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 (10 reviews) - 40% of the 10 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (699 reviews) - 76% of the 699 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 (10 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (699 reviews)
Recently Posted
AgnesDJ
( 2.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
Let me just say that I really like this game. The art style, the gameplay, everything...BUT I wish more people would play so it doesn't take forever to find a match. Gonna thumbs this up in the hopes that new people would download the game and play. And it's kinda lame that the reason some people aren't playing this is because there aren't enough people playing the game to actually play the game. Please give it a chance :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
marxi89
( 7.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
its free
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Fodder, Cannon
( 11.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 16
Dead game. I'm pretty sure they haven't updated it in the past 2 years or so and from what I've seen they have no intention of doing so. Plus, the playerbase is almost nonexistant. When I search for a match I open up a game of hearthstone while I wait so I have something to do.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TotalWarDestroyer
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 3
This game is absolute bull crap, dont buy it, no offense, but it stinks, no single player, pay to play, ect...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Amidships
( 17.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 28
First, this is a great and inventive game and in my opinion the multiplayer increases the replay value. The game is different each time because people are behind the decisions. That being said, there are not enough people to find games quickly all the time. I like this game and I recommend it, but it's the first one produced and it's apparent that the dev's attention is elsewhere at the moment. The story games are much more advanced and include more characters.

Frustrating. With it being so hard to find a match, it's really important to win. That being said, the renown required between rank 1 and 2 is so high, it's going to take a while to level your team so that you can play more people. Every change takes renown, which you can grind out or buy. One problem with this is that even with the steam overlay enabled, the mac steam version can't connect, so you can't buy renown even if you want to.

My most recent frustration is with upgrades and dismissal. If you get rid of a character, you lose all the renown you sunk into them. So, for example, if you carelessy hit a button and upgrade to the wrong class, you're stuck. No undo, no class change. Every decision is final. This makes sense in the story game, but is unnecessarily petty in factions.

Changes: You should be able to adjust character stats so that you can play a larger range of levels. You should be able to change classes just like you can adjust points, even if it's just one time due to a mistake. Repair the steam connection. Add some of the characters from the story games. Reduce the renown cost to upgrade to match the story game. There's a tutorial in Factions that shows a team with all Level 11 characters. That would take 100 years. Ridiculous.

I still like this game. It's like battle chess. Needs some attention, which is probably going towards Banner Saga 3 right now. I saw on their website that they're hiring. Probably short-staffed.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
CAN'T BARRAGE THE FARAGE
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 28
Total disaster, dead, pay to win garbage. While confused by the battle mechanics I have only 3 choices in choosing a game path: Quick Match, Ranked or Tournament. Since Ranked required a certain power (which is difficult to obtain) you cannot play it. All the same for tournament. Therefore you are left with a single option and that is to repeatedly play QUICK MATCH. I did so, was matched 2 times with the same opponent and waited 15 minutes the third time just to not be matched with anyone because there are NO PLAYERS.

Please discourage these kind of games and let them die. Free to play did not save this pile of junk so waste your breath.

tl;dr: Should you download this? NO! Invest your time in something else.
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
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
( 396.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 2
This game is a masterpiece. Simple as that.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
100 of 126 people (79%) 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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313 of 449 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
37 of 38 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
90.9 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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63 of 82 people (77%) 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.
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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 71 people (72%) found this review helpful
Recommended
581.3 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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