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Managing Popularity

  • Stronghold 2 Tutorial
  • 3 mins

by Lord_Chris

Popularity is probably the most important single thing in Stronghold 2. You need to know how to control it, the things that increase/decrease it, but more importantly, how much more important it is than honour. Popularity affects everything in the game. No matter how much honour you gain, it cannot be used without popularity. You will not be able to maintain a Castle long without popularity! However, the good news is that it is fairly easy, and most methods that increase honour increase popularity as well.

You can view the popularity report by left clicking on the book on the far right side of the screen during the game. Below are all the different things that affect popularity. These show the different factors currently affecting your popularity and what your overall popularity is as a result. For new peasants to come to the Castle, your popularity must be over 50. Popularity under 50 will result in people leaving the Castle. Ocassionally, if you lose all your peasants and your popularity has been low for long enough the game will reset your popularity level to 70 to allow you to gain more peasants.

Popularity Reports

The different factors that affect popularity are:

Tax

Taxing is one of the main ways to gain money in the game. For this, a Treasury is required.Though your peasants do not like tax, they will put up with any tax level, providing your overall popularity remains at least +1. There is also an option to bribe peasants, gaining popularity. For more information, see the Treasury.

Food

Food will affect your population massively. You must have some food buildings and a Granary placed. By default you will lose and gain no popularity, but you can increase or decrease this amount by left clicking on the granary. This will also show you the total amount of food available, as well as the total months available. Feeding your population multiple food types will give you more honour. An increased population will result in more food being fed per month, remember this.

Gong

Gong is basically rubbish that piles up on your Estate. This can only ever negatively affect your population and will never effect you positively. Each pile of Gong will effect you with a negative of -1. To avoid the Gng issue, you can only place Gong Pits. A Gong Farmer will only travel so far, so make sure that you have plently placed around your Estate and not all in one place. It only ever affects your main estate, not any villages that you own.

Rats

The only way to rid these foul rodents is to place a falconer's post. Like Gong it will only ever effect your popularity negatively and each group of rats is -1 in popularity.

Crime

Peasants will always turn to crime, no matter how harsh the punishemnt is. They will attempt to steal from the Granary, and to stop them you must have a Guard Post placed as well as a Courthouse, as well as at least one way to rehabilitate them otherwise even after being caught they will still decrease popularity. Please note that most methods require a Torturer's Guild.The possible methods are: Gallows, Burning Post, Executioner's block, Gibbet, Stretching Rack, Stocks, Flogging Post, Torture Wheel, Humiliation Mask, Branding Chair.

Ale

Ale will increase your popularity, but it is hard to get a very constant supply of it. You must build an Inn for consumption where you can select the level to be used per month, Brewery and Hops Farm.

Religion

You can gain popularity by holding services in the Church. To do this, you must have a supply of Candles in the Stockpile.

Entertainment

There are several ways to increase your popularity using entertainment; for example, a Jousting Field or Travelling Fair. For half of the year, they will provide you with +5 popularity each, as well as an honour bonus.