Live through an epic role-playing Viking saga where your strategic choices directly affect your personal journey. Make allies as you travel with your caravan across this stunning yet harsh landscape. Carefully choose those who will help fight a new threat that jeopardizes an entire civilization.
User reviews:
Very Positive (156 reviews) - 87% of the 156 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (7,610 reviews) - 90% of the 7,610 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 14, 2014

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy The Banner Saga

SUMMER SALE! Offer ends July 4


Buy The Banner Saga - Deluxe

Deluxe Edition includes The Banner Saga and The Banner Saga - Soundtrack

SUMMER SALE! Offer ends July 4


Buy The Banner Saga - 4-Pack

Buy The Banner Saga - Soundtrack

SUMMER SALE! Offer ends July 4


Buy The Banner Saga Deluxe Pack BUNDLE (?)

Includes 4 items: The Banner Saga - Soundtrack, The Banner Saga, The Banner Saga 2, The Banner Saga 2 - Soundtrack


Buy Summer Sale Turn-Based Strategy Bundle BUNDLE (?)

Includes 5 items: The Banner Saga, Invisible, Inc., Thea: The Awakening, Gremlins, Inc., Hard West


Recent updates View all (18)

April 18

Banner Saga 2 April 19th

Hello All!

Proud to have Banner Saga 2 launching at 10am PST on April 19th! That means you have less than 24 hours to grab the game for a 10% discount.

It's been over 2 years of work, but we're excited to get all of you back in our world and hear what you think of where the story goes! Thank you all for the wonderful support, comments, and mentions. You all rock!


2 comments Read more

April 12

Minor TBS Update

Hello All

Apologies on the delay with this info but we recently had a small update for Banner Saga.

  • Fixed recurring issue that sometimes caused the 'Continue' button to be unresponsive after a battle
  • Added new heraldry crests
  • Fixed some minor memory leaks

Nothing too crazy, but we found some memory things in TBS2 that we could easily bring back to TBS1 so we thought we should.

8 comments Read more


“Game of Thrones Meets Vikings Meets Disney. The Banner Saga is blindingly lovely and arguably just as intriguing to play. Built atop a world that all but demands the attention of travel documentaries, it's epic in the literal sense of the word.”
100% – US Gamer

“With a refreshingly unique aesthetic, well-written story, and challenging gameplay, The Banner Saga is an excellent adventure well worth your time.”
90% – Games Radar

“The Banner Saga deserves commendation for the strength of its art and music experience alone, which shatters conventions.”
86% – IGN

Coming to SteamOS/Linux

The Banner Saga will be available on SteamOS and Linux in March 2015.

Digital Deluxe Edition

The Deluxe Edition – Combines The Banner Saga with the official soundtrack which includes 29 tracks by Grammy nominated, and two time BAFTA Award winning, composer Austin Wintory, performed by the Dallas Winds orchestra plus a powerhouse trio of acclaimed YouTube sensations: vocalists Peter Hollens and Malukah and violinist Taylor Davis.

About This Game

Live through an epic role-playing Viking saga where your strategic choices directly affect your personal journey. Make allies as you travel with your caravan across this stunning yet harsh landscape. Carefully choose those who will help fight a new threat that jeopardizes an entire civilization. Every decision you make in travel, conversation and combat has a meaningful effect on the outcome as your story unfolds. Not everyone will survive, but they will be remembered.

Key Features

  • Player choice that drives your own narrative – every decision you make in travel, conversation and combat has a meaningful effect on the outcome as your story unfolds.
  • Over 25 playable characters from 2 different races, human and varl, the horned giants – embark on your epic journey with a variety of characters from 7 different classes, each with unique abilities and upgrade options to fit your play style.
  • Strategic combat with consequences - victory or defeat and even the permanent loss of a character depends on which characters you choose to take into battle and what decisions you make afterwards.
  • The journey is as important as battle – your role in building and managing your caravan as you travel the vast frozen landscape is critical to not only your own survival but the survival of an entire civilization.
  • An epic Viking saga brought to life in 2D glory – beautifully hand drawn combat sequences and animations, accompanied by an evocative score from Grammy-nominated composer Austin Wintory, will immerse you into a fantasy realm inspired by Norse mythology.
  • Multiplayer Combat Enhanced – sharpen your combat skills in the free multiplayer game “Factions”. Compete against other players with many of the character classes you see in The Banner Saga.

