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Kingdom rankFrance
Primary culture

Capital province
Paris (183)

Feudal Nobility Government monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
WesternWestern technology group
French ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
+20% National manpower modifier
+1 Diplomatic reputation

Diplomatic relations.png French Language in All courts

+1 Diplomatic relation

Morale of armies.png Elan!

+20% Morale of armies

National tax modifier.png Estates General

+10% National tax modifier

Native uprising chance.png Native Trading Principles

−50% Native uprising chance
+50% Native assimilation

Fort maintenance.png Vauban Fortifications

−20% Fort maintenance

Technology cost.png The Philosophes

−10% Technology cost

Tolerance heretic.png Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

+2 Tolerance of heretics
+2 Tolerance of heathens

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+5% Discipline
For the region, see France (region).
Shield France.png
The Hundred Years War which has torn France apart for over a century is currently halted by a truce following a number of key French victories. With the support of Joan of Arc, since martyred at the hands of the Flag of England English, and the support of the rich Flag of Provence Anjou family, Charles VII has reclaimed Paris and many of the French lands. Charles has also been acknowledged as the rightful King by the Dukes of Flag of Burgundy Burgundy in the treaty of Arras in 1435.

However, the truce with England is tenuous. The English have still not relinquished their claims to the French throne, and one of the main demands of the new treaty, the surrender of Maine to France, has yet to materialize months later.

While the Burgundians now passively support the French cause in the conflict with England, they are still a matter of concern for the French Crown. They have grown their domains far beyond the borders of France, into the Lowlands and the Imperial authority.png Holy Roman Empire. It is said that the Duke, who is also one of the richest men in Europe, harbors dreams of a future kingdom based around his collective domains.

In 1444, the Kingdom of France is in a state of instability and flux, and French sovereignty is subject to the changing whims of their disloyal subjects. To our North are the English who wish to add the French Crown to their collection, and to our East is the rebellious House de Bourgogne who would dare to claim the throne for themselves. Before the French can even begin thinking about expanding their Empire, they must first ensure the loyalty of their subjects and integrate them into a centralized state, and remove the cursed English and Burgundian pretender Kingdoms from their border. France is free to pursue voyages of exploration, an active foreign policy in Germany and the Low Countries or even an attack on the rich cities of Northern Italy, where the imperial influence has been waning for centuries.

France is a kingdom located in Western Europe, in the French Region, and could be one of the most (if not the most) interesting and entertaining nations to play in EUIV due to its powerful military and amount of flavor events. France allows for the player to make mistakes with usually limited consequences. Due to its military and sheer size, taking down France as an outside nation can be difficult, but not impossible. In 1444, it borders Flag of Burgundy Burgundy to the north and east, Flag of England England to the north and west, Flag of Aragon Aragon to the south, Flag of Savoy Savoy to the east and a large number of minor nations all around. Notable are Flag of Provence Provence, the Flag of Papal States Papal States, and Flag of Navarra Navarra.

France starts out guaranteeing independence to Scotland, in an alliance (as well as sharing dynasty) with Provence, and with cores on all the English land in France. Calais is not in the France region and is therefore not a core of France.


Main article: French missions

French missions are focused around uniting the myriad states in France itself, the conquest of part of northern Italy, messing around in the Holy Roman Empire, fighting the English and kicking them out of the mainland, and colonizing North America.


Main article: French events

Wars of Religion[edit]

The rise of ProtestantismProtestantism in Europe led to three decades of civil war within France known as French Wars of Religion[1]. This event can occur in Age of Reformation.pngAge of Reformation’ if less than Religious unity.png 75% of the country has the state religion (usually CatholicismCatholic). Rival Catholic nations can form La Ligue Catholique, a major player in the French Wars of Religion, directed at the eradication of the Protestants in France. The League was used not only to defend the Catholic cause but also as a political tool in an attempt to usurp the French throne.

The formation of La Ligue Catholique will decrease relations with Catholic nations and give qualifying neighboring powers a casus belli to restore the one true faith!

