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 (1,610 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 22, 2014

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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 (19)

April 23

Invasions Now Live

Sandbox Sieges, Easy AI Mode, New Maps and More!

Our new ‘Invasions’ update is now available on Steam, free for all owners of Stronghold Crusader 2. Launch siege invasions against your castle in Sandbox mode, turn on easy AI or choose your faction in single player Skirmish Trail missions and build across a selection of new maps in custom skirmish, sandbox or online multiplayer.

Siege Invasions
Siege invasions allow you to launch AI sieges against experimental castle designs in Crusader 2's free build Sandbox mode. Refine best practices for castle construction and create the ultimate stronghold, testing your most robust castles against powerful AI invasions. Launch siege armies of varying sizes, add random events and more!

Easy AI Mode
Having trouble completing each Skirmish Trail? Is the AI taunting you in your dreams? A new easy mode can now be turned on, toning down the notorious difficulty of Skirmish Trail missions and providing players with some breathing room. Reducing the frequency and aggressiveness of enemy attacks, this feature is designed to ease up on the challenge for players struggling against Stronghold's famously challenging antagonists. The Trails will nevertheless remain a challenge, so don't dare let your guard down!

Faction Selection
For the first time in Stronghold history you can now choose which of the two factions you wish to represent in Skirmish Trail missions. Having developed an Arabic faction story campaign to tell the tale of Saladin's forces, we have now further blurred the lines between good and evil by giving you the choice of which faction you wish to represent on the battlefield. Gain access to the advantages and disadvantages of their unique castle architecture by playing as either invading Crusaders or Arabic freedom fighters.

New Maps
From the no man’s land of ‘Interlocked’ to the steep slopes of ‘Volcano’ and the woodlands of ‘The Forest’, this new map pack adds both Skirmish and Sandbox maps to the game. With unique landscapes featuring beaches, lakes and even the odd volcano, you can now do battle across a variety of different scenery while drenching the desert sands with the blood of your enemies.

In addition we have also fixed various bugs - Full Update Notes

Please Note: This feature update should download automatically when you launch the Steam client. To confirm whether or not the download was successful, check the version number displayed in the bottom left corner of the main menu screen when launching Crusader 2. If the number displayed is not v1.0.21103 please restart Steam until the update downloads.

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April 15

Invasions Update & DLC Dated

April 22nd – Invasions Update

Our next big update for Stronghold Crusader 2, the Invasions Update will release next week on Wednesday 22nd April. Adding AI invasions to Sandbox mode, Easy Mode and Faction selection for Skirmish Trail missions, as well as two Sandbox maps and four skirmish maps, the Invasions Update has plenty to offer:

  • Invasions (Sandbox Mode) – Designed to beef up the free-building Sandbox mode, invasions allow players to find out just how impregnable their mighty castles are by launching increasingly powerful attacks against them.

  • Easy Mode (Skirmish Trails) – A popular request among those new to the series, this update will introduce an easier difficulty setting for the game’s punishing Skirmish Trail missions.

  • Faction Selection (Skirmish Trails) – Another oft-requested feature, players will soon be able to select between Crusader and Arabic factions in Skirmish Trail missions.

  • New Sandbox Maps – Two peaceful new lands on which to build your dream castle, before pummeling it into the sand with wave after wave of AI sieges.

  • New Skirmish Maps - Four new battlegrounds for you to mark with the blood of your enemies, online or offline.

May 6th – The Emperor & The Hermit DLC

The Angel of Death hovers over your castle! The Emperor & The Hermit DLC will introduce two new AI opponents and an all-new Crusader Trail campaign. Spiritual successors to The Emperor and The Abbot from Stronghold Crusader HD, The Emperor and The Hermit are driven entirely by religious fervour. Backed by zealots who follow their cause without question, be it just or corrupt, these new characters represent a dangerous new threat to both sides of the Crusader conflict.

The next expansion for Stronghold Crusader 2, this new DLC adds seven missions, two AI opponents, achievements, additional player shields and new castle designs unique to The Emperor and The Hermit. The Emperor & The Hermit will be released on May 6th for £3.99/$5.99/€4.99.

Please look forward to more information on the characters, maps and new features found in the DLC and our free 'Invasions Update' in the next few weeks. We will be revealing one map per day, in addition to video features and more!