The Banner Saga is the first part of a planned trilogy. If you complete this game, your unique progress and storyline will carry over to the next part of the story.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP SP3
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • OS: Windows 7 SP1
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • OS: MAC OSX 10.7.5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Memory: 4 MB RAM
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Very Positive (156 reviews)
Very Positive (7,610 reviews)
Recently Posted
( 21.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
A tactics games that has great core mechanics, Disney-esque art direction, and a worthwhile story. For me, this is a game that has it all. Fantastic game, thank you! (Looking forward to playing the tabletop variant!)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Atilla The Fun
( 7.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Absoloute steal for under £4, if i'd of paid full price, i still wouldn't be disapointed, great game, story took me 7 hours to play, a lot of choices to make, all of which impact you and yours, for better or worse.
I read online the game can last a bit longer too depending on your reasonings.

If you like games like the telltale walking dead/borderlands/wolf among us/etc, but want a little more (turn based) action, this is for you!

Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 0.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
So pretty, so much atmosphere. Such a good game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 30.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
My favorite game of all time.
-For me, the best part of The Banner Saga is the balance between battle and narrative. Never once did I feel antsy to fight or starving for story; the pacing is impeccable and keeps the player engaged.
-In battle, the Banner Saga has a few refreshing reforms to isometric tactical RPGs that completely set it apart from games like Final Fantasy Tactics or Fire Emblem. The armor-strength system, turn order, variation in the number of spaces a unit takes up as a giant or human, and inability to heal gave me an entirely unique experience. Simple, but immensely effective, and fueling the gritty environment.
-The story is dark, desperate, but full of hope. While there is relatively limited dialogue between characters, this makes each interaction all the more special. I do, however, recommend immediately playing The Banner Saga 2, as it completes certain character arcs with a little more satisfaction.
-Decision making is stressful and exciting, I often stared at the screen agonizing about the repercussions simple choices could have on my supplies, morale, and wellbeing of characters. Initially, I had no idea permadeath occurred outside of battle, and my first introduction to it in Chapter 2 was so shocking, abrupt, and ruthless (Again, furthering the gritty environment). Because this is outside of battle, character death can be addressed in aa more impactful way, as a patrt of the story and your decisions, (in comparison to fire emblem where it is solely a strategy mistake, and you get maybe one or two lines of generic death dialogue). Characters will die, without last words, but you will witness their actions and feel like crap because it wasn't because you moved one unit square too close to the enemy, but in order to save your supplies/their loved ones/ambush/pride/etc.
-Its downright visually stunning. Rather than be overwhelmed by the dark tones, you will be enchanted by the bright visuals. The art direction in this game is focused on a realistic fantasy- these are the axes and clothing vikings would wear, feeding the realistic grit. Gorgeously animated, designed, colored. Just so freaking gorgeous. SO PRETTY.

Just play it. please. I beg you. and then play banner saga 2. please.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ass Juice the 3rd
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
been playing the game dialong for 95% of the time ....
eh no thank you
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 12.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
As close as you can get to a retro Disney cartoon (ala Black Cauldron). Wonderful writing, characters, story, MUSIC & combat. Originality & vikings; whats more to love?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 5.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
Great concept, so-so execution. Decent tactical battles. "Winning" seems to require gaming the system, reading wiki's etc. Winning unspoiled seems to be a matter of luck as you don't get enough information to make informed decisions. Writing is a bit all over the place...that intro, really? Other parts are better, but very safe, just ticking off the usual tropes.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 4.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
Fecking hell! This game is so god damn slow. Watching a cart move for what feels like half the game is so stupid.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 7.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
way way way too much diolague i really want to play this game, i do. i personally dont like a game that has so much text and littel action. i didn't grow up reading books so when a game is 90% reading i get turned off. i'm sure it's a great game, just not for those who dont like reading so much.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Tasker 2016 #KuritaStrong
( 41.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 22
Get this game for 5 bucks.

It's neat, but the Choose Your Own Adventure elements essentially give you results that you can't possibly anticipate, and there's no reason not to let all of your people starve, and the tactical fights get insanely repetitive and aren't interesting at all.

I kind of enjoyed it, but the schmoes who gave this game however many BAFTA awards have never played a good game in their lives.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
17.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 12
TL;DR at Bottom
If you enjoyed this review,consider giving it a thumbs up!

