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. Crusader 2 recaptures the original game’s addictive, fast-paced gameplay and authentic castle simulation.
User reviews:
Mixed (43 reviews) - 69% of the 43 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mixed (3,558 reviews) - 59% of the 3,558 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 22, 2014

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“Crusader 2 is a triumphant evolution of the game that they've held dear for the last twelve years.”
8/10 – GameWatcher

“Minecraft power-users will marvel at the sophistication and visual clarity of its castle-building engine.”
8/10 – Empire

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

Special Edition

  • 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

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!

  • 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/7/8/10 with latest service packs
    • Processor: Intel Core2 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
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • OS: Windows Vista/7/8/10 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
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: This is the minimum spec recommended for hosting a multiplayer game.
Customer reviews
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Mixed (43 reviews)
Mixed (3,558 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
20 of 22 people (91%) found this review helpful
131.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
Stronghold Crusader 2 is the latest entry in Firefly Studios’ castle-building RTS franchise, which began way back in 2001 with the original Stronghold. I haven’t played all of the Stronghold games — in fact, I don’t think I’ve played one since 2005’s Stronghold 2 — but from what I can tell, not much has changed. Most of the game mechanics remain the same, but many options have been removed to make the game sleeker and easier to play, which not coincidentally coincides with Firefly’s desire for the game to be more about quick multiplayer skirmishes than long castle defenses.

In Stronghold Crusader 2 like in the other Stronghold games, you have to run a castle. You lord over peasants who perform the necessary jobs, but they’re not just mindless drones. You have to keep them happy by providing them with housing, food, ale, and / or religious services, and the happier you make them, the more you can tax them. Taxes are your main source for gold, which you need for recruiting soldiers to join your army. You also have to quarry stone for castles, wood for buildings, and iron for weapons.

The economic models for the Stronghold games are more complex than you usually see in an RTS, and they involve lots of buildings and moving parts. In Stronghold Crusader 2, there are over 30 types of buildings, from fletchers to dairy farms to churches, and they give you numerous options for how to build your castle. For example, when feeding your people, do you opt for apple orchards which are quick and cheap but inefficient, or do you go for bread which requires wheat farms, mills, and bakeries, and which takes longer to set up?

There are also nearly 30 types of military units you can use, from archers to knights to the new “wolf” ballista. Do you go offensive and take the battle to your enemies, or do you sit back and defend? And do you take the time to construct the weapons necessary for your troops, or do you just hire more expensive mercenaries? I always like it when games give me options, and the various Stronghold incarnations have always provided that in spades.

So how does Stronghold Crusader 2 differ from Stronghold Crusader? Mostly it’s in the focus of the game. The original Stronghold Crusader was a slower-paced mostly single-player game where you built and defended castles. There were some castle assaults included, but they didn’t work very well, and they were a rarity. Now in Stronghold Crusader 2, the game is all about multiplayer skirmishes. The pace is much faster, the interface is easier to deal with (in particular it’s now much easier to check and adjust peasant happiness, tax rates, and things of that nature), and there is more of a balance between attacking and defending. In fact, while Stronghold Crusader 2 has a pair of campaigns, they’re “learning campaigns,” and they’re about as fun as they sound. Instead, the bulk of the gameplay is devoted to six “skirmish trails” where you fight 24 skirmish battles against AI players, including longtime opponents the Rat and the Wolf.

I was completely unenthusiastic about Stronghold Crusader 2 after completing its campaigns, which took me only a few hours. But then I tried out the skirmish trails, and surprisingly that changed my opinion. The nice thing about the skirmishes is that you almost always start out in a bad position (such as at the bottom of a valley with no resources) against multiple opponents, and so what you have to do right away is build and defend your castle, which makes the skirmishes a little like playing the original Stronghold games.

Each skirmish is sort of a puzzle where you have to figure out a building strategy that will allow you to survive and thrive, and I enjoyed that part of the game. The problem is that once you get your castle running, actually defeating your opponents is sort of a tedious grind, especially since the enemy AI isn’t great. Computer players are good about running their economy (and they cheat a lot, which no doubt helps), but they’re hopeless at running their military, frequently attacking you with the same force from the same position over and over again.

The thing that surprised me the most about Stronghold Crusader 2 is how many things got taken out of the game. There are no longer feasts or jousting tournaments, your peasants no longer commit crimes or catch diseases, siege units like laddermen and engineers were removed, European castles only get three types of towers, you no longer have to resupply catapults or trebuchets with stone, you no longer have to expand granaries or the stockpile and more. Usually sequels go in the opposite direction, adding lots of new things, but for some reason Firefly went back to the basics here. Some of the removals make perfect sense, but why would you remove castle and siege options in a game about building and attacking castles? That just seems bizarre.

Stronghold Crusader 2 also has a handful of unfortunate problems. It’s possible to have permanent fires start up in your castle, which can ruin your game if it occurs along a path that your peasants take. You can order your soldiers to attack something, but instead they’ll just attack whatever gets in their way, which is annoying when you’re trying to take down a trebuchet or some other specific unit. If you order your troops to attack-move, then your melee soldiers will do just that but your archers will move until they attack something and then they’ll stop, which makes it difficult to keep your troops together and assault castles.

But overall, even with the problems, I still sorta kinda enjoyed my time with Stronghold Crusader 2. I didn’t like it as much as the original Stronghold, but it has castle building and defending, it’s easy to play, it looks and sounds fine, and everything works reasonably well. As long as you don’t mind that the game doesn’t really have a campaign and instead relies on skirmishes, then it can provide you with a worthwhile gaming experience.
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54 of 85 people (64%) found this review helpful
23 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
If a game has an achievement for buying four DLCs, I cannot take it seriously.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
I loved the first version of the game but I'm struggling to enjoy this at all. The AI is cheap as hell. They instantly build everything and attack. Then to top it off they generally have a major resource, gold, and map advantage. I got this as part of a bundle and even I feel I paid too much for it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
31.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
just play age of empires 2 HD. its alot cheaper and overall a way better game...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
29.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
Game is pure crap compare to stronghold crusader 1,on High end pc I have low fps after 30min of playing which is ♥♥♥♥,there is no half things as in first crusader...Only good thing is stockpile and granary!There is no option when you press "Space" to build walls and buildings easier...If you play skirmish on normal they will attack you in first 2 minutes,the saddest thing is that there is no "water" digging :( .Only people who didn't play stronghold 1 can enjoy this game.Don't waste money on this!
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
The npc's waddle around like they were punched in their nethers.
The graphics look like they're from a decade ago, the portraits from 1990
Im happy to see my buildings burn down due to how ugly they are.
The AI is terribly unbalanced but is dumb enough to aim for the strongest part of your defenses.

Castle adequete.
Least it starts...unlike stronghold 3.

All in all: nutpunch/10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
A real letdown of a game that also has the balls to have so much DLC. Everything feels so much slower, unbalanced, and just plain lacking compared to the first stronghold and crusader games. Some buildings cost an unreasonable amount and produce so slowly. An easy tactic is to just use mercs and wreck those buildings early on, crippling your enemy for good. Woodcutter camps cost wood to build. Anyone see a problem with that? There isn't much in the sense of castle defenses either. Hoardings are insanely expensive, there are no logs to drop and take advantage of physics, build space tends to be tiny, you can't place siege weapons on big towers anymore (they're a fragile automated tower unit now), some units are insanely strong... it's just a real mess.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 23
I loved the original Crusader and got this game for 5$ through Humble Bundle. When it comes to changes, I like that the villagers are just moved when you try to build on top of them and that you don't have to build 50 churches and 20 inns to get a nice popularity boost, while having high population. Everything else was changed for the worse though, so while I think original Crusader is worth 10$, this one isn't even good for 5.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 1
Happy i got it in the humble bundle.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
I loved the old Stronghold games! Hence I thought I might give this one a shot as I got it in a bundle. Not the best reviews, but whatever.
After playing the tutorials I am very disappointed. The game looks a bit weird. Lots of clipping failures around the trees, the buildings and units are not given as much love as in the previous games. Okay.. not too bad, I can live with that.. But the game also runs very bad. Not only does it feel kinda odd, but the units are "lagging" all the time, disappearing only to reappear somewhere near. That is just bad. Also, nice feature to introduce formations, however even the first rome:total war did this way better years ago. I got this game almost for free, but it still disappoints :-( I should have listened to the other reviews, this game makes the whole series look bad.
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Recently Posted
1.0 hrs
Posted: October 19
Took me over an hour to get the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ to run, then i get it up and find out that, like most modern sequels it seems, it has less in it, runs worse, and looks worse than the original. Just play the first game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Morgan Jones
30.2 hrs
Posted: October 19
Happy i got it in the humble bundle. Not worth anything like £29,99 maybe £6.99 on a good day. Stronghold Crusader 2 does not live up to the original games. Multiplayer games often crash or desync. Base building is rather thoughtless. Does not seem like firefly studio made much effort or cared about making this a good game, rather I suspect it was more of a cash grab which is sad because it could have been so much more.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.5 hrs
Posted: October 16
Stronghold Crusader 2 is yet another attempt by Firefly Studios to capture the success of the old cult hits Stronghold and Stronghold Crusader. Yes, yet another - there have been three other installations that tried exactly that and failed hard. But as the old saying goes, third time's the charm... err, fourth time's the charm. Or, after the third time, a desert setting's the charm?

