States and territories

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See also: Core
An example of states and territories as held by Castile on the Iberian Peninsula.
The state interface. This is a tab on the province window for each (non-colony) province in the state.

All countries are internally comprised of states and territories.

Any area in which a country holds one or more provinces is classified within that country as a state or a territory.

States represent parts of a country which are more tightly integrated, while territories represent parts of a country which are more autonomous.

States can be more productive than territories, but take up a larger portion of the country's governing capacity, which puts a limit on the number of states it may have. This reflects the historical difficulty of fully integrating every part of a large country. The player must decide which areas to turn into states, and which areas to leave as territories.

Differences between states and territories[edit | edit source]

The table below shows key differences between States, Territories, and Trade Companies:

States Territories Trade Companies
Minimum Autonomy for Provinces 0% for Full Core
50% for Territorial Core
90% 90%. Half penalty for Production Efficiency.
No penalty for Trade Power and Naval Force Limit
Type of Core Created Full Core Territorial Core Territorial Core
ADM Cost for Creating Core 50% if a Territorial Core is present,
100% otherwise
50% 50%
Governing Capacity Discount -50% if only a Territorial Core is present,
0% otherwise
-75% -50%
Dharma.png Allows Centers of Trade to be upgraded Yes No Yes
Allows Provinces to be Given to trade company No Yes n/a
Mandate of Heaven.png Allows State Edicts Yes No No
May contain Capital Yes No No
State Maintenance Costs Yes No No
Missionary Strength Penalty 0% −2.0% −200%

Summary[edit | edit source]

The following points provide a detailed summary of the system:

  • A newly conquered province is considered as part of a territory (unless it already belongs to one of the nation's existing states).
  • Provinces without a core (except colonies) cause Overextension.png overextension regardless of whether they are in a territory or a state.
  • Coring provinces in a territory have reduced coring costs due to the Is territory modifier which applies Core-creation cost.png −50% Core-creation cost (coring duration is not affected). The newly cored provinces gain territorial cores and remove the Overextension.png overextension penalty caused by the province.
  • Provinces in territories, whether trade companies or not, have Local autonomy.png 90% minimum local autonomy.
  • Provinces in states with full cores have 0% minimum local autonomy. This makes it advantageous to turn territories into states, provided you have enough governing capacity.
  • There are a number of other differences between states and territories, as detailed in the graph below.
  • Once all the owned provinces in an area have territorial cores, it is possible to turn the territory into a state (from the province interface, above the buildings section).
  • Provinces in states but with only territorial cores:
    • Have Local autonomy.png 50% minimum local autonomy.
    • Lose their territorial cores if they are conquered and have to be re-cored if the provinces are re-conquered.
  • To fully core state provinces requires paying the remaining 50% coring costs. This second coring phase is instantaneous. Local autonomy is reduced instantaneously to the underlying 'true' autonomy (if it's lower than the previous minimum), which may be 0%.
    • Revoking the status of a state (back to a territory) converts all of the country's full cores in the area into territorial cores. The administrative points used to create the full core are not refunded.
  • Fully cored state provinces contribute fully to the nation and retain their cores even if conquered.
  • Provinces of diplomatically annexed vassals, integrated personal union partners, and newly created colonial nations get full cores if the annexed nation had a full core there. The provinces will still need to be made into states if they aren't already, but there is no Administrative power.png admin power cost for doing so.
  • Assigning states in colonial regions will not prevent colonial nations from forming in those provinces. Doing so is usually a waste of administrative power for a country whose capital is not also in a colonial region, since the colonies' territorial cores are converted to full cores for the new colonial nation.

Governing capacity[edit | edit source]

Governing capacity.pngGoverning capacity represents a country's ability to effectively manage its owned provinces. Each province has a Province governing cost.png province governing cost, based on Development.png development, modified by other factors, such as buildings and government type. In particular, provinces in territories have a reduced governing cost. (Province governing cost should not be confused with state maintenance.)

Governing capacity is based on Administrative technology.png administrative technology, as well as government reforms, ideas, and other factors. It therefore constitutes a soft limit on how many provinces, especially state provinces, the country can own. A country receives scaling penalties if it controls provinces with a total governing cost greater than its governing capacity.

