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Post tutorial RSS Explorer Handbook: Starting Guide and Tips

Get a rundown on the best ways to play with the new systems in Explorer.

Posted by on - Basic Other

Hello there

A couple of days ago, I uploaded the final patch for Explorer. You can check the description there for the changelist. The main download has been updated as well - no need for the patch if you downloaded after May 16!

With these small fixes, this project is finished. I didn't quite get to all the features I had planned, but honestly the game is in a pretty good state nonetheless. A big thanks to everyone who has stuck with me so far. This project was ambitious, to say the least, but I hope it is playable enough to make it worthwhile.

Now, I want to make a guide to help you get started! I've tried to write this before and it quickly became a formidable wall of text, so I am going to try to be a bit quicker this time, and just give an idea of how some of the new systems behave. So, let's begin!


Travelling pro-tips

The main feature of Explorer is traveling without the main overworld map. This runs the risk of being both confusing and boring, so there are some things you can do to help yourself:

  • Press Y to use the Raven! This is absolutely the fastest way to travel long distances or leave an area
  • Spot your destination: Your Spotting skill will let you see location icons on the map borders from farther away, letting you find places to go easier
  • Survey the world map: While flying with the Raven, press Backspace: This will let you "zoom out" to see the world map. Because of the way fog is rendered, it can be easier to see the map if you do this from a low point (a plain or valley) instead of from a mountaintop.
  • Press J to call up a horse if yours gets lost or slain in battle - this will spawn a regular Saddle horse
  • Ask the locals: Get info on nearby towns/castles/villages by asking around, or buy information from Travellers in town

Using the Map

  • Press M to view your map
  • Locations that you have visited or heard about will appear on your map, and can be selected by clicking

Fast Travel

If you have already visited a location, you will have an option to Fast Travel when you select it on the map. Fast Travel is only available if these conditions are met:

  • You have physically visited this location previously
  • The settlement owners are not hostile to you
  • You are not currently in a settlement -- Fast Travel available only when traveling
  • The nearest settlement to your current location is friendly/neutral towards you (Cannot FT from enemy territory)


Save and Exit, Heal your Party

  • Save and Exit is not available in sieges/traveling, Save and Exit from locations or Camp
  • Press TAB while traveling to Set up Camp
  • Rest in a friendly location or interact with the bedroll in your Camp to heal yourself and your party members

Loot and Looting

  • All enemies killed by the Player will drop a lootbox that gives gold, and a chance at their armours
  • Destroy the loot box to loot enemies
  • Looting skill increases chance, quality, and amount of $ from loot
  • Animals drop a meaty-looking lootbox that gives some standard drops (pelts etc)
  • Press Z to crouch to make it easier to hit loot with short weapons

Party Overseer

  • Press P while traveling to use the Party Overseer
  • Equip your companions from a single screen
  • TAB key cycles companions
  • Right Click on player inventory items to Freeze them from auto-equip
  • Companion kills gather loot in the Loot section
  • Shift Tab or click the numbers in top left to see HP/skills/initiate dialogue

Player Dying

  • When the player is struck down in battle, you will continue playing as one of your Companions if any remain on the field
  • Companions under your control will die permanently if struck down!
  • Recover the banner from the place where the player "died"
  • If you leave without recovering the banner, the player character will not return until your party has been wiped out!
  • Any unfinished Quest will automatically Fail if the player is defeated!


Recruiting Companions

  • All soldiers you recruit will become Companions
  • You can ask almost anyone to join you, but it will require high Persuasion skill if they have no reason to...
  • Get access to different or cheaper recruits by joining a Guild
  • Recruit faction troops from their centers if you join the faction as a vassal


Guilds are a fast way to join a faction, helping you build relation quicker with that faction and so make it easier to become a vassal (if you want..) You can only be a member of 1 active Guild at a time, and can leave it by joining any other at will. Once you become a Vassal, you will no longer be part of or able to join any Guilds. You can find Guilds in every Town.

