I heard you wanna get rich and famous, but you entered you first tournament and got stomped, so what gives?
Other Mount & Blade II Bannerlord Guides:
- Mount & Blade II Bannerlord Morale Guide
- Mount & Blade II Bannerlord Money Guide
- Mount & Blade II Bannerlord Main Quest Guide
- Mount & Blade II Bannerlord Tips for Beginners
- Mount & Blade II Bannerlord Campaign AI Guide
- Mount & Blade II Bannerlord Cheats & Console Commands
- Mount & Blade II Bannerlord FPS Boost (How to Fix Your FPS)
Mount & Blade II Bannerlord Tournaments 101
This guide is WIP as I do not have time right now to refine it and we are all still learning the game. This guide is as time of writing (e1.0.2) and as this is early access everything is subject to change.
So what are tournaments and how do they benefit you?
Tournaments are a series of fights in the arena of a Town. During the tournament you can place bets on yourself to earn money and at the end of the tournament, if you win, you get a prize. You will also gain some renown.
Some things to note about tournaments:
- Prizes are semi-random, some are worth 5000 Denars, some are only worth 75 Denars.
- You retain your current health percentage upon entering a tournament, so it’s best to enter them when you have full health.
- Any damage taken during the tournament will be healed upon entering the next round or exiting the tournament.
- At current, you cannot earn experience or level up from fighting in tournaments.
- There are a minimum of 3 rounds and a maximum of five rounds.
- The Maximum amount of gold which can be earned through bets is roughly 1800 Denars per tournament.
- What weapons are given to the combatants depends on the culture of the original towns owners, not the towns current faction.
- Your companions will join the tournament as well.
- You retain any of your armour when entering the tournament, but not your weapons.
How to find Tournaments:
It’s actually very simple at time of writing. Enter any Town and enter the arena, if there is no tournament there, simple speak to the arena master or whatever he is called, and ask if there are any tournaments nearby. He will mention two nearby towns and off you go.
Doing this always seem to spawn two tournament events near you, so you will never go without for long. You can even do this in towns where you just one a tournament for maximum tournamentage.
Tournaments have different weapon preferences (what they will give you when you spawn in) This differs by culture, as listed below.
Imperial Towns have a tournament preference that will be familiar for anyone coming from other Mount and Blade games. Sword and Board (Shield), Spear on Horseback, Archers, a good all around tournament with a notable absence of any two handed weapons, besides the odd spear. They tend to emphasize one handed weapons.
Battican Tournaments usually prefer two handed and thrown weapons. As always, polearms will feature on occasion but if you want to specialize in two handed weapons this is where you wanna be.
Valandian Tournaments usually involve more spear on horseback than any other tournaments. Otherwise they will be fairly similar to Imperial tournaments with a greater emphasis on polearms.
Sturgian Tournaments, in my experience, usually involve throwing weapons, axes and polearms. With a bit of archery mixed in sometimes.
Khuzait Tournaments tend to involve horse riding in some way. Spears, archery and thrown weapons on horseback. You will see other types of combat but not emphasized as much as just riding in general.
Aserai Tournaments tend to be the most well rounded of them all, with the only real exceptions to combat styles being archery on horseback and thrown weapons on foot. They can also lack specialized two handed weapons but you will be using spears two handed, Because of this, these can be some of the more difficult tournaments.
Speaking of difficult tournaments, in my opinion, the most difficult tournaments are Battican, Khuzait and Aserai. With Imperial being the easiest. But this will depend on your playstyle.
If you place bets on yourself you will earn that money when you finish the tournament, as stated, the most I have ever gotten was about 1800, there is no other prize money, only a prize item. Speaking of which, they seem to be semi-random. Sometimes taking items you might see in nearby regions as prizes.
The weapons on offer are usually mid-tier weapons, nothing to really write home about but better than the weapons you can afford at the beginning of the game. The worst of which was an axe which was not very good and only worth about 75 Denars.
I have only ever seen helmet and cape slot armour up for grabs, usually in Battican tournaments and surrounding Imperial and Valandian tournaments. These are actually pretty good. Like, really really good. The best Item I have gotten was a Ridged Highland Helm from a tournament in Marunath. It’s worth 5138 Denars, and provides 46 head armour as a tier 6 helm. Which is the best Helmet I have been able to find so far in game.
