Trade nodes are 77 static "locations" on the map where trade can be conducted utilizing merchants. The province containing a trade node must be discovered before merchants can be sent there, but trade nodes are not otherwise tied to specific provinces. Instead, nodes are tied to a collective of provinces, each contributing its trade value to determine the overall local wealth generated for the node. The node value can be modified by improving base production wealth, trade goods price changes, constructing manufactories or steering trade to and from the node.
As a general rule, controlling more territory in a node helps in gaining high trade power within that node, although this could also be achieved by controlling only provinces with trade modifiers (i.e. estuary or center of trade). Other means of increasing trade power involve sending merchants or a fleet of light ships to the node. Picking certain idea groups or opportunities to increase mercantilism will improve the effectiveness of taking land for its trade power.
A nation can set a trade policy in any node where they have a merchant present. There is no cost to setting this policy and it can be changed every 12 months.
Policies available to all nations are:
Your Merchant will tirelessly work to maximize profit in this Node.
+5% Trade power (Default policy).
Your Merchant will gather intelligence from countries active in the same Node.
+25% Spy network construction with all other nations with their home node or a merchant located there.
Improve Inland Routes
Your Merchant will gather knowledge of the terrain in this node which will benefit your armies.
+10% Siege ability and +1 Artillery bonus versus forts for all provinces in the node (Only possible with more than 50% share of the trade power in the node).
Your Merchant will strive to improve relations with other countries active in the Node.
+15% Improve relations with all other nations with their home node or a merchant located there.
Your pious Merchant will work towards spreading the One True Faith in this Node.
A religious centre will be established in the node, automatically spreading the religion of the merchant's nation through the node. Can only be activated when the trade node is in a trade company region, and with a 50% or more share of the trade power in said node.
Centers of Trade are those provinces within trade nodes that have a larger impact on the flow of goods and money than their development alone would warrant. They come in two types, inland and coastal, and each has three levels, with bonuses dependent on the level they've been upgraded to. Which provinces contain centers of trade is visible on the trade map mode and are designated with a small box containing a merchant's awning stall and an appropriate roman numeral I, II, or III. Centers of trade are also visible on the building interface of the individual provinces where it takes up the two lower rightmost building slots. Centers of trade do not themselves take up building slots.
Staple Port: +5 local trade power
Entrepot: +10 local trade power, −5% local development cost and +10% institution spread
World Port: for the province +25 local trade power, +30% institution spread; and for the area: −10% local development cost, +100% local sailors modifier, +1 possible number of buildings; global: −0.2 yearly navy tradition decay;
Emporium: +5 local trade power
Market Town: +10 local trade power, −5% local development cost
World Trade Center: for the province +25 local trade power, +30% institution spread; and for the area: −10% local development cost, +33% local manpower modifier, +1 possible number of buildings;
Only centers of trade that are in fully cored provinces within states (not territories) or trade company provinces may be upgraded, at a cost of 200 for level 2, and 1000 for level three. Centers may be voluntarily downgraded or will be automatically downgraded when the province changes hands, regardless of how the transfer comes about. A nation must be at peace to upgrade a center of trade. A nation may only have as many level 3 trade centers (World Port, and World Trade Center) as they have merchants.
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.21.
Note:The table below mentions Inland sea even though trade-wise they are not different from other sea-nodes. This is done to mark nodes in which galleys (or transports) can also be used for pirate hunting missions - though, while in mission, these fleets may occasionally arrive at non-inland sea provinces.