This article is considered accurate for the current version (1.28) of the game.
Monarch power is a measure of a ruler's influence and ability to govern their country with the help of advisors. It is a central mechanic in Europa Universalis IV, influencing how effective a country is at technological improvements, diplomatic relations, and infrastructure investments.
There are three types of monarch power:
Administrative Power represents the internal organization and development of a country.
Diplomatic Power represents the external influence of a country, including diplomacy, naval power, trade, exploration or colonization.
Military Power represents innovations and leadership for armies.
Diplomatic power is spent towards the total cost each month while annexing; how much depends on various factors (see Vassal § Annexation for details), but will not cause the country's stored power to drop below 0 (if it would, no progress is made instead).
Maintain diplomatic relations
1 per month
For each country one has treaties with above the relations limit, which is a base of 4 countries. Not all treaties require maintaining relations.
Military action: Seize colony
Gain ownership of an occupied enemy colony during a war. Original culture and religion do not change (unless a colonist is sent).
Military action: Burn colony
Destroy an occupied enemy colony entirely.
2 per development
−30% revolt progress for a rebel faction. Minimum 50 cost, maximum 200 cost.
Military action: Artillery Barrage
Creates a breach in the fort walls. Only possible if number of full strength artillery regiments is equal to or greater than fort level.
Military action: Assault
Makes the army attack the remaining defenders. Only possible if walls are breached and not recommended unless the province has few defenders.
Military action: Attack Natives
10 per 1000 natives
Order a standing army on a colony to attack and reduce the natives' numbers, even to the point of killing them all. It causes a native uprising, but reduces the number of natives in the province as well as its development.
+25% defensiveness, −50% supply limit, −50% tax, −33% goods produced and +0.05 monthly autonomy change for 5 years. Only doable in own provinces.
Military action: Sortie
Only possible in controlled fortified provinces. When under siege, a province's garrison will attack the besieging party. If defeated, the remaining soldiers, if not shattered, will re-garrison; if the garrison completely shatters, the siege will be automatically complete.
Government action grants a claim on all non-allied non-(own)subject bordering provinces which are owned by a nation who is not the Feudal Theocracy’s State Religion. Only available to feudal theocracy.
Monarch power is generated at the beginning of each month. There are four sources of monarch power: ruler, country, advisors, and power projection. Based on these factors, the monarch power gain of each type can range from 2 to 15 a month.
By default a country can only store an amount of monarch power of each type equal to 999, increased by unembraced Institutions and by Corruption.
A country can have an advisor for each power type. Each advisor starts by providing 1–3 monarch points each month. An advisor's maintenance cost starts at 1 ducat a month for a +1 point advisor at the game's starting date. The cost increases quadratically with advisor skill level, and slowly inflates by 0.5% per game year. It is also modified by inflation.
There are no percentage modifiers to monarch power, though there are effects that modify the cost of specific actions that require monarch power. The most flexible of these are advisor choices; a rich country could temporarily hire an appropriate advisor to get a discount on an immediate purchase.
Monarch power gains are much more independent of the size of a country than other resources such as monetary income and size of military, but large countries often require expending more power on additional provinces and military maneuvers. However, there are a few ways of increasing a country's monarch power, particularly if the country has some other resource to spare:
Hiring more skilled advisors increases monarch power production at the cost of ducats.
Many random events have an option to gain or lose monarch power. Often (but not always) this is offset with a corresponding loss or gain of some other resource.
Republics can re-elect leaders to gain skill in each category at the cost of republican tradition, or elect a different ruler for a different distribution of skills. With the tier 2 reform "Political Dynasties", one can elect a ruler with random skills that are worse than a monarch on average, but may be better than a normal starting republican ruler (requires Dharma DLC). Other types of government can try to manipulate the heir mechanics through random events, or in the extreme case, arranging for the death of an unwanted ruler or heir in combat.
Increasing and maintaining power projection of at least 50 by maintaining and acting aggressively towards rivals provides a bonus, at the cost of long-running and often bloody feuds.
Steppe nomads can gain monarch power by razing non-core provinces, reducing its development. This gives +25 power of the appropriate category for each point of development lost.
If an estate has an influence of at least 25 and loyalty of at least 30 then you can also demand support from it. The estates give 50 monarch points at 25 influence and an additional 50 up to a maximum of 200 for every 25 influence above 25. Clergy give administrative points, nobility give military points and burghers give diplomatic points.
Great powers gain a diplomatic option called Influence Nation that allows them to pay one year's worth of income to grant +1 monarch power to a target independent non-great power nation in their weakest category for 10 years.
Promoting your advisors increases monarch power production at the cost of ducats.
Some situations can cause a monthly loss of monarch points:
Too many diplomatic relationships: having treaties with more countries than a nation's diplomatic relations cap will result in a monthly loss of diplomatic power, equal to the numbers of relations above the limit. The number of diplomatic relation slots can be increased through selecting idea groups, national ideas, or other modifiers.
In the same way, having too many military leaders will also result in a monthly loss of military power, equal to the number of leaders above the limit. The number of military leaders without upkeep can be increased by ideas, traditions, and policies, by embracing Feudalism, by increasing and maintaining power projection of at least 25, by increasing government rank to Empire with Common Sense DLC, and other factors.
Countries can set a national focus on any of the three monarch power types. The chosen monarch power type receives +2 per month (added to the base gain), while other two monarch power types decrease by −1 each month. A focus does not change the overall amount of monarch power generated per month, it merely redistributes it. How often the national focus can be removed or changed depends on the country's Government rank: Duchy = 25 years, Kingdom = 20 years, Empire = 15 years.
This allows a country to catch up faster if behind in a specific technology (especially with Military technology this has a huge impact) or to fill out ideas more quickly. Always be aware of the country's ruler though, because they still play an important role. For example, the current ruler may have very good administrative skill, whereas the heir may be unbalanced and only have 1 or even 0 administrative skill. Due to this, and particularly since changing the national focus takes a long time, planning ahead is essential.
The amount of each type of monarch power that a country can have at a given time is limited by a cap. This cap is the same for all power types ( Administrative, Diplomatic and Military). The default value for this cap is 999 power; however, not having embraced Institutions will increase the cap's value, to 999 × (100% + current tech penalty from institutions).