Skills are an excellent way for you to define your character in Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord. They determine what your character is good at, and the better your character is at a particular skill, the more perks they can acquire to receive additional benefits. Perks are an important aspect you want your character always to have, and adding them to your character takes a bit of time.
To receive perks for your character, you need them to improve and get better at a skill. Developing a skill in Bannerlord is all about doing a specific activity over and over again. For example, if you want to become better with a bow and improve that skill, you need to use it in combat and damage enemies with one routinely. The same goes for one-handed weapons, two-handed, polearms, and your character’s tactics. If you ever want to know how to improve a skill, open up your character sheet to view any of your skills, click on one, and it should detail what you need to do in Bannerlord to receive experience points for it.
Once you have enough levels in that skill, you have the opportunity to pick a perk from that skill tree. Some skills only have one perk available at a certain level, but most of your skill tree will give you an option between two of them. You must pick which of these two you want to go with by hovering over the perk, clicking on the expanded screen that pops up describing what your character will receive, and then seeing the perk icon turn silver. When you pick all of the perks you want to receive, go to the bottom of your character sheet and click done. It will save all of your choices, and you will now receive those perks whenever performing that activity.
You want to visit your character sheet often to see which skills you have leveled up and double-check if you’ve unlocked any perks alongside that skill. The more perks your character has available to them, the more of an influential and powerful leader they become in Bannerlord.