Every country has a capital province, which acts as center of government. A nation's capital is generally its most important province, and consequently the capital affects, and is affected by, many mechanics throughout the course of a game. For example, countries with capital provinces located within the bounds of the Holy Roman Empire are automatically given membership in the Empire.
Finding the capital
The button with the right arrow symbol in the toolbar below the minimap, when selected, will offer an option, ‘Go to home capital'. When that is chosen, the map will center on one's capital province. Alternatively, hitting either the Backspace or 🏠 Home keys will center on the capital. The capital can also be visually identified, as the flag in the province will be topped with a small yellow crown.
The capitals of other nations can be found by clicking on a province in their country, right-clicking the shield icon showing their flag, and choosing "Go To Capital Province".
Identifying the capital
In the province interface of the capital, left to the province name at the top, a gold crown within a red circle is displayed. The capital always has an extra fort level that costs no maintenance but also does not have a zone of control (unless there is also a fort building there). Additionally, hovering over capital provinces will display the tooltip "Has a capital fort".
Purpose & effects
The capital province gets:
- In war: If a capital is occupied during a war, it will count for a greater warscore because of its value. Some casus belli use either the attacker's or the defender's capital as the wargoal. Occupying the enemy capital will increase the desire for peace of the AI, allowing you to potentially claim more in the peace deal. Just sieging the enemy capital also reduces War Enthusiasm for the AI. Taking the capital in a peace deal costs 20% more warscore.
- For trade: Trade is automatically collected from the node containing the main trade port, even without a merchant (although a merchant will boost the income received). Collecting from trade in other nodes reduces one's trade power there by 50%. A nation's main trade port is always in the same province as the capital at the beginning of the game. Players with the Wealth of Nations expansion may move their main trading port to a new province at the cost of 200 Diplomatic points.
- The development cost is reduced in the capital city, proportional to the country-wide development. For every 20 development, the capital gets a 1% reduction, up to a maximum of 50% (1000 total development).
- For government envoys: Colonists and diplomats all return to the capital when they are unassigned, and the time taken to return depends on the distance from their target to the capital.
Moving the capital
Please help with verifying or updating this section. It was last verified for version 1.25.
A country can move its capital to another province from the province interface by selecting the blue crown in the upper left corner. Moving the capital will reset autonomy to 0% in the selected province.
- It costs at least 200 administrative power to move the capital, with the cost increasing with both the difference in development between the provinces and the total development in the country.
- The capital can be moved to any province on which the country has a core and is inside a state, though the province itself need only have a territorial core.
- The capital can only be moved from a non-colonial region to a colonial region if the current capital is the last state province on that continent, while also isolated from the other territorial cores on that continent.
- Moving the capital from a colonial region to a non-colonial region will immediately create colonial nations.
- The new capital must have at least the same amount of development of the current capital or the cost will be higher than the minimum.
- A Holy Roman Empire member cannot move its capital to a non-imperial province, nor can a non-member move its capital to an imperial province.
Circumstances that move the capital
The capital, and any foreign diplomats active in it, will automatically change in the event that it is conquered in a war.
If the main trade port is in the capital, moving the capital will move trade ports as well.
Some countries have a so-called "fixed capital" defined. This is usually a province considered absolutely integral to the nation. For example, the nation of Ulm has the Ulm province as its fixed capital, and the Papal State has Roma. The AI cannot move its capital away from this fixed capital. Until patch 1.10 this also applied to the player. An AI controlled nation with fixed capital that does not own this province will move its capital for free to this province as soon as it owns the province (unless this would cause the nation to join the HRE). Full list of fixed capital countries:
- The Papal State
All provinces in the capital state get:
|−100%||Province governing cost|
The term ‘capital area’ was used by the game before patch 1.23. The ‘capital area’ comprised all provinces of a country which have a land connection only through the country’s own provinces to the capital. Straits count as land connections. Despite the use of the word ‘area’, it has nothing to do with areas.
Home port is the term used in the game for a coastal province of the capital area of a country.