Palace of Versailles[edit]

Around 1650, the player will be presented with the choice, through an event, to begin construction of the Palace of Versailles. A high initial cost to set the construction in motion, as well as a temporary but lengthy tax cut, can be a very costly procedure, where several loans might be required. However, finishing the Palace of Versailles will give France the desired model of kingly ruling, and as long as the Palace remains, France will benefit from yearly prestige and legitimacy.

The French Revolution & Napoleon[edit]

This event can occur after 1710 if the French economy is on its knees or is suffering from high War Exhaustion (especially if France has taken a lot of loans) and the probability of the event chain firing is increased if demands for economic and social reforms have been turned down. This event chain can create revolts, uprisings and even the overthrow of the monarchy! Sometime along this event chain, the player may get a general named Napoleon who has high stats.


France can be formed by a French, Basque, or Breton country should it cease to exist.


Execute decision.pngForm French Nation

This year will mark the beginning of an evolutionary period for our nation. The old feudal ways will begin to make way for a more modern centralized nation. Although struggling financially due to miscalculated projects and military campaigns, we have managed to transform ourselves into one of the most dominant powers of Europe.

Potential requirements

The country:

If the country is AI-controlled then it:


Flag of France France does not exist.
The country:


If Paris (183) is part of the HRE, but its owner is not a member then:

  • the province is removed from the HRE.
  • the Holy Roman Emperor:
    • gets the opinion modifier “Removed provinces from the Empire” towards the owner, worth Opinion.png−50 opinion with a yearly decay of 1.
    • loses Imperial authority.png1 imperial authority.

Paris (183):

  • becomes the new capital of the owner country.

The country:

  • becomes Flag of France France.
  • gets new Mission.pngmissions.
  • gets a permanent claim on every non-owned province in the region of France.
  • gets the modifier “Increased Centralization” for 20 years with the following effects:
    • Autonomy.png−0.05 monthly autonomy change,
    • National unrest.png+1 national unrest.
  • gains Prestige.png25 prestige.

If Flag of France France:

  • is a member of the Holy Roman Empire but not the emperor or an elector
    • then all its provinces are removed from the HRE.
  • is a Duchy rank duchy
    • then it becomes a Kingdom rank kingdom.
  • does not have custom ideas
All provinces in orange must be owned and cored. Upon formation gain permanent claims on all provinces in yellow.


Execute decision.pngMove Court to Versailles

The land around the small village of Versailles has long been excellent hunting land, the small hunting lodge has steadily been augmented into a grand looking chateau. Is it not now fitting to make this the seat of the French government?

Potential requirements

The country:

If the country is AI-controlled then it:


Flag of France France:


Flag of France France gains Prestige.png33 prestige.
Paris (183) gains Tax Base Icon.png2 base tax.

Execute decision.png'L'État c'est moi'

Granted the right to rule by the grace of God and God alone we should not allow our God given rights to limited by other, lesser, men.

Potential requirements

The country:

If the country is AI-controlled then it:


Flag of France France:

  • has a ruler with an administrative skill of at least 5.
  • has a monthly income of at least 100Gold Icon.png.

It is currently the Age of Absolutism.png Age of Absolutism.


Flag of France France:

  • gets the modifier “L'État c'est moi” for the rest of the campaign with the following effect:
    • Prestige.png +0.5 yearly prestige,
    • Absolutism.png +0.5 yearly absolutism.
  • gains Absolutism.png10 absolutism.

Execute decision.pngEnact Edict de Nantes

The realm was so torn by innumerable factions and sects that the most legitimate of all the parties was fewest in numbers. God has given us strength to stand out against this storm, we have finally surmounted the waves and made our port of safety, -- peace for our state.

Potential requirements

The country:

  • is Flag of France France.
  • has not enacted this decision before.

If the country is AI-controlled then it:

The ProtestantismProtestant or Reformed.pngReformed religion is enabled.


