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This article deals with the trade network and trade income. For information about trade goods and their production and value, see trade goods.
EU4 Beginner Tutorial #2 - Trade. A complete beginner tutorial with MordredViking looking at the mechanics behind the trade system and how you utilize them to build yourself a trade empire.
Trade nodes
Historical centers of trade and other provincial trade power modifiers in 1444.

Trade and production of trade goods are two of the three main sources of income for a country, the third being taxes. Every province produces trade goods, which give production income to their owner directly. The trade value of the goods then enters a system of trade nodes, where it is steered and eventually collected by merchants as trade income.

Summary[edit | edit source]

The trade system in game can be summarized as follows:

  • Trade nodes across the world are connected to form a global network of trade. Each node hosts the trade activity of a group of geographically associated provinces. Money in this global trade network can flow between trade nodes in unidirectional trade routes as well as terminate at end nodes. These connections between trade nodes are fixed and cannot be altered during the course of play.
  • Trade value represents the monthly sum of locally produced and incoming trade goods in a trade node. Trade value is generated from the quantity and price of produced trade goods in each province. All provinces pool their trade value into the total trade value of their associated trade node. The trade tab provides an aggregate trade value in a node while the trade map mode displays a tooltip listing locally produced goods separately from incoming trade good values.
  • Trade power is a number representing a country's control over trade in a node. The trade power of a country as a proportion of the total trade power of all countries present in the node determines what will happen to the trade value in each node. Power is used either to retain trade value within the node (if the nation is collecting with a merchant or at its home node), or to transfer it forward in the trade network (if the nation is steering from there with a merchant, or it's not its home node and it has no merchant). Trade power is generated by provinces, light ships, and merchants. Certain ideas, events and modifiers can also affect a country's trade power in a node.
  • Merchants can be sent to a trade node to collect a portion of the node's trade value proportional to the nation's share of trade power in the node, or steer the node's trade value in a particular direction.

Sources of trade value[edit | edit source]

See also: Trade goods
The Krakow trade node, showing all sources of local trade value.

All trade income ultimately originates as provincial trade value.

Local trade value[edit | edit source]

The trade value of a province is equal to Local goods produced local goods produced × the price of the trade good that the province produces. This value can be seen in the province window. Trade value determines production income, but it is not itself affected by either production efficiency or local autonomy. See Trade goods § Goods produced for the details of goods produced; for trade purposes, the most noteworthy modifier is that Government republic.png merchant republics and Subject tradecompany icon.png trade companies give a bonus – in all provinces in the node, not just their own – to goods produced proportional to their share of trade power in a node

Trade value can be further increased by a local Trade value.png trade value modifier, which is given by certain events:

Trade value modifier.png Event modifier Trigger Duration
+20% Controls Tea Trade Cultural event: “The Way of Tea
Option: ‘Make it so!’
for the rest of the campaign.
+10% Diamond District Price change event: “Faceting for the rest of the campaign.
+10% Perfume Capital Price change event: “Growth of the Perfume Industry for the rest of the campaign.
+15% Regulated Economic Growth Trade policy event: “Increased Demand for [trade_province.GetFancyTradeGood]”
Option: ‘We should step in to limit any excesses.’
for 10 years.
+15% Unregulated Economic Growth Trade policy event: “Increased Demand for [trade_province.GetFancyTradeGood]”
Option: ‘Let us lighten regulations to really benefit local entrepreneurs.’
for 10 years.
−25% Caravan Raids Tribal Federation event: “Stolen [fancy_trade_caravan_origin.GetFancyTradeGood]”
Option: ‘We must root out the raiders.’
for 10 years.
+10% Expanding the Markets of Cairo Flag of Mamluks Mamluk Government event: “The Tarh and the Royal Monopolies
Option: ‘We will just have to endure the cost.’
for 10 years.

The trade value of all provinces in the same trade node is added together to determine the local trade value of the node. This can be seen in the node's window, as well as the ledger and the trade tab.

Multiple merchant bonus[edit | edit source]

Three merchants steering from Krakow to Baltic Sea, each with a merchant bonus. This tooltip is on the outgoing node, but not the steering button.

In addition to steering outgoing trade value through a particular outgoing link (see below), each merchant applies a boost to the trade value on that link—that is, the steered trade value increases by a percentage as it passes between the two nodes, so that the incoming trade value of the downstream node is larger than the corresponding outgoing trade value of the upstream node. This affects all trade on that link, not just the merchant's country, so multiple merchants can boost trade on the same link. The total boost is:

Merchants Boost Cumulative
0 0.0% 0.0%
1 +5.0% +5.0%
2 +2.5% +7.5%
3 +1.6% +9.1%
4 +1.2% +10.3%
5 +1.0% +11.3%

Having more than five merchants will not increase the boost further. The boost is modified by the country's trade steering: for example, if the first merchant's country has +20% trade steering the boost from the merchant will be increased to +6.0%. The merchant order follow a scripted order, so the merchant with the highest trade steering will not necessarily be first.

Total trade value[edit | edit source]

The total trade value in a trade node is the sum of local trade value and incoming trade value from upstream trade nodes minus outgoing trade value. For details of incoming trade value, see § Transferring trade below.

Trade nodes and power[edit | edit source]

Each land province in the world belongs to exactly one trade node. The trade value from a province is added to the node's local trade value. In addition, most nodes have one or more other incoming nodes, and one or more other outgoing nodes. In this way all nodes are connected in a global network, with a handful (e.g. California, Lhasa, and Great Lakes) being origin nodes with nothing upstream of them, and three (English Channel, Genoa, and Venice) being end nodes with nothing downstream of them.

Relative trade power: competition over trade value[edit | edit source]

Nations use Trade power.png trade power to compete in manipulating the flow of trade value in several ways. The absolute amount of trade power is unimportant; what is important is the relative proportion of trade power wielded by a country and others it is cooperating with, compared to all countries it is competing with.

Each country's trade power is increased by their Trade power.png global trade power modifier for all uses.

Collecting trade[edit | edit source]

Each country has a main trade city. This is the same as the capital at the start of the game, and usually stays that way. In the trade node that this province belongs to, the country gets an extra Trade power.png +5 trade power and automatically collects trade. With the Wealth of Nations.png Wealth of Nations expansion, the main trade city can be changed at the cost of Diplomatic power.png 200 diplomatic power. If the capital and main trade city are the same, moving the capital also moves the main trade city for free.

Countries can also collect trade by sending a Merchants.png merchant. In this case, the country's trade power is reduced by −50%, unless the merchant is sent to the country's main trade city. This is a multiplicative modifier, applied after all other modifiers.[1]

When collecting trade in a node, the country is allocated a portion of the node's trade value equal to:

The effective trade power in a node only counts the trade power of the countries which collect or which transfer downstream, but it doesn't count the countries which have their trade capital upstream.

This amount is then multiplied by 1 + the country's Trade efficiency.png trade efficiency:

And this amount, , is the number of Gold Icon.png ducats actually added to the country's treasury as trade income, visible in a trade node's screen as the string: "We earn x.xx here."

Each country collecting trade competes with all other countries collecting trade and all countries transferring trade.

Transferring trade[edit | edit source]

Trade node window, showing the tooltip for trade forwarded out of the node. The cursor is hovering over the red part of the pie chart.

A country with trade power in a node who either has a merchant present and set to steer, or is not collecting there but is collecting in a node somewhere downstream (no matter how many hops away), is transferring. There are two stages to transferring trade:

  1. The total value of the transfer: Countries aggregate their trade power (whether they have a merchant present or not) to increase the total share of trade value that leaves the node (outgoing trade value); that is, competing against those who are collecting in the node and hence "retaining trade".
  2. The direction of the transfer: Of those countries transferring with merchants (and only them) their relative trade power determines the share of outgoing trade value that flows into one particular outgoing node.
Pulling trade value forward[edit | edit source]

All countries transferring trade pool their trade power to pull trade out of the node. The amount of outgoing trade value is equal to

or, equivalently,

At this stage, all countries transferring trade cooperate with each other, and compete with those collecting.

Steering trade[edit | edit source]

Each country transferring with a Merchants.png merchant present selects an outgoing node to steer trade to (the player does this from the trade map mode). All countries steering in a particular direction cooperate with each other, and compete with those steering in other directions as well as those collecting, whereas they neither compete nor cooperate at this stage with countries transferring but not steering. The amount of trade value steered towards a particular node is

Trade node window and trade map mode. The tooltip (on the steering button) lists countries steering in each direction, their trade power used to steer and trade steering bonus, and the percentage of power used to steer in each direction. Notice the trade power listed in the window for Lithuania, Teutonic Order and Sweden, which is used to pull trade forward, and their power listed in the tootip, which is used for steering and is higher due to their trade steering bonuses.