Necessary Purchase

Apocalypse Now
The Banner Saga is a turn based RPG set in an apocalyptic fantasy world being invaded by a host of armored giants dubbed "The Dredge". Stoic, the developers of The Banner Saga have recently released a sequel and have even released on mobile platforms due to its success on steam. The Banner saga is a singleplayer-only game with a story mode that has the interesting main mechanic of switching between two different points of view for the first half of the game. The Banner Saga contains 7 chapters and each thrilling chapter will keep you on edge for the entire time. Chapters are fairly lengthy, each ranging from an hour to two at most and for me I ended up finishing the game in about 10-11 hours on my first run through.
In the Banner saga there is two different phases in the game: Caravan phase and combat phase. When you're in your caravan phase you oversee your caravan as you try to head to your next destination. This is where you make almost all your choices and also where you will see the various resting points in the game. As the game progresses you find various different resting points where your caravan can take a break in places such as towns and villages or sometimes even near one of the holy godstones. While you're camped out at a resting point you can access your hero screen, your map, and you can even have chats with some of the characters in the caravan. In this phase your caravan slowly consumes supplies which can be bought at markets in some villages or even acquired through some choices. There are also different items for sale in the markets although most of them are very basic passives that don't really add that much to gameplay. The items really could benefit by giving you new skills or maybe skill point boosts but instead they're just rather bland passives. In order to buy anything though you need renown, the games currency. You acquire renown from killing people in combat, although I do believe there are some major decisions that grant renown. Renown can also be used to level up your characters for combat however I feel that most of the time these upgrades are too expensive and you end up being unable to buy items and supplies because of it. The caravan also has a morale system where, depending on the current morale level your characters may suffer a penalty in combat.

"As we pass steep cliffs, the sprawl of Boersgard comes into view. A city of contrasting rich and poor, opportunity and gamble. Our best hope for salvation, or our graves."

The combat phase is a pretty refreshing take on turn-based combat due to the willpower system. Willpower is a stat on your characters that, in combat, they can use to increase the damage of their attacks or allow them to use special abilities. In The Banner Saga there's two types of damage you can deal to enemies: Strength and Armor. Strength is the stat that determines how much damage you can do to an enemy, so if you attack an enemies strength then they'll do less damage. If you decide to attack the enemies armor however, then that will open them up and make them take extra strength damage from future attacks. It is absolutely critical to make sure you don't only attack health or armor but instead mix them up. I really dislike how the more damage dealt to your strength the less damage you deal because then the combat can devolve into who gets the first hit. Every character that you have can be upgraded, up to level five, for increasing amounts of renown and this is where, as I said, you end up sinking most of your renown. Every character has a class but they mean very little and the characters all follow the same archetype and some characters literally use the same model with a slight recolor. I wish that instead of having loads of characters that you could equip for combat you could have fewer combatants with more unique models and stories. Even with these flaws The Banner Saga still has a very unique take on a combat system that, in my opinion, has begun to get stale.

When the Banner Falls
The story of the Banner Saga is also one of its strong points as it is both unique and easy to follow without letting the two detract from the plot. The story, without spoiling much, is essentially divided into two parts until about halfway through the game. The first part you play as Hakon, one of the co-commanders of a group of giant-like beings called varl. You're goal is to essentially escort a human prince to the varl capital of Grofheim so that you can seal an alliance between the two races. The other side of the campaign you play as Rook, a human father who is out hunting with his daughter, Alette, when they run into a dredge footsoldier and have to retreat back to their village. The chieftain of their village ends up being killed so Rook has to take command of the caravan and help them reach safety. With the counsel of the chieftains wife and some old friends, Rook sets out with the caravan in tow in the hopes of making it to the nearby city of Frostvellr. The story features a strong mechanic of choice, similar to Telltale's "The Walking Dead" series and this takes an already intriguing story and gives it all the emotional twists and turns that come with choice based storytelling. Most of the time the choices you make result in effects like getting or losing supplies or having morale changes but in some cases you can gain or lose characters. However, you can never really alter the story that much from a set line of main events for it to make a significant difference in the end but it's nice to have choices that actually feel like they effect gameplay. The story has so many mysterious elements that you cannot help but to keep playing just so you can find out the next little bit of character development or lore.

An intriguing story of camaraderie in the face of ahnihilation that revives turn based combat and shows how important choice can be.

