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Kingdom rankMalaya
Primary culture
Malayan (Malay)

Capital province
Malacca (596)

Despotic MonarchyGovernment monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
ChineseChinese technology group
Malayan Sultanate ideas

For Muslim countries in the Culture icon.png Malay culture group.

Traditions.png Traditions:

−10% Ship costs
+10% Trade steering

Merchants.png Indian Ocean Trade

+1 Merchant

Tolerance heathen.png Sufi Legacy

+2 Tolerance of heathens

Production efficiency.png Spice Islands

+10% Production efficiency

Idea cost.png Classical Malay

−5% Idea cost

Naval maintenance modifier.png Trading Fleets

−20% Naval maintenance modifier
−10% Sailor maintenance

Prestige.png Heirs of Pasai

+1 Yearly prestige

Global settler increase.png Settle the Islands

+20 Global settler increase

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+50% Naval tradition from battles
For the region, see Malaya (region).

Malaya is a formable country that does not exist in 1444. It can be formed by any country in the Malay culture group.



 Form Malaya

Unify all Malayan provinces in the region under one strong ruler.

Potential requirements

Playing with normal or historical nations

  Malaya does not exist.

The country:

If the country is AI-controlled, then it:


The country:


The country:

  • changes to   Malaya.
  • gains  25 prestige.
  • gets a permanent claim on the areas:
    • Kutai, Brunei, Kalimantan, Aceh, Riau, Batak, Minangkabau, Lampung, Malaya, and Malacca.
  • gets the modifier “Increased Centralization” for 10 years with the following effects:
    •   −0.05 Monthly autonomy change,
    •   +1 National unrest.

If the country:

  • is a member of the Holy Roman Empire but not an elector or the emperor
    • then all its provinces are removed from the HRE.
  • is a duchy
    • then it becomes a   kingdom.
To form Malaya, the player must own all orange provinces and own every province in two of the red, green, or blue region. Forming Malaya grants permanent claims on the shaded area.


Forming MalayaEdit

To form Malaya, the player's nation must belong to the Malay culture group and the player must own all the provinces in any two of the following regions: Borneo, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra. Unlike many formable nations, it doesn't require Administrative technology 10. The provinces of Banten, Demak, Kalapa and Pakuan on the island of Java are also required. At the start of the game   Brunei,   Kutai,   Sunda,   Majapahit,   Pasai,   Pagarruyung,   Siak,   Palembang and   Malacca all own parts of this territory and therefore have a head start on forming Malaya. Of these, Malacca is a good choice as it starts out owning all of the Malay Peninsula and has easy access to Sumatra and easy early conquests in   Kedah and   Pattani. Alternatively Majapahit is also a good choice as they start out with a significant amount of territory, easy to conquer neighbors of the same religion (  Sunda,   Kutai), easier access to Borneo and the Philippines, and lots of control over their respective trade node.

Philippines StrategyEdit

While the player must still own Banten, Demak, Kalapa and Pakuan in addition to all the provinces in 2 of the following regions: Borneo, Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra; the player could begin in the Philippines and build a good trade-based economy that, while it would take longer to form Malaya (as the player begins in a region not required to form Malaya), could be coupled with the Philippine Tiger achievement as   Cebu. Starting as a nation in the Philippines, depending on the player, could be perceived as harder or easier taking into account that   Cebu starts as a Hindu nation (this being dependent on whether or not the player has the Wealth of Nations DLC, which provides powerful deities), as opposed to the majority of the powerhouses of the region, the Sunni countries of   Brunei,   Pasai, and   Malacca. However, there is also one Hindu powerhouse of the region as well,   Majapahit, who could prove to be an valuable ally, or another rival to conquer. If the player doesn't have the Wealth of Nations DLC then they might see it as more viable to convert Sikh, which gives powerful military bonuses and some arguably decent events. Should the player so choose to play as   Cebu,   Kutai could make a very useful ally during the conquest of the Philippines, and perhaps against   Brunei as well.


Since Borneo and Sumatra both start the game with some uncolonized provinces the player will need to do some colonization to form Malaya. This makes continuing into a colonization-heavy strategy a natural choice afterwards. Note that although several of Malaya's potential starting nations (Malacca, Brunei, Kedah, and   Ligor) get a colonist as one of their national ideas, it is their last (seventh) idea so it would be quicker to acquire Exploration Ideas to get started sooner. Note that the colonies in Sumatra or Borneo do not need to be finished to take the formation decision.

The best direction for exploration after forming Malaya is west into Africa. The quickest way of gaining land in Africa without the help of other countries is to colonize Cocos Island (which is in the sea space south of the Cocos Island sea space), Diego Garcia, and either Mauritius or Bourbon. From there, Africa proper can be colonized directly via Madagascar. Alternatively, Malaya can gain land in Africa by landing a conquistador, e.g., by invading   Kilwa and its vassal   Sofala. Furthermore, a conquistador can be ferried around the Cape of Good Hope and conquer   Kongo.

There are few things to watch out for. Provinces cannot be cored unless they are within colonial range. Annexing   Mutapa may thus be tricky unless an adjacent colony is conquered first. At least one friendly port in Africa is required to reliably send transports around the Cape of Good Hope. This will entail either fleet basing rights from Kilwa or Sofala, or a cored coastal province somewhere on the east coast of Africa.

Distances are much further in the Pacific Ocean than the Indian or Atlantic Ocean, and there are no countries to get fleet basing rights from. Therefore, the fastest way to the Americas is actually via Africa. This also allows an earlier meeting of Western powers and thus faster institution spread. Once Kongo is conquered, fleet basing rights from them and   Mali will allow reaching the east coast of South America even with only level 3 Diplomatic Technology, provided Western colonies have not already blocked off the coast there.

If Malaya must go the Pacific route, the far north (via Kamchatka and Alaska) requires less colonial range than the southern Pacific route, but is further from the New World nations. This meshes well with colonizing in Asia too.

Conquering AsiaEdit

Even if focusing on colonization early, conquering the Malay Archipelago can be done while waiting to unlock Exploration Ideas.   Ayutthaya is the predominant power in Southeast Asia at the start of the game. It can therefore be risky to conquer Malacca too early. The Indian subcontinent is less predictable than East Asia. It is usually not as attractive a target for conquest as East Asia since there is often no one nation holding a massive number of cores.

Country guides

Eastern technology group     Jerusalem
Muslim technology group     Arabia   Hisn Kayfa   Oman
Indian technology group     Assam   Bahmanis   Bengal   Orissa
Chinese technology group     Bali   Brunei   Dai Viet   Japan   Khmer   Korea   Majapahit   Malaya   Pagarruyung   Pasai   Sunda
Nomadic technology group     Jianzhou   Timurids   Uzbek

Central African technology group     Mutapa
East African technology group     Kilwa
Muslim technology group     Mamluks  Tunis
West African technology group     Mali

Western technology group     United States
Mesoamerican technology group     Maya
North American technology group     Caddo   Cherokee   Iroquois

Andean technology group     Chachapoya   Cusco   Muisca
South American technology group     Mapuche