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Culture groups in 1444
Individual cultures in 1444

Culture icon.png In the game, cultures are divided into groups. Each province has one dominant culture, and each country has one primary culture with possibly one or more accepted/promoted cultures

Primary culture[edit]

All countries have one primary culture. This is normally fixed, although it can be changed either through the culture mechanics or via certain national decisions.

Cultural shift[edit]

Any accepted culture that has at least 50% of the development of the country’s state cores can be promoted to the primary culture of the nation. This costs 100 Diplomatic power.png diplomatic power, and replaces the previous ‘Accept Cultural Shift’[1] decision. The previous primary culture will consequently become an accepted culture.

The player can not shift to a culture that is accepted due to the cultural union granted by Empire level government.

It can be advantageous for a player to set a new primary culture to be able to form a country with a different tag (with new national ideas), or to be in a larger culture group, to have more brother cultures and save promoted cultures slots.

If the nation has very few states active, it can state and de-state provinces to frequently change the primary culture to obtain Nationalism casus belli on more countries, as well as to reduce the time of coring.

Accepted cultures [edit]

Government interface

The player has the ability to promote a culture to make it accepted or to demote it, removing it from accepted cultures.

  • The player can promote any culture in his nation that has at least 20 cored development in a state. It costs 100 Diplomatic power.png diplomatic power, but it could be advantageous in the long run.
  • Demoting a culture from 'accepted cultures' costs 10 diplomatic and adds +5 National unrest.png unrest in all provinces with that culture, that will decay over time.

Having at least 5 different promoted cultures is an Age Objective in the Age of Absolutism.

Max promoted cultures:

Max promoted cultures.png +2 Base value

Max promoted cultures.png +1 Trading in silk

Max promoted cultures.png +1 at diplomatic technology levels: 8, 14, 20, 26, 31

Max promoted cultures.png +2 with Monarchy Government Reform “Decentralized Bureaucracy”

Max promoted cultures.png +1 with Republic Government Reform “Universal Suffrage”

Max promoted cultures.png +3 with Flag of Mamluks Mamluks Government Reform “Mamluk Government” (DLC Cradle of Civilization.png required.)

Max promoted cultures.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Humanist idea 5: Cultural Ties
  • Bharathi idea 2: Unite the Subcontinent
  • Arakanese traditions
  • Ayutthayan traditions
  • Deccani Sultanate traditions
  • Pattani traditions
  • Polish traditions
  • Shan traditions
  • Tumbuka traditions
  • Vindhyan traditions
  • Arawak idea 4: Tribal Tolerance
  • Athenian idea 2: Athenian Openness
  • Bahmani idea 3: Dakani Language
  • Beninese idea 6: Adoption of Benin Customs
  • Caucasian idea 1: Crossroad Of Cultures
  • Deccani idea 1: Dakani Language
  • Frisian idea 7: Brothers in Arms
  • Fulani Jihad idea 6: Community of the Faithful
  • Gond idea 4: Flexible Caste System
  • Ilkhanid idea 3: Persian Language at Court
  • Kaffan idea 2: Minjo Usurpation
  • Lan Na idea 5: Red and Black Vassals
  • Lan Xang idea 1: Laotian Ethnic Diversity
  • Laotian idea 4: Laotian Ethnic Diversity
  • Lorraine idea 5: Two Languages, One Land
  • Mexican idea 2: The Republic of Indians
  • Moravian idea 5: German Quarters
  • Mossi idea 3: Nyonnyonse Vassals
  • Ottoman idea 1: Kanunnames
  • Rûmi idea 2: Sultan al-Sharq wa al-Gharb
  • Sligonian idea 3: Cultural Crossroads
  • Utrecht idea 6: Cultural Resilience
  • West African idea 7: Maintain Minor Kings
  • Delhian ambition
  • Malvi ambition
  • Humanist−Diplomatic: Multilingual Diplomats
  • Humanist−Plutocratic: Cultural Recognition Act

Cultural union[edit]

Cultural unions will automatically accept all sub-cultures within their respective culture group. Any nation can become a Cultural Union (CU) of its culture group upon reaching the Empire rank Empire government rank, or 1000 development if the player does not have the Common Sense DLC. As part of this change, it is possible for several nations to be a CU for the same culture group. A nation can become an empire as part of a decision, event, reaching a certain development level or by upgrading the government rank; Cultural Unions make it so that brother cultures don't have to be promoted to be accepted by the country.

Penalties for unaccepted cultures[edit]

A province with a non-accepted culture will provide less tax and have higher unrest alongside other penalties. A province with a culture in the same culture group, but not the same culture as the owner will get lighter penalties:

Same culture group (Culture name will be in yellow, will have a star next to their names on the culture tab)

Local tax modifier.png −15% Local tax modifier
Local manpower modifier.png −15% Local manpower modifier
Local sailors modifier.png −10% Local sailors modifier

Different culture group (Culture name will be in red)

Local tax modifier.png −33% Local tax modifier
Local missionary strength.png −2% Local missionary strength
Local manpower modifier.png −33% Local manpower modifier
Local sailors modifier.png −20% Local sailors modifier
Local unrest.png +2 Local unrest

Republican Cultural Sufferance

Republics get an additional cultural sufferance modifier in different culture-group provinces. This stacks with the usual penalty, mitigating but not eliminating it.

Local tax modifier.png +10% Local tax modifier
Local manpower modifier.png +10% Local manpower modifier
Local sailors modifier.png +5% Local sailors modifier
Local unrest.png −0.5 Local unrest

Culture conversion[edit]

The culture of a province can be changed to another culture if the province is cored by its owner, has the same religion as its owner and has no Separatism unrest. The cost for converting culture is 10 diplomatic power per development[2] and the duration for the change to take place is 10 months per development[3]. Like coring costs, culture conversion costs are capped at 30 development, so improving a 30 development province will not increase the cost of converting its culture. Sieges and occupations will pause culture conversion but will not cancel it, the culture conversion will continue as soon as the province is liberated, although conversion will be cancelled if the province's ownership changes. If the conversion is cancelled before progress reaches 10%, all diplomatic points will be refunded.

A province can have its culture changed to the primary culture of the province's owner. With The Cossacks, a province's culture can also be changed to any owned neighbouring province's culture or its culture can be restored to whatever it was originally.

Converting a province from culture A to culture B will incur a relations hit with every country whose primary culture is culture A.


The cultural conversion cost modifier reduces only the diplomatic power needed to change a province's culture. The time needed for the change to be complete cannot be reduced.

After applying "Culture conversion cost" modifiers, the cost is raised to a minimum of Diplomatic power.png 1 per development.[4] Then the following modifiers apply multiplicatively:

−25% if the province borders another owned province with the desired culture (adjacency bonus)[5]
−50% if the province is being restored to its original culture (original culture bonus)[6]
−80% if the province is overseas and is the country's main religion (overseas province bonus) [7]

Culture conversion cost.png Triggers
−25% Enlightenment.png Enlightenment
−15% Parliament.png "Assimilation and Settlement Policy" active issue

Ideas and policies:

Culture conversion cost.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Fully Religious
  • Karamanid idea 1: Mehmet Bey's Firman
  • Influence-Religious: Cultural Unity
  • Ando idea 5: Integration of Other Cultures
  • Ionian idea 7: Ionian Academy
  • Meath idea 4: Englishtown
  • Nizhny Novgorod idea 7: Russian Ambition
  • Lunda idea 5: Warrior Migrations
  • Kongolese idea 5: Aggressive Migration
  • Divine ambition
Decisions and events:
Culture conversion cost.png Event modifier Trigger Duration
−5% Itinerant Capital Ethiopian event: “The Itinerant Capital
Option: ‘Actively encourage the cultural conversion of the countryside.’
for 10 years.
−15% One Language of Government Spanish event: “Grammar of the [Root.Culture.GetName] Tounge
Option: ‘Adopt [Root.Culture.GetName] as the language of our administration.’
until ruler changes.
−10% Pushing the Tatars Back Russian mission: “Drive Back the Tatars for 15 years.

Primary nation[edit]

Most cultures have a primary nation. These nation will keep uncontested cores indefinitely[8], so long as their cores are in provinces of their culture - culture conversion will force these cores to obey the normal 50/150 year expiry timers for cores depending on whether or not the new culture is the same culture group as the nation with a core there. Primary nations of each culture can be found in the list below.

Lost cultures[edit]

Cultures in the Lost Cultures group do not exist at game start, but can be created as custom nations or during the invasion. The only culture that can be re-discovered is the Roman culture by Restoring the Roman Empire that changes the primary culture of the nation. All provinces with the former nation's primary culture will change to Roman culture.

Culture groups[edit]

Note that culture groups are not just based on linguistic criteria - for example, Romanian is grouped with the Carpathian cultures due to cultural similarities and for gameplay purposes, even though Carpathian is not a linguistic family.

Primary nations of each culture are listed to the right of each culture.






  • Het
  • Huarpe
  • MapucheFlag of Mapuche Mapuche
  • Patagonian











Central Algonquian

Central American

Central Indian






East Bantu

  • Bena
  • Malagasy
  • SwahiliFlag of Kilwa Kilwa
  • Takama
  • Thagiicu

East Slavic

Eastern Algonquian

Eastern Aryan


  • Aleutian
  • Inuit




Great Lakes











Lost Cultures

  • Anglo-Saxon
  • Aramaic
  • Athenian
  • Atlantean
  • Babylonian
  • Etrurian
  • Hebrew
  • Jan Mayenese
  • Old Egyptian
  • Parthian
  • Phoenician
  • Pruthenian
  • Roman
  • Scanian
  • Scythian
  • Spartan






  • Chacoan




  • Athabascan
  • Chipewyan
  • HaidaFlag of Haida Haida




  • Aboriginal
  • Melanesian (unused)
  • MoluccanFlag of Ternate Ternate
  • Papuan


Plains Algonquian




South Slavic

South-East Asian

Southern African






  • Ingrian (unused)
  • Ostyak
  • Samoyed
  • UralicFlag of Perm Perm

West African

West Slavic

Western Aryan


  1. The last version of the decision ‘Accept Cultural Shift’ for patch 1.17 can be found here.
  2. From /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: PS_CHANGE_CULTURE = 10
  3. From /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: MONTHS_TO_CHANGE_CULTURE = 10, -- How many months it will take to change culture in a province, per development.
  4. Verify as Russia, "War of the Quadruple Alliance" bookmark: Full Religious, Enlightenment, Influence-Religious: Cultural Unity, Parliament issue "Assimilation and Settlement Policy".
  5. From /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: CULTURE_COST_DIFF_ADJACENT = -25, -- Difference in cost in percent to convert to adjacent culture.
  6. From /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: CULTURE_COST_DIFF_ORIGINAL = -50, -- Difference in cost in percent to convert to original culture.
  7. From /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: PS_CHANGE_CULTURE_OVERSEAS_RELIGION_MOD = -0.8, -- Modifier how much cheaper it is to change culture in overseas province if same religion
  8. From /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: CORE_LOSE_PRIMARY_CULTURE_TAG = -1, -- how many years until a core is lost for the primary tag of a country (-1 = never lost)
Province mechanics