When you first start out in TaleWorlds Entertainment’s Mount & Blade: Warband, your situation is pretty dire. You’ve got some clothes, maybe a horse, hopefully something sharp. But to get anywhere there’s one thing you’ll need above all else: money. So what’s the best way to make some?
The currency of Calradia, which serves as the medieval setting of Mount & Blade, is known as the denar, and if you have any hopes of one day ruling a kingdom of your own, you’re going to need a lot of it. Luckily, you have several options:
1. Join a kingdom. Swearing allegiance to any kingdom will open a lot of doors, and you’ll end up being granted a fief, which you’ll be able to collect taxes from. Simply speak to the ruler of whichever kingdom you wish to join to get started. You’ll also end up participating in (or leading) military campaigns, during which you can conquer enemy castles and cities and request that they be granted to you, which will increase your income even more.
2. Fight! Hunting wandering bands of looters, deserters, and enemies of your kingdom is a pretty simple way of earning money. After you’ve won the battle, you’ll be able to collect loot, which you can sell for a profit. You might also be able to take prisoners, which you can sell to either ransom brokers or slave traders. And, if you capture an enemy lord or ruler, you’ll eventually get a decent offer for his or her release, providing they don’t escape.
3. Participate in tournaments and arenas. When you first begin playing Mount & Blade: Warband, you’ll probably spend a lot of time in the arenas learning to fight and building up your character. You’ll make money depending on how many fighters you’re able to knock out. But don’t forget to speak to the arena master about upcoming tournaments — he’ll tell you which cities will be hosting them, and if you fight well and place bets correctly, you can make anywhere from 200 to 4000 denars per tournament.
4. Raid villages and hunt caravans. If you’re feeling more like a bandit, pillaging towns and forcing villagers to hand over goods can be a decent way to make money. Intercepting caravans can also be very effective (just be sure that you’re prepared to fight against the guards protecting those caravans). However, don’t forget that such actions will lead to a negative faction standing with whoever owns those towns and caravans.
5. Trade. Trading is a very effective way to earn money quickly. First, you can put skill points into your Trade skill, which will allow you to gauge local markets more effectively. When you’re in a major city, simply go to the marketplace and select “Assess local prices,” and after a short wait you’ll be able to see what you can sell and where to make a decent profit. In my experience, trading iron tends to work very well, and Curaw seems to always sell it cheaper than most other cities. In general, if you can find any commodity such as iron or linen for under or around 100 denars, or even spice at around 500 denars, buying it up and heading for the next city should net you a good amount.
Mount & Blade: Warband might seem difficult at first, and it can be. But with a bit of thinking and a little patience — and, sure, a lot of denars — you’ll be on your way to becoming ruler of Calradia in no time. Good luck!