The original castle sim, Stronghold HD allows you to design, build and destroy historical castles. Engage in medieval warfare against the AI in one of two single player campaigns or online with up to 8 players.
User reviews:
Very Positive (39 reviews) - 89% of the 39 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (1,653 reviews) - 93% of the 1,653 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 19, 2001

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April 25

New Language Support

Brazilian Portuguese Now Available!

For the first time ever our updated HD version of the original Stronghold (2001) is now available with full BR-PT language support:

  • On-screen text, subtitles and sound.
  • Over 1000 lines of spoken dialogue and 1.5 hours of new audio.
  • Hear your favorite characters insult you in your native tongue!
  • A first for Stronghold HD.

As with the release of the original HD update in late 2012, this new language is free for all existing owners of the game. To change the game language for Stronghold HD on Steam please follow these instructions:

  1. Log into your Steam account.
  2. Right click on a game from the Steam game library and choose Properties.
  3. Go to the Language tab.
  4. Select the language you wish to use from the drop-down menu.
  5. Click OK.

Please Note - Files for this language may need to be downloaded before you can play.

42 comments Read more

About This Game

The original castle sim, Stronghold HD allows you to design, build and destroy historical castles. Engage in medieval warfare against the AI in one of two single player campaigns or online with up to 8 players.


With 21 missions to test your mettle and four renegade lords to defeat, it is up to you to reunite medieval England and take back your lands from the treacherous Rat, Pig, Snake and Wolf. Missions range from breaking sieges and capturing enemy castles to raising gold and holding off enemy attacks. Also featured is a full economic campaign, tasking players to gather resources and build weapons within the time limit.

HD Edition

With new high resolution graphics you have more control over your soldiers than ever before. The new HD battlefield view allows you to zoom out and play in real-time, with the whole map on one screen. Advance on the castle gates while flanking the enemy from behind, feign retreat and lead your foe into a deadly trap or just sit back and watch the destruction unfold.

  • Join the fight for medieval England as you drive back the forces of the villainous Wolf.
  • Design and build your very own castle, with a working economy and brutal killing zones.
  • Battle through 21 story-based missions, defending against enemy attack and dominating your foes.
  • Besiege famous historical castles in unique game modes such as “Siege That!” or build to your heart’s content in the combat-free economic campaign.
  • High resolution graphics allow you to view the entire map on a single screen.
  • Steam Cloud support for saved games.
  • Updated for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 compatibility.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
    • Processor: 1.6GHz equivalent Intel or AMD processor
    • Memory: 512MB RAM
    • Video: 64MB video card with hardware Transform & Lighting
    • Hard Drive: 2.5GB uncompressed free space
    • Sound: DirectX 7 compatible sound card or higher
    • Direct X: DirectX 9.0c (included) or higher
    • Multiplayer: GameRanger software will be installed for mutiplayer matchmaking support
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Very Positive (39 reviews)
Very Positive (1,653 reviews)
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745 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
22 of 31 people (71%) found this review helpful
24 people found this review funny
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 7
You cannot place that there my lord. 10/10
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
13.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 31
This game has given me so many hours of fun, originally bought as a none HD version and on a DVD (remember them?) So I had to buy it to have in my collection as the DVD is gathering dust somewhere in my house. Such a beautiful game with a classic style of graphics and a great atmosphere. Just one of those games that will never be replicated by any amount of 3D visuals and modern effects that Firefly continue to create. It holds a certain charm all of its own and undoubtadly one of fireflys best crowning titles to date. They have tried to revise the formula but always end up falling short by a country mile. Which is a shame as this is such a unique game.

Basically you build castles in order to protect your Lord from dying at the hands of other Lords. Depending which game mode you play but ultimately you will play the Campaign, the main core of the game. In order to do this you are required to support a community by sourcing building materials and food stocks. Different types of food are more quickly accessible but others have longevity but are more difficult to produce and require more input to get the supply lines off the ground. You also need to build weapons and weapons systems to aid you in Defence as well as attack. As once you establish a stable economy and food supply you will be required to move onto Vanquishing your Foe. Who vary from 'The Rat' 'The Pig' through to 'the Wolf', all who hold different tactics and means to plague you or even destroy you.

You can also choose which way to rule, a caring ruler or a cruel ruler. Enforce taxes to increase your coffers..the heavier the tax obviously the more unhappy the people become. To the point they will just leave your settlement. You can sweetnen the deal though by laying gardens or placing entertainment to take the peoples mind off being fleeced of all their hard earned. A nice trick to really squeezing all you can from them is to get them hammered on booze, then crank up the taxes and watch the gold flow in to aid your war machine. Alteratively you can dot the odd gallows around the place or cages to remind the people what will happen if they do not comply. This has a negative effect though.

