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Empire rankEthiopia
Primary culture
Amhara (Cushitic)

Capital province
Gonder (1224)

Autocracy Government monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
East AfricanEast African technology group
Ethiopian ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
−10% Land attrition
−0.05 Monthly autonomy change

Yearly prestige.png Solomonid Claim

+1 Yearly prestige

Chance of new heir.png Negusa Negast

+50% Chance of new heir

Fort defense.png Hostile Borders

+20% Fort defense

Diplomatic reputation.png Diplomatic Demeanor

+1 Diplomatic reputation

Missionaries.png The Ark of the Covenant

+1 Missionary

Core-creation cost.png Expansionist Policy

−10% Core-creation cost

Infantry combat ability.png Reformed Armies

+10% Infantry combat ability

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+1 Yearly legitimacy

Ethiopia is a medium-sized country in eastern Africa, just north of the Horn of Africa. In 1444, it shares a border with its vassals, Flag of Damot Damot and Flag of Hadiya Hadiya, and with Flag of Alodia Alodia, Flag of Beja Beja, Flag of Medri Bahri Medri Bahri, Flag of Adal Adal, and Flag of Kaffa Kaffa. Starting with an Empire-rank government and control of a Coptic holy site, Ethiopia has the potential to be not just a contender for African superiority but to challenge for control of the Arabian peninsula and beyond.


Main article: Ethiopian events

Ethiopia's events focus on imperial traditions. There are also two event chains regarding relations with Flag of Portugal Portugal and the Flag of Mamluks Mamluks.


Strategy The below is one of many player suggested strategies for Ethiopia. Bear in mind, due to the dynamic nature of the game, it may unfold differently for other players.


Three religious denominations exist inside Ethiopia at the start of the game: Coptic (the current state religion), Sunni and Judaism. Of the three, only Judaism lacks any unique mechanic or benefits beyond its base religious values. While a Jewish Ethiopia may offer an appealing challenge for experienced players, a Coptic or Sunni Ethiopia provides the best opportunity for success.

Coptic Ethiopia[edit]

As a Coptic nation, Ethiopia can make early use of the unique holy sites mechanic thanks to the site in Aksum. The ability to give a boost to military (through manpower recovery (+10%) or discipline (+2.5%)), religion (through missionary strength (+1.5%)), or other aspects of the nation (through increased yearly legitimacy (+0.5) or reduced core creation cost (-10%) which is arguably one of the strongest points of the Coptic faith) based on the chosen holy site bonus allows Coptic Ethiopia to proliferate at a rapid pace, either through absorbing lesser countries or converting held provinces. Should nearby Flag of Makuria Makuria convert the holy site in Qasr Ibrim from Sunni to Coptic, Ethiopia (as well as all other Coptic nations) will unlock a second Coptic bonus, further increasing Ethiopia's potential power. The conquest of Alexandria from the Flag of Mamluks Mamluks (which will be a short-term goal after domination over the horn of Africa is achieved, as to not let the Flag of Ottomans Ottomans seize control over the area, which will make the conquest of the holy site much more difficult) will unlock another Coptic blessing at your disposal.

Sunni Ethiopia[edit]

As a Sunni nation, Ethiopia is less starved for decent allies in the early game. Muslim nations in the Arabia and Persia regions such as Flag of Yemen Yemen, Flag of Hejaz Hejaz, Flag of Persia Persia and Flag of Qara Qoyunlu Qara Qoyunlu -- to say nothing of the mighty Flag of Ottomans Ottomans -- will find becoming friendly with another Sunni nation far more appealing than a Coptic one. As the game progresses, Sunni Ethiopia's expansion will be much smoother than its Coptic counterpart as it will not need to convert Sunni provinces taken through conquest.


Starting as Coptic in a Sunni-dominated area of the world, religious differences can make finding good allies for Ethiopia difficult. Even if Ethiopia converts, there are still Fetishist nations in Africa that will reject alliances unless the player has grown to a formidable size.

Regardless of state religion, Alodia and Makuria are prime targets for early alliances. Their positioning and size means they can provide decent military support while not blocking Ethiopian expansion to the north, east or south. There's even enough space to hand one or both nations a province or two from Beja or the Mamluks to keep the alliance strong.

