Stronghold Crusader 2 is the long awaited sequel to the original castle sim. After 12 years Stronghold returns to the desert with a new 3D engine and powerful Havok Physics. Firefly Studios will recapture the original Crusader’s addictive, fast-paced gameplay and authentic castle simulation.
User reviews: Mixed (1,114 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 22, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"fun castle rts, havn't played anything but campaign but the combat and building is fun. Needs better production chain descriptions though."

Recent updates View all (10)

November 21

New Update & Winter Update Teased

Version 1.0.19791 Now Live

We have just released a new update for Stronghold Crusader 2. Today’s release introduces numerous small improvements, optimizations and tweaks to the game, as well as several bug fixes addressing issues reported by players:

  • Improvements to various cursors and their hotspots.
  • Multiplayer games remain listed in the Lobby when in progress, but display a crossed swords icon in the Locked column.
  • Friend's or ‘Invite Only’ games are now correctly displayed as Locked in the
  • Multiplayer lobby.
  • Enemy units and buildings are now highlighted red when targeted by selected player's units.

Bug Fixes
  • Numerous optimisations for group pathfinding.
  • Several fixes for curved movement in formations.
  • Optimised collision checks for pathfinding.
  • Fixed slowdown when woodcutters are searching for new trees.
  • Fixed crash which occurred occasionally when Mantlets and other siege equipment moved over Man Traps (Thanks FireRanger!).
  • Enemy peasants and workers no longer prevent players from building if they are too close during Peacetime.
  • Braziers no longer block access to walls when placed at the top of stairs.
  • Fixed an issue where kicking players in Skirmish Lobbies would sometimes kick the wrong player.
  • Lord death will now result in defeat in Sandbox missions.
  • Fixed Restart Mission not working in Sandbox missions.
  • Fixed melee troops not being able to attack engine towers when they were placed inside a section of wall.

Your feedback and reporting of issues really does mean faster bug fixes, refined game balance and a better game, so please keep it coming! The Crusader team is currently hard at work on an exciting new content update that we’re hoping to release soon. You can expect a full announcement on this next week, but for now please enjoy today’s update and let us know YOUR ideas for future updates - Stronghold Crusader 2 Forum

Please Note - The above version number should now appear at the bottom of the main Crusader 2 title screen. If the version numbers do not match up please exit the game and restart your Steam client, doing so until you force the new update to download.

If you experience an issue not listed in the fixes above the fastest way to get a fix is by letting us know. Please do so by submitting a report - Support Site

10 comments Read more

November 11

Christmas Tournament

Applications Now Open!

Winter is coming. It is time to gird your loins and join the Stronghold Crusader 2 European Tournament hosted by Firefly superfan and strategy YouTuber SergiuHellDragoon! Sign up now and within weeks you will be locking horns with Stronghold players of all skill levels, with exclusive prizes on offer for those who stand victorious when the dust settles:

  • All AI Character DLC
  • Signed boxed copy of Crusader 2
  • Stronghold Crusader 2 T-Shirt (Medium)

  • First AI Character DLC
  • Signed boxed copy of Crusader 2
  • Stronghold Crusader 2 T-Shirt (Medium)

  • First AI Character DLC
  • Signed boxed copy of Crusader 2
  • Stronghold Crusader 2 Lanyard

To enter simply fill out the tournament sign-up sheet by 17:00 GMT on November 18th - Application Form

The tournament will begin on Monday November 24th and feature 63 matches in total, with the grand final streamed live on Wednesday December 18th. This schedule is designed to give players enough time to practice before the tournament and between matches. You do not need to live in Europe to take part in the tournament, but to allow us to referee games matches will be held daily between 17:00 and 21:30 GMT.

The Christmas Tournament will accept a total of 64 contestants, who will be chosen randomly on November 17th from the pool of applicants. If you are lucky enough to be selected, you will receive an email with the tournament schedule and the date and time of your first match. All applicants must send a friend request to our official Crusader 2 tournament Steam account to confirm availability during the tournament hours and allow us to referee matches - Steam Account

Please Note: If you do not complete the application form, agree to the tournament hours and add our tournament account as a friend on Steam we cannot accept your application.

Full details of the tournament format and rule set can be found here - Contest Rules

The tournament winners will be announced on December 19th, with the final match streamed live the day before. To honour the most fierce Stronghold warriors, the final eight games will be published to both our YouTube channel and Sergiu’s. This is your chance to defeat some of the world’s greatest Crusader 2 Lords and be crowned European Champion!

