Live the life of a medieval lord in Stronghold Kingdoms, the world’s first persistent Castle MMO.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (3,920 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 27, 2012

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"The game that saved Firefly, Kingdoms was created by a skeleton team of four developers. It now has 3 million players. [Firefly Studios Developed Game]"

Recent updates View all (4)

October 2

Achievements Update

New Objectives, Higher Levels and Tracking

Greetings Sire. The latest Stronghold Kingdoms update includes a host of new challenges. Numerous additions to the Achievements system provide the Lords and Ladies of SHK with new objectives and higher goals for existing achievements. Read on for changes to the forest-type Castle screen, a new forest area and more:

New Achievements – Earn the 'Evil Lord' title by nefariously ridding the lands of Paladin Castles or claim the title of 'Treasure Hunter' by salvaging riches from Treasure Castles.

Achievement Levels – 'Double Diamond', 'Triple Diamond' and 'Sapphire' levels now require more skill and enduring when earning your medals, but also rewarding you more generously than ever before.

Achievement Tracker – Players can now view and track their progress for most Achievements by hovering over the medals.

New Castle Screen – Lords and Ladies with forest type villages will now find forests surrounding their castles on the Castle screen.

Extra Proclamations – Governors and Kings are now able to send proclamations more frequently, once every three days.

We hope you enjoy these new additions to the game! The ability to track Achievements has been a frequent player request for some time now, so it gives us great pleasure to add this along with extended levels and new Achievement types.

Players can discuss the new update and view a complete list of changes, additions and information regarding the Achievements update here - Update Forum Thread

1 comments Read more

September 4

Avatars Update

New Outfits Added!

Sire, I have some troubling news. Your peasants have had the gall to discuss your current attire amongst themselves... Rumour has it that your majestic clothing is outdated! While we of course disagree with such contumelious talk and would rather have everyone hanged, we do need workers. So we have ordered some new clothes for you to try on, my Lord! The newest Stronghold Kingdoms updates adds 29 unseen garments and accessories to your wardrobe, bringing new style to the Kingdom! Entertain your sedulous and loyal troops by wearing turquoise bunny ears on the battlefield, let a scar across your battle-hardened face send shivers of terror through your enemies' veins or demonstrate your fearlessness by walking on a bed of ravaging flames. Create one of 4,608 new avatars as you please (Not counting colour variations) or let us put together a random unique outfit for you to try on.

With larger updates scheduled for the next few months we are thankful for your continued support, providing us with a steady flow of new ideas and suggestions. Don't forget to visit the forums and submit your unique suggestions and make your mark on the Kingdoms experience, allowing you to be an active participant in the transformation of our Castle MMO. We already have a list of surprises lined up for you, large and small, which we can't wait to share!

Players can discuss the new update here - Update Forum Thread

4 comments Read more


“There’s a whole lot to keep strategy veterans happy”
8.5 – Strategy Informer (Review)

“A level of depth that goes beyond the normal Stronghold games”
Hooked Gamers (Review)

“It's truly NOT a pay to win game”
ZAM (First Look)

About This Game

Update 14: Strategy Cards

More than 20 new strategy cards have been added to Stronghold Kingdoms. Aimed at both new and veteran players, our August update affects all areas of gameplay from taxation to honour and warfare. These new cards, which can either be bought or acquired through gameplay, come in a variety of different flavours. Heavy Haulage boosts production of raw materials, Super Tax provides access to extra tax bands and Renown Philosopher instantly completes a large amount of research. Whether you're a card collector aiming to complete the Kingdoms deck or a warlord looking to deliver the killing blow, this new update has something for everyone.

Improvements have also been made to the attacks system, allowing players to set a list of rival targets through the world map and prepare more effectively timed attacks. Finally a Shield of the Week gallery has been created on the official Stronghold Kingdoms website, collecting and immortalising the years of work players have put into their in-game Coat of Arms.

Game Description

Live the life of a medieval lord in Stronghold Kingdoms, the world’s first persistent castle MMO. A unique PC Strategy game, Stronghold Kingdoms brings together online interactivity and community, with a richly-depicted medieval world and thousands of real world players.

Besiege the castle that’s never been taken, overthrow ruthless tyrants, bankroll your faction’s war effort, pillage your neighbour’s resources, peacefully raise cattle or do it all! A range of stats, rankings and achievements gives every player something to aim for, from ‘Banquet King’ and ‘Peacebringer’ to 'Besieger of the Month' and ‘Lionheart'! Factions, elections, liege lords and their vassals all provide a real sense of structured community, with many different ways to chat with other players, discuss strategies and build allegiances.

