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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.
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".
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".
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.
Trade companies: The Super-regions where the capital is located also determines the regions whereby the nation can set up trade companies.
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. However, do note that all trade company provinces will be turned back into territories with a 5 year wait period to recreate the trade companies again.
- A base cost of 200 administrative power is required to move the capital, with the cost increasing based on the difference in development between the new capital and the current capital, the distance between them, and the total development in the country.
- If the new capital has a lower development than the current capital, the cost increases by 4 administrative power per difference in development for the first 5 development (1-5), then by 8 for the next 5 development (6-10), then 12 for the next 5 development (11-15), then 16 for the next 5 development (16-20), reaching a maximum of 200 for a difference in development of 20 or above. This is multiplied by the total country development / 1000, reaching a maximum multiplier of 2.5x for a country with 2500 development or more. The additional cost due to difference development therefore maxes out at 500 for a country with 2500+ total development moving their capital to a province with 20+ development less than the current capital.
- For example, a 800 development country moving their capital from a 30 development province to a 12 development province will pay an additional cost of (4*5 + 8*5 + 12*5 + 16*3) * (800 / 1000) = 134.4, rounded down to 134 .
- The distance between target capital province and the current capital also incurs an additional admin cost, up to a maximum of 300 . This maximum is only reached for extreme distances, New Zealand to Iceland for example. The maximum cost to move capital is therefore capped at 1000 .
- 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 stated province on that continent, while also isolated from the other territorial cores on that continent. This would typically require unstating all one's provinces on that continent and giving those around the capital away to a vassal until just one is left, one's "isolated" capital. After this one would have to spend admin points again to re-core these into fully-cored states.
- Moving the capital from a colonial region to a non-colonial region will immediately (the next day) create colonial nations out of all the currently owned provinces in the erstwhile colonial region.
- 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 (unless being of fairly small size, neighbouring the HRE and having high positive relations with the Emperor).
Circumstances that move the capital[edit | edit source]
Certain countries such as the Ottomans, Poland and Russia also have decisions to move the capital for no costs.
Additionally, decisions to form new nations also often move the capital to an important historical province for the new nation. Examples of this are Jerusalem or Yuan.
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 capital state is the area that contains the capital. This area is always a state.
All provinces in the capital state get:
||Province governing cost
| The below is one of many player suggested strategies for Capital. Bear in mind, due to the dynamic nature of the game, it may unfold differently for other players.
Alternative work around to move one's capital to the new world
- Meeting the criteria above, one can also rephrase the requirement rule to rather say that the capital can only be moved from a non-colonial region to a colonial region if the current capital is the "only stated province on that colonial region, while also isolated from the other territorial cores on that continent"
- Therefore, without having to de-state any of one's current cores or giving provinces to vassals, the only viable provinces would be one of the 4 islands of Bermuda, Galapagos, Falklands or South Georgia (the island to the right of Falklands), as these are isolated islands within the Americas and technically part of the colonial regions. However, these 4 provinces are exceptions where cores on them do not become assimilated by colonial nations and remain directly owned by the player. Ensure that one of these islands is the only stated province owned by the player in the Americas (luckily one's existing vassals/colonies will be ignored for determining this). Having moved to one of these islands any new core owned by the player within the Americas shall not become part of a colonial nation (assuming the player has released all the colonial nations in that region) but remain directly owned by the player.
- In this case Australia will still be deemed a colonial region that can form colonial nations until the player moves from one of the 4 islands to a province directly "within" the American colonial regions - this move would require they do not directly own any other provinces within that same continent in the Americas (whether North America or South America).
- Better yet is to rather move to Australia than into the Americas.
- Then, if the player is planning to do a one-tag one culture run it is best to move the capital once more, from one of these 3 islands (Galapagos does not count for this second attempt as an isolated source since it shares a sea tile with Peruvian provinces) to anywhere in Australia. This would allow the player to benefit from not forming any new colonial nations since the capital is now formally within a colonial region. In addition and most importantly, the player will gain the -80% saving from doing a culture conversion of an overseas province (hence one on a different continent) that has the same religion and does not suffer separatism. Accordingly the player could release all existing colonial nations in the Americas and reacquire them through war to fully core them and culture convert them at an -80% overseas discount.
- A warning when moving to Australia: even if the player has moved their capital to Bermuda, Falklands or South Georgia but the player still owns colonial nations within Australia, then any new province they acquire/colonise in Australia will immediately be assimilated by one of those existing Australian colonial nations. Accordingly, the player should first release any Australian colonial nations (button found bottom right in the Subjects interaction tab/screen) and ensure that they have at most 4 cored provinces in Australia (the 5th will again create an Australian colonial nation). Once the player has cored at least one Australian province and stated it, they can then move their capital from Bermuda, Galapagos, Falklands or South Georgia. Finally, at this stage having moved capitals twice, they are truly within the colonial regions and any new provinces in both the Americas or Australia will not become colonial nations but will remain cores directly owned by the player.