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Reviews

“For old, war-tested Stronghold players Crusader 2 is a triumphant evolution of the game that they've held dear for the last twelve years.”
8/10 – Strategy Informer

“The game feel polished and modern: It’s properly 3D-modelled and constructed around a rigorous physics engine.”
4/5 – Empire

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

Featured DLC



New contestants have entered the fray in the battle for Jerusalem! The Princess and The Pig have embarked for the holy lands bringing swords, spears and maces in a journey destined to disrupt the balance of power in the desert. Players must fight their way through a new skirmish trail with seven deadly scenarios to tackle, including three new maps. Old faces such as The Wolf, Richard the Lionheart and Saladin also make a return, smarter and more strategic than before. While these new rivals sometimes aid the player in battle, they won’t hold back when it comes to the gruesomely difficult finale.

The first piece of downloadable content available for Stronghold Crusader 2, The Princess & The Pig DLC adds seven missions, two AI opponents, 10 achievements and new castle designs unique to The Princess and The Pig.

Special Edition

The Special Edition includes:

  • Digital Soundtrack Composed by Robert Euvino
  • 'The Art of Stronghold Crusader 2' Digital Art Book
  • Stronghold Crusader HD: Full game on Steam - Already own it on Steam? Gift it to a friend!

Special Edition Customers


To access your digital art book and soundtrack please install the game, navigate to the game folder and open up a folder titled ‘Special Edition’.

By default this is located at:

C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\Stronghold Crusader 2\Special Edition

If you installed the game in a different location on your hard drive the ‘Special Edition’ folder will appear in your chosen location. The game’s soundtrack can also be accessed through the Steam Music Player, which can be found under the Library tab by clicking on ‘Music’.

About This Game

Stronghold Crusader 2 is the long awaited sequel to Stronghold: Crusader, the original 'castle sim'. After 12 years Stronghold returns to the deserts of the Middle East circa 1189, with a new 3D engine and realistic castle destruction powered by Havok Physics. Crusader 2 will recapture the original game’s addictive, fast-paced gameplay and authentic castle simulation.

True to its roots this new Stronghold will define old school real time strategy, combining RTS and city builder gameplay. Playing as a brutal Crusader Knight or Arabic freedom fighter, you must use a deadly array of troops and destructive siege equipment to decide the fate of the holy lands. Lead your forces into battle as either Richard the Lionheart or the Sultan of Syria in two historic single-player campaigns, with dynamic events such as tornados and locust swarms. Become the greatest Lord by managing your desert economy and seizing control of vital oases.

To dominate the battlefield you will need to command more than 25 unique unit types, mastering their special abilities. Raise morale with the Sergeant at Arms, charge in with the Sassanid Knight, use Archers to launch an arrow volley or scale castle walls with the deadly Assassin. Once your skills have been perfected put them to the test in skirmish mode or take the battle online with up to eight human and AI players. Create teams, choose different AI opponents and design your own map in the ultimate skirmish or multiplayer game!

Key Features


  • Build the Ultimate Castle - Design mighty strongholds and fill them with fiendish traps to crush your enemies!
  • Skirmish Mode - Lay siege to your enemies in fast-paced custom skirmish matches against the AI.
  • 8 Player Multiplayer - Mix and match human and AI players, maps and game modes to set up your ideal multiplayer game.
  • Battle a Wide Range of AI Lords - Classic AI characters return alongside new blood, each with distinct personalities, castles and play styles.
  • Challenge the Crusader Trail - Test your mettle across a range of increasingly tough skirmish campaigns.
  • Co-op Play - Share control over castle building, troop control and resource management in Co-op Mode.
  • Castle Sandbox - Dive into the Map Editor or Free Build mode and construct the ultimate castle without fear of attack.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • 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
    Recommended:
    • 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
243 of 339 people (72%) found this review helpful
16.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014
No, it's not the world's best sequel - the amount of stuff added to this game in comparison to crusader 1 is minimal, which is sort of upsetting considering this game has come out 12 years after its' predecessor. However, I do not find my money wasted on this game. As a fan of the stronghold series and a proud owner of all the games (save one that I'm not too proud of...you can guess which), I will happily say that this game is the first stronghold game to not be a total waste of your time since 2002 with crusader 1 itself. On top of that, I highly recommend buying this if for nothing else than supporting the small indie studio Firefly Studios in hopes that, now without their 2K publisher forcing release dates on them, we can begin to see some proper sequels in the stronghold lineup to recover from...a troubling past, to say the least. Perhaps a stronghold 4, or even the possibility of a Legends 2 (Don't kill me, we all know somewhere inside we want a better legends :D)

With gamespy down, this is also the only remaining stronghold game besides the abysmal pile that was stronghold 3 to have functional multiplayer without the assistance of a 3rd party tool that can sometimes, to inexperienced users, be a large pain in the ♥♥♥ to use properly. So for crusader multiplayer with ease, this runs through the steam servers allowing you to simply invite your friends and such as you would for Team Fortress 2 or something.

