Prisoners can be sold but they do have another purpose. This guide explains How To Recruit Prisoners In Mount & Blade II Bannerlord as the mechanic involved in recruiting your captives is a little more complicated than regular recruitment, where you just walk up to a town or village and buy new soldiers.
Whenever you participate and win a battle in Mount & Blade II Bannerlord, there’s a small chance that you will take prisoners. Prisoners can be any one of the single units in the fight, including everything from a peasant infantry to a highly trained cavalry unit. As such, taking prisoners is both a good choice for higher income and also for improving your army without having to upgrade soldiers all the way to top tier units.
How To Recruit Prisoners In Mount & Blade II BannerlordOnce you have taken a Prisoner, check the Party menu. Here you will see a list of all of the units in your party. At the beginning of the game, you’re very limited. You cannot carry more soldiers until you increase your party limit. However, later in the game, you’ll often find you have a lot of space for new soldiers and prisoners are a great source of new troops.
Click the Prisoner you want to recruit in the Party tab. It will give you the name of the unit, how many you have and sometimes, a small icon with an arrow. This icon shows that you can recruit the prisoner into your army. However, they are not all immediately available.
Think of it as breaking their spirit. At first, they do not want to betray their previous allegiances. However, as time passes, more and more units will be willing to defect. So, if you want to recruit a prisoner that is not yet available, just keep them with you. Over time they will join your cause.