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Kingdom rankCusco
Primary culture
Quechua (Andean)

Capital province
Cuzco (808)

Autocracy Government monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
AndeanAndean technology group
Incan ideas
Ambox outdated info.png Please help with verifying or updating this infobox. It was last verified for version 1.33.

Traditions.png Traditions:

+20% Land force limit modifier
−10% Idea cost

Yearly prestige.png Machu Picchu

+1 Yearly prestige

Development cost.png Increased Obligations

−10% Development cost

National tax modifier.png Quipu

+10% National tax modifier

National manpower modifier.png Drafted Hatun Runas

+10% National manpower modifier
+2.5% Discipline

Construction cost.png Mit'a System

−10% Construction cost

Production efficiency.png Llama Michis

+10% Production efficiency

Land attrition.png Tambo Waystations

−10% Land attrition

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+1 Leader without upkeep

Cusco is a landlocked country in the Andes region of western South America. They border Flag of Wanka Wanka to the north, and Flag of Colla Colla to the south. Cusco is the strongest of the Andean countries and is therefore suitable for forming Flag of Inca Inca and completing the Sun God achievement.

Missions[edit | edit source]

Main article: Cuscoan missions

Cusco has a unique (if small) mission tree focused on conquering the local areas, the first of which grants a permanent claim on Huanuco area, held by Flag of Wanka Wanka, Flag of Ichma Ichma and Flag of Huyla Huyla.

Events[edit | edit source]

Cusco has several country-specific historical events.[1]


Msg event.pngFall of the Chanka & the Rise of Cusco

After years of struggles and having been dangerously close to total defeat by the Chankas in 1438 the kingdom of Cusco has now risen to a greater position than it has ever had previously. Having saved the kingdom, the young king Pachacuti went on to conquer the Chanka kingdom itself shortly afterwards, a state that for long times has exacted tribute not only from Cusco but from many of the states in the Andean world since the fall of the old Wari Empire.
Apart from marking Pachacuti as the greatest leader of the Cusco kingdom to date, the fall of the Chankas have given us access to their great treasury, a huge collection of gifts from neighbors and tributaries. This is exactly the kind of capital needed to buy the services necessary to reform and expand our kingdom. At this point nobody knows Pachacuti's plans but what is certain is that he has the means to steer Cusco in whichever direction he could wish.

This event happens only once during a campaign.
Trigger conditions

The country:

It is before 1450.

Mean time to happen

1 month

Event button 547.png
Long live Pachacuti, he who makes the Earth Shake!

Flag of Cusco Cusco:

  • gains Administrative power.png 75 administrative power.
  • gains Diplomatic power.png 75 diplomatic power.
  • gains Military power.png 75 military power.
  • gains Income.png 0.25 years of income.
  • (hidden)
    gets the Msg event.png event ‘[807.GetName] - Navel of the World’ after 185 days.

Msg event.png[807.GetName] - Navel of the World

One of the first things on Pachacuti's agenda is the reshaping of [807.GetName]. While our capital has served its purpose over the years it is in many ways no more than a rural village, often flooded by nearby rivers. Such a city is no longer fitting for a kingdom with ambitions such as ours. By creating a small model version of the city $MONARCH$ has drawn up plans for an entire redesign of the city, necessitating the complete evacuation of the city for the duration of the project.
While the manpower and material needed for this project are readily available inside our new borders mobilizing the various chiefs under our control entails a generous use of gifts and feasts. That is, however, a price we will have to pay for our new capital.

This event happens only once during a campaign.
Trigger conditions

The country:

  • Owns province Abancay (807)
Is triggered only by

the event ‘Fall of the Chanka & the Rise of Cusco’.

Event button 547.png
Let us create a worthy capital!

The country:

  • gains Yearly prestige.png 10 prestige.
  • loses Administrative power.png 25 administrative power.
  • loses Diplomatic power.png 25 diplomatic power.
  • Province Abancay (807) gets the modifier “Restructuring of Cusco” for 20 years, giving the following effects:
  • Yearly prestige.png +0.5 yearly prestige,
  • Local manpower modifier.png −15% local manpower modifier.
Event button 547.png
Our resources are better used for other things.
If Flag of Cusco Cusco has a stability of less than +3,
  • then it gains Stability.png1 stability,
  • else it gains Administrative power.png50 administrative power.

Msg event.pngReconstruction of [807.GetName] Complete

After almost 20 years the great project of restructuring [807.GetName] is complete. The land has been leveled to create huge plazas and beautiful buildings erected, the nearby rivers have been led into canals.
The city is built to be the capital of an Empire rather than a small kingdom and is organized into four regions matching the way which we divide our realm in the Andes. The royal center is located at the junction of the regions of Antisuyu, Qullasuyu, Kuntisuyu and Chinchaysuyu and these regions divide the Cusco valley as well as our empire.

This event happens only once during a campaign.
Trigger conditions

The country:

  • is Flag of Cusco Cusco.
  • Owns province Abancay (807)
  • had chosen the option ‘Let us create a worthy capital!’ of the event ‘Cusco - Navel of the World’ at least 20 years ago.
Mean time to happen

1 month

Event button 547.png

Province Abancay (807) gets the modifier “Cusco” for the rest of the campaign, giving the following effects:

  • Yearly prestige.png +0.5 yearly prestige,
  • Yearly legitimacy.png +0.5 yearly legitimacy.


Msg event.pngMachu Picchu

Just as the city of [807.GetName] was in need of being reshaped in order to fit the wider ambition of the Cusco kingdom $MONARCH$ is now in need of a stately Estate to match the importance of his person and his lineage. On a mountain completely surrounded by the Urubamba river $MONARCH$ has planned the city of Machu Picchu, a royal retreat for his court and his Panaca and a beautiful place for a ruler of his magnitude to reside in.

This event happens only once during a campaign.
Trigger conditions

The country:

Cuzco (808):

  • does not have the modifier “Restructuring of Cusco”.
  • does not have the modifier “Cusco”.

It is at least 1450, but before 1475.

Mean time to happen

75 months

Event button 547.png
Let us build a great city!

The country:

  • loses Administrative power.png 50 administrative power.
  • loses Income.png 0.1 years of income.
  • Change capital to Abancay (807)
  • Province Abancay (807):
    • Gain Base tax.png 4 base tax
    • Gain 2 of either base tax or base production or base manpower
    • If Leviathan.png Leviathan is active :
      • Set Level of the Monument "Machu Picchu" to Great project level icon tier 2.png Significant
    • else :
      • gain province modifer "Machu Picchu" for the rest of the game, giving :
        • Yearly legitimacy.png yearly legitimacy +0,5
Event button 547.png
Let's not get carried away.
If the country has a stability of less than +3,
  • then it gains Stability.png1 stability,
  • else it gains Administrative power.png50 administrative power.

Decisions[edit | edit source]


Execute decision.pngTawantinsuyu, the Empire of the Incas

Once one of many small regional kingdoms our state now holds land in all the four regions of the Andes. Our kingdom has transformed into something greater, a mighty empire of many peoples united under a strong class of rulers. To our subjects we are simply their overlords, the Incas.

Potential requirements

The country:

If the country is AI-controlled then it:

Playing with normal or historical nations.
Not playing with random New World.


Flag of Inca Inca does not exist.
The country:


The country:

  • AI will always take this decision.
  • AI gives "high priority" (400) to this decision

Strategy[edit | edit source]

A good strategy for Cusco focuses on forming Inca and preparing for the arrival of western countries.

Playing primitive[edit | edit source]

Cusco and Inca are Andean technology group Andean nations in the primitive technology group. Being primitive brings a series of downsides:

  • +50% Development cost.png development cost in owned provinces;
  • cannot embrace Institutions.png institutions, even if they spawned in the provinces;
  • cannot build ships, or navy-related buildings;
  • start with Level 1 in Administrative technology.png administrative, Diplomatic technology.png diplomatic and Military technology.png military technology levels
  • does not have Feudalism.png Feudalism embraced.

Reforming the religion[edit | edit source]

The Inti religion requires that all 5 government reforms be enacted, and that the player holds a core province that borders a neighbour who has embraced Feudalism in order to be able to reform. Each reform has to be enacted while having at least +1 Stability.png stability and 100 authority. On enacting it, 3 Pretender rebels.png pretender armies will spawn in random locations, the player's Authority will be reset to 0 and the player will take a -2 Stability.png stability hit. The player is thus encouraged to prepare beforehand by setting their army maintenance to 100% and activate their forts.

The only other ways to gain authority, other than the monthly tick (based on total Development.png development of the player's nation), are events and lowering a province's autonomy. The player is encouraged to take risks and shoot for the highest authority gain option in events, which will usually come at the cost of rebel spawn or some Local unrest.png local unrest. On the other hand, raising Autonomy.png autonomy in newly-conquered provinces or accepting outcomes that raise autonomy will lower authority. In a way, the player is able to exchange authority and autonomy in both ways.

