The ingame screen is the top level UI available to the player. It is placed over the game's world and is split into 4 main sections: the hotbar, the outliner, the mini-map and the map-modes.
- Main article: map
The map (or Main Map) is the main "stage" of the game during play, and is what the player will be watching most often for ongoing developments and changes to the world. The map comprises most of the Earth, apart from the polar caps.
The map includes:
Upper left corner
- Main article: Country interface
Provides a heraldic representation of the country. The shield is not just decorative. It actually provides a pop-up view of information about the player’s country.
- Main article: Macrobuilder
This button under the shield opens an interface which allows quickly building units and buildings, coring provinces, sending missionaries, managing autonomy, converting the culture of provinces, increasing development in your provinces, and assigning provinces to estates, along with the information needed to make these decisions.
A gilded row to the right of the shield, showing an number of elements:
- Treasury - a gold coins icon with a + or - to show whether you have a positive or negative balance. Hovering over this will display a tooltip telling you your monthly income, and a quick explanation about why you are in the black or in the red.
- Manpower - this is your reserve of soldiers, with a value of 0 or greater representing how many individuals you can recruit or reinforce into your armies. Hovering over this will display a tooltip of how many men your current armies require to reinforce armies that have taken losses, the maximum reserves of available manpower, and how much this value will increase or decrease over the next month (before reinforcements).
- Sailors - this is your reserve of sailors, with a value of 0 or greater representing how many individuals you can recruit or reinforce into your navies. Hovering over this will display a tooltip with the maximum reserves of available sailors, and how much this value will increase or decrease over the next month (before reinforcements).
- Stability - showing a scale of +3 (very stable) to -3 (very unstable). The tooltip will explain the benefits or penalties you receive based on your current stability level.
- Corruption - Showing how corrupt the nation is.
- Prestige - on a scale of +100 (very prestigious) to -100 (utterly insignificant). Hovering over this will explain your current level, what is influencing it upwards or downwards, and the benefits and penalties you receive based on your current prestige level.
- National unity, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 100 (good) - which type depends on your government type. Hovering over this will explain the contributors to your Legitimacy status, and the benefits and penalties you are receiving as a result.
- Power projection - on a scale of 0 to 100. Hovering over this will explain the factors contributing to your current power projection and the benefits you receive based on your current level.
These show four different types of specialists, called envoys who can be sent on missions for your country.
- Merchants - This shows a two number figure, in the form "X/Y", where "X" is the number currently available for assignment, and "Y" is the total number available to the country. The maximum number varies depending on various factors, especially national ideas. For example, if it says "0/2", there are no currently-available merchants out of 2 total. Merchants can be dispatched to trade nodes to steer income to your country's treasury.
- Colonists - a similar scale of "X/Y"; this usually begins the game at "0/0" until the player develops ideas for establishing colonies. Colonists can be sent on colonization missions around the world to (usually peacefully) add new territory to your country.
- Diplomats - similar "X/Y" scale. They can be sent to improve relations with other countries, or conduct covert actions working against them. Diplomats are dispatched to interact with foreign powers, where they may handle short-term assignments, such as signing treaties, negotiating marriages, and delivering insults, after which they will return. They may also be given long term assignments, such as building stronger relationships or fabricating claims on certain lands you would like to possess, in which case they remain on site until recalled or until their task is complete. They will reach their target in a day and then take a certain amount of time to return home, the length of which is affected by distance, events, ideas, and other modifiers.
- Missionaries - similar "X/Y" scale. They can be dispatched to provinces where the local population does not share the same faith as the state religion and try to convert them. They remain there until the task is complete. Each nation begins with one missionary and can get more depending on various factors, particularly ideas.
A silver flowing banner below the gilded Information Bar shows the name of your country, plus your currently-accumulated Monarch Points, of three different types:
Below the envoys is an interface to show the current Age.
The flags below the banner alert the player of matters that should be dealt with. Left-clicking the alert will take the player to an interface where something can be done about it, while right-clicking it will dismiss the alert. Shift+right-clicking will disable the alert, which can be enabled again in the outliner by displaying "Disabled alerts" and then clicking on the alert to (re)enable. There are 4 types of alerts that can appear. Red alerts are urgent and should be dealt with immediately. Yellow alerts are of lesser importance and green alerts are not urgent at all. The brown flags with a red-coloured edge alert the player of diplomatic requests from other countries. If these diplomatic requests are not handled within a set amount of time, they will be automatically declined.
Upper right corner
This allows the player to start and stop the time at any moment.
The bar around the play/pause button indicates the game speed, which can be sped up and slowed down by respectively pressing the + and - buttons. The following table indicates how fast one day passes if the computer is fast enough:
|Seconds per day|
|Speed 5||as fast as the computer can manage|
The date segment shows the current date. Hovering over it will show the name of the music that is currently being played.
|Available only with the Mare Nostrum DLC enabled.|
The eye icon provides access to the timeline feature, which is used to observe how the world has changed throughout the years. Pressing the button will set the map back to how it was at the start of the game. Pressing the same button while in the timeline screen will exit the timeline. The game will then continue at the date where it was left off. While entering the timeline, the upper left corner of the ingame UI will be exchanged for a different interface where the timeline can be paused or sped up (from slow to very fast). To restart the timeline, the player has to exit and re-enter the timeline. The political map mode is currently the only map mode usable. Clicking on other map modes will exit the timeline.
Skip to Next Song
This button under the timeline button skips to the next song.
Rank and total Score
- Main article: Score system
A segment that shows the total score accumulated on the left and the rank in total score on the right. Hovering over the total score part will tell the player how many score is earned per month and how this number came about.
- Main article: Achievements
Pressing the chalice icon under the play button will open the achievements screen. This screen shows the player what achievements they are eligible for, the conditions needed to get these achievements and the progress towards completion.
This button to the right of the achievements button enables/disables the outliner. The outliner itself delivers quick and accessible information regarding the player's nation, such as the progress towards rebel factions. Clicking on the + button in the outliner will open the outliner options submenu. Here the player can choose what information should and should not be displayed in the outliner.
Lower right corner
- Main article: Map modes
Various types of information can be displayed on the map by selecting the appropriate map mode, of which there are four categories: political, diplomatic, economic and geographical. Up to ten map modes may be chosen for the shortcut keys Q to P.
- Main article: Minimap
The minimap is a small representation on the world on the screen's lower right corner. In it, a box shows what part of the world is being displayed on the game screen. One can click to jump to a remote part of the world or scroll the mouse wheel to adjust the part of the map being displayed.
Holy Roman Empire Interface
- Main article: Holy Roman Empire interface
Emperor of China interface
|Available only with the Mandate of Heaven DLC enabled.|
- Main article: Emperor of China
- Main article: The Curia
Catholic countries participate in a bribery competition/election for control of the papacy.
|Available only with the Conquest of Paradise DLC enabled.|
- Main article: Native council
Native tribes in Siberia and the Americas have a special interface to simulate the fact that they are not traditional states according to the Westphalian definition of a nation. This interface includes special native ideas, migrations, federations, and a unique way to reform the government.
|Available only with the El Dorado DLC enabled.|
Mesoamerican, Mayan, and Andean nations have special mechanics representing their religions introduced in El Dorado. The player can institute religious reforms which are required in order to reform the religion and westernize.
|Available only with the Common Sense DLC enabled.|
The player can, with certain government types, access an interface allowing them to interact with members of government to pass acts and laws, providing certain bonuses.