16 comments Read more


“For old, war-tested Stronghold players Crusader 2 is a triumphant evolution of the game that they've held dear for the last twelve years.”
8/10 – Strategy Informer

“The game feel polished and modern: It’s properly 3D-modelled and constructed around a rigorous physics engine.”
4/5 – Empire

“Unique, fast-paced castle-building action the way it was meant to be.”
8/10 – Hooked Gamers

Special Edition

The Special Edition includes:

  • Digital Soundtrack Composed by Robert Euvino
  • 'The Art of Stronghold Crusader 2' Digital Art Book
  • Stronghold Crusader HD: Full game on Steam - Already own it on Steam? Gift it to a friend!

Special Edition Customers

To access your digital art book and soundtrack please install the game, navigate to the game folder and open up a folder titled ‘Special Edition’.

By default this is located at:

C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\Stronghold Crusader 2\Special Edition

If you installed the game in a different location on your hard drive the ‘Special Edition’ folder will appear in your chosen location. The game’s soundtrack can also be accessed through the Steam Music Player, which can be found under the Library tab by clicking on ‘Music’.

About This Game

Stronghold Crusader 2 is the long awaited sequel to Stronghold: Crusader, the original 'castle sim'. After 12 years Stronghold returns to the deserts of the Middle East circa 1189, with a new 3D engine and realistic castle destruction powered by Havok Physics. Crusader 2 will recapture the original game’s addictive, fast-paced gameplay and authentic castle simulation.

True to its roots this new Stronghold will define old school real time strategy, combining RTS and city builder gameplay. Playing as a brutal Crusader Knight or Arabic freedom fighter, you must use a deadly array of troops and destructive siege equipment to decide the fate of the holy lands. Lead your forces into battle as either Richard the Lionheart or the Sultan of Syria in two historic single-player campaigns, with dynamic events such as tornados and locust swarms. Become the greatest Lord by managing your desert economy and seizing control of vital oases.

To dominate the battlefield you will need to command more than 25 unique unit types, mastering their special abilities. Raise morale with the Sergeant at Arms, charge in with the Sassanid Knight, use Archers to launch an arrow volley or scale castle walls with the deadly Assassin. Once your skills have been perfected put them to the test in skirmish mode or take the battle online with up to eight human and AI players. Create teams, choose different AI opponents and design your own map in the ultimate skirmish or multiplayer game!

Key Features

  • Build the Ultimate Castle - Design mighty strongholds and fill them with fiendish traps to crush your enemies!
  • Skirmish Mode - Lay siege to your enemies in fast-paced custom skirmish matches against the AI.
  • 8 Player Multiplayer - Mix and match human and AI players, maps and game modes to set up your ideal multiplayer game.
  • Battle a Wide Range of AI Lords - Classic AI characters return alongside new blood, each with distinct personalities, castles and play styles.
  • Challenge the Crusader Trail - Test your mettle across a range of increasingly tough skirmish campaigns.
  • Co-op Play - Share control over castle building, troop control and resource management in Co-op Mode.
  • Castle Sandbox - Dive into the Map Editor or Free Build mode and construct the ultimate castle without fear of attack.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows® XP/Vista/7/8 with latest service packs
    • Processor: Intel® Core™2 Duo 2Ghz or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® 8800GT 512MB or AMD Radeon™ HD 2900XT 512MB or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
    • OS: Windows® Vista/7/8 64-bit with latest service packs
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5 or equivalent
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460 1GB or AMD Radeon™ HD 5830 1GB or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 4 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
95 of 121 people (79%) found this review helpful
55.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
Brace yourselves for a lenghty rant-sort-of-review.
Or just scroll down and read the summary.

Being a fan of the original Stronghold and Stronghold Crusader, it makes me sad to report that this game does not continue in the right path that was set by those two games.
The worst thing about this game are not bad visuals, glitches, unbalanced and unfair skirmish trails or even the opposing lords with paper-thin personalities (yes, even when compared to the older games' lords). The worst thing about this game is that it is not fun. Even if you're a veteran player like myself, who really tried to like the game, you have a high chance of wasting your money on this product.

Why is it not fun?
First of all, the "castle-sim" aspect that was the best thing Stronghold series had to offer is gone. Forget about witty comments when you click on your peasants, forget about fear factor and any kind of happiness management. All you have left is ale and religion, and population management was simplified so its only real purpose is to increase your taxation.

Second thing, the AI cheats. Literally. Stronghold Crusader was a hard but fair game. But this game will make you drop it when you realize how unfair it is. The sieges have been dumbed down to massive tank rushes (btw, no more ladders, siege towers and tunnelers). You think crippling the enemy's economy and destroying key structures used in building the army will stop him from recruiting more troops? Think again. The AI will always pull out more soldiers, even when you destroy their barracks, armory and mercenary post. Oh, and they get walls, siege engines and weapons for free.

Technical side of the game is not much better. The graphic quality would barely pass in 2007, and the engine is poorly optimized so expect severe FPS drops unless you have a monster machine. The FPS tends to drop the most during sieges, as there tend to be hundreds of soldiers, and a lot of wall demolishing.


