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One-handed weapons[edit]

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Basic swords, axes and maces are in this category. This is the most usual weapon type, since it allows the player/unit to use a shield, and are very fast weapons. Defence and swiftness of course has to come for a cost, so the drawback to this weapon type is that the relative range and damage is less than comparatively larger weapons (such as two-handed weapons and some polearms).

Two-handed weapons[edit]

Two handed weapons deal more damage than one-handed weapons, but are generally slower. While on horseback all weapons are used with only one hand, so two-handed weapons suffer a 35% penalty to speed and damage when used from horseback. You also cannot use a shield despite having a hand free.

The Bastard Sword (normal, heavy and samurai one) is a special type of two-handed weapon; as indicated in its pop-up it can be wielded either way. By putting away your shield (PC Mouse Wheel Down.png) you can switch to two-handed, and vice versa. When on foot it allows you to have the two-handed advantage (which is lack of 35% penalty) against melee foes by wielding it with both hands while still leaving you the option of using a shield when under fire from ranged troops.


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On foot, polearms require some special tactics and, as such, are often misunderstood. When wielded in two hands they can do incredible damage with the thrust attack and decent blunt damage with the side swings and overhead attacks. The thrust attack does piercing damage, which is more effective against armor than cutting damage. If you want to use a shield with spears you will need to sacrifice power and side swings and overhead attack. A spear and shield deals moderate damage from great range, and being able to protect yourself with a shield at the same time is excellent for supporting your troops in single player. For fights when you don't have troops to fall back on, however, it's usually best to use it two-handed. In multi-player games, polearm and shield infantry setups are not recommended due to the limited attack options and the need to keep your distance from your opponent.

On horseback, certain polearms gain a new ability known as "couching." With any lance, the player has the ability to couch their lance by pressing "x" while moving at a high speed, which allows the player to impale an opponent on the tip of their lance. A couch lance deals incredibly high damage to an opponent, often killing them instantly. Once you have a good number of points into this skill (weapon speed isn't an issue if you use it on horseback to couch) range becomes the most important factor.

Polearms that do not have the ability to couch are limited to only a thrust attack on horseback. The only exceptions are the hafted blade (both short and long version), long war axes, and long great axes. You access the axe chop attack by pressing x.

See Arena for more.


The following bows exist in the game, listed in order of most damage:

  • Hunting Bow
  • Short Bow
  • Nomad Bow
  • Khergit Bow
  • Long Bow
  • Strong Bow
  • War Bow

Like other ranged weapons, bows can be cracked (reducing damage) or bent (reducing accuracy).


  • Shoots quickly.
  • Can shoot and reload while moving.
  • All bows can be used on horseback.
  • Damage increases and arc decreases with the Power Draw skill.


  • Requires higher skill to become accurate, especially on horseback.
  • Defenseless unless you carry a shield and second weapon.
  • Shots arc at long ranges.

See Ranged for more.


A typical crossbow.

The following crossbows exist in the game, listed in order of most damage:

  • Hunting Crossbow
  • Light Crossbow
  • Crossbow
  • Heavy Crossbow
  • Siege Crossbow

Like other ranged weapons, crossbows can be cracked (reducing damage) or bent (reducing accuracy).


  • Deals good damage even with low skill.
  • Very accurate (99%) even with low skill.
  • Very long range.
  • Shots don't arc as much making long-range shots easier.


  • Slow reload.
  • Cannot reload while moving on foot.
  • Only Light and Hunting Crossbows can be reloaded on horseback.
  • Damage dealt is strictly limited by the crossbow, so you need to get a better one to deal more damage.


Throwing weapons are the hardest to properly use. They have the worst accuracy, lowest range, and highest arc of all ranged weapons.

Throwing weapons, unlike other ranged weapons, can be used while holding a shield so you can throw something between blocks. They're also fast and immediately have maximum accuracy so there's no need to wait a long time for the aiming reticule to decrease in size. Many throwing weapons though have low damage but their power skill has the second highest boost so they're potentially very dangerous. They can also be thrown very rapidly. They give you an effective ranged weapon without having to spend two inventory slots (a launcher and ammo with crossbows/bows) and without having to sacrifice a shield.

There are a number of throwing weapons, given below in order of increasing damage and decreasing ammo count:


These are plentiful (though hard to actually obtain) with around 25 shots, with almost no noticeable arcing. They deal a small amount of damage, but it is blunt type damage so even enemies in heavy armor will be injured. If nothing else, the limited arc and high number of projectiles make them good practice for other ranged weapons.

Throwing Knives/Throwing Daggers[edit]

These come in smaller quantities than stones (less than 20), with an increased arc. But the damage is also increased, and of the cutting type. Because the player is always equipped with these when sneaking into enemy towns, learning to use these can be very helpful, as they can dispatch guards more quickly than the staff.


These are spears which are thrown at the enemy. The ammo count is very low (7-8), 1 point in power throw is required to use javelins (2 for jarids), and the weapon has an arc that makes it difficult to use past short range. They deal piercing damage however, which makes them a powerful weapon against heavily armored opponents. They also deal bonus damage against shields. Both have "heavy" and "balanced" varieties, both of which deal more damage, but the heavy version requires another point of power throw to use and is slower, while the balanced version is faster than the standard form of the weapon.

Throwing Axes[edit]

Similar to javelins, these weapons trade a low ammo count (7-8) and short effective range for impressive power. Unlike javelins they deal cutting damage and are thus best suited for enemies in lighter armor. They also require 1 point in power throw to be used. They also deal bonus damage against shields, similar to the javelin and other axe weapons. As with the javelins, there are heavy and balanced forms of throwing axes.


  • The different projectiles cover all damage types.
  • Effective against melee enemies without shields, outranging them while being faster to fire than a bow or crossbow.


  • The lower power projectiles may take many hits to kill an enemy, while the more powerful ones are limited in number.
  • Can easily be countered by board shields.
  • The projectiles with cutting damage are less effective against armored enemies.
  • Limited effective range, generally shorter than that of a bow.


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This special type has been included from Mount&Blade 0.730 and onwards. Firearms have completely different handling from bows or crossbows. This skill is only available in mods, not all of which have it enabled. Unlike bows, the aiming reticule does not widen if held for too long and the aiming reticule when held is firmly placed.

The only firearm that is already in native is the flintlock pistol. However, it isn't available without cheating.

Some mods convert bows and crossbows into additional firearm categories. Refer to the mod's manual or forum for specifics.

Firearms reload even more slowly then crossbows on average but in some mods such as 1866, you can have several rounds in the weapon, allowing you to make several attacks before reloading.