The early game is objectively the hardest part of Bannerlord, and a poor economy is the main reason for that. Thankfully, there are many ways to make money in Bannerlord.
Money is great. Both in real life and in Bannerlord. In the early game, it can help you acquire some of the best companions in Bannerlord, and in the late game, it can help you maintain a large party size. What’s not to love?
How to Make Money in Bannerlord’s Early Game
If you don’t have any Bannerlord mods installed, you might struggle in the early game. There simply aren’t that many fast, or, more importantly, safe ways to get a lot of money fast. Thankfully, there aren’t many major expenses at the start either. So isn’t that big of a deal.
At the start of your playthrough, your main goal should be to acquire a decent suit of armor. As a secondary goal, you should look for companions to support you. Both prospects cost a lot of money. Here’s how to make that money.
If you want to make money in Bannerlord’s early game, be on the lookout for hideouts. Clearing hideouts is the single most lucrative thing you can do early on. Not only will they give you a sizable chest as a reward, but they will also give you items and prisoners as well.
Here’s a smart tip. Whenever you spot a hideout, don’t engage it directly. Go to the nearby villages and pick up quests related to it, if there are any. That way, not only will you get the contents of the hideout, but a quest reward as well. Two birds with one stone basically.
How to Make Money in Bannerlord’s Mid Game
By the mid game, you should be able to become a mercenary for one of the factions in Bannerlord. Or, better yet, a minor lord even. As you’ll be able to get married, which is a big plus in my opinion.
Now. The two most lucrative endeavors in the mid game are raiding villages and slave driving. Sure, they’re not the most ethical means of acquiring funds, but it’s the middle ages we’re talking about. Raiding villages was just a silly activity you did with the lads once everyone got sloshed.
Oftentimes, when raiding villages, a lord might come around to disrupt you. That’s about as ideal of a circumstance that you can get, so long as it’s a fair fight that is. All that means is that you’ll be able to acquire more prisoners in the end, and there can never be enough prisoners in Bannerlord.
On top of all that. It’s highly likely that you’ll be able to acquire some high-quality loot as well, which always sells for a pretty penny. So long as the item has a Lordly modifier, you can expect it to be worth at least a couple thousand denars at least.
How to Make Money in Bannerlord’s Late Game
Making money in the late game is the easiest thing ever. Frankly, if you aren’t a millionaire by this point, then you’re doing something completely wrong. By this point, you should have also set up your workshop network. It probably won’t make you a lot of money, but it’ll be good at keeping you afloat.
A misconception that a lot of players have is that settlements are your primary money-making asset. This is not true. Taxation is just there to keep you afloat, and it definitely won’t be making you a net gain. The thing that will make you a net gain is winning battles and selling the loot that comes out of them.
Selling loot is objectively the most profitable thing in Bannerlord. A settlement’s tax at best will give you a few thousand denars a day. Selling loot on the other hand will give you thousands upon thousands of denars, all from a single exchange.
Alternatively, if you have Paid in Promise and Giving Hands, you can also donate the loot to your troops for some quick experience. Honestly, those 2 perks are integral if you want to maintain an elite army later on in the game, as soldiers will constantly need replacing. Such is war.
The Noble Art of Smith-Scumming
As soon as Bannerlord was released, players discovered that selling crafted items is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make money in Bannerlord. Smith-scumming is one of those exploits that’s technically a legit part of the game, but it’s so cheap and scummy that most honest players avoid it completely.
In short, smith-scumming is when you smith a weapon with high-quality materials and sell it to the market right after. Ideally, you’re looking for an Epic or Masterwork-grade weapon, as those modifiers sell for the most.
Why do most players hate this exploit? Because you can easily make hundreds of thousands of denars in a matter of seconds by doing this, which practically eliminates the economic challenges of the game.
If you really don’t care about that sort of thing, then go right ahead. All you need to perform this exploit effectively is a high Smithing skill and a couple of ingots of Steel or Thamaskene Steel and you’re set. You won’t lose your Honorable trait for doing it, but you definitely should.