When I started my first Bannerlord campaign, I thought it was impossible to even hit the 1,000 denar quest at the beginning. It took my probably 5 hours of playing before I finished that quest.
Then, a few hours later I figured it out. With an initial investment of denars, you can make your money exponentially grow, which will give you so much money you won’t know what to do with it all.
The best way to make money in Bannerlord is by investing in caravans. However, they’re very expensive to get started initially, so I’ll give a step by step guide on how to start getting caravans.
Unless the developers nerf caravans before the final release, this is the number one way to get rich and never worry about denars again.
1. Save up 20,000 denars
I know what you’re thinking, 20,000 denars is a LOT of money, especially early game. The caravan will make back this investment in a short amount of time, so you won’t be losing the money.
The reason you need 20k is that you need to hire both a companion and a caravan, and then the caravan has a daily wage until it starts to become profitable.
You absolutely need this amount to get started, or else you may end up without any denars for a while. There are a couple different ways you can get this money in order to start becoming a caravan millionaire.
Getting money before caravans
The first and best way is to join a faction and get your first fief. The game makes sure that every lord gets one fief when they join a faction, and the player is no exception. It may take a little while, but your liege will grant you your very own fief.
In addition to the fief, you’re able to fight in the large armies, and you’ll get a portion of the spoils. I saved up the 20k even before I joined a faction, which took me a while to do. It would have made my life a whole lot easier had I joined earlier, so this is definitely an important step.
If you’re lucky enough to get a profitable fief, this will make getting the 20k denars a whole lot easier. My first fief gives me about 1,000 denars a day, so I can make the required amount in 20 days or less.
The second but more time-consuming way is to fight looters and bandits and sell the loot. It took me about 15 hours of in-game time to do this, but a lot of that time was spent learning the mechanics.
Either way, this is a much slower but still viable way of getting money. If your army is strong enough, target mountain bandits for the most loot per battle.
The third but short-lived way is by winning in the arena. At first, you’ll be able to make 1,700 denar profits on betting, as well as sometimes a 1k profit on the armor prize.
This is great, but then the game starts limiting how much you can bet. As far as I can tell, the diminishing bets is permanent. However, you can still sell the prize for a decent profit.
2. Hire a companion
Once you have your 20k denars, you need to go to the tavern in any town and find a companion to hire. I’m not quite sure how much their traits matter, but I personally like to see positive traits like honesty and valor.
Reddit user ModernWarBear pointed out to me that companions with high tactics are more likely to win battles against raiders. Having companions with a high trade skill is also good so you can get more money. Even though I’m making a lot, hiring ones with those skills would make even more.
Each companion requires some money to pay off their debts, and I’ve seen this range between 600 and 6,000 denars. There are probably ones cheaper and more expensive than that, but I’d personally hire a companion for 2,000 denars or less.
That will give you an extra 3k denars to use for food and troop wages.
3. Garrison your troops (optional)
This is an extra optional step depending on how many troops are in your army. I did this with a small party of about 20 troops, and even then my money got dangerously low.
The reason you garrison troops is so they don’t consume too much food from your inventory. They’ll still consume food at the garrison, so make sure the area you put them has enough food to last.
Garrisoning the troops is a step for players who plan to get the most money in the shortest amount of time. You can keep your troops on you while your getting caravans, but it’s risky.
If you decide to keep them with you, just know that the caravan might make your money dangerously low, so you’ll have to constantly be attacking bandits for money like I was.
4. Purchase a caravan
Now that the preparations are ready, it’s time to get your first caravan. I highly recommend making a new save here, just in case your brand new caravan gets raided and lost early on.
To get a caravan, you need to talk to a merchant in any of the large cities. They’ll tell you the price of the caravan, and ask which companion you’d like to send with it.
For some reason, I saw caravans that went for 18,000 denars. I’m not quite sure why that was, but if you see that, head to another city to buy one. Once you’ve purchased a caravan, the companion will leave your party and the caravan will head out.
5. Wait for another 20,000 denars
It can take up to 2 weeks for a caravan to turn a profit, but I literally just sat in the city and let time pass until it was profitable. I still had troops on me, so I had to make sure they were fed, but other than that I just let the game sit for a while.
Eventually, the caravan will start making you 700 to 1,000 per day. This amount combined with the taxes from your fief will get you to another 20,000 in no time
6. Rinse and repeat
You’ll obtain 20k denars in a much shorter amount of time as last time, so when you have that amount again, just repeat the steps. You can do this as many times as you want, though the starting companion limit is 5.
Using 5 caravans and my fief, I made anywhere from 4k to 8k daily. I recently got a 6th caravan and some more fiefs, so now I’m averaging 12,000 daily gold.
At the time of writing, I’ve made about 1.6 million denars passively, and I’m sure they’ll bring me much more money in the future. The downside of this method is that I don’t have any companions with me, but I don’t really care since they bring me a lot of money.
It’s really up to you how many caravans you want to have, but you get the most out of having every companion in a caravan. I haven’t had to worry about getting gold in a long time, so I really hope caravans aren’t nerfed any time soon.
One thing to watch out for
If your faction gets into a war, your caravans are not really safe. During wars it seems like I’m constantly having to start new caravans because the enemy destroyed one. I barely take a monetary hit though, as I’ve made so much doing this that buying caravans is chump change now.
When a caravan is destroyed, the attacker will take your companion as prisoner. Eventually, the companion will escape and will head to a random city. You’ll find them in the tavern where you can recruit them back for free, so always check the clan tab to keep an eye on what your companions are doing.