While an impregnable castle should be at the heart of any lord or lady's domain, you can also specialise with a vast research tree. Starting as a humble peasant, each promotion brings with it valuable research points to spend on trading, diplomacy, warfare, farming, religion and more. Be aware though, as your power grows so does your responsibility. Your vassals and parishioners will look to you for guidance and leadership. You may find yourself fighting for the crown itself!

Key Features

  • Build Your Online Stronghold – Crush the invading hordes with impenetrable castle defences. Then launch a counterattack!
  • Plot the Perfect Village – Plan your village layout, arrange buildings for maximum productivity and watch it come to life.
  • Explore a Vast Research Tree – Are you a farmer, trader, diplomat or warlord? Research new technology to specialise and gain the edge.
  • Fight For Your Faction – Join a faction, attack its enemies and return triumphant with their captured banners!
  • Play for Free! – Stronghold Kingdoms is free to play, so no subscription or upfront payment is required.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista SP1 or Windows 7 (Windows Update Recommended)
    • Processor: 1GHz or Faster
    • Memory: 512Mb RAM for Windows XP (1GB for Windows Vista & 7)
    • Hard Disk Space: 150 Mb of Hard Drive Space
    • Video Card: DirectX 9 Compatible Graphics Card
Helpful customer reviews
148 of 168 people (88%) found this review helpful
2,056.2 hrs on record
This game is fun, and one of the best MMORTS games there is. Unfortunately, it is extremely pay to win. Unless you want to spend your money on crowns to get premium accounts and card packs, it's not worth it.
Posted: June 22
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106 of 116 people (91%) found this review helpful
199.2 hrs on record
I had serious fun with this game, as you can see on my playtime counter. This game was REALLY good a year or two ago. Now? It's really, really unbalanced. People who are the most powerful usually buy cards to make their armies & castles stronger. And the people who don't buy those stuff just get downed by those who do. But if you ask me, you can still have fun with this game. BUT again in the end, i can't really recommend this.
Posted: July 24
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95 of 109 people (87%) found this review helpful
429.6 hrs on record
Pay to win crap, avoid
Posted: June 26
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60 of 65 people (92%) found this review helpful
1,170.9 hrs on record
Stronghold Kingdoms is without doubt a complex, unique and interesting game, mostly due to the wide range of interaction possibilities between players, that usually become more and more important the more you get into the game. But is it also a good game, that I would recommend to my friends and such? We will see.

When starting as a new player you will mostly be excited about all the cool researches that you can unlock, about the ranking up and village polishing, that will keep you busy and entertained at the same time. The game does quite well at that, and manages to introduce you into all the different aspects one after another, which keeps you motivated without overdemanding you. However, it can be said that the longer you play, that these things become less and less important. Researching and ranking up will become slower and slower and less interesting, and you will most likely start to see the computer generated castles and attacks more as an annoyance, than as a welcome gameplay element. And then once you kinda got over that "PvE" content of the game, you will see that the "PvP" is all that matters.

And there we go allready: despite some short noob protection time, that covers up your villages for 3-5 days right after spawn/purchase, you are ALLWAYS in PvP mode, so to say. And there is basically no way to disable it. You build your villages on a wide, open map, protect it with some simple castle structures within a fairly limited area, but no matter if you are currently taking part in a fight and staring at your screen like a maniac, or instead sleeping/busy with school, work, whatever/or simply not ONLINE (how dare you!?), you can be attacked from everyone, at any time, and from every place on the map! This game never stops, it just goes on and on, no matter if you like it or not. Combine that with the extremely fast army speeds, and you get a really really bad mixture allready. While playing within a medieval setting, the game doesn't let armies march somewhere, instead it sends them "flying" across the map, with the speed of a jet plane. You aren't online between the few minutes/hours of attack launch and arrival? Then say "bye bye" to your village. Stronghold Kingdoms in that matter can be an extremely fast and unforgiving game, and will play a lot like a RTS game, where units get moved around quickly to strike at enemy weak spots, or simply roll them over with some more armies, in case the defence is good. That could be a fun thing then, but as said this game is pretty UNIQUE, and so the outcome is pretty weird: fights slow down or stop completely, when both sides are online and aware. Like it normally is the case with any other ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ game. But they can heat up up until total annihilation, when it turns out that one side is NOT online, and the enemy finds out about that.

