The Banner Saga: Factions is the premiere multiplayer role-playing strategy game on PC and Mac. It brings the feeling of beloved tactical games to a high-definition era with gorgeous hand-animated artwork and a degree of depth unprecedented in the realm of free games. Fight, learn, and lead your clan of vikings to glory!
User reviews:
Recent:
Mixed (18 reviews) - 66% of the 18 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (693 reviews) - 77% of the 693 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 25, 2013

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Recent updates View all (1)

March 23

Banner Saga 2 Coming April 19th

Hello All

Huge thank you for playing The Banner Saga and supporting us during development. Being a small team and working on something we love is both amazing and challenging but we're finally here with Banner Saga 2. Thank you all and we can't wait to get you folks in game!

We're proud to have the Windows and OSX version of the game launching on April 19th. The preorder will also be on a 10% discount up until we launch the game but we will not have any launch day or launch week discounts, however our main price will only be 19.99 this time around instead of 24.99.

April 19th will be here soon! If you have any questions, please let us know via the Steam Forums, Twitter, or Facebook.

You can check out the pre-order via http://store.steampowered.com/app/281640

5 comments Read more

Reviews

"A mixture of ocean-like tactical depth and frantic mid-match pacing that feels impressively different."
Rock Paper Shotgun

"When you first boot it up, you'll probably find yourself just... staring."

- Kotaku

"In The Banner Saga you feel the cost of every unit weighing on you... Factions might be the Saving Private Ryan of RPGs."

- Indie Statik

About This Game

The Banner Saga: Factions is the premiere multiplayer role-playing strategy game on PC and Mac. It brings the feeling of beloved tactical games to a high-definition era with gorgeous hand-animated artwork and a degree of depth unprecedented in the realm of free games. Fight, learn, and lead your clan of vikings to glory!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows XP
    • Processor:1.6GHz
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    Recommended:
    • Memory:1024 MB RAM
    • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
    Minimum:
    • OS:10.7.5
    • Processor:1.83GHz
    • Memory:1GB RAM
    Recommended:
    • Memory:2GB RAM
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mixed (18 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (693 reviews)
Recently Posted
Levilaon
( 3.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
The Banner Saga: Factions is nothing more than lets say small DLC for main franchise that allows you to experience multiplayer. Range of playable characters and overall content in this DLC is way smaller than in original game. Number of active players is also very small but I would not say game is dead yet. Credits for keeping this game alive definitely go to player named stoicmom which is constantly active throughout the years. As Banner Saga and other tactical games fan I recommend this game to everyone, but it's not secret that it needs some content updates in future.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
GaNkStA
( 64.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
This is a great game!

It has a unique combat style and is a way to keep challenging yourself with the same kind of gameplay as the actual storyline versions of this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
dawg_soldier
( 0.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 11
Product received for free
I wish I could give this a better review but I can't.
The first 5-10 minutes of the game were good; good story, tutorial, there seemed a nice amount of info and depth to it. And then once the basic start of the story is done, I've been left with a group of fighters in a village with nothing to do. We can't travel anywhere, there is no mission to follow, no way to improve characters without leveling up. Trying to find an opponent has been non existent. There just doesn't seem to be anybody playing on the server to challenge. I'm not sure if I just haven't had any good luck with this.
I know this was a free game, but it's a game that could have encouraged me to buy the other games if this proved to my liking.
I can only give this game a 3/10, and that's only for the potential I see was in this game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
nicotin_for_you
( 3.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
Being a fan of both games i can say that this is the game graphics and feeling with an endless training mode( quick match or ranked). The bigest problem here is that the combat was good because the troops were different but here you fight humans with the same combat level wich means it's incredibly mind blowing boring because everything depends on who is dum enough to attack first or who makes a small mistake.
Also, there are no items, to level up heroes takes a lot of time and you really have nothing to do that to grind the same endless training match endless.
Also, you can buy renown with $$$.
Pay to win, endless grind.....why? just why make such a bare bone game and call it multiplayer. Don't even bother, it's like a game of chess and you both play with kings, it's slow but if someone makes a mistake the game is decided
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Akelaar
( 352.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 2
This game is a masterpiece. Simple as that.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BogodaGMC
( 7.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 27
A really fun competative turn-based strategy game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Zulu Warrior
( 0.5 hrs on record )
Posted: April 24
don't bother with this game, it has no depth and gets boring easily. Get something better like Civ 5
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[NCE] skitter shank
( 4.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 19
This is an amazing game and all the bad reviews are keeping other players away , this has beautiful scenery and amazing combat. It is one of my favorite tactical strategy games , please give it a try
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ShinraVeteran
( 34.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 18
Very smooth, well balanced game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Obawan
( 4.0 hrs on record )
Posted: April 15
If you like the combat and art style of The Banner Saga, then you will find joy in Factions. Matches consist of ranked or unranked "friendlies" where you compete against 1 other person using a set-up of the classes found in the original game - Varl and Human. Each match earns you Renown (should you win) and the ability to level up your team, much like was done in the game.

