Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord – 8 Best Factions, Ranked

My lord, the time has come to align ourselves. Which faction shall we send envoys to?

Hristijan Pavlovski
Hristijan Pavlovski - Content Writer
9 Min Read

If you’re new to Bannerlord, you might be asking yourself which of the Bannerlord factions is the best faction to start off with. Thankfully, the game doesn’t confine you to a single choice, so you can freely change allegiance later on.

That being said, it’s obvious that some factions are better clearly than others. Just look at the many timelapse videos that are on YouTube, and that fact will quickly become apparent to you.


Western Empire

Bannerlord Factions Western Empire

As far as Bannerlord factions are concerned, the Western Empire is by far the best faction in Bannerlord. People usually tend to group up the 3 Empire factions into one, on account of their units being the same. That’s actually a great injustice, as all 3 Empire factions start in drastically different positions in regard to one another.

Western Empire Lands

The Western Empire starts on the western fringes of the former Calradic Empire. This is an exceptionally good position geographically, as it’s protected from each side by terrain that’s quite “chokepointy.” That’s a big plus, especially when you consider the Western Empire’s starting neighbors.

To the north, you have the Battanians and the Sturgians, which are some of the worst factions. To the south, you have the Aserai and the Southern Empire which are decent opponents but are hampered by chokepoints. That leaves the Valandians to the west as your only real opponents.




Speaking about Valandia. They’re the second-best faction in Bannerlord. When comparing Bannerlord factions, Valandia probably has the least cons of them all. That being said, it does have one major con, which should not be overlooked. That con is the complete lack of any archers, instead, relying solely on crossbows instead.

Valandian Lands

At least geographically they’re in an excellent starting position. Their only real threat is the Western Empire to the east, and that’s about it. Another thing I noticed while researching the Bannerlord Companions Guide is that Valandia tends to have the best companion spawns all around. I have no idea why that’s the case, but it is.

But, as I said. The complete lack of competent ranged troops puts them at a massive disadvantage compared to other Bannerlord factions. Having some of the best mounted troops in the game is great until you realize they can barely reach the enemy. I guess Derthert never studied the Battle of Agincourt.


Northern Empire

Northern Empire

This one was incredibly difficult to rank. On paper, the Northern Empire is probably in the best position at the start of the game, but in practice, it oftentimes fares the worst out of the 3 Empire factions. Why that is I have no idea, even after thousands of hours in Bannerlord.

Northern Empire Lands

To the northwest, you have Sturgia and Battania, some of the easiest factions to conquer. The only real opposition the Northern Empire has comes in the form of the Khuzait from the east, and the Western Empire to the south.

That being said, the AI is horrible at managing its resources, and it really needs the player to join it to make the best out of the situation. If you join the Northern Empire, you’ll find that it’s a breeze to conquer your neighbors. However. If you join any other faction, you’ll find that the AI quickly messes everything up.


Southern Empire

Bannerlord Factions Souther Empire

The Southern Empire is my favorite Bannerlord faction, and it’s probably the best faction to find a potential marriage in Bannerlord. That being said, it probably has the worst position geographically.

Southern Empire Lands

On each side, it’s flanked by powerful opponents. To the north, they have the Northern Empire. To the east, they have the power-hungry Khuzait. To the west, they have the Western Empire under Garios craving for their lands. And, to the south, they have the Aserai plotting their demise.

With all these threats at their door, I’m always surprised by how well the Southern Empire does in playthroughs. For some reason, Rhegea’s AI is better than the others. Which is why she deserves to be the true inheritor of the Calradic Empire.




You know, it’s ironic. The Khuzait are probably my least favorite faction in Bannerlord, and yet, I primarily use their units whenever I do a playthrough in Bannerlord. The faction itself might be mid, but its units are incredibly potent.

Khuzait Lands

The Khuzaits start off in the east, where their only real threat are the Empires to the west, and the Aserai to the south. As the Sturgians to the north almost never pose a threat and are easily gobbled up in the first few years of the game.

It’s worth mentioning that the Khuzait probably have some of the best cavalry in the game, on part with both the Empire’s and Valandia’s. But, as a caveat, their regular infantry sucks. In short. Use their cavalry, disregard their regular infantry.




According to TaleWorlds, Aserai is the least-played faction in Bannerlord. They’re not bad, per se, it’s just that the other Bannerlord factions have a lot more to offer, which is why players tend to stray towards them more often.

Aserai Lands

The Aserai have the largest landmass at the start of the game, a fact that is a pro and a con at the same time. It’s easily defendable, however, it takes so long to traverse it that it becomes a hassle after a while.

Their units are also exceptionally potent at defense. The Aserai don’t push out too much, but they don’t give ground either. Their units are great for farming prisoners, which is always great, as there are many uses for prisoners in Bannerlord. As we’ve discussed previously.




In theory, Battania is great. In practice, it almost always gets eaten first by the other Bannerlord factions.

Battanian Lands

Battania’s starting position might seem great initially, but it’s actually horrible. To the west and the south, they have the strongest factions in the game, which leaves the eastern route as their only avenue of expansion.

The Sturgians are easy to stomp, yes. But that’s if you’re using units that aren’t Battanian. Battanians specialize in ranged combat. Sturgians specialize in shield walls. See where the problem lies? Exactly.




Finally, we have the biggest stinker of them all – Sturgia. Objectively the worst faction in Bannerlord.

Sturgian Lands

The Sturgians have a decent starting position. However, their AI is so bad that they often end up doing nothing for years on end. In almost every playthrough I’ve had, the Sturgians have been condemned to a slow death.

You’ll have a lot of fun with Sturgia if you decide to join them, just don’t expect your friendly vassals to do much, and expect to do the majority of the heavy lifting by yourself.

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By Hristijan Pavlovski Content Writer
Bachelor of Philosophy and Content Writer. In my free time, I also write fantasy short stories and the odd philosophy book here and there. I’m also an avid fan of strategy games and RPGs.
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