Flag of France France:

  • is CatholicismCatholic and that's the country's dominant religion.
  • does not have modifier “Counter-Reformation”.
  • owns at least 3 provinces that are ProtestantismProtestant or at least 3 provinces that are Reformed.pngReformed.


Flag of France France:

  • gets the modifier “Edict de Nantes” until the decision Revoke Edict de Nantes is enacted with the following effects:
    • Tolerance heretic.png +2 tolerance of heretics,
    • Tolerance own.png -1 tolerance of the true faith,
    • Religious unity.png +25% religious unity.

Execute decision.pngRevoke Edict de Nantes

We have determined that we can do nothing better than entirely revoke the said Edict of Nantes, with the special articles granted as a sequel to it, as well as all that has since been done in favor of the said religion

Potential requirements

The country:

  • has the modifier “Edict de Nantes”.

If the country is AI-controlled then it:


At least one of the following;

  • The country is not CatholicismCatholic.
  • The country has no ProtestantismProtestant and no Reformed.pngReformed provinces.
  • Paris (183) is controlled by Flag of Rebels Rebels.


The country:

  • loses the modifier “Edict de Nantes”.
  • gains Prestige.png10 prestige.


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

France should focus on unifying its cultural cores early, this won't be too hard as England has fewer troops than France and is forced to navally invade. From there, France has four common ways to expand: first, expanding into Italy. The French player will often get missions to expand into Italy, which is a rich region and probably has the highest development in the game. However, it is a tightly contested region, and moving into it can make powerful enemies very quickly, especially the Holy Roman Emperor if the player expands there before 1490. If the player wishes to move into Italy, a good way to do so early is by getting the "transfer subject" bonus in the age of discovery. It can be used to have other countries make their subjects the player's subjects pretty quickly. It can be used to gain Naples from Aragon, which is probably most important since it is bigger than any other subjects on the Italian peninsula. Combined with some early conquests in Savoy, France can position itself to dominate Italy early.

Secondly, one can expand into the low countries. It is easier to expand into than Italy. Enemies in the region are usually very weak early (with the exception of Burgundy who shouldn't be taken on alone early), and there are usually few other great powers looking to expand into it that early. Like Italy, its provinces are rich and will help France control the trade node shared with the English. However, it is much more difficult to retain. Later in the game, Dutch rebellions are some of the worst in the game as rivals will have the option to defend them.

Thirdly, one can expand into Africa. Historically France invaded Algeria, and it is an easy area to move into. There is usually very little competition for the area with other great powers, and the countries in the area are usually very weak, especially Flag of Tlemcen Tlemcen. However, the area is Muslim and has increased coring cost, making it harder to convert and worsening rebellions. The region also has weak development, meaning that the gains made from it are smaller than in Italy or the Low Countries, but it is easier to take and maintain. However, it also opens up more opportunities for easy expansion. If the player is doing this, religious or humanist are a must early on (though religious is recommended for long-term benefits of actually converting provinces).

Fourth is colonialism. England, Spain, and Portugal will have better colonial expansion benefits through better settler increase, more colonists through national ideas, and different colonial events. However, France's national idea offers it a chance to go the middle way in colonialism without the penalties. It will get no native attacks and have a very good assimilation rate. This makes France among the best colonial nations if France isn't moving troops into the new world. France also has some unique historical colonial events and missions. Be aware, however, that in multiplayer France will often have strong enemies in the mainland, and oftentimes expansion might not be a good choice for the French player. However, if other usual colonial competitors are not expanding fast, or if you have few enemies in mainland Europe, colonial expansion may be a good choice for France.

Taking French culture territory[edit]

Flag of France France can increase its power by taking territories within the french culture group. Neighboring countries in other culture groups will gain 50% less Aggressive expansion impact.png aggressive expansion impact.