I've seen some reviews commenting on the lack of people on the server, or matches hard to come by, and I write this review mostly to say that I haven't had any difficulty finding a match. In fact, I often see a lot of the higher level (by +2 levels) matches popping up looking for an opponent.

The beauty of the team system is you can level some favourites but also have a team of lower level so you can try out different play styles without waiting longer than a couple minutes for an opponent. I imagine a lot of this relies on the time of day you are looking, but the community is quite active and with TBS2 shortly being released, I see even more people coming into Factions.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
♋RE-PLAYت
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: April 14
This game is like chess.
waiting for optiment takes 5-6mins peer round.
How to play:
-Put your army at places where you want reccomend to 1. line
-Attack shield first
-Use stars
-Talk with enemy for fun
It takes too much time for searching a game and it's boring for me
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Chaotic Horizon
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 12
I am told that It was "Multi"player, Realized soon that It's a "Single"player.
You know because there was noone in the server playing except me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
shinigami1real
( 2.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 3
Really good game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
scottyo
( 4.1 hrs on record )
Posted: April 1
Now that I've had some time with this I can see it's a great game. It's fault lies in the early stages of finding low Power Level players and earning Renown (the currency) for leveling and other things. The strategy feels fair. It's not like XCOM where you curse the heavens that you missed a 90% shot. It can happen to archers but only if you choose to take that risk. There is a lot of time when no one is on but this game is far from dead. Great thing is it's free to play and you can see for yourself :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Slug2TheDome
( 0.7 hrs on record )
Posted: March 31
Alot of people say good things about this game but..... either I am actually mentaly handicapped or everyone leaving reviews is pranking me. After the tutorial is finished nothing happens. You just stare at a mountain with buttons and no way to do anything.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Friar Jim
( 25.3 hrs on record )
Posted: March 27
Pros:
- Great game, definately best PC strategy game I have played
- Well balanced
- Varied classes
- Crisp audio
- Amazing soundtrack

Cons:
- Relatively small player base
- Same as above
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Zer0
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: March 12
I didnt know the mechanics at first but adter a few battles it was really fun
Helpful? Yes No Funny
DurkaForce
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: February 25
Banner Saga and Banner Saga: Factions are both great games. Simple and easy to play, while offering a challenge. Its a free multi-player game with a small community. Doesn't seem like a lot of people play but if you use the chat, you will have no problems finding a game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Reap
( 0.5 hrs on record )
Posted: February 24
I didnt get round to playing this nearly as much as I wish I did due to the second ones announcement. I've put off playing it at all now due to excitement! The very brief bit I did play it was good but the pay to play was a little rich for me and my time is a little precious. The story mode for me!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
FatalFrosty
( 225.7 hrs on record )
Posted: February 20
This game is alive. There's plenty of us, and there would be more if the top discussions topics and reviews weren't falsely saying otherwise. Quick matches request are answered relatively quickly, most of the day. The community is great and we are glad to help rookies. The tournaments are fun, and the ranking systems are working just fine.

