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 (36 reviews) - 100% of the 36 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overwhelmingly Positive (1,682 reviews) - 95% of the 1,682 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 31, 2002

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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/7/8/10 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
    • Storage: 850 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 8.1 Compatible
    • Additional Notes: GameRanger software will be installed for mutiplayer matchmaking support
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (36 reviews)
Overwhelmingly Positive (1,682 reviews)
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789 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
452.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 3
Amazing. 440+ hours put into this game.

-Lots of AI
-Campaign is challenging
-Maps ,to download online
-Castles are fun to build
-Freedom of castle creation
-Custom scenarios
-Fun to Solo opponents
-Arabic, and crusader, basically choosing what style of troops you use

That's just a few pros of this game,

Now for cons,

-Graphical glitches, this game is very old, so that's to expect,
-No updates, once again, to expect, this game is old.

That's really all the cons I can think of, that's how great this game is!
You should get this game, it's extremely fun, and it never gets OLD
Hahahahahahha im not funny.

But ya,

11/10 Would kill caliph again
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 11
Best Strategic Game Ever
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
Heck, it's Stronghold Crusader in HD, why wouldn't you buy this gem? A cult game, remade in HD, I mean come on! With this and Cossacks 3 my appetite for good ol' strategy games have been ultimately satisfied.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
407 of 424 people (96%) found this review helpful
374 people found this review funny
51.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 23, 2015
I've learned that people don't need food when they have enough beer
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331 of 351 people (94%) found this review helpful
203 people found this review funny
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2015
Greetings Sir, the desert awaits you.

1. Game of my childhood.
2. Best RTS game I ever played.
3. Wood needed.
4. Not enough gold m'lord.


Retire my lord?
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
300 of 327 people (92%) found this review helpful
391 people found this review funny
28.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 7, 2015
This game describes average relationships great

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

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178 of 190 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
68.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2013
The game from my childhood and one of the best RTS games I've ever played. Even if you don't like the genre / aren't familiar with it, you should like Stronghold Crusader. It's simple to understand, yet fun and challenging.
Firefly Studios, please, don't ♥♥♥♥ up Stronghold Crusader II.
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172 of 188 people (91%) found this review helpful
95 people found this review funny
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 18, 2015
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
254 of 301 people (84%) found this review helpful
204 people found this review funny
22.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 20, 2015
This game is:

10% luck
20% skill
15% concentrated power of will
5% pleasure
50% pain
100% reason to purchase this game
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
212 of 248 people (85%) found this review helpful
142 people found this review funny
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2014
"This game requires skilled engineers to play, m'lord!"
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Recently Posted
9.6 hrs
Posted: September 29
I used to play this game as a kid and i recently started playing it again, this is by far my favorite strategy game. I'm looking forward to trying Stronghold Crusader 2
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.1 hrs
Posted: September 27
had this game when it came out and i always loved it. it came on sell with a bundle for 4$ so i had to have it. well its so much better in hd and it fits the screen better than the old game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
35.2 hrs
Posted: September 27
This is probably one of the best RTS games I've played. Missions are a delicate balance between economy and defensive tactics. Unlimited troop count, castles are essentially free build, have your people love you or hate you. Great game, been playing it for years. Just got it on steam a few months ago.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Jake Kettle
48.1 hrs
Posted: September 25
Stronghold Crusader was a game I had played hundreds of hours of as a child. I remember playing it on an old windows 2000 machine. Like its predecessor Stronghold it is one of the best medieval strategy games on the market, and was revolutionary for its time. The game mechanics though older are superb and the campaign is worth playing through every scenario. Don't feel like fighting? Simply build a castle peacefully, and keep your people happy. The dynamics
Of the game rival most modern day strategy games. I would absolutely recommend this game to anyone who has played stronghold crusader before, and also to gamers looking for a well paced classic real time strategy game with a community that is still thriving to this day. I would definitely give it at the very least an 8/10 if
Not in my personal opinion a 10 out of 10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
8.2 hrs
Posted: September 24
This was one of the first pc games ive ever played and it still is fun today. This game made me fall in love with the rts genre.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
10.1 hrs
Posted: September 24
Product received for free
Amezing game i used to play this all the time !
if you have not already plz go buy it it is so worth it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
7.0 hrs
Posted: September 24
Helpful? Yes No Funny
45.5 hrs
Posted: September 24
If you are interested in medieval ages, crusades and building castles you SHOULD buy Stronghold Crusader.

