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Government interface

Each country is ruled by a Tab domestic government.png government of a specific type providing benefits and sometimes penalties. The different kinds of government forms ranges from constitutional republics, where the state is governed by elected officials, to despotic monarchies, where the monarch exercises undefined and often unrestricted power over its government.

The interface by itself displays many types of information, for instance: the current ruler and heir, the type of advisors a player has, the country's main and accepted cultures and the monthly production of monarch power. Some government also have access to unique mechanics and abilities.

Government types

Government types are organized into four major groups. Each type uses a different stat to track the loyalty of the nation to the ruler.


Main article: Monarchy

Government monarchy.png Monarchy is a form of government where power is held by a single individual, i.e. the monarch. The ruler reigns until death. Several mechanics, such as royal marriages and personal unions, are mostly limited to monarchical forms of governments. Monarchies use Legitimacy.png legitimacy.


Main article: Republic

Government republic.png Republic is a form of government where power is, in contrast to a monarchy, held by a group of people. Republics have Republican tradition.png republican tradition instead of legitimacy. In some republics the ruler rules for life, but in others there is an election cycle.


Main article: Theocracy

Government theocracy.png Theocracy is a form of government where power is held by the religious elite. Theocracies get to designate an heir from a list of candidates. Although the choice does not affect the future heir's All power costs.png monarch skills (set at random), they give the player different effects and events once the heir comes into power. Theocracies use Devotion.png devotion with the Common Sense.png Common Sense DLC.

Tribal government

Main article: Tribal government

Government tribal.png A tribe is regarded as a society that hasn't developed a concrete definition of what a Westphalian nation-state is. Nomadic by nature, the power is held by either a chief or by a group of fellow tribesmen. As monarchies, tribal governments use legitimacy, royal marriages, etc. Steppe hordes will use Horde unity horde unity instead of legitimacy if The Cossacks.png The Cossacks is enabled, and Native councils don't use any type of government strength value.

Switching government type

To switch the government type the country has to enact a special government reform of the highest tier. However, this is prohibited for some forms of government.

Government rank

Without Common Sense a nation becomes a cultural union automatically by reaching 1000 development and may not change its rank through the government interface, only through country formations, decisions, etc.

The government rank system divides countries one of three ranks: Duchy rank Duchy, Kingdom rank Kingdom, or Empire rank Empire. A country's starting rank is based on historical considerations, though players can improve their rank by reaching certain total development values or via decisions. Flag of Ming Ming, Flag of Byzantium Byzantium, Flag of Ethiopia Ethiopia, and the Flag of Timurids Timurids are the only empire-rank nations in 1444, while there are many kingdoms and duchies. Flag of Austria Austria also starts with the rank of empire at the start date due to its status as Holy Roman Emperor, as any nation with the title automatically gains the rank. Once the required development (and prestige), as listed in the table below, is reached, it is possible to upgrade the government rank in the government tab. The rank cannot be downgraded, even if one's development shrinks later in the game. However:

  • Certain government types have fixed government ranks and cannot change it manually or otherwise.
  • Holy Roman Empire princes cannot rise above duchy rank unless they are electors, the emperor or have a reform with a fixed rank. The emperor is always Empire-tier. Princes which have a fixed rank always keep the rank unless they are emperor. Electors may become kingdoms but not empires. The HRE electors Flag of Bohemia Bohemia, Flag of Trier Trier, Flag of Cologne Cologne and Flag of Mainz Mainz are the only kingdoms in the HRE in 1444.
  • Vassals, Daimyo subjects, colonial nations and marches are always duchies; a country loses any higher rank upon being vassalized (unless the rank is locked by its government type) and won't be able to change its rank while subjected. Junior partners in a personal union and tributary states can change rank freely.

Note: Rank bonuses (as listed in the table) replace each other; so the net bonus of going from duchy to empire is +1 diplomat, not +2.

