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Recruiting And Managing Your Army In Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

You’ll be spending a lot of time with your troops in Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord. They’ll ride with you, they’ll obey your commands, and they’ll even die in your name should that be required. So it’s important that you understand how to raise and command your very own army, an ineffectual commander is a chink in your army’s armour you can ill afford.

Recruiting troops

There are two main ways to recruit troops, with the first being the most common. Simply visit a settlement and buy recruits in exchange for gold to fill your ranks with untested, fresh soldiers. The less common method is to take prisoners after battles and convert them to your side.

It’s important once you have recruited troops that you know about morale. Keeping your army’s morale up means you won’t suffer desertions and your army will perform correctly on the field. Make sure they’re well fed, well paid, and you haven’t lost too many recent battles and you should avoid the worst ravages of morale. 

Increasing party size

In Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord your party, or army, size is determined by your Steward skill. Your party should never go over this size, if it does then you’ll see a hit to your army’s morale as you struggle to command them effectively and keep them all fed.

To increase this you need to level up the Steward skill by keeping your party well fed, happy, and paid. This takes time to increase, but by ensuring you look after your troops, you’ll soon be able to field a larger army.

Commanding your army

Troops in Bannerlord tend to be grouped by type, such as mounted troops, ranged troops, and melee troops. Usually you will have four groups when you go into battle, and they can be selected by using the 1, 2, 3, and 4 keys on the keyboard.

When they’re selected you can then issue orders to them. This is done via the function keys, you’ll first need to select the squad with the numerical keys, then use a function key to select the type of order you wish to give, and then the final function key press will deliver the order. Here’s a list of the orders you can give:

Movement keys

  • F1 then F1 - Move to position banner
  • F1 then F2 - Follow me
  • F1 then F3 - Charge
  • F1 then F4 - Advance
  • F1 then F5 - Fall back
  • F1 then F6 - Stop
  • F1 then F7 - Retreat
  • F1 then F9 - Cancel command

Troop facing keys

  • F2 then F1 - Face in direction of position banner
  • F2 then F2 - Face enemy
  • F2 then F9 - Cancel command

Troop formation keys

  • F3 then F1 - Form a line
  • F3 then F2 - Form shield wall
  • F3 then F3 - Loose formation
  • F3 then F4 - Circle formation
  • F3 then F5 - Square formation
  • F3 then F6 - Skein formation
  • F3 then F7 - Form a column
  • F3 then F8 - Scatter
  • F3 then F9 - Cancel command

Miscellaneous commands

  • F4 - Toggles between fire at will and hold fire
  • F5 - Tells mounted troops to mount or dismount
  • F6 - Toggled AI command of troops
  • F7 - Transfer units to location

Now you should have a better grasp of what it takes to raise and command your own party in Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord. If you’re still thirsting for more Bannerlord action, head on over to our game hub for more information and articles.