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 (1,121 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 22, 2014

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Buy Stronghold Crusader 2 Special Edition


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 (11)

November 25

The Future of Crusader 2

New Q&A Video Released

We have just released a community Q&A video discussing post-release feature updates and downloadable content, with additional detail concerning our general plans for the game post-launch. Click on the link below to watch the video in full and find out exactly what our plans are for Stronghold Crusader 2 heading into 2015!

Post-Release Q&A

Will new game modes be introduced? Will all updates be released for free? When can you expect new AI characters? What features and characters will return from Crusader 1? Will there be new single player missions? We either directly answer these questions or tease responses to them in the new video, which is brought to you direct from the (very cold) Firefly London office. We hope you enjoy the developer diary style update and the shiny nuggets of detail contained therein.

Want to know more about our next update? Then you’ll want to stay tuned… The Crusader team will be posting an announcement later this week with plenty of detail about our next update for the game.

Until then!

7 comments Read more

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

11 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
26 of 36 people (72%) 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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6 of 8 people (75%) 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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8 of 13 people (62%) found this review helpful
56.4 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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
Crashes all the time. Nothing to do with my computer, just the game itself is way to buggy.
Way too many glitches. I don't think I'll get to see this game getting fixed.
Too many flaws to fix, just like Stronghold 3.
Anyways time to uninstall................
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 28
If you enjoyed stronghold crusaders 1 then dont buy this game, honestly it will kill the whole amazing easy experiance of stronghold crusaders, this game is a sorry follow up from a very amazing game.
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3 of 5 people (60%) 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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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
22.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
Well this game was a bit of a let down for me. I enjoyed playing the first one and bought this game when it came out. It felt just like playing the orignal. All that has changed is the graphics and slight gameplay tweaks that were problematic in the original. Other then that its exactly the same game. Only their are more people playing this one in multiplayer but I am sure that will die out as their is little that is enticing to the repetative gameplay. Key bindings is a huge downfall I really would like to customize my key bindings to optimize my gameplay but I have not figured out how. Its not in the options page (first place you would think to look...) If you like the first one and own it dont bother paying for this because its exactly like the first one. I have not played any multiplayer matches to me a game should hold its own in singleplayer and branch from there. Game is unpolished and lacks replayability. Overall 3/10 in my opinion
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5 of 9 people (56%) 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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10 of 19 people (53%) 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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11 of 21 people (52%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Until this feels like a complete game, I cannot in good conscience recommend it.
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3 of 6 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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2 of 4 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
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
i was hyped for this game
the game came out and it turns out a huge dissapointment i am sorry to say
the game feels like stronghold legends , the graphics are bad and look like 2008-ish
it is a good game thought but it wouldnt be worth buying unless it is on sale
other than that dont buy it.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
28.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 24
unfinished game not worth the 40 payed for it almost makes me never want to buy a stronghold game again
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4 of 8 people (50%) 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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5 of 10 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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7 of 14 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
Supreme Commander -> SC: Forged Alliance -> Supreme Commander 2.
Stronghold -> Stronghold: Crusaders -> Stronghold 2.

Same story all over again. Take a time proven concept for a great game and mangle it beyond recognition in an underwhelming effort of squelching the last few bucks out of a great franchise.

Seriously? A maximum of troops and buildings in multiplayer games? Still limited to 24 peasants in the recruitment pool? Way less options to customize your stronghold? Worse ballistics than Stronghold Crusaders which at least captured the feel of a volley of arrows where this game just... just... no.

PLayed HUNDREDS of hours with the original games. This is already getting on my nerves after half a dozen.

STAY AWAY FROM IT IF YOU LIKED CRUSADERS AND KEEP THE MEMORIES OF A GREAT GAME IN YOUR MIND. Or even better: Pick up the Original Crusaders. It´s better than this POS.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
236.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
I loved Stronghold Crusader 1 and I am addicted to Stronghold Crusaders 2! If you are into castle building and fighting off hordes of people then this is your game! The single player is decent and challenging, but it seems that the multiplayer community/gameplay lacks luster. However, Firefly seems to be very persistent in with developing additional DLC for this game to continue fan interest. Overall, if I would have to give this a fair score I would rate it as 8/10 as a Fan from the series and a 7/10 for someone who is just starting out with Firefly games.
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8 of 17 people (47%) found this review helpful
87.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
I'm a long Stronghold fan and this game needs some work. The single player skirmish mode is way too hard. The advantage to the computer player makes it impossible to win. I'm not sure what they were thinking here. Not everyone is an expert gamer. Get a grip on reality. You need to put a way for a player to manipulate starting gold, position, etc. Right now, it sucks. Sorry guys, but you kinda failed on this one. The game has potential but it's also screwed up in many ways. And I'm not even touching on all the little problems, like troops walking backwards.... you need to fix this or your game launch will be a failure.
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4 of 9 people (44%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
I had my hopes up for this release, given the screenshots that were shown and the promise to remain true to the original stronghold crusader. I thought this could be the one. Boy, was I wrong. Once again, Firefly Studios has managed to let down their fan base. Do not buy this. A big waste of money.
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