When seeking larger allies later in the game, the safest strategy is to look for matching religious interests. If Coptic, Christian nations that rival expansionist-leaning powers like Portugal, Flag of Spain Spain, Flag of France France and Flag of England England can make for key assets during territorial wars. If Sunni, the Ottomans, Persia and Flag of Morocco Morocco are excellent candidates, with Morocco having the added perk of also being eager to take Iberian territory from Portugal and/or Spain.


Starting as an Empire, Ethiopia should try to unify the horn of Africa as its first objective. Its cultural union makes converting the land much easier, have low unrest, and give boost to tax income. Furthermore, the Gulf of Aden trade node is better than the Ethiopia trade node, so moving the capital/trade capital to there can also increase income.

To the north[edit]

Making noise near the Ottoman Empire -- one of EU4's most dominating presences -- is a risky gambit at the best of times. To lessen the chance of fatal overextension, being on the Ottomans' good side either through an alliance or other arrangement is crucial. Should the Ottoman threat be temporarily pacified, the Flag of Mamluks Mamluks and all connected African territory beyond are ripe for the plundering -- especially if the Flag of Ottomans Ottomans have decided to take a piece out of the Flag of Mamluks Mamluks for themselves.

To the east[edit]

The Arabian peninsula provides an alternate way into the Mashriq region that doesn't involve setting delicate plans in motion to deal with the Flag of Mamluks Mamluks and Flag of Ottomans Ottomans. Depending on who has allied with whom, taking territory off of Flag of Yemen Yemen and/or Flag of Oman Oman can be done in a methodical fashion to avoid a hefty aggressive expansion penalty. (Note that the island province of Socotra is, in fact, Yemeni and may accidentally be overlooked by a hasty player.) From there, eastern expansion into Persia or northern expansion to secure all of Arabia awaits, assuming the Flag of Ottomans Ottomans haven't already sealed off Arabia from Mashriq and are greedily eyeing expansion of their own.

To the south[edit]

If colonists are not available, the Horn of Africa is the only way to expand Ethiopia south towards the Cape of Good Hope. This requires going through a handful of stubborn, low development nations, many of whom will not be so keen to see foreign infidels gobbling up territory in their vicinity. The amount of coastal land available on this route makes island-hopping a far easier prospect later on, not to mention providing a deterrent of sorts against European colonization. Be warned: even a rapid expansion may not be quick enough to prevent a European power from taking the Cape and all the trade node fortunes that come with it.

To the west[edit]

The path least traveled -- the Sahel region -- requires colonists in order to add the desolate Saharan territory to Ethiopia. Should this be accomplished, there is no more direct way to Flag of Mali Mali, Flag of Timbuktu Timbuktu and other African powers, many of whom will be more than a little unfriendly upon your arrival to their borders. If pan-African domination is the player's goal, securing this desert route to the western coast is a difficult but necessary step.

To the sea[edit]

An unorthodox method for Ethiopian expansion is overseas colonization. Initially, the closest feasible options are Comoros, Seychelles and Mauritius -- assuming the islands are free of European influence by the time Ethiopia is within colonial range. If at least one island can be added to the empire, the stage is set for Indonesian colonization. First, in order to get within the necessary colonial range, an occupied island will need to be conquered. Using Ethiopia's new holdings as staging points (Socotra also fits nicely for this operation), either the Flag of Maldives Maldives or Flag of Ceylon Ceylon will need to be captured. Of the two, the Maldives are less problematic as they are completely disconnected from the Indian mainland and less prone to retaliation. Once cored, Ethiopia should be able to make colonial landfall somewhere on the Indonesian archipelago. Once settled, expansion opportunities abound with the Philippines, Australia, the Pacific islands and potentially even the Americas ripe for colonization.


Ethiopia has a specific achievement, Prester John, which requires control of a vast stretch of territory stretching from the mouth of the Nile to the Black Sea while remaining Coptic. As this means Ethiopia will eventually need to take land from the Ottomans, careful military planning will be needed to avoid disaster.

Prester John icon
Own and have cores on Alexandria, Antioch and Constantinople as Coptic Ethiopia.
A Blessed Nation icon
As a Coptic Nation, gain all 5 Blessings.
Country guides

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 Kharabakh.png Kharabakh
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

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