Battle Brothers Best Origins – Which to Choose?

Start your story in the most exciting way!

Which Battle Brothers origin story should you start your game with?

Battle Brothers gives you several different starting backstories for your Middle-Ages mercenary company, called “Origins”. Each origin gives you slightly different abilities and changes the way you’ll play to a varying degree.

Below we cover the different origins and the ways they’re likely to impact your gameplay.

1. Rebuilding A Company

I used to be a mercenary like you, then I took...

Difficulty: Easier.

Rebuilding A Company is essentially the “default” start to Battle Brothers. Your men will have no specific advantages or drawbacks over the course of your campaign, and you’ll start out having lost a battle to some Brigands. Your task will be to hunt down and kill their leader, Hoggart the Weasel, as part of a tutorial mission of sorts. The game will take you through the early steps of building a mercenary company and then set you loose uponin the open world.


  • A good Origin to pick if you’re just starting to learn the game.
  • Gives you three well-balanced recruits to start with.
  • Good if you want a “plain” game, where you can focus on the main game mechanics without any other interference in your style of play.
  • Has a fun little story of revenge to start your playthrough with.


  • Doesn’t really teach you anything new if you already know how the game works.
  • The tutorial may be repetitive if you’re experienced with the game.
  • No unique mechanics for your mercenary company.

2. A New Company

A fresh start with three standard Northern recruits

Difficulty: Easier.

A New Company is essentially a modified origin based off “Rebuilding A Company”. You’ll start with the same mix of three soldiers with good attributes lending themselves to one-handed weapons, two-handed weapons, and ranged weapons. However, the tutorial is removed along with the story of Hoggart the Weasel, allowing you to start out doing whatever you want right from the very beginning.


  • Another good origin for new players.
  • A good “plain” origin for experienced players.
  • Allows you to leap straight into the open world adventuring.
  • Gives you three balanced starting recruits.


  • Lacks a tutorial for extremely new players.
  • No unusual or unique mechanics for your mercenary company.


3. Southern Mercenaries (Blazing Deserts DLC)

Southern mercenaries can spice a game start up

Difficulty: Average.

The Southern Mercenaries origin gives you control of a group of soldiers from the sun-baked deserts of the South. This origin was introduced with the Blazing Deserts DLC and gives you an excellent quick jump into the new items and enemies introduced with this add-on. It is perhaps more difficult than the usual starts in the more Northern parts of the map since Southern enemies are generally regarded as more dangerous in the early game. However, there’s nothing to stop you venturing wherever you like.


  • A good, quick introduction to the Blazing Deserts DLC
  • Good for experienced players who want to leap straight into exploring the South.
  • Another good “plain” origin with no unusual impact on gameplay.


  • Starts you off in arguably a more dangerous part of the map, as Nomads and beasts like Ifrits and Serpents can be harder to fight in the early game.
  • If you’re looking for unusual gameplay alterations, this origin does not offer them.


4. Trading Caravan

Buy a goat fur, guv'nor?

Difficulty: Medium.

The Trading Caravan origin marks an interesting divergence; it is the first on our list to provide you with unique bonuses and disadvantages for taking this start to your game.

You’ll start with only two men, both with the Caravan Hand background. These recruits can still have reasonably good stats, butstats but having one less man than usual will make it a bit harder for you to win fights to start with.

On the other hand, you get a bonus 10% boost to trading prices. This is actually a very significant upgrade over the course of a game, and you’ll be able to make a lot of extra cash through selling trade goods and weapons looted from dead enemies.

You do have one more disadvantage: your level of Renown starts at zero and builds 66% slower than usual, meaning you will progress to better mercenary contracts at a much slower rate.


  • Interesting change from normal gameplay, especially if you want to learn more about trading goods between cities.
  • The two Caravan Hands you start out with will be better on average than the usual Farmhands and Fishermen you will probably be hiring early on in other origins.
  • A permanent 10% boost to your sales prices will earn you a lot of money over the course of a game, especially if you take Retinue members like the Trader and the Paymaster (to increase trade goods and lower costs).


