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 (88 reviews) - 96% of the 88 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (1,678 reviews) - 93% of the 1,678 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.

40 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
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Very Positive (88 reviews)
Very Positive (1,678 reviews)
Recently Posted
Agent 47
11.7 hrs
Posted: August 24
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.3 hrs
Posted: August 23
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Swiss Pepe
3.6 hrs
Posted: August 19
Steam will tell you, that I payed Stronghold for X amount of hours, but that is not true. Most of my playtime was years ago and without steam.

My nostalgia turn up to max and I forget my tiemfeeling for a day or two.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
53.4 hrs
Posted: August 19
I grew up with the demo & always wanted to play this beauty.Having bought it for my birthday,I can say I'm not disappointed in the least.Decent characters,memorable quotes from the units,ability to change the difficulty of any level,ability to change game speed,economic,siege,I can't think of what I could want for this type of game that this game doesn't provide.I'd say this game is a solid 8/10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
63.2 hrs
Posted: August 18
"Input not supported" Sigh... I can't even play it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
22.8 hrs
Posted: August 17
Spilled flaming oil over enemies. Fire spread. Burned my city to the ground. Everyone died.
10/10 would watch hundreds of people burn alive again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.7 hrs
Posted: August 16
this series used to have a strong hold on the rts genre, but it crumbled
Helpful? Yes No Funny
10.2 hrs
Posted: August 15
The original Stronghold game. Great play actually altho it is an older title. PAY YOUR RESPECTS then move on to the newer versions.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
71.1 hrs
Posted: August 14
I never liked the term 'real-time strategy' (first associated with Dune 2), because usually there isn't much strategy involved in these types of games. All you need to do is producing more units than your enemies have and simply overpower them. Later on, many RTS titles implemented RPG elements into the game (Warcraft 3 for example) trying to add more possibilities, thus making the game look like a real strategy game. Of course if you've ever played games like Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat or Rome: Total War, you simply laugh at such attempts, because these games are that can truly be called STRATEGY games.

Stronghold however can also earn the strategy title, even though it's more similar to Warcraft or Command & Conquer, than it is to Rome: Total War. We advance from one mission to another, collecting resources, training soldiers, there are no troops, but single, individual soldiers etc.. Still, the fact that we can design and build castles, makes this game very unique. From castle wall tiles to mighty towers with ballistas there are many variations. So basically it's better to define the game as a 'castle simulator', as the developers call it.

According to the campaign, the game takes place in a fictionalized dark yet still funny version of early medieval England and we play as a young lord of a county. Our father had been killed by four villains (nicknamed after animals they best bear resemblance to) and now they are plotting to kill the absent king and take over the throne of England. Of course it'll be our job to stop them. The game can be played in a peaceful manner (just like Caesar 3), where we have to reach certain economic goals, or we can choose the military campaign that focuses on combat and castle sieges. (And since the game is a castle simulator, I think it's pretty obvious which one should be chosen by everyone :))

As mentioned before we can build our own castle (most of the time we already have one though) according to our liking, carefully placing towers, gatehouses, moats around the castles and so on. At the beginning of the campaign we only have to protect our men from the attacks of wolf packs and bears, but later on the most powerful of the villains (called the Wolf) will throw everything at us he has at his disposal, including heavily armored units, battering rams, trebuchets and even tunnelers, who can dig under castle walls, causing them to collapse.
Of course there are many ways to stop the besiegers by reinforcing castle walls, building more towers at critical points and placing ballistas on top of them (this requires engineers, who can also pour boiling oil on nearby attackers), placing war dog cages and traps and most importantly by using as many archers and crossbowmen as possible. Archers are quite weak and don't deal much damage, but moving them onto towers greatly increases their effectiveness. By placing braziers nearby, they'll be able to fire burning arrows which adds to their damage and with which they can ignite pitch ditches setting enemy units on fire.
We will quickly learn how harder it is to besiege a castle than defending it. It requires a lot more men and careful planning: drawing enemy fire, filling up moats, taking out towers at critical points, avoiding pit traps and launching the final attack. The game gets more satisfying towards the end as we progress, it's a shame that the last mission turns out to be one of those unimaginative fixed army ones, instead of a great siege the game should have deserved,