The cape slot ones are quite good, mid to mid-high tier (max was a tier 4 I believe).
Other than that you will find the odd camel and horses available. All of which tend to be mid-high tier for horses (3-4 with a riding skill of 60-90 required), unfortunately the most valuable of these was only worth about 1000 Denars. But maybe if you play more Khuzait tournaments than I do you will find something better.
These rewards, as well as tournament structure are random. So if you want to you can save before entering and keep reloading until the reward is something you’d want.
Speaking of rewards and equipment…
So what should I bring into a tournament? I need an awesome sword right? And an amazing steed! Oh! And the best shield money can buy!
Oh no… not at all, none of these matter in tournaments because they don’t come with you. Yes that ridiculously expensive shield you thought would count as armour will not come with you into the arena.
So what does come with you? Well, all your armour, so everything on the left side of your equipped character inventory, besides the horse related stuff.
So, if you want to gear up, invest in armour for your torso, arms and legs. In that order usually. You should win a helm or two and a cape if you travel around doing tournaments so you should be fine with whatever you can get off bandits until then.
Fighting in Bannerlord is more difficult than in past Mount and Blade games. So here is a tip or two for all weapons.
Use them! They are very useful. They make blocking attacks easier, but it is still better to face the direction the attack is coming from. You can perform a shield bash by holding block and pressing the “E” key, this is a quick way of interrupting someone or just being annoying. This doesn’t do much damage but can be upgraded and can give you an opening to attack.
One Handed Weapons
The bread and butter of most adventurers, find a type that suits your style. In general you will find bashing weapons (such as maces) tend to do more damage to armoured opponents, but swords attack faster.
Usually longer swords are more useful from horseback and shorter blades are better in crowds as they do not require as much space to use effectively.
In a one on one with sword and shield, you may find it useful to continually move left, toward your opponents sword arm, as you try to circle them. If done correctly and with enough speed to outpace their turn rate, you can keep yourself aligned with their shoulder, and they will be unable to attack you as long as you maintain your placement. This can lead to easy wins over tougher opponents.
Two Handed Weapons
I find these to be the most difficult weapons to use, bar none. They are especially vulnerable to ranged weapons.
In a one on one, typically the best strategy is to ready your swing (left or right attack), when your opponent closes the distance they will usually start their swing a little early, provided you move backwards as this happens you can usually dodge the first attack and counter with your attack while they are stuck in their backswing. If you continue to attack with left and right attacks thereafter (the fastest two handed attacks) you can effectively stun lock your opponent and kill them without taking any damage.
Polearms are perhaps the most used weapon after One handed weapons and are universal in every faction’s tournaments. They can be wielded in one or two hands. For using them two handed refer to the Two Handed section above as it covers the on foot tip, on horseback, see below.
It is best to use the low attacks while on horseback as these provide you with a consistent line of attack. The high attacks rely on your ability to stab downward with accuracy and are only really useful against opponents with lots of shields, but you shouldn’t encounter groups like this in tournaments.
side note; for out of tournaments, if you have a spear with “couched”, you can press “X” while at high speed to couch your spear and simply run it into enemies without having to time a mouse click.
Low attacks have reach farther than high attacks but this makes them unreliable in a one on one unless the opponent also has a shield. So your best bet is high attacks and aim for the head, this is especially true if your opponent has a shield.
Archery is fairly straight forward, you will find it in a few tournaments, however, I don’t see a need to invest in this skill at all if you want to succeed in tournaments as a bow’s aim is pretty consistent if you are standing still.
I would suggest taking on other ranged enemies first, and if an opponent attacks you with a sword or close range then swap to your melee weapon. If they have a shield, steal it once they are down.
Thrown weapons tend to do quite a lot of damage, but are not really worth using as melee weapons (you can change to this mode using “X”), rather switch to your sword if enemies get too close.
The only real tip I have for this one is that they have a steep drop off, so keep your crosshair high of where you want to hit. If I wanted to hit an enemy’s head I’d aim above it. Once you get the hang of the drop off you can hit thrown shots at a surprising distance.
Thanks for reading this guide, I will update it when I can. I hope it was helpful. Leave any suggestions or corrections in the comments for me.