Starfield | Securing The Scientist
If you are like me and enjoy crafting you more than likely have tried to level up smithing in Mount and Blade II Bannerlord. Became frustrated with how long it takes to even get anywhere and stopped. I’ve finally made it to level 300 and I thought I’d share everything I did to get there as quickly as possible.
With everything I’ve learned I created a fresh game and set it up to become a smithing account that reached level 300 in only a couple of days. I’ve discovered tricks for unlocking new parts. A bunch of different ways to farm required resources. I can now empty every town when I come to sell my wares. Smithing becomes quite profitable in the end even when maxing profit was not the goal as leveling it up quickly was.
This guide is broken down into a few parts:
- Culture Selection
- Background Selection For Being A Smith in Bannerlord
- First days of being a Smith
- Companions Are Critical For Smithing In Bannerlord
- Getting Funds And Supplies For Smithing
- Smithing In Bannerlord
There are a couple of choices we could pick that would fit rather well into playing as a smith. This smith himself is going be quite a war heavy and using combat to farm weapons and hardwood when he can to smelt them down into materials needed.
The Vlandians grant a 20% more XP for troops in battle bonuses. When you are not waiting in a town to recover smiting stamina you will be out in combat. The quicker your army is stronger the better the items you can farm.
Aserai has a bonus that makes caravans 30% cheaper while also providing a reduced trade penalty. If you are going to roleplay as a traveling merchant that would be the only reason to pick it. They have since nerfed caravans to make them riskier to operate.
Khuzaits have horsemen speed bonus of 10%. The upper region of Khuzaits is also going to be where I hang out for most of my smithing. As such my army is going to have a lot of horsemen in it anyway as I upgrade all my troops from all the battles they will end up in.
While all the other cultures give movement speeds bonus or stuff like sieging. For the most part, they will go unrinsed. You can’t control where wars are and you will need to farm them for money during the early days. You also won’t be spending time on sieging castles and towns unless you don’t have one yet and hope to talk the kingdom you are in into giving you one.
Whatever choice you do make has no bearing on where you start on the map anyways. Everyone starts in space place. The choice will more or less come down to a personal one. Their possible options I see all have something to give depending on how you want to approach being a smith.
Background Selection For Being A Smith in Bannerlord
The biggest impact on your smithing career is going be which options you select as your background. This will control where points are distributed. This is also going to be an area where for the most part you max anything for smithing while being weak at everything else.
Please note going this route fully will give you the most smithing experience you can get right away. Things like combat starting off will also be rather hard. I deviated slightly from this plan for my taste. There will however be those that will want to max this out for smithing.
A yeoman gives you the most important thing a single point to endurance. Attribute points themselves max out at ten. Unlike skill focus points where you can one to assign every level up. Attribute points you only get once every three levels.
This is why I would personally take Yeomen over Urban smith. Despite the fact, there is nothing else from Yeomen I plan on using. I’ll be a 2 Hander and bow weapon users later on for combat.
- Pick “Yeoman” option.
Skill with horses gives us another chance to pick up an endurance attribute point. Since we are nowhere near the cap often it is still worth taking. You also pick up a point for riding which is going to be useful for keeping you alive in battle. Medicine won’t be that important once you have a surgeon for your clan.
No other choices for your background give any increase for being a smith. While the one with numbers increases trade when you are selling weapons for 50k or more you start running into town denars cap anyways. This is why I don’t focus much on anything regarding trading anyways.
- Pick “your skills with horses” option.
Gathering herbs will give you another point in endurance now brining up your total to 5. That other points that come with this are not that great since you can assign those roles to others in your party, later on, to use there scouting and medicine skills.
- Pick “gathered herbs in the wild” option.
For me going with scouts gives me the bow skill I want along with more riding. This character is going to end up being heavy into riding as well. This means you are going have the option of using some of the best horses in the game quicker than most will get them.
Yet again we are also picking up another point in endurance. While at this point you will have a decent amount of the endurance you will need. You could end up going for infantry or skirmishers instead of combat skills. I know once I get over the first couple of days of struggle my smithing skill will skyrocket so fast I’ll be getting a lot of level-ups to fill in my combat weakness.
- Pick “rode with the scouts” option.
This time around I am going to deviate from picking up the endure point. Instead, I’m picking the option of investing money into land. This gives you quite a few things you might want.
First, you pick up an actual point in smiting focus. Up till this point, you don’t have any. You can only have 5 points in a focus for a skill anyways. While you will be maxing this skill out first anyways it is going to be giving you a much-needed experience boost at the start of the game.
