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Yuan promoted his strategy of fortifying key cities to retake lost land and began constructing defenses for Jinzhou further north of Ningyuan.

The Tianqi Emperor dispatched 40,000 troops to aid in Yuan's construction projects.

In addition Yuan declared that he and his commanders Man Gui, Zu Dashou, and He Kegang were ready to fight to death.

He was said to have quoted an ancient maxim at that point, saying, "Those who seek life will die, but those who welcome death will live." Yuan ordered everything outside Ningyuan to be burnt, including the houses, so that there would be nothing of use to the Jurchens.

Bed sheets covered in gunpowder and oil were dropped on them. Seeing that the siege was not going well, Nurhaci detailed a contingent of Mongol cavalry to attack the island of Juehua, which served as the primary granary of Ningyuan.

Yuan then sent orders to Shanhai Pass to execute any deserters they found, The battle began with Nurhaci personally leading an attack on the southwest corner of the city, which he deemed to be the most vulnerable.Yuan Chonghuan, with the support of Sun Chengzong, was assigned the task of conducting a major strengthening of Ningyuan's defenses in anticipation of a Jurchen attack.However, the defensive preparation was hindered when Sun Chengzong was replaced by a new commander due to Wei Zhongxian's purge of all Donglin movement (eastern forest) elements in the Ming court.Hong Taiji, like his father, was defeated in the Battle of Ning-Jin a year later.While the failure to take Ningyuan temporarily halted the Jurchen advance, the Later Jin increased pressure in the Bohai Gulf and the kingdom of Joseon.

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