In this equation, "modified trade power" means the country's trade power multiplied by 1 + its Trade steering.png trade steering modifier. If this would be a division by zero (i.e. no trade power is used to steer), it is instead set to


In other words, if no one is steering in any direction, trade value is divided equally between all outgoing nodes. (But in this situation a downstream node will only be considered for transferring trade value if someone is transferring between those nodes, i.e. they have trade power in both of them. For example, at the start of the game when all provinces in the Caribbean and Polynesian Triangle are uncolonized, all trade leaving Mexico goes to Panama; when the Caribbean is colonized, it's divided between there and Panama, but still none goes to the Polynesian Triangle.)

There are two important consequences of this equation:

  • Countries that are not steering with a merchant have no influence whatsoever over the direction in which trade flows. They only influence how much trade value leaves the node.
  • If the amount of trade power used to steer towards a particular outgoing node is zero, then value of trade steered there is zero (unless it is zero for all outgoing nodes). In other words, if there are merchants steering, but one outgoing node has no merchants steering to it, then that node receives no transferred trade value at all. If only one country is steering, all trade leaving the node goes to the node that country selected, no matter how tiny their trade power is.

Sources of trade power[edit | edit source]

Provincial trade power[edit | edit source]

Every province contributes an amount of trade power to its controller's country in the local trade node. The exact amount and relevant calculations can be seen in province view under Trade category. It is determined by the following factors:

Trade power.png Modifier Local trade power Notes
Colonialism Birthplace of Colonialism +5
Development.png Development +0.2 per point
Province trade power value.png Level 1 Center of Trade (Natural Harbour and Emporium) +5
Province trade power value.png Level 2 Center of Trade (Entrepot and Market Town) +10 Requires total province development to equal at least 10
Province trade power value.png Level 3 Center of Trade (World Port and World Trade Center) +25 Requires total province development to equal at least 25
Estuary.png River estuaries +10 Except the Ganges (Bengal), Irrawaddy (Burma) and The Nile (Egypt), which give only +5 but are present in two provinces each.
Province trade power value.png Sound Toll +20 Sjælland
Province trade power value.png Bosphorus Sound Toll +10 Constantinople
Colonialism Embraced Colonialism +10%
Global Trade.png Birthplace of Global Trade +10%
Coastal +25%
Subject tradecompany icon.png Trade Company +100% Requires Wealth of Nations.png Wealth of Nations or Dharma.png Dharma.
Province trade power value.png Trading Post +10 Requires Res Publica.png Res Publica. One per trade node available only to Merchant Republics.
Great project suez canal.png Canal +10/+20/+30/+50 Kiel Canal in Holstein, Panama Canal in Panama, Suez Canal in Sharqiya
Great project belem tower.png Belem Tower +5/+10/+15 Lisboa (requires Leviathan.png Leviathan)
Mercantilism.png Mercantilism +2% per point
Latin marketplace.png Marketplace +50%
Latin trade depot.png Trade Depot +100%
Latin stock exchange.png Stock Exchange +125%
Occupied −50% Trade power goes to the occupier.
Under siege −25%
Local autonomy.png Local autonomy Multiplicative −50% at 100% autonomy Autonomy has no effect in trade company provinces.

Provincial trade power modifiers[edit | edit source]

Certain ideas and policies improve provincial trade power.

Provincial trade power modifier.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Colonial idea 2: Continental Trade
  • Mazovian idea 7: Central Emporium
  • Full Plutocracy
  • Mamluk ambition
  • Infrastructure-Plutocratic: Plutocratic Rule
  • East India traditions
  • Gujarat Sultanate idea 5: Hub of the Indian Ocean Trade
  • Hanseatic idea 6: Regularized Contributions
  • Hanseatic idea 7: Regularized Contributions
  • Wallachian idea 2: Foreign Trade Restrictions
  • Tverian traditions
  • Ainu idea 3: Southern Traders
  • Circassian idea 2: Merchants Of Genoa
  • Client State idea 5: Mercantile Privileges
  • Kanem Bornuan idea 7: Duties on Sahara Trade
  • Malabari idea 5: Control the Inland
  • Swabian idea 3: Land of the Free Cities
  • Three Leagues idea 6: An Economic League
  • Trading City idea 1: City of Commerce
  • Westphalian idea 7: Cities of the Rhineland
  • Yarkandi idea 7: Encourage Tarim Trade
  • Huron ambition
  • Berg traditions
  • Bornean traditions
  • Lan Na traditions
  • Pegu traditions
  • Rostov traditions
  • Shirvani traditions
  • Wurzburgian traditions
  • Amago idea 5: Dominate the Coastal Trade
  • Andean idea 2: Mountain Roads Network
  • Bremen idea 5: Vegesack Harbor
  • Butuan idea 5: Balangay
  • Dortmund idea 3: Chief City of the Rhine
  • Golden Horde idea 4: Secure the Trade Routes
  • Goslar idea 4: Capitalizing on the Hanseatic League
  • Kongo idea 5: The Triangle Trade
  • Luccan idea 2: Libertas!
  • Malvi idea 7: Malwa Opium
  • Rothenburg idea 6: The Holy Blood
  • Saluzzo idea 1: The Saluzzo Golden Age
  • Sami idea 4: Encourage growth of the Winter Market
  • Savoyard idea 6: Alpine Tolls
  • Saxe-Lauenburg idea 7: Old Salt Route
  • Silesian idea 6: Hanseatic Ties
  • Trent idea 4: Italy and the Empire

Transfers from traders downstream[edit | edit source]

Ming has 14.1 provincial trade power in the Yumen node. They don't collect here or anywhere downstream, but 20% of their unmodified provincial power transfers to the incoming node Beijing. You see this blue left-facing arrow in nodes not upstream of any collection, but the transfer happens also in collecting and transferring nodes.

Any nation that has at least 10 provincial trade power in the node enjoys the propagation of that power upstream. An amount equivalent to 20% of the nation's provincial trade power is added to the total trade power of that nation in every immediate upstream node, where it is denoted as transfers from traders downstream. Global trade power modifiers do not apply to the amount considered for propagation, but are applied in the upstream node instead.[2]

If a country has a ship tradepower propagation modifier also a corresponding part of the ship trade power is added to the provincial trade power. E.g. with Ship tradepower propagation.png +20% ship tradepower propagation 20% × 20% = 4% of ship trade power is also added to upstream node.

Ship tradepower propagation.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Maritime idea 4: Grand Navy
  • Malayan idea 5: Malay Merchants in Every Port
Ship tradepower propagation.png Conditions
+25% Gov pirate republic.png Power to the Smugglers tier 8 reform for pirate republics
+20% with Ab ship power propagation.png ‘Powerful Trade Ships’ ability during the Age of Reformation.png Age of Reformation

Trade company[edit | edit source]

Main article: Trade company

A country that owns a province in a trade node that is not in their home node but is in a trade company region can add it to a Subject tradecompany icon.png trade company. Provinces in trade companies get Province trade power modifier.png +100% local trade power. There are 63 trade company regions throughout the old world.

Protect trade[edit | edit source]

A country may increase its trade power in maritime (non-inland) trade nodes by sending its light ships on Protect Trade mission. Ships can only be sent to protect trade in coastal nodes where the country already has trade power or a merchant. Each light ship increases trade power in the trade node in which they are protecting trade, the amount depending on how advanced it is; higher technology unlocks better light ships. Having the ships out of port for the Protect Trade mission costs Sailors.png −1 sailor per ship per month.

