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 (94 reviews) - 68% of the 94 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mixed (3,530 reviews) - 59% of the 3,530 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 22, 2014

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Recent updates View all (29)

April 7

April Update

Size - 3.4 MB
Version - 1.0.22670

We have released a small update to address a couple of issues.

Change Log
  • Fixed the "Fetchez La Vache" achievement.
  • Added an options_override file for players experiencing issues when saving game options. (See below for full details)

Some players have reported that the game does not allow them to load and save games properly. This appears to be because the game cannot access their Documents\Stronghold Crusader 2 folder for an unknown reason. To remedy this we have released an update allowing players to change the directory in which Stronghold Crusader 2 stores all options, saved games, maps etc.

In order to use this players can edit the file in \bin\win32_release\options_override.xml, located in their installed directory. Please read the instructions within the file before editing it.

We strongly suggest only using this override if absolutely necessary, in cases where the default directory cannot be used. Do NOT use this override option if you experience no issues when saving options, progress or saved games within Stronghold Crusader 2.

Please Note: Steam Cloud will not work if you use an override path. Steam Cloud only works with the Documents\Stronghold Crusader 2 folder.

This 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 1.0.22670 please restart Steam until the update downloads.

9 comments Read more

April 1

Free Weekend

Play for Free & Get 80% Off!

The full Stronghold Crusader 2 base game is currently FREE to download and play this weekend, with 80% off until Monday. Every player with a Steam account currently has access to the single player campaigns, multiplayer and all secondary modes, such as free build!

How to Play

  1. Install Steam.
  2. Download Crusader 2 for free.
  3. Repel the infidel!

For a limited time only we are giving you and your Steam friends a free ticket to the latest and greatest 3D entry in the Stronghold series. Face old rivals like Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in a series of dynamic, fast-paced skirmish matches, challenge your friends in the unforgiving multiplayer arena or build the world’s grandest castle in free-build mode.

Already own the game? Then invite your friends! Show no mercy in a brutal multiplayer showdown or teach them the ropes using the game’s unique co-op mode.

Crusader 2 will remain available for free until Sunday April 3rd at 20:00 GMT, giving you several full days to enjoy the definitive 3D Stronghold. The 80% off sale will run until Monday 17:00 GMT.

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

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 (94 reviews)
Mixed (3,530 reviews)
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Recently Posted
luke der coole
1.4 hrs
Posted: September 26
I loved the old Stronghold games! Hence I thought I might give this one a shot as I got it in a bundle. Not the best reviews, but whatever.
After playing the tutorials I am very disappointed. The game looks a bit weird. Lots of clipping failures around the trees, the buildings and units are not given as much love as in the previous games. Okay.. not too bad, I can live with that.. But the game also runs very bad. Not only does it feel kinda odd, but the units are "lagging" all the time, disappearing only to reappear somewhere near. That is just bad. Also, nice feature to introduce formations, however even the first rome:total war did this way better years ago. I got this game almost for free, but it still disappoints :-( I should have listened to the other reviews, this game makes the whole series look bad.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.3 hrs
Posted: September 25
Helpful? Yes No Funny
5.0 hrs
Posted: September 25
I paid full price as i loved the first Stronghold Crusader and was hyped for a second Part.

What i got was an unfinished buggy piece of garbage that´s a lot worse than the first one
even if i take nostalgia out of the equation.

And then they realease 4 DLC´s for 5 Dollars each
just to fix some of their crap
it´s a pretty bad joke.
I´ld return it for 5 Dollars.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.2 hrs
Posted: September 23
เป็น stronghold ภาคที่แย่ที่สุดที่เคยเล่นมา ภาคเก่าๆดีกว่าเยอะ
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.5 hrs
Posted: September 23
I loved the original Crusader and got this game for 5$ through Humble Bundle. When it comes to changes, I like that the villagers are just moved when you try to build on top of them and that you don't have to build 50 churches and 20 inns to get a nice popularity boost, while having high population. Everything else was changed for the worse though, so while I think original Crusader is worth 10$, this one isn't even good for 5.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mohamed Kolipop
3.3 hrs
Posted: September 22
لعبة سيئة و بها مشاكل كثيرة
this game has so much proplems .
- alt+tab made the pc restart on windows 10
- you can't rebind keys
- bad looking menu and interface .
- multiplayer doesn't have matchmaking
- the graphics doesn't look that good compared to other games released in the same year with rough borders assests
- i had to restart the game in the tutorial because the continue button was hidden
- multiplayer doesn't tell you if the rooms are in game or waiting in lobby
- maps look like each other with different locations for castles

don't even buy on discount, the game is just worse than reskin, if you like stronghold crausader that much then get the first one HD
played on (gtx 960, i5 6400, 8gb ram
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
35 of 40 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
16.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 29
I feel this game gets a lot more flack than it deserves.

Is it as good as Crusader 1? Of course not. Is it worth $50? Certainly not. But for $10 I've had a blast with my friends playing co-op custom skirmishes. I can't speak for the single player aspect as my favorite part of any SH game has been the custom skirmishes, but I can say I enjoy the updated graphics and new troops in Crusader 2.