Also, with the sequel in the trilogy coming, it's the perfect time for champions to come out the mead houses, and new warriors to be forged. So come on up, be brave, you might have to show a little patience sometimes, but as soon as a good couple people show up, fight matchmaking becomes close to frenzy. Good fun, and it's easy to grow quick.

*Here we are, conquerors of lands and sea. Fortune, it is you we shall pursue. Farewell to treaties and desecrated law. From now on... War, shall be our judge*. Julius Caesar

Hail!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 4
Being a fan of both games i can say that this is the game graphics and feeling with an endless training mode( quick match or ranked). The bigest problem here is that the combat was good because the troops were different but here you fight humans with the same combat level wich means it's incredibly mind blowing boring because everything depends on who is dum enough to attack first or who makes a small mistake.
Also, there are no items, to level up heroes takes a lot of time and you really have nothing to do that to grind the same endless training match endless.
Also, you can buy renown with $$$.
Pay to win, endless grind.....why? just why make such a bare bone game and call it multiplayer. Don't even bother, it's like a game of chess and you both play with kings, it's slow but if someone makes a mistake the game is decided
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 15
If you like the combat and art style of The Banner Saga, then you will find joy in Factions. Matches consist of ranked or unranked "friendlies" where you compete against 1 other person using a set-up of the classes found in the original game - Varl and Human. Each match earns you Renown (should you win) and the ability to level up your team, much like was done in the game.

I've seen some reviews commenting on the lack of people on the server, or matches hard to come by, and I write this review mostly to say that I haven't had any difficulty finding a match. In fact, I often see a lot of the higher level (by +2 levels) matches popping up looking for an opponent.

The beauty of the team system is you can level some favourites but also have a team of lower level so you can try out different play styles without waiting longer than a couple minutes for an opponent. I imagine a lot of this relies on the time of day you are looking, but the community is quite active and with TBS2 shortly being released, I see even more people coming into Factions.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 1
Now that I've had some time with this I can see it's a great game. It's fault lies in the early stages of finding low Power Level players and earning Renown (the currency) for leveling and other things. The strategy feels fair. It's not like XCOM where you curse the heavens that you missed a 90% shot. It can happen to archers but only if you choose to take that risk. There is a lot of time when no one is on but this game is far from dead. Great thing is it's free to play and you can see for yourself :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
25.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 27
Pros:
- Great game, definately best PC strategy game I have played
- Well balanced
- Varied classes
- Crisp audio
- Amazing soundtrack

Cons:
- Relatively small player base
- Same as above
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
29 of 33 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
225.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 20
This game is alive. There's plenty of us, and there would be more if the top discussions topics and reviews weren't falsely saying otherwise. Quick matches request are answered relatively quickly, most of the day. The community is great and we are glad to help rookies. The tournaments are fun, and the ranking systems are working just fine.

Also, with the sequel in the trilogy coming, it's the perfect time for champions to come out the mead houses, and new warriors to be forged. So come on up, be brave, you might have to show a little patience sometimes, but as soon as a good couple people show up, fight matchmaking becomes close to frenzy. Good fun, and it's easy to grow quick.

*Here we are, conquerors of lands and sea. Fortune, it is you we shall pursue. Farewell to treaties and desecrated law. From now on... War, shall be our judge*. Julius Caesar

Hail!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
71.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2015
Unexpectedly well balanced for a turn-based game. The armor mechanic is neat. Community is small and there is no ongoing development, but its free. If you like tactical games you could do worse.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
Recommended
32.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 24
Great turn based game with some original ideas.

+ Great artwork.
+ Great music. Absolutely loved it.
+ The two stats of armor and health really work very nicely and remove luck-based results. You can really plan your course of action and the one with the superior strategy will win.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
21.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 27
Good game,
it's not pay to win your team have a ranking and will only be matched against others with same ranking.
you can play against higher ranked teams and if you do you get bonus renown(game currency).
it is however pay to not have to grind to a higher ranking team, and low level teams can feel a little simple with the lack of abilities.

It's skill intensive strategy with minimal to 0 luck involved.
There are not very many people playing, but I haven't had problems finding matches. However it's differs depending on times of the day, easier in the evenings.

