The highly anticipated sequel to the best-selling Stronghold, Stronghold Crusader HD throws you into historic battles and castle sieges from the Crusades with fiendish AI opponents, new units, 4 historical campaigns and over 100 unique skirmish missions.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,148 reviews) - 93% of the 1,148 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 31, 2002

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Recommended By Curators

"The highpoint of the castle-building series mixes economy with siege warfare. Some minor UI issues, outdated animations, but great game regardless."
Read the full review here.

About This Game

Journey to distant Arabian lands renowned for brave warriors and fearsome weaponry in Stronghold Crusader HD. The highly anticipated sequel to the best-selling Stronghold, Crusader throws you into historic battles from the Crusades with fiendish AI opponents, new units, 4 historical campaigns and over 100 unique skirmish missions.


Relive the historic Crusades as Richard the Lionheart and the Saladin, Sultan of Syria. Lead a determined group of Crusaders, forged by centuries of barbaric warfare, amidst the haze of the desert heat then fight for your freedom as the mighty Saladin.

Stronghold Crusader HD features several campaigns documenting the First, Second and Third Crusades, as well as conflicts within the individual Crusader states. Battles such as Nicea, Heraclea, siege of Antioch, Krak des Chevaliers and the Siege of Jerusalem all feature, as do the Crusader Trails from the Stronghold Warchest and Stronghold Crusader Extreme.

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.

Both Stronghold Crusader and Stronghold Crusader Extreme are included in Stronghold Crusader HD. Extreme plays exactly like the original Stronghold Crusader, only with a few additions. The unit cap has been increased from 1000 to a staggering 10,000 troops, special Tactical Powers such as the Arrow Volley can be used and new buildings make their appearance alongside the Crusader Extreme skirmish trail.

  • Join the Crusaders or the Saladin’s forces in 4 historical campaigns.
  • Fight through 100 unique skirmish missions, each one more challenging than the last.
  • Design and build your desert fortress, with a working economy and brutal killing zones.
  • Command new units with unique abilities, such as the stealthy Assassin and nimble Horse Archer.
  • 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 with latest service packs
    • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 1.6Ghz or equivalent
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 64MB DirectX 8.1 Compatible
    • DirectX: Version 8.1
    • Hard Drive: 850 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 8.1 Compatible
    • Additional Notes: GameRanger software will be installed for mutiplayer matchmaking support
Helpful customer reviews
102 of 110 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 18
Your popularity...

*Dramatic pause*


Wow, I honestly never imagined that this joke would reach the lengths it did. I suppose this justifies an actual review.

Welcome to Stronghold Crusader, a game I picked up at a whim when I was 12 (actually have about 1,000 hours clocked in the disc version of the game; I was sheltered from Steam for a long time). I had, at the time, no idea what the game was about, I just knew that I was a huge medieval era fan and decided the game looked pretty cool.
Trust me though, no matter of sweet, sweet disc cover could have prepared me for the fungasm that was Stronghold Crusader. Lets move on to an actual review now.

Stronghold Crusader is an RTS (real-time strategy) game based on the First, Second, and Third Crusade, not to mention the conflicts within Crusader states. As with all RTS', this means that you will have control of armies, workers, not to mention fortification and building construction in an attempt to outwit your opponent and kill their king.

However, Stronghold does this better than even most current-generation RTS', in my opinion, including games like Starcraft 2.

It's hard for me to come up with a "pros and cons" list, because for me, this game doesn't have any cons; difficulty is to be expected as you progress in time spent in-game. Let me spend a little time bulleting what is so attractive about this game.

-There is a multitude of units. You've got your various siege equipment (battering rams, catapults, trebuchets, you name it), melee units with their own unique advantages, ranged units similarly, various traps, MOATS (that's right nerdy kid who loves castles, moats), and chances are you will end up using every single one of these characters at some point during the game; which leads to my next point.

-No two games are alike. Before anyone corrects me, I'm aware that there are (always have been) certain strategies to try and end games quickly; slave rushing; mercenary armies in early game, etc. That being said, these strategies are not always reliable and will leave you resourceless. The fact is that you are probably going to need a different strategy for each game you play, ESPECIALLY in multiplayer.

-The game itself is rich in history, which I personally find fascinating. The single player campaign will have you drilling your way through multiple missions; these missions are based off the real accounts of the First, Second, and Third Crusades, as well as the intergroup struggles that grew in that time. You will command armies in historic battles like the Siege of Jerusalem, Heraclea, and Krak des Chevaliers. All this is accompanied by what I find to be a stellar set of voice actors and most likely the best squire a king could ever ask for creates an almost life-like representation of the era.
You know what, the squire gets his own bullet.

-The squire; this awesome individual is your in-game guide/cheerleader/father-figure. If you play the game, you WILL learn to love him. The squire is a non-physical character who informs you of how you are doing, whether you are under attack, or if you are out of resources. He will sit and shout in your ear "WOOD NEEDED" or "THE GRANARY STOCKS ARE FULL, M'LORD."

-Resource management. While not really a new feature to RTS', the resource management in this game will force you to think steps ahead of your opponent, or suffer the consequences; every resource is expendable. "Not enough stone to build your walls? Buy some from the trade post for gold, or trade your other resources to get that precious stone. Beware, though, trade too much of one resource and it may dry up and your stocks will quickly be depleted, which means you are screwed when it comes to anything that requires that resource.

-Multiplayer. This is where 90% of my horus playing this game went. I could sit here and rant onward about all of my games where I had almost lost, but like the underdog of the story, I prevailed!
However, I won't; as a matter of fact, I will make this really simple: take every bulletpoint I've created, and imagine what it'd be like to face another person. The campaign missions may not necessarily be the most difficult, but the multiplayer is where I am convinced Army strategists should be trained for real-life duty. How you act in a game, every move you make, every resource you spend/use, will affect the outcome and decide whether you are truly the king of the land, or whether you are a lonely peasant, not fit to lick the boot of your opponent.

Despite not being the most "relevant" entry in the RTS genre, Stronghold Crusader still manages to remain an idol to be followed for other RTS games. If you are truly skipping my beautifully composed points above, just know that the game is wonderful. For the price it's listed at now, I would say you are criminally insane to not buy it.

"Do you recommend this game?" Steam asks.
My response?

"Of course, m'lord!"
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
68 of 74 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
21.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
This game describes average relationships great

"Not enough wood m'lord"
"Not enough gold m'lord"

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
33 of 36 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
29.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 7
in time of war,, people dont need food,, they need beer...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
44 of 57 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
Three brave slaves burned entire city of the infidels. I would save Islam again.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
21 of 27 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 30
Wood needed :D
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