Yeah, it's a bummer that they left out some of the troops from Crusader 1.

Yes, there is the ocassional bug or random crash.

But for it's current price of $7.49, and with some friends, I would certainly recommend this game.

(I also adore the ability to start multiplayer matches via Steam, wish they would patch the other SH games to include this functionality so I wouldn't have to fiddle around with Game Ranger anymore!)

EDIT: You haven't lived until you and your friends put your lords in a single push cart and watch them patrol your kingdoms in style.
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16 of 17 people (94%) found this review helpful
111.9 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
21 of 27 people (78%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
If a game has an achievement for buying four DLCs, I cannot take it seriously.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
26.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 3
I've been a Stronghold fan since the begining. The original Stronghold was one of the first PC games I ever played. Crusader was one of the first games I ever wasted months of life addictively playing. And it's been all downhill from there. Stronghold 2 and Legends were both horrible. Stronghold 3 was respectable attempt at a game, but still it fell way, way short. And then we come to this.

Stronghold Crusader 2 might be one of the biggest letdowns of my gaming life. Firefly has officially ruined their Stronghold franchise. They nuetered Castle Building. They threw troops out of balance. They took the balance out of the economy. Building up your economy is so quick and lacking in challenge that its turned tedious and boring.

The game almost completely lacks a "story mode". The campaigns they do have are a quick joke. And, from what I think I'm observing, All of the single player campaing content is offered as 6 dollar chunks of DLC. It shouldn't matter though, because stronghold is all about skirmishes right? Well they've screwed that up aswell. Their maps all suck. Even the maps that echo some of my favorite Crusader maps are completely ruined. The only maps that are any good are player made, and at least we get workshop to facilitate that(this might be the ONLY thing you could call an improvement over the original crusader). Seige equipment and the whole "seige camp" approach over the old engineers guild is garbage. Seige units suck and their too expensive, but simultaniously present themselves as the only way to take on a well built castle which leads me to another thing. You produce way too much, and way too quickly, for the frankly tiny troop caps ive experienced so far. I was, in my second attempt at a skirmish, able to produce enough resources to churn out armies as big as the 250-300 what ever unit cap every 5-7 minutes or so(limited only by how quickly peasants become available). And yet that same army doesn't stand a chance against even a computer oponent unless you pick at them with archers and seige quipment for 15 minutes first. Which the latter makes sense, but if I'm producing resource as quickly as I am, I want to be able to use them to throw 2-3000 unit army at someones walls and watch the world burn. But no.

In short, don't buy it, even if you want to complete your steam collection like I did. This game is garbage. You will not get 3 hours of quality entertainment out of it. And it will stain your respect for Firefly and the franchise.
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
51.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 1
On one hand, it's filled with the sort of sh*t that I've come to expect from Firefly.

On the other, it's the best that Firefly did with the Stronghold series since the original Stronghold Crusader.

It ain't perfect, even after 4 DLCs still has some annoying bugs, the AI models and messages are completely uninspired, based on over the top stereotypes and the food economy seems to always be either "BREAD BREAD" or "Buy enough apples for 1/2 rations". On the upsides however, unlike the trainwreck that is Stronghold 3 it's quite playable and has surprisingly well balanced military troops, where no single unit can be considered useless. The AI does also put up much more of a challenge than in the previous games in the series and multiplayer potential is quite high.

I say go grab it on a discount, expect as little as you can and you will not be disappointed. Approach it as you would anything that Firefly made.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 11
I bought the game and as soon as I saw that horrible intro video, I had a pretty good idea of how the game was going to be. The addition of a 3D interface was not neccessary, the art-style of the old games was perfect, and it has actually brought the gameplay backwards here. There is no evolution in any gameplay aspect. They weren't even able to make the battles seem larger and more intense than the first SH Crusader despite having squads instead of single units, and there are no tactics whatsover. It is really hard to grasp as to how this dev team has failed to make a worthy sequel after how good SH 1 and Crusader were with such simple technology and graphics. They clearly did not listen to their fans and instead tried to turn it into a mainstream series. Just a lazy and uninspiring sequel from Firefly and from what I can see it was not improved upon in any significant way in it's first year post-launch.

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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
I loved the first version of the game but I'm struggling to enjoy this at all. The AI is cheap as hell. They instantly build everything and attack. Then to top it off they generally have a major resource, gold, and map advantage. I got this as part of a bundle and even I feel I paid too much for it.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
13.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
After days spent trying to make maps and then play them.

I have come to the conclusion that this game is utter and complete BULL $HIT.... Map after map either won't save, won't upload, or crashes the game after finally getting past all the other bugs.

I am stubborn, I am persistent, and I refuse to give up. I will have my own highly detailed 8 player large map! ♥♥♥♥ YOU STRONGHOLD PROGRAMMERS!!!

EDIT: This is so not worth it and after 4 days of nothing but glitch after glitch I finally give up.... ♥♥♥♥ this game and the ♥♥♥♥ing map editor.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 21
Spent $5 for game, played it, now back to playing Crusader 1
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
Troops and buildings limit destory this game
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