I hope it get’s updated with new classes from The Banner Saga 2.

//Cheers
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
309 of 443 people (70%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
I played the solo campain with great pleasure. Ambiance, strong fight mecanisms and nice artwork are still there but...

This declination is a pay to win with quite a bad interface where you always search how to do things.

Please avoid pay to win games, they have to disapear.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
90 of 115 people (78%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
83.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 30, 2015
Aaah this mess and what a mess it is.
Back when The Banner Saga: Factions launched there was so much talk. Talk about ripping off the kickstarter backers (which they weren't ripped off they just never bothered to read), talk about the lawsuit for use of the word 'saga', talk about how the game was so perfectly balanced that it risked becoming stale.

Now no one talks about The Banner Saga: Factions anymore.
Looks like that last one came true.

First of all this is a mini-game, a subgame if you will. The point of this game is solely to PvP so do not confuse it with the main product and likewise this review is for this game not the main game itself.

TBS:F is like a game of chess...With only 4 pieces. But wait, each of those pieces come in 3(4) flavours so their is variety!
Except not really. Confused? We gotta go deeper Leo!
You have your typical 3 classes, you know Tank, damage dealer, how does it go again? shield smasher? Yeah thats it. Whats a healer?

Now without sounding like an instruction manual every unit has 2 bars, a health bar and an armor bar. armor reduces damage but the lowest amount you can do is 1hp. Be warned however that losing your armor is a big deal and a low armor or armorless unit will be cut down in short order! This makes games very methodical. Do you snipe hits for 1 damage each trying to score an early kill, or do you whittle down armor and then deal devastating damage to quickly mop up and win? Afterall their are no healers so every match is a war of attrition!
It works out really well and I can't do it justice with words alone, it is a simple idea that could have gone really badly but here it is balanced perfectly.

Of course not all things are created equally in any video game and this one is no different so what sounds like an awesome and rivetting gameplay experience ends as a battle of patience as a losing player with 1 archer can still run away and then pick your remaining units off and trust me, they will. So every team has archers because being dumb doesn't pay off on the battlefield and most matches become mirror matches. Remember when I compared this game to chess? Imagine introducing a new piece into a game of chess. Imagine the sheer balance upset and new tactics that would bring to the table?! This game suffers that exact same issue because the balance is so fine, it is too fine and very easy to upset that balance.

So what happened?

It stagnated, what did you expect? A competitive game needs a lot to keep the crowds coming back. Look at DOTA, new champions every month is it? Streetfighter, new iterations just about every 2 years. This game? Not a damn thing since release.

The music is fine as are the sound effects and honestly who even gives a ♥♥♥♥? The music has to be great for people to sit up and take notice and here it is just above average. But the art, this game is graphically a piece of art. Playing this game is like visiting an art gallery it just looks so good!

But you play a game to be entertained (usually) and this game is fleeting fun. Their is fun to be had don't get me wrong but when you decide to shake it up a bit and really get into the game you will realize their isn't much more to it to explore, what you see is what you get. So I can't recommend this game.

Join Grumpy reviews for all your gaming needs
http://steamcommunity.com/groups/grumpyreviews
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37 of 37 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
90.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 15, 2015
So you put together a team of viking and giant warriors and fight short tactical turnbased fights and tournaments to get renown, wich is used to buy more space for warriors or upgrade your warriors. You get matched against players with the same combined level of fighters, resulting in very even matches.
The combat system is identical to the banner saga, with the only exception of some small changes to the abilities of some units.

Though I strongly recommend the game, there are some issues that you should know before playing.

First of all it is a player vs player only game. There is no training mode or single player, if you want that you have to buy The banner Saga (strongly recommended as well).

The second major issue is that the game seems kind of forgotten by the developers, there are memory leak issues that cause lag, and updates are close to nonexistent.

The third issue is that most player quit due to the first two, or the fact that the gameplay changes very little over time, resulting in very few players online at any moment. This of course can cause painfully long periods of waiting for a match. This is also to some extent caused by the matching system, in wich you may be unable to battle anyone at all if you don't have enough warriors to put together teams of different levels (ironically happens predominantly to new players).