Buy this to support firefly and enjoy the first stronghold game in 12 years to not suck right out of the box...or download in this case. And if not, do yourself at least the favor of, if you don't already, going and purchasing Stronghold HD and Stronghold Crusader HD on steam or GoG.com or somewhere - those 2 games, alongside this one, will not fail to give you hours of fun.
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133 of 194 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2014
Do you want a castle sim? Do you want that medieval atmosphere of Stronhold 1? Dealing with famine, diseases, economy and war? Well, my friend, then you are in luck! .... For this is not the game you are looking for!

I get that the devs gave it a shot. The game has a heart. As someone who throughout the year followed firefly studios, it is clear that it is now but a shadow of what it used to be. With very little resources they wanted to do their best.

However, as hard of a shot they gave, to me, everything just fell apart from the very moment you start the game, and here is why:

The artwork is just sad. Egyptian hieroglyph looks better than what we see here.
UI is terrible, it feels very alpha. *cough* look at that type font *cough*
No economy, just a lifeless corpse of a castle that spits out little clones to either attack or defend it.
If you wanted a sim, like me, you wont see people chatting and going about their lives, there is no micro management. Nothing to see. Where are the citizens, the animations?
Take SH1, just awe at the amount of detail that it had, moss in the walls, cracks in the wood and stone. Even wind ffs.
Unfortunatly, you cannot stop and think: is this just a SH3 reskin with less bugs?

Is it a waste of time? God no. The gameplay is bland but at times, you may find some joy in it. Fans will do a fair bit of it out of pure nostalgia. Smashing walls can be fun.

In the end, the game just doesn’t do much for you to like it for very long.
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83 of 118 people (70%) found this review helpful
11.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2014
5/10
I wont lie, I was a little dissapionted with this game when I first stared playing, I was a big fan of its predecessor 'Stonghold crusader', this was by far one of my favorite games when I was younger.
Pros and cons:

PROS- The graphics in-game have been updated, although not as much as you might hope for, especially for the fact that the old one came out 12 years ago.
- It is much harder to appease the peasants who flock to your castle, this does make the game a bit more challenging when it comes down to 'laying siege' to an enemies castle, at least in multiplayer. You can starve your enemy in a manner of speaking.
- There are new units, athough most of these are nearly identical to the predecessors, using some of the same quotes and one-liners.
- The walls fall down in 3D, instead of dissapearing,
- Destruction of castle walls and towers, looks better,
CONS- the Opening menu was a major dissapointment, i dont really know what i expected but the predecessors kicked ♥♥♥ compared to this new one.
- The new AI sucks, really sucks, (eg. the enemy computer always gets free siege equipment)
- The graphics aren't that imppressive for the amount of processing power it takes to run the game.
- The price tag for what you get is practically extortion.
- If you arent familiar with the game it is quite hard to understand the mechanics of the game, depsite the introduction campaign/scenario
- The new voice acting for the AI is just generally annoying, in my personal opinion they should have used the old voices from the last game.
- The mulitiplayer menu, is the same as the opening menu, a dissapointment
- There is a building and troop limit, whilst understandably for lower end computers is unchangeable, but there should be a way to adjust it.

All in all the game leaves you feeling a little underwhelmed, to be honest if your thinking of buying this game do yourself a favour and wait until a sale, save yourself the dissapointment of spending a lot of money on something that isn't quite up to standard.
I do know that Firefly are releasing updates and extensions so hopefully in the future they may be able to fix some of the problems, and annoyances.
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95 of 149 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
Extremely dissapointing and lacking the feel of the original. Realese version feels more like a demo as the options are heavily limited in comparison to its predecessor.
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97 of 155 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
Disappointing game having loved the original Stronghold. Not being able to build out of small and illogical zones is really annoying.
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20 of 24 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 25
My favorite part was when the AI rebuilt their entire fortress in under one second and the AI kept repeating the same thing over and over and over and over. Luckily the game crashed to my library where I realized I had far better games. Thanks Stronghold! Lots of potential but overall lack luster