  • Renown penalties will slow down your progression into later-game Noble House contracts.
  • Harder early game makes this an unsuitable start for very new players.
  • Only a very simple change to the game, veteran players may find the resulting gameplay a bit boring.

5. Peasant Militia

Sometimes filthy peasants are all you need

Difficulty: Medium.

The Peasant Militia origin offers a fun spin on the usual cycle of the game, giving you a full roster of 12 badly equipped peasant soldiers to begin with. You also have an expanded battle and roster size, leaving you capable of hiring up to 25 men at once and fielding 16 in a battle instead of 12.

The downside of this is that you are only ever allowed to hire men from lowborn backgrounds, unless they join your company from random events as you travel.

This is a really powerful origin, even though you start the game quite weak. If you manage to keep the more promising recruits alive, it is entirely possible for them to develop into powerful late-game soldiers. Once trained up and equipped with good gear, the bonus to roster and deployment size is a straight upgrade over a standard company.


  • Huge increase to the number of men you can employ at once to 25.
  • You can field 16 men in battles instead of 12.
  • Very fun to develop lowborn recruits into good soldiers.
  • A fun challenge for experienced players.


  • A difficult start for inexperienced players.
  • You cannot recruit from some of the more experienced and interesting troop backgrounds.
  • Very weak at the start and takes a long time for the company to develop. Not a good origin if you’re looking to play a short campaign.

6. Band of Poachers

Hunting rabbits hones useful skills

Difficulty: Medium to Hard.

Starting the game as the Band of Poachers gives you three capable Ranged Weapon recruits right from the start of the game, including a Hunter and 2 Poachers. You also gain the ability to always scout enemies that are near you, including enemy camps, which can be very helpful. Finally, you move slightly faster on the world map.

However, you start with almost no equipment, no close combat specialists, and very limited supplies. Your inventory space is also permanently reduced.

Overall, it’s a fun way to start a game if you are looking to build several archers quickly from the beginning and the bonuses and drawbacks you get are not too extreme.


  • A fun and interesting way to start the game with ranged specialists right from the start.
  • Being able to always scout nearby enemies is very useful later in the game.
  • You can easily recruit some close-combat men from local peasants at the start of your campaign.


  • Over-specialised to begin with and harder than a “normal” origin.
  • Permanently reduced inventory space can be annoying in the later game, though you can expand your inventory space by upgrading the Wagon (through random events, or the Retinue screen if you have the Blazing Deserts DLC).

7. Oathtakers

Everyone's favourite blinged up knights

Difficulty: Medium.

The Oathtakers start casts you as the leader of a small group of faithful warrior zealots. You’ll start with two well-equipped and armoured characters and the ability to take Oaths.

Oaths will replace the standard challenges available over time to your mercenary company, instead allowing you to take on specific challenges that boost some aspects of your characters while also conferring disadvantages.

For example, the Oath of Humility lowers your contract pay by 33%, but also increases the rate at which your men gain experience. These Oaths last 10 days each and are then replaced by a new Oath.

Eventually, you will get a random event in which you must defeat a group of “Oathbringers”, another group of questing knights who wear heavy armour. This will bring the side-story of the origin to a close.


  • You get to start with two excellent recruits with good armour and equipment.
  • Oaths add an extra quirk and challenge to the game that can be fun for experienced players.
  • The Oathbringers storyline is enjoyable and leads to a mini-boss fight of sorts at the conclusion of the story arc.
  • Unique armour and equipment is available to your recruits at the start of the game.


  • Constantly having to take Oaths can get frustrating later in the game when you are trying to achieve objectives that the Oaths make harder.
  • You are fairly weak at the beginning of the game with only two men, even with good equipment.

8. Deserters

You're in for a rough start...

Difficulty: Hard.