With those things out of the way, this is really fun and challenging game for you tactics fans. The turn system is different from many other games and is of extreme tactical importance, and to me the number of classes and restrictions are enough for a large umber of tactics and combos.

Adressing the issues: The first becomes a non-issue after like four fights. The community is great and everyone are excited for new players and will help you get started.
The second issue is bad, but in theory if more people play it the devs should work more to upgrade it. It will also likely get a boost after the release of newly announced TBS2.
The third issue is the hard one. I personally don't think its boring, just as I dont think chess is boring, even if chess hasnt got any upgrades or new skins for decades =). And remember that many quit because there are too few players already. what kind of logic is that? But I won't judge anyone who played the game for a year and a half, waiting for someone to fix the lag and crash issues, and stopped playing when nothing happened.

Try it out though. it's Free! and fun!
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61 of 80 people (76%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 16, 2015
No one plays this game....It seems like it could be fun but PvP matches are the only option and there are just not enough people playing to even find a match. They really should have though about having PvE for leveling and training. apparently the tournament is a thing but I can't get to level 12 to participate because no one plays quickmatch in my level range haha. Oh well, uninstall.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
65 of 88 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
127.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
If you like tactics games and multiplayer this game has quite a bit of depth to it. The hand animated character models really feel like living things, and theres quite a bit of polish. There haven't been any huge balance tweaks in a while, but the core game is amazing. Can't wait for the single player to release!
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51 of 70 people (73%) found this review helpful
Recommended
580.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2013
It's viking themed, its artwork design is retro-stylish and reminiscent of golden Disney era and it resembles chess but with more diversity and "easy to grasp difficult to master" mechanics. It has an awesome community and it's free to play with no pay-to-win features.

"This game is simply great and greatly simple." --- doomator
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26 of 32 people (81%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 16, 2014
If you have played The Banner Saga, you know what to expect.

If you have not, well, it is a game for those MMO enthusiasts who like a slower pace, more calculating approach and generally leaning towards chess rather than Wipeout in their games. Only complaints I would have are the same as for the "original" TBS: we could use more animation and more (i.e. any) voiceover. Other than that, the graphics are delightful, the atmosphere is great and the audio is fantastic.

Definitely for the calmer, more realxed gamer. If you want a game for long winter evenings you will not be disappointed.
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32 of 43 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
217.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2013
An excellent game with plenty of strategy if you persevere and learn the mechanics. In contrast to some other reviews out there, there is no real random element to this game if you learn how to play it, and learning the game is made all the easier by the friendly community which are always happy to help. I can't reccommend this game enough and as it's free there's no reason not to try it!
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22 of 27 people (81%) found this review helpful
Recommended
90.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 7, 2014
Great art, great concept, great community. A truly great game, which I highly recommend to everyone who likes turn-based games.
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19 of 23 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
330.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2015
This game has sucked up more of my life then any other game of Steam to date and with good reason. Essentially a complex version of chess, this game became my obsession for a good six months. While the servers are not nearly as busy as they were during its hayday, the game is still a superb demonstration of how to develop a rich deep combat turn-based combat system with high replay value. Add to that some of the most beautiful hand drawn artwork I have seen since Monkey Island 3 and you have a winner. For those looking for a better single player, offline experience, I recommend the single player game that was the catalyst for this, The Banner Saga (and hopefully soon) its sequel, The Banner Saga 2.
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40 of 61 people (66%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 30, 2015
Dead online community.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
19 of 25 people (76%) found this review helpful
Recommended
80.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2013
You can see the more technical reviews of this game at IGN, etc., but I want to highlight the one thing that makes this game so great: simplicity that belies its depth. The number of combinations of moves and overarching strategies that can win a given match are so numerous that having played this game for months, I haven't exhausted trying new things and even succeeding at them. Accusations that the game is 'boring' for reasons such as lack of unit diversity, etc., actually fail to see the best part of the game.
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