Sharpen your swords and sound the horns to bulk up your medieval experience. We’ve compiled the best Bannerlords mods to enjoy the game in 2023.
The final version of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord premiered on October 25 for Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS4, PS5, and Windows. It is one of the best medieval games you can play on consoles or PCs.
Mods, though, are only available for Windows players. Meanwhile, the game’s final version was released recently, so you must keep an eye on the last time any particular mod is updated. Functional mods should have a November or December 2022 update or upload.
That said, we’re browsing for the best Bannerlord mods available on Steam Workshops and Nexus Mods. Both options offer easy installation and management.
Selecting the Best Bannerlord Mods on 2023
By the time of writing the article, only a month had passed since Bannerlord stepped away from its Early Access. Therefore, the modding tools are small. Fans haven’t had the chance to create powerful changes. So, don’t expect anything extreme like you would see on Skyrim or Fallout 4.
Overhauls, upgrades, gameplay changes, and similar may come later. Nevertheless, the list of current modes covers various aspects of the game, namely:
- New features or feature changes.
- New gameplay mechanics or an alternation of older ones.
- Additions to the map, enemy, gear, and item pools.
- Expanded troops and troop threes.
- Combat AI enhancements or tweaks.
- Aesthetics additions or tweaks.
- Small hacks.
- Quality-of-life improvements.
- Other features.
The Mount & Blade series has a long history of great mods. The mods available for Bannerlord add tons of potential content and replay value. So, we’re looking for these mods that add replay value. They should be fun and significant enough to present a difference. Also, they should be fully functional.
Overall, the best Bannerlord mods will make the game so much better that you would not be able to play without them anymore.
Best Bannerlord Mods
As mentioned, we selected mods with a November or December 2022 upload or update date. We can check that on Nexus on the download tab or the left side of each mod’s page on Steam Workshop.
We’re explaining how to manage and install Bannerlord mods further down below. Let’s now check the best ones and why these mods are must-haves.
We recommend Diplomacy for newcomers and those not looking to make drastic changes. It’s available on Nexus Mods and Steam Workshop, and we consider it the most creative.
The mod adds new behaviors to NPCs, towns, and factions. In return, you get more options in how you approach the campaign. In particular, it brings a new interface where you can check the stats of each faction and take several diplomatic actions.
The goal is to provide a more balanced experience that works for both the sandbox and camping modes. And despite its simplicity, it makes the game feel different and more akin to a grand strategy game.
Lastly, Diplomacy doesn’t conflict with any other mods but requires several mods: Harmony, Butterlib, UiExtenderEx, and MCM v5. We’ve covered all of these in the last part of the list.
Fourberie is available on Steam Workshop and Nexus Mods, one of the most popular mods available for the game. That said, if I translate it from French, it means “cunning,” We recommend it because of the number of fun features it includes for Bannerlord.
“Cunning” brings tons of features to experience on a new play. These features revolve around creating a rogue character and shady tactics. You can play as an outlaw and manage an army of bandits. You can also build a safe house and a hideout, hire troops from your base, and dominate Claradia through the chaos.
Other new features include criminal activities (like robbing townsfolks or pickpocketing), scheming to dominate enemies, unlocking new tactics, assassination, infiltration, ambushes, new AI systems, and more.
One of its best features is assassination and infiltration. Through stealth, you can sneak into enemy towns to kill guards, clan leaders, lords, ladies, and more. Similarly, you can incite rebellions in any town after meeting certain conditions.
Improved Garrisons is available on Nexus Mods as well as the Steam Workshop. Its goal is to enhance garrison management for your settlements and castles. So, it makes one of the game’s most tedious and convoluted parts more accessible and streamlined.
As a quality-of-life mod, it includes several customizable features, and you can activate or deactivate any of them anytime. Because of that, it works on ongoing campaigns or new plays equally.
The most notable change is a new UI you can use to manage garrison, recruitment, and training. The menu has many features, some of which allow you to make the process easier (more automatic), while others go deeper to customize your army fully.
Additional features allow you to manage gold, income, prosperity, and food stocks. Similarly, you may enable cheats like erasing food requirements. Overall, Improved Garrison is a friendly and comprehensive enhancement to one of the game’s central systems.