5 beets out of 10
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107 of 180 people (59%) found this review helpful
22.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014
Well this game was a bit of a let down for me. I enjoyed playing the first one and bought this game when it came out. It felt just like playing the orignal. All that has changed is the graphics and slight gameplay tweaks that were problematic in the original. Other then that its exactly the same game. Only their are more people playing this one in multiplayer but I am sure that will die out as their is little that is enticing to the repetative gameplay. Key bindings is a huge downfall I really would like to customize my key bindings to optimize my gameplay but I have not figured out how. Its not in the options page (first place you would think to look...) If you like the first one and own it dont bother paying for this because its exactly like the first one. I have not played any multiplayer matches to me a game should hold its own in singleplayer and branch from there. Game is unpolished and lacks replayability. Overall 3/10 in my opinion
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37 of 59 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
41.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
I thought that Stronghold Crusader 2 would have been a good game as the developers could have remedied the issues that came up in Stronghold 3 and applied it to this game. My hopes have been let down yet again. There is an insane amount of lag like Stronghold 3, when you click on the icons they do not always respond, when you mouse over the icon information like cost and materials does not always pop up, I have had buildings vanish as though I never built them even though the materials are gone, and too many other problems to count. I have wasted my money yet again on this game series. Never again. To hell with those that made this game and to hell with those that gave birth to them. I would recommend spending your hard earned money on something better.
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76 of 133 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2014
Singly the largest disappointment in distant memory. I’m a longtime fan of the Stronghold franchise, boy is this game a letdown. It does have nice graphics, descent sound track and a somewhat intuitive interface, but the game SUCKS! I’ve played about halfway through the anemic single player campaign, to the point of forcing myself to continue; thinking it has got to get better, but it has not. There is not AI strategy to speak of and I guess the game developer thought it would be a good idea to slap a turn timer on just about every mission; so much for taking your time and enjoying the game. I wish I could get my money back, not only because the game play is terrible, but more so, that this team of developers don’t unleash another POS on the public. Tic-Tac-Toe is a better game.
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112 of 200 people (56%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2014
Its not like the old game infact everyrthing is small and very slow with gathering things and it just doesnt have that "Stronghold Feel" like the other games do and, i don't know if its me but i feel like a alot of things were taken out but in all this game isnt worth $49.99
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55 of 95 people (58%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
Should have done more research before buying this. The game is awful, combat is clunky and horrible to look at, I can't even build diagonal castle walls! Tooltips lack info and the game is overall not very intuitive.for being a castle sim, theres games that do it better and they're older. Pretty dissapointed by this.
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49 of 85 people (58%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
190.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 7, 2014
It is a very exciting game. it is very similar to the predecessor just in a 3D graphic.
And that's what i like.
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19 of 29 people (66%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
51.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
True to its roots and resurrected in a 3D engine. This game adds more varied unit types over the first Crusader but it is unfortunate they couldn't do more with the new game engine.

This Stronghold surpasses Stronghold 2 when it comes to skirmishes - with a pretty good selection of maps, a slew of relatively interesting AI's, and a chain of increasingly difficult skirmish challenges. Unfortunately, a lot of the great castle sim features of Stronghold 2 are absent. In fact, even the castle management parts of SHC have been "dumbed down."
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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
277.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
Stronghold Crusader 2 is a worth sequel. It had some bugs and crashs at start which got fixed soon. The integration into steam and its workshop is a nice feature.
To the game: The "campagin" has sadly no real story and it is just skirmish maps. To be fair, crusader 1 was the same.
The unit balancing is well made and this game needs more strategy thinking because of the special of the units. It is not just possible to spam one or two unit types to win.
I played over 270h now and still like it and it makes fun to play it in multiplayer.
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47 of 84 people (56%) found this review helpful
85.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2014
I'm a diehard fan of the series, lets just get that out of the way. While I am loving Crusader 2, I feel it just hasn't brought all the features of it's predecessor to the table. It's missing the narritives of the original campaigns, and the awesomeness of the old UI. Great game, but I feel like it falls short in some areas. That shouldn't happen, the original came out twelve years ago.
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64 of 117 people (55%) found this review helpful
28.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2014
unfinished game not worth the 40 payed for it almost makes me never want to buy a stronghold game again
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80 of 149 people (54%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
If you enjoyed stronghold crusaders 1 then dont buy this game, honestly it will kill the whole amazing easy experiance of stronghold crusaders, this game is a sorry follow up from a very amazing game.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
34.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
To much fun when you have friends to play with you.

Music of this game is just super fantastic .

This is the best rts out there. worth every single penny buy it you gonna love it :)

9/10
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
72.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
Wood needed m'lord

Stronghold Crusader 2 is the sucssessor of Stronghold Crusader 1. After 12 years of the orginal Crusader 1, the sequel has finally come out. At the moment this game is missing a couple of things like AI lords but whats completely new is the new 3D engine which makes castle siegeing alot more exciting with the new 3D collapsing walls and towers. Personally i really love this game and i'm very excited to see what they do with the up coming updates.

To find out more info for stronghold crusader 2: http://www.strongholdcrusader2.com/?page_id=1067
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
37.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
its very fun to play,expecially wehen you play with friendsd but they should fix some bugs and its sometimes annoying when the host leaves and it starts to lag and gets very buggy;but he rest is very good at this game
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