When creating a character in Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord, you’ll choose in which of the 18 skills to invest. Even if you’re familiar with the series, a lot of things have changed and you might have trouble deciding what to pick in the beginning. This guide will help by showing you what all the skills do and helping you pick out the best starting skills in Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord.
Which skills to choose at the start?
The first thing that’s important to note is that you shouldn’t burden yourself too much with this. There’s no one correct answer, and the only way to figure out what suits you best is by playing. Don’t sweat your first build too much – you’re going to have countless playthroughs, and you’ll figure stuff out as you go.
With that out of the way, we can talk about specific skills. They’re divided into six categories, one for each attribute: vigor, control, endurance, cunning, social and intelligence. Each attribute governs three skills, and the attributes you invest in at the start are what’s important – they determine how far you’ll be able to upgrade the skills and makes it easier to learn them.Here’s a list of all the skills, divided by governing attributes:
- One handed weapons – The use of short, one-handed weapons with or without a shield.
- Two handed weapons – The use of medium-length, two-handed weapons, like big axes or swords.
- Polearms – The use of spears, lances, staves and other polearms, be they one or two handed.
- Bows – The ability to use bows and arrows.
- Crossbows – The ability to use and maintain crossbows.
- Thrown weapons – The ability to use throw weapons with force and accuracy.
- Riding – The ability to maintain balance and control over your horse, even when it moves suddenly, and general horse knowledge.
- Athletics – The ability to maintain balance and control over your own body.
- Smithing – The knowledge of metal forging, which allows you to craft weapons and armor, refine metal and scrap old equipment.
- Scouting – The ability to spot tracks, movement and enemies across distances.
- Tactics – The skill to predict how troops will perform in combat.
- Roguery – The ability to bribe, intimidate and otherwise act like a naugthy boy.
- Charm – The ability to make people trust you, so you can improve relations and barter.
- Leadership – The ability to maintain morale in your party and lead bigger armies efficiently.
- Trade – The knowledge of common goods and prices, and the ability to recognize defective goods.
- Steward – The ability to manage a town or estate well.
- Medicine – The ability to stop bleeding, clean wounds, remove weapon parts from people and set broken bones.
- Engineering – The knowledge of building and operating siege engines, both offensive and defensive.
If you just want to start as a lowly soldier and advance in the ranks of a local noble, you can focus on a certain type of weapon, riding, tactics, leadership and maybe even engineering. On the other hand, if you want to be a trader, trade and charm are a given, but scouting can also prove useful, as well as riding and leadership.
After several playthroughs, you’ll get a feel for the skills and figure out what suits your needs best. The best advice we can give you is not to stress and experiment freely. It’s not like your first few characters are going to live particularly long.