Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord – How to recruit and ransom prisoners

During your conquest of Calradia in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, you’ll encounter situations in which you can take prisoners, potentially bringing them into your army or selling them off for some quick Denars.

Although you can choose to ignore prisoners entirely, capturing them does come with certain advantages.


Here’s a quick breakdown of how prisoners work in Bannerlord: how to capture them, then either recruit or ransom them.

How to capture Prisoners

After winning a battle in Bannerlord, the results screen will display how many of your enemies have perished, how many have been routed, and how many have been left wounded. You’ll then be given a chance to capture those survivors and add them to your party. Instead of actually joining your ranks, they exist in their own subgroup so don’t worry if your army is already reaching full capacity.

To see how many prisoners you currently have, just hover over the party size icon near the bottom right corner of the screen.

How to recruit Prisoners

After capturing a prisoner, it’s possible to recruit them into your army. This can often be cheaper and more convenient than visiting settlements and recruiting from there. Not only that, but depending on the kinds of enemies you defeat in battle, you may find yourself with a selection of more exotic, well-trained troops to add to your party.

While some prisoners will escape your clutches, others will effectively break and can be brought under your banner. This is influenced by your character’s Charm skill – to see who can be recruited simply pop open the party menu and click on a prisoner to see if they’re ready to be converted.

It can be tempting to bolster your ranks, but make sure you only recruit prisoners that fit your particular style of army. If you’re simply going for mass rabble or need some extra cannon fodder then you can afford to be less discriminate, of course.

How to Ransom Prisoners

You may not want to bother recruiting any prisoners at all and that’s fine though they do still hold some value.

Prisoners can easily be ransomed by visiting any large settlement or city that has a tavern district. Simply navigate to the tavern in the settlement menu and you’ll see two options. You can either ransom all the prisoners you’ve captured for a total sum or ransom them individually.

The price on their heads will depend on their experience level and combat prowess. A lowly looter will only bag you a few Denars whereas veteran soldiers and elite warriors will fetch far more. Meanwhile, named characters you capture are often worth over 1,000 Denars, so you might want to ransom them before they try and escape!

More Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Guides from TheSixthAxis

For more on Mount & Blade II, check in with our Bannerlord early access review.

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