Stronghold Crusader 2 is a bad game, whether you're a veteran of the franchise or a total newcomer.
If you want a superb castle-sim, with plenty of humour, good AI, interesting opponents, great art style and 2d graphics and compact and fair gameplay - play Stronghold Crusader HD. This game will not satisfy you, unless you're ready to overlook the game's many problems. But beware, there's not much else to see.
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31 of 51 people (61%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
Before seeing the not recommended, please read as there is much to talk about. Being such a fan from the Orginal Stronghold Crusader I saw this and bought it thinking it would be new and just as fun as the orginal, sadly I was misguided. The game wasn't even close to my expectations however it does bring back some stuff Iw as thankful for, such as Ai opponents I loved, skirmish mode and crusader trails. However it was missing lots and lots of things (overtiem these could be added) many siege equitments are gone in the game to name jsut one. The graphics of the game (personally) don't fit the experience. The troop cap is to little and the maps offer to little rescources (one map does but only 1 map, for noobs like myselft at Crusader 2 more maps with more rescources would of been better), in game map builder is gone and instead it is with steam level editor which is much more complicated for the AVERAGE person to use. The variety of the game gets dull quick and it doesn't flow very good (in my opinion). All in all I was disapointed with it and I would get it when it is on sale definately not worth $50 U.S. I give it 6/10
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14 of 22 people (64%) found this review helpful
19.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
Stronghold Crusader 2 offers very little change from the previous Crusader (2001). Hardcore fans and achievement hunters will be the only ones who will appreciate SC2. The "Campaign" trails are back from the original. They offer no more than a series of AI skirmish challenges that vary in difficulty. There's a dozen or so tutorial missions the have some kind of "Narrative" but I use that word loosely.

Melee Fighting: Winning consists of massing a blob of units into another player's castle to kill thier avatar "Lord." I say "blob" because the units clip into each other It's not pleasing on the eyes when a group of a hundred pikemen can't be distinguished between a single guy. To make matters worse, during a fight they all clip into smaller blob. To make matters EVEN worse, a well placed pitch pot can decimate a group of hundreds.

Castle Smashing: The castle walls are no more than ten feet high and seem as strong as paper mache't. A few catapults can blast through a wall very quickly. Probably why they removed ladder men and seige towers from the previous games. They added "ragdoll" physics, when a unit is arrowed they will tumble off the wall, if their foot doesn't get stuck and trap them hanging like maniquins for a few seconds before they disappear. When a tower falls with units on top the ragdoll levitates like Wil-e- Coyote holding up a sign before they fall to the ground.

Themes: The music is the only thing done right. Really great Crusade feeling soundtrack. As for the two religions, a lot of care was taken to avoid controversy. The Islamic Saracens dont eat the "pig" food ration (they grow sheep farms instead) and don't drink Ale, another handicap seeing as how they can't gain the happines benifits from Bars, and no other feature was put in place instead. Churches and Mosques are only distuinguishable from a little moon and star above the Mosque.

TL:DR= Only for fans of Stronghold. a lot of features done poorly, none really dont right. It's old Stronghold with new spit polish. Nab it on a sale and knock out the generous achievements.
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13 of 22 people (59%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
I am a stronghold fan so i decided to make a short review.
Stronghold crusader two is a downgraded version of Crusader 1 in short talk.
I am sorry to say but the game is full fo bugs and doesn't run smooth at all an most of all doesn't add anything that stronghold crusader 1 didn't had but it has removed things that made the original series. So i stik to crusader 1 and strongly recommend others to do that to. I wished this to be a great game by the way.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
31.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
This game is really fun, but its better with friends :3
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
41.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 20
Good job !
Still a few bugs, few crashes, but overall great game! Some good patches will fix this.
I've played SH1,2,3,legends and kingdoms and this game is what i wanted.
Eco is nice, siege units great, this game doesnt need religion,torture, dances, feasts, etc. like many ppl say like in SH2.
All about attacking with the right units. And there are many troops to choose from which you must choose wisely cause they are expensive what makes this game a lot of fun.

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10 of 18 people (56%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
So pretty much the same as the first just better graphics...meh..if you like Stronghold series its aight. i cannot get multiplayer to work..does no one else play this? :/ actually you know on 2nd thought...they left a lot of things that they couldve added. how much damage units dish out would be nice to know rather than guessing on top of a slew of other info...RTFM much?