The scribe feeds back on your orders and it is funny to lisen to him, 'Bit much these taxes' The voice acting is awesome, the best in the series...the artwork is superb too, all the little illustrations in the books etc. Really well done, it seems furture incarnations of the game have become diluted in this retrospect.

Anyway it is a brilliant game, looking it's age now but like a fine wine holds it's own against the younger newer kids on the block. A true classic in every sense of the word.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 1
Get it for 99ct on sale and enjoy it. Its still awesome.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
30.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 12
For a 15 year old game it's aged OK. Playing fine in full HD with graphics which could kinda be considered retro now. At it's standard price of £3.50 it would have been a totally worth while £11p/hour for me, so even better from a Steam sale; a no-brainer for base builder fans scouring the back-catalogue. This original Stronghold version seemed to review far better than it's more expensive successors, and I can certainly believe that being justified.

There's a collection of historical siege scenarios, set up for you to survive with only what's given, and multi-player too, in theory (I never tried). But the single player is all that's really needed: an ample 'military' campaign with a bite sized 'economic' chaser (of 5 missions with minimal/no combat but random problems thrown at you without warning). There's no need to play a tutorial, as the main campaign is nice and gentle with introducing it's mechanics, buildings and units. It's strung together with spoken dialogue interludes, with almost passable voice acting, that step through a caricatured Britain of 1000 years hence.

The vast majority of missions are build up and/or defend against a few waves of different attacks. This was definitely the modest pace I was after. I only felt the need to YouTube help with one of these types of mission, just to expedite a solution after a couple of quick failures, and that still felt rewarding. A more major frustration was that controlling military units can be clumsy with the isometric attack ranges being tricky and unintuitive, for example. This was one aspect that made the three (or so) assault missions seem unreasonable brutal. Even after watching a couple of tutorials right through, I just couldn't pull it of, so had to switch down to the lowest 'easy' setting and save my progress at stages throughout. Still, was a good feeling to finally complete these, making you really work to finish the game, which I did, like brutal end boss sections. I can imagine some gamers actually enjoying these puzzles and wanting more, like a large scale, medieval Rainbow 6, or something.

One important tip: some of the keyboard shortcuts seemed literally indispensable, so look those up (e.g. game speed adjustment, terrain flattening and view angle).
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
The original stronghold has aged well enough. The biggest problem is clunky/lacking controls, expect to play entirely with the mouse. Build and manage an actual castle town, instead of just facerolling lumps of troops into other lumps of troops, in the masked rock/paper/scissors that most RTS games provide.

+ Music and voices
+ Economy and army management
+ Build walls, gatehouses, and towers
+ Pre-rendered graphics held up well enough
+ Grid based building, with an option to flatten visuals

+- Can zoom out, but not in
+- Most of the maps are so small that they barely fill the screen. Maybe this is because of larger modern resolutions?

