Stronghold Crusader 2 is the long awaited sequel to the original castle sim. After 12 years Stronghold returns to the desert with a new 3D engine and powerful Havok Physics. Crusader 2 recaptures the original game’s addictive, fast-paced gameplay and authentic castle simulation.
User reviews: Mixed (2,023 reviews) - 64% of the 2,023 user reviews for this game are positive.
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 (23)

August 28

'Siege That!' Tournament

Win Codes Live on Twitch

Over the past two weeks 20 brave contestants have tested their mettle against Firefly employees in our official 'Siege That!' castle siege tournament. Interested? Join us for the final round this weekend on Twitch for your chance to win Steam codes!

As valiantly as they fought the ghosts of the dead now scattered around Firefly’s ‘DoubleHill’ castle, the chosen map for the tournament's second round. In a series of tight battles seven Lords attempted to siege the DoubleHill fortress, with just two proving mighty enough to slay the defending Lord and proceed to the final round.

Congratulations to Blobka and DSPL for winning Round Two!

With three winning places to fill in this tournament, all other Round Two players who managed to reach the keep on DoubleHill will also move onto the final round. Here they will compete in a ‘Losers Bracket’ for third place, with the winning player being the individual who wins the fastest or (failing that) does the most damage to the enemy Lord. These players are SKARABEI007, FireRanger and perryale90.

As special a guest, YouTuber SergiuHellDragoon will provide commentary on the final round matches alongside the folks here at Firefly.

Didn’t make it? You can still win Steam codes! Just take part in the Twitch chat quiz held during the live stream!

Our tournament finale will be held this weekend on Sunday August 30th at 14:00 BST. In this final round all matches will be held on the player-created map ‘Steinschloss Castle’, adjusted and rebalanced by Firefly for the purposes of our tournament. As in previous rounds contestants will receive a set allocation of troops and neither attacker nor defender will be able to create troops, build, repair or delete castle structures.

In between matches we will be giving away Steam codes, so join us on Twitch and win the following prizes:

  • Stronghold HD
  • Stronghold Crusader HD
  • Space Colony: Steam Edition
  • Stronghold Crusader 2 + The Princess & The Pig DLC
  • Stronghold Crusader 2 + The Templar & The Duke DLC
  • Stronghold Crusader 2 + The Emperor & The Hermit DLC
  • Stronghold Crusader 2 + All DLCs

Follow our official Firefly Twitch channel for your chance to win - Firefly Studios Twitch
Good Luck!

8 comments Read more

July 1

Out Now: The Templar & The Duke DLC

New DLC, Map Pack and Fixes

New Update

In addition to the release of 'The Templar & The Duke' DLC we have also released a new update (v1.0.21623) for Stronghold Crusader 2. This update, which is now live on Steam and should download automatically, fixes numerous issues reported by players in the forums and via our support site. Please visit our forum to see the full change log:

Update Forum Post

Stronghold Crusader 2: The Templar & The Duke

The law of the Templar is coming to the desert! The Templar & The Duke DLC adds a new Crusader Trail campaign and two AI characters with contrasting origins, values and strengths. One is a brutal newcomer who embodies the Crusades' nebulous motivations, while the other stands as successor to King Phillip from the original Stronghold Crusader. Both men desire a glorious victory in the Holy Land, with The Templar seeking to cleanse the holy land of heretics and The Duke hoping to emerge from Phillip's shadow and make his mark on the world, ideally without suffering too many casualties!

The third expansion for Stronghold Crusader 2, The Templar & The Duke adds seven missions, two AI opponents, 10 achievements, five custom shields and new castle types unique to these new Lords. It is now available for £3.99/$5.99/€4.99, with an additional 33% off for the next seven days!

New Campaign

The fierce combat in our latest skirmish trail sets a challenging new benchmark for Stronghold players. New characters arrive in the deserts of the Holy Land brimming with personality, grit and their own selfish quests to pursue. The madcap eccentricity of The Duke will scatter your senses, conventional sieges often failing to penetrate his elaborate segmented castles with unconventional layouts. Meanwhile cold steel and sturdy resistance await those who dare challenge The Templar, who recruits only the toughest Crusader soldiers into his army and rigidly-designed castles. This ninth skirmish trail demands a completely new set of strategies from players. Carefully safeguard allies, fend off bandit outposts while keeping an eye on your real opponents and eventually fight your way up a mountain to conquer our toughest final mission yet.

The Templar

Once a rank and file soldier in King Richard’s army, The Templar has since risen to power as a senior military commander in the Third Crusade. Even more resolute toward their righteous cause than his king, The Templar was promoted because of his brutal pursuit of the holy crusade and ability to indoctrinate fellow soldiers. Spending much of his military career as a foot soldier fighting in the Crusades, The Templar sees himself as a harbinger of justice from God. The Templar personifies the unwavering conviction that the Crusader Lords have in their mission and the lengths they will go to achieve it.

The Duke

Having traveled from France to 'fight the good fight' The Duke hopes to share in the glory of the holy crusade, should it succeed. In the event that the Crusaders should fail The Duke is always ready to retreat claiming he played no role in Richard's campaign, but for the moment he is present and prepared to lend his vast wealth and political standing to their cause. Blessed with a God-given right to rule, it goes without saying that The Duke had a pampered upbringing in the French Royal Court. It was here that he became the foppish and arrogant leader he is now, sheltered enough to build up a Lordly air and appearance but too distant from the battlefield or real cutthroat politics to become an effective ruler. The end result is a man who appears confident but is unsure of himself, joining the Third Crusade because he feels he has something to prove.