While besieging the castles of our opponents and defending our own, we also have to manage the village next to our castle (even if we didn't choose the economic path), similar to the classic Settlers game (just like there, we can't control our villagers directly here either, they do their job on their own). The economic chain is good and logical with some resources being more useful than the others. Wood for example is needed for almost everything, stone is necessary only for building and repairing defensive structures. Food is required to keep villagers well fed and thus happy, so they will actually stay in our village while gold is essential for recruiting soldiers. The more types of food the people eat the happier they'll be and more tax can be collected from them. Not every resource is availabe at every mission though, some maps are lacking forests, some are lacking fertile soil. A good tactic in these missions can be the selling off food surplus at trade posts and buying the missing materials. Sometimes managing the village can be troublesome during sieges, but we'll usually have enough time to build up our economy beforehand. What's important is to place every manufacturer near our stockpile/warehouse and all food producing buildings in the vicinity of the granary and there shouldn't be any problems.

There are many types of missions in the campaign: most of the time we only have to repel enemy attacks and successfully defend our castle, sometimes we have to besiege and take over enemy castles and kill enemy lords (we are also present at each mission, on top of the town hall, obviously if we die, it's game over), this can also have a time limit, or sometimes we'll have to produce and stockpile a certain amount of the aforementioned materials to complete a mission. At the beginning of the missions we'll be introduced a new unit, building or equipment thus becoming experts by the end of the game with all of them (even though the explanation of new things aren't always the best, the one about the use of boiling oil for example or how to dig or full up moats could have been described better in my opinion).

The graphics is obviously outdated (the game first came out in 2001) and even though it's in 1080p, it only means that everything became smaller. On the other hand, it still has its charms and it's relaxing to watch and listen to the trees rustling, the villagers going about their business or watch as the siege equpiments begin to work. The character animations are well made and the little 2d sprite models look detailed enough. The grim yet still funny mood which radiates from the cutscenes is also a plus and they successfully connect the missions with each other. The music during the campaign is also very enjoyable and perfectly fitting. The fact that the character sounds originate from a single person (yes, the female villagers' too) further strengthens the joke side.

The problem from the old version still remains though (actually it got worse due to everything becoming smaller): it's very hard to reach anything behind objects, especially inside the castle. It's unnecessary to explain how irritating it is not being able to repair some parts of the castle because they are obscured or blocked by something and can't be clicked on, no matter how we rotate the map or use other views. The lack of shortcut buttons is also one of the flaws, but at least it applies to everyone in multiplayer.

Stronghold HD is a very good example of how a real-time strategy or castle simulator should be made. It provides fun, unique, complex gameplay and after all those years it still doesn't fail to entertain. And no, it's not just nostalgia, take a look at Warcraft 2 or Command & Conquer, they really didn't age well. To top it all off, during sale it costs less than a EUR or USD. Considering everything I would call this game a real retro experience and certainly a good one.

+ a unique castle simulator and also a village builder
+ lots of variety to defend and besiege castles
+ lovable graphics, music and cutscenes
+ really low price

- some objects can obscure others, making them unreachable
- last mission is disappointing

Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.6 hrs
Posted: August 13
Childhood. <3
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
49 of 50 people (98%) found this review helpful
17 people found this review funny
22.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 9
Product received for free
After playing some hours, the advisor would ask you: "What about a snack, my liege?"

I miss those things in the later games.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
34 of 36 people (94%) found this review helpful
14 people found this review funny
24.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 9
''You have been playing for a very long time, sire''
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
20 of 20 people (100%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
Fifteen years hasn't taken anything away from this game, especially with the improved resolution of the HD version. What a game. Double rations!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
14.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 9
Oldschool strategy game with a great campaign. Brings back the nostalgia.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
Just as good as stronghold crusader.

Old but gold.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
22.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
Spilled flaming oil over enemies. Fire spread. Burned my city to the ground. Everyone died.
10/10 would watch hundreds of people burn alive again.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 11
Classic goodness. i didint notice untill now Stronghold is very close to a sucessor of lords of the realm 2
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 13
I just bought the game for 1.49. It's amazing. "need more wood sire"
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
19.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 9
Medieval castle building 101

This game goes in-depth at building / managing a medieval army. There's even an economic campaign if you don't feel like waging wars.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 12
Best Game Ever Within The Genre
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