The penalty when total governing cost is twice governing capacity (i.e. 100% penalty):

Stability cost modifier.png +100% Stability cost modifier
Advisor cost.png +100% Advisor cost
Improve relations.png −50% Improve relations
Administrative efficiency.png -50% Administrative Efficiency
Aggressive expansion impact.png +50% Aggressive expansion impact
Militarization of state.png −1% Militarization of state

Changing province governing cost[edit | edit source]

Every province will contribute towards the governing capacity limit. The base province governing cost for each province is its total Development.png development. The governing cost from percentage modifiers cannot be lower than 1% of development, but flat modifiers from state houses can reduce the cost to 0.

Modifiers affecting province governing cost:

Province governing cost.png Local modifiers (provinces or statewide)
  • Expand Infrastructure action (repeatable)
  • Area has a Latin royal palace.png State house in any province
  • Area has a Latin royal palace.png State house in a province producing Paper.png Paper, Glass.png Glass or Gems.png Gems
  • Centralize State action (repeatable)
  • has a Latin town hall.png Town Hall, or
  • in a state, but doesn't have a full core (colonial core), or


  • trade company provinces are also territories, so in practice they have a −50% modifier
  • all Latin royal palace.png State house modifiers are cumulative, so for example a state house in a paper province has governing cost
Province governing cost.png Local flat modifiers
  • Expand Infrastructure action (repeatable)

These modifiers are applied at the end and are not affected by percentage modifiers

Province governing cost.png Country modifiers Applies to
+75% states
+25% states
−5% states
−15% states
−25% states
trade companies
A custom nation can have a national idea of up to −20% State governing cost.png state governing cost as well as one of up to −20% Trade company governing cost.png trade company governing cost.

Changing governing capacity[edit | edit source]

Governing capacity represents the ability of a nation to rule its lands efficiently. Each nation has a base value of Governing capacity.png 200 governing capacity. Additional modifiers are then applied as follows:

Modifiers affecting governing capacity limit:

Governing capacity.png Flat Modifiers
  • Government monarchy.png Celestial Empire (Tier 1 reform, only for the Emperor of china icon.png emperor of China)
  • Administrative technology.png Level 31
+400 Empire rank Empire rank
  • Government monarchy.png Tsardom (Tier 1 reform, only for Flag of Russia Russia or Flag of Ruthenia Ruthenia)
  • Government monarchy.png L’État c’est moi (Tier 9 reform)
  • Government republic.png Consolidate Power in the Doge (Tier 3 reform)
  • Government republic.png Administrative Divisions (Tier 4 reform)
  • Government theocracy.png Priestly Autonomy (Tier 8 reform)
  • Administrative technology.png Level 17
  • Administrative technology.png Level 20
  • Administrative technology.png Level 24
  • Administrative technology.png Level 27
+200 Kingdom rank Kingdom rank
  • Government monarchy.png Ottoman Government (Tier 1 reform, only for Flag of Ottomans Ottomans and Flag of Rûm Rûm)
  • Government monarchy.png Revolutionary Empire (Tier 1 reform)
  • Government monarchy.png Mughal Diwan (Tier 2 reform, only for Flag of Mughals Mughals)
  • Government monarchy.png Mansabdari System (Tier 3 reform, only for Flag of Mughals Mughals)
  • Government monarchy.png Zabt System (Tier 4 reform, only for Flag of Mughals Mughals)
  • Government monarchy.png A Loyal Consulate (Tier 6 reform)
  • Government tribal.png Retain Tribal Hierarchy (Tier 4 reform)
  • Government monarchy.png Grand Duchy (Tier 1 reform, only for Flag of Lithuania Lithuania)
  • Government monarchy.png Elective Monarchy (Tier 1 reform, only for Flag of Poland Poland and Flag of Commonwealth Commonwealth)
  • Government monarchy.png Russian Principality (Tier 1 reform, only for East Slavic culture group)
  • Government monarchy.png Chinese Kingdom (Tier 1 reform)
  • Government monarchy.png Sidhi Recruitment (Tier 2 reform)
  • Government republic.png Colonial Government (Tier 1 reform)
  • Government republic.png Crown Colony (Tier 1 reform, only for Crown Colony)
  • Loyal Subjects country modifier (only for Polynesian technology group Maori countries)
  • Estate influence Estate land rights privilege (per estate granted privilege)
  • Administrative technology.png Level 8
  • Administrative technology.png Level 12
  • Great project royal palace caserta.png Royal Palace of Caserta Great project level icon tier 3.png
  • Government monarchy.png English Monarchy (Tier 1 reform, only for Flag of England England and Flag of Great Britain Great Britain)
  • Government monarchy.png Mamluk Government (Tier 1 reform, only for Flag of Mamluks Mamluks)
  • Government monarchy.png Feudal Theocracy (Tier 1 reform)
  • Government republic.png Ambrosian Republic (Tier 1 reform, only for Flag of Milan Milan)
  • Government republic.png Veche Republic (Tier 1 reform, only for East Slavic culture group)
  • Government republic.png Dutch Republic (Tier 1 reform, only for Flag of Netherlands Netherlands)
  • Government republic.png Sich Rada (Tier 1 reform)
  • Great project royal palace caserta.png Royal Palace of Caserta Great project level icon tier 2.png
+20 Expand administration (repeatable)[Note 1]
0 Duchy rank Duchy rank
−25 Increase Integration Crown Colony relationship (for overlord, per Crown Colony)
  • Government republic.png Autonomous Swiss Cantons (Tier 1 reform, only for Swiss culture)
Governing capacity modifier Percentage modifiers
  • Age of Revolutions.png Age of Revolutions splendor ability “Russian Empire”
  • Government monarchy.png Prussian Monarchy (Tier 1 reform)
  • Government republic.png Stratocratic Administration (Tier 1 reform)
  • Government tribal.png Polynesian Kingdom (Tier 1 reform)
  • Government tribal.png Zulu Kingdom (Tier 1 reform, only for Flag of Zulu Zulu)
  • Government tribal.png Stateless Society (Tier 1 reform)
  1. Langfang idea 7: Expansion of the State reduces this cost by -30%

