War exhaustion

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Often abbreviated as WE, war exhaustion is the concept of negativity brought on from sustained battles. A nation can't keep their people constantly at war—it will tire them, they will be unhappy at the cost in lives and money and it draws attention from the ministers who should be focusing on domestic issues. In the Europa Universalis games, war exhaustion is the general idea that an empire does not have an infinite will to fight, but a well-fought war will be less frustrating than a poorly fought one.


Maximum war exhaustion is capped out at 20 points. Every point of war exhaustion gives the following:[1]

National unrest.png +1 National unrest
Recruitment time.png +2% Recruitment time
Shipbuilding time.png +2% Shipbuilding time
Core-creation cost.png +3% Core-creation cost
Manpower recovery speed.png −1% Manpower recovery speed
Sailor recovery speed.png −1% Sailor recovery speed
Siege ability.png −1% Siege ability
Goods produced modifier.png −2% Goods produced modifier
Commanderies faction influence −0.05 Commanderies faction influence
Aristocrats influence −0.05 The aristocrats influence
Girondist influence −0.05 Girondist influence
Imperial influence +0.05 Imperial influence

War exhaustion will also increase the liberty desire of subjects by +1 per point of war exhaustion. Additionally, AI nations are more likely to accept peace deals when they have high WE, and are less willing to join in wars.

Gaining war exhaustion[edit]

War exhaustion is only generated while at war, though its effects may linger long after the guns have fallen silent and certain modifiers, such as attrition, may cause war exhaustion to decay slower than usual even while at peace. The factors that increase war exhaustion are:

  • Attrition Attrition: Minimum is +0.01
  • Losses in battles: The amount of war exhaustion caused by losses is shown in the battle results window. Large powerful countries will receive comparatively less war exhaustion than small weak countries for the same amount of losses.
  • Ports blockaded: +0.1 per month at 100% blockade.
  • Provinces occupied: +0.5 per month at 100% occupation.
  • Call for peace: appears if the player (not AI) continues a war despite having already achieved near-total strategic victory. It starts at +0.01/month and gradually increases. The modifier from this factor will be reset if peace is made in any war, but it will begin ticking up again if the war causing it still lasts.

Reducing war exhaustion[edit]

Following effects reduce war exhaustion:

Icon war exhaustion.png Conditions
−0.15 monthly for being the Revolution target.png target of the revolution
−0.10 monthly at peace
−0.05 monthly with Parliament.png parliament and “Support the War Effort” as active issue
−0.05 monthly having a ruler with the War exhaustion.png ‘Kind-Hearted’ personality
−0.05 monthly as a Nahuatl.png Nahuatl country which has passed the “Open up Sumptuary Restrictions” reform
−0.025 monthly for being Become Defender of the Faith.png Defender of the Faith
−0.02 monthly as Government monarchy.png Prussian Monarchy

Ideas and policies:

War exhaustion.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
−0.05 monthly
  • Innovative idea 6: Optimism
  • Siberian ambition
  • Diplomatic-Quality: Professional Diplomatic Corps
  • Humanist-Defensive: The Preparation Act
−0.03 monthly
  • Rajput idea 4: Rajput Resistance
  • Mewari ambition
  • Influence-Defensive: Local Militias
−0.02 monthly
  • Armenian traditions
  • Ashikaga traditions
  • Satake traditions
  • Desmondian idea 6: Promote the Culture of Service
  • Georgian idea 6: Dastulamali
  • Irish idea 6: Unconquerable Ireland
  • Munster idea 2: The Brave and Faithful
  • Polish idea 2: Nihil Novi
  • Ryazan idea 5: March of Russia
  • Tsutsui idea 2: Winner of Eikyo Civil War

A nation can spend 75 Diplomatic power.png diplomatic monarch points to reduce war exhaustion by −2. The following ideas reduce the cost to alleviate war exhaustion:

Cost of reducing war exhaustion.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Chickasaw traditions
  • Iroquois idea 1: Kainerekowa
  • Shawnee idea 1: The Wandering People
  • Afghan idea 1: Pashtunwali
  • Aztec idea 1: Flower Wars
  • Bengali idea 4: Mustard Oil & Ilish Mach
  • Leinster idea 5: Long Memories
  • Ottoman idea 4: Autonomous Pashas

−20% Trading in sugar

War exhaustion will be set to 0 when the nation breaks to rebels.

It is advised to keep wars as brief and to the point as possible to avoid excessive war exhaustion. Remember that for the most part, this was an era of limited war with very few major conflicts dragging on and on with regular battles and empty treasuries. War exhaustion will be lowered once at peace, but it degrades slowly as the nation recovers from the war and it could take months before it fully disappears.


  1. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt (Static modifiers#War exhaustion).