Even that, you could say, is no problem since you then just have to take it as bad luck, get yourself together and move on, in case you were on the receiving end. Building new villages, gathering forces, then strike back. But at this exact point, the game turns out to be terribly broken, and this aspect then is the thing that seriously ruins the "PvP" experience in a whole. Because if you think rebuilding is as fast and easy as attacking, then you are wrong. It's not.

Building or rebuilding a village in Stronghold Kingdoms is slow. Very slow. It takes around one month(!) to build up a full castle from scratch (with full research!), and even longer to do the same with the village part, that belongs to each castle. While placing buildings at first is easy and fast (in case you manage to supply the new village with ressources), the building speed becomes slower and slower the more buildings you placed allready. A mechanics that you normally just find in browser games. The castle building time as such means allready that you will be without proper defence for at least some weeks, but the village building speed basically tops that all and guarantees for a really slow recovering after successfull enemy attacks. Get razed within seconds, then build up again for months. Well, bad luck there, I guess you better should have stayed awake that night. :)

Basically you are an idiot, for building up on your own, that's what the game tells you. But seeing that the attack option where villages get deleted completely is the most widely used variant, you might want to agree that at least someone has to do it at some point. Those people will then get insulted as "farmers", but truth is that they are the only ones that keep fighting gameplay alive, since they are the ones that supply the material on which wars can get fought on.

So overall this can be said about Stronghold Kingdoms: It's a slowly starting, and even in later gameplay mostly also slowly playing medieval-styled game, that sadly counters this slow and repetitive build-up part with a very fast and unforgiving wreck-down part, and therefor fails to balance out these two important core gameplay mechanics. The only thing that may keep you going at the end are the various friends and allies that you meet over time...putting the gameplay itself aside, the game offers you a lot of pretty well made communication possibilities then, with ingame forums, a private message system, and (sadly rarely used) ingame live chatrooms. You can then moan together with your friends about the plonker that just destroyed your good, fully built village over night for no good reason within 5 minutes, and maybe gather together for a just as merciless counterattack. But that, seriously, isn't half as entertaining as it may sound like. ;) So go and try out the game (it's free, after all...), have some fun with it, but watch out for the possibly unbalanced and unfair end-game part, that will mostly either bore you to death, stomp you into the ground completely, or offer you an uncertain thing inbetween those 2 options.
Posted: July 14
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39 of 39 people (100%) found this review helpful
1,091.2 hrs on record
If you can play 24 hours a day you might have the upper hand in winning without paying....
I have played with the top 50 in many worlds and its always the same.
A new world starts, a premium player (house of cards) throws down 10 research cards and extra honor to advance fast...
a non premium player wouldn't have a chance.

I have over 1000hrs in this game. Don't waste your time.

Posted: June 20
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1,862 of 2,105 people (88%) found this review helpful
1,813.7 hrs on record
I played this game for awhile on multiple worlds, and while it was sort of fun while it lasted, in the end the game isn't worth it.

The game is nothing but a "Pay to Win" game.
Whether it's buying more cards or buying Premium Tokens, both give very big unfair advantages.

To even keep up with many other players in the worlds, you will need to spend bunch of actual money to progress, otherwise you will lose fast.

Despite my game time, i give this a "Not Reccomended" to save you the 100's upon 1000's of hours you would waste on it, only for some pay to win person to raze or capture all your villages, thus making you start all over.

I should have said this before, but this is basically a Facebook Game, on Steam.
Many people are correct for saying that too.

Review Update:
Also, i'd like to add unless you join a brand new world the moment it's active, it will be extremely hard to get far on it.

You can use cards you aquired from other worlds in the new world, which is 1 way people stock up to get very far in new worlds.
And, usually within the first 48 to 72 hours, people will be already Rank 14 to 16 (or higher), and start taking over major parts of the world, making factions, join big houses, and conquer large areas.

Then if they move to your area, some may bully you to give up your Parish(es), or may even capture/raze your villages, just to clear you out so you don't vote for somebody else.
(The above happened to me a few times on multiple worlds.)

Also, the game has an "Inactive" system. Info below (Copied from wiki)

A village will be automatically abandoned when a player hasn't played or is dormant for a specific period of time; this time is dependant upon which rank they have reached.
The higher the rank, the longer it takes for the village to become abandoned.
If a premium token is in play at the time of going inactive, the player's account (and therefore, their village) will remain active until the premium token runs out.

More Info on days here:

So basically, depending on your rank, if you don't sign on after xx many of days (whether you forget, internet is down, computer is broken, etc.), ALL VILLAGES you have in that world will be deleted.
Now, you will keep your same rank along with all you researched, but you will have to start over with only 1 village.