Ideas that modify governing capacity:

Governing capacity modifier Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Fully Administrative
  • Aksumite traditions
  • Angevin idea 6: The Seneschal of France
  • LPC ambition
  • Hindustani traditions
  • Berg idea 2: Duchy of Julich-Berg
  • British idea 1: The Acts of Union
  • Chernihiv idea 1: Legacy of the Old Principality
  • Delhian idea 5: Re-integrate Former Provinces
  • East India idea 1: Governors-General of India
  • Holy Roman idea 7: Onwards and Upwards
  • Kaurna idea 2: The Pangkarra System
  • Samoan idea 2: Fa'a Samoa
  • Trent idea 5: Trent-Brixen Confederacy
  • Zulu idea 6: Shaka's Reforms
  • Great Yuan ambition
  • Infrastructure-Aristocratic: Aristocratic Rule

A custom nation can have a national idea of up to +40% governing capacity.

State maintenance[edit | edit source]

A state requires monthly monetary upkeep in the form of State maintenance.png state maintenance. Territories have no upkeep.

Each province's contribution to state maintenance has a base of Gold Icon.png +0.007 per Development.png development level and is modified by the following:

State maintenance.png Province and state modifiers
+0.001% Per unit distance from the Capital.png capital
+10% Metropolitan assigned to state
+200% Active state edict
−15% Summer Court province modifier in Anjou (only for Flag of England England or Flag of Great Britain Great Britain)
−20% Centralize state action (repeatable)
−25% Latin courthouse.png Courthouse building
−80% Champaner province modifier in Rewakantha (only for Flag of Gujarat Gujarat)
State maintenance.png Country modifiers
−5% Liberal Constitution country modifier (only for Flag of Russia Russia)
  • Jains.png Patronize Jain Families privilege
  • Government republic.png Provincial Governments (Tier 4 reform)
  • Government republic.png Self-Governing Colony (Tier 1 reform)
  • Great project imperial city hue.png Imperial City of Hue Great project level icon tier 3.png

Ideas that modify state maintenance:

State maintenance.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Naval-Expansion: Supply Convoys
  • Infrastructure idea 1: Local Infrastructure Complexes
  • Plains Native traditions
  • Eora idea 2: Twenty-Nine Bands
  • Frisian idea 2: The Upstalsboom League
  • Brandenburg ambition
  • Bharathi traditions
  • Brabant idea 7: Generality Lands
  • Brunswicker idea 2: Niedersächsicher Reichskreis
  • Great Qing idea 6: The Viceroyalties
  • Hanoverian idea 1: Niedersächsicher Reichskreis
  • Lusatian idea 5: Lusatian League
  • Lüneburger idea 5: Niedersächsicher Reichskreis
  • Saxe-Lauenburg idea 2: Diarchic Duchy
  • Swabian idea 1: Swabian Decentralization
  • Tripuran idea 5: Appointment of Missips
  • Chernihiv ambition
  • Moravian ambition
  • Westphalian idea 2: Westphalian Decentralization

A custom nation can have a national idea of up to -40% state maintenance.

Centralize State[edit | edit source]

If all provinces in a state are owned and the combined base governing cost of all provinces in the state is at least 10, it can be centralized. Centralisation costs Administrative power.png 50 administrative power and Monthly reform progress.png 50 government reform progress and takes 5 years. After this time has passed, the following state-wide modifiers will come into effect:

State governing cost.png −20% Statewide governing cost
Local prosperity growth.png +0.25 Local prosperity growth
State maintenance.png −20% Local state maintenance

It is possible to centralize a state multiple times and there is no limit on how often a state can be centralized.

State edicts[edit | edit source]

In each state, a state edict can optionally be enacted. This applies a bonus to all owned and cored provinces in the state, including any territorial cores. All edicts cost State maintenance.png +200% state maintenance.

Once enacted, an edict cannot be adjusted for one year. After this time has passed, it becomes possible to remove or replace the edict.

The 'States & Territories' page on the ledger shows the current edict for each state, if any, and the State Edicts map mode colours states according to the currently active edict. These can be useful for keeping track of edicts in a large country with many states.

The first three ages each have a special edict associated with them. These edicts can be unlocked by spending Splendor on the relevant age ability, but such edicts will only be usable until the end of that age.

List of available edicts[edit | edit source]

Edict Effect
Advancement Effort Local institution spread.png +33% Institution spread
Centralization Effort Local autonomy.png −0.03 Monthly autonomy change
Defensive Edict Local defensiveness.png +33% Local defensiveness
Encourage Development Local development cost −10% Local development cost
Feudal De Jure Law Local unrest.png −5 Local unrest
  • Available only in the Age of Discovery with the "Feudal De Jure Law" Splendor ability.
Religion Enforced Resistance to reformation.png +90% Resistance to reformation
Edict of Absolutism Devastation.png −0.25 Monthly devastation
  • Available only in the Age of Absolutism with the "Edict of Absolutism" Splendor ability.
Increased Enlistment Local manpower modifier.png +25% Local manpower modifier
French Infrastructure Network Friendly movement speed +20% Local friendly movement speed
Protect Trade Local trade power.png +50% Local trade power
Promote Trade Local trade power.png +75% Local trade power
Enforce Religious Unity Local missionary strength.png +1% Local missionary strength
Rapid Industrialization Local development cost −10% Local development cost

Local goods produced modifier +20% Local goods produced modifier

Feudal Taxes Edict Local tax modifier.png +50% Local tax modifier
  • Available only in the Age of Discovery with the "Regional Councils" Tier 3 Monarchy Government Reform.
Religious Tolerances Edict local religious unity contribution -50% Local religious unity contribution
  • Available only in the Age of Reformation with the "Regional Councils" Tier 3 Monarchy Government Reform.
State Integration Edict Years of separatism.png -10 Years of Separatism
  • Available only in the Age of Absolutism with the "Regional Councils" Tier 3 Monarchy Government Reform.
Urbanization Edict Local goods produced modifier +33% Local goods produced modifier
  • Available only in the Age of Revolutions with the "Regional Councils" Tier 3 Monarchy Government Reform.

Local Organisation[edit | edit source]

Main article: Local organisation

Local Organisations, also known as Holy Orders can be established, in fully owned states by some nations, mainly Iberians. These increase the development of all provinces in the state, as well as giving some local modifiers.

Prosperity[edit | edit source]

States in which every province has Devastation.png 0% devastation may become prosperous when the Stability.png stability of owner country is positive. Prosperity gives the following benefits:

Local development cost −10%.00 Local development cost
Local goods produced modifier +25%.00 Local goods produced modifier
Local autonomy.png −0.05% Monthly autonomy change

Each such state has a chance of increasing its progress towards being prosperous by +1% each month, until progress reaches 100%. The chance is 5% for each ruler skill point; for example, a ruler with Administrative power.png 3 / Diplomatic power.png 3 / Military power.png 3 gives provinces a 45% chance of progressing. If any province in a state has devastation or the stability is negative, it instead decays by −2% per month.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Strategy The below is one of many player suggested strategies for States and territories. Bear in mind, due to the dynamic nature of the game, it may unfold differently for other players.

