Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord is a game that intricately blends real-time tactics with action RPG elements. The combat system is a dance of positioning, reflexes, and strategic planning. Whether you’re leading a massive army or engaging in one-on-one duels, understanding the nuances of combat is crucial. This guide will provide you with essential tips and strategies to dominate the battlefield.


Mount and Blade 2 Combat System And How It Works

Your weapon and your armor is going to determine the role that you are going to play on the battlefield. You will need to decide what kind of loadout you are going to use.

  • One-Handed Weapon With Shield
    • This loadout is balanced and allows you to attack while defending yourself well.
  • Two-Handed Weapon
    • This loadout has higher damage but lower defense.
  • Spears
    • With spears, you can attack cavalry.
  • Ranged Weapons
    • With ranged weapons, you can attack from a distance.

Understanding Your Weaponry

Every warrior knows the importance of their weapon. In Bannerlord, your character has four active inventory slots, each of which can hold a weapon, shield, or ammunition. Here’s a breakdown of some popular loadouts:

  • Classic Warrior: Equip yourself with a sword, shield, bow, and arrows. This combination offers versatility, allowing you to engage in ranged combat and then dive into the melee when the situation demands.
  • Versatile Fighter: This loadout includes a sword, axe or mace, shield, and a thrown weapon. While sacrificing the range of a bow, the secondary one-handed weapon offers advantages like breaking enemy shields or dealing extra damage to armored foes.
  • Cavalry Expert: If you’re a fan of horseback combat, opt for a sword, shield, spear or lance, and javelins. This combination lets you harass enemies from a distance and charge into the heart of the battle when needed.
Mount and Blade 2 Combat

Weapon Stats

Now that you know about the different weapons that you can use in the game, we can move on to stats. Each type of weapon has different stats. You have speed and damage stats, length of the weapon and types of attacks. You also have the handling stat which is determined by the center of mass of the weapon.


Attack Animation

The attack animation is a combination of a balanced and unbalanced attack. If the attack is balanced then it will deal high damage in the hands of a trained person. Similarly, if the attack is unbalanced then it is not going to do a ton of damage as if the weapon was in the hands of a simple peasant. The attack animation is affected by weapon handling.

The better the weapon the more balanced attacks it is going to have and the higher damage you will be able to do. If it is well made then you will get more balanced animations. If it is made by an amateur blacksmith then it is going to have lower handing and hence will have more of the unbalanced animation which means lower damage.

Damage Zone

The blended animation is going to affect your damage zone. If you swing your axe then it is going to form an arc. If you hit the enemy at the very beginning of the arc then the hit is going to do very low damage. Hitting the enemy in the middle of the swing or arc is going to deal much higher damage.

If we call the higher damage zone of the arc the green zone then the better the balanced attack animation the bigger the green zone is going to be. This means that you have a higher chance of dealing high damage when you swing your weapon.


On the other hand, if you have an unbalanced weapon, then the green zone is going to be much smaller. This means that the chances of dealing high damage is going to be much lower.

All this means is that hitting the enemy at the start of the arc is going to deal lower damage. You should strike the enemy near the center of the arc in order to deal the most damage possible.

Quick Vs Heavy Attack

Each attack animation has two parts. The first part is the ready part in which you will pull your weapon back and get ready to strike. Then you have the release part in which you swing your weapon. If you ready your weapon and instantly release it then you will do a quick attack. The speed of this attack is fast but the damage is relatively low.

On the other hand, you can hold the attack and then release it in order to do a heavy attack. These attacks are going to be slower due to the high hold time but you can deal a bit more damage. The heavy attack is more telegraphed and easier to block. So keep that in mind as well.


Mastering Melee Combat

Success in melee combat hinges on quick reactions, directional movement, and situational awareness. Here are some essential tips:

  • Directional Attacks and Blocks: Your attack and block direction is determined by your mouse movement. This mechanic might be challenging for newcomers, but mastering it is crucial. Practice in the training grounds and participate in Arena tournaments to hone your skills.
  • Strategic Shield Use: Shields can block most attacks, even if you’re not facing the exact direction of the incoming blow. They’re also your primary defense against ranged threats. However, remember that shields can break, so always keep an eye on their durability.
  • Feinting: Deception can be a powerful tool. Start an attack, block briefly, and then strike from a different direction to catch your opponent off-guard.
  • Stay Mobile: Movement can be your best defense. Strafing, dodging, and changing your position can disorient your enemy and give you the upper hand.

Blocking Basics

In order to block, you need to match the direction of an incoming attack. If someone is swinging at you from the left then you have to block towards the left. If someone is swinging overhead then you need to block upwards. The system is very simple but you do need to be quick.

If you are the defender then you can use a shield. With the shield, you do not have to worry about the direction of the attack. With the shield, there is a high chance that you can block incoming attacks even if you do not match the direction of the attack.

Shields can also be used to block incoming ranged attacks. Note that you can be shot in exposed areas. If the shield is small and you are covering your chest then you can get shot in the leg. You can crouch while using a shield and this will make you a smaller target and hence harder to hit.

  • Active Block
    • The active block is the one that you perform at the last second. The attacker is going to have to wait longer before attacking again.
  • Passive Block
    • If you block continuously then the block is passive. The attacker stun is shorter and he can attack again much quicker.

Armor Vs Movement Speed

You can choose between light, mid-tier and heavy armor. The heavier the armor the slower you are going to move. You can use light armor to get some defense and move around quickly. If you have heavy armor then your defense is going to be much higher but you are also going to move around much slower.

Equipment such as shields can also weigh you down and decrease movement speed and mobility. Shields and armor are going to help you survive on the battlefield and whether or not you go with heavy armor is going to depend on your playstyle.

Chamber Or Parrying

For this, you need to attack in the same direction as the enemy at the right time. Doing so will lead to a chamber or parry and you will be able to deal a devastating blow to the enemy. Note that doing this is very hard even in a controlled environment. Pulling these off might not be worth it for most people especially in battle.

Ranged Attacks

Mount And Blade 2 Combat is based on physics so keep that in mind. If an enemy is moving then you will have to lead. If an enemy is moving towards you then more damage will be taken. If an enemy is running away then less damage will be taken. These are some things that you can keep in mind when picking your targets but at the end of the day it is all going to come down how well you can aim.

  • Aim for Weak Points: All strikes are location-based. Aim for areas like the head or arms, which are often less armored, to incapacitate your foes quickly.
  • Use Shields Strategically: Only shields can protect you from arrows and bolts. If you’re under fire, raise your shield and approach the enemy archer strategically.

Leading Your Troops in Battle

As you progress in the game, you’ll find yourself leading larger armies. Commanding these forces requires a blend of strategy and real-time decision-making:

  • Positioning: Place your archers or javelineers in front for initial volleys, then move them behind the infantry as the enemy advances. Utilize terrain advantages, like slopes, to give your troops the upper hand.
  • Commanding Cavalry: Use your cavalry to prevent flanking maneuvers and to charge at opportune moments. Remember, a well-timed cavalry charge can turn the tide of battle.
  • Adapting to the Enemy: Your strategy should evolve based on the enemy’s composition and tactics. Whether facing horse archers, heavy cavalry, or infantry, always be ready to adapt.

This is all for our Mount and Blade 2 Combat guide. If you are interested in learning more about the game then you can check out our guide on how you can farm gold.


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