  • Manhunters: Join this Guild by talking to the Guild Master: This lets you recruit Manhunters, and ask other Manhunter parties to follow you
  • Merchants: Join by talking to the Merchant in the town Market: Recruit Caravan Masters and Guards
  • Mercenaries: Join through the Innkeeper in the Tavern: Reduce Mercenary cost by 1/2

Gather an Army

Gathering a Companion army large enough to siege a castle or town is difficult... The best way to prepare an Army is by asking other NPC leaders to follow you! Either fellow Guild members, or increasing your renown+relation with lords/ladies, will let you ask NPC parties to follow you.

  • NPC parties following the player will Travel and Camp with your party
  • NPC parties will leave if their number of party members fit for battle drops to 0
  • NPC parties will leave if the player is defeated in battle

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Besiege Enemy Settlements

  • Castles/Towns: Press TAB to set up the Siege Camp, consult with your companions to craft a strategy/prepare for the assault. Use the bed in your tent to Rest.
  • Villages: Order a Charge in a neutral/enemy village to begin a raid. After clearing the first group of defenders, you can Loot or (if you are a faction member) Capture the village.
  • Villages: If Villagers escape during a raid, they will rally a Counterattack - how fast they arrive depends on the # of villagers who escape. If none escape - no counterattack !

New Settlement Types

A good way to gather recruits on the march is to find the new Settlements around the land. If the player captures a Bandit center while not allied to a faction, it will go to Commoners instead, where the player can recruit some lower level mercenaries.

  • Outposts are owned by faction soldiers, and offer some basic defenses
  • Fortresses are owned by Mercenaries or Bandits, and offer good defenses but still do not require a siege
  • Merchant Villas or Merchant towns are gathering places for Traders, a good place to find caravans and get trade info
  • Bridges are usually held by some faction soldiers
  • Bandit Hideouts can be found throughout the land and cleared out by the player - often the local lords will happily pay for such a service...


Starting Tips

Some quick tips on the best ways to start out...

  • Get quests from the Guild Master
  • Train your skills and earn money in the Arena
  • Invest in your Trade skill to glean information from merchants about profitable trade opportunities
  • Gather enough gold to join a Guild, giving you easier access to recruits and allying you to a faction

Useful Skills

  • Spotting: See location icons from further away
  • Pathfinding: Travel faster on the map when going from scene-scene
  • Looting: Get better Loot from loot boxes, better party loot, loot villages faster
  • Wound Treatment: Heal more %HP per hour while resting
  • Engineer: Reduce time to build Siege equipment

Missing Features

Because I tried to rework most of the features in Explorer, there are some Native features that I never got around to re-implementing... oups

  • No marriage or courtship
  • No player-faction :(
  • No Prisoners :(
  • Tracking skill has no effect
  • No settlement management options
  • No Passive income or expenses: You do not have to pay troop upkeep/wages, but neither can you earn money from rents etc...
  • No Food consumption/morale


  • Enable "cheatmenu" in the Console to uncover all locations on the map, and unlock Fast Travel restrictions
  • Press J in taverns to raise a toast to "da king"
  • Find Special locations -- they are usually empty, but nice to look at (but beware the local fauna)


Thanks for playing!


"Missing Features:
Because I tried to rework most of the features in Explorer, there are some Native features that I never got around to re-implementing... oups
No marriage or courtship
No player-faction :(
No Prisoners :(
Tracking skill has no effect
No settlement management options
No Passive income or expenses: You do not have to pay troop upkeep/wages, but neither can you earn money from rents etc...
No Food consumption/morale"

Literally unplayable!
Just a little joke here, but I do wonder: can I really no longer start enterprises for passive income? No starting my own kingdom kinda makes sense, though can I start a criminal enterprise similar to Bannerlord's? I can't take prisoners? So, all people die in combat? What about the player? Can't get knocked unconscious anymore?

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Thanks so much for this guide! One of the most innovative mods for Warband. This explains a lot, and helps set expectations and play style.

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love this ideal since 2years ago,can't believe you are still updating it.i thinkit would be much better to be able to rule taken lands and to take big size battle

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