You also get a point in trading. While you won’t be so dependent on it for having money as you will find out later on. You still have some room for a focus here since you won’t be capping out most towns denars supplied with a single weapon sale just yet. You also pick up some other stuff which will be useful to you as well.
- Pick “you invested some money in land” option.
If you choose the fast horse option this is going bring your endurance up to 7 which is quite high. This means you will only need 9 levels gained while you play to be able to max out your endurance at 10 which will help you get to level 300 later on in the game.
You are also getting yet another point in riding. Thankfully most of your combat is going be on the horse anyway so this is an added perk at this point.
This is also your last option to take. If you are concerned without having any useful points into melee combat choosing to be a raider not only gives you one-handed but also vigor as well. Since my goal here is smithing I did not take that option myself.
- Pick “you rode off on a fast horse” option.
First Days Of Being A Smith In Bannerlord
If you are a maximalist smith this is going be rough for your first couple of days. You lack the combat to do much and funds to do anything else to resolve that issue. You have to pick your targets carefully or you will get captured and lose any small net worth you built up.
For your first couple of fights, you will want to find groups of 5 or fewer looters and attack them. You use a bow while riding around the enemies on your horse is going be the key to survival. Make sure to loot everything and capture anyone you can.
Once you have a little bit of money and can afford to hire 5 troops and a couple days’ worth of food things start getting easier. Even if you have to sell everything you have looted to do it so be it.
Beyond this one point, you have some troops to do that hard fighting for you. Keep all weapons you get expect bows for refining down into raw materials. The prices you get anyways for weapons are not that great and the raw materials are going be worth so much more to you.
At around ten or so troops you can follow my more general guide for making money in Bannerlord your first couple of weeks. You are going to need about 10k or so denars for the next part.
You also want to avoid for now joining any kingdoms as a mercenary or even a vessel for now. There will be a couple of things you need to do before you start having endless wars that interrupt your process of mass farming smithing.
Companions Are Critical For Smithing In Bannerlord
It might seem a little odd at first but it is true. Becoming a successful smith means having enough workers (companions) that can grind out the lower-tier stuff for you. That way all your time is being spent getting the best returns on stamina.
I have a general companions guide for Bannerlord that goes over a lot of the basics from finding where they are located to what kinds you want. Even as a smith you are going to be heavy into combat and you will want to fill clan roles such as a surgeon, scout, or even later on quartermaster.
Companions like your main character have what is called smithy stamina. You can see it when you hover over anyone’s icon while in the smithing window in any town. Stamina is going be a massive holdup for how quickly you can level up smithing. You need to rest for around a full day to get it back to 100. Going out and doing other actives other than clicking on resting while in town will not regenerate smithy stamina.
One thing you are going to notice right off the bat is most companions are going to suck for smithing. They are more or less going be great at grinding out the lower-tier mats for your higher works and yourself to use. That is all they will be good for as the amount of smithing experience they can get will almost be nothing.
One way to try and combat this is simply finding 2 companions that you end up hiring that have a couple of points in endurance. The best way to do this is by trial and error. You save your game before going into a tavern. Then you hire someone to check and see how much endurance they have. If you can find someone with at least 4 points in endurance that is good.
I lucked out and found Urik Breakskull and Vanalind the Wandered with 5 to 8 endurance. This, however, might not be true for you as those stats could be random. They also might not have spawned in your map.
As your companions overall level goes you will also want to drop a couple of focus points into smithing. They without much endurance will quickly get to a smiting skill high enough to the point they are no longer earning full experience and that could go down to earning zero experience in the long run.
Finally, I’ve also spent a lot of time looking for a “smith” skilled Companion. After starting a couple of fresh games and waiting time for companions to spawn into the game while also visiting every tavern I could stand. I never came across one. Perhaps in the future one will get added in or I just had bad luck. Either way, I failed to find one myself.
Companion Charcoal Makers And Refiners
One key thing your companions can do for you makes charcoal. This is why I suggest you have up to three of them take the “efficient charcoal marker” perk for turning two hardwoods into three charcoals. At first, you will only thing you need two. That is until your main pick up perks that reduce how much stamina they are spending and on occasion, you will need a third to keep up.
Everything else they will want to be focused on is refining perks. You should almost always have something to refine into a higher tier unless you are saving it for crafting with. So these guys will be quite busy.
