Weapons in the Mount&Blade series can come in a variety of different forms, each with their own styles, benefits, and disadvantages. They cover all kinds off attacks to bash, stab, and cut your opponent. Most weapons are governed by your Weapon Proficiencies which may be personally increased when you level up, and will also automatically improve through use.
Unlike most games of its caliber, Mount&Blade includes weapons from all regions of the world of all types, from the paupers' cudgel to a warlord's two-handed sword. It also includes ranged weaponry from primitive bows to elaborate mechanical crossbows; inaccurate stones to aerodynamic jarids or heavy throwing axes. Each weapon has a series of variations from Rusty to Masterwork, which determine its overall quality.
Axes, swords, polearms, fists, and, in Mount&Blade: Warband, some throwing weapons, can be used in hand-to-hand combat. Weapons such as the shorter axes are more effective against shields and more capable in close quarters, where as a polearm is (often) near useless in close combat. From horseback, the lance dominates when couched, which delivers the most damage to be found in the game. To be an effective hand-to-hand warrior, the player must have a high level of Strength and skills in Power Strike, Shield, Athletics and (optionally) Weapon Master with high weapon proficiencies in any of the Melee Weapons that the proficiency applies to.
One-handed weapons are relatively light weapons designed for use with a shield. They do less damage compared to two-handed weapons, but they are faster and give you the advantages of having a shield, which include being better able to defend against ranged attacks (such as thrown objects and arrows) and being better able to defend yourself if your horse is killed.
Two-handed weapons are varieties of hard-hitting weapons like large axes, swords, and hammers. They can deal more damage per-hit than their one-handed counterparts, but you cannot use a shield with them and they generally attack more slowly. These weapons have a greater reach than one-handed weapons on average.
Two handed/One handedEdit
There are only a few weapons that can be wielded as Two-handed/One-handed weapons. To switch between one and two handed, you have to equip/unequip your shield. Using such a weapon will allow you to choose lesser damage and good defense or good damage and lesser defense. Any one/two handed weapon will deal more damage and swing faster when used with both hands. Note that when on horseback, such weapons are always used with one hand, so there's no advantage to putting away your shield aside from changing the weapon proficiency that the weapon will benefit from.
Polearms are weapons like staves, spears, and pikes. Generally polearms have a higher weapon reach than other melee weapons, although some can be tricky to use effectively without a horse because once an enemy closes distance many polearms become nearly useless. A horse is thus essential for maintaining distance (there are some exceptions to this, notably the shortened spear and quarterstaff, which can often be used effectively in close-combat on foot).
Polearms have the unique ability to stop a charging horse in its tracks when thrust forward by foot soldiers. While the damage is often negated due to the horse being too close to the wielder by the time the attack is performed, this is an effective way of stopping the occasional lone horseman and allowing teammates in multiplayer or infantry in single player mode to mob the temporarily immobile foe.
Some polearms can't be used with a shield due to their large size or due to the need to balance the weapon.
Lance-type polearms can be used to strike the enemy using a 'couched' technique. This can be done when on a horse and moving at a fairly high speed. The lance will automatically or, depending on your "Lance Control" setting, upon pressing the "Toggle Weapon Mode" key, go into "couching position" when the speed of the horse is sufficient, and when it hits an enemy, it will inflict a great deal of damage (often far more than enough for an instant kill/knockout). If the enemy blocks the incoming lance blow, his or her shield will usually shatter.
There are only three Polearm/Two-handed weapons available. These long axes will all have a lower weapon speed and lose their ability to thrust while used as two-handed weapons along with getting the "Unbalanced" status, though the change in stance will slightly increase the reach of the weapon as well as allow them to be swung from horseback.
Kicking is a new feature in Warband, and may inflict minor blunt damage to an enemy. More often than not, this will give you an opening to land a blow on a more block reliant opponent (Shield users). Generally, it doesn't inflict enough damage to cause any injury, but it is useful if you want to make an opening in the defenses of an enemy. The kick will knock the enemy away from the player and briefly stagger them, giving you a chance to attack. Kicking also allows you to kick down an enemy who is standing too close to the edge of a platform or wall, temporarily taking him out of action and sometimes killing the troop with the fall. You do not get experience for this kill as you did not deliver the killing blow. When slightly outnumbered, this technique can reduce the number of enemies for a short time if it is timed properly, giving you the chance to kill some enemies before the ones you kicked recover from being staggered or knocked over. Timing is of the utmost importance when kicking, as it has a shorter reach than most weapons, the ultra-short Dagger, Knife and Cleaver being among the exceptions, though their incredible speed poses another problem entirely. Note that kicking a mounted opponent is completely pointless as they are positioned too high off the ground to land a kick on any part of their body apart from their foot and because the horse itself is immune to the staggering effect of all attacks apart from a polearm thrust to the front.
Aside from running up to the enemy and bashing him on the head a player can choose to specialize in ranged combat. This revolves around proficiencies such as archery, crossbow and throw. It contains the skills Power Draw and Horse Archery (if desired, allowing mounted ranged combat, a lethal combination). Weapons include the various bows, crossbows, javelins, throwing axes and knives and the humble rock. The only drawback to ranged weapons is that launchers such as bows and crossbows require that ammunition is equipped in one weapon slot, reducing the number of weapons the player can equip. Bows use arrows and so the player must have at least one quiver of arrows and these are not unlimited in battle. After a battle the arrow stocks will be replaced (returning to your inventory in a battle also replaces your ammo). One way to avoid running out is to equip many quivers (up to 3), but of course there are drawbacks to this. The recommended weapon combination for a ranged unit is a bow, two quivers, and a two-handed sword or axe.
