Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord Best Troops Feature

Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord Best Troops from Each Faction (2024)

You will not be starved for choice when it comes to best troops selection in Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord. Naturally, The more experienced a unit is, the better. A veteran footman is going to out pace, out trade, and out perform a recruit spearman.

Every faction has their candidates to this challenge. The Empire factions have their famous Cataphracts, Battania has their deadly Fian Archers, and so on. This primer will give a brief overview on what are some star units of each faction and an explanation on why you should have specific troops in your army.

Key points that make a unit effective is a combination of skill, equipment, and affordability. Most of the time it is better to have 60 tier 3 soldiers than 20 tier 4 soldiers. Of course, there are exceptions; elite horsemen might outclass elite infantrymen in every way, but due to the rarity of horsemen and the experience requirements being much higher, it is sometimes not feasible to rely on elite horsemen when you are desperate to replenish your numbers in a war.

We also made a convenient, more compact guide showcasing the overall best troops in Bannerlord once you get started.

Which faction is best for me?

Bannerlord Kingdoms - Northern EmpireThe Empire has a well-rounded roster that dabbles in every specialization. They have shielded infantry, archers, crossbowmen, heavy cavalry, and horse archers. A key selling point of the empire is their impressive armor, allowing them to shrug off blows and take a beating.
Bannerlord Kingdoms - AseraiThe Aserai are a very diverse faction, capable of recruiting simple peasant recruits and turning them into almost anything you need. For comparison, the Empire cannot turn their recruits into cavalrymen.
Bannerlord Kingdoms - KhuzaitThe Khuzait are swift and agile; having early access to horsemen and being able to train up common recruits into one of the best shock cavalry helps them dominate the horse game. Due to heavy use of cavalry, the Khuzait have one of the fastest armies in the game.
Bannerlord Kingdoms - BattaniaThe Battanians are somewhat of a glass cannon; capable of dishing impressive damage, but not quite capable of taking it. They have some of the best archers and shock troops in the game.
Bannerlord Kingdoms - VlandiaThe Vlandians are somewhat similar to the Empire in that they are tough and dogged, but are more fragile. They are experts in combined arms utilizing crossbows, polearms, and deadly shock cavalry, making them deadly against cavalry. They rely quite heavily on hammer and anvil tactics. Having pikemen hold a line while their knights break the flanks.
Bannerlord Kingdoms - SturgiaThe Sturgians are your heavy metal troops. They may not have fancy kits like the Empire, but they make up for it with being individually more skilled and versatile.
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Troop Types Explained

InfantrySword/mace/axe and shield troops. May have a throwing weapon or two.
SpearmenPikes and spears. Good at fighting cavalry.
Shock InfantryGreat axe or a falx. Heavy damage footmen.
ArchersRanged troops. Uses bows or crossbows.
Shock CavalryArmored horses. Charging with a lance or spear to deliver a deadly strike.
Skirmish CavalryHit-and-run harassing ranged unit.

Bannerlord Kingdoms - Northern Empire Empire

The Empire faction is a well-rounded, jack-of-all trades. They have everything you need for a solid army allowing almost any style of play, but of course there are a few caveats as well.

Imperial Legionary

The Imperial Legionary is the premiere infantryman and the toughest shielded troops you can find anywhere. They are capable of beating all other infantrymen with ease and even some shock troops who are supposed to counter infantry.

They are also very easy to recruit as imperial recruits are common and easily found.

Bannerlord Imperial Legionary Troops


  • Excellent shield and armor
  • Beats every other infantry
  • Can fight cavalry using Pilas
  • East to recruit


  • Low ammo

Imperial Cataphract

The Imperial Cataphract, as well as their elite counterpart, the Imperial Elite Cataphract, are the closest thing to tanks in Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord. They have tons of armor and very strong melee weapons.

The Imperial Cataphracts are the heaviest cavalry in game, with absurd levels of armor on them and their horse. It is quite rare for them to take any losses in comparison to other units below their pay-grade.

Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord Imperial Cataphract


  • Very tough
  • Superior weapon length and power


  • Slow (for a cavalry unit)
  • Harder to recruit
  • Expensive

The Imperial Trained Infantrymen also deserve an honorable mention for being excellent garrison units as they are cheap, easy to train, and possess throwing weapons that makes them great at defending towns and castles.