You will also want to focus your refiners. I tend to save my lower-skilled ones for doing lower-tier refining. I use my higher leveled ones for higher refining or filling in anything that is needed at the time to keep my crafting(s) leveling up and grinding out more weapons.
At least one of your companions should be specialized in being a smelter. You will first want to pick up the “curious smelter” perk for the double chance at discovering new part designs. Later on if their smithing levels up high enough picking up “partial smelter” for half the stamina cost of doing so as well will help out. This companion should be tasked with smelting the highest yielding material weapons first before anyone else.
Chance is once you go out and raid and bring back dozens to hundreds of weapons at a time. That everyone expert you will be smelting weapons for their raw materials. Just remember late on when you are making high-level weapons and refining them use only the companion that is specialized for doing so far a max chance at getting a new design part.
Companion Focused on Making Weapons
Another one of your companions other than your main will be focused on making weapons. He will be your “money maker” but not your highest for making weapons for yourself. They will want to pick up “curious smith,” “experience smith” and “Artisan Smith” for the big payday. if you ever get that high. It will take a lot of time. Just keep in mind the weapons he will make more times than not will exceed what a typical town has for buying stuff.
I don’t have Artisan Smith skilled this way yet. I will, however, be saving those items for when I want to buy say something that costs 600k and I’ll trade in a couple of my higher worth weapons for the best items in the game. Everything else you get on him will be up to personal taste. I don’t expect to max mine out to level 300 since he lacks a big enough experience boost and the endurance. Maybe it will be an end game thing I focus on.
Get At least 5 Companions
As you can see from above you are going to want at least 5 companions to help out with smithing. Keep in mind they will take the rest of the game to level up their skills. This part of the guide I just want to make sure you get enough helpers.
After you do so you can join a kingdom as a mercenary or even work your way up to a vessel and beyond. How far you want to take that is up to you. I tend to join the Khuzaits as they have an area I go back and forth from for buying my hardwood sometimes at getting 100 or even 200 units at most with smaller routes picking up only 30 or so.
The reason I didn’t want to get involved in any kingdom beforehand is it’s easy to get distracted and level up a few times before getting some companions after you have the money to afford them. Not to mention you don’t want to be waiting around if for one if they happen to be in a town that belongs to a kingdom you are at war with.
Getting Funds And Supplies For Smithing
War is going to be the biggest driver for supplies and being able to afford payroll of troops in the short term. One day you will be so loaded with riches a couple of denars won’t be worth much for you but the weapons you can smelt down will be worth their weight in gold.
While the bulk of refining tends to yield crude iron and you can buy ore in towns. They suck to have to grind up into higher tiers of materials. Not to mention it also just sucks spending hardwood for such a low yield and a day’s worth of stamina. So I don’t bother with them.
Hardwood For Smithing
This tends to be the one thing you can just never get enough off. You need to turn hardwood into charcoal. That is then used in just about everything smithing related. So you will always be on the lookout for it.
Raiding villages can be a hit or miss. If you happen to find one that yields hardwood you just hit the jackpot. Some of them can yield 3 to 5 pieces per tick filling your bags full with hundreds if that is there only drop. The best way to find out if they will drop any is if they have some for sale.
If you are not that into raiding villages you could always buy hardwood from them instead. Not all villages will be selling hardwood so you will need to discover whatever area you are in at the time if they have any.
Caravans are a pain in the butt to capture. You can see if they are selling any as well and try to hunt them. More times than not I go after them for more horses since they tend to be loaded with pack mules and other carrying types. This can be a great way to increase your carrying capacity along with just getting more troops in your army in general by hiring them in towns.
You can also acquire little bits here or there in other forms of combat. It tends not to be much. I also don’t siege as it just takes way and allows lots of targets to escape.
One reason to not sell off weapons outside of bows is you can break down most times for hardwood. The lower tier weapons tend to yield the most. Some of them will only be wood and yield while only costing one charcoal to smelt. Yielding once you have the 3 to 2 charcoal perk extra charcoal for your trouble.
My main way to acquire hardwood in bulk is just buying from towns. You tend to have a couple of days where you can buy large amounts. They then raise prices and the supplies runs out for a week. Sometimes you can get it for only 20 denars a piece if they have a large stockpile. Other times it could be double that. Regardless of the price, I buy as I always need more and money stops being an issue after a while.
As far as my main place I hang out and it’s been like this on two different games I’ve tested this spot on the map. Makeb if it has not been bought from for a while can have 230 or more Hardwood. The little village over the bridge I’ve seen almost 200 on. Then you have Amprela which tends to have 100 to 150 hardwood most times.