10/10 - Best medieval themed RTS
Helpful? Yes No Funny
69.2 hrs
Posted: September 20
When I purchased Stronghold HD, Stronghold Crusader HD came bundled with it and since I loved the original (my review of Stronghold HD can be found here), I had high hopes of it. The original was a great and unique combination of a castle/city builder and siege-simulator and this game is no different, basically the same game all over again, except that it's not that great anymore. The game feels like an expansion to the original game and not a sequel, mostly because it uses shamelessly everything from Stronghold HD, which wouldn't necessarily be a problem, but it remains inferior to the original in almost every aspect.

The milieu is the (not so) vast deserts of the Middle East in the Holy Land mostly during the Third Crusade. The so called historical campaigns are separated from each other and seem rather inconsistent, so there's hardly a plot which makes the single player game satisfying. The skirmish missions are even less entertaining, so those don't help the game either. There's also an expansion called Stronghold Crusader Extreme HD, which is super disappointing and it allows the player to set custom games (which we can do in the main game as well) under extreme conditions and fight multiple opponents at the same time who tend to start with more resources than us... I managed to beat 2 at the same time, but it was a very poor experience, reminding me of old-school 'real-time strategy' games that functioned like meat grinders, where you train more and more troops and just unleash them on your enemies. Some 'strategy'...

The main difference between the original game and this one is mainly the environtment: instead of the beautiful English forestry we get to play in deserts. It makes the game harder because now anything can catch fire and that introduces the only (!) new building (the other new one is basically a tent): the well. Yes, we can only put out the randomly appearing fires using wells (or instead of several small ones just one big well). Of course the wells also require workforce, so it is vital to have a few extra peasants. Naturally wells can't prevent the occurrence of fires, so the building on fire is going to take damage and if it's the armoury full of weapons... well, we're in trouble. The other factor is the oasis, which is the only suitable area we can build food production buildings on and needless to say, their size is quite limited. At least the oasis makes the game harder in a good way (requiring careful planning), as opposed to the random fire occurrences.

In a few missions we can play the Muslim side, but these are commando missions only, so we can forget about larger sieges, the main strength of Stronghold. Of course there is sense in the Muslims having no buildings: they should look different than the ones the crusaders have... By the way the crusaders do have Middle-Eastern looking buildings which is a bit strange, but at this point it's really just a small problem.

There are Arabian soldiers, mercenaries we can hire from the previously mentioned tents, for gold (instead of resources). This is an interesting formula as it can speed up the process of training quite a bit, but again, it can turn the game into grindfests at the expense of sieges. The new soldiers are fun (the slingers are fast and cheap but are weak and can attack at short range, the horse archers have great range and are very fast, but expensive and not as accurate as the normal archers), but they are mostly reused versions of already existing units with readjusted strengths, except slaves (super cheap and weak units who can set buildings on fire) and the assassins (can climb walls and open castle gates). The assassin does have potential and can make a siege more interesting and a bit easier for the attacker. There's also a new fire ballista, a perfect tool for decimating defending archers on towers and it's also a welcome addtion to the attacking side.

Some issues that were in the original are also present here: the transparency of the buildings is still a problem when rotating the map and trying to rebuild certain sections of the castle wall and the lack of hotkeys is fatal in the fast paced matches when trying to vanquish multiple opponents. The voices of the peasants are still provided by the same person, which was fun at frist, in Stronghold HD, but this time it's obviously budget related.

Stronghold Crusader HD is obviously a letdown, not mainly because it feels like an expansion, but because it seems like a rather cheap duplicate of the great original. The new setting with all its accessories is a setback and the developer must have also felt the absence of the evil characters of the first game, because in the last mission we can meet them again (don't ask).
Accordingly I can't recommend Stronghold Crusader HD to anyone: not to newcomers and especially not to fans of the original. If you want to experience a good siege just load up Stronghold HD again.

+ some useful additions and readjustments to the game
+ last mission is challenging

- less emphasis on castle sieges
- issues from the original are still present
- campaign is not as enjoyable as the one in the original
- feels like an expansion rather than a sequel
- cheap ways to make the game harder

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