Diplomatic technology.png Name Trade power.png Hull.png Icon ship cannons.png Icon ship speed.png Sailors.png Description
2 Barque 2.0 8 10 10 50 The Barque was a small sailing ship, originally used for trade. Adapting these for warfare provided a smaller and faster alternative to the larger carracks.
9 Caravel 2.5 10 13 11 75 The caravel was a small, very maneuverable ship which could sail with a high precision on long discovery journeys. Although designs varied, a caravel had a foresail, a square mainsail and lateen mizzen. Its smaller size limited the number of guns on board, but it also meant that this light ship could explore shallow coastal waters and estuaries. Vasco Da Gama, Cabot, Columbus and Magellan used caravels during their late 15th century and early 16th century voyages.
15 Early Frigate 3.0 12 15 12 100 With the increasing overseas trade, there was a need for a fast escort vessel to provide safe journey. The early frigates were developed for this. They were smaller, leaner ships of war with one gun deck, and provided protection from piracy in dangerous waters.
19 Frigate 3.5 16 20 13 125 As time passed, the frigate evolved. It became larger and heavily armed, sometimes with two gun decks. The frigate's combination of speed and firepower meant that it could outrun any ship with more guns and outgun any faster ships. The fleet built by the Commonwealth of England in the 1650s consisted almost exclusively of frigates.
23 Heavy Frigate 4.0 20 25 14 125 Two decked vessels normally carrying about 40 guns.
26 Great Frigate 5.0 24 30 15 150 A larger type of frigate, carrying additional guns.

Some bonuses to ship trade power are:

Ship trade power.png Triggers
+33% Selecting the 'Merchant Navy' Naval Doctrine
+25% Selecting the 'Hanseatic Doctrine' Naval Doctrine
+20% Being in a Trade League
Ship trade power.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Mercenary-Trade: Merchants for Hire Act
  • Naval-Trade: Fortified Trading Posts
  • Andalusian traditions
  • Hanseatic idea 2: The Handelsmarine
  • Cascadian ambition
  • Kilwan traditions
  • Kaurna idea 3: Coastal Pangkarra
  • Ligori idea 7: Protect Ligori Trade
  • Malaccan idea 2: Maritime Laws
  • Palembang idea 5: Trading Hub
  • Samoan idea 7: Polynesian Triangle Trade
  • Sicilian idea 5: Sicilian Trade Fleets
  • Cirebonese ambition
  • Ferraran ambition
  • Larrakia ambition
  • Maritime-Plutocratic: The Protected Shipping Lanes Act
  • Trading City idea 7: Trade Fleet
  • Gujarat Sultanate traditions
  • Fijian idea 2: Lutunasobasoba and Degel
  • Frisian idea 1: Coastal Industry
  • Luzon idea 3: Sino-Philippine Trade

The trade power of an individual fleet can be further increased by:

Ship trade power.png Triggers
+5% Per Naval leader maneuver.png Maneuver skill of the fleet's admiral
+15% Extortioner admiral trait

Supply range[edit | edit source]

Light ships on protect trade missions can only be sent to trade nodes where the country already has trade power and the supply range is met. The limitation on supply range applies even when naval attrition is removed at Diplomatic technology.png diplomatic tech 22. If the trade range permits, a country can send a merchant to a node without any initial trade power and then follow up with light ships protecting trade (as long as these are within supply range). A good way to arrange for a favorable supply range is by gaining fleet basing rights from a nation in the vicinity of the target trade node.

Other sources of trade power[edit | edit source]

  • Merchant Present: The presence of a merchant increases a nation's trade power by +2.
  • Main trade port in area: A nation gets additional +5 trade power in its home node.
  • Colonial nations provide their overlord with 50% of their trade power.
  • With Mare Nostrum.png Mare Nostrum, members of a Trade league.png trade league:
    • provide 50% of their trade power to the leader of the league
    • provide an extra Trade steering.png +2.5% trade steering to the leader of the league (cumulative with the bonus from other members); for example 10 league members would provide +25% trade steering power to the merchant republic leading the league
    • get an additional Ship trade power.png +20% ship trade power.
  • Other nations can be persuaded (through diplomacy) or forced (through war) to enter into a Transfer Trade Power relation, which does not count towards the diplomatic relations limit. This transfers one country's trade power to another: a transfer enforced in a truce transfers 50%, while a diplomatically arranged transfer can transfer any amount from zero to 50%. Personal unions and vassals do not transfer trade power to their suzerain. Only nodes where both countries have power are affected. The trade power gained this way is not halved due to collecting outside the country's main trade node.
  • With Common Sense.png Common Sense, countries that have vassals or marches have a subject interaction for them to divert trade, which transfers 100% of their vassal's trade power, at a cost of Liberty desire.png +30% liberty desire.

Merchants[edit | edit source]

Merchants are envoys used to alter the flow of Trade value.png trade value by collecting or steering trade. A merchant must be stationed at a trade node to have any effect and can only travel a distance defined by a country's Trade range.png trade range. A merchant present in a trade node gives a bonus of +10% to Trade efficiency.png trade efficiency and also increases the Trade power.png trade power by 2 in that node.

Merchant trade power[edit | edit source]

The 2 base merchant trade power is modified by the following ideas

Merchant trade power.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Trade idea 5: Overseas Merchants
  • East India idea 3: Chartered Merchants
  • Sindhi idea 3: Strengthen Gujarati Connections

Trade with no merchant[edit | edit source]

In the absence of merchants:

  • In the country's home node, the country will collect trade.
  • In non-home nodes that are not upstream from any nodes where the country is collecting trade, their trade power does not affect the flow of trade. It still propagates upstream if the country has at least 10 provincial trade power.
  • In all other nodes, trade power is used to pull trade forward, increasing the share of trade value transferred. There is no influence on the direction of trade (if at least one country is steering), only the amount transferred.
    • Exception: If no one is steering at a node, and no one with power there has power in a given downstream node, no trade is transferred there. Subsequently a country can induce trade to be transferred to that node by merely having trade power in both, if there is still no one steering.

Merchant actions[edit | edit source]

Merchants can be sent to a trade node to perform one of two missions (as denoted in game interface):

  • Collect from Trade: Use the country's trade power to retain trade in the node, and turn it into Gold Icon.png income.
    • In other nodes than the country's home node, this gives a multiplicative penalty of Trade power.png −50% trade power.[1]
  • Transfer Trade Power: Use the country's trade power to pull trade forward in the trade network, and simultaneously to influence trade to flow preferentially into one of the downstream nodes (see § Steering trade above). The player can choose the direction to steer trade in using the trade map mode. (The name of this mission is a misnomer, as it is trade value that is being steered, not trade power.)
    • A merchant steering trade in inland nodes enables the Caravan power.png caravan bonus.

Gaining merchants[edit | edit source]

With Dharma.png Dharma, the number of merchants determines the number of Level 3 Centers of Trade a nation can have. Every country has a base of Merchants.png 2 merchants. Means of acquiring more include:

Merchants.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • American traditions
  • Asturian traditions
  • Bengali traditions
  • Bulgarian traditions
  • Catalan traditions
  • Epirote traditions
  • Gujarati Princedom traditions
  • Hanseatic traditions
  • Hormuz traditions
  • Pegu traditions
  • Pskovian traditions
  • West Indies traditions
  • Economic idea 7: Merchant Passes
  • Expansion idea 2: Additional Merchants
  • Plutocratic idea 4: Free Merchants
  • Trade idea 2: Free Trade
  • Ando idea 4: Trade Expansion
  • Arakanese idea 3: Bay of Bengal Trade
  • Augsburger idea 4: The Fugger
  • Butuan idea 3: Butuan Trade Connections
  • Canadian idea 2: The Hudson Bay Company
  • Candarid idea 1: Genoese Connections
  • Cascadian idea 6: The Hudson Bay Company
  • Caspian idea 7: Promote Foreign Trade
  • Dithmarscher idea 3: Trade Missions
  • Dortmund idea 5: Dortmund Moneylending Families
  • Dutch idea 2: Dutch Trading Spirit
  • East India idea 3: Chartered Merchants
  • Eora idea 7: Berewaldal
  • Estonian idea 5: Baltic Trade
  • Gujarat Sultanate idea 7: Gujarati Diaspora Descends on Africa
  • Gutnish idea 5: Gutnish Merchant Adventurers
  • Hanseatic idea 2: Strong League Obligations
  • Holstein idea 4: Kieler Umschlag
  • Huron idea 1: Great Lakes Trade
  • Javan idea 4: Pan-Asian Trade
  • Kievan idea 6: Support Local Traders
  • Kilwan idea 6: Merchants of Zanzibar
  • Larrakia idea 1: The Makassarian Trade
  • Malabari idea 4: Trade Factors
  • Malayan Sultanate idea 1: Indian Ocean Trade
  • Malayan idea 5: Malay Merchants in Every Port
  • Malian idea 6: Seek New Markets for Salt
  • Mogadishan idea 1: Indian Ocean Trade
  • Moluccan idea 3: Agents of Trade
  • Nepalese Princedom idea 2: Invite Kashmiri Traders
  • Novgorod idea 4: Control of the Hanseatic Kontor
  • Omani idea 7: Expansion of Trade Contacts
  • Ouchi idea 4: The Merchants of Hakata City
  • Pattani idea 5: Entrepôt
  • Pomeranian idea 2: Pomeranian Merchants
  • Sami idea 3: Regulate Trade with the Southerners
  • Shirvani idea 7: Merchants of Baku
  • Shoni idea 4: Nagasaki City
  • Sinhalese idea 3: Pearl of the Indian Ocean
  • Siouan Federation idea 4: Trade Fairs
  • Somalian idea 6: Indian Merchants
  • South Indian idea 7: Merchant Capitalists
  • Sumatran idea 5: Merchants of The Indian Ocean
  • Sundanese idea 5: Pan-Asian Trade
  • Trading City idea 3: Merchant Guild
  • Tumbuka idea 7: Welcome Swahili Merchants
  • Yemeni idea 6: Promoting the Yemeni Trade Ports
  • Full Trade Focus
  • Ashanti ambition
  • Clanricarde ambition
  • Galician ambition
  • Gond ambition
  • Interlacustrine ambition
  • Ionian ambition
  • Malaccan ambition
  • Odoyev ambition
  • Aristocratic-Trade: Trade Connections Policy
  • Defensive-Trade: The Armed Neutrality Act
  • Naval-Influence: The Cooperation Act
  • Plutocratic-Trade: Trade Kontor Network
  • Merchant republics have Merchants.png+1 merchant.
  • Embracing the Global Trade institution gives Merchants.png+1 merchant.
  • Some events can give a national modifier that temporarily provides Merchants.png+1 merchant.
  • The Found Indian Trade Company decision gives Merchants.png+1 merchant. This requires being a country with a capital in Europe, Africa or America, the Global Trade institution embraced, at least two ports, and one coastal province in India, China, the East Indies or Japan.
  • Countries that control one of a number of trade nodes have the Confirm Thalassocracy decision (requires all maritime ideas and control of several specific trade nodes), which gives Merchants.png+1 merchant.
  • With Wealth of Nations.png Wealth of Nations, a country gets Merchants.png+1 merchant for each trade company that controls the majority (>51%) of the provincial trade power in that region. (Non-trade company provinces and sources of trade power other than provinces are not considered.)
  • A country gets Merchants.png+1 merchant for each colonial nation with at least 10 provinces.
  • Winning a Parliament.png parliament debate "Charter Trade Company" provides +1 merchant for 10 years.
  • With The Cossacks.png The Cossacks, the Tengri Tengri religion with syncretic faith Zoroastrianism.png Zoroastrian provides Merchants.png+1 merchant.
  • With Cradle of Civilization.png Cradle of Civilization, Sunni countries are able to invite a Shafi'i school Shafi'i scholar, providing Merchants.png+1 merchant.
  • With Rights of Man.png Rights of Man, Fetishist Fetishist religion countries who have interacted with Zoroastrianism.png Zoroastrian religion nations are able to choose the Mazdayasna cult, Merchants.png+2 merchants.
  • holding Kraków Cloth Hall at Great project level icon tier 3.png Magnificent level providesMerchants.png+2 merchants. (requires Leviathan.png Leviathan)
  • holding Kraków Cloth Hall at Noteworthy or Significant level provides Merchants.png+1 merchant. (requires Leviathan.png Leviathan)
  • holding Bam Citadel at Significant or Great project level icon tier 3.png Magnificent level provides Merchants.png+1 merchant (requires Leviathan.png Leviathan)
  • holding Bara Katra at Great project level icon tier 3.png Magnificent level provides Merchants.png+1 merchant (requires Leviathan.png Leviathan)

Trade range[edit | edit source]

Merchants can only reach nodes at this distance from a cored province (or a cored province of a junior partner, colonial nation or client state). The distance is measured to the central province of the node, visible on the trade map mode. Base trade range is increased by Diplomatic technology.png diplomatic technology (100 at tech 1 and 400 at tech 32) and some decisions and ideas.

  • Trade Range is increased by certain ideas and policies.
Trade range.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Ryukyuan idea 4: Maritime Commercialism
  • Swahili traditions
  • Maritime idea 1: Merchant Traditions
  • Trade idea 3: Merchant Adventures
  • Kilwan idea 1: Kilwan Latitude Staves
  • Trading City idea 6: City of Great Reach
  • Gujarat Sultanate idea 2: Jain Connections
  • Gujarati Princedom idea 7: Extend Trade Routes to Africa
  • Horn of African idea 2: The Land of Punt Legend
  • Kono idea 6: Trade With Continental Asia
  • Malabari idea 1: Merchants of Southern India
  • Mesoamerican idea 7: Obsidian and Jade
  • Mogadishan idea 1: Indian Ocean Trade
  • South Indian idea 1: Merchants of Southern India
  • Sumatran traditions
  • Traditions of The Hansa
  • Evenk idea 2: Reindeer Herding
  • Indigenous-Trade: Commercial Tribes
  • Dutch idea 2: Dutch Trading Spirit
  • East India idea 5: Intercontinental Trade
  • Mamluk idea 1: Red Sea Trade
  • West Indies idea 4: The American Trade Hub

Winning a Parliament.png parliament debate "Charter Trade Company" provides +20% trade range for 10 years.

Trade policies[edit | edit source]

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 (except Propagate Religion, which requires a religion in the Muslim religion group) are:

Trade policy Effects
Maximize Profit icon
Maximize Profit
Your Merchant will tirelessly work to maximize profit in this Node.
Trade power.png+5% Trade power (Default policy).
Hostile Trading icon
Hostile Trading
Your Merchant will gather intelligence from countries active in the same Node.
Spy network construction.png+25% Spy network construction with all other nations with their home node or a merchant located there.
Improve Inland Routes icon
Improve Inland Routes
Your Merchant will gather knowledge of the terrain in this node which will benefit your armies.
Siege ability.png+10% Siege ability and Artillery bonus vs fort.png +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, except if the "Embrace Free Trade" Government Reform is enacted).
Establish Communities icon
Establish Communities
Your Merchant will strive to improve relations with other countries active in the Node.
Improve relations.png+15% Improve relations with all other nations with their home node or a merchant located there.
Propagate Religion icon
Propagate Religion
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. Only available for muslim countries (and dharmic countries which completed the Flag of Majapahit Majapahit mission The Porch of Mecca). 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 (35% after completing the Flag of Pasai Pasai/Flag of Aceh Aceh mission The Porch of Mecca). To maintain the policy 40% trade power is needed (30% after completing the Flag of Pasai Pasai/Flag of Aceh Aceh mission The Porch of Mecca). Cannot convert Christian, Muslim or Jewish provinces (can't convert Hindu provinces if the owner has completed the Flag of Majapahit Majapahit mission The Porch of Mecca). Also available for countries with the "Salvific Plutocracy" government reform during the Age of Reformation, turning the node into a Centre of Reformation.

Trade modifiers[edit | edit source]

Global trade power modifier[edit | edit source]

Trade power.png Global trade power modifier increases trade power for nearly all purposes. In other words, it is applied before any other, specialised increases to trade power. The only time it does not apply is to provincial trade power before propagating it upstream.

Certain ideas and policies improve global trade power.

