started on the long road to smithing and how to be really, really good at it.
How To Get Started – How To Level Your Smithing Skill Quickly
This is a simple one. The only way in Mount & Blade Bannerlord that you can increase in your smithing skill, is simply by doing more of it. Y’know like real life, or The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Where things get interesting is that you don’t necessarily need to be crafting shiny new stuff in order to level your smithing skill, as even just smelting down existing weapons and tools can also cause your smithing skill to shoot up rather nicely.
Because of this, you can level up your smithing skill super quickly by just picking on bands of poorly armoured and even worse trained bandits, defeating them, robbing all their stuff and just smelting it all down before rinsing and repeating the whole grim (but necessary) process.
Levelling up your smithing skill also brings with it some neat rewards too. Smithing perks for example are granted at key smithing level milestones and help to make the whole thing easier. The Practical Smelter skill for instance, halves the stamina needed for smelting while the Steel Maker III skill, allows you to create a single component of prized Thamaskene steel with two Fine steel components, thus allowing you to craft a wider selection of weapons and tools in the process.
Pacing Yourself Is Crucial
Smithing, again like in real-life, is a distinctly sweaty and exhausting endeavour which means that you need to pace yourself accordingly to get the best results. In Mount & Blade Bannerlord then, stamina is the stat that all smithing actions require.
A quick pass of the mouse cursor will tell you how much stamina you have and ostensibly, you’re not going to be able to smith everything you want in a single session. Once your stamina invariably hits zero, you’ll have to leave the forge and rest up, or do something else less physically stressful, before it’ll recover.
You can get around the stamina system by having a companion do your smithing for you. While this is great for producing the goods you need at the end and preserves your stamina, it will be they who gain progression in the smithing skill and not you.
Oh and as smithing uses Endurance as its base stat, it’s a good idea to get this levelled as high as you can if you’re looking to make a serious go of this whole smithing thing.
The Materials You’ll Need
You can’t smith anything unless you have the materials do it with, so when you’re out and about in the world, killing (obviously bad) folk, taking part in a spot of looting and all that other business, these are the materials that you’ll need to keep a lookout for to ensuring your blacksmithing career is a long one:
- Crude iron
- Fine steel
- Iron ore
- Thamaskene steel
One little tip which should prove useful is that when you start to come across large swathes of loot that you cannot/don’t want to use, you can opt to smelt it down at the local forge, allowing you to neatly top up some of those much needed materials in the process.
How To Get More Charcoal And Never Run Out
However, where things get a little sticky is that smelting requires an amount of exactly one charcoal in order to be completed.
The only real way to get charcoal is to craft it by melting down two hardwood components to create one piece of charcoal. Now, the key to keeping your smelting business going is to make sure that you never run out of charcoal.
The way to do this is simply to ensure that whenever you smelt something down you receive a minimum of two hardwoods in return (spears, bows and other such wooded gear tend to do this quite nicely), thus you can make sure that you’ve always got the minimum number of charcoal needed to crack on and smelt the next batch of your ill-gotten gains.
However, there is a much easier way to make sure that you never run out of charcoal in Mount & Blade Bannerlord. Early on in your smithing career, if you pick up the Efficient Charcoal Maker perk (which is unlockable at level smithing level 25), the ratio for the creation of charcoal is brilliantly flipped. This means that instead of requiring two charcoals to create one charcoal, you now would need just one hardwood to create two charcoals. A bargain!
Smelting Is An Easy Money Maker
Just in case it hasn’t been made clear so far, smelting is a super worthwhile activity to do. Not only can cause your smithing skill to skyrocket, but you can make some serious medieval bank off it too.
If you’re smelting a mace for example, and get two iron bars as residual materials you’ll likely find that the combined sale price of the materials are, more often than not, more than the selling cost of the weapon if it was whole.
As such then, it’s probably best to see what materials you can get from something when you smelt it before you hit that ‘sell’ button.
Always Craft Within Your Means
When it comes to the crafting of gear through Mount & Blade Bannerlord’s smithing function, it’s not unreasonable to posit that it can sometimes be down to the luck of the draw whether you are successful or not.
That said, you can definitely make things easier on yourself by always making sure that you’re crafting stuff that is within your skill level to make.
Because you can craft weapons in which the reach, weight and other stats can be tweaked to make them better at stabbing/bludgeoning folks into a fine red paste, so too does the difficulty ramp up accordingly, resulting in an item which will likely fail to be crafted and lose you precious materials as a result.
Because of this, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and only craft stuff that you know you’ll ultimately have a better chance of making, as the risk/reward dynamic simply doesn’t pay off otherwise.