If you found this review helpful or entertaining then feel free to join my Steam Curator Group at Mudkips Gaming
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
58.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
I bought this game several months after its release, heard a lot of positive reviews and decided to try it on my own.
Banner Saga is a fantastic game in my opinion. I finished it three times, taking different decisions during the playthroughs just to see all the consequences they could have (and had!).
I liked the setting very much, the epic viking saga of last stand of both humans and giants against a merciless invader horde. Heroes and their personalities are quite memorable, I enjoyed every bit of dialogue. The system of somewhat random events in-between your main battles is not new, we could see the same in Fasterthanlight, but it does surprisingly good here.
Tactical battles mechanic is interesting, exploring various character options while advancing their level and unlocking new abilities gives some hidden depth to the game.
The visual part is awesome, plain awesome. The same could be said of 100% fitting soundtrack, the melodies create just the right mood for the game events flow.
I cannot say this is a game for everyone, but if you enjoy tactical battles and storytelling you'll likely fall in love with this game. To me it's nothing but a masterpiece.
Looking forward to the sequel.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 19
I don't really want to give this Game a negative Review, but there are no grey areas in the reviewsystem and if I ask myself "would you recommend this game to others" I simply can't get myself to say yes.

Let me try to explain my reasoning:

The game has an interesting artstyle and some elements of norse-mythology, and works with a mixture of oregan-trail style traveling(where you make decisions along the way) and turn based combat on a grid.

So far so good, a solid concept.

My problems with the game:
None of the characters, were all that memorable to me, they all felt kind of bland and those that I rememberd were rather annoying(mostly the humans, the Varl, a race of horned giants, were mostly bland warriors).

The oregan-trail elements of the game actually felt kind of fun to me, but I found the combat to be so utterly dull and repetetative... You fight a bunch of really tough(tough in the sense of, they are able to take a ton of damage, not that they are difficult to beat) enemys that repeat over and over again, with little variety. Maybe there will be more interesting enemys later, but that still doesn't change my second problem with the game:
The characters don't all that many abilitys, in fact, they have one per character and their base attacks. And Most of the time you just move a character, hit a thing and thats it, as long as you don't let your groupsize shrink to much during the out-of-combat-events and just gather all your characters in one place, you should be able to defeat most encounters with ease.
Most of the time the combat just felt like it was getting in the way of the storyprogression though...

So yeah, since I am someone who rather likes really complex turn based combat, I sadly can't recommend this game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
52.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
I don't normally play RPG style games anymore (diminishing free time and ability to remember storyline between play sessions) but I gave this a shot and really enjoyed the story and battle style. By a couple chapters in, I was hooked on the story.

This is not a terribly complex game, which to me is GOOD.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 15
Easily one of the best RPGs I've played in a very long time. This game is actually somewhat reminiscent of that epic and groundbreaking game Oregon Trail on MS DOS, which alone is worth the experience. It also clearly draws inspiration from heavily story driven tactics games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Vandal Hearts.

The faux-Nordic world and history is actually pretty consistent with the story of Ragnarok, while keeping things fresh and unpredictable. Even if you hope to see something more genuine in Nordic mythology, you will not in the least be disappointed. If anything, this world is totally align with yet another re-imagining of the Poetic Edda.