Not really.

The appeal of the original Stronghold and its standalone addon, Stronghold Crusader, was pretty clear. Unlike other RTS games at the time, it was very focused on style and believability, building a nice looking castle, seeing its populace bustle about as they produced goods. The block size for a wall was about 1x1m which was great for making highly individual castles.

Sadly the devs don't seem to understand that, and to my understanding, they've been trying to make the Stronghold games more like other RTS, at the expense of the small details that I loved the original games for.

Stronghold Crusader 2 is no exception for that. The block size for walls chunky, which doesn't exactly allow for sophisticated castle building. Towers don't seem to fit in very well. Many aspects were "gamified", defensive siege weapons for example work without a crew and are moving magically. Siege camps are built inside your castle instead of in front of the enemy, and immediately churn out catapults like in something like AoE. Also, many production chains were simplified.

Immersion took a second or third place to so-called "playability", perhaps to make it faster, more appealing to RTS fans.

Except those still won't touch this game with a 10 foot pole. The way units are produced, buildings are built, repairs are done instantly, the lack of fog of war and many of the other shortcomings just don't make for very good RTS gameplay.

For the rest of us, the whole immersion aspect went down the drain.

Personally, there is something else that quite annoys me about this game. Thing is, Stronghold Crusader was a standalone extension to Stronghold, which meant that a lot of aspects were simply copied over. For example, most buildings still had the same cost in wood, even though they're made of stone, which also makes more sense to use in a desert environment. Also, Arabian units felt very "tacked on", as they cost money instead of requiring weapons and armor. And even though the whole setting screams for two factions, all players had the same available buildings and units, with only the lord looking different.

Stronghold Crusader 2 not being an addon to anything else, I'd have expected it to fix these issues. But it didn't.

Furthermore, this game is a technical mess. There is no borderless windowed mode, no anti-aliasing. SSAO produces ugly scan lines all over the screen. Performance tanks once a game picks up some action. The AI is garbage, your allies will constantly demand goods from you from the first second. There are bugs all over the place, some that I noticed when it released 2 years ago. And with all that, it still has the graphics of an ancient game. Look at Company of Heroes and this, and tell me that one came out 8 years before the other.

Last but not least, I'd like to give a honorable mention to the completely horrendous art in the game's menus. The average 15 year old on DeviantArt could draw something better.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lord Arthur, Purger of Infidels
9.1 hrs
Posted: October 15
We must retake the holy lands from those infidels.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
5.4 hrs
Posted: October 15
the soundtrack is worth more than the game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Machoman Sam AKA Fetus Maximus
10.1 hrs
Posted: October 14
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.4 hrs
Posted: October 13
This game sucks.
My computer meet the recommanded Requirements and I have put the settings at low but the game stays below 20 fps.
Am I the only one who play the game at low fps ?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
139.1 hrs
Posted: October 11
the game is kick ♥♥♥ but the multiplayer is kinda crappy cant find a lobby
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.0 hrs
Posted: October 11
i love this game!!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.2 hrs
Posted: October 10
No, ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s
Helpful? Yes No Funny