- Steam doesn't work ingame
- Can't build on uneven terrain
- Without attack-move, combat is clunky
- Can't change controls, no WASD to scroll the map. Very few options in general.
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2 of 5 people (40%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 31
Stronghold HD is a RST "simulation" game considered a classic. However the game aged a lot, and only nostalgics can truly enjoy it (this is what reviews show actually), it suffers from to many flaws unacceptable by nowadays standarts.
Let's do a list :
- Graphics : the "HD" part is nonexistent. This is just some kind of zoom to adapt to the screen size. However the game is perfectly playable, this is not smth which should stop you play the game.
- The UI is also not efficient, but again, we can forgive the game since it's old.
Ok here come the real issues.
- The tutorial is nonexistant. It gives you the basics of the basics, and forgets (easily) 90% of the important informations. Fortunaly today we have Internet. Still it's a bother.
- You must place a stock pile next to another one. Why ? Because ♥♥♥♥ you that's why. This is a mere square of stones, so obviously it can't be placed freely. Results, sometimes you can't because you put your castle on a hill (the stockpile being put at the same time next to it) and the ground must be perfectly flat. This is also completely inefficient since workers must travel long distance to dispose of their ressources. There is a trick to build a long line of stockpiles then destroy the ones in the middle. It's long, tedious and not always possible, but whatever...
- Once a stockpile is full, you can't empty it, you must build to spend ressources.
- The granary works the same that the stockpile.
- The land is cursed. In one minute I managed to get fire which destroyed all my plantations, wolves and bandits (at least wolves and bandifs fought each other).
- The objective of every mission is gathering said amount of ressources (stone, bread, maces...) and sometimes smth like complete the castle. But the difficulty remains the same whatever the level of difficulty you choose. The only thing changing is how much ressources you must gather.
- This game feels like a try and die. You must repeat the same mission again and again to understand every mechanics and do a perfect game. The issue ? A mission can last several hours each time. Of course you can save, but it's hard to know beforehand if your game is already ♥♥♥♥ed or not.
- When you manage to play well enough to reach the goal before the end of the time (because of course it's time limited), the game adds difficulty to prevent you to (such as bandits onslaught).
- Building must run on coal or oil (including farms and plantations) because they're subject of spontaneous combustion. Actually to prevent fire you must build a well by building. Of course when the guy from the well (yes because there's one guy by well, other people don't try to stop the fire, it's not their job after all) come back drawning water, he goes to HIS well, even if it's at the other side of the map, not the one just next to him.
- The game is supposed to be a "simulation", still bandits can destroy (stone) building by hitting it with maces in a AoE way. And they do a lot of dammages.
- Bandits have better gear than your own troops (except the most powerful ones).
- Workers are the most courageous people you could meet. They fear nothing. That's why they take the shortest route to their destination. So if there is a fire or bandits on the way, YOLO, what could happen ? Results you lose tons of workers because they're too stupid to understand that fire burns and bandits kill (they don't run away either if bandits come to their workplace, children in the game are programed to do it, workers should do the same).
- Ranged troops (archers, crossbowmen) don't move if they're too far of a target, they just say they can't reach it. You must move them to a point then ask them to fight. Incredibly tedious, especially when the target is moving itself. Also, if they start fire to the target and this one becomes out of reach, they simply stop shooting.
- Sometimes troops stop doing a taks you gave them, because, well, because. Killing the wolves eating all my friends ? Nah I didn't like them anyway. Killing the army of rabbits eating every crops ? Nah I'm strictly carnivorous. Must be smth like that.

Reminder : the game was released two years after Age of Empire II, so several issues with the game (such as range units not going to the target themselves) are unacceptable, even for a game that old.
I'm stating facts, so only a fanboy blinded by nolstagia could accept such flaws.

Still despite all of that, I give a positive review. Why ? Because the game remains enjoyable despite being an encyclopedia of flaws. If you're the kind of player who hates losing, you will feel the urge to beat it. However I advice it only for a very low price, I paid it 0,66€ and it shouldn't cost more.
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3 of 16 people (19%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 5
Punishing and frustrating

The game starts well enough, but you'll quickly become frustrated with the clunky wall building mechanics and the relentless and overwhelming amount of attacks. So while you're busy deleting walls because the camera fooled you into thinking you filled that gap, and while you're trying to repair the damage from the last attack, you'll be about halfway done when the next attack comes.

The game becomes a game of frantically plugging holes in the ♥♥♥♥, while the AI is frantically making more holes, all while you're trying to juggle the convoluted economy system.

I cannot recommend this game, unless you enjoy heart attacks.

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1 of 12 people (8%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 13
Stronghold HD

One of those games that I bet are really nice to play with the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia, but for a new player in 2016 it feels just way too aged.

The good:
+ Passable graphics
+ Nice music
+ Okay voice acting

The bad:
- Very lacking tutorial, barely anything is explained before the player is expected to know how everything works.
- Oldschool UI, meaning everything is represented by icons without any label or tooltips, so good luck memorising what each of them means. The camera controls are also limited and clunky.
- Partly due to the above two points - especially the lacking tutorial - the game is quite more difficult (even on easy mode) than I would feel reasonable. Overall it's just a frustrating experience.

If you haven't played it before, you don't lose much.
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1 of 15 people (7%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 30
I want that hour of my life back.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
293 of 309 people (95%) found this review helpful
87 people found this review funny
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2015
More than 15 years old and still a better strategy game than Stronghold 3...
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Recently Posted
104.9 hrs
Posted: September 27
One of many games of my childhood! 10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
34.6 hrs
Posted: September 23
One of my all time favourite games!, A must buy :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
David Spence
16.5 hrs
Posted: September 22

Defending is too hard and attacking is a piece of pee. Just needs better balance!

Little fun but not engrosing.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
El Ahrairah
3.7 hrs
Posted: September 21
A slow paced and soothing medieval themed city builder, that has aged pretty well in my opinion. If you are looking for a break from high-octane Age of Empires 2 action, pick this one up.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
77.6 hrs
Posted: September 18
This game is good.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.6 hrs
Posted: September 15
This game was a large part of my childhood until the data on the disc stopped working... So glad to be finally playing this game again and for only £3.00!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
26.3 hrs
Posted: September 13
Very good game
Helpful? Yes No Funny