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: Mostly Positive (689 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."


“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

“I started playing and before I knew it, it was six hours later.”
9/10 – DarkStation

“Building and destroying castles is just fun and neither the economy nor the battles overwhelm the game, allowing for a balance between the styles of play.”
8.8/10 – Gaming Nexus

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!

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
459 of 548 people (84%) found this review helpful
65.4 hrs on record
Stronghold Crusader 2 is the successor to the successful RTS castle simulation game of the same name from 2002, With a full skirmish mode supporting up to eight total players (including fan beloved AI bots) and all new castle co-op skirmish mode, Crusader 2 is your ticket to castle simulation paradise.

For new Stronghold players:

Stronghold Crusader 2 is a real time strategy game set during the crusades, it has a stronger focus on combat as the ingame economy has been streamlined from the other Stronghold games. You are charged to provide food and entertainment for your workers who, in turn, form the backbone of your economy. Mine Stone, extract pitch, farm wheat, or chop wood. Once your stockpile has a steady flow of raw goods you are ready to refine them into weapons, drink, or processed food types. A strong economy is mandatory to support an ever growing military.

On the militant side of the game you have one of the hallmarks of the Stronghold franchise, entirely modular defense system. The map has a grid superimposed upon it which is used to align and place structures. Each wall is placed piece by piece, every tower and gatehouse where you want them. Lay traps such as killing pits and pitch ditches for your enemies and garrison your archers atop your great towers. There are many defensive and offensive tactics to experiment with, sally forth and meet your enemy in the field or bring the fight to your castle and employ traps and tower mounted siege engines to your advantage.

In skirmish mode the base objective is to kill all enemy lords, although multiplayer games have a greater range of victory conditions. The single player campaign has custom objectives and scripted invasions/events. When Steam Workshop becomes available for Stronghold Crusader 2 players will be able to create and share their own skirmish maps and custom missions.

For existing Stronghold Crusader HD players:

The biggest difference players coming from Crusader HD will notice is the transition to a full 3D game engine. Many of the same units feature in both games but I'll make a note of where they differentiate. Crusader HD fans will also notice a simpler overall economy with many previously gimmicky mechanics streamlined or just removed.


The following times were recorded using the time it took an archer to traverse a flat terrain map and are done on the diagonal (corners: top left to bottom right). Stronghold Crusader 2 has an additional map size and all map sizes for Crusader HD use numbers to represent size (eg 200x200).

Stronghold Crusader HDStronghold Crusader 2
Map SizeTime in secondsMap SizeTime in seconds
400x400118Extra Large220


-Changed! Faith - churches now operate similar to the Granary and needs candles to operate which are built in the chandler's workshop.
-Changed! Inns have remained largely unchanged but you only need to place one inn now to cover your entire populace.
-Changed! The Stockpile, Granary, and Armory now have unlimited storage capacity meaning you only need to place one.
-Changed! Iron Mines now require an Ox Tether much like Stone Quarries
-Changed! The Market can now be set to auto sell goods when they reach a preset threshold.
-Changed! each weapon type requires it's own unique workshop.
-Changed! Tower mounted siege engines can not be placed on stone towers, they incorporate their own wooden tower.
-Removed! Hunter's Hut, replaced with Pig Farm
-Removed! Fear Factor has been removed, troops will no longer receive a malus or a boost based on your economy.
-Removed! While not exactly a building, moats do not feature in the game.


-New! Slave Driver - whips nearby slaves into a frenzy
-New! Healer - units within range slowly regenerate HP
-New! Whirling Dervish - a poorly armored melee unit with a strong first contact attack
-New! Sassanid Knight - light knight with special charge attack
-New! Ranger - proficient with both sword and bow but has poor range
-New! Sergeant-at-Arms - units within range receive a HP boost
-New! Conscript - basic weak units, no weapons required to recruit
-New! Hussite War Wagon - can station units inside, provides protection and mobility
-New! War Wolf - super catapult
-New! Burning Cart - creates fire on impact, triggers traps
-Changed! Spearman now called Man-at-Arms and can throw his spear
-Changed! Maceman only requires a mace to recruit now
-Changed! Knight now called Templar Knight and can fight mounted or on foot
-Changed! Fire Thrower renamed to Oil Pot Thrower
-Changed! Battering Ram - Can now only destroy Gatehouses
-Changed! Catapult - can no longer throw diseased animals
-Changed! Portable Shield renamed to Mantlet
-Removed! Slinger
-Removed! Ladderman
-Removed! Siege Tower
-Removed! Tunneller

Engineers are no longer recruited but automatically provided if required when recruiting siege engines. Also, due to the 3D engine many of the map tricks previously used to create eye candy are impossible but there are a fair selection of set pieces to add some much welcomed variety.

