Emperor of China

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The Emperor of China (also EoC) claims the Mandate.pngMandate of Heaven to rule the Middle Kingdom. In 1444, Flag of Ming Ming starts as the reigning emperor.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Any non-subject nation belonging to either the pagan or eastern religion groups can claim the Mandate by declaring war using the “Take Mandate of Heaven” casus belli which becomes available if they neighbor the current emperor and don't have a truce with them. Aside from the claim to the Mandate, the CB also grants Province war score cost.png −50% province warscore cost and Aggressive expansion impact.png −50% aggressive expansion to all provinces in the China super-region.

Successfully taking the Mandate gives its holder permanent claims on all of the China super-region, cores on provinces Beijing, Nanjing and Canton, the Celestial Empire special government, and unlocks the Mandate.png mandate and Meritocracy.png meritocracy mechanics. In addition, the EoC gets 2 unique CBs: “Force tributary state” and “Unify China”. Also, New Imperial Dynasty modifier is added for 25 years which gives

Yearly tax income.png +60.0 Yearly Tax income

Manpower recovery speed.png +15% Manpower recovery speed

Land forcelimit.png +20 Land force limit

Land maintenance modifier.png −10% Land maintenance modifier

Mandate.png +0.05 Mandate growth modifier

Local devastation -0.10 Global Monthly devastation

The Emperor of China will never allow colonizers to charter a trade company, giving a -100 "too powerful" modifier when trying to buy a province.

It is hard to switch out of the Celestial Empire government while being the EoC. All nation formation decisions and events that would normally change government are either disabled or may be taken, but will not change government type. If the existing emperor converts outside of the pagan or Eastern religion groups, the title is still retained.

Upon losing the emperorship, a nation will lose the Celestial Empire government, be forced to change its level 1 reform, and incur the effects of the “Mandate of Heaven lost” modifier for 20 years[1]:

Discipline.png −10% Discipline
Stability cost modifier.png +50% Stability cost modifier
National unrest.png +10% National unrest
Goods produced modifier.png −50% Goods produced modifier
Fire damage received.png +50% Fire damage received
Shock damage received.png +50% Shock damage received
Liberty desire in subjects +50% Liberty desire in subjects
Yearly legitimacy.png −1% Yearly legitimacy
Mercenary manpower.png −50% Mercenary manpower
National manpower modifier.png −50% National manpower modifier

During the 20 years, the nation cannot reclaim the mandate.

Mandate[edit | edit source]

Mandate is a measure of how legitimate the emperor's rule of China is viewed. It scales from 0 to 100, and gives the following modifiers, scaling linearly with malus converting to bonus at 50[2]:

Mandate.png Mandate Low mandate[3] 50 High mandate[4]

At 0 mandate:

Goods produced modifier.png −50% Goods produced modifier
Fire damage received.png +50% Fire damage received
Shock damage received.png +50% Shock damage received
National unrest.png +5% National unrest
Mercenary manpower.png −50% Mercenary manpower
National manpower modifier.png −50% National manpower modifier
No effect

At 100 mandate:

National unrest.png −2.50% National unrest
Stability cost modifier.png −10%.00 Stability cost modifier
Monthly war exhaustion.png −0.03% Monthly war exhaustion

Upon gaining the emperorship, Mandate is set to 60.[5] Mandate is affected by the following yearly modifiers (although displayed and applied monthly in-game)[6]:

  • +0.24 per point of stability.
  • +0.03 per state with prosperity.
  • +0.15 per 100 development of tributaries.
  • -10.0 per 100 development of stated provinces with 100% devastation, scaling with degree of devastation.
  • -0.36 every five loans.