Rank Name Required development Required prestige National Focus cooldown Diplomat.png Diplomats General.png Leaders without upkeep Governing capacity.png Governing capacity Maximum absolutism Maximum absolutism Autonomy.png Monthly autonomy reduction
1 Duchy Base Base 25 years +0 +0 +0 +0 -0
2 Kingdom 300 50 20 years +1 +0 +200 +0 −0.025
3 Empire 1000 75 15 years +1 +1 +400 +5 −0.05

Additional benefits and mechanics

  • Higher-tier countries get a −10 penalty per tier towards accepting diplomatic vassalization, increasing to −30 if the requesting country is of lower tier. Conversely, a country that is of lower rank than the proposer gets a bonus: a duchy towards a kingdom gets +10.
  • The government name displayed in game will vary depending on the rank. For example, the ranks for most republics will be displayed as Republic, Grand Republic, and Great Republic, while for steppe nomads it will be Horde, Khanate, and Khaganate.
  • If the player has enabled the Common Sense.png Common Sense expansion, then the player becomes a Cultural union for their culture group at empire tier.
  • Obtaining Empire-tier is an Age Objective in the Age of Revolutions.png Age of Revolutions for those owning the Mandate of Heaven.png Mandate of Heaven DLC.

Fixed government rank

Some special tier 1 government reforms have fixed government rank, regardless of prestige or development, and cannot change it manually or otherwise, exept for monastic orders, which can change government type if they have the government reform which enables it.

Fixed rank Governments
Empire rank Empire
Kingdom rank Kingdom
Duchy rank Duchy

Decisions and events changing government rank

Most country formation decisions will raise the government to empire or kingdom tier (if not already of a higher tier) without the need to reach the usual development thresholds. However:

  • Nearly all country formation decisions that change government rank to kingdom or empire tier will cause the country and all of its provinces to leave the HRE unless it is an Elector or the current Emperor. Note that these decisions don't increase the government rank above kingdom for electors nor do they increase the rank above duchy for non-electors.
  • Forming the Flag of Roman Empire Roman Empire, Flag of Italy Italy, or Flag of Germany Germany will always remove both the country and all its provinces from the HRE.
Rank acquired Country formation/reformation decisions
Empire Flag of Byzantium Byzantium, Flag of Persia Persia, the Flag of Timurids Timurids, Flag of Arabia Arabia, Flag of Germany Germany, Flag of Japan Japan, Flag of Bharat Bharat, Flag of Hindustan Hindustan, Flag of Rajputana Rajputana, Flag of Deccan Deccan, the Flag of Marathas Marathas, the Flag of Mughals Mughals, Flag of Inca Inca, Flag of Maya Maya, Flag of Qing Qing, Flag of Russia Russia, Flag of Ruthenia Ruthenia, the Flag of Roman Empire Roman Empire, the Flag of Golden Horde Golden Horde, the Flag of Ilkhanate Ilkhanate, the Flag of Mongol Empire Mongol Empire, and the united Flag of Holy Roman Empire Holy Roman Empire
Kingdom All other formables except Flag of Iceland Iceland, Flag of Tuscany Tuscany, the Flag of Mamluks Mamluks, Flag of Austria Austria, Flag of Kurland Kurland, Flag of Punjab Punjab, Flag of Orissa Orissa, Flag of Nagpur Nagpur, and Flag of Prussia Prussia (only when formed with the Flag of Teutonic Order Teutonic Order)

In addition, the Flag of Ottomans Ottomans and Flag of Rûm Rûm can become empires through the decision to make Constantinople their capital, while Flag of Persia Persia has an event raising it to empire status if it is Shia, has at least 70% Religious unity.png religious unity and controls the Persian heartland. Flag of Vijayanagar Vijayanagar can become an empire by completing its "City of Victory" mission. Elector theocracies of the HRE may become kingdom-tier with the Elevate Bishopric to an Archbishopric decision if they are no longer Catholic or by spending 25 Papal influence.png papal influence. However, Christian theocracies secularizing into monarchies by decision will be downgraded to duchies if they don't meet the usual Development.png 300 development threshold. Flag of The Papal State The Papal State can also upgrade to Empire rank by taking the Kingdom of God decision.

Government reforms

Government reforms allow the player to custom-tailor the nation's government to their needs by picking the desired reforms at the different tiers using Government reform progress points.

There are various reforms available to each of the government types with each tier having (usually) 2-3 reforms. The first tier usually determines the chosen power structure of the nation and consequently defines what abilities/mechanics are enabled to that nation. The last tier usually allows changing to a different government type though it comes at the cost of losing several reform tiers. Lists of all reforms can be found on the pages for the government types.

The game starts with first step already passed. The second tier costs 100 reform progress points and each following step has its cost increased by an additional 50 reform progress points. It is possible to change picked reforms by spending 50 reform progress points.

Reform progress points have a base accumulation of +10 points per year, further multiplied by a variable related to the level of autonomy of the nation' provinces[3].

Many events and some missions give a one-time increase in reform progress. Reform Progress growth Modifiers:

Reform progress growth.png Conditions
+100% at 100 Republican tradition.png Republican tradition
+10% for completing the Franconian mission Grandeur Sans Pareil

From Great Projects: (only with Leviathan.png)

From Ideas:

Reform progress growth.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Dalmatian idea 1: Kingdom of Dalmatia
  • Dortmund idea 2: Meeting Place of Bishops and Emperors
  • Goslar idea 4: Capitalizing on the Hanseatic League
  • Icelandic idea 1: The Althingi
  • Maratha idea 5: Strengthen ties with Brahmin Financial Families
  • Trent idea 1: Prince-Bishop

Strengthen government

On the government tab is a button to “Strengthen Government” by spending Military power.png 100 military power. By doing this, the country gets one of the following, as appropriate for the government type and active expansions:

  • Legitimacy.png +10 Legitimacy
  • Devotion.png +10 Devotion
  • Horde unity +10 Horde unity
  • Meritocracy.png +10 Meritocracy
  • Republican tradition.png +3 Republican tradition
  • Revolutionary zeal.png +5 Revolutionary zeal

Additionally, from the Age of Absolutism.png Age of Absolutism onwards, it gets:

  • Absolutism.png +2 Absolutism

The button is only available if the appropriate government value is not already at maximum; it cannot be used solely to boost absolutism. It is also disabled if a republic turns into a dictatorship to prevent a reliably easy restoration of republican government.



Main article: Ruler

The ruler is the head of a country. As the representative of a nation, there are several ways a ruler can influence the progress and development of a state, one of them being the fact that monarch points come primarily from the ruler.

The heir is, for monarchies and similar government types, the successor of the ruler. The heir is vested with the future sovereignty of the state, and they are crucial in determining the future legitimacy of the monarchy. An heir can have either a strong, medium, or weak claim on the throne. When the heir takes the throne, the country's legitimacy will reset to either 80 (strong), 50 (medium), or 30 (weak).

The consort is, for monarchies and similar government types the spouse of the current reigning ruler. The consort is tasked with the opportunity to take the place of the throne if the ruler dies and the current heir is not of age.


Main article: Advisors

An Advisor.pngadvisor is a knowledgeable person who is responsible for aiding and advising the leader of a nation.

There are three types of advisors, which align with the monarch's powers: Administrative power.pngadministrative, Diplomatic power.pngdiplomatic and Military power.pngmilitary.

Monarch power

Main article: Monarch power

Monarch power is one of the most important mechanics in EU4. In a way, monarchical power represents the ability of a ruler in governing a country and influences the rate at which technological innovation and infrastructural investment takes place. Despite its name, republics and other similar government types also use this mechanic.

There are three types of monarch power: Administrative power.pngadministrative, Diplomatic power.pngdiplomatic, and Military power.pngmilitary.


  1. this restriction can be removed by some tier 6 reforms
  2. this restriction gets removed by their tier 3 reform
  3. the average autonomy is calculated by adding the autonomy of all provinces and dividing it by the number of provinces. The development of the provinces is not taken into account

Ideas and Policies Idea groupsNational ideasPolicies
Ages and Institutions AgesInstitutions
Innovativeness and Technology InnovativenessTechnology