States and territories
- See also: Core
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 each country is limited in 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.
- 1 Differences between states and territories
- 2 Summary
- 3 Governing capacity
- 4 State maintenance
- 5 State edicts
- 6 Prosperity
- 7 Strategy
Differences between states and territories
The table below shows key differences between states and territories:
|Minimum autonomy for provinces||0% for full cores,
90% for territorial cores, trade companies
|Allows provinces to become territorial cores||N/A|
|Allows provinces to become full cores|
|Allows Centers of Trade to be upgraded|
if given to trade company
|Allows provinces to be given to trade company|
|Allows state edicts|
|May contain capital city|
|Missionary strength penalty||None||-2.0%|
-200% if given to trade company
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 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 -50% Core-creation cost (coring duration is not affected). The newly cored provinces gain territorial cores and remove the overextension penalty caused by the province.
- Provinces in territories have a 90% local autonomy floor.
- Provinces in states have no local autonomy floor. 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:
- To fully core state provinces requires paying the remaining 50% coring costs. This second coring phase is instantaneous and gives a 0% Local autonomy floor (LA is reduced instantaneously to the new floor only if it was not raised before (to lower unrest)).
- NB: Raising autonomy in a province not-yet fully cored will set the new autonomy floor to 100% and will annul the older "virtual" floor, not being reduced instantly after the full core anymore.
- Fully cored state provinces contribute fully to the nation and retain their cores even if conquered.
- Provinces of diplomatically annexed vassals or integrated personal union partners always get full cores. The provinces will still need to be made into states if they aren't already, but there is no admin power cost for doing so.
- Governing capacity is a soft limit on how many provinces a country can directly control. The governing capacity limit directly affects the amount of states and territories a nation can effectively control. It is partly based on administrative technology, as well as government reforms, ideas and other factors.
- Each province also has a Province governing cost, which is based on development, as well other factors, such as buildings and government type. Governing capacity cost is 100% of state total base and 25% for territories.
Notes: Do note that  revoking the status of a state (back to a territory) will not refund the administrative points used for the province coring (the cores will turn into territorial cores) and they'll be lost. Re-establishing the same territory into a state again requires fully coring the provinces anew;  assigning states in trade company regions prevents formation of trade companies (existing ones will be removed);  assigning states in colonial regions will not prevent colonial nations from forming in those provinces.
Changing province governing cost
Every province will contribute towards the governing capacity limit. The base province governing cost for each province is its total base development.
Modifiers affecting province governing cost:
- The Statehouse Manufactory will lower governing capacity for every province in the area by 20%
Changing governing capacity
If the limit is reached, the country will get penalties. At 100% over limit:
|+100%||Stability cost modifier|
|+20%||Core creation cost|
|+50%||Aggressive expansion impact|
|−1||Militarization of state|
Modifiers affecting governing capacity limit:
| Administrative technology|
Ideas that change governing capacity:
A custom nation can have a national idea of up to +40% governing capacity.
The state maintenance is determined by the following:
|+0.007||Per development level|
|+0.001%||Per unit distance from the capital|
|Available only with the Mandate of Heaven DLC enabled.|
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 +200% state maintenance, a penalty that is applied before any further modifier to 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. This 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
|Advancement Effort||+33% Institution spread|
|Centralization Effort||−0.03 Monthly autonomy change|
|Defensive Edict||+33% Local defensiveness|
|Encourage Development||−10% Local development cost|
|Feudal De Jure Law|| −5 Local unrest
|Religion Enforced|| +90% Resistance to reformation
|Edict of Absolutism|| −0.25 Monthly devastation
|Increased Enlistment||+25% Local manpower modifier|
|Protect Trade||+50% Local trade power|
|Enforce Religious Unity||+1% Local missionary strength|
Please help with verifying or updating this section. It was last verified for version 1.28.
|Available only with the Mandate of Heaven DLC enabled.|
States in which every province has 0% devastation may become prosperous when the stability of owner country is positive. Prosperity gives the following benefits:
|−10%||Local development cost|
|+25%||Local goods produced modifier|
|−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 3 / 3 / 3 gives provinces a 45% chance of progressing. If any province in a state has devastation, it instead decays by −2 per month.
Choosing territories to promote to states
In versions before 1.30 where Government Capacity was introduced, each country can only have 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 has 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.
- 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.
- Territories with a center of trade and cannot be added to a trade company, as Centers of Trade cannot be upgraded beyond level 1 when they are located in territories.
Even if the player does not 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 the player refrains 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 effects of this autonomy increase will be lost.
Reducing devastation in states
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.
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 switch to states. By switching cultures, one can form any nation as long as they hold the required provinces as cores and the nation they 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 Rûm for their powerful ideas and Ottoman Government form (after you eliminate the Ottomans). This also comes with the added benefit of moving your capital into Europe, which lets you use your close proximity to India and ease of controlling the Gulf of Aden to make a lot of ducats from trade from India.
Forming Trade Companies
Expanding towards trade company regions is a good way to (eventually) reduce territories which contribute to corruption, as the nation forms trade companies. This strategy works best for nations with capitals which are not located in Asia or Africa (16 trade regions to choose from); nations with capitals located in Africa still have 13 trade regions to choose from.