I would expect nothing less from former BioWare developers. Congratulations, and keep this series going!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
Awesome. Same old Bioware style. That's great.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
As close as you can get to a retro Disney cartoon (ala Black Cauldron). Wonderful writing, characters, story, MUSIC & combat. Originality & vikings; whats more to love?
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
15 of 30 people (50%) found this review helpful
24 people found this review funny
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 3
I accidentally clicked on Rate App
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
2,064 of 2,668 people (77%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
10.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 19, 2014
I backed this game on Kickstarter very early on, basically after having read the words "turn based strategy" and "vikings" and had very high hopes for the project.
During the first hour of play I was entusiastic and impressed with the artwork, the graphical style, the music and the combat system. It runs well, I encountered no major bugs, and the story starts very intense and engrossing.
Now, after nearing the end of my first (and, most likely, only) playthrough I can sum up my personal experience with a single sentence: I learned to *thoroughly* hate this game.
I'm terribly sorry, I desperately wanted to like this, but with every tedious, frustrating and boring hour of gameplay I had to concede, that just about *every* design choice made by Stoic seems to go diametrically against my personal preferences.
Trying to cast an objective vote, I'd rate it about 5 out of 10, because there are undoubtedly many things good about the game, but the essence of what it's about - having fun, being motivated and enjoying the time spent playing - simply doesn't happen.
TBS is the very definition of a railroaded game. More than that, it actually *feels* like more than half of the time I'm actually watching pointless, endlessly repeating nice backgrounds scrolling past, while nothing happens. Events are scarce, and when they happen, they kill my motivation and the RPG aspect. Because, frankly, I'm NOT making decisions. I'm playing a random guessing game, in most cases with absolutely *no* clue on what the consequences of the 4 "choose your answer" alternatives *might* even be. I hate playing a game where I don't even know the rules, and I hate winning every battle and then losing my heroes (and the associated investment!) to random dialogue events.
The world map is like a bad joke on my expense, as it serves absolutely *no* function in the game but as a "choose your flavour text" library. It feels like there's an entire aspect of the game simply never implemented here...
Same goes for character development and resource management. Both are oversimplified, shallow and simply feel completely unfinished. Each character has one single item slot, and the items available are nothing special. Abilities are pretty much predetermined, and dividing 10 points you *might* receive during 5 ranks isn't that big a deal towards diverity or individualization.
There is one single resource for everything (renown) and one single sure way to acquire it (by killing enemies in combat). Sometimes you might draw a lucky card during the random dialogue guessing game and acquire some extra, but that's it. As the resource is used to buy supplies, items *and* for leveling up your heroes, it comes down to either have your caravan starve or run around with level 1 heroes, despite them having earned several promotions on the battlefield. That kills motivation on such an epic scale, and can't even begin to describe it.
There are no side quests, no method to forage for food, trade, to gain extra renown or anything - remember, you are on one long, single track railway and never look left or right. You will *never* feel in control of *anything* in this game. For me, however, that is what gaming should be about.
Even the combat system, one of the best parts otherwise, has several unnerving flaws that started bothering me in the long run:
- You are forced to choose your team *and* the sequence in which they act *before* you know anything about the enemies you will face. Why is there even a deployment phase at the begin of combat if all you do there is arrange the predetermined team on the board? That placement will be void after one round of movement, a wrong party mix or suboptimal sequence will stay, however.
- the way the two sides take turns is beyond silly. If you face a single, strong opponent, that one will act 6 times for every ONCE your heroes do something, as it's always the *sides* that take turns.
- one stat for hitpoints AND combat effectiveness basically means, that the battles are decided in the first round. The side that starts taking hits is the side that will lose. Always. Without a way to regain strength, a single hit can de facto disable a hero. The whole system is too simplistic, counter-intuitive and artificial. Simple to understand, but never becomes fun for me.
And another main grief is the complete absense of a save game feature. Not because of technical problems, but simply because the designers want to forbid me to play the game any other way than to live with the random outcome of their nonsensical guessing games. Sorry, folks, I'm 45 years old, have been playing games for 30 years and don't need *anyone* to tell me how to. This arrogant patronizing annoys me to kingdom come!
So, again, sorry Stoic for being so negative, but this game is so totally NOT my piece of cake. Terrific art, great lore, good music and a stable game do NOT equal fun, I'm afraid. Lots of bad design choices for me equal de-motivation, tedium, boredom and frustration. Others might love this game, probably the majority. But it's definitely 100% not for me - and the files were deleted after that completely silly, unfair and annoying final battle.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
A developer has responded on Jun 25, 2014 @ 8:37pm
(view response)
1,528 of 1,977 people (77%) found this review helpful
28 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
32.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014
It really pains me to do this because there are so many reasons to like this game.

The problem is that The Banner Saga simply doesn't deliver what it promises.

At the very beginning we are informed that at our decisions affect the game: THEY DON'T. Despite the fact that they've created this vast and gorgeous world, steeped in lore and history, you can't even choose where to go. You're firmly 'on-the-rails' for the entire game. Occasionally, you get text based encounters where you get to make a decision, but having played Banner Saga a couple of times, I can tell you that most of these change nothing. Sometimes one character or another dies, but it's trivial since they aren't really necessary anyway.

At the very beginning we are treated to a beautiful animated cut-scene complete with voice acted dialogue, so you'd figure those would come up at key points in the game at least, right? THEY DON'T. Not even at the end.

As the story develops, more and more layers are revealed: The gods are dead; the sun has stopped in the sky; there's a prophecy; there's tension and intrigue between characters and races, etc, etc. NONE OF IT GOES ANYWHERE. In a nut shell, the story is: survive until you get to the end boss - who has practically nothing to do with anything.

The artwork is gorgeous, the concept (Viking Oregon Trail + Turn Based Strategy + Some RPG elements) is simple but it works. But instead of using that simplicity to really open up the world, we're instead treated to a vast tableaux of untapped potential.

Maybe they're planning a sequel - and heck, I've put this many hours in already, I might even pick it up - but honestly, if a game leaves you feeling, "What, that's it?" It failed to deliver.

EDIT: I DO NOT care that Banner Saga is part of a planned trilogy. I WILL NOT base a review of a game on the potential of its sequel. I think that would be a huge disservice to those choosing whether or not to spend money on THIS game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny