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 (2,128 reviews) - 63% of the 2,128 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 22, 2014

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Includes an extra copy of Stronghold Crusader 2 - Gift it to a friend!

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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 (25)

November 24

November Update

Version - 1.0.22449
Size - 13.7MB

We have just released a small update for Stronghold Crusader 2 addressing a few issues. We are also planning to release another update before Christmas, this will include our final map pack for the game.

Bug Fixes
  • Pathfinding optimisations.
  • Added tooltips to in-game shields.
  • Improved movement and usability of Oil Tippers.
  • Fixed Friend / Invite Only lobbies kicking players out.
  • Fixed certain actors that are not allowed on towers warping onto them if they were standing on the ground where a tower is placed. These now warp to the side instead.
  • Improved movement and placement of troops on wall buildings such as Stairs and Barracks.
  • Grid overlay in Map Editor no longer appears red everywhere outside the Player 1 estate.
  • Fixed siege equipment and mounted units that were unable to move onto bridges.
  • Fixed issue preventing publishing to Steam Workshop from the Map Editor.
  • Fixed a bug where player resource production would decrease in larger skirmish games. Thanks FireRanger!
Thanks for your support and we hope you enjoy today's update!

Discuss the new update: Change Log

Please Note: This update should download automatically when you launch the Steam client. To confirm whether or not the download was successful please check the version number displayed in the bottom left corner of the main menu screen when launching Stronghold Crusader 2.

If the number displayed is not 1.0.22449 please restart Steam until the update downloads.

3 comments Read more

November 6

Ultimate Edition Out Now

Ultimate Edition, Final DLC and Daily Deal

Stronghold Crusader 2: Ultimate Edition

If you’ve been holding out then today is a good day! Out now on Steam at 33%, the Ultimate Edition of Crusader 2 comes with all four character pack DLCs and a second copy of the base game to gift to a friend. All Special Edition content is also included and we’ve even added the previous pre-order exclusive ‘Delivering Justice’ and ‘Freedom Fighters’ bonus mini-campaigns, along with several exclusive in-game shields.

'The Jackal & The Khan’ DLC

Included in our final AI character pack, The Jackal and The Khan have arrived in the desert seeking to wipe any trace of your existence from the desert sands. Fighting with greater tactical nuance and relentlessness than previous AI lords, The Jackal and The Khan are a worthy challenge indeed. Even the most seasoned Stronghold players may find their hearts racing and palms sweating as they battle across nine Skirmish Trail missions.

Steam Sale

To celebrate the launch of Stronghold Crusader 2: Ultimate Edition all Crusader 2 items on Steam have been discounted! This weekend’s Daily Deal offer will last for the next 48 hours, ending on Sunday November 8th at 18:00 GMT, while our launch discount on 'The Jackal & The Khan' will last one week:

15 comments Read more


“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

Ultimate Edition

  • Stronghold Crusader 2: Special Edition – Includes digital art book, soundtrack and a copy of Stronghold Crusader HD.
  • Stronghold Crusader 2 – One extra copy to gift to a friend!
  • Four DLC Packs – Do battle with The Pig, The Jackal, The Templar and more across 30 single player missions.
  • Bonus Mini-Campaigns – ‘Delivering Justice’ and ‘Freedom Fighters’.
  • New Shields – Take the fight online with 10 unique coat of arms designs.

Featured DLC

Their horsemen ride like thunder across the plain, like the kings of old! The Jackal and The Khan DLC introduces two warlords destined to lead their forces across the wilds of the desert plain. Outcasts forced to survive on their wits and the loyalty of their men, both are nomads in their own way with the animalistic Khan and fearless Jackal representing the ultimate challenge for Stronghold players.

The final character pack DLC for Stronghold Crusader 2, The Jackal and The Khan adds nine new missions, two AI opponents, ten achievements, five custom in-game shields and multiple castle designs unique to these new Lords.

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 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 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.
Helpful customer reviews
399 of 428 people (93%) found this review helpful
57 people found this review funny
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
***Die-hard fans of the Stronghold series, please read this review before making your purchase. You won't regret it.***

As a long time fan of the Stronghold series, this game was such a let down. Yes, it is *technically* a Stronghold game, and it technically is the sequel to Crusader, but overall it is not even close to being on par with the rest of the series.

--First, the Good--

At its core, the concept of Stronghold is still the same here. You'll start off building a settlement, gathering resources via a supply chain, ultimately crafting weapons to arm a force of soldiers.

There are familiar units: Archers, Macemen, Crossbowmen (Crusader). Horse Archers, Slaves, Assassins(Arabic) well as some new ones, including the Healer and many other Arabic mercenaries not previously seen. You can build walls, towers, siege weapons and all sorts of defense mechanisms for keeping the black knight at bay.On top of that, many familiar faces return, such as The Rat, Richard the Lionheart and more.

The game is, of course, a 3d Model game, bringing the Crusader series at least one generation ahead.

And...that's about it. Honestly. If you were a fan of the original series, it may warm your heart to actually have some new Stronghold content to play with, but there really isn't anything new and exciting here.

--Now, the Bad...where do I begin?--

First of all, the game is somewhat broken. There are plenty of times where characters models won't animate, and it's not uncommon for characters to simply float across the map in the standard model "christ pose" without any animation. Even the oxen who carry the stone in the game would freeze when moving on an angle. Stone walls are another mess. Too often, staircases would end up with a wall piece right in the middle of them, creating a strange unrealistic graphical error. These are only some of the visual phenomenen that occur while playing.

That brings me to another issue...wall building. Not only do walls cost way too much in this game, but there is pretty much no room for creativity when building your castle. In the original/Crusader 1, you had so much control over every little aspect of your wall design. You could build walls of all different heights, staircase pieces, granulated walls all down to the very last square. This gave us castle builders so much of a blank canvas that virtually anything was possible if we knew how to use those pieces the right way.

In Crusader 2, 90% of the wall building is done for you when clicking. A wall piece is pre-built for you to include parapits on one side, a wall space, and parapits on the opposite side. You can no longer just build a simple piece of stone wall, the basic building block (almost literally) of the original series' castle building element. Sure, you can add towers and all kinds of siege weaponry, but the fun and joy of really creative a keep down to the last detail is completely lost here.

The cost of walls adds to another huge gripe with this game...balance. It's my understanding that a patch has re-balanced some of the economy issues, but the game is still WAY too unbalanced when trying to get your city up and running. Too often I find myself running out of resources right at the beginning of a match, even when set to give myself a huge advantage over my AI counterparts. For example, a windmill in this game costs 200 wood. In the original? 20. So it costs literally 10 times as much here. That would be fine, except woodcutters don't harvest 10 times as much wood here. They harvest roughly the same amount as before.

This leads to a TON of waiting around to gather resources right from the git-go of any match. Sure, there was always that element in the original (as with any RTS), but there is a considerable difference here. I feel like I'm not getting anywhere, even though I have what would otherwise be the basics of a civilization in place.

Ah, civilization...a thriving, breathing melting pot of people going about their daily lives, each contributing to their society in their own way, all while maintaining their own unique personality...yeah, Stronghold Crusader 1 was a fantastic game. Say goodbye to that here.

I mean, get to see the workers doing what they do in 3D, but it's not the same. Peasants say NOTHING when you click on them. No Monty Python-esque man impersonating a woman "morning your lordship!" or "no taxes is good taxes, that's my motto!", just silence. No adding flowers, maypoles, dancing bears, gauntlets, guillotines, stretching racks...good/bad popularity control is just gone.

Speaking of voices (ha), this might be one of the most dissapointing aspects of Crusader 2, and I honestly didn't see it coming.

The voice acting in this game is TERRIBLE. I mean that in every sense of the word. I have friends who can do cooky voices that would have been better candidates.

A great example is the men-at-arms. Remember the way they sounded in Stronghold 2? They were dopey lummixes, and rightfully so given their rank. Or how about their original counterpart, the spearmen? They were rough, working class fighters ready to stick a spear in whatever you tell them to.

Here's what I want you to do: We're gonna do a test. I want you to read the next sentence I say in quotes out loud. Don't use any exciting voice, or cooky impersonation, or anything. Use your normal speaking voice. Ready? Okay, say this out loud:

"Man at arms, ready. Close ranks."

Congratulations! You've just landed a gig providing voice over work for a video game!

The level of enthusiasm in these vocal takes can only be described as the bare minimum. Without trying to be funny, I've found myself honestly wondering if they simply had one of the programmers provide voices. As annoying as he was, we all have to admit that at least The Rat had a memorable personality. His voice has now been replaced with some Joe Everyguy off the street. You'll forget him as soon as you end the game.

To be fair, I need to point something else out, though, about the voice over work, and that's that there are a lot of recycled vocal takes from previous games. Archers still sound like archers, crossbowmen like crossbowmen, etc. However, it's about 50/50 as far as which characters use the classic voices, and which use Joe Everyguy.

It might sound petty to be so bitter about this, but as (I'm assuming, since you've read this far) you are a die-hard Stronghold fan, then you KNOW how important the voices are to this series. They are the character, the personality and the life of the game! They're what make you feel like you are controlling living, breathing people of all different sorts, whose lives hang at your fingertips!

The original games did all of that in spades, and they weren't even 3D rendered!

--The Bottom Line--

I haven't played much of this game, but I'm fairly confident that won't change. I could go on forever about the other issues that are impossible to ignore (such as the buildings and terrain feeling like they're from two different games), but I feel I've beaten my own horse to death here.

From what I gather, a team of less than 10 people programmed this game. I don't mean this review as offense to them specifically. They created a game, like they said they would. They accomplished something that I, of course, haven't...but it's almost like giving credit to Nickelback. I may hate their music, but at the end of the day they're creating albums and I'm sitting behind my keyboard judging people.

That being said, it doesn't mean that I have to LIKE Nickelback.

That was a bad way to end this review. Sorry to take a punch at an easy target.

Judge me all you want for that, just please don't buy this game. It's something you can't take back.

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288 of 386 people (75%) found this review helpful
437 people found this review funny
28.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 11
I smashed every enemy woodcutter hut, burned every farm, destroyed every mine, ground every hovel into the dust, then as I basked in the glory of my victory and gloated over my fallen foe laughing as my archers cut down every single peasent that dared set foot outside the keep I was horrified to see all the building instantly rebuilt from nothing. How was this possible when they had nothing left to build with?

Truly it was a miracle and that was when I accepted Jesus into my heart.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
252 of 360 people (70%) found this review helpful
20 people found this review funny
66.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
Short Version
I have finally gotten my hands on a copy of this medieval RTS Simulation game after it being wishlisted since its initial pre-release announcement. The reviews have been a mixed bag of tricks from the start so I wanted to give Firefly Studios plenty of time to bang out any kinks in the ol' armor before launching my assault and possibly bludgeoning this game into fragmented code. After a lengthy (and sometimes exhausting) battle, the dust has settled and as my gaze reflects upon the still-burning fires, the blood-soaked desert sands, and the rubbled remains of what once was a towering and majestic castle, I muster up the strength to utter a few last words with my last breath fading away - "I strongly recommend this game..."

Ok, so why the mixed reviews?
A couple of reasons. First, this is an expensive game even after being released for almost a year. Not uncommon for many AAA titles, but let's face it - this is Steam and the majority of Steam users are known for pinching pennies and expecting everything on the cheap. Not totally unreasonable and for those who pay the hefty full price for this game, I understand why there may be some mixed feelings about it. The game is good, has a lot to offer, and is entertaining. But at the same time, there are a few bugs and issues in it still and don't appear to be getting fixed any time soon. They aren't necessarily being ignored though and Firefly Studios is still actively working on the game and new content for it. Keep in mind, Stronghold Crusader 2 is a AAA title and its normal for periodical updates to be released as major patches that address many things at once rather than a multitude of weekly updates that may address one specific element as seen with smaller indie-type games.

Many gamers who have played the original Stronghold Crusader before grabbing this long awaited sequel have been openly critical because the graphics are only slightly improved after more than a decade. Stronghold Crusader is very similar to the original, in fact, almost identical at first glance. But there are some differences - new units (and special abilities added to others), a modified economic system, a change in the housing dynamic, co-op mode for multiplayer games, an automated purchase/sell system added to the market, weather/natural disaster random events, some new AI characters (and more planned as future DLC), troop formations added and improved, and a few other changes or removed content from the original (such as the removal of moats and feasts). However, for the most part, Stronghold Crusader 2 is identical to its predecessor at a much loftier price so it draws a lot of criticism for this. So why would I give this game my recommendation?

I review games individually based on their own content and whether they offer up gaming enjoyment to its players. This game is a lot of fun and has plenty to offer. The graphics are 3-D, unlike the original Crusader game. They will not leave you with that "wow" feeling, but they are still solid and detailed for a real-time strategy sim. The soundtrack to this game is a harmonic masterpiece that injects the player with a true sense of the environment and time period. There are several different game modes and each of them offer a numerous amount of gameplay. Hundreds of hours can be spent playing without ever trying out each one. There are a multitude of buildings that can be built and a nice variety of units available. A map editor has been included for easily creating and sharing your own designs with the Steam Community. And don't forget the most popular feature - Castle Building. This is what really makes the crusader series so great. Its one of the best castle building systems in gaming and while slightly different from previous versions, it still performs smoothly and allows for simple and fun creativity to give your kingdom its own personal touch.

Gameplay Basics
In Stronghold Crusader 2 players will need to gather resources for building structures, creating weapons to train armed units, and produce enough food to support the populus. Fortifying your base is an important aspect as well, so players will want to protect their kingdom with castle walls and defensive structures like towers and traps. Naturally, you will need an army to defend your kingdom and attack your opponents. Each troop type requires specific weapons or armor to be crafted first and also have a price in gold. Gold can be earned by collecting taxes or by selling excess goods on the market. Troops can also be purchased from a mercenary post with gold. Governing your kingdom is very basic. It is based on overall happiness and there are several ways players can influence this statistic positively or negatively. To claim victory you must simply defeat all of the opposing lords on the map.

Game Modes
Stronghold Crusader 2 is packed full of gameplay content offered in a variety of game modes to ensure countless hours of entertainment. They include single player, co-op and multiplayer options. There are a variety of customization settings available to adjust the level of difficulty a player wishes to encounter, configure for team play, and map selection (in some cases). Computer AI players can be substituted or added in place of additional human players and each AI character has its own habits, strengths, and weaknesses that also influence how challenging the game will be.

Learning Campaigns - Tutorial campaigns that play out as a campaign while progressively teaching the game's concepts.
Skirmish Trails - A chain of skirmishes versus AI characters that increase in difficulty as you progress.
Custom Skirmish - Up to 8 players and team play. Players can be human or AI. Custom settings including map selection.
Sandbox - Build your mighty kingdom in peace and without fear of being attacked from any opponents.
Multiplayer - Players can either join a server from the list or host their own game and can be played individually or as teams. There is also a simple in-game text chat available by pressing "Enter."
Community Maps - Skirmish maps designed by the Steam Community.

The Good:
+ Challenging gameplay
+ Solid 3-D graphics
+ Excellent soundtrack and quality voice acting
+ Simple controls and a smooth user interface
+ Beginner's tutorial included
+ Multiple customization settings
+ Variety of game types available
+ Many distinctive units with their own abilities/uses
+ Nice selection of buildings and resources
+ Great castle building system
+ Custom map editor included
+ Steam Trading Cards & Achievements
+ Some DLC content added for free
+ Continued development and support post-release
+ No heavy CPU strain for systems mid-range or above

The Bad:
- Very expensive at full price
- Still contains some minor bugs. (Not game breaking)
- The graphics are stale and unimpressive for modern gamers
- Updates are periodic so fixes and improvements are not quickly available

Final Thoughts:
Stronghold Crusader 2 is a very entertaining medieval RTS castle-building simulation that is packed with gameplay and will continue to get better with time as more content is added. However, it does come at a considerable price. I recommend this game to all RTS lovers, but if you're on a tight gaming budget then i would wishlist it and wait for a sale. In the meantime, you might also consider buying the original Stronghold Crusader game to get a taste of the crusader experience.

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Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
151 of 211 people (72%) found this review helpful
119 people found this review funny
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
- Sound is recycled from the original Stronghold, which is 14 years old.
- Soldiers will not obey your commands, most of the time forgetting what they were told and rushing off to do something entirely different after 20 seconds. It's like herding cats.
- Clicking is very fiddly
- Campaign is extremely short and uninspired.

+ Steam now allows refunds
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49 of 61 people (80%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
I honestly want to get into this game. As a kid both my brother and I put 1000 plus hours into SC1 easily so you could say we are big fans. The whole game just feels clunky and the entire possibility of running your own castle and making it a happy or horrid place to live in is totally gone. The game shifted towards more rts style and the graphics were better off as sprites in the old games. Sadly I wont be able to get any nostalgia (or my money's worth) out of this unpolished, glitchy, foul turd. The only reason I bought it was to support FireFly Studios with the hopes that eventually they go back to the old style or ammend this F***ery by pumping out a SC1 expantion pack to take me back to chewing through a whole quench gum tin in a single game against 7 Wolfs.
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