Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord Best Faction - Which To Choose

Bannerlord Best Faction
Which should you choose?

Being unleashed into Calradia without much direction can be a little daunting, especially for a new player. There are 8 major factions in Bannerlord (three of which comprise the Empire and I’ll be counting as one faction for this article) all vying for power, and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. So which faction or factions should you get your soldiers from? Well, that will come down mostly to how you like to play, but let me help you figure out which faction will suit your needs best. 


Once the center of power in Calradia, the Empire has recently fallen into civil war. Now the Empire that once controlled the continent has broken into three warring factions: The Southern, Northern, and Western Empire. On top of that, they are now surrounded by enemy factions seeking to establish their own hard-won control of Calradia.


  • Have some strongest melee units in the game 
  • Have fairly well-armored soldiers
  • Have the strongest Cavalry unit in the game as well


  • They don’t have a lot of fast-moving units
  • They lack for polearm infantry, making them a little weaker against cavalry than some other factions.

Best For: New players. The Empire is a very solid faction that is pretty good in nearly all situations. If you are new to the game, or if you just want a reasonably stress-free experience then the Empire is probably the best faction for you.


 Descended from mercenaries hired by the Empire to help fight the various tribal groups that would later become the other factions in the game. However, the day came when they decided they no longer wanted to bow before the Empire and seized a large piece of the Empire’s western territory for their own. 


  • Strongest in-game Crossbowmen 
  • Good selection of polearm infantry for dealing with cavalry
  • Strong Cavalry Units


  • The tradeoff for having such a powerful crossbowman is a lack of archers. Crossbows are slower to fire than archers, making your ranged section much slower  
  • They lack horse archers
  • It’ s hard to buy horses in Vlandian as they lack horse farms

Best For: Sieges. With their powerful crossbows and polearm infantry they are well suited for clearing castle and town walls. 


A nation formed when the northern tribes of the area intermingled with traders coming down from further north. Now a powerful warrior nation that holds dominion over the majority of northern Calradia.


  • Powerful infantry, very effective for shield walls.
  • Good archers, and strong strong axe throwing units 


  • Very limited Cavalry
  • Very weak low-level troops
  • Overall very lightly armored army

Best For: Melee/shield wall focused combat. 


Formed by the consolidation of several steppe tribes from the west of Calradia into a single Khanate. The Khuzait are the undisputed masters of horse-bound warfare and the horse archer. 


  • The most cavalry options of any faction in the game
  • The best horse archers in the game
  • A plethora of horse-bound units makes them a much more mobile army than any other faction has.


  • No strong infantry units. 
  • Harder to play well. Works best with attack and retreat tactics to keep out of the reach of any foot troops. 
  • A lack of foot units with swords and shields makes them less well suited for siege battles than most other factions.

Best For: Guerilla warfare


The people of Battania are some of the original inhabitants of Calradia, at one point having control of most of it. As other cultures found their way to Calradia, the Battanians lost more and more land until now they only have a chunk of land in the northwestern corner of the continent. 


  • Their special unit is the strongest archer by far
  • Reasonably strong polearm infantry
  • Most troops have a flexible set of weapons for different situations


  • Lack of heavy cavalry and horse archers
  • Not very well armored troops
  • Battania is surrounded by enemies on every side

Best For: Archers, and taking down cavalry.


A group of nomadic desert clans that have historically competed amongst each other for power within the bronze desert at Calradia’s southern border. With the Empire’s grip on the continent beginning to fail, the nomadic clans elected a Sultan to lead them against the Empire. 


  • Good mounted archers
  • Starting troops have polearms, making them useful against cavalry (and the bandits you find in the desert) 
  • Infantry and lancers carry throwing spears, which give them an edge in horse-to-horse combat.


  • Infantry are a bit weak until higher levels
  • The stronger infantry units lack shields
  • Traveling between Asarai towns and cities can take a longer time than other factions due to how widely spaced out they are

Best For: Strong Cavalry units.

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