“CA-Eagle Rising-The Dawn Of An Empire” is available at Nexus Mods. You may also find it as “Eagle Rising” on Steam Workshops, and both are the same version. We recommend it to those hungry for “new content” for this fantastic game.
The mod delivers new content and serves as a platform for further sub-content. You may consider it an expansion with a unique story and setting. Moreover, the modders are promising new content you can attach to this mod.
Eagle Rising takes you to the past, to a tribal Calradia where five rivaling factions are fighting for power. There’s, for example, the Rome-themed Imperium or the Celt-themed Battanii.
So, it feels like playing a new campaign, although on the same map and featuring the same mechanics. However, it adds a couple of new mechanics, such as a “Smithing guild,” a new “Armory System,” new troops, new officers, a “Bodyguard” feature, drastic changes to town aesthetics and features, and more.
Europe Campaign Map
Europe Campaign Map is available on Nexus Mod. On Steam Workshops, it exists as “Europe_Lemmyproject.” It does what it says, turning Calradia’s fictional map into real-life Europe, which includes names of real-life cities as locations. As a result, the map looks like a Total War game, which is good in our eyes.
The modded map is bigger than the campaign’s offer, so it introduces several new systems. One of these is naval travel, which has a unique UI feature. You board a ship on a dock or coast, get off the boat on another pier or beach, and the ship will remain there until you return.
Moreover, you can repair boats, transport cargo and troops, build and trade different ships, and park ships on shores and docks. The mod includes detailed instructions to use these features and install the package -for example, it needs the Harmony mod.
However, according to its creator, the mod doesn’t intend to deliver a “realistic” Europe, as the gameplay was the priority. Some cultures, cities, and distances may not fit within historical margins, as the creator wanted to respect the original mechanics.
More Arenas is also available on Nexus Mods and the Steam Workshop. The mod adds several new areas to the game. If you haven’t noticed, the vanilla title includes a single town for each faction. That’s a welcomed addition to the title.
Aside from adding several areas, the mod makes combat areas more complex and varied. The developer also used real-life historical locations like the Roman Coliseum to create maps.
More Arenas ads maps for all of the central regions in the map. Those inclkude Aserai, Battania, Vlandia, Khuzait, Sturgia, and Empire. Each area includes at least one new map, and there’s plenty of variety in the areas the mod offers.
Regarding its installation, the developer recommends putting the mod at the bottom of the load order. If you’re using other mods that affect settlements on the map (such as “Europe Campaign Map”), the game should load “More Arenas” first -more on this further below.
Realistic Battle Mode
Realistic Battle Mode is available at Nexus Mods as one of the most popular modifications of all time. It adds minor and massive changes to the battle system to make the game more complex.
The intention is to turn Bannerlord into a realistic medieval game by considering several physics calculations. To achieve the task, the developers have tweaked dozens of elements and variables, which include AI, unit behavior, height, weight, armor, and weapons.
They added a rock/paper/scissor battle system, making the AI more defensive. They also added kinetic energy to projectiles to simulate real-life physics. Other significant changes are horse charge damage, lancing accuracy, and AI tactics.
As a result, battles are longer, more complex, and more fun. There’re no new interfaces or mechanics, but you still have more systems to learn. We recommend it for a second playthrough, but consider that this mod is incompatible with any other combat mod.
Calradia at War
Calradia At Awar is available at Nexus Mods and Steam Workshop as well. It’s a simple addition to the game, but the changes come from two distinct avenues.
First, it adds more allied and hostile troops, factions, and troop trees to the game. However, it won’t modify game files, so the chances of crashing the game with this mod are zero. You can customize the spawn chance, difficulty, size, and more.
The second change is allowing modders to add new troops in the game with the tools the mod itself provides. You could customize your campaign and its difficulty. On top of that, the mod adds various weapons, which include ranged, two-handed, and one-handed.
Overall, Calradia At War randomizes spawn points, which turns Calradia into a land ravaged by war. That makes the economy harder as random villagers and hostiles may capture caravans.
Additional Minor Mods for Bannerlord
The follow-up mods don’t deserve a bracket on their own, as the change is too little and straightforward.