And even if you restart, there is a low chance you can be placed in the same area you were previously located.

And people that downvote this Review, are most likely the "Pay to Win" or "Bully" people I mentioned.
Don't let them sucker you into thinking it's not pay to win.

They most likely want more people to attack, so they can gain honour faster as well as maybe get free villages that you did the work setting up, but they take the rest.

Review Update 2:
To the people that either "question" why I played over 1,800+ hours in a game to not recommend it, ask yourself this:

"Do you count all the hours you play of an MMO Game you play?"
The answer most likely is no.

Playing one of those, can also EASILY add 100's upon 1000's of hours too.
Keep in mind, the gametime spans across about 1½ years.

This game has MANY different worlds.
I originally started in World 5 where I met people and joined a guild, we tried to also start in new worlds as they opened.

To keep it short, in World 6 when it opened up, there were many trolls, House members (H10 and H16) took over the area, capturing villages including mine, without warning.

Me along with alot of other people gave up on that world, as there was not really any way to keep progressing.
Many of them go far due to they gained rank fast with saved up cards.

We tried it again when World 7 was introduced, but it didn't go any better.

Within 48 to 72 hours the Leaders of the House, had already been Rank 19+ .
I think they had like 6+ villages by then.
This was a combindation of "Pay to Win" and they were beta world 7 players, whose rank didn't get reset.

By the time World 8 started, i didn't even bother to try for it, since i knew the outcome would be the same as World 6 and 7.

World 5 was fine for awhile, but then House 1 went for World Wide Domination (which they succeeded).
Again they bullied everybody to vote for them so they could take our Country and County.
Most of the house leaders was in the Top 100, insanely high rank/stats/villages/troops/production/etc.

Even after the World got sent to the "2nd Age", it didn't make a different.
They just regrouped (under a new house i think) and took over the world again.

I didn't even stick around to find out what happened next.
I heard in "3rd Age" it happened again.

It was like "what's the point of playing anymore?"
No matter what you try, you can't win when the enemy guilds have like 3x the villages you have (and that's PER Guild Member).
They most likely have dozens upon 100's of Vasseled Armies.
Each Vasseled Army = 500 Troops.

As quoting the computer Joshua from WarGames, "The only winning move is not to play" which is sadly very true.

Don't waste the time and frustration i did trying to play this game.

And, for those trolls STILL Questioning on gametime, just shut up and stop.
Had i played like 10 hours, people would ♥♥♥♥♥ because i didn't play long enough.
But I have over 1800 and now that's considered "too much"?

Reasons it's Pay to Win
Source Info:

You can spend money to buy Premium Tokens and Card Packs in the game.
Card Packs (depending on what pack it is) will give you 5 random cards per pack.

Premium Tokens let you do things that you can't do unless you buy one.
(The following are for when online)
First is Building Queue. This lets you in EACH village set it up to add 4 more buildings to a queue to be built next. Default it's only 1 building at a time, so you will have to be on to place the next building without a token.
In the beginning it's not that big of deal, but later in the game when buildings take hours upon hours, it GREATLY helps.

Move Builds - This is by far the 2nd biggest reason. The ability to MOVE your buildings you place anytime you want. By default you can't move then. If you place a building in the wrong spot, tough.
You have to delete it, wait like 5 to ?? minutes (depends if you are deleting other buildings also) just to build it again, wasting resources.

Research Queue - This is the biggest reason. In the beginning it won't that big of deal, but later in game when you're higher rank, research time takes longer and longer.
Prince Rank, it took me up to 18 HOURS+ for each research.
By default, you can only research 1 thing, no queue. This adds 4 more to the queue to auto research.
Research plays a key role in the game, so that's why it's important.
(Troop health, what units you unlock, what you can build for castle, food, etc.)

Village Overview - Honestly i never used it. It's just more of a convenience to see each village production/stats.

(The followingwill activate once every two (2) to four (4) hours when you're not logged in.)
Auto Trading - Game will auto trade food to your parish, depending on the % you set it to.
Auto Scouting - Auto Sends out scouts to stashes for you.
Auto Attack - Auto Attack targets (Wolves, Bandit Camps, AI, etc).
Auto Recruiting - Lets you recruit troops automatically (assuming you have gold and enough weapons).

Crowns (In-Game Currency, costs actual money)

You can read about crowns in the above link. (Hit Review Limit again so can't go into detail.)
Posted: November 25, 2013
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