Manor Lords release date, trailers, gameplay, and news

All the latest news surrounding the the Manor Lords release date, the upcoming RTS game that lets you experience life as a medieval nobleman.

Manor Lords release date

When is the Manor Lords release date? Want to rule a medieval empire, dominate the economy, and crush all who dare to oppose you with a magnificent army? This upcoming city-building real-time strategy game lets you do all that and more.

Manor Lords is a medieval passion project from solo developer Slavic Magic. Inspired by late 14th century Franconia, this ambitious strategic RTS game aims to provide a historically accurate experience, with natural city growth and intense real-time tactical battles. If you can’t wait to live life as a medieval lord, here’s everything there is to know about Manor Lords ahead of its release date.

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Manor Lords release date

Manor Lords is set to release into early access on April 26, 2024. It will be available on PC via Steam and Game Pass at launch, arriving on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S at a later date.

The announcement came at the Xbox Partner Preview, along with a new gameplay trailer showing off the medieval towns and what players can look forward to when building and defending their homestead.

The Manor Lords release date was originally scheduled for sometime in 2023, but Slavic Magic announced a delay on X (formerly Twitter) back in October 2023, stating that the game needs “more bugfix and polish, even for an early access.”

However, this delay hasn’t dampened fan anticipation. A playable demo for Manor Lords was publicly available to play during Steam Next Fest, and garnered the indie game over two million wishlists – making it the second most wishlisted game on Steam at the time of writing.

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Manor Lords trailers

The Manor Lords announcement trailer reveals a gorgeous mountain view behind lush green hills and forests. Amid this picturesque landscape, you can spot farmers working the land, hunters scouring the forests, and workers raising new buildings. It’s a quaint scene until enemy forces arrive.

In the second half of the trailer, it becomes clear that Manor Lords is also very much a military strategy game. From up close, the video shows the varying degrees of equipment, ranging from chainmail to plate armor. From a top-down perspective, we get a demonstration of troop formations, which will undoubtedly play a huge role in dominating the game.

The Manor Lords gameplay overview trailer below shows a bit more of the trials you’ll face as you govern your land, including battles and the promise of war as an illegitimate baron rises to claim the territory as his own. It also demonstrates the scope of the city-building system, from placing and building farmland and roads to a glimpse at how your town might evolve over time as you continue to develop buildings.

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Manor Lords gameplay

City-building

Manor Lords uses a gridless building system, with a great deal of freedom to place the buildings as you like. The aim is to mimic the natural growth of a medieval town, taking the influence of trade routes and the environment into account.

New towns don’t just pop up; they evolve around a central marketplace. Every fledgling settlement needs proper infrastructure to grow and connect its commercial districts, industrial districts, and residential districts. You have the power to shape these districts by placing and upgrading specific buildings. Here’s a selection of the building types we’ve spotted so far:

  • Peasant house
  • Carpenter camp
  • Logging camp
  • Forager hut
  • Weaver workshop
  • Tax collector
  • Church
  • Woodcutter’s Lodge
  • Marketplace

Naturally, Manor Lords buildings can do much more than just provide goods. A church, for example, is a costly institution, but it can return the investment by granting you influence.

To build all these farms and workplaces, you need resources. As they’re scattered across the map, it’s important to adjust the type of new settlements accordingly, choosing between farmer villages, mining outposts, and many others. Surviving is good and building a large economy is even better, but beware; if you expand too fast, you may run out of base materials. Don’t want to face a winter without wood, do we?

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RTS combat system

Manor Lords features massive, realistic medieval battles. Positioning plays an important role, but so do individual unit formations, equipment, morale, fatigue, and weather conditions. You’ll be able to choose between stances and commands, such as ‘push’ or ‘give ground’ orders for melee troops, and ‘volley’ or ‘quickdraw’ orders for archers. If things go wrong, there’s always the ‘retreat!’ option.

As shown in a Manor Lords gameplay overview video, troops are divided into three categories: the peasant militia, mercenaries, and the lord’s retinue. The peasants require good training to become more effective, the mercenaries are well-trained but expensive, and the lord’s retinue is a small, heavily armored (and customizable) group of elite fighters. While the latter two are still a “work in progress”, we can expect the following unit types in the final version of the game:

  • Swordsmen
  • Spearmen
  • Archers
  • Cavalry
  • Siege engines

As another video on Manor Lords’ combat system shows, you’ll be able to upgrade or downgrade your troops’ equipment using a stat slider. If you increase ‘head protection’, for example, the headwear will visibly improve.

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As a city building game, Manor Lords’ battle system impacts other aspects of gameplay as well. For example, a hard-won battle can result in a very tough winter. Luckily for the silver-tongued politicians out there, the Manor Lords diplomacy system allows you to negotiate, possibly avoiding battling altogether. Alternatively, if peace was never an option, you can be rude to your neighbors and watch the drama unfold.

Development, policies, and production

Developing your town by using development points provides new buildings such as choosing to develop foreign supplies to unlock a Firewood cart and Food cart to provide resources at the marketplace.

You also have the option to enact policies such as Small Land Tax, to transfer wealth from the region to the lord’s treasury, or Tithe which gives back 10% of the surplus food to the church and coverts it into influence.

While you’re waiting for the Manor Lords release date, why not check out the best PC games to tide you over? We’ve also got our top picks for the best medieval games if you’re not quite ready to give up your spear and farmstead.