These options are popular, easy to install, and fun to use. So, here’s a list of further minor mods for Mount & Blade 2:
- Fast Dialogue: It does what it says, which makes all dialogue faster.
- DismembermentPlus: It adds a chance of dismembering enemy heads, hands, feet, arms, and legs. It depends on damage, enemy health, and weapon.
- Swadian Armory: It adds dozens of armor.
- RTS Camera: It adds various overhead camera modes and cinematic cameras that follow soldiers.
Harmony is necessary, as many notable mods require this change to work. It won’t change anything, though, as it ensures every other mod works without conflict. It’s a must-have option if you’re planning to mod Bannerlord heavily.
On top of that, it includes a “Debug UI” you can open by pressing CTRL+ALT+H. After installing mods with similar functions, it will allow you to fix a broken game. Similarly, it comes with a mod manager interface you can open in-game.
The mod is available via the Steam Workshop and Nexus Mods. We recommend you find the latest version available. Otherwise, you may see conflicts in the game.
In particular, if you get it through Steam, the developers suggest manually resubscribing to the mod often, as it will ensure to get the latest version of the mod -Steam doesn’t update all mods automatically.
Additional Necessary Mods
Other necessary mods include:
- ButterLib does nothing on its own, but it’s necessary to run many mods.
- UiExtenderEx: It does nothing on its own but runs other mods.
- Mod Configuration Menu V5: an in-game mod library enables some extra tools to modify, enable, disable, manage, and re-order your mods.
We recommend you install these four mods (Harmony, ButterLib, UiExtenderEx, and Mod Configuration Menu V5) to ensure a modded Bannerlord works appropriately.
How to Install Bannerlord Mods?
Modding in 2022 and onwards is easier than ever. You should not feel frightened of the task, as Vortex and Steam are becoming better at finding, installing, and managing your modes.
And so, as you’ve seen throughout the tutorial, you’ve got two options to install mods on Bannerlord:
- The Nexus Mods page.
- The Steam Workshops page.
Nexus Mods has a broader library of options, but you’ll need to install their mod manager, Vortex.
Mods you install through Vortex may not work with the current game’s build and may break it. For example, a 2020 mod will probably not work with Bannerlord.
However, we recommended the most recent options, as we know these are working with Bannerlord’s current version. On top of that, the Vortex manager has an intuitive interface and supports dozens of games -even on Steam!
So, to install a mod via the Vortex manager, you need to install the software, download a mod through the page, and open it on the manager. The manager will guide you through the installation process.
You’d need to set up a free account on Nexus to download the manager and mods, just as you need a Steam account to play the game and use the Steam Workshop tool.
And that said, to install a Steam Workshop mod, you only need to find it on the Workshop page, open it, and click the Subscribe button. It is much easier to do for beginners, and also it won’t conflict with the game.
Some mods (either on Steam or Nexus) come with specific installation instructions. Mostly, the developers will tell you of some other mod you need and teach you the manual process of installing a mod.
In general, the manual process includes downloading the mod, unzipping the mode, and copy-pasting the files on a specific Bannerlord folder.
The default folder would be: “
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Mount & Blade II Bannerlord\Modules.“
However, you may have installed Bannerlord somewhere else on your PC. In any case, if you’re copy-pasting mod files on the folder, and the system is telling you that you’re overwriting the file, you should back up the modules folder in case you mess something up.
Lastly, you can install mods from either Nexus Mods or Steam Workshops, but you can’t use the same mod of both sites simultaneously.
Also, Nexus’ Vortex won’t be able to manage Steam Workshops mods and vice-versa. For that reason, we recommend you use one of these sites only and stick to it.
And that leads me to manage the load order of your mods, which is easier through the Vortex software.
How to Manage the Mod Load Order on Bannerlord?
Lastly, Bannerlord will load mods in the order you set. You can do it manually, via the interface of a Mod Manager, or with Vortex.
The process is generally easy. The mods at the top of the list or the interface will load first, whereas the mods at the bottom of the interface or list will load last.
Here’s an example of the order you should have:
- Other necessary mods
- Other modes
- Eagle Rising
- Map mods
Some mods don’t need a particular order on the list, while others do. The easiest way to do it is through Vortex, as it can do it automatically with the push of a button (the “Sort Mods” option on the Mods tab).