Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord Difficulty Settings Guide

In this guide, we are going to help you decide the right difficulty options no matter whether you are a new player or an old experienced player of the Mount and Blade franchise. These Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord Difficulty Settings will help you select the perfect mix of challenge and enjoyment.

Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord Difficulty Settings

In Bannerlord selecting difficulty setting is not as simple as other games. Instead of one common option, Bannerlord divides difficulty settings into few different areas that you can change. For example, you can soften the challenge of its political systems while still keeping melee combat extremely lethal.

Just because Mount and Blade 2 uses different names for its difficulty settings, choosing the right option for yourself might be confusing in the start but you don’t have to worry, we are here to help you out with it.

When choosing your difficulty at the start of a new campaign, there are seven different settings to play with and each affect different part of the game.

Each of these five settings has three options: very easy, easy, and realistic.

Though you can change the difficulty at any time by accessing the Campaign Options menu.

You might think that realistic is the equivalent to normal difficulty but it is not. It is more like hard. For the most part, only old-timers should play on realistic difficulty.

Let’s break down each setting one by one and explain how they work so that it is easier for you to decide the perfect difficulty option for yourself.

Friendly Troops Received Damage
This setting decides how much damage your friendly units can take in combat but excludes your own character. For that reason, setting this to “realistic” is more favorable irrespective of whether you are a new player or an Old-Timer.

This means that your and enemy troops will be on even stability when fighting. It won’t be a problem if you are smart and always try to have the bigger army or better fortified soldiers.

This option does require you to understand Bannerlord’s complicated unit command system. On Realistic Difficulty, you will be needed to give orders to your different units so they’re always in beneficial position, whereas on the remaining two difficulties you can just order them to charge and mostly forget about them.

Friendly Parties Received Damage
This option controls how much damage your partners take in combat. These troops are not under your control, but any additional computer-controlled soldiers who might join you in battle.

Setting this option to “realistic” regardless of your experience with Bannerlord as this means allied soldiers and enemies they fight will be on even ground. And since you do not have command over these units, you don’t have to worry about controlling them to keep them alive.

Player Received Damage
With the help of this option you can control how much damage your character takes and will be the most noticeable difficulty option you can tinker with.

Setting this to realistic requires you to be expert at Bannerlord’s nuanced combat in order to survive, as even the weakest bandit of all will be able to kill you in just a few hits. Only experts should set this option to realistic, as it requires perfect timing to beat most AI opponents.

For new players there is no shame in setting this to very easy until you come to clutches with combat.

Setting this to “easy”, provides you with a bit of superiority in one on one combat, but you will still have to command your troops effectively to win large-scale battles.

Recruitment Difficulty
In order to employee more troops from settlements you visit, you have to win the favor of notable NPCs who live there. This is the point where this option comes in as it controls how much characters have to like you before they’ll let you recruit their best soldiers to your cause.

This option will not disturb your campaign as dramatically as the first three, but it is important.

If you want to spend less time in fighting than more, setting this to “easy” is more favorable. That way you can enlist troops more quickly and spend time fighting.

Map Movement Speed
Like Recruitment Difficulty, Map Movement Speed slightly changes how quickly you can move around on the world map. Your speed is determined by a variety of factors like the quality and number of your horses, how full your inventory is, and even the morale of your troops.

This option adjusts how much each of those affects your speed. Lowering this option is great for those who want to focus on fighting and less on management, but if you want a more authentic experience, don’t resist to keep it at realistic.

Enable Death
Play with Enable Death “On”, as it adds an excellent level of practicality to Bannerlord. When enabled, named NPCs (called heroes) can now die, including kings, emperors, and even you.

This creates opportunities for dramatic confusions in the political landscape, as characters meet their untimely end and nations devolve into chaos. If you want to play a campaign with real consequences to your actions, Enable Death is the way to go.

To be more precise, it will be possible that you can die. If you have a successor, you’ll start playing as them and your campaign will continue.

When just starting out, the risk of that happening is minimum. Most bandits and other criminals you fight would prefer to keep you alive so they can ransom you for money or sell you into slavery, so a loss in combat rarely means a true game over.

Auto Allocate Clan Member Perks
This is less of a difficulty option and more of an ease option. Once you start to build a clan, you will begin managing the progress of characters other than your main one. This option takes some of the minor managements out of that task by allocating incentives automatically. Otherwise you will need to individually select which advantages your followers have, which can be a bit unnerving.

Turn this option “On” if you want to focus less on Bannerlord’s management aspect and more on killing. Like all these options you can always change it if you’re getting overwhelmed or equally want more control of your clan.

Above are the details of what actually each setting means how it can affect your gameplay. In order to make it short and straight forward, we summarized it into short points which are mentioned below for both new players and old-timers.

So the settings are as follows for New Players and Old-Timers.

New Players

  • Friendly Troops Received Damage: Realistic
  • Friendly Parties Received Damage: Realistic
  • Player Received Damage: Easy
  • Recruitment Difficulty: Easy
  • Map Movement Speed: Easy
  • Enable Death: On
  • Auto Allocate Clan Member Perks: On

Old-Timers

  • Friendly Troops Received Damage: Realistic
  • Friendly Parties Received Damage: Realistic
  • Player Received Damage: Realistic
  • Recruitment Difficulty: Realistic
  • Map Movement Speed: Realistic
  • Enable Death: On
  • Auto Allocate Clan Member Perks: On

If you think you need to do some changes from our recommended settings then surely try it, if it affects the gameplay and makes it more interesting for you.

Contributor at SegmentNext.