Mandate is also affected by the following monthly modifiers:

Mandate.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Chinese idea 6: Son of Heaven
  • Dai Viet idea 6: Thuan Thiên
  • Great Shun idea 7: Claim to the Mandate
  • +0.05 for Emperor with humane personality
  • +0.05 for 25 years for new Chinese Emperor
  • +0.05 with the celestial reform "Elevate Tributary Relations"
  • +0.05 when fighting a war with "Unify China" CB
  • +0.05 until the end of the game as reward of Manchu mission "The Mandate of Heaven"
  • +0.05 until the end of the game as reward of Siamese mission "Take the Mandate"
  • +0.03 for 20 years as reward of Korean mission "Tame the Dragon"
  • +0.03Great project level icon tier 1.png/+0.05Great project level icon tier 3.png for holding The Forbidden City (only with Leviathan.png)
  • -0.05 for Emperor with petty personality
  • -0.05 for not owning and controlling Beijing
  • -0.05 for not owning and controlling Nanjing
  • -0.05 for not owning and controlling Canton
  • -0.3 during "Unguarded Nomadic Frontier" disaster
  • -0.3 during "Empire of China in Name" disaster
  • -0.1 during bankruptcy
  • -1 at 100 corruption

One-time modifiers to Mandate include:

  • +5 for winning a defensive war with the Take Mandate of Heaven CB.[6]
  • +25 for ending "Empire of China in Name" disaster
  • +20 for ending "Unguarded Nomadic Frontier" disaster
  • -10 for declining a Call to Arms from a tributary.[7]
  • -20 for triggering "Unguarded Nomadic Frontier" disaster
  • -25 for triggering "Empire of China in Name" disaster
  • -70 for passing a reform.[8]

There are also many events that affect Mandate.

Celestial Reforms[edit | edit source]

The emperor may pass a series of five Celestial Reforms to better govern China. Passing a reform requires at least 80 Mandate, and lowers Mandate by -70 as well as stability by -1.[8] The reforms must be passed in order, though unlike the Holy Roman Empire's reforms, there is no special reward for completing all of them. If a new nation takes the Mandate, all reforms are lost and Mandate is reset to 60.[9]

  • Effects of Celestial Reforms[10]:
Reform Emperor Description
Introduce Gaituguiliu Yearly meritocracy.png +0.50 Yearly meritocracy The Native Chieftains in remote prefectures, also known as Tusi, are hereditary rulers of local minorities, these leaders might seem useful now and then due to their ties with the locals but have frequently proven to be a risk for regional stability in long-term. By slowly replacing them with regular officials appointed by the central government maintaining tranquillity on a regional level will become easier.
Reform Seaban
  • Trade efficiency.png +5% Trade efficiency
  • Diplomat.png +1 Diplomat
The seas and oceans bring trouble: piracy, smuggling, sometimes even the usurpers hide themselves behind the waves and tides, but maritime trade also brings fortune and discovery. In order to let the wealth and new innovations into our great realm, we should reform our Seaban regulations.
Delegate Zongdu Autonomy.png −0.05 Monthly autonomy change The vastness of our realm is utmost and unparalleled however regulating this is arduous. Hence let us create the position of Zongdu, a viceroy overseeing more than one province. They will be directing the provincial affairs as the Emperor's representative, so that the less crucial matters don't have to be reported to the Forbidden City.
Establish Lifan Yuan Core-creation cost.png −10% Core-creation cost To manage the numerous subjects and lesser states from outlying regions within and beyond the imperial border, the Ministry of Rites is now deemed to be insufficient and inappropriate. We shall establish an office that focus on the dealing with them.
Reshape Bureaucratic Ranks Monarch administrative skill.png +1 Monarch administrative skill (for future monarchs) To re-arrange the Guanzhi - bureaucratic ranks is not only to make a mere symbolic break with the incompetent dynasty who precedes us: by retuning the political structures of the Empire, our power will be concentrated and our regime will grow solid like a golden fortress with boiling moat.
Elevate Tributary Relations Mandate.png +0.05 Monthly mandate growth

Liberty desire from subjects development −33% Liberty Desire from Subjects Development

Can use Mandate.png Mandate to convert a tributary to a vassal.

