While you’re making your character in Mount and Blade 2: Bannerfall, the first thing you’ll do is to choose a cultural background. There are six cultures to choose from in Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord and each of them comes with a unique buff/bonus which should dictate your decision in the long run.


Irrespective of your initial choice, you’ll be able to fight for any faction you want – the game won’t force your hand at all! This is why you should emphasize more on the bonus you get from your cultures more than anything else.

All Bannerlord Cultures In Mount And Blade 2

The Calradian Empire: The Echoes of Rome

The Calradian Empire, reminiscent of the Roman Empire, is in turmoil. Divided into three parts, this once-great empire is on the brink of collapse.

  • Strengths: The Imperial Legionnaires and the Imperial Cataphract are formidable units. Additionally, the culture bonus reduces the construction time of city projects, siege engines, and wall repairs by 20%.
  • Weaknesses: The ongoing civil war means you’ll often face fellow Imperials in battle. Plus, the empire starts surrounded by foes.
  • Ideal for: Beginners looking for a well-rounded experience.

The Calradian Empire stands as a testament to the grandeur of ancient Calradia. Drawing parallels with the Roman Empire, it’s a civilization steeped in tradition, culture, and military might. Once a unified and indomitable force, the empire now finds itself fragmented, with internal strife threatening its very existence.


At its zenith, the Calradian Empire was a beacon of progress, boasting advanced engineering, sophisticated political structures, and a formidable army. Their legions, disciplined and well-equipped, were the dread of their enemies. The empire’s architectural marvels, from grand coliseums to intricate aqueducts, reflect its past glory and technological prowess.

However, with greatness comes challenges. The vastness of the empire made it susceptible to external invasions and internal rebellions. The ongoing civil war, a power struggle between the three factions within, has further weakened its grip on the territories.

For players aligning with the Calradian Empire, the journey is one of restoration. It’s about reclaiming the lost glory, navigating the political intrigues, and uniting a divided land under one banner. The empire’s strength lies in its balanced military units, advanced siege capabilities, and the strategic advantage of central positioning in Calradia.

Aserai: The Desert Traders

The Aserai, inspired by the pre-Islamic Arabian tribes, are known for their horsemanship and vast knowledge of trade routes.

  • Strengths: A balanced army, cheaper caravans, and reduced trade penalties. Their mounted archers and heavy cavalry are noteworthy.
  • Weaknesses: The vast desert distances can be both an advantage and a challenge.
  • Ideal for: Players focusing on trade and economy.

The Aserai, a culture deeply rooted in the vast deserts of Calradia, are a people shaped by the unforgiving sands and the ancient trade routes that snake through their lands. Drawing inspiration from the pre-Islamic Arabian tribes, they are a blend of fierce warriors, astute traders, and skilled horsemen.

The desert, while harsh, has bestowed the Aserai with unique gifts. Their intimate knowledge of the dunes and oases has made them unparalleled navigators, guiding vast caravans through treacherous terrains laden with precious goods. This mastery over trade has not only brought them wealth but also a deep understanding of diplomacy and the art of negotiation.

In battle, the Aserai are a force to be reckoned with. Their cavalry, swift as the desert winds, can flank enemies with ease, while their mounted archers rain death from a distance. Their tactics often involve using the vastness of the desert to their advantage, drawing enemies into ambushes or exhausting them under the scorching sun.

Yet, the Aserai are more than just traders and warriors. They are poets, musicians, and storytellers. Around campfires, under starlit skies, tales of ancient heroes, lost cities, and legendary treasures are passed down through generations. Their culture is a rich tapestry of tradition, honor, and a deep reverence for the land they call home.


Sturgia: The Northern Warriors

Sturgia, the land of fierce warriors, offers a taste of Viking life. They’ve carved a niche in the north, challenging the empire’s dominance.

  • Strengths: Strong infantry units and a culture bonus that reduces speed disadvantage in snow.
  • Weaknesses: Limited options for ranged and mounted units.
  • Ideal for: Players who prioritize infantry and desire a Viking-esque experience.

Sturgia, a land of snow-capped peaks and dense pine forests, is home to a hardy people who have weathered the harshest of climates. Drawing inspiration from the Vikings and Slavic tribes of yore, the Sturgians are a blend of fierce warriors, skilled seafarers, and tenacious survivors.

The northern tundras, with their biting cold and relentless snowstorms, have molded the Sturgians into formidable fighters. Their warriors, clad in fur and leather, wield axes and swords with unmatched ferocity. The Sturgian infantry, known for their resilience and bravery, can stand their ground against even the most overwhelming odds.

But Sturgia’s strength isn’t limited to land battles. Their longships, designed to navigate both open seas and narrow rivers, have facilitated raids and expeditions to distant shores. These swift vessels, combined with the Sturgians’ fearless spirit, have made them a dominant naval force in Calradia.

Life in Sturgia is not all about warfare, though. Amidst the snow and ice, communities come together to celebrate their rich traditions. Songs of ancient heroes, tales of mythical beasts, and dances that mimic the northern lights fill the long winter nights. Their culture is a testament to the human spirit’s ability to find joy and meaning even in the most challenging environments.

Vlandia: The Rise of Chivalry

Vlandia, a young empire, emerged from mercenaries who once served the Empire. Their expertise in polearms and cavalry is unmatched.

  • Strengths: The culture bonus grants additional experience from battles. Their sharpshooters and banner knights are forces to be reckoned with.
  • Weaknesses: Their heavy infantry lacks strength, and reliance on crossbows can slow down ranged attacks.
  • Ideal for: Those who appreciate European medieval warfare.

