There are many powerful NPCs in the world of Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord, and they can sometimes be as valuable as hundreds of troops.
Companions can improve your Bannerlord experience a thousandfold and will help you a lot by leading their own armies, governing and improving settlements, or even getting you alliances.
Recommended Read: How to Download and Install Mods for Bannerlord
Quests are another part of the game that is now heavily influenced by companions since you can send them on their own to resolve missions and conflicts on the map.
To better understand how companions work in Bannerlord, how to level them up faster, or maybe where to find the best ones, read this extensive guide where you will find what you need.
Table of contents
- What are Companions?
- How Many Companions Can You Have in Bannerlord?
- Where to Find Companions
- How to Train and Level Up Companions in Bannerlord
- How to Equip Companions
- Best Companions for Each Clan and Party Role in Bannerlord
What are Companions?
Companions in Bannerlord are special NPCs that can join your party and take on different important roles in your clan and army.
There are two different types of companions in Bannerlord:
Wanderers are the classic Mount and Blade: Warband companions that can be recruited from different settlements in Calradia.
They have random stats and personalities and have to be recruited using money. At the beginning of a playthrough, their normal price should be around 500 gold.
The nice thing about wanderers is that you can see their skills, personality, and locations in the Encyclopedia, going to the “Heroes” tab and checking the “Wanderer” option on the left.
Family companions are free, no-wage companions that you can get through marriage or birth. They can be an excellent addition to your warband but can take a while to grow up.
If you are playing in Sandbox mode, you will have no brothers or sisters, which means the only family companion you could get is a wife through marriage.
When starting in Story Mode, you will get one adult brother and two child-siblings, which can help you a lot in the early game.
How Many Companions Can You Have in Bannerlord?
When it comes to family companions, you can have as many as you want in your party and clan as well.
However, wanderer companions, aka “normal” companions, have an upper limit which is decided by your clan tier:
- Clan Tier 0 -> 3 Companions
- Clan Tier 1 -> 4 Companions
- Clan Tier 2 -> 5 Companions
- Clan Tier 3 -> 6 Companions
- Clan Tier 4 -> 7 Companions
- Clan Tier 5 -> 8 Companions
- Clan Tier 6 -> 9 Companions
There are only two other factors that could increase your Companion Limit:
- Charm 250 Perk – Camaraderie (+1 Companion)
- Leadership 250 Perk – We Pledge our Swords (+1 Companion)
So, to answer the question, you can have as many companions as you want in Bannerlord if you play a lot.
Where to Find Companions
You can quickly find Bannerlord companions by going into a town, pressing the N key to open the Encyclopedia, going into the Heroes tab, and checking the Wanderer option.
All the possible wanderer companions in the game will now appear before you, and you can just click on them to see exactly where they are located.
You can see in the top right corner that the companion was “Last seen at “Location” today”. Head to that location, enter the tavern, and you will see the companion in the upper tab with relevant NPCs.
How to Train and Level Up Companions in Bannerlord
There are many skills your companions can train and level up in Bannerlord. This is why we will go into the specific ways you can increase each skill by itself:
Melee Skills (One-Handed, Two-handed, Polearm) + Athletics
To train their melee skill while also getting them points in Athletics, players need to raid Desert Bandit Hideouts.
These are the only hideouts in the game where there won’t be any ranged enemies. The player needs to bring a shield and just defend their companion while the companion kills all the bandits.
When you reach the boss fight at the end, just select to retreat. This will reset the hideout and give you a chance to fight them again and again.
Melee Skills + Riding
This one is going to be a bit more tricky. You will need to find Forest Bandits since they can only shoot arrows at you and bring a few shield infantry to the fight.
Line up the infantry close (but not enough to trigger their melee response) and let the archers shoot at them. While this happens, send your companion to charge the archers and get some kills.
Ranged Skills (Bow, Crossbow, Throwing) + Athletics/Riding
Use the same strategy as for Melee + Riding, but get your companion to hide right beside the infantry line and shoot at the enemies.