Starting with the Deserters origin frames your company as a group of men who decided to go AWOL from a Noble House army. You’ll start with excellent equipment (such as Chainmail and Heater Shields)), but your men have extremely low Resolve, meaning they flee easily. This can be difficult to overcome even with level ups, as a minimum Resolve of 50 is recommended for most troops.

You also start with low funds and your old employers are hostile to you. This can make lingering around the territory of the Noble House very dangerous, but also possibly very profitable if you are able to kill some of your old comrades and loot them later in the game.

As a bonus, your men always first to act in the first turn of combat. This can actually bebe quite a powerful bonus in larger fights later on.


  • You start with good armour and equipment.
  • You have three recruits who have decent attack and defence stats.
  • The origin allows you to jump straight into fighting tougher-than-usual battles to begin with.
  • You always act first during the first turn of combat.


  • Your men have abysmal Resolve, and this low morale can cause serious problems for you in battle, especially against Undead enemies.
  • A Noble House will be trying to hunt you down right from the start of the game.
  • You start with poor funds.


9. Northern Raiders (Warriors of the North DLC)

Who wouldn't trust this friendly fellow?

Difficulty: Hard.

If you want total amoral anarchy, this is the origin you go for! Taking the Northern Raiders origin starts you out as a rather merciless band of Barbarian warriors. After looting a village, your men come across a Monk who convinces you to become a mercenary rather than purely torching villages for a living.

As the saying associated withof Millwall Football Club goes: “No one likes us, we don’t care.” This is very much the Barbarian attitude too and as you’d expect, everyone hates you at the start of this origin. Most Noble Houses and sSettlements on the map will be extremely hostile to you, precluding the usual path to success of taking contracts at villages. You’ll also struggle to recruit men, unless you can find some large cities which are not so angry with you.

Instead, you’ll want to make your way South to work for the City States or alternatively hang around raiding caravans to make money and obtain loot. Since almost everyone dislikes you already, there’s nothing to stop you from murdering anyone you encounter on the road. In fact, this start almost necessitates attacking Noble House patrols and other mercenary groups to obtain gear and riches.

To help you on your rampage towards blood and gold, you gain a significant bonus chance to successfully loot objects off enemies you kill when taking this origin.

A very fun origin for when you want to throw the usual rules of being a “moral” mercenary company out of the window.


  • You start with three capable Barbarian warriors and a Monk.
  • Bonus to loot obtained after battles.
  • Your starting gear is quite good.
  • Raiding caravans and attacking small groups of soldiers allows you to obtain excellent equipment very quickly.


  • It’s very easy to attack a group of soldiers who will absolutely slaughter you early in the game.
  • You can’t take missions or recruit easily.
  • You’ll have to avoid a lot of fights to safely get to the South of the map.
  • You’re pretty much straight-up villains in this origin, at least to start with. Therefore, it’s not very practical if you’re looking to play the role of a heroic good guy as is encouraged in some origins.


10. Anatomists

Scientists or madmen?

Difficulty: Medium.

Who doesn’t like the idea of playing as intelligent men of science with flexible ethics? This is what the Anatomists origin promises, giving you control over three recruits with a high level of funds at the start of the game.

The Anatomists can brew potions from any non-human enemy they kill. This can be done once per type of beast that is slain. Characters consuming the potions will gain permanent stat boosts of differing kinds. If the potion is lost for whatever reason or characters who have used the potions die, the potions become available to craft again.

This gives a great incentive to go out and hunt down beasts for the different special potions that can be created.

Additionally, the Anatomists gain access to many different events that allow for removing negative traits from your men amongst other things.


  • Start with three recruits.
  • Good funds to begin with.
  • Access to many unique and interesting random events.
  • You can create unique potions to enhance your men after killing different types of beasts.


  • No advantages in combat outside of the potions that can be brewed.
  • Starting equipment is not amazing.
  • A more late-game focused origin that rewards a long campaign.