If the player is going for the Sun God achievement it is advised to start with the "Expand the Mitma Policy" religious reform, that provides one Colonists.png colonist, as it will be the safer way to grasp high-development colonies before the western nations arrive, and the only way to move towards the eastern coast (where the colonizers will probably be). After that, army-related reforms will be good pick as the player will need to constantly fight rebels or neighboring countries.

It is strongly advised to avoid failing to put down a rebellion, as every successful revolt will remove 2 religious reforms from the player's progress, which can dramatically slow the reforming process and prove costly from a Stability.png stability and Administrative technology.png administrative point of view.

Monarch points management[edit | edit source]

Flag of Cusco Cusco start in the enviable position of having a Ruler and Heir with excellent stats, which helps with early game monarch point generation. Because of the high military skill, it can be tempting to make the ruler and heir into generals, as they will likely have a good number of pips, but keep in mind the increased death chance for leaders of a siege. From the start date, the Andean technology group Andean nations suffer a +50% Technology.png technology cost malus for Feudalism not embraced. As time passes and more Institutions are spawned, the technology cost will continue to rise to +50% per Institution not embraced. To further complicate matters, most of the area the player will have available is on mountain or jungle terrain type, with +25% to +35% Development cost.png development cost penalty. Thus, it is extremely important that the player manages monarch points accordingly, to keep up with their neighbours but keep a hefty amount to be ready to reform when possible.

Since many game-long decisions as Cusco or Inca have the side effect of increasing the Stability.png stability cost (typically by +5%), the player is encouraged to take decisions that increase stability when possible. The player will lose at least 10 Stability.png stability points due to reforms before being able to reform their religion. On the other hand, the Cusco event tree will trigger some unique events relevant to the capital's growth that will give permanent bonuses for the rest of the game. The player should consider carefully if the provided bonus (totalling +0.5 Yearly prestige.png yearly prestige and +1 Yearly legitimacy.png yearly legitimacy) outweigh the immediate Stability.png stability gain.

Upgrading tech is heavily discouraged. Without Feudalism, all techs Technology.png are +50% more expensive, and this malus will further compound the more time passes. Upon reforming your nation, you not only embrace all the institutions they received, negating your prior malus but also level up to 2/3rds of their tech level, meaning you get techs for which you would have paid a massive penalty for free. Furthermore, nations get a -5% Technology.png technology cost reduction per level a bordering nation is ahead of you. This can result in tech penalties as massive as -65% if Cusco is at technology one while a bordering nation is at technology level fourteen (this discount can be compounded with all the benefits from reforming). All combined, this means that you should be staying at as low of a technology level as possible. Administrative technology.png Admin and Diplomatic technology.png techs can remain at one. The only potentially worthwhile benefit to teching up here is an idea group at tech 5, but that is far too much investment for far too little reward. It is advised to buy Military technology.png military tech 3, to ensure parity with all your neighbours. A swift conquest of all other tags may allow you to stay at tech 2, and even slightly experienced players may be able to get away with staying at mil tech 1.

The first years: unifying Inca[edit | edit source]

Military expansion[edit | edit source]

Although Cusco starts in a favorable position, it doesn't hold a sufficient edge over its neighbours that allows the player to expand recklessly. Unfortunately, the only mission Flag of Cusco Cusco gets in the way of local expansion is a permanent claim on Huanuco area, held by Flag of Wanka Wanka, Flag of Ichma Ichma and Flag of Huyla Huyla. However, on the upside this can be completed extremely easily (within the first month) by exploiting local manpower and purchasing a local mercenary company. This can allow for extremely swift northward expansion which would normally require waiting to generate claims, and can allow for expanding northwards before extensive alliance networks finish forming. The southern nations hold known gold mines which may seem tempting, however keep in mind that as a primitive, gold is not an excellent income source. Never the less, the Cerro Rico local goods produced modifier on the province of Potosi held by Flag of Charca Charca is so significant that even as a primitive it provides for a significant income boost. By making alliances and promising territories without upholding to the promises it's relatively easy to completely annex the southern half of the region in 10 years of less. The smaller local nations of Flag of Ichma Ichma and Flag of Chachapoya Chachapoya can make reasonable allies with an eye to diplomatically vassalising them after expanding around them, which as they control no choke points can be possible. All nations in the region start Flag of Quito Quito as annexable in one single 100% peace deal. Make sure to keep diplomats active, either improving relations or annexing, or else to build spy network which helps with aggressive expansion penalty and speeds up sieges.

After satisfying all the requirements to form Flag of Inca Inca, the player is encouraged to do so as soon as possible to benefit from the resulting cultural union and the expanded benefits the Empire rank Empire rank grants.

The player is encouraged to also vassalize and annex Flag of Muisca Muisca (who will usually ally Flag of Quito Quito) as soon as possible. Vassalizing can be done if they are a co-belligerent in a war. And they can be integrated without a land connection, because their provinces can be cored because they are on the same continent as Cusco's capital and border a core province of a subject of Cusco (Muisca themselves).

While there is no real haste to conquer the area, as it is isolated from the rest of the world, the player may want to speed up the process to acquire more development and bump yearly Authority generation as soon as possible. When the expansion is done the player should be gaining between 5 and 7 yearly Authority from development alone.

The player can combine the spy network construction with the "Transfer Subject" Age of Discovery.png Age of Discovery bonus to be able to quickly declare one war after another as soon as they can border the new war target.

Colonization[edit | edit source]

The first colonization target for the player should be on the pieces of land that connect the northern border to Flag of Muisca Muisca on the southern border of Neiva. After that, the player should focus on reaching the eastern shores. It is advised to either colonize to the north, up towards Colombia, Venezuela, and Central America, or to the southeast to reach Rio de Janiero and the southern coast of Brazil, as these are typically the first two regions that Europeans will colonize.

The player should be aware that, without Diplomatic technology.png diplomatic technology or Idea bonus.png Exploration or Expansion ideas the Global settler increase.png monthly settler increase will be the default +10, that will be offset by the -10 malus from the Tropical.png tropical modifier found on most available colonies. This will limit colony increase possibility to luck: for instance, Native assimilation.png native assimilation given by the presence of a Colonists.png colonist or by having a ruler with the Global settler increase.png Expansionist trait. This malus can also be combated by choosing the "Native Repression" native policy giving a Global settler increase.png +20 to settler increase. Keep in mind, however, that the player will have to station garrisons on the colony or wipe out the natives on the province should this option be chosen.

Events[edit | edit source]

Within the first years, the player should also see the first events related to the growth of Cusco as a capital city. As mentioned above, these events grant immediate benefits as opposed to lower, but everlasting ticking traits. The yearly legitimacy from Machu Picchu will only be useful if the player is able to reform to a neighbour under a Government monarchy.png monarchic government type: on the other hand, most of the countries that will neighbour Cusco or Inca when the time for reform is ripe will be colonial nations, which usually are Government republic.png republics. The player should keep this in mind and be prepared to either be picky about who to pick when reforming, or suffer internal disasters or revolutions that will overthrow the republic to reinstate a (usually despotic) monarchy in order to benefit from this bonus.

In the same way, it is advised to avoid being swayed by events granting "support for Feudalism" in provinces: Cusco will not benefit from the support, and Feudalism will be automatically embraced once Cusco reforms its religion. The player can safely ignore this bonus when weighing their options.

Country guides

Andean technology group Andean.png Chachapoya.png Chachapoya Cusco.png Cusco Muisca.png Muisca
South American technology group South American.png Mapuche.png Mapuche

Central African technology group Central African.png Kuba.png KubaMutapa.png Mutapa
East African technology group East African.png Ethiopia.png EthiopiaMogadishu.png Mogadishu
Muslim technology group Muslim.png The Mamluks.png MamluksMorocco.png MoroccoTlemcen.png TlemcenTunis.png Tunis
West African technology group West African.png Air.png AirMali.png Mali

Eastern technology group Eastern.png Jerusalem.png Jerusalem Karabakh.png Karabakh
Muslim technology group Muslim.png Afghanistan.png Afghanistan Ajam.png Ajam Arabia.png Arabia Ardabil.png Ardabil Hisn Kayfa.png Hisn Kayfa Hormuz.png Hormuz Oman.png Oman Mushasha.png Mushasha Timurids.png Timurids Qara Qoyunlu.png Qara Qoyunlu
Indian technology group Indian.png Assam.png Assam Bahmanis.png Bahmanis Bengal.png Bengal Orissa.png Orissa
Chinese technology group Chinese.png Bali.png Bali Brunei.png Brunei Dai Viet.png Dai Viet Japan.png Japan Khmer.png Khmer Korea.png Korea Majapahit.png Majapahit Malaya.png Malaya Pagarruyung.png Pagarruyung Pasai.png Pasai Sunda.png Sunda
Nomadic technology group Nomadic.png Jianzhou.png Jianzhou Uzbek.png Uzbek Mongolia.png Mongolia

Western technology group Western.png United States.png United States
Mesoamerican technology group Mesoamerican.png Maya.png Maya
North American technology group North American.png Caddo.png Caddo Cherokee.png Cherokee Iroquois.png Iroquois

  1. Cuscoan events are located in /Europa Universalis IV/events/flavorINC.txt.