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See also: Technology, Institution events

Institutions.png Institutions are fundamental advances in civilization and are the primary determinant of Technology cost.png technology cost. Institutions, if not embraced by a country, will cause an increasing tech cost penalty on the country by +1% per year up to a maximum of +50% per institution. Embracing an institution requires that institution to be fully present in provinces containing at least 10% of a country's Development.png development (modified by Local autonomy.png local autonomy), after which it requires an amount of Gold Icon.png ducats dependent on the remaining development in provinces where the institution is not fully present. New World natives cannot embrace institutions until they reform their governments (for natives in the North American technology group North American and South American technology group South American technology groups) or religions (for natives in the Mesoamerican technology group Mesoamerican and Andean technology group Andean technology groups), but receive all the institutions of their advanced neighbor when they do so.

There are a total of 8 different institutions that appear throughout the game (except for the first which is present at the beginning of the game in 1444), at roughly 50-year intervals starting in 1450 and ending in 1750.

Each year all provinces an institution can spawn in are randomly given a chance to spawn the institution. Each eligible province for an institution has a fixed chance (5% to 25% depending on the institution) to get it to spawn in that province. If only 3 provinces can get it to spawn for an institution with a 10% spawn chance there is a 90% × 90% × 90% = 72.9% chance that it won't spawn in the beginning of that year. If none or only a few provinces are eligible for spawning, it can take years or even decades for an institution to show up. Especially Colonialism is notorious for late spawning due to having only a 5% chance to spawn in a province, which effect is increased if there are not many colonizers or the colonizers have few coastal centers of trade or developed provinces connected to their capital.

Institution spread.png Spread modifiers

The spread of institutions is modified on both a global and a provincial level. Global modifiers affect the spread of institutions in all provinces in a nation, local modifiers affect the spread of institutions in a specific province.

Institution spread.png Global modifiers Local modifiers
+50%.0 Age of Reformation.pngAge of Reformation ability Institutional Spread (only in provinces following the state religion)
+33%.0 Advancement Effort edict
+30%.0 Level III Center of Trade (World Port, World Trade Center)
+25%.0 Icon of St. John Climacus as an Orthodoxy Orthodox country
  • At 3 Icon stability.png stability (scaling modifier)
  • Harmonized Jewish.png Jewish religion as a Confucianism Confucian country
  • Assimilated Germanic culture group as Flag of Mughals Mughals
  • At peace
  • Lucky nation
  • FetishistFetishist with Islam Islam cult
  • Adaptive isolation level as a Shintoism Shinto country
  • Icon states.png State province
  • Subject tradecompany icon.png Trade company
  • Province trade power value.png Level II coastal Center of trade (Entrepot)
  • Coastal province
+5%.0 Trading in Coffee.png coffee
–2.5% Government tribal.png Native council, tribal kingdom, or tribal democracy government
–5%.0 Government tribal.png Tribal despotism or tribal federation government
–33%.0 Looting speed.png Fully looted (scaling modifier)
–50%.0 Scorched earth.png scorched earth

Several ideas and policies also affect spread rate:

Institution spread.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Innovative idea 5: Print Culture
  • Utrecht idea 6: Cultural Resilience
  • West Indies idea 2: Blue Mountain Coffee
  • Humanist-Trade: Exchange of Ideas
  • Brunswicker idea 6: Leibnitz and Lessing
  • Neapolitan traditions
  • Yemeni traditions
  • Ajuuraan idea 7: Ottoman Assistance
  • Ashanti idea 2: The Slave Forts
  • Bengali idea 7: The Bengal Renaissance
  • Brazilian idea 2: Research of John of Nassau
  • Castilian idea 6