|Available only with the Rights of Man DLC or the Emperor DLC enabled.|
The top 8 most developed and technologically advanced countries in the world receive Great Power status; bestowing with it special bonuses and diplomatic options.
Becoming a great power
To become a Great Power, the player must have high development, and usually needs to be up-to-date with institutions.
- The great power ranking is based on the total development of a country + half of its non-tributary subjects' total development, divided by the current institution penalty (If no penalty, the value is 1). Note that this development count is not affected by autonomy, or status of the province (colonies contribute just as much as territories or states).
- To be granted Great Power status, the player must have more points in the Great Power rankings than the country in the 8th position
- Subject states, including tributaries, can never be great powers.
In 1444, the Great Powers are:
Great power bonuses
A Great Power receives the following modifiers:
- +(10-25) Power projection
- −1% Prestige decay
- −10% Institution embracement cost
- +5.0 Maximum absolutism
Great power actions
- See also: Diplomacy
Being a great power also unlocks the following diplomatic actions:
- Take on Foreign Debt – Pay off all the loans of the target independent non-great power country. Gives +10 relations bonus for every standard size loan of the target you clear, capped at +200, decaying -2/year. Also grants +5 trust and +2 favours (if The Cossacks is enabled). Requires enough money to pay off target’s loans.
- Influence Nation – Pay 1 year of target income to increase relations and grant +1 monarch points in their weakest category for 10 years in a target non-great power nation. This raises their opinion of the great power by +25 for the 10 years, also gives +5 trust. Going to war with them cancels this bonus.
- Intervene in War – If there is an ongoing war between three or more great powers but an imbalance in the number of great powers involved on each side, you can make it your business to intervene. For example, if great power England is singlehandedly fighting the great powers of France and Spain, you as a great power Commonwealth can intervene on England's side to balance out the number of great powers involved.
- Break Alliance – This will force a nation to break its alliance with another. They will accept if the target nation is sufficiently afraid of the player and you will gain a 10-year one-way truce with the nation you forced this upon. It is useful for stripping the war target of pesky roadblocks, because there won't be a truce between the great power and the former ally. The former ally gets a "Forced ally to break alliance" CB against the great power for 10 years. Both the target country and the former ally get a -50 relations modifier with the great power. The target country's trust towards the great power will be reduced by 5. This action is only available with the Rights of Man DLC, but not with the Emperor DLC.
Losing Great Power status
If a country falls behind on the Great Power ranking to below #8, it will be given a 5-year grace period to reclaim Great Power status. During that period, said country will still have access to Great Power diplomatic options. If the position is not regained in the grace period, the country will completely lose Great Power status. If a nation becomes a subject in any way, they automatically lose and are disqualified from Great Power status, though half their development will go to their new overlord's Great Power points.
|Available only with the Emperor DLC enabled.|
A great power that fulfills certain conditions can declare itself to be the economic, naval or military hegemon. Being a hegemon grants great rewards, but antagonizes all other countries. Hegemons are listed at the bottom of the great power list.
A great power can declare themselves to be a Economic, Naval or Military Hegemon if it fulfills the conditions that are listed in the table below. If there is already a hegemon of that type, the hegemon must first be made to lose the hegemony before another country can become the same type of hegemon. Becoming a hegemon immediately grants the base effects.
A country that is already a hegemon of one type can't become another hegemon.
Hegemon power scales from 0% to 100%. As long as a hegemon fulfills the hegemony requirements they will gain 0.5% hegemon power per month. If they don't fulfill all requirements anymore, they will lose 0.5% hegemon power per month. The scaling effects that are listed in the table below, increase with the hegemon power. At 0% hegemon power these effects are not active and at 100% they are in full effect.
At 100% hegemon power the additional effect from the last column will be activated.
|Hegemon||Requirements||Base effects||Scaling effects (at 100% power)||Effect at max power|
Other bonuses and penalties
- Hegemons gain a +2% bonus to score generation rate.
- Hegemons gain +25 Power projection
- Countries allied to a hegemon gain −20 Power projection
- Every country gains the opinion modifier "Hegemon" −100 towards a hegemon
- Every country that is not a hegemon gains the Contain Hegemon casus belli against a hegemon
- Hegemons can't ally other hegemons and existing alliances with other hegemons are automatically broken when a country becomes a hegemon
A country can lose its hegemon status by losing great power status (5 years after falling below 8th place in the great power list) or by losing a war. Even a war in which the hegemon is not the war leader or giving any concessions to a secondary participant counts for that. In some circumstances a white peace can also make a hegemon lose its status. 
- Further research is needed. See talk page