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 (47 reviews) - 65% of the 47 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mixed (3,565 reviews) - 59% of the 3,565 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 (47 reviews)
Mixed (3,565 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
24 of 30 people (80%) 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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13 of 15 people (87%) 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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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
And somehow all the ratings for my review is gone. Wellplayed Firefly!

I am sorry the language i use here but i hope it got the devs attentions and i just want another true Stronghold game to be made again!

PLEASE DO NOT BUY THIS GAME, from Humble Bundle for 6 EUR i got this game and about 7-8 other games including Prison Architech which is of great value. Basicly i spent 0.6 EUR for this game and i am still having a bit of a regret. Why ?

This review is for the ones who played and love the old Stronghold Crusader and still wonder if you should return to the beloved franchise with Crusader 2 ! If you are new to the stronghold franchise and only played stronghold since Stronghold 2, this is not the review you should read.

Now i only played this game for 7.2hrs and some might say it's not enough to judge the game but for me it's enough to compare it with Crusader 1.

Let's start with the cons first:

- The game was released on Sep 23, 2014 . I did not buy it despite being a huge stronghold fan because It simply does not worth the asking price and the graphic was bad and there was way way too many bugs. Two years later, you would expect the devs to spent the last 2 years polishing the game right ? Nope!

- The graphic is still very very bad: Do not believe those beautiful screenshots, the game does not look that nice in action.

- The game is still poorly optimized: Having a high-end pc and the game still have this drops from 60fps to 30-40 every 5-7 mins. (auto save can cause that too but i already disable it)

- The camera control is awful: you move using the WASD key and you would expect to rotate the camera using the middle mouse or maybe Q or E ? NOPE! hold Alt+A/D to rotate! Who does that really ? It's akward as hell!

- Remember the knights that you hate, the ones your friends used to rush and use them to mow down your buildings while you hopelessly defend with a few weak archer with no way to pierce those thick armours ? well do not worry cuz Firefly got your back, knights are now useless since they do not know how to destroy a building.

-I use to love having Horse archer as a horde of 100 or 200 just run 2 rounds around enemy's castle and just kill everyone. It's pure fun. But i guess Firefly figure since it's Crusader 2.0 they have make it feel different in order to be "True to its roots ". How? Well horse archer are slow as hell now and the 100 or 200 horde is now pretty much useless with their poor accuracy or maybe because archers can never miss while they are on walls now ?

- Remember that clank sound when your fletcher put a new bow in your armoury? Remember when you could see those small weapons stash inside the building and the fun seeing them stack up for your troops ? Well they are gone!

- Remember when you change the tax rate each peasant would react to it when you click on them? Or just a simple " Mornin ur lordship!" ? Well they are GONE!

- In crusader 1 you can use Fear Factor to affect your peasants, you make them happy with decors around your stronghold, they are happier, doing less work but buff 25% hp of your troops or you scare the living hell of of them with those torture devices, forcing them to work 200% output but suffer the -25% troop hp debuff. Well it's gone too!
That system allows me 2 play style, 1 is the GOOD lord who LOVES his peasants, who make money by heavy taxing and even that out by making his people happy and love him and get that +25% Hp or be cruel, forcing 200% output labours and make money through selling goods. When you stock up on Armour, stone, Iron after 200 units or so you can sell them for more money. Well in Crusader 2 you can stock up 1000 and the price stays the same. So the only way to play is to kiss your peasants a#¤, make them happy and tax them. That's it, make money by taxing.

- The thing that makes me stick to Crusader for 100+ hrs is its AI, they have personality, they are fun to fight against, they make you curse their name while they mow down your castle. Well this game introduce AIs both old and new and none of them, I REPEAT, NONE OF THEM are fun to play with. The iconic Pig character is now locked behind a paid DLC. Really Firefly ? REALLY ? HAVE YOU GUYS CHECKED OUT THE RECENT COSSACK 3? It's the remake of their original COSSACK 1 and GUESS WHAT ?! THEY WILL PROVIDE PLAYER WITH 8......... that's right EIGHT free-LC nations for player to play with and you... you have the guts to ask us to pay 5 euros for 2 AIs ? REALLY ? Do you remember Marshal? The Sherriff ? Those free AI that you gave us on your websites all those years ago ? Are you guys too greedy now ?

- New units are fun to play with, I like the Ranger at lot but those new ones with AOE effects, it's not stronghold anymore .................. Say what you want about Laddermens and Seige Tower, but WHY WHY WHY would you left them out of the GAME ? Are you trying to ecourage the 20 catapult mow down anything strat ?

-It's not a castle sim anymore . Instead it's a fast-paced RTS mix with a bit with castle sim.

- And the economy is still unbalanced, after 2 years, wow, bravo you have out done yourself. Lets make this simple calculation between Crusader 1 and 2. Wood cutter hut and Wood camp, they both output the same amout of planks. In Crusader 1 you need 20 planks for a Mill, that number is x10 in Crusader 2. WOW. JUST WOW. I spend 10' early game struggling with woods, I never have to do that in Crusader 1...................

-Where are my drunken peasants ?

- Where is my patrolling headless knight ?

- "Here lies the poor bones of..." yeah that's gone too!

- You introduce the bulk traning in stronghold legend and now you went "True to its roots" by removingthat system ?
Really ?

- Buildings limits , Unit caps at 1000. Every stronghold have unit caps, Crusader have that too at about 2000+ but this means that if you try 1v7 AIs, you cannot win because you cannot scale your economy when your wood stock ran low all the time and it limits your building to 50.......... "BUT IT'S Strategy".............................for unit yes you have to plan your attack with only 125 troops at hand but really it's just to hide your engine limitation.

-Also, your troops have brain dead AI............... I tried the good old destroy-their-gate-rush-100 swordmans. Guess what, even when you set the stance to Agressive, when you ask them to charge to the top of the keep, they simply walk down to destroy the buildings below only to get shot down by archers on the wall. It's suppose to be a keep rush. "Well turn off the agressive stance" you might argue, i tried that, and my swordmans just stare The Wolf in the face 1cm away from him "just w8 till the player turn agressive stance on you old man!"

- And the list goes on............

The pros:
- Havok Phyx (MUCH WOW).

- It's in glorious 3D.

- The tower shakes a bit when you hit it with a boulder.

- "True to its roots "(bull"#¤t)

- You can manage your economy easier now, you know how much your people eat per day and how much you make per day so you can balance that out. It's really neat.

- The Church service system help buff your popularity though it's been there since Crusader 1, it's just more consistent now.

- That's it, I cant really point out any good thing about this game....................

Please Firefly, you tried with Stronghold 2, You experiment with Legend, You failed with Stronghold 3 and blaming the publisher, You self-publish the game now and is it any better ? NOPE!.

I do not know what is your plan for 2017 but please return to the TRUE ROOT, not the crappy "True to its roots " above.

Check out how they are doing it with Cossack 3, they are commited, they respect their fans.

A simple Crusader Remasted to 3D. That's all i ask, not Stronghold 4 nor Legend 2 nor Crusader 3. Nope!
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8 of 12 people (67%) 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
6 of 9 people (67%) 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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7 of 11 people (64%) 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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7 of 12 people (58%) 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...
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
33.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
Got this game through humble bundle , Ive been a big fan of the series , avoided stronghold 3 due to reviews , wanted to give this a try but refused to pay full price . I would definetly say this game is not as bad as everyone is making it out to be , but i would not pay more then 10$ for this game .
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
i like the first one better, but its still a good game
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recently Posted
4.9 hrs
Posted: October 25
The game has a lot of nice visuals, but it doesn't make up for poor game handling, opaque systems, and a campaign where even after pushing deep into the enemy base, their units can spawn behind you. Further, without a means to heal your units, there's no point in unit rotation from the front ... use them until they die ... which deminishes the value of high cost units.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Error.exe.Sans G.E.W.P M.V.M.F.R
10.8 hrs
Posted: October 24
Very good game all that needs tweaking is troop health and money gain
Helpful? Yes No Funny
26.8 hrs
Posted: October 23
I got it whilst it was on sale and i gotta say: it was worth its money THEN.
While it is a good game, it needs more content. I was dissapointed by lack of troop diversity as well as AI diversity.
While there are many AI characters, their difficulty has a huge gap. Half of them are pushovers whilst the others are a constant uphill battle.
The game has a decently sized campaign though, which was alot of fun but slightly repetitive towards the end.
Not worth the $50 it currently is, but still a good game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Saint Aaron
13.2 hrs
Posted: October 23
I really enjoyed the stronghold series. I like playing this one just because i like trying to beat the game and all the missions but for some reason i am not enjoying this one more than the first stronghold crusader. You are missing features the old one had but it does add new features such as physics and new troops. BUt what really gets me is the selling your items is a rip off and the enemy AI always starts with siege equipment. Makes the game kinda unfair but if you can see right past those errors you will enjoy this game. In my opinion the first one is WAY BETTER!!

Steam workshop
graphics are nice
new mercenary troops, like healer, flame pot thrower, slavedrive
New physics
can take small villages
Online multiplayer through steam

Ai Unbalanced
DLC too overpriced for what shouldve been inn game
Missing things from the first one: No laddermen, seige towers, moats, and engineers!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.1 hrs
Posted: October 22
Helpful? Yes No Funny
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
31.1 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.
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Lord Arthur, Purger of Infidels
9.1 hrs
Posted: October 15
We must retake the holy lands from those infidels.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
13.5 hrs
Posted: October 15
the soundtrack is worth more than the game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny