Often abbreviated as WE, war exhaustion is the concept of negativity brought on from sustained battles. A nation can't keep their people constantly at war—it will tire them, they will be unhappy at the cost in lives and money and it draws attention from the ministers who should be focusing on domestic issues. In the Europa Universalis games, war exhaustion is the general idea that an empire does not have an infinite will to fight, but a well-fought war will be less frustrating than a poorly fought one.
Maximum war exhaustion is capped out at 20 points. Every point of war exhaustion gives the following:
War exhaustion will also increase the liberty desire of subjects by +1 per point of war exhaustion. Additionally, AI nations are more likely to accept peace deals when they have high WE, and are less willing to join in wars.
Gaining war exhaustion
War exhaustion is only generated while at war, though its effects may linger long after the guns have fallen silent and certain modifiers, such as attrition, may cause war exhaustion to decay slower than usual even while at peace. The factors that increase war exhaustion are:
- Attrition: Minimum is +0.01
- Losses in battles: The amount of war exhaustion caused by losses is shown in the battle results window. Large powerful countries will receive comparatively less war exhaustion than small weak countries for the same amount of losses.
- Ports blockaded: +0.1 per month at 100% blockade.
- Provinces occupied: +0.5 per month at 100% occupation.
- Call for peace: appears if the player (not AI) continues a war despite having already achieved near-total strategic victory. It starts at +0.01/month and gradually increases. The modifier from this factor will be reset if peace is made in any war, but it will begin ticking up again if the war causing it still lasts.
Reducing war exhaustion
Following effects reduce war exhaustion:
|−0.15 monthly||for being the target of the revolution|
|−0.10 monthly||at peace|
|−0.05 monthly||with parliament and “Support the War Effort” as active issue|
|−0.05 monthly||having a ruler with the ‘Kind-Hearted’ personality|
|−0.05 monthly||as a Nahuatl country which has passed the “Open up Sumptuary Restrictions” reform|
|−0.025 monthly||for being Defender of the Faith|
|−0.02 monthly||as Prussian Monarchy|
Ideas and policies:
−20% Trading in sugar
War exhaustion will be set to 0 when the nation breaks to rebels.
It is advised to keep wars as brief and to the point as possible to avoid excessive war exhaustion. Remember that for the most part, this was an era of limited war with very few major conflicts dragging on and on with regular battles and empty treasuries. War exhaustion will be lowered once at peace, but it degrades slowly as the nation recovers from the war and it could take months before it fully disappears.
- See in Static modifiers#War exhaustion). (