11. Davkul Cultists

Madmen or...nope, definitely madmen

Difficulty: Hard to Very Hard.

You’ve played Northern Raiders and you’ve played the Anatomists. Now you want a mix between the insanity of the Raiders and the strange logic of the Anatomists…the Davkul Cultists are here to answer your prayers.

This origin starts you out with four weirdo fanatics under your command and bad equipment. However, you gain access to some unique gear, such as leather hoods and leather armour that is better than you’d usually encounter early in the game.

When on your travels, you may attract free Cultist recruits. Your Cultists may also convert men of other backgrounds into Cultists in random events.

Over time, you may be expected to perform sinister rituals and even sacrifices, and these unlock the ability to get a fantastic suit of armour that is unique to this origin.


  • Start with four mediocre recruits and low/medium funds.
  • Free Cultist recruits periodically.
  • Can recruit from any other background at villages and towns too.
  • Interesting and unique gear and equipment.
  • Access to many strange and unique random events.
  • Can gain a very useful suit of armour.
  • Can get unique abilities (“Prophet of Davkul”).


  • Early combat is quite challenging and so this start is not recommended for new players.
  • Your early recruits are not particularly talented.
  • You may have to sacrifice some of your best men in order to access this origin’s unique content.


12. Manhunters (Blazing Deserts DLC)

And you thought your boss was a slave driver...

Difficulty: Hard to Very Hard.

Time for another morally ambiguous origin story! The Manhunters origin puts you in charge of some Southern slavedrivers and their hapless Indebted underlings.

There are some hefty restrictions on this origin that make it one of the most challenging to play. You must always have more Indebted troops than non-Indebted troops in order toto keep your men happy. This encourages you to only take the most elite possible troops for your non-Indebted cohort. These “manhunters” level up 10% slower, butslower but can also whip your poor Indebted in order to boost their stats and make them fight better.

On the other hand, your Indebted level up 10% faster but are capped at Level 7 and always die if struck down in battle.

You’ll find it hard to maintain a stable mercenary company with this origin, but it’s a fun and hefty challenge for experienced Battle Brothers veterans.


  • Start with four poorly equipped Indebted and two Manhunters.
  • 10% faster experience gain for Indebted; they suffer no morale penalty for the deaths of other slaves and demand no daily wage.
  • Can field 16 men in battle instead of 12.
  • Can whip Indebted to boost their stats significantly.
  • A good origin for exploring the Southern part of the map.


  • Indebted usually have very poor Resolve.
  • Your manhunters/non-Indebted level up 10% slower and you must have less of them than the total number of Indebted.
  • Your company is vulnerable to sudden instability if a number of Indebted or their masters are killed.
  • Early combat is quite challenging and so this start is not recommended for new players.
  • Your early recruits are not particularly talented.
  • You may have to sacrifice some of your best men in order to access this origin’s unique content.


13. Beast Slayers (Beasts and Exploration DLC)

They don't need silver swords.

Difficulty: Hard to Very Hard.

The Beast Slayers origin is most certainly designed for experienced Battle Brothers players who are looking for an extra challenge.

You begin with three beast slayer mercenaries with decent equipment and have two special bonuses. First, you gain a 50% chance per beast you slay to gain an additional “trophy” item such as furs and pelts. Secondly, you can see tracks from a greater distance, potentially easing your ability to track beasts and other enemies.

However, this comes with a significant trade off; all prices for goods you sell are lowered by 10%. Given much of your income will be from selling loot, this is one of the more challenging origins as your budget will be a lot tighter.

It can still be fun, however, to go out of your way to hunt beasts and gain more trophies doing so. This allows you to make custom armour modifications and get other goodies with more regularity.


  • Start with three well equipped Beast Slayers.
  • 50% chance per beast killed for an extra trophy loot drop.
  • Spot tracks from further away.


  • You get 10% worse prices when buying or selling things, which makes it far harder to trade for expensive weapons and items.
  • No specific advantages in combat with this origin.
  • Beasts can be hard to find reliably.
  • Every time you are fighting a battle against non-beasts, you have no bonuses.

