The Banner Saga: Factions is the multiplayer version of The Banner Saga. It is a turn-based game, in which players alternate turns after moving one unit, similar to a board game such as chess. Among other differences from classic board games, units in Factions move in an order set by the players before a match is played. The unit order can be changed by killing enemy units, using special abilities (Forge Ahead), or by reaching Pillage (a player has only 1 unit remaining, while the other player has at least 2 or more units remaining).
The large Varl units have a slightly different rule, as a player can have only a maximum of 2 Varls on their team at a single time. This Varl limit includes all of the Varl classes, from Shieldbangers and Warriors, to their promoted classes, such as Provokers and Warhawks.
- Renown - currency for recruiting & upgrading units
- Units - those who do the fighting
- Mead House - where units are recruited
- Proving Grounds - where players arrange their teams and upgrade units
- Great Hall - where players go to join a match
- Units can move a set number of tiles.
- Stats are important: Strength equates to both attack power and health, Armor mitigates damage, and Willpower can boost damage or movement but has to be used sparingly.
- Unlike other games where units can mob single targets, players must choose their positioning carefully; decisions to be made include whether to focus on reducing a target's armor or strength, when to use willpower, and what passive and active abilities can be layered for greatest effect.
- When only one enemy unit remains, players enter Pillage mode, allowing each unit to move in order, thereby shortening the endgame.
- The Horn provides for additional willpower, but must be used wisely.