If you are really lucky the Khuzaits sometimes with some help needed can end up owning both towns as you can see in the screenshot. Along with the castle needed for that one town. Other times they will be at war and you might need to move on.
If you are not having any luck sometimes Onira usually controlled by Southern Empire will have a nice supply. Along with a village or two in heavily wooded areas if you can find them. There are a bunch of other spots that tend to have at least one high volume seller of hardwood. You might have to search around a bit if you want to set up in another location.
Iron, Steel, And Funding
While there are many different types of Iron and Steel the fact of the matter is you will be needing loads of it. While you could blow insane amounts buying weapons off traders which hurts to even think about for smelting down. There is a much better and thankfully fun way of acquiring them instead.
Smithing can get a bit boring sometimes I’ll admit. Sometimes you just want to go on a massive pillaging and raiding of an entire empire you are at war with. You want to capture and take down every single army they have. That is great news! They are loaded with weapons for you to smelt.
While at the lower levels you might be tempted to raid bandits and the like. More times than not they have a tiny amount of lower-tier weapons that don’t contain a lot for smelting. Even when looters get up army sizes of 70 or higher they are not very good. I only waste my time with them if I need money to pay my armory before they start abandoning me as I was not paying attention.
You also want a massive army. Whatever your cap is max it out. Yes, you will be paying a lot in payroll while you wait around a lot. It, however, forces the game to spawn in bigger armies for you to crush for piles of weapons to smelt!
It also helps when you capture kings and other important royal families from kingdoms you are at war with. While you could execute them and that is fun and all that. I’d rather ransom them off for a quick 2 to 3k denars. That can buy a lot of hardwood. Nothing like scoring a quick 15k with five of them gang up to overwhelm you and you destroy and capture them all!
This is the fun part of being a waring smith. One day you will hopefully creative crazy weapons that will wreak havoc on the battlefield. That will result in getting even more weapons to smelt down and refine into something even deadlier.
Smithing In Bannerlord
Now is the moment you have been waiting for. You went out and got your 5 companions to use as a future assembly line. You have so much hardwood deforestation is a real threat to the entire ecosystem. You could not possibly carry another weapon without a mule falling over dead from the weight. Along with purse so full, you are wondering why you even need to get into smithing in the first place you are already rich. It’s time to get started.
For myself, I had about
- 500 weapons to smelt
- 50 days’ worth of food
- 100k Denars
If you happen to own a castle or a city and it’s not too far away from where you plan to do the bulk of your smithing it can be a good idea to drop off most of them. You still want enough to be left alone by bandits. It’s a good way to cut costs and not having to feed most of them.
Whenever you can make sure you put focus points into smithing until it is maxed out if you have not already. You also want to be spending your attribute points on endurance until you get to the max of 10. Unless you want to pick up the free one from smithing later on and stop at 9 endurance instead.
Refine For Quite A While
Your main character is going to be focusing on refining for quite some time. It might seem like there a better way to go about it for faster levels. The fact of the matter is you are going to need a large supply of resources to reach level 300 smithing anyways. You might as well not blow all the iron on low-level weapons for now.
You will start by making charcoal and then just keep going up the tier list. Once you can make two charcoals instead of one do that instead. Until you have other companions that can do that job for you. Then stop making it altogether and use them for that instead.
For what seems like a never-ending cycle. You will run out of stamina on your character and the companies. You will need to rest in the town you are at for around a full day before you can start going again. That part gets boring rather quickly.
You will want to make wrought iron until you can make iron. Then you want to be turning iron into steel while anyone that is not busy smelting down those hundreds of items which could have iron in them as well. Will focus on making your iron so you don’t have to anymore.
After that, you climb up to the tier of making fine steel. At this point, your main character only wants to be making fine steel and steel unless you have run out of items or lower tiers like iron and you do not have any companions’ height enough to make it yet.
While it’s tempting to make metric tons of Thamaskene Steel while you can. This is where you notice the game seems to be lacking much of a use case for it. Outside of making a couple of blades mostly in one-handed and two-handed weapons, there is no other use for Thamaskene. It is also tier 5 only blades which are quite rare to unlock. I’d make maybe 100 or 150 of this stuff at most for the experience.
Hopefully, once you get to that point, you are moving between towns pick up all the hardwood you can find. You are sick of waiting around a day for more smithy stamina and went out to do some combat here or there. The real fun is about to begin for smithing.
Once you have unlocked hopefully from smelting some tier 3 and tier 4 parts it’s time to start forging weapons. This is why you will want far more steel and fine steel than the other stuff. You can also increase the size of each part to increase the difficulty for more experience.
Switching To Weapon Crafting
As far as what kind of weapons should you craft? I spent a lot of time wasting it on making one-handed swords. They are alright if you want to spend forever making them and smelting them back down to keep going. There is a much better way thankfully!
Two-handed weapons for whatever reasons at the time of writing these yields insane amounts of experience, along with, part designs for you. They also sell a lot of denars! This is where the rest of your smithing will take place till you reach level 300 on your main.
At this point as well you should have a good rotation of using all your companions trying your best to fill the needs of your main character that is just rocking in smithing levels by now. Depending on how well off they are in skills and ability you might only have to stop to craft up some steel or fine steel.
If you notice smithing levels are no longer going up before you have to rest to regain stamina or you are just not discovering any new part designs. Make sure you have in fact maxed out skill smithing focus. I have also found switching to a different weapon blade that is tier 4 or if you have it tier 5 works the best. Sometimes I’ll just switch up all the parts I’m using. The most important part here is their tier level and material required to make them so make the highest you can.
The companion you have for smelting is also going to be gaining a lot of experience. These high tier weapons that sell for a lot as well yield a nice amount of experience and even more chances at getting new design parts. If you are lucky it won’t take long to get some tier 5 parts.
Sometimes when you are smithing you will notice you are getting a bunch of green stats. That can be from any perks that character has that resulted in a fine, masterwork or better item. That doesn’t say it in the name which is a shame.
For quite a while you will be crafting far below your means. The result will be getting a lot of red stats that decrease the overall values and selling amount of the weapons you are making. Since you are going smelt most of these anyways to get back the crafting materials it’s not a big deal.
I used my character to lead the way and ensure I could get him as quickly to level 300 smithing. As such I took all the metal refining there was along with anything that would reduce my stamina for what I had him set up for.
At level 25 smithing. The efficient charcoal market was an easy choice for the first one. Frankly, I never pick up an efficient iron maker on any of my characters. It just seems like a waste of time.
At level 50 to 100 smithing. I picked up Steel Marker 1 to 3. My main character was going to be the first one to them anyways. In some times I was not even sure if others would be able to get there in any reasonable amount of time.
At level 125 smithing. I got a picked up the particle refiner perk. That more or less seals the deal that refining remains one of the best ways to gain experience for quite some time. I also would not be shocked if they nerfed Two-handed crafting a bit. So I did not want to count on that. I also did not have at the time high enough tier parts to make it worth it.
At level 150 smithing. The next one is a personal one with choice with either vigorous smith or controlled smith. Do you want a point in VIG or CTR? That is really up to what weapons you want to use in Bannerlord.
At level 175 smithing. Since I was grinding for experience and not money partial smith was my choice for the reduced smithing costs. The other one reduces the trade penalty for selling smithing weapons. The issue with the ladder is towns only have so much money so you will need to buy something from them if you are selling items for 100k or whatever amount that would allow you to.
At level 200 smithing. You have no choice as there is only master smith. It just allows you to make a better weapon sometimes.
At level 225 smithing. The next one is going to be situational. By now you should be at a max of 10 endurance and therefore getting enduring smithing will be a waste. If you are not you are going to need it to get to 300 smithing more than likely anyway. If you don’t need it and you should get focus points in using melee weapons instead.
At level 250 smithing. I picked up sharpened edge for the 2% more cut damage. If you are someone who uses thus damage than sharpened tip will be your thing to pick it as a perk. Sadly Bannerlord is a bit lacking in those kinds of weapons so I would not get it anyways. We also can’t reset perks which are a bumper if that ever changes.
Last at level 300 smithing you have legendary smithing! Congratulations! I have around 500 days in-game on my smithing account. I could have gotten there faster if I had tested making two-handed first before all those 1-handed weapons I made. Blast!
Was it worth it? Well, I think they still need to add more to smithing in general. It was also quite crazy to go to the lengths I did just to get to level 300 smithing. If crafting is just something you enjoy than hopefully that is all you needed for some fun.
Perhaps in the future, I’ll come out with a second post to this if they add in some amazing stuff to smithing. I think it is worth it if you could make armor as well or other things. Which at this time we can’t and I have no clue if that even going be a thing or not. Just wishful thinking on my part!
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Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord was in early access at the time of writing this.