Constantly control where your companion is standing so you don’t get surprised if they die when you aren’t looking.
If you already know how to level smithing fast in Bannerlord, then this step is going to be a breeze.
You use the same strategy we discussed before, but you have to select your companion to do the actual smithing.
Just open the smithy menu and click on your character portrait in the bottom right corner. You will now see other choices of companions that can be chosen to start smithing.
The scouting skill in Bannerlord can be trained to the next levels by:
- Sending your companion on a caravan.
- Making them a party leader.
- Making them your party scout.
All of these methods will quickly and easily get your companion to become an adept scout.
The tactics skill is probably one of the most important ones for your companions since all of their individual battles as party leaders will be auto-resolved.
However, there is almost no way to upgrade this skill besides making them a party leader and letting them fight.
To level up their roguery, you need to make an army with your companion-led party and attack caravans and traveling villagers.
Make sure they have a lot of bandit troops in their party to get even more roguery experience.
Go into any town (not castle!) and click the “+” button in the upper right corner that says “Leave Member(s)”.
By doing this, you can select your companion to work as an ambassador in the town and randomly befriend other NPCs. This will increase their charm in time, so leave them be until you are satisfied with their level.
Leadership increases very slowly for companions. One way to train this skill would be to let the companion be a party leader and then steal their troops. If they constantly recruit troops, their leadership will slowly increase.
You can also get their party in an army with yours and give them your prisoners. Don’t visit any towns or castles for a while and let them recruit those prisoners. Their leadership will massively increase, but you won’t be able to do anything else while doing this.
Start a caravan with your companion in charge.
The best way to train your companion in stewardship is to set them as the quartermaster of the party. Now, all you need to do is get a lot of varied food and wait.
Luckily for you, medicine can be increased in many fast ways, and what we described here is also going to help you with your companions.
There are two ways for your Bannerlord companion to get levels in engineering:
- Set them as the party engineer and siege a settlement with only ballistae.
- Defend a settlement in a siege battle and make your companion use a siege engine against the attackers.
How to Equip Companions
All you need to do to change the equipment of your companions in Bannerlord is to open the Inventory menu and look up at your character’s name.
Next to the name, there will be two arrows, one pointing to the right and one pointing to the left. Click either one of them, and you will see your companion’s equipment.
You can now change the armor, weapons, and horses of your companions the same way you would change them for your own character.
Best Companions for Each Clan and Party Role in Bannerlord
There isn’t such a thing as a “perfect” or “best” companion in Bannerlord. However, there are some that fit specific roles (Engineer, Medic, etc.) better than others.
Wanderer companions can be differentiated by their nickname (The Smith, Coalbiter, etc.), which will usually show their starting skills.
Here are the best Bannerlord companions for each role in your party and clan:
|The Healer, The Wanderer (Battanian)
|The Knowing, The Scholar (Empire), The Wainwright
|Bitterdraught, The Knowing, The Surgeon
|The Healer, The Surgeon, Willowbark, Bitterdraught
|The Knowing, The Surgeon, Bitterdraught
|The Knowing, The Surgeon, The Healer
|The Spicevendor, The Exile, The Swift
|Coalbiter, The She-Wolf, The Swordsman
|The Black (Vlandian), The Accursed, The Alone
|The Brave, Cowthief, The Falcon
|Horse Archer Captain
|The Fatherless, The Gray Falcon, The Hawk
The reason you might see the Knowing, Surgeon, Healer, and Bitterdraught dominate most roles is thanks to their high Intelligence.
Most positions require high Intelligence. Especially the Party Leader, since it has to fulfill the role of the Scout, Engineer, Quartermaster, and Surgeon at the same time.
The Governor will usually just have to be a really good Quartermaster to bring prosperity and increase the loyalty of the town they are managing.
The Caravan Leader needs to be a good trader with some scouting skills, to move faster across the map.
That’s everything you need to know about companions in Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord!
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