Trade power.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Italian traditions
  • Expansion idea 7: Competitive Merchants
  • Trade idea 1: Shrewd Commerce Practice
  • Aragonese idea 5: Chartered Merchant Companies
  • Gujarat Sultanate ambition
  • Frankfurter traditions
  • Malayan traditions
  • Palembang traditions
  • Adalite idea 3: Zeila and Harar
  • Danziger idea 2: Vistula River Trade
  • Hamburger idea 1: Hanseatic City
  • Hanseatic idea 1: Foreign Kontors
  • Nuremberger idea 7: Nuremberg Exchange
  • Romanian idea 6: Phanariote Traders
  • Date ambition
  • East Indai ambition
  • Genevan traditions
  • Kiwi traditions
  • Larrakia traditions
  • Malaccan traditions
  • Münster traditions
  • Orleanaise traditions
  • Pisan traditions
  • Traditions of Theodoro
  • Veronese traditions
  • Acehnese/Pasai idea 1: Export Economy
  • Anhalt idea 1: Mittelgebirge
  • Antemoro idea 6: Strengthen control over the Slave Trade
  • Arabian idea 5: Bedouin Traders
  • Arawak idea 3: Orinoco Trade
  • Butuan idea 2: Northern Nusantara
  • Byzantine idea 5: Byzantine Merchant Class
  • Cham idea 3: South Indian Connections
  • Chimu idea 6: Specialized Economy
  • Deccani idea 3: Privileges for Foreign Traders
  • Epirote idea 6: Entrepôt of the Adriatic
  • Gutnish idea 4: Rebuild the Trade
  • Hanseatic idea 1: The End of the Victual Brothers
  • Holstein idea 6: The Trade of Two Seas
  • Hormuz idea 5: Maintain Trading Monopoly
  • Indian Sultanate idea 5: Equality Under the Law
  • Karelian idea 7: From the Varanginians to the Greeks
  • Latin idea 4: Trading Guilds of Pera
  • Livonian Knight idea 2: Merchants of the Hansa
  • Mesoamerican idea 2: Altepetl
  • Milanese idea 6: Merchant Princes
  • Mogadishan idea 3: East African Gold Trade
  • Montferrat idea 6: Crossroad of Powers
  • Najdi idea 3: Ships of the Desert
  • Norwegian idea 5: Seize the Opportunity
  • Ogasawara idea 6: Improving the Nakasendo
  • Oyo idea 6: Emporium of the South
  • Pagarruyung idea 2: Gold Trade
  • Portuguese idea 3: Feitorias
  • Pskovian idea 6: Arts and Crafts of Pskov
  • Rassid idea 3: Coffea Arabica
  • Ruthenian idea 4: East and West
  • Ruthenian idea 4: East and West
  • Songhai idea 1: Gold To Salt Trade
  • Sulawesi idea 6: Entrepot of Trade
  • Tyrconnell idea 2: The Fisher King
  • Vijayanagar idea 1: Promotion of Trade
  • West African idea 3: Kola Nuts
  • Yemeni idea 2: Coffea Arabica
  • Berber ambition
  • Cebu ambition
  • Jaunpuri ambition
  • Kilwan ambition
  • Malabari ambition
  • Pomeranian ambition
  • Swahili ambition
  • Diplomatic-Expansion: Commercial Embassies
  • Economic-Exploration: The Stamp Act
  • Exploration-Innovative: Benign Neglect
  • Infrastructure-Trade: Global Trade Networks Act
  • Mamluk idea 1: Red Sea Trade
  • National idea 4: Contract Law
  • Novgorod idea 4: Control of the Hanseatic Kontor
  • West Indies idea 4: The American Trade Hub
  • Each colonial nation (of at least 10 provinces) provides +5% global trade power to its overlord.
  • Yearly prestige.png Prestige provides between −15% and +15% global trade power.
  • Stability cost modifier.png Stability provides between −3% and +3% global trade power.
  • Power projection.png Power projection provides between 0 and +20% global trade power.
  • Reformed.png Reformed religion Monthly fervor.png Fervor power Trade provides +10% global trade power modifier (requires Wealth of Nations.png Wealth of Nations).
  • Parliament.png Parliament debate "Reduce Trade Regulations" provides +5% global trade power modifier for 10 years (requires Common Sense.png Common Sense).
  • holding Great project ait benhaddou.png Aït Benhaddou at Great project level icon tier 3.png Magnificent level provides +5% global trade power (requires Leviathan.png Leviathan)
  • holding Great project belem tower.png Belem Tower provides +5/+10/+15% global trade power (requires Leviathan.png Leviathan)
  • holding the Great project suez canal.png Kiel Canal, Panama Canal or Suez Canal also provides +1/+2/+3/+5% global trade power each

Merchant bonus[edit | edit source]

If no merchant is currently collecting outside the home node, then the home node receives a +10% bonus to trade power for each merchant who is steering trade. This is a cumulative bonus, hence it is a big decision and sometimes hard to make the analysis depending on whether one should collect in other nodes or only steer trade. The quickest check is to compare the trade value in your income tab before and after your proposed changes; keeping the combination with the highest final result to your trade income. At most you'll lose some income during the envoy travel time of the merchants while experimenting.

Note that during times of war when they embargo your home node, and hence siphon your income, set some of the other upstream nodes to rather collect trade than to steer to the home node. This will avoid losing much of your trade income during the war.

Domestic trade power[edit | edit source]

A country's home node and nodes where a nation has the highest provincial trade power are considered domestic. Provinces in territories and trade companies can still be domestic. Trade power.png Domestic trade power refers to trade power in these nodes.

Certain ideas and policies improve domestic trade power.

Trade power.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Muiscan traditions
  • Ashikaga idea 4: Tosen-bugyo
  • Beloozero idea 4: Northern Trade
  • Cascadian idea 5: Nookta Sound Trading
  • Ferraran idea 5: Resisting Venetian Control
  • Hungarian idea 6: Strengthen the Towns
  • Iroquois idea 3: Keepers of the Eastern Door
  • Lur idea 2: Jadda-ye Atabak
  • Rigan idea 3: Monopoly Rights
  • So idea 1: Wakan
  • Timurid idea 6: Control of the Silk Road
  • Transoxianian idea 6: Entrepôt of the Silk Road
  • Zambezi idea 3: Control of the Zambezi Trade
  • Ando idea 2: Ainu Trade
  • Danish idea 2: Sound Dues
  • Mutapan idea 7: Controlling the Mutapan Riches
  • Offaly idea 3: River Trade
  • Ouchi idea 2: Korean Trade
  • Ragusan idea 2: Center of Trade
  • Trebizond idea 6: Terminus of the Silk Road
  • Tunisian idea 6: Export Monopolies
  • Bornean ambition
  • Crimean idea 2: Slavers of the Steppe
  • Leinster idea 2: The Black Rent
  • Lüneburger idea 1: Hanseatic Contacts
  • Medri Bahri idea 6: Promote the Red Sea Trade
  • Munster idea 1: North Sea Fishermen
  • Otomo idea 4: Welcoming the Nanban Trade
  • Utsunomiya idea 3: Barrier of Shirakawa
  • Afghan traditions
  • Danziger traditions
  • Hausan traditions
  • K'iche traditions
  • Kono traditions
  • Baluch idea 5: Control the Overland Trade
  • Delhian idea 6: Protect the Grand Trunk Road
  • French Ducal idea 1: Men of Trade
  • Frisian idea 7: Brothers in Arms
  • German idea 2: Frühlings- und Herbstmesse
  • Granada idea 4: Strait of Gibraltar
  • Gujarati Princedom idea 2: Establish New Trading Ports
  • Hejazi idea 2: Red Sea Trade
  • Isshiki idea 1: Shugo of Tango
  • Shan idea 4: Control of the Gem Trade
  • Siberian idea 2: Siberian Fur Trade
  • Sistani idea 5: Overland Trade Routes
  • Telugu idea 7: Encourage Coromandel Trade
  • Butuan ambition
  • Shoni ambition
  • Sinhalese ambition
  • Yarkandi ambition
  • Horde-Trade: Passport to Merchants

Winning a Parliament.png parliament debate "Restricts Imports" provides +5% domestic trade power bonus for 10 years.

Trade power abroad[edit | edit source]

Trade nodes that are not domestic are considered abroad and will suffer from over-extension penalties. Trade power abroad.png Trade power abroad refers to trade power in these nodes. Overextension.png Overextension imposes a penalty of Trade power abroad.png −1% trade power abroad per percentage point.

Trade power abroad receives the following bonuses:

Trade power abroad.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Aristocratic-Trade: Trade Connections Policy
  • Livonian idea 3: Hanseatic Cities
  • Dalmatian idea 2: The Dalmatian Principalities
  • Hadramhi traditions
  • Hanoverian traditions
  • Hormuz traditions
  • Ragusan traditions
  • Couronian idea 3: Duchy of Mercantilism
  • Eora idea 7: Berewaldal
  • Genoese idea 3: Rebuilding Genoese Trade
  • Hosokawa idea 3: Sakai City
  • Ionian idea 6: Entrepôt of the Eastern Mediterranean
  • Larrakia idea 1: The Makassarian Trade

Winning a Parliament.png parliament debate "Charter Trade Company" provides +5% trade power abroad bonus for 10 years.

Mercantilism[edit | edit source]

Mercantilism.png Mercantilism, which is capped at 100, provides the following bonuses[3] (per percentage point):

Provincial trade power modifier.png +2%.00 Provincial trade power modifier
Embargo efficiency.png +1%0 Embargo efficiency
Burghers loyalty equilibrium +0.1% Burghers loyalty equilibrium
Vaishyas loyalty equilibrium +0.1% Vaishyas loyalty equilibrium

But mercantilism also increases the Liberty desire.png liberty desire in Subject colony icon.png colonial subjects by +0.25% per percentage point.[4]

While most nations start the campaign with a base value of Mercantilism.png 10% mercantilism, a handful of nations begin with a higher starting base of 25%:

The button ‘Promote Mercantilism’ on the Tab domestic trade.png trade tab increases mercantilism by 1% for Diplomatic power.png 100 diplomatic power (only with Mare Nostrum.png Mare Nostrum DLC enabled). This cost can be reduced by 20% with the Horde-Trade policy: Passport to Merchants.

Certain decisions, privileges and other actions affect mercantilism:

Mercantilism.png Condition
  • granting Burghers.png Burghers, Vaishyas.png Vaishyas and Jains.png Jains privilege Privilege make generous donation.png “Exclusive Trade Rights”
  • with Parliament.png parliament getting the issue “Restrict Imports”
  • Anglican.png Anglican nation in exchange for Church power.png−100 church power.
  • granting Burghers.png Burghers, Vaishyas.png Vaishyas and Jains.png Jains privileges Privilege monopoly of goods cloth.png “Monopoly on Textiles”, Privilege monopoly of goods dyes.png “Monopoly on Dyes”, Privilege monopoly of goods glass.png “Monopoly on Glass” and Privilege monopoly of goods paper.png “Monopoly on Paper”
  • granting Nobility.png Nobility, Rajputs.png Rajputs and Marathas estate.png Marathas privileges Privilege monopoly of goods iron.png “Monopoly on Mining and Smelting”, Privilege monopoly of goods livestock.png “Monopoly on Livestock” and Privilege monopoly of goods gems.png “Monopoly on Gemstones”
  • granting Clergy.png Clergy and Brahmins.png Brahmins privileges Privilege monopoly of goods incence.png “Monopoly on Incense” and Privilege monopoly of goods wool.png “Monopoly on Wool”
  • granting Clergy.png Clergy privileges Privilege monopoly of goods wine.png “Monopoly on Wine” and Privilege monopoly of goods slaves.png “Monopoly on Slaves”
  • Catholicism Catholic nations with “Sanction Commercial Monopoly” papal action for Papal influence.png -50 papal influence.
  • granting Burghers.png Burghers privilege Privilege give money.png “Indebted to the Burghers”
  • granting Jains.png Jains privilege Privilege loan interaction.png “Indebted to the Jains”
  • with Parliament.png parliament using the bribe “Promote Meritocracy"”

Many Msg event.png events and Mission.png missions do this as well, e.g. Novgorod can get 17% or Genoa 14% mercantilism in total by completing missions.

Trade steering[edit | edit source]

Trade steering.png Trade steering has two effects:

  • Trade steering is applied as a multiplicative bonus to trade power used for steering when determining which outgoing node trade is steered to.
  • Additionally it is used to increase the trade value that a nation steers in a given direction. At a base rate, trade value steered towards the next node increases by 5%, however this is increased by the Trade steering.png Trade steering of the steering nation. So for example, a nation with 100% Trade steering.png increases the trade value by 10% of the base trade value it steers to the next node.

Trade steering is increased by certain ideas and policies.

Trade steering.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Venetian traditions
  • Omani idea 1: Local Merchant Preference
  • Mamluk traditions
  • Trade idea 6: Trade Manipulation
  • East India idea 5: Intercontinental Trade
  • Malayan idea 6: Agreements with the Sea Nomads
  • Pomeranian idea 3: Northern Ports
  • Defensive-Trade: The Armed Neutrality Act
  • Bornean traditions
  • Ryukyuan traditions
  • So traditions
  • Aragonese idea 3: Mediterranean Trade
  • Brabant idea 4: Sugar Capital of Europe
  • East Frisian idea 7: The Emden Company
  • Huron idea 3: Birchbark Canoes
  • Ligori idea 4: Trade Primacy
  • Malaccan idea 5: Harbor Masters
  • Mapuche idea 4: Mapuche Weaving
  • Pattani idea 2: South China Sea Trade
  • Pskovian idea 7: Pskov Before All Others
  • Saluzzo idea 5: The Key to the House of Italy
  • Shimazu idea 6: Okinawa Trade
  • Danziger ambition
  • Hanseatic ambition
  • Norwegian ambition
  • Orissan ambition
  • Transylvanian ambition
  • Trade-Expansion: Encouragement of Merchant Navy
  • Somali traditions
  • Arabian idea 1: Indian Ocean Trade
  • Canadian idea 6: Legacy of the Empire
  • Luxembourg idea 3: The Moselle Trade
  • Ouchi idea 5: Mercantile Diplomacy
  • Somalian idea 2: African Silk Road
  • Breton traditions
  • Clanricarde traditions
  • Krakowian traditions
  • Malayan Sultanate traditions
  • Medri Bahri traditions
  • Traditions of The Hansa
  • Croatian idea 2: Pearl of the Adriatic
  • Granada idea 4: Strait of Gibraltar
  • Israeli idea 4: Jewish Trade Tradition
  • Javan idea 4: Pan-Asian Trade
  • Karelian idea 3: The Sestra River
  • Silesian idea 4: Raubritter
  • Sulawesi idea 1: Intra-Asian Trade Network
  • Sundanese idea 5: Pan-Asian Trade
  • National idea 6: Mercantile Status
  • Importantly each point of Navy tradition.png navy tradition increases trade steering by 1%. This means that 100 navy tradition would boost trade steering by +100%, in fact doubling it.
  • With Mare Nostrum.png Mare Nostrum, the leader of a Trade league.png trade league gets +2.5% trade steering per member of the league (this as on top of each member providing 50% of their trade power to the leader of the league). This means for example that 10 league members would provide +25% trade steering power (being 10 x +2.5%) to the merchant republic leading the league.

Caravan power[edit | edit source]

Note: The values are displayed under country modifiers of the government interface even without Wealth of Nations DLC, but without effect in the trade nodes.

A nation steering from, towards or collecting (only in main trading port) an inland trade node receives bonus trade power. This bonus, called Caravan power.png caravan power, is equal to , up to a maximum of +50.

Caravan power is increased by certain ideas and policies and can exceed 50 with these bonus.

Caravan power.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Naval-Influence: The Cooperation Act
  • Plutocratic idea 6: Free Cities
  • Trade idea 7: Fast Negotiations
  • Air traditions
  • Baden traditions
  • Dhundhari traditions
  • Lorraine traditions
  • Maravi traditions
  • Sadiyan traditions
  • Horde government idea 6: Watchers of the Silk Road
  • Berber idea 3: Trans-Saharan Trade
  • Caspian idea 4: Protect the Caspian Trade
  • Dali idea 2: The Tea-Horse Route
  • Hausan idea 4: Sarakunan Kasuwa
  • Khivan idea 3: Oasis of Merv
  • Moroccan idea 3: Trans-Saharan Trade
  • Nizhny Novgorod idea 1: At The Confluence Of Giants
  • Odoyev idea 7: Strengthen the Oka River Trade
  • Persian idea 4: Improve the Silk Road
  • Shirvani idea 5: Caspian Trade
  • Somalian idea 2: African Silk Road
  • Songhai idea 7: Trans-Sahara Trade
  • Tumbuka idea 5: Inter-African Trade
  • Yarkandi idea 1: Northern Silk Road
  • Pskovian traditions
  • Kangra idea 5: Strengthen the Mountain Trade
  • Nubian (minor) idea 4: Encourage Long-Distance Trade
Caravan power.png Conditions
+10% with ‘Mughal Diwan’ government reform and assimilated Sudanese culture group
+10/+20/+33% holding Great project ait benhaddou.png Aït Benhaddou (requires Leviathan.png Leviathan)
+10/+20/+40% holding Great project bam citadel.png Bam Citadel (requires Leviathan.png Leviathan)
−5% for each point of negative Stability.png stability

Trade efficiency[edit | edit source]

Trade efficiency is added as a bonus modifier to trade income. Base trade efficiency is defined by diplomatic technology but it can also be increased by certain ideas and policies (capped at +200%).