The Celestial Empire is overlord over several tributary states which acknowledge our superiority. While most barbarians will remain foreign to our ideals, other tributaries strive to come closer to the greatness of Heaven. It is the duty of the Emperor to elevate those who appease us the most.

Note: The Reshape Bureaucratic Ranks reform doesn't set a minimum of 1 Administrative power.png for rulers, but directly increases their administrative stat by 1. Due to the way ruler stats are calculated, it gives a 3/16 (18.75%) chance of getting a 6 Administrative power.png ruler.

The cost of converting a tributary to a vassal with Elevate Tributary Relations reform is 40% of the tributary's development.

Meritocracy[edit | edit source]

Meritocracy.png Meritocracy takes the place of Legitimacy.png legitimacy (or its equivalent). It represents the efficiency of the imperial bureaucracy.

Scaling linearly from 0 to 100, it gives:

Meritocracy.png Meritocracy 0 50 100
  • Foreign spy detection.png −50% Foreign spy detection
  • Advisor cost.png +25% Advisor costs
  • Reform progress growth.png -25% Reform Progress Growth
  • Yearly corruption +0.1 Yearly corruption
No Effect
  • Foreign spy detection.png +50% Foreign spy detection
  • Advisor cost.png −25% Advisor costs
  • Reform progress growth.png +25% Reform Progress Growth

Meritocracy has a base annual decrease of −2. Low Confucian harmony also decreases it, up to −2 per year at 0 Harmony. It is increased by hiring talented advisors, at +0.25 per skill rank per year, e.g. +1.25 for one level 3 advisor and two level 1 advisors. Like other government mechanics, meritocracy may be increased by 10 by spending Military power.png 100 military power (requires Rights of Man.png).

The following ideas and policies also increase yearly meritocracy:

Meritocracy.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Great Qing idea 4: Bogda Khan
  • Great Shun idea 7: Claim to the Mandate
  • Administrative-Aristocratic: The Licensing of the Press Act
  • Diplomatic-Plutocratic: Mandatory Service

Decrees[edit | edit source]

Meritocracy may be spent on decrees, providing a powerful empire-wide bonus lasting for 10 years. Activating a decree costs 20 meritocracy and only one may be in effect at any given time.

List of decrees[11]:

Name Effect
Expand Palace Bureaucracy Development cost.png −10% Development cost
  • Core-creation cost.png −10% Core-creation cost
Conduct Population Census National tax modifier.png +25% National tax modifier
Promote Naval Officers Ship durability +20% Ship durability
Increase Tariff Control Provincial trade power modifier.png +25% Provincial trade power modifier
Improve Defence Effort Fort defense.png +25% Fort defense
Boost the Officer Corps Infantry combat ability.png +10% Infantry combat ability

AI behaviour[edit | edit source]

At peace, AI will prioritise on either Gold Icon.png tax income or Provincial trade power modifier.png provincial trade depending on the percentage of income from each type. The next most likely choice is “Expand Palace Bureaucracy”. At war, AI is more likely to choose “Boost the Officer Corps”. The likelihood of choosing “Boost the Officer Corps” or “Improve Defence Effort” increases significantly if AI considers itself in an important war. The least likely choice is to increase Ship durability Ship durability although it becomes more likely if AI's Navy tradition.png navy tradition is above 50.[11]

Decisions[edit | edit source]


Execute decision.pngRepair of the Great Wall

Parts of the Great Wall are in dire need of extensive repair. In its current state it doesn't offer sufficient protection for our northern provinces.

Potential requirements

The Leviathan.png ‘Leviathan’ DLC is not enabled

The country:

  • is Flag of Ming Ming, Flag of Qing Qing or has enacted the ‘Celestial Empiregovernment reform.
  • owns Taiyuan (693), Hejian (695), Baoding (696), Datong (697), Lanzhou (699), Xi'an (700), Yumen (707), Alxa (709) and Beijing (1816).
  • does not have the modifier “Reparations of the Great Wall”.

