There are loads of pubs in Southampton and I've not been to all of them, on this page I summarise the ones I have been to in the Highfield area of Southampton.
The Stile is a traditional style pub, which serves hot meals and has a pub garden with picnic tables, good for eating outside in the summer. There's a weekly quiz, which is quite popular with students. There's a giant Jenga game if you fancy a laugh, which makes a tower the size of a small adult.
The Stile is generally much quieter than The Stag's Head, which is at the other end of the road, but gets quite busy when the quiz is on, so arrive early if you want to participate.
In summary, The Stile is a fairly small, quiet, pub at the end of University road, will serve up full hot meals and doesn't tend to get packed with students, who are probably all at the other end of the road in The Stag's Head.
The Stag's Head is the University of Southampton's central pub, situated on the Highfield campus. It has great value drinks all the time (not just on special nights/times), there's two pool tables, table football, a couple of gambling machines and plenty of seating.
There are multiple screens around the pub, but they seem to show 2 or 3 different things at once, for example some screens might be showing music videos while others shows a football game. There's always music or the sound from one of the TV streams playing, so if you're not a fan of this, be warned. The sound is usually quiet enough to talk over and hear the people you're with and if it's too loud you can try asking one of the people behind the bar to turn it down (I've actually done this before and it worked!). In the summer you can ask for a plastic (they're not glasses if they're made of plastic!) and drink outside on a picnic table or on one of the grassy areas near the pub, which is great if you're with a large group of friends and it's too hot inside.
If you're hungry then they have all your usual crisps and snacks, plus hotdogs, pizzas and after the student union cafe shuts in the evening they'll usually have all of the sandwiches that were left over from the cafe too.
In summary, it's one of my favourite pubs in Southampton and it's really convenient for students at Southampton university. Technically you do need to be a student of the university or you can be signed in by a student from the university, but during the day they don't normally check, in the evenings though, you'll need a student ID or a friend with a student ID with you.
The crown is very close to the University of Southampton's Highfield campus and does good food for reasonable prices. They do a great beef burger for around a fiver (the Crown Burger) and if you're feeling hungry you can go for the same but with two extra toppings (the Crown Inn Burger) including chilli, bacon, pineapple and more.
The crown has a covered outdoors area with a heater, so it's comfortable to eat out there even in the evenings. There's more space outside than inside, so I prefer it, unless it's particularly cold outside.
In summary, the Crown is a great place to move to for dinner after a long day on campus and it's good for a cheap meal out whether you're on campus beforehand or not. The Crown is very popular, especially with students, so if you're heading there at peak time for a meal make sure to book beforehand!
Just down the road from the Crown you can find the Highfield. It's particularly convenient when the Crown is unreasonably busy and if you're on a pubcrawl towards Portswood via the Crown it's an obvious choice. The Highfield has a proper garden area with picnic tables and a small decked area. Sitting in the garden area is very pleasant on warm sunny days.
Inside the highfield there is more space than the Crown and there are also sofas. The pub is divided into two areas, one with a pool table and several tables with chairs or benches, the other has a few sofas and more tables with chairs. The Highfield is significantly quieter than The Crown and I would prefer it to the Crown if going for a couple of drinks as opposed to having a full meal. The Highfield does food, though I prefer the food at the Crown.