Initial countries with french culture territory are:

Initial war with England[edit]

This war can be started at the beginning of the game. Flag of England England and Flag of Portugal Portugal start with an alliance, so both countries may join the war. Portugal can be managed by allying Flag of Castile Castile, Flag of Genoa Genoa or Flag of Scotland Scotland. Defeating Portugal with a high score may give access to North Africa with Ceuta. If an Irish country joins the war, then taking cores can be used to claim more Irish provinces in future wars. Nonetheless, it is recommended to ask for The Pale in the resulting peace deal with England, allowing the release of Flag of Meath Meath, opening a path for vassal feeding in the Irish area followed by the conquest of Scotland and, ultimately, an invasion of Flag of England England from the North, a much more secure path compared to the hazardous naval invasion.

Caux, Normandie, Gascogne, and Maine can be taken in one war. Labourd and Calais are not French, but can be taken with a War score.png 100% war-score for mission or strategic purpose.

Avoiding naval encounters

The war takes place in both the Britain region and the France region. The whole army of England starts in the Britain region in two regiments. Allies can be let fighting together while a small French regiment occupies provinces in the France region and a major regiments fight in the Britain region using Flag of Scotland Scotland as a start point. If the major regiment encounters the English regiments in London before its fusion they can be wiped giving a strong advantage to Flag of France France.

After taking all the French culture provinces, the player, with either Influence or diplomatic Ideas, may try to become the Holy Roman Emperor (Flag of Brandenburg Brandenburg and Flag of Bohemia Bohemia, if not rivals, are easy to ally) and to inherit all the Burgundian lands in France and the Low Countries. If the player does so, it is strongly recommended to set the national focus on Diplomatic power.png diplomatic power to change the Culture icon.png culture of the Low Countries to French to avoid the large Dutch revolts that will happen between 1550 and 1650. (Note this can also be avoided by moving your capital into any Dutch cultured province in the low countries. This also moves your trading port to the usually richer English Channel node.)

After England[edit]

After the War with Flag of England England and the French minors, the player may attack Flag of Aragon Aragon if the Iberian Wedding hasn't fired (yet) with the help of Flag of Castile Castile to take the Pyrenees, The Balearics or Palermo to gain an access to North Africa, as it is an important and easy land to conquer. During the peace deal, the player should force Aragon to release Flag of Naples Naples as a sovereign state or even transfer it to France if possible, it will make his conquest easier in the future. It is equally possible to use the Balearics to release Flag of Catalonia Catalonia and use its cores on the Spanish mediterranean coast to help mitigate aggressive expansion impact in the area.

After waging all the above wars, the year should be around 1490 or 1500. It is a perfect timing, because in 1490 the shadow kingdom event happens, removing all the Italian minors from the Holy Roman Empire, and making their conquest really easy if the player didn't manage to become emperor. By 1490 the player could have also already allied the powerful Flag of Ottomans Ottomans. The Ottoman Army will be helpful to deal with Flag of Austria Austria, Flag of Hungary Hungary or any big nation allied to an Italian Minor. The conquest should be easy then, and the player will soon enjoy all the Italian wealth and the highly developed provinces of North Italy. The player should be careful though with Aggressive expansion impact.png aggressive expansion, over-extension and the high coring cost of these provinces.

After this, the game is completely open to the player. If he is doing an active colonial game, France's mighty military will allow him to obtain some achievements that another colonial power would get with difficulty, like Master of India, Trade Hegemon or The Rising Sun. If the player stays in Europe the player will concentrate on the Holy Roman Empire and Austria. He can expand everywhere, the possibilities are limitless. But the player must remember: France is a military power, he shouldn't try to own the trade or to unite the Holy Roman Empire. The goal here is to "paint the map", to conquer, to get big through the military.

Religion and Religious Wars[edit]

During the Reformation, France gets a special Disaster.png disaster, the French Wars of Religion this disaster is similar to the Religious Turmoil.png Religious Turmoil Disaster.png disaster, but with different events and trigger conditions (this disaster can fire if France owns only 1 Christian province that doesn't follow the state religion and has less than 75% religious unity). Because this disaster has very high chances of happening, the player may choose to stay Catholic or go Protestant (or Reformed) and both options will have the same consequences. The choice is up to the player. He should keep in mind though that going Protestant will remove the Treaty of Tordesillas from his colonies, but will give better bonuses than the papacy bonuses like colonial growth, morale or discipline advantage or a reduced development cost. If France joins the Leagues the player can try to dismantle the Holy Roman Empire during the Leagues War if the Emperor and all the Electors are involved. This will reduce Aggressive expansion impact.png aggressive expansion in all of Germany by 50% and the Player will be able to easily conquer the German minors now that no Emperor will defend them.