14. Gladiators (Blazing Deserts DLC)

Everyone's favourite entertainers

Difficulty: Hard to Very Hard.

When starting a new game with the Gladiators origin, you are given three very powerful and unique characters: The Viper, The Bear and the Lion. These guys not only start at Level 3 rather than Level 1, but each comes with a unique trait.

The Bear possesses “Glorious Endurance”, which grants +5% reduction to damage taken per hit endured, up to 5 hits for a reduction of 25% in enemy damage.

The Lion is blessed with “Glorious Resolve”, allowing a morale check to be re-rolled if it fails. Finally, The Viper gets “Glorious Quickness”, which allows him to gain one Action Point every time he kills an enemy during his turn.

These abilities can allow The Bear to become a formidable defensive fighter, the Lion makes a great bannerman or “sergeant” with the Rally ability. Finally, The Viper can turn into a lethal damage dealer with Killing Frenzy and Berserk.

There are trade-offs for this amazing starting line-up; each man demands 50 crowns in wages a day, which is very expensive for the start of the game. You are also limited to only 12 men in your roster and the game will end in failure if all three starting Gladiators are killed.

 Losing a Gladiator also permanently loses that special trait that they start with, so it’s a big loss.

No doubt this is a challenging origin story, but it also gives you a really fast and unique start to the game and allows you to build some extremely powerful characters. Definitely very fun for experienced players.


  • Start with three well equipped and very skilled Gladiators.
  • These Gladiators have unique traits that allow them to be built into extremely powerful soldiers.
  • You can take many fights early in the game that you would usually avoid.
  • You have the ability to quickly get into Arena fights in the Southern City States.


  • Your Gladiators demand very high wages.
  • Losing all three Gladiators ends the game.
  • Losing any of your Gladiators is a permanent loss of their unique abilities.
  • Difficult to manage your finances and recruitment choices in the early game.
  • Limited to only 12 men, so you must pick only the very best and may struggle with a lack of reserves.


15. Lone Wolf

Friends? Who needs friends?

Difficulty: Hard to Very Hard.

You’ve played all these different origins, starting with anywhere from two to four men…so now, why not start with just one?!

It’s time, then, for you to start a Lone Wolf game.

As the name implies, in this start you have only one soldier. In fact, unlike the other origins, where you roleplay as the manager of the company behind the scenes, this character is you. As a lone, mighty Hedge Knight, you roam the world in search of adventure.

You will start the game with excellent stats and fantastic late-game equipment, but you have low funds and absolutely no-one else in your mercenary company. Additionally, if your starting Hedge Knight dies, you have died, so your game ends.

The final restriction is the “Elite Few” campaign condition. Much like the Gladiator origin, this means you may only have 12 men in your entire roster. You’ll want to pick only the very best recruits for your company and build them into a formidable fighting force.

Overall, this is a very challenging origin, as you must not only keep your starting character alive through the whole game, but losing any of your men will be also be a very severe blow due to the reduced roster size.

The trade-off is the pleasure to be had starting the game with advanced equipment and an extremely competent soldier under your command.


  • Start with one fantastic recruit with heavy armour and a good weapon.
  • You can easily win many early-game fights.
  • A fun and unique start to the game which throws you straight into the action.


  • If your starting character dies, the game ends.
  • You will need to quickly start earning money, as you start with very low funds.
  • No other men in your company at the beginning.
  • The roster size of 12 is very limiting, and you will need to hire only the best and most capable possible recruits to succeed.

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Matt was first gleefully introduced to gaming when he beat his Dad at Tekken. Whether it's wearing sunglasses at night in Deus Ex or cursing hit chances in XCOM, it's been his hobby ever since.
Gamer Since: 1995
Currently Playing: Battle Brothers
Top 3 Favorite Games:System Shock 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, XCOM: Enemy Unknown