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Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord - How to improve your Smithing skill, set up a Workshop and find Charcoal

Smithing and running a successful workshop are key to earning loads of Denars and crafting the finest weapons and armour, but how do you get started?

Depending on your culture and background choices, you might already have decent smithing skills, as well as moderate trading abilities and charm. If capturing and selling prisoners isn't you're jam and you're looking for more of a morally acceptable income, setting up a workshop is a good idea. You'll need around 16,000 Denar to get started, mind you, so it's quite the investment.

You can also smith items and sell them, or equip your troops with them, earning you both money and power. Charcoal is another key element that you'll need for both, as it's both profitable and useful. With that in mind, let's take a look at how to run a successful workshop, improve your smithing skills and where to find charcoal.

Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord - How to run a workshop

As I said earlier, you'll need to pay a big chunk of money upfront to set up your workshop - at least 16,000 Denar. Alongside gathering some cash, you'll need to unlock the first trading and smithing capabilities by searching bandits. Chase them down and gather up their gear and sell it in markets and remember; the bigger the town, the more Denar you'll make. You can also melt down loot that's unprofitable to gather new materials, which you can then refine and sell or use to craft weapons.

In early access, you'll be able to run either a Smith or a Wood workshop, depending on your skills and items. When in a town that has a Wooden Workshop, Brewery, Wine Press or Smith, speak to the staff and purchase a workshop. You'll then need to provide the workshop with materials, such as hardwood or charcoal, which you can source from nearby towns such as Andurn.

The Smith and Wood workshops generate the most income early on as the resources are easier to locate, so if you're looking for a quick buck, they're your best choice.

Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord - Smithing

You'll want high Endurance if you want to be a good Smith, so choose your background wisely.

When you select a town, choose the Smithy option to access the forge. You'll be offered various options, such as Smelt, Forge or Refine. You won't be able to stay at the Smithy forever, either, so you'll need to revisit over several in-game days. At one point, you'll be able to choose a perk which lets you smith Iron and Charcoal more efficiently, which is super handy early on.

There are nine main resources you'll need for the different smithing types, which you can buy from traders, plunder from caravans or gather from smelted items:

  • Charcoal
  • Crude iron
  • Fine steel
  • Hardwood
  • Iron
  • Iron ore
  • Steel
  • Thamskene Steel
  • Wrought iron

The smelting screen is relatively easy to understand; if no items are showing on the righthand side, there's nothing to smelt. Depending on the tier of weapon or item you're smelting, there's a chance you'll gain extra resources, such as a weapon part.

When you want to craft a weapon, you'll need to use the Forge screen. At this time, you can only forge the likes of swords, daggers and javelins. Hopefully, items like bows, armour and shields will be added later. You'll see a difficulty meter to the left of the Forge screen, which indicates how hard it is to craft a weapon and where your smithing skill is in comparison. You can craft some weapons that are outside your skill range, but they'll likely be pretty shit and not worth an awful lot.

Different weapon classes and tiers will affect how difficult the weapon is to craft, as well as how big you want it to be. Having a smaller axe head is easier to craft than a medium, but won't net you as many Denar as a medium-sized axe would. You'll also need a wealth of resources to build all these items and you'll gain new components as your skills increase and you can smelt more items.

The final tab is Refine, where you'll be able to mash together resources to make new ones. Hardwood can be turned into Charcoal, which can then be refined with Iron ore to produce Crude Iron. You'll be able to pick new perks as you increase the smithing skill that will allow you to refine ingredients together to make the likes of Fine steel later on.

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