I’ve been putting a lot of time into Chivalry 2 following its release on June 8, and I’ve been delighted to notice a return of real “chivalry” from other players in the game.
I’m not sure what it is about Chivalry that prompts people to play honorably – as the gameplay itself doesn’t necessarily foster this sort of impromptu camaraderie – but regardless of what the root cause is, I love it.
Update: I was informed that all servers at the time of launch are officially run by Torn Banner, including informal duel servers. Unofficial community servers are part of Chivalry 2's post-launch roadmap. Lower player count and competitive modes are also in the works.
Real Chivalry is What Makes Chivalry 2 Great
If you’re playing with a team in modes like Team Deathmatch and Team Objective, you’ll naturally want to avoid harming your teammates and will jump to their aid when they need you as it ultimately benefits you and the rest of the team to help lead each other to victory.
That’s one type of chivalry in Chivalry 2.
If you’re playing solo, the experience is a little different, and to some extent, odd. For solo Chivalry 2 players, one of the modes of preference is Free-For-All (FFA) where everyone is allowed to kill everyone and the player with the most kills wins.
It’s here in the server list and in random matchmaking for FFA that you’ll find a unique batch of chivalrous players. In the server list, there are FFA servers that aren't really FFA servers per se, and in these servers players are asked to respect a certain set of rules.
Outside of things like not posting hate speech in the chat, these rules typically center around in-game duels. At launch, Chivalry 2 lacks the specific, dedicated servers for duels that Chivalry: Medieval Warfare had, so the need for makeshift duel servers is evident.
Currently, all servers are official and come courtesy of Torn Banner, including informal FFA servers for duels. Unofficial community servers will be added later as part of the game's post-launch roadmap alongside things like competitive modes.
In the meantime, players have been eager to jump in and give these duel servers a try. They've also been working to make sure the server rules laid out by Torn Banner are enforced.
If you’re new to Chivalry and aren’t sure what I’m talking about, “duels” is a game mode where players get to show off their combat skills free from undue stress, chaos, and distraction. Duels are also a great way to practice and master new techniques.
With the duel servers in the original Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, players were put into a pool and assigned to fight against one other player at a time with everyone pulled from the duel pool randomly. The two dueling players would then find themselves alone on the map, separate from other dueling players.
I spent a lot of time in those servers honing my skills back in my Chivalry: Medieval Warfare days. There’s something nice about being put in a map with one other person with your only objective being to defeat your opponent, or be defeated.
If you’ve been looking for this exact sort of opportunity in Chivalry 2, right now duel servers are under the FFA umbrella and embedded within the larger server list. Elaborating upon this a bit more, while the game mode of the server reads as FFA, it’s not traditional FFA but rather informal duels.
A number of these servers have "duels" or something about following the rules in the server name to help make them easier to find. You don’t have to be invited to these duel servers and you don’t have to know a password to get in, which is nice.
Enforcing duel rules sounds like it’d be hard in this sort of server situation, but it’s actually not. Duel rules are moderated by the players in the server through a majority rule vote kick system.
If someone is misbehaving, a player can initiate a vote kick and other players in the server can vote on whether the offending player deserves to be kicked from the server or not. If the majority thinks the person should be kicked, out they go.
Usually these bans are temporary, so it’s more of a “time out” than a ban. It’s a system that, as a whole, works surprisingly well because the players make sure it works well, if that makes sense. A lot of it depends on the platform you play on as well.
At launch, the larger server list isn't available on console so console players have been stuck with matchmaking into a random FFA server and hoping for the best. All is not lost in these random servers though, because Chivalry 2 is magic.
What I mean is that sometimes you’ll be in an FFA server and other players in the server will start randomly following duel rules out of nowhere and everyone just sort of goes along with it. One moment it’s chaos, and the next you start to notice a lot of uninterrupted 1v1 fights and think hey, wait a minute, players are respecting duel rules all of a sudden. Awesome!
I guess some people aren’t keen on running up to someone in the game and stabbing them in the back while they’re in the middle of a heated 1v1. I’ve seen other Chivalry 2 players make this decision in real time too, and it's always fun to watch.
You see them, standing off to the side, observing a fight in progress. Rather than run up, they pause there, wait, and then head off to find someone who’s by themselves to fight. Initiating duels whether playing on console or PC, in an official duel server or not, is also interesting and in my personal opinion, rather charming.
Chivalry 2 has voice prompts like its predecessor, but they’ve been added to with things like gestures. When you hit the “Yes” voice prompt, your guy will give a little thumbs up with it – which is a great way to say, “Yes, I’m ready to duel!”
Players also try to bow, crouch, teabag the ground, or do some other similar gesture to get the other person to realize they’re making a duel request. No one assumes someone else is ready to fight until they indicate that they are through the same strange sort of duel request moves.
Bow, spam the “yes” voice prompt, battlecry, whatever you prefer, then ready up and duel. If the other person you duel gives you a good fight, you can commend them after the fact. It’s not something you’re required to do, and you could very well ignore it in the game.
Yet, people aren’t ignoring it. They’re using it, even though they don’t have to. In the text chat, you’ll also see people saying things like “GG” or “good fight” after a 1v1. Even those who don’t duel and don’t abide by those sort of in-game chivalry rules tend to use the commend button generously as well.
It’s amazing that almost a decade after the release of the first game, in a brand new game on new platforms like the Epic Games Store, people are still being chivalrous in Chivalry. I’m not sure what it is about the game that prompts people to act this way, but it shines a beautiful light on the community.
At least it does for me.
It’s not the only game where players create a friendly environment for others as I’ve noticed this sort of behavior in games like World of Warcraft (remember when players queued up in neat, orderly lines to complete quests?) and games like Destiny 2.
However, Chivalry 2 is a particularly interesting game to see this phenomenon in given its brutal gameplay. Chivalry 2 is a game full of bloody violence, a game where other players go around cutting off the heads and limbs of other players.
A game where you can throw someone’s severed head at someone else and deal damage, or kill someone by throwing a chicken at them.
You don’t have to show any sort of kindness to other people you fight in the game, and yet, here players are acknowledging foes with the commend button, respecting in-game duels without being told to, and even doing things like leaving AFK players alone.
In Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, I loved the moments where me and other players would randomly form a conga line of screaming knights and vanguards and run through an FFA map the most. It's not traditional chivalry when it comes to behavior, but it felt like chivalry to me.
Especially when other players would be taking the game seriously, see us clearly not taking the game seriously, and would leave us alone anyway. Or they’d join in themselves and the conga line would get even bigger. I haven’t had the opportunity to do this yet in Chivalry 2, but believe me, I want to. And you know what, maybe I will this weekend.
For me, it wouldn’t be Chivalry without a conga line of screaming players confusing the heck out of everyone else. It also wouldn't be Chivalry without the random code of chivalry that players abide by. Oh, and screaming, lots of screaming.
You scream, I scream, we all scream… in Chivalry 2.