Protectorate

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(Protectorates removed and combined with Vassal.pngvassal mechanics as of 1.20.)

A Icon protectorate.pngprotectorate is a subject nation that is protected diplomatically and militarily against third parties by a technologically superior nation. Protectorates exchange diplomatic independence and trade power for a protective military alliance. Establishing protectorates is a useful method of controlling an area without directly annexing it.

Establishing a protectorate

Protectorates can be established diplomatically, contingent on number of factors.

The requirements for diplomatically establishing a protectorate are as follows:

  1. Target country's Capital.pngcapital must be within trade range.
  2. Target country must be at peace.
  3. The difference in Technology cost.pngtechnology cost between the future overlord and the target country must be greater than or equal to 50% (otherwise the target can only be made a Vassal.pngvassal).
  4. Target country does not have the Government steppe horde.pngsteppe nomad government type.
  5. Target country isn't in the same continent as the overlord.

Willingness to become a protectorate is shown in the tooltip for the check-mark in the establish protectorate button.

The factors that influence an AI nation's desire to become a protectorate are:

Factor Effect
Attitude towards proposer Friendly attitude Friendly: +10
 Threatened attitude Threatened: +10
 Neutral attitude Neutral: -20
 Hostile attitude Hostile: -1000
 Outraged attitude Outraged: -1000
Opinion towards proposer Scales linearly between the following points:
 +25 at +200 opinion
 0 at 100 opinion
 -25 at 0 opinion
 -1000 at <0 opinion
Proposer's Diplomatic reputation.pngdiplomatic reputation +3 per positive point
 -3 per negative point
Proposer economic base compared to target nation +30 to -90
Proposer military power compared to target nation +30 to -40
Number of existing protectorates -10 for each
Proposer is a Government republic.pngmerchant republic -10
Nation has subjects of their own -1000
Nation has over 200 Development.pngdevelopment -1000
Distance between borders -0.5 per distance between borders

†: Distance between borders can only be seen in debug mode.

Additionally, a protectorate may be enforced militarily through conquest. This peace offer can be enforced in any war against a valid protectorate target, but requires 100 War score.pngwar score.

Requesting a protectorate

A nation that is technologically inferior to a colonizing nation can request to be a protectorate of said nation.

The requirements for requesting a protectorate follow similar rules to establishing a protectorate and are as follows:

  1. Proposing country's Capital.pngcapital must be within target country's trade range.
  2. Target country must be at peace.
  3. The difference in Technology cost.pngtechnology cost between the target country and the future protectorate must be greater than or equal to 50% (otherwise the controlled nation can only become a Vassal.pngvassal).
  4. Proposing country does not have the Government steppe horde.pngsteppe nomad government type.

Willingness to accept a nation as a protectorate is shown in the tooltip for the check-mark in the Request protectorate button.

The factors that influence an AI nation's desire to accept a nation as a protectorate are:

Factor Effect
Strategic interests:
*Domineering attitude domineering attitude
*Protective attitude protective attitude
Always accepts
Attitude towards proposer Friendly attitude Friendly: +50
 Neutral attitude Neutral: -20
 Hostile attitude Hostile: -1000
 Outraged attitude Outraged: -1000
Opinion towards proposer Scales linearly between the following points:
 +25 at +200 opinion
 0 at 100 opinion
 -25 at 0 opinion
 -1000 at <0 opinion
Proposer's Diplomatic reputation.pngdiplomatic reputation +3 per positive point
 -3 per negative point
Proposer economic base compared to target nation +60 to -350
Proposer military power compared to target nation +60 to -350
Distance between borders -0.5 per distance between borders

†: Distance between borders can only be seen in debug mode.

Effects

When a protectorate is established, the following effects occur:

  • Cannot be diplomatically annexed.
  • Does not take up a Diplomatic relations.pngdiplomatic relations slot.
  • Transfers 50% of its Trade power.pngtrade power to its overlord.
  • Gives military access and fleet basing rights to its overlord.
  • Receives a -20%Technology cost.png technology cost discount [1]
  • Will not westernize if controlled by the AI, but finishes if it becomes a protectorate while doing so (players nations are not restricted by this).
  • Breaks all previous Alliance.pngalliances, Personal union.pngpersonal unions, and frees all Vassal.pngvassals. The protectorate retains control of Subject colony icon.pngcolonial nations and may form new ones.
  • Can declare war against other nations (except other subjects of the same overlord) without the overlord being called in.
  • Can not be called into its overlord's regular wars, but automatically calls its overlord into a defensive war if attacked. With the Cossacks Cossacks DLC, overlords can designate wars as Colonial Wars, which call in protectorates and other subjects but do not call in allies.
  • May request independence if its Liberty desire.pngliberty desire is greater than 50%.
  • Can only renounce its protectorate status through an independence war or becoming a Great Power.
  • Cannot be the target of Coalition.pngcoalitions.

Subject interaction

Main article: Subject_nation#Subject_interactions

Interactions with colonial nations are performed through the Subject Interaction section of the Subject Menu.

An overlord may cancel a protectorate for a -1 Icon stability.pngstability loss. This cost is reduced to 0 by completing Diplomatic idea group.pngDiplomatic ideas. Unlike with vassals or guaranteed states, releasing a protectorate does not introduce a truce. With a proper CB, it is possible to attack a former protectorate or overlord immediately after the relationship is cancelled.

Strategy

When playing as a technologically superior nation, the following points should be noted:

  • Protectorates can be used to control territory in Africa and Asia. Militarily enforcing a protectorate makes the nation a subject, avoiding the expenditure of Administrative power.png administrative power.
  • If territory of potential protectorate is desired, e.g. for a Subject tradecompany icon.pngtrade company, military conquest of the province is generally more desirable than enforcing a protectorate. This is due to the fact that Seize territory increases liberty desire significantly per development of the province seized.
  • Protectorates can also control trade in Africa/Asia, as enabling divert trade results in the subject transferring 100% of its Local trade power.pngtrade power to the overlord.
  • The military of a protectorate is called to arms in colonial wars. This provides supplementary troops for expansion in Africa and Asia against other potential protectorates. However, it is less useful against European nations, as protectorate forces are rarely comparable against a colonial power.
  • Protectorates count as subject nations for the purposes of certain achievements.

When playing as a technologically inferior nation, the following should be noted:

  • The player nation receives a 20% discount to Technology cost.pngtechnology cost. This usually runs counter to the general strategy of westernizing as soon as possible, as monarch points spent of teching up could be used for westernization. However, the bonus is useful for keeping up in technology if westernization is unfeasible.
  • Additionally, the nation receives a powerful defensive ally in wars against other powers. Therefore, the protectorate can overextend in wars so long as its overlord is strong enough to protect it from potential attackers. This does not, however, prevent the protectorate from losing a war and associated territory.
  • Protectorates are immune to Coalition.pngcoalitions. Therefore, rapid military expansion is possible with appropriate targets and military strength, and is not subject to Aggressive expansion impact.pngaggressive expansion.

Footnotes

  1. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt (Static modifiers#Protectorate).