11 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

Reviews and Accolades

9/10 "Who can resist a game about castle building, economy raising, and taking on large castles full of troops and hazards?" - DarkStation

8.8/10 "It should be a hit in multiplayer, especially with a co-op mode." - Gaming Nexus

8/10 "Stronghold Crusader II is a game that will steal hours of your life if you let it." - Game Revolution

8/10 "A great game that will delight players who love strategy." - 3DJuegos

8.5/10 "Firefly promised that Stronghold Crusader II would satisfy the appetites of fans as a worthy successor to the first game. They kept their promise." - GRY-Online

80/100 "Crusader II contains many cool features from the original Stronghold Crusader, along with new and fun gameplay." - Merlin'in Kazanı

Featured DLC

The law of the Templar is coming to the desert! The Templar & The Duke DLC adds an extra Crusader Trail campaign and new Crusader characters with contrasting origins, values and strengths. One is a brutal newcomer who embodies the Crusades' nebulous motivations, while the other stands as successor to King Phillip from the original Stronghold Crusader. Both desire a glorious victory, The Templar cleansing the Holy Land of heretics and The Duke emerging from Phillip's shadow.

The latest expansion for Stronghold Crusader 2, The Templar & The Duke adds seven missions, two AI opponents, 10 achievements, additional player shields and new castle types.

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!

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

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8 with latest service packs
    • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo 2Ghz or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT 512MB or AMD Radeon HD 2900XT 512MB or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • 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
    • Additional Notes: This is the minimum spec recommended for hosting a multiplayer game.
Helpful customer reviews
182 of 266 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
66.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
Short Version
I have finally gotten my hands on a copy of this medieval RTS Simulation game after it being wishlisted since its initial pre-release announcement. The reviews have been a mixed bag of tricks from the start so I wanted to give Firefly Studios plenty of time to bang out any kinks in the ol' armor before launching my assault and possibly bludgeoning this game into fragmented code. After a lengthy (and sometimes exhausting) battle, the dust has settled and as my gaze reflects upon the still-burning fires, the blood-soaked desert sands, and the rubbled remains of what once was a towering and majestic castle, I muster up the strength to utter a few last words with my last breath fading away - "I strongly recommend this game..."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you liked this review or want to see more recommended games, be sure to follow our curator group: Follow Original Curator Group
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
66 of 87 people (76%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
28.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 11
I smashed every enemy woodcutter hut, burned every farm, destroyed every mine, ground every hovel into the dust, then as I basked in the glory of my victory and gloated over my fallen foe laughing as my archers cut down every single peasent that dared set foot outside the keep I was horrified to see all the building instantly rebuilt from nothing. How was this possible when they had nothing left to build with?

Truly it was a miracle and that was when I accepted Jesus into my heart.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
47 of 61 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
- Sound is recycled from the original Stronghold, which is 14 years old.
- Soldiers will not obey your commands, most of the time forgetting what they were told and rushing off to do something entirely different after 20 seconds. It's like herding cats.
- Clicking is very fiddly
- Campaign is extremely short and uninspired.

+ Steam now allows refunds
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
26 of 38 people (68%) found this review helpful
35.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 14
The Stronghold series has always been extremely difficult to summarise, but I guess the unfortunate word that I tend to use is "frustrating". It hasn't ever recaptured that momentum that Stronghold Crusader delivered back in 2002, producing games that didn't deliver for a variety of different reasons.

Unfortunately, I don't think newcomers to the game will enjoy the game as much as we do. It still has a lot of content missing, and areas such as the menu's and HUD are definitely missing a much-needed improvement. The graphics aren't as good as you'd expect, and the AI is broken at times. Troops refuse to obey your commands due to bugs, and so on. It certainly wasn't what I was expecting, thats for sure.

With this said, I do rate Stronghold Crusader 2, and I do enjoy playing it. It has been great for a player like myself who grew up playing the original. Just to have the feel of Stronghold again, to get a taste of what originally made it so successful. Character dialogue is witty, the gameplay is fast, and the numerous scenario's that you partake in provide excellent replayability. The tutorial and majority of skirmishes are brilliant, even for me a few of them I kinda thought " the hell am I supposed to do that?!" but you eventually get into the groove of how the game dynamics work. Its good to progressively see yourself get better & better, as you challenge yourself further by adding multiple AI and restricting yourself to using certain units/buildings. I haven't completed the campaign as of yet, but so far its been extremely good fun.

So for fans of previous Stronghold titles, I am sure you will learn to appreciate the game for the quality it has, though somewhat trapped inside a conglomerate of faults. For newcomers I am skeptical as to how much you'd enjoy it, as there are other titles in this genre that do much more then what Stronghold Crusader 2 provides. Still, SC2 provides some memorable moments and entertaining game scenario's, yet lacks the full package we truly want to see that follows in the originals footsteps.
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24 of 36 people (67%) found this review helpful
27.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 12
normally im that guy that just loves games like this dont get me wrong stronghold crusader 1 was !!!! the bomb loved it for its time but i just really dont feel it with sc2 ive played a total of thirteen hours so ive cover'd a fair bit it feels like all they did was add a few simple things made buildings look better graphically and some better movement and so on it really seems more an update to me but hey if you think you would like it and or in enjoy playing it dont let my review stop you i just recommend you wait for a sale or dont buy it at all unless you feel you want to give them the 54$ lol

Rough Copy
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