If the country is AI-controlled, then it:

  • can not be a custom nation.

The country:

  • has a ruler with a military skill of at least 5.


The country:

  • gets the modifier “Reparations of the Great Wall” for the rest of the campaign with the following effects:
    • Fort defense.png +25% fort defense,
    • Fort maintenance.png +10% fort maintenance.

Execute decision.pngConstruct the Forbidden City

The Forbidden City will be a glorious national monument, increasing our prestige and promoting stability.

Potential requirements

The Leviathan.png ‘Leviathan’ DLC is not enabled

The country:

If the country is AI-controlled, then it:

  • can not be a custom nation.

The country:

  • is not at war
  • has hired a level 3 Advisor Statesman.png statesman or has a ruler with an administrative skill of at least 3.
  • either the faction system is disabled or the Bureaucrats faction is in power.
  • has a stability of +3.
  • has at least 1 year's worth of income in its treasury.
  • has at least 50 administrative power.


The country:

  • loses Gold Icon.png ducats equal to 1 year of income.
  • loses Administrative power.png 50 administrative power.
  • gets the modifier “The Forbidden City” for the rest of the campaign with the following effects:
    • Stability cost modifier.png −10% stability cost modifier,
    • Yearly prestige.png +0.5 yearly prestige.

Disasters[edit | edit source]

Unguarded Nomadic Frontier icon
The rise of a powerful Horde on our borders is casting a grim shadow over our pretentions to possess the Mandate of Heaven. If the realm is to prosper we must pacify the Nomad Frontier.
Empire of China in Name icon
While we have succesfully secured the title of Emperor over the Chinese our Empire is one that scarcely includes any Chinese. If we are to be seen as anything but a foreign emperor we will need to integrate the Chinese as part of our government.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

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

Being Emperor of China[edit | edit source]

Manage Mandate[edit | edit source]

The Mandate system confers steep penalties when below 50 Mandate. With 1.29, having less than 50 Mandate after the Age of Discovery will advance progress for the "Crisis of the Ming Dynasty" disaster.

Before patch 1.29, non-tributary neighbors (e.g. Flag of Russia Russia) of the Emperor of China would cause a loss of Mandate. Much of the gameplay as the Emperor of China involved budgeting remaining tributaries (as opposed to revoking them, say, before a conquest) vs non-tributary neighbors. This can include painstaking feeding of border provinces to vassals for the sole purpose of keeping a certain large would-be neighbor away as well as confining to isolated islands when colonizing. As of patch 1.29, non-tributary neighbors no longer reduce Mandate. Thus, the Emperor of China is free to expand without worrying about coming into contact with a large neighbor resulting in near instant loss of Mandate.

It is important for an Emperor to keep the provinces of Beijing, Nanjing and Canton under control at all times, because not having them reduces Mandate by 0.05 per month for each. Likewise, for a new Emperor, it is critical to take over those provinces as soon as possible. If the Age of Discovery has passed, a potential Emperor should capture all 3 provinces before claiming the Mandate.

If the Emperor is large, nearby small countries will agree to become tributaries diplomatically. Bigger tributaries confer larger benefits. However, large countries will not agree to become tributaries without war. Thus, nurturing strong tributaries from early on is often worthwhile.

If the Emperor starts bordering a steppe horde with over 300 development (e.g. Flag of Manchu Manchu), Mandate will drop drastically as a result of the Unguarded Nomadic Frontier disaster, unless the player has more than 25% warscore / a truce / tributary status / alliance with the horde in question.

Tag switch resets the EoC reform progress as well as resetting Mandate to 60. That can be a way to handle temporary Mandate loss that spans decades in certain situations.

Highlights of benefits (Decrees and Celestial Reforms)[edit | edit source]

Early game, +25% Gold Icon.png tax income is a significant boost to the emperor's economy. It mitigates the reduction in income from Autonomy.png local autonomy and Max promoted cultures.png unaccepted culture (if the emperor's primary culture is not Chinese).

