Popularity is a key concept for peasant acquisition and castle management.


Popularity determines how quickly or slowly peasants will enter or leave your kingdom. Multiple factors contribute to overall popularity every month, then the final result determines the loss/gain of monthly popularity. Very low or very high sums result in faster change.

Peasants start joining the kingdom when popularity is above a certain level. In contrast, they leave when popularity is below it. This level is 50 (SH,SHC) or 0(SH3,SHC2).

There is a default popularity in case there are no peasants at a player's disposal. This is set to 75 (SH,SHC) or 333(SH3,SHC2).

Moreover, lots of factors influence overall popularity.

Default factorsEdit

  • Food: determined mainly by rations handed out. Normal rations are the default size and it has no effect on overall balance. Higher and double rations are welcomed by the peasants, at a cost of faster consumption. Oppositely, half and no rations mean negative popularity, while people eat less or no food at all. Ranges from -8 to +8.
    • Stronghold and Crusader: higher variety of food given grants an additional bonus (ranging from +0 to +3). This system is replaced with honor bonus in Stronghold 2.
  • Taxes: based on taxing and bribing. Taxes mean income from the peasantry, while bribes are 'gifts' for them. Generally, taxing can be set more sensitively than bribing. Ranges from -24 to +7 (SH, SHC), -16 to +8 (SH2).
  • Religion: measured upon religious influence on the people.
    • Stronghold and Crusader: priests spread faith among civilians which wear off after a short time. Higher coverage gives higher popularity, with 25% steps. The presence of churches and cathedrals also provide a small bonus. Ranges from +0 to +11 (8 for coverage, 1 for church, 2 for cathedral).
    • Stronghold 2 and Legends: peasants use up candles in different speeds. The masses' size (ranging from none to exulted) determines popularity bonus, at a cost of candle consumption. Ranges from +0 to +8.
  • Ale coverage: maintained by ale consumption and speed.
    • Stronghold and Crusader: peasants use up ale at one speed. Higher population drinks ale faster. Inns have a limited coverage and more must be built to keep up on the same level. It has 25% steps to grant bonuses. Ranges from +0 to +8.
    • Stronghold 2: one inn is built. The rate of inn consumption (ranging from none to double) has an influency on popularity. Ranges from +0 to +8.

Game exclusive factorsEdit

  • Fear Factor (SH, SHC): determined by the numbers of good and bad things built. The former motivates people to rest, thus slowing down production, while the latter forces working and making the player more fearsome for them. Ranges from -5 to +5.
  • Crowding (SH, SHC): if more peasants than the limit are present, the castle suffers crowding and popularity loss, depending on the homeless peasants' number. Ranges from -2 to unlimited negative.
  • Scripted events (SH, SHC): various programmed events on a non-skirmish map may occur randomly or conditionally, which may affect popularity. Welcomed events include marriages, arrive of a jester and travelling fairs, while unwelcomed ones are lion attacks, plagues, bandits, etc. Some bad events have an immediate drop to popularity at once.
  • Rats, gong and crime (SH2): these events are general negative factors that make the game somewhat more challenging. Rat groups and gong piles appear randomly, while criminals are spontaneously converted from civilians. These give -1 popularity per group/pile/capita until disposed of.
  • Entertainment (SH2): these events include the travelling fair and the jousting. These must be built to take effect. Both events are periodic, giving +5 popularity when being held. Ranges from +0 to +10.
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