Government reform progress[edit | edit source]

Government reform progress generation is affected by the average autonomy across the entire nation. Thus, if maximum reform progress generation is desired, the entire nation must be part of states (and fully cored).

Choosing territories to promote to states[edit | edit source]

Due to limited governing capacity, each country can usually have only a limited number of states. It can be helpful to carefully choose which territories will be promoted to states, rather than promoting indiscriminately.

The following types of territory may be good candidates for promotion:

  • Territories with high total development. The 'States & Territories' page in the ledger may be helpful for identifying such territories. Among other information, this page lists each territory and its total development, and the list may be sorted by total development.
    • Territories with high total development and require religious conversion: provinces in territories and with an unaccepted population culture have a missionary strength modifier of −4%. In contrast, provinces in states can promote cultures to become acceptable and can enact "Enforce Religious Unity" for a modifier of +1%, a net difference of +5%. Also, provinces with high total development are already more difficult to convert to begin with.
  • Territories with valuable trade goods (especially gold). States allow the full production potential of such provinces to be tapped. That said, it's worth remembering that autonomy only has half impact on production income.
  • Territories with high tax provinces may be particularly good candidates in the early game, when tax may account for a larger proportion of a country's income.
  • Dharma.pngTerritories with a center of trade which cannot be added to a trade company, as centers of trade cannot be upgraded beyond level 1 when they are located in territories unless assigned to a trade company.

The following types of territories are bad candidates for promotion:

  • Remote territories if the difference between their income and maintenance cost is higher than what they yield as territories. (But they may still be worthwhile as states if what's needed is manpower or sailors.)
  • Territories where you want to have trade companies, because state provinces can't be assigned to a trade company (though other provinces nearby can be in states).

Temporary states[edit | edit source]

Even if you don't plan on turning a territory into a permanent state (e.g. because the territory has low total development), it can be useful to turn such territories into 'temporary states'. This is achieved by promoting to state as normal, but leaving all provinces as territorial cores rather than fully coring then.

Such 'temporary' states will not be as productive as fully-cored states, but they will still receive useful benefits, such as a free reduction to minimum autonomy and the ability to apply state edicts.

Temporary states can be demoted back to territories at any time, to allow more valuable areas to become states. It is worth noting the following downsides of demoting a state to a territory:

  • All full cores in the temporary state will revert to territorial cores. This is generally not a problem if you refrain from full-coring the provinces in the temporary states. However, it can result in the unexpected loss of full cores from integrated subjects.
  • If autonomy was manually increased after forming the temporary state, the unrest reduction due to this autonomy increase will be lost.

Reducing devastation in states[edit | edit source]

The benefits from a state becoming prosperous can be quite valuable. Since states may only become prosperous if their provinces contain no devastation, it can be worthwhile to check on the devastation level of recently conquered states.

Devastation ticks down naturally in unoccupied provinces. However, if devastation is particularly high in a province, it may take years or even decades for the devastation to tick down to zero. In such cases, it may be useful to manually reduce the devastation in that province, e.g. by developing that province.

Culture switching[edit | edit source]

Only provinces in states are counted when determining the majority culture. In order to switch primary cultures, you can convert states of your old culture to territories, and convert territories having the culture you want to adopt to states. By switching cultures, you can form any nation as long as you hold the required provinces as cores and the nation you start as isn't an end game tag. This can be advantageous, especially in forming a nation to move your capital into Europe to create trade companies in Africa and Asia. A notable example is if you start as the Mamluks, conquer some lands with Turkish culture, convert your states with Egyptian and Syrian culture to territories, and convert the newly conquered Turkish land into states, you can switch your primary culture to Turkish, allowing you to form Flag of Rûm Rûm for their powerful ideas and Ottoman Government form (after you eliminate the Ottomans).

Forming Trade Companies[edit | edit source]

Expanding towards trade company regions is a good way to (eventually) reduce territories which contribute to corruption due to religious unity, as the nation forms trade companies.


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