Higher tier Empire infantry are superior in every way, but they miss out on their javelins.

Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord Imperial Trained Infantryman

Bannerlord Kingdoms - Aserai Aserai

Aserai are a bit tricky as they are less dogmatic than the Empire. Aserai lets you turn simple village recruits into Mamelukes or regular soldiers, allowing you to train them into pretty much anything you will need.

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Aserai Vanguard Faris

Aserai Vanguard Faris are excellent shock cavalry in their own right. While they are nowhere near as tough as Imperial Cataphracts, they make up for it by being much faster. This makes them capable of running down skirmisher cavalry with ease.

Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord Aserai Vanguard Faris


  • Very fast
  • Good damage


  • Harder to recruit
  • More fragile than other heavy cavalry

Aserai Mameluke Heavy Cavalry

While the heavy version is considerably tougher, both the Aserai Mameluke and Mameluke Heavy Cavalry are excellent skirmishers who have very fast horses and good weapons, both ranged and melee. They are very formidable in melee combat as well.

Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord Aserai Mameluke Heavy Cavalry


  • Fast
  • Well Armored
  • Easy recruitment


  • Aserai Faris can outrun them
  • Low ammo

Unfortunately for the Aserai, their infantry and archers are relatively mediocre. Having poor armor until their later tiers and even then their armor is subpar. They are still useful, but somewhat unremarkable.

Aserai Mameluke Palace Guard

These soldiers are brutal infantry units, considering how accessible they are. You can recruit a large number of Aserai Mameluke Palace Guards as they can be trained up from Aserai Recruits from any village. They are also great at defending settlements with both their great axes and throwing axes.

Their major challenge is having recruits survive long enough to become Palace Guards. Mameluke Axemen and Mameluke Guards are simply pathetic compared to other soldiers of their caliber.

Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord Aserai Mameluke Palace Guard


  • Powerful axes
  • Throwing weapons
  • Easy to recruit


  • Vulnerable to arrow fire
  • Difficult progression

Bannerlord Kingdoms - Khuzait Khuzait

Horses, horses, and more horses. The Khuzaits have a wide variety of cavalry making them very fast in most terrains. They perform poorly in tight spots like dense forests and ruins where their speed and maneuverability are crippled.

Khuzait Heavy Lancer

The Khuzait Heavy Lancer is one of the most cost-efficient heavy cavalry in the game. Being trainable from your humble Khuzait Nomads makes them very easy to amass in large numbers, letting you outnumber other cavalry from other kingdoms. There is no reason to neglect the Khuzait Heavy Lancer if you are part of this faction.

Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord Khuzait Heavy Lancer


  • Easy to recruit
  • Comparable to Elite Cavalry


  • Comparable stats, but still weaker

Khuzait Khan’s Guard

Khuzait Khan’s Guard is a quintessential Khuzait soldier; a formidable horse archer that can function as an effective shock cavalry due to their polearm.

This makes them pose a serious threat in both ranged and melee combat. They are one of the most skilled troops in the game, having an impressive bow skill of 280 points!

Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord Khuzait Khan's Guard


  • Powerful glaive
  • Excellent archer


  • Slow for a horse archer
  • Hard to recruit in numbers
  • Not super tough, makes losses painful

Bannerlord Kingdoms - Battania Battania

Battanian armies usually make use of terrain more than the other factions. They possess excellent skirmishers, being one of the few who field longbowmen. Their infantry are well-rounded but their cavalry are rather weak.

Battanian Fian Champion

Battanian Fian Champions are the prime archers of Bannerlord. Any archers having to compete against the Battanian Fians are going to have a bad time. The Fians themselves are already very solid archers, having good armor, long range bows, and powerful two-handed swords.

They are also very quick on their feet, letting them reposition or close the gap quickly during sieges. The champion upgrade just makes them even more powerful. Once you reach a critical mass of Fian archers, your army will become an unstoppable force as they will simply gun down anything in sight.

Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord Battanian Fian Champion


  • Practically machineguns
  • Deadly in melee
  • Very skilled (200 skill points in two handed weapons and bows)


  • Hard to recruit in numbers
  • Vulnerable to heavy cavalry

Battanian Trained Spearman

The Battanian Trained Spearmen are outpaced and outclassed by other factions infantry. However, their main power comes from their synergy with Battanian Fians and Fian Champions. Any weaknesses the Fian has, is filled in by the Battanian Trained Spearman.

They carry spears and shields and are more than capable of dealing with cavalry of all kinds. Just make sure to move them accordingly in order to halt cavalry charges from the enemy.

Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord Battanian Trained Spearman


  • Easy to recruit and replace
  • Cannon fodder
  • Good shields


  • Mediocre armor
  • Outclassed by other factions

Bannerlord Kingdoms - Vlandia Vlandia

Fielding stubborn infantry and deadly pikemen, the Vlandian army can be very deadly if handled correctly. Backed with a solid core of Banner Knights, Vlandia is capable of taking a lot of abuse while dishing it back with a decisive cavalry charge.

Vlandian Hardened Crossbowman

The Vlandian Hardened Crossbowmen are excellent snipers. With the right numbers, a volley or two can turn any would-be attacking force into a ragged mess. Excellent in defense and great at assaulting castles, these units are no slouches in melee combat either.

It is quite common for Vlandian Crossbowmen to dismount or even kill cavalrymen. Their elite upgrade; the Vlandian Sharpshooter is a more powerful version of the same unit, but obviously costs more.

Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord Vlandian Hardened Crossbowman


  • Deadly to armored units
  • Has shields
  • Easy to recruit
  • Cheap


  • Relatively low rate of fire
  • Mediocre armor

Vlandian Banner Knight

These knights are the crème de la crème of Vlandia. While not as tough as the Imperial Cataphracts or as fast as the Aserai Faris, the Vlandian Banner Knights make up for it with more shock damage.

Banner Knights will couch their lances, capable of delivering a massive hit that will usually kill anything with a single blow.

Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord Vlandian Banner Knight


  • Quick damage
  • Better army synergy


  • Hard to recruit
  • Slightly outclassed
  • Expensive

Vlandian Voulgier

This is a close tie to the Vlandian Pikeman. The Vlandian Voulgier has a slight edge in general battle as their weapons allow them to fight more freely. The Voulgiers use weapons like an axe or a spear, rather than a pike that functions as a very long spear.

They are great at protecting crossbowmen from melee cavalry as well as supporting knights by dealing with superior enemy cavalry.

Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord Vlandian Voulgier


  • Strong weapon
  • Easy to recruit


  • Vulnerable to arrows and bolts from archers

Bannerlord Kingdoms - Sturgia Sturgia

Other factions may rely on fancy cavalry and archers, Sturgians rely heavily on their tried and true heavy infantry.

This simple ideology allows Sturgia to be very effective in almost every situation, as they do not care if they are fighting on mountains, inside cities, or out in the field; terrain which otherwise may prove difficult for cavalry or archers.

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Sturgian Veteran Warrior

Anything less than a siege weapon wont do much damage to a Sturgian shield-wall. While Imperial Legionaries can take a beating, the Sturgian Veteran Warriors are able to take just as much punishment, but are able to dish out more damage.

One key weakness is how difficult it can be to have recruits survive to become Veterans. Troops that train into Veteran Warriors are seriously lacking in armor, combined with the nature of being melee infantry makes their mortality rate quite high.

In battle, you can issue formation orders with (F3) and use shield wall with (F2).

Mount and Blade 2 Bannerlord Sturgian Veteran Warrior


  • Massive shields
  • Tough
  • Throwing weapons
  • Axes are anti-shield
  • Easy to recruit
  • Simple to use


  • Difficult progression

Unfortunately for Sturgia, the rest of the main roster is quite mediocre and unremarkable. They have good, but exceedingly rare specialist troops that are currently only available to specific lords.

While all these troops are faction specific, you can easily mix them into your own personal warband. You can have Sturgian Veteran Warriors as your core fighting force with Battanian Fians as your archers making your warband very good at defending and taking siege of settlements.

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