Note: for those wondering how to access the map editor, go to your steam library dropdown menu and elect to filter your library by Tools. The map editor should show up on the list of utilities as 'Stronghold Crusader 2 Map Editor'. After a small 2MB install you are ready to start map making.
Posted: September 22
Was this review helpful? Yes No
447 of 599 people (75%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
I am one of the stupid ones who got my hopes up after seeing reviews and hearing 'its the original game, but much improved with more additions bringing it up to date' ... and so i bought it.
What a mistake!
No laddermen
No seige towers
No moats
No engineers! to use, build or put into your seige equipment. This changes gameplay massively, as it used to take time to get decent wall defences, because you had to first build the engineers workshop, produce engineers, and build a big enough tower, then build a ballista/mangonel etc on it, and then put your engineers in them for them to function. Now i just buy a bloody ballista tower as soon as the game starts and it begins shooting longrange hail marys from the get go.
What about PIMPING my castle... **** in 2002 i could put flags and the likes around, not in this remake.
No EVIL / NICE system in the castle. Gone are the days of building dungeons and setting out heads on spikes to scare your populace ****less so you can tax them etc... this also kills gameplay in a big way, that was so much of the fun!
Have to agree with most of the other comments.. The WALLS come down like polysterene blocks, so effortlessly and quickly.
Maps are tiny, one of the only flaws in original also. but its 2014 youd think they could have fixed that!!! Makes it annoyingly irritating to have resources far from castle so you can NEVER fully have your castle emcompass everything. You are always rebuilding or defending your resource buildings out in the middle of nowhere.
No more leather armour
No info when you scroll over buildings etc
No more peasants saying provocative gestures when u click em
No tunneling men?? that ive seen
The AI keep repeating the same tripe over n over again, its 2014 ! get a heap of new sayings in there not just 1 or 2 !!!
AI is not improved, they do the same **** over n over again from what ive experienced.
Economy is broken. Just build candlestick maker buildings and sell them at market and basically dont have to build any other resource buildings cause you can buy goods at market from candlestick profits!

Ahh the list is endless.



Gameplay is not even as fun as original !!!!! :(
It starts to freeze up on any settings medium or higher... on ultra it sucks as soon as you have over 2 ai one one map.
Not my pc, i built a high specd rig with 4.8 eight core an 3g graphics card etc... poorly designed game. i run all other games on ultra no probs.

Ok, rant over.

Graphics not good, just ok. until it starts to freeze up.
Only cool thing was haybale launcher thingy.
So if your into firey haybales then fork over all your dough, otherwise DONT BUY !
I hope they fix this game but i highly doubt it !!!
Posted: September 25
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113 of 133 people (85%) found this review helpful
30.7 hrs on record
Please read on before simply accepting this as another "Yes" review, because this a very mixed opinion. First, I would like to clarify this is from the Point of view of someone who has been playing Stronghold since the first game came out, and has consistently played every single installment to near completion - Aside from Kingdoms, which is mediocre imho. Maybe you'll agree, maybe you won't - Anywho, this is how I felt.

The Good:
- Solid skirmish mode, much like older renditions of the game.
- Very old school Crusader vibe/feeling to it. Remake successful.
- All of the new units are interesting, aside from the slave driver - Which I don't care for.
- New Unit special abilities are cool and add depth without overpowering or ruining units.
- New Siege engines that are also interesting and for the most part useful.
- Resource caches, Lion Dens, Outposts are all neat additions to the old crusader formula.
- Varied AI characters like the original and a promise of DLC Lords in the future.
- Really like the "curtain walls." I was skeptical of them until I used them in a trail mission.
- Took the good things from SH3 while leaving out most of the bad things.
- Neutral territory reminds me of the old territory system of SHC.
- The new buildings (like the wooden barricades for example) are interesting.
- Genuinely enjoyable game with as much replay value as the original.
- New ally system where allies mood affects how willing they are to do your bidding.
- Departure of Free form SH3 buidlings. Return of efficient, grid-based building system.
- Better physics, especially in regards to arrows - which bounce off and break on walls.
- More realism, such as troops pulling out pick axes and tools to smash walls down.
- Beautiful destruction physics. I've gotten into trouble from watching castles go down.
- Unit costs fixed or improved (Assassins especially brought back to reasonable price!)
- Much simpler Editor than SH3, albeit still with as many options.
- Able to play as other lords, and even choose what your lord looks like in skirmish.
- Buildings change when playing Arabic or Crusader Lords.
- Genuinely enjoyable game. Can't even lie, I will put 100 hours or more into this, easily.