not worth the $50 in my opinion and that's why i gave this a No

Otherwise im neuteral
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
Should have done more research before buying this. The game is awful, combat is clunky and horrible to look at, I can't even build diagonal castle walls! Tooltips lack info and the game is overall not very intuitive.for being a castle sim, theres games that do it better and they're older. Pretty dissapointed by this.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
I thought it was free build but it's even worst than Stronghold 2
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
27.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
There is not very much depth to this game...
It does not run very well considering that it is not a very "high end" visual game.
It seems like it could have been a fun concept.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
im not really happy about it
no matter what u do u will always run out of food and wood at the start of the game.
when u r builidng things its just toooo expensive in the game.
all i wanted from it was something like first stronghold with better quality, online multiplayer and adding new units or builings.
i been playign stronghold crusader 1 for the past 10 years and just played this for couple of hours and now i really hate it
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
Singly the largest disappointment in distant memory. I’m a longtime fan of the Stronghold franchise, boy is this game a letdown. It does have nice graphics, descent sound track and a somewhat intuitive interface, but the game SUCKS! I’ve played about halfway through the anemic single player campaign, to the point of forcing myself to continue; thinking it has got to get better, but it has not. There is not AI strategy to speak of and I guess the game developer thought it would be a good idea to slap a turn timer on just about every mission; so much for taking your time and enjoying the game. I wish I could get my money back, not only because the game play is terrible, but more so, that this team of developers don’t unleash another POS on the public. Tic-Tac-Toe is a better game.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
85.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
I'm a diehard fan of the series, lets just get that out of the way. While I am loving Crusader 2, I feel it just hasn't brought all the features of it's predecessor to the table. It's missing the narritives of the original campaigns, and the awesomeness of the old UI. Great game, but I feel like it falls short in some areas. That shouldn't happen, the original came out twelve years ago.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
26.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
i really like the game i think it is very fun to play but.
maybe they could inprove the graphics and make it run better.
the siges seem kind of dull maybe you could add more sige engins to make it more interesting.
the fear factor would be fun to spice it up and add a nother way to make your pesants work faster .
i think the game is really injoinable but there are just these things that make it a second class game
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
No, it's not the world's best sequel - the amount of stuff added to this game in comparison to crusader 1 is minimal, which is sort of upsetting considering this game has come out 12 years after its' predecessor. However, I do not find my money wasted on this game. As a fan of the stronghold series and a proud owner of all the games (save one that I'm not too proud can guess which), I will happily say that this game is the first stronghold game to not be a total waste of your time since 2002 with crusader 1 itself. On top of that, I highly recommend buying this if for nothing else than supporting the small indie studio Firefly Studios in hopes that, now without their 2K publisher forcing release dates on them, we can begin to see some proper sequels in the stronghold lineup to recover from...a troubling past, to say the least. Perhaps a stronghold 4, or even the possibility of a Legends 2 (Don't kill me, we all know somewhere inside we want a better legends :D)

With gamespy down, this is also the only remaining stronghold game besides the abysmal pile that was stronghold 3 to have functional multiplayer without the assistance of a 3rd party tool that can sometimes, to inexperienced users, be a large pain in the ♥♥♥ to use properly. So for crusader multiplayer with ease, this runs through the steam servers allowing you to simply invite your friends and such as you would for Team Fortress 2 or something.

Buy this to support firefly and enjoy the first stronghold game in 12 years to not suck right out of the box...or download in this case. And if not, do yourself at least the favor of, if you don't already, going and purchasing Stronghold HD and Stronghold Crusader HD on steam or or somewhere - those 2 games, alongside this one, will not fail to give you hours of fun.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
I've owned the game for two months and I still can't get it to boot up to the main menu to let me play.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
14.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
Disappointing game having loved the original Stronghold. Not being able to build out of small and illogical zones is really annoying.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
Extremely dissapointing and lacking the feel of the original. Realese version feels more like a demo as the options are heavily limited in comparison to its predecessor.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
13.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 13

It's an easy game to get into, not because of simple mechanics, but because of mindless AI that is easily exploited. Numerous times, I've been "seiged" by cheating (a LOT of cheating) AI where, by having a single tiny hole in my castle walls at the very back of my castle, the enemy sends everything they have through that hole, walking past, through, and over traps, defenses, and archers. Never once have I really felt a challenge from the AI that wasn't related to their massive economic cheats.

The bugs are relatively ok, I haven't encountered any major, gamebreaking bugs (nothing like SH3's "dogs walk up ladders").

Pathfinding: Walls are to be seiged or used by archers, nothing else. One of the first campaign missions asks you to seige a small, minor AI settlement. It is defended by 2 towers with a handful of enemies. My first approach was to amass as many small units as I could and send them up to the towers to kill the archers. However, my units were completely incapable of using new fangled technologies like "stairs" to the point their 5(?) archers killed 20 of my units because no matter how many commands I gave them, "stairs" and "walking" became too complex for them. This was only the 2nd or 3rd mission, a tutorial mission, that was rendered impossible to win because my units literally could not walk to the enemy.

If you want a good SH game, go buy SH Crusader 1, it's a good game, it's not 3d, but it has better/more mechanics with less bugs and far better gameplay.
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