Vlandia, with its sprawling meadows and majestic castles, is a realm that echoes the chivalric tales of medieval Europe. Drawing inspiration from the Norman and Frankish knights, Vlandia is a fusion of martial prowess, courtly intrigue, and a relentless pursuit of honor.

Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Vlandia’s landscape is dotted with fortified towns and bustling marketplaces. These strategic locations have made Vlandia a key player in Calradia’s trade and politics. Yet, it’s the Vlandian knights, with their gleaming armor and towering lances, that truly define this culture. Mounted on their robust steeds, these knights are the embodiment of Vlandian valor, charging fearlessly into the heart of battle.

But Vlandia’s strength isn’t solely in its cavalry. Their crossbowmen, with their precision and power, can turn the tide of any skirmish. The combination of these sharpshooters with the knights’ frontal assaults has made Vlandia a formidable adversary on the battlefield.

Beyond warfare, Vlandia is a land of pageantry and celebration. Tournaments, feasts, and jousting events are common sights, where knights compete for glory and the favor of the nobility. The Vlandian courts, with their minstrels and troubadours, resonate with songs of love, bravery, and legendary quests.

The Khuzait Khanate: Echoes of the Steppes

The Khuzait, mirroring the Mongol hordes, are renowned for their mounted prowess.

  • Strengths: Exceptional mounted units, including the best mounted archers in the game. Their culture bonus offers a speed advantage for horsemen.
  • Weaknesses: Their reliance on light cavalry demands hit-and-run tactics, and their infantry options are limited.
  • Ideal for: Players seeking a nomadic, horse-centric gameplay.

The Khuzait Khanate, with its vast grasslands and nomadic tribes, is a realm that embodies the spirit of the great steppes. Drawing inspiration from the Mongol hordes and other steppe cultures, the Khuzait are a blend of swift horsemen, cunning strategists, and adaptable survivors.

Stretching as far as the eye can see, the Khuzait steppes are a world of their own. These endless grasslands, with their gentle winds and clear skies, have given birth to a unique way of life. The Khuzait, living in their mobile yurts, have mastered the art of nomadism. Their lives revolve around their herds, their horses, and the ever-changing landscape.

In battle, the Khuzait are a force of nature. Their horse archers, with arrows that strike like lightning, can decimate enemy ranks from a distance. These mounted warriors, using hit-and-run tactics, can confound and overwhelm even the most organized armies. The sight of a Khuzait horde, with their banners fluttering and drums echoing, is enough to instill fear in the hearts of their foes.

But the Khuzait culture is not just about warfare. It’s about harmony with nature, respect for ancestors, and a deep sense of community. Their songs, stories, and dances celebrate the vastness of the steppes, the bravery of their heroes, and the mysteries of the universe. Shamanistic rituals, ancestral worship, and a profound connection to the land define their spiritual beliefs.

Battania: The Forest Guerrillas

Battania, reminiscent of the Celts, once ruled Calradia but now clings to the northwest.

  • Strengths: Their noble unit, the Elite Battanian Fian, is a formidable archer. The culture bonus aids movement in forests, and their units are highly adaptable.
  • Weaknesses: Lightly armored soldiers and a need for tactical warfare.
  • Ideal for: Players who enjoy guerrilla tactics and challenges.

Battania, a realm cloaked in dense woodlands and misty valleys, is the heartland of the druids and woodland tribes. Drawing inspiration from the Celts and other ancient forest-dwelling cultures, Battania is a harmonious blend of nature worship, guerrilla warfare, and tribal traditions.

The deep forests of Battania, with their towering trees and hidden glades, are more than just a natural barrier; they are the very soul of the Battanian people. These woods have nurtured and protected them, and in return, the Battanians have become its fiercest guardians. Their knowledge of the forest’s secrets, from hidden paths to medicinal herbs, is unparalleled.

In combat, the Battanians are masters of ambush and guerrilla tactics. Their swift footmen, camouflaged amidst the foliage, can launch surprise attacks, leaving enemies disoriented and scattered. Battanian archers, using their longbows with deadly precision, can take down foes before they even realize they’re under attack. The forest, with its shadows and sounds, is their greatest ally.

Yet, Battania is not just about warfare. It’s a culture deeply connected to the rhythms of nature. Sacred groves, ancient standing stones, and druidic rituals play a central role in their spiritual life. Their songs, dances, and tales are a celebration of the forest’s mysteries, the changing seasons, and the age-old bond between man and nature.

Best Cultures In Mount And Blade 2

CultureWho It Is For
Calradian EmpireFor those who appreciate the grandeur of a once-mighty empire and wish to restore its former glory. The Empire’s central position in Calradia offers strategic advantages, and their balanced military units are versatile in combat.
AseraiIdeal for players who value trade and diplomacy. The Aserai’s knowledge of desert terrains and their prowess in cavalry combat make them formidable opponents. Their rich trade routes can also boost your coffers significantly.
Khuzait KhanateIdeal for those who favor mobility and swift hit-and-run tactics. The Khuzait’s horse archers are unparalleled, and their nomadic lifestyle offers a unique gameplay experience, blending warfare with a deep connection to the land.
BattaniaFor players who feel at home in the heart of nature and prefer guerrilla warfare. Battania’s mastery of forest combat and their longbowmen make them deadly in ambush scenarios. Their deep connection to nature also offers a rich role-playing experience.

Your choice of culture in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will shape your journey, offering unique challenges and rewards. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a newcomer, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each culture can pave the way for a successful campaign. Choose wisely, and may your banner fly high over Calradia!

These are all the cultural backgrounds you can choose from in Mount and Blade 2: Bannerfall. For more help on the game, you can check our Mount and Blade 2: Bannerfall wiki page.