Mid to late game in single-player, -10% Core-creation cost.png core creation cost from “Expand Palace Bureaucracy” which adds to another -10% from “Establish Lifan Yuan” is an integral aspect of being Emperor of China. Obtaining these modifiers is one of the only ways to reach or come close to the maximum -80%. Without them, it is questionable whether it is worthwhile being hamstrung by the Mandate mechanics (pre-1.29).

Patch 1.29 introduces the "Crisis of the Ming Dynasty" disaster; progress for this disaster is advanced whenever Mandate is less than 50 after the Age of Discovery. This must be taken into consideration when analyzing the costs vs. benefits of enacting Celestial Reforms once the Age of Discovery is over.

Another strength of being Emperor of China is reduced National unrest.png unrest. Unrest reduction is often further enhanced by religious modifiers for nations in the region with Confucian or Buddhist religions. This perhaps resonates with real history in which many dynasties of the Chinese Empire ascribed paramount importance to social stability and provides flavor to the game.

Defeating Emperor of China[edit | edit source]

If the attacking country can cause the current Emperor of China to quickly lose the Mandate, the Emperor will be greatly weakened militarily (taking up to +50% damage during combat) and will become vulnerable to conquest.

A possible pre-1.29 strategy is to voluntarily become the tributary of Emperor and then conquer all other tributaries (because tributaries can attack each other without Emperor being involved). Then, the country can revoke its tributary status, causing a relentless loss of Mandate to start. If a country is a Steppe horde with at least 300 development, the Emperor may get the disaster Unguarded Nomadic Frontier. Additionally, an Flag of Oirat Oirat player can, through the Tumu Crisis event chain, occupy Beijing and the rest of Northern China to not only take land, but also cause devastation which can drop the mandate greatly.

The Emperor is most vulnerable after enacting a Celestial Reform, when it won't have more than 30 mandate.

Purposely stopping to be the Emperor of China[edit | edit source]

It is possible for Flag of Ming Ming to get rid of the title of Emperor of China (becoming a normal Monarchy) by purposely losing the Mandate.

This can be done by disbanding the entire army, so that the neighboring countries would assume that Flag of Ming Ming is weak. Eventually one of the neighboring countries would declare a war with "Take Mandate of Heaven" casus belli. Then Ming can end the war as a loss, offering "Take Mandate of Heaven" in the peace terms.

Losing the mandate causes 20 years of serious penalties. But in the early game Ming is unchallenged both militarily and economically, so it can wait it out without being threatened by anyone. Rebellions can be avoided by increasing autonomy.

As of patch 1.29, non-tributary neighbours no longer drain an Emperor's mandate, significantly reducing the downsides of being emperor. This means that unless the player desires a unique challenge, there is almost no reason to get rid of the imperial title. The Mandate of Heaven should still not be claimed until the player can maintain both Mandate (especially with the possibility of the "Crisis of the Ming Dynasty" disaster after the Age of Discovery) and Meritocracy at acceptable levels.

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt: lost_mandate_of_heaven.
  2. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: CELESTIAL_EMPIRE_MODIFIER_THRESHOLD.
  3. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt: negative_mandate.
  4. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt: positive_mandate.
  5. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: CELESTIAL_EMPIRE_DEFAULT_INFLUENCE.
  6. 6.0 6.1 See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: variables with CELESTIAL_EMPIRE_MANDATE_.
  7. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: REFUSED_CALL_FROM_TRIBUTARY_MANDATE_LOSS.
  8. 8.0 8.1 See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: variables with CELESTIAL_EMPIRE_REFORM_.
  9. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: CELESTIAL_EMPIRE_DEFAULT_INFLUENCE.
  10. See /Europa Universalis IV/common/imperial_reforms/01_china.txt.
  11. 11.0 11.1 See /Europa Universalis IV/common/decrees/00_china.txt.

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