Trade efficiency.png Diplomatic technology.png Diplomatic technology
+2% level 3
+4% level 5
+6% level 10
+8% level 13
+10% level 16
+12% level 20
+14% level 24
+16% level 28
+18% level 30
+20% level 32
Trade efficiency.png National modifiers
+20% Diplomatic technology.png Diplomatic technology: Ahead of time
  • ruler with Trade efficiency.png ‘Entrepreneur’ personality
  • Government republic.png Constitutional Republic
  • Government republic.png Dutch Republic
  • Government republic.png Free City
  • Government republic.png Trading City
  • Advisor Trader.png Trader as advisor
  • Zoroastrianism.png Zoroastrian religion
  • Norse Deity Njord Njord deity (Norse.png Norse religion)
  • Hindu Deity Surya Surya deity (Hinduism Hindu religion)
  • Monthly fervor.png Fervent focus on trade (Reformed.png Reformed religion)
  • Tengri Tengri religion syncretic faith Sunni Islam Sunni
+20% −10% Burghers.png Burghers estate
(depends on influence and loyalty)
+5/+10% holding Great project ait benhaddou.png Aït Benhaddou at Great project level icon tier 2.png Significant or Great project level icon tier 3.png Magnificent level (requires Leviathan.png Leviathan)
−5% for every Embargoing.png embargo against non-rival countries
  • ruler with Indulgent.png ‘Indulgent’ personality
  • during the Aristocratic Coup.png Aristocratic Coup disaster
Trade efficiency.png Local modifiers
+10% Trade office.png merchant present
Trade efficiency.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Hanseatic traditions
  • Venetian idea 3: Stato da Màr
  • Zimbabwe ambition
  • Dalmatian traditions
  • Aksumite idea 6: Trade Hub
  • Malayan idea 3: Expert Hagglers
  • Portuguese idea 5: Encourage the Bandeirantes
  • Tuscan idea 5: Porto Franco
  • Dutch ambition
  • Trade-Quality: Cloth Quality Edict
  • Adalite traditions
  • Ando traditions
  • Aragonese traditions
  • Beloozero traditions
  • Butuan traditions
  • Canadians traditions
  • Danziger traditions
  • Genoese traditions
  • Irish traditions
  • Italian (minor) traditions
  • Kongo traditions
  • Krakowian traditions
  • Larrakia traditions
  • Neapolitan traditions
  • Nuremberger traditions
  • Ragusan traditions
  • Shoni traditions
  • Sinhalese traditions
  • So traditions
  • Württemberger traditions
  • Yarkandi traditions
  • Trade idea 4: National Trade Policy
  • Air idea 1: The Taghlamt
  • Al-Haasa idea 5: Entrepot of India
  • Anatolian idea 5: Caravanserais
  • Arakanese idea 7: Arakanese Trade Contracts
  • Bahmani idea 4: Karimis
  • Banteni idea 3: From East to West
  • Barbary Corsair idea 1: The Barbary Slave Trade
  • Bengal Sultanate idea 1: Combat Coastal Piracy
  • Bengali idea 2: Ganges-Brahmaputra Confluence
  • Beninese idea 7: Regulation of Trade
  • Berber idea 3: Trans-Saharan Trade
  • Bornean idea 1: Earliest Indic State
  • Bremen idea 4: Free Imperial City of Bremen
  • Bruneian idea 7: Merchant Alliances
  • Burgundian idea 5: Integrate the Towns in the Estates General
  • Butua idea 7: Vashambadzi
  • Carib idea 1: River Trade
  • Cham idea 6: Agarwood
  • Chickasaw idea 5: Slave Raids
  • Circassian idea 3: Circassian Grain Trade
  • Clanricarde idea 1: The Fourteen Tribes
  • East Frisian idea 6: Autonomous Burghers
  • East India idea 6: Colonial Monopoly
  • English idea 4: The Navigation Acts
  • Franconian idea 2: Trading on the Main
  • Gelre idea 2: Hanseatic Towns
  • Great Ming idea 5: Restore the Salt Monopoly
  • Greek idea 5: Control the Mediterranean Trade
  • Gujarat Sultanate idea 6: Foreign Merchants set up Factories
  • Hadramhi idea 4: Encouraging the Incense Trade
  • Hormuz idea 1: A Vast Emporium
  • Imagawa idea 2: Control of Tokaido
  • Imperial German idea 4: The New Hanseatic League
  • Ionian idea 4: Gate to the Adriatic
  • Israeli idea 4: Jewish Trade Tradition
  • Javan idea 7: Terracotta Banking System
  • Kaffan idea 7: Trade Reform
  • Kazani idea 7: End Western Domination
  • Khivan idea 5: Amu Darya
  • Khmer idea 4: River Trade
  • Khorasani idea 7: Protect the Caravan Routes
  • Kongolese idea 7: The Ivory Trade
  • Ladakh idea 7: Invite Far-Away Traders
  • Laotian idea 6: Southern Silk Road
  • Latgalian idea 1: Daugava River Trade
  • Lotharingian idea 3: Wealth of the Low Countries
  • Majapahit idea 3: The Maritime Silk Road
  • Malagasy idea 6: Control of the Foreign Traders
  • Malian idea 7: West African Slave Trade
  • Malvi idea 3: Protect the Delhi-Surat Trade Route
  • Mamluk idea 7: Monopoly Ports
  • Medri Bahri idea 1: Kings of the Sea
  • Mogadishan idea 5: Mogadishan Currency
  • Moldavian idea 7: Moldavian Trade
  • Moluccan idea 1: The Spice Islands
  • Moroccan idea 3: Trans-Saharan Trade
  • Mutapan idea 6: Curva
  • Nizhny Novgorod idea 6: Open Up The River Trade
  • Omani idea 4: Port Security Improvements
  • Orissan idea 6: Encourage the Salt Trade
  • Ottoman idea 6: Tulip Period
  • Pegu idea 1: Riches of Pegu
  • Permian idea 4: Great Perm
  • Polotskian idea 5: Trade Hub
  • Pomeranian idea 6: Dominate the Baltic
  • Pueblo idea 4: Cotton Weaving
  • Punjabi idea 2: Encourage Indo-Persian Trade
  • Rajput idea 7: Rajput Trading Houses
  • Rassid idea 7: Secure the Yemeni Trading Monopolies
  • Rigan idea 2: Hanseatic Port of Riga
  • Rostov idea 4: Entrepot of Russia
  • Ryukyuan idea 5: Sign Trade Agreements
  • Sadiyan idea 5: Dihang
  • Samtskhe idea 5: Protect the Trade Routes
  • Scandinavian idea 3: Danish Baltic Fleet
  • Siddi idea 6: Konkan Trade
  • Silesian idea 5: Via Regia
  • Sligonian idea 1: Promote the Trade
  • Somali idea 5: Indian Ocean Trade
  • Southeastern Woodlands idea 3: Refined Ceramics
  • Sukhothai idea 3: Sawankalok Ware
  • Sulu idea 4: Port of Jolo
  • Sumatran idea 1: Reliance on Trade
  • Swahili idea 1: Indian Ocean Trade
  • Tapuian idea 6: Open Trade Routes
  • Tarascan idea 3: Merchant-Officials
  • Theodoro idea 4: Port Avlita
  • Tirhuti idea 2: Gateway to India
  • Tverian idea 1: Tverian Merchants
  • Utrecht idea 4: The Vaartse Rijn
  • Vindhyan idea 6: Diamond Mines
  • Yemeni idea 3: Control of the Red Sea
  • Ambition of The Hansa
  • Andean ambition
  • Couronian ambition
  • Estonian ambition
  • Evenk ambition
  • Flemish ambition
  • Gujarati Princedom ambition
  • Gutnish ambition
  • Kono ambition
  • Ouchi ambition
  • Pagarruyung ambition
  • Pattani ambition
  • Perugian ambition
  • South Indian ambition
  • Sulawesi ambition
  • Tumbuka ambition
  • Divine-Trade: Solidarity
  • Innovative-Trade: The Banking System
  • Offensive-Trade: Public Road Act
  • Trade-Administrative: Importation Act
  • Trade-Economic: The Statute of Monopolies
  • Trade-Expansion: Encouragement of Merchant Navy
  • Huron traditions
  • Ulmer traditions
  • Bamberger idea 4: Little Venice
  • Danish idea 2: Sound Dues
  • German idea 2: Frühlings- und Herbstmesse
  • Lüneburger idea 3: Staple Rights
  • Mesoamerican idea 7: Obsidian and Jade
  • Pisan idea 6: Maritime's legacy
  • Tunisian idea 6: Export Monopolies
  • West African idea 6: The Great River

Embargo[edit | edit source]

Embargoing is an option in the diplomacy screen that allows a country to leverage their trade power against another nation's, decreasing that nation's trade power in shared trade nodes. The trade screen shows icons for each nation embargoed and those embargoing your nation. Placing the mouse over each nation icon breaks down the penalties in each shared trade node.