Recommended idea groups[edit]

  • Either Influence idea group.png Influence or Diplomatic idea group.png Diplomatic

This choice will allow better relations with neighbors and will avoid coalitions. The reduced aggressive expansion via having extra diplomats improving relations and the improve relations modifier, the province warscore cost and less stab loss from truce breaking or similar diplomatic actions are very valuable and the diplomatic reputation helps with an HRE game if you choose to go that route.

  • Exploration idea group.png Exploration

The player will certainly need to colonize a little bit, since building the French army up to the maximum force limit and fully maintaining it provokes a mid-sized deficit to France. Colonizing the Caribbean and Gulf of Saint Laurence trade nodes will fix the economic problem (because these trade nodes are directly connected to the Bordeaux Trade node). If France managed to conquer the British Islands following the strategy above and inherited or conquered the Dutch lands belonging to Burgundy, the player may colonize the Chesapeake trade node, connected to the English Channel trade node, and collect the trade there. Also, the fourth French national idea provides faster colonization and less "native rise" risk.

  • Either Quality idea group.png Quality or Defensive idea group.png Defensive

Quality will provide better combat ability in all three units and better generals. This useful to strengthen the French military to fight enemies like Flag of Austria Austria or maybe Flag of Prussia Prussia. The naval bonuses will help to fight off the British navy. Defensive, on the other side, provides cheaper armies and defensive, combined with the second national idea, will provide a huge bonus of +35% morale of armies.

  • Quantity idea group.png Quantity

More troops are always useful. This combined with quality or defensive will make the French army almost unstoppable. This can also be very helpful if the player is facing a coalition war and has to send troops to all fronts, and of course, more troops mean more units to garrison the New World.

  • Expansion idea group.png Expansion

This allows faster colonization if France is playing an active colonial game, and can thus help to make more money from tariffs or trade companies if the Wealth of Nations.png Wealth of Nations DLC is enabled.

Keep in mind that this is completely optional, and this can change depending on the player's game. Example: If the player is working on conquering Muslims in North Africa, it might be more useful to take religious or humanist ideas instead of exploration or quantity.

Optional Early Moves[edit]

  • You can try to vassalize Navarra early on, diplomatic reputation advisor and diplomatic interactions may help here, avoid allying before vassalizing them because you can be involved in war if Aragon attacks Navarra
  • Focus on your mission targets, permanent claims reduce a lot of aggressive expansion which is a crucial problem in your early expansion
  • Also going into Iberia generates less aggressive expansion, you can rush into Berbers which generate almost 0 AE for Catholics, you can also get Catalonia vassal from one province and then return its cores which generate 0 AE, gaining La Mancha gold mine and increasing its diplomatic development to ~9-11 which is also useful to get some early income
  • The best way to get into Britain is to take one province in Ireland from the peace deal and attack from there with almost all your armies in the next war. Alternatively, you can attempt to vassalize an Irish minor such as desmond for easy access.
  • Italy is abnormally rich, taking entire Genoa trade node and making it your centre of trade is the most important target if you care about money, take care about aggressive expansion though, it's even more abnormal. After 1490 it gets lower because Italy leaves HRE


Azur semé de lis or icon
Get all the French Cores as France.
Better than Napoleon icon
As France, own Vienna, Berlin and Moscow as core provinces.
Big Blue Blob icon
As France, hold 100 European core provinces before 1500.
Napoleon’s Ambition icon
As Revolutionary France, spread the Revolution to 10 countries.
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

  1. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/disasters/french_wars_of_religion.txt and for the events in /Europa Universalis IV/events/disaster_french_wars_of_religion.txt.