The Bad:
- Stone is completely unbalanced. Walls cost 7 stone just for 1 square
- So, 100+ to make 15 Tiles of wall! WTF? So even a basic castle is 500 to 1000's of stone.
- Furthermore, walls also break much quicker - Causing lots of problems in the heat of battle.
- Buildings have ridiculous costs, which is ridiculously high (200 wood for a Market? Seriously?)
- Bare, boring, pathetic campaigns - So much for paying $10 extra for "additional campaigns."
- No campaign is longer than 4 Stages, and the mini campaigns are Only 2 stages long!
- Cavalry units cannot attack buildings anymore, making them significantly less useful.
- All of the Special Edition Features (cost an additional 10 dollars) were pathetic at best.
- Half of the artbook is on the official site for free, and it's only about 20-30 pages.
- The two mini campaigns take 10 minutes, and the 10 shields speak for itself in lame-ness.
- Only redeeming thing was the soundtrack. basically you paid 10 dollars for an old OST.
- Missing the things introduced in SH2 that were memorable, like feasting, honour, etc.
- While many did not like those features, I feel like the economy is really bare without them.
- Mediocre Maps. Crusader only had 3 or 4 maps I didn't like, this one has 3 or 4 I do like.
- Many maps don't have any resources available, or are too unbalanced to enjoy.
- Pretty much need the Map Editor if you want to have truly good maps.
- some glitches and crashes, though this is to be expected.
- pathetic sized unit caps and building caps.
- At 1 v 1 it's perfectly fine, but even 4 player matches feel very tiny.
- Bland building selection, needs more towers, bastions, etc. SH3 had so many options!
- Overpriced with the promise of even more (paid) DLC in the future.

All in all, I feel like the game as a whole is really good - But I feel like it is horribly overpriced. 50 Dollars is too much. I felt like none of the features I got in my "special Edition" were all that special, and were not worth 10 dollars more. I feel like this game would've been much more fair to be sold at around 20-30 dollars instead (Crusader was 19.99 when I got it on release). Do yourself a favor and try and get it on sale, or at discount - it is a very fun game and I will keep playing, but it is incredibly over priced - Especially the "special edition" which was anything but special.
Posted: September 27
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125 of 170 people (74%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
You know what wasn't so good? Stronghold 3. You know what is pretty good? Stronghold Crusader 2. Be warned, there are a few 'day one' glitches and bugs, but nothing game breaking and unfixable like in SH3. As stated in other reviews, the game does feel a bit clunky as of now, but I believe these issues can be ironed out in the next week or two. Take note of the system specs, because my desktop meets the minimum but not the recommended and it's definitely noticeable. Assuming you have that, both die hard fans and ones new to the series won't be disappointed with the options to start with. Skirmish mode, (hooray!) multiple campaigns, and sandbox are all playable. I also like the new art style and updated graphics. Overall, it feels like an updated SH:C with more features, hopefully more to be added through DLC. (Additional units, both new and rebooted AI, all new campaigns, etc) In addition, the Arab lords no longer have to build churches; mosques have finally been added. A small thing, but really helps with the balance between Crusaders and Arabs.

The game takes a different spin on how it approaches the Crusades, and now the 'right side' is whichever side you're fighting for. There's no 'good' side, as both sides view themselves as freedom fighters locked in a righteous struggle against the infidels.

There is multiplayer, but I have not tested it yet, so take that with a grain of salt. I somewhat agree with the opinon that Firefly sacrificed some content for a more realistic game, but that is not nearly as off-putting here as it was in SH3. I'm excited to see where Firefly takes SH:C2, especially after the SH3 letdown, and hope to enjoy this game quite a bit in the future.
Posted: September 22
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183 of 262 people (70%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
This is the best stronghold game to date, Firefly actually understood his fanbase and made what we wanted the most : the game use the brilliant gameplay mechanisms from stronghold 1 & 2 and mix it with great graphics, it looks like what stronghold 3 should have been but anyone can make mistakes and this is the past, crusader 2 is the way to go !

at the moment they are some bugs with the walls that make the game quite frustrating but i'm sure firefly will fix those in a short while.
Also after playing the game a little more i noticed the game is really more a RTS game than a castlesim, some may not like this.


Okay i was kinda wrong when i said the best stronghold game to date, TBH Stronghold 2 is still my favorite BUT firefly could easely made that happen by fixing the game a little, its a rough launch.
Posted: September 22
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