Embargoing a country has the following effects:[5]

  • The defending country suffers a penalty to trade power in all trade nodes that both countries have power in. The base magnitude of the penalty is half of the attacker's trade power share in the trade node before the embargo. This penalty stacks multiplicatively with other modifiers.
  • The defending country's opinion of the attacking country is modified by −15. The defender also gains a Trade Dispute casus belli against the attacker unless the embargo is mutual.
  • The attacking country's trade efficiency suffers a −5% trade efficency penalty unless the defender is a rival.
  • Embargoes do not count against the Diplomatic Relation limit.
  • The attacking country gains up to Power projection.png +10 power projection if the target is a rival, the amount depending on how severely the embargo affects the target's trade.

Winning a Parliament.png parliament debate "Issue Letters of Marque" provides +10% embargo efficiency for 10 years.

Each point of mercantilism provides +0.5% embargo efficiency, capped at +50%.

Embargo Efficiency can be increased by the following:

Embargo efficiency.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Vermont idea 2: The Boston Tea Party
  • Betsimisaraka idea 2: Pirate Ports
  • Cebu idea 5: 'The Place for Trading'
  • Cypriot idea 7: Raid Turkish Commerce
  • Malagasy idea 3: Pirate Ports
  • Mindanao idea 7: Pirates of Mindanao
  • Montenegrin idea 4: Balkan Gusars
  • Naxian idea 3: Archipelago Of Opportunities
  • Pomeranian idea 1: Legacy of Pirates
  • Palembang idea 3: Controlling the Strait

Privateering[edit | edit source]

Main article: Naval warfare#Privateering

Any fleet that contains light ships can be sent on a privateering mission to any trade node within trade range. The fleet will hoist the Jolly Roger and add the trade power of its light ships (plus a bonus) to a dummy "pirate" nation in the node, thus reducing the trade power share of everyone in the node – including their controller, though a portion of the trade value lost this way is returned to the controller, listed in accounts as "spoils of war". This effectively behaves as though they are collecting. Unlike protecting trade, privateers can be sent to nodes a nation has no power in, making it a way of weakening the nation's enemies or gaining revenue from nodes it can't touch otherwise. Privateering a rival's trade generates power projection. Privateers can also intercept treasure fleets, stealing a portion of the gold transported from a colonial nation.

Hunt pirates[edit | edit source]

Main article: Naval warfare#Hunt pirates

This mission is available to fleets which contain at least one ship that isn't a transport. Fleets containing heavy ships or light ships may hunt pirates in any non-inland trade node; however, fleets containing only galleys (as well as fleets which are a mixture of galleys and transports) can only hunt pirates in nodes where all nearby sea provinces are inland seas.

Pirate-hunting fleets reduce the trade power taken by the dummy "pirates" nation in the chosen trade node by reducing their privateer efficiency. They do not actually damage or take damage from any ships.

Strategies[edit | edit source]

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

Effectively managing trade is key to give a nation the economic edge it needs to both survive and gain an advantage over its neighbours. Therefore, knowing how to both optimise one's trade income and undermine its competitors' income is instrumental in securing most of the game's objectives, both militarily and economically.

Secure the home node[edit | edit source]

While most great oriental nations (Mamluks, Ottomans and Ming), and those dominating the end nodes (England, Aragon/Spain, Venice), do not struggle in controlling their home trade nodes, for other countries, it is often a nightmare to merely secure the trade benefits that derive from their production. Several steps must therefore be taken by all nations, in order to assert their control over the trade transiting from their territory, as without it, most of their growth will feed other nations' economies.

  • Choose carefully the location. One elementary step is to look carefully at the current nodes and the streams that go in and out of them. For instance, most land trade nodes will have a hoard of nations with caravans within them, and should therefore be avoided as building up a consequent share of the trade power there will require far too extensive resources at first. Also take into account your expansion plans, and try to pick the coastal node where you hold significant power located the most downstream from all your present and future possessions. Finally, check for any powerful country that holds trade power in the nodes you're targeting, as dislodging them may be very difficult if starting small.
  • Check for all the centers of trade within it: In the node you have chosen, ensure that you hold enough centers of trade to build up your bonus trade power, once they'll be upgraded. Also check for the ones held by other countries. Your future wars should be waged at least in part to secure these centers of trade in order to further assert your dominance over the node, and in turn boost your income.
  • Ensure that enough trade value can flow in it: As you build your empire, you'll eventually reach other nodes. Ensuring that these are located upstream of your home node will earn you considerable wealth. Also, check for any upstream land node, where you'll be able to send your merchants. They will be far more effective there than in most coastal nodes, and this will help you earn good trade income right from the beginning of the game even if your starting region is devoid of valuable trade resources.

Expand one node after another[edit | edit source]

With your home node chosen and secured, you should look at taking control of the upstream nodes. One should be particularly careful about securing one node after another, as extracting trade value from a node only to see it collected by a rival in the next one is both fruitless and dangerous. While expanding, keep in mind some of the following aspects:

  • Go for the centers of trade first: Even if said centers of trade aren't in a strategically important region or may be hard to defend, ensuring that you get to control these will significantly increase your trade power. Especially in company regions, asserting control of them will help you by both granting you truly massive trade power and undermining your rivals' efforts, as they also tend to aim these first.
  • The coastline means everything: It is also important to take into account that while monitoring trade in a rich land trade node may require extensive wars, simply going for the coastal nodes and taking all of their provinces if possible will be far more beneficial in the long run. Not only will they allow you to snippet away inland trade through merchants, they may also grant you the ability to "steal" the trade value other nations will have extracted farther upstream, as most of intercontinental trade flows through oceans and thus coastlines.
  • Be greedy: While going for trade domination, no effort should be spared to enact total control over the nodes you'll be targeting. Even if a nation isn't much of a threat, and you have more important issues to deal with, attacking and taking control of the most provinces possible is essential, especially in company zones. While you'll be distracted farther away, you may go back 10 years later and find out that your rivals bought off provinces or simply conquered their way in, ruining most of your precedent efforts. Special attention must be paid if you're planning to core your overseas conquests in order to boost your income, as short of the company total trade power bonus every province lost to a rival will severely compromise your hold. If you're approaching your governing capacity, remember you can make more room by building courthouses, especially in your most developed provinces (and a statehouse can be more valuable than a manufactory in a province with a bad trade good in a large, rich area).

Develop and build[edit | edit source]

Once your income gets comfortable enough to allow you to stop conquering a bit and starting building up your provinces, there comes the time to build and develop your provinces.

  • Go for the richest: There is no use in maintaining a homogeneous development in all your provinces. Provinces producing trade goods worth 3.00 ducats or more should be the ones you'll be developing first. Even if they are overseas (as long as they are in trade companies), they can become very valuable very quickly, and you'll be able to use the newfound money for further development projects.
  • Manufactories and workshops are the name of the game: Even if tax income seems to be very lucrative, and in respect production income negligible, keep in mind that autonomy applies fully to tax, half to production income, and not at all to goods produced – and more goods produced also means more trade value created. With your control asserted over the node the province is in, your income will rise very quickly once these buildings have been built. Both buildings synergise very well, and it may often be worthwhile to demolish less important buildings (such as churches) to ensure that every valuable province at first, and later on every province, has both of these buildings. Despite their high cost, manufactories increases income from both production and trade. Since a manufactory give the equivalent of +5 base production in the province it’s built in, you should only build manufactories based on the trade good and any local goods produced modifiers. The more expensive a trade good is, the better your manufactory will be and the quicker it will pay off.
  • Strive to be the richest: Using the Trade Value map mode, you can quickly check which of your provinces are the most advanced, and which ones have the most potential. By developing and building up in these, every single one of your provinces should, after a couple decades of attention, reach 10 or more trade value. Also check for policies that increase both production and trade efficiency, as these may give you the decisive edge over your rivals you'll need.

With these principles in mind, you may be able, starting as any nation, to reach by late game the podium of the world's wealthiest nations. This, in turn, will ensure your continued survival throughout the game history and, as the Industrial Revolution closes in, put you in the best position possible to steamroll the world as its foremost industrial power.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 The penalty "Collect from Trade not in your Main Trade City" is multiplicative, but it's displayed as an additive modifier to trade power. This percentage is calculated as , which is equivalent to a −50% multiplicative modifier.
  3. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt (Static_modifiers#Mercantilism).
  4. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua.

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