Crossbows are meant to be used by characters who are not specialized in Archery. They also are far more appropriate for ranged characters who prefer sniping the enemy to hit-and-run archery. Crossbows have a good starting precision even without high proficiencies, which can allow characters greater hit rates than even the most accurate archer and they have only Strength as requirement. However, they are very slow to reload, needing two or three times longer than the bow (improves with proficiency), they have a stronger arc, and only the lighter crossbows can be reloaded while on horseback.
Since the damage is not augmented by any attributes, a crossbow user can expect to spend much more money in order to have a higher damage weapon than a bow user would have to spend to deal the same damage per shot. It is advisable not to put points in Crossbows for your character unless you plan to use them regularly.
Crossbows are designed to penetrate through more armor than their bow counterpart, depending on your game version. In an unmodded game, this is due to a higher projectile speed giving the bolt damage higher than the displayed value of the weapon.
Bolts are the ammunition for crossbows. Each kind of bolt has a damage bonus/penalty and a set amount per stack of bolts.
Note: You can fire a crossbow once without any additional ammunition. You need both the crossbow and the bolts in order to fire again after your one free shot has been used. They take up one equipment slot each.
Bows are best used by characters who are more specialized towards ranged damage. At first glance, a bow would appear to deal less damage than a crossbow. However, the damage a bow can deal is greatly increased by each level of the Power Draw skill- A character with a Power Draw skill of 7 will deal almost twice as much damage as the bow implies. Potentially, a mundane bow can be much more powerful than some more expensive crossbows, in addition to its faster firing rate. Reaching the level necessary to achieve this can take a long time, but attaining a high skill plus knowledge of arrow trajectory makes the bow a devastating weapon if used by a skilled warrior
Each kind of bow needs a certain level of Power Draw in order to be used. The exceptions are the Hunting Bow and the Practice Bow.
Arrows are the ammo for bows and it is possible to equip more than one quiver of arrows at a time for a larger arrow pool. Each kind of arrows has a damage bonus/penalty and a set number for each stack.
Note: You need both the bow and the arrows in order to fire. They take up one equipment slot each.
Thrown weapons lack the range and accuracy of bows and arrows, but can deal an enormous amount of damage if the user has enough points in the Power Throw skill. They are generally useful to melee-oriented characters or to those who have a spare slot in their equipment screen. Spear-and-axe-type throwing weapons can also be used in melee. Some throwing weapons such as throwing axes have extra damage against shields similar to the melee variant of axe.
In With Fire & Sword, all thrown weapons except stones have been removed and replaced with grenades, items that have a limited range and few shots but can do great damage if aimed properly. A single grenade could, in theory, take down an entire squad if it was well placed. They come in three sizes that range from small to large, each decreasing the amount of uses but increasing the effect, with a small grenade having three shots but a large having only one.
To access the flintlock pistol in Warband without editing the game code, first ensure cheating is on in your Configure controls. Then on the world map, hold down Ctrl + ~ or Ctrl + `. A command line will appear. In that command line type 'cheatmenu'. Next click on 'camp' at the bottom left of the screen. There should now be an option labeled 'CHEATMENU!' Select the cheatmenu and there should now be a wide variety of options to choose from. Click the top option labeled 'Find Item'. In this option there will be many items inaccessible in the game including the flintlock pistol.
The Flintlock Pistol is a very powerful weapon that uses the hidden Firearms proficiency and shoots bullets at an incredible velocity, even faster than an arrow. However, it is slow to reload - cleaning the barrel and loading a cartridge takes almost the same amount of time as a reloading a crossbow. Like other ranged weapons, the pistol has reduced accuracy when riding, but is perfectly accurate when standing still. It also has the added bonus of the targeting reticule being stationary when aiming, removing the need to shoot earlier than needed. Bullets seem to arc, much like the crossbow bolt, and will submit to the laws of physics just like any projectile in real life. Bullets also don't travel instantly, so keep that in mind when firing at a mounted bowman strafing you.
In With Fire & Sword, the timeline has advanced to the point where firearms are widespread and popular, as well as being very lethal. The firearms skill is no longer hidden, and from the start of the game you are given either a rifle or pistol, depending on what difficulty you're playing it on, along with a pouch of 16 bullets. This effectively replaces the crossbow, which is now hidden. Each shot requires you to slowly reload. Reloading severely impacts on your speed (unless you are using a pistol, or are on horseback) and can leave you extremely vulnerable. They are also often greatly inaccurate, especially when in motion. Bullets deal direct damage that is based on the range of the weapon firing, and seems to bypass armour to a degree, meaning that even a fully armoured foe will likely fall when hit directly. Some shields can block bullets just as they block arrows, but bullets damage a shield far more than arrows damage shields, so riding into a line of enemy muskets who are volley-firing even when you have your steel shield up isn't a good idea.
Arena and TrainingEdit
Modifiers are labels added on to a weapon that will either enhance or degrade the subject item. Not all weapons have all modifiers. There is no tempered long bow, for example.
| Melee weapons — One-handed weapons (WF&S) • Two-handed weapons|
Two-handed/One-handed weapons • Polearms (WF&S) • Polearm/Two-handed weapons
Ranged weapons — Bows (WF&S) • Crossbows • Thrown weapons • Firearms (WF&S)
Armor — Body Armor (WF&S) • Helmets (WF&S) • Gloves (WF&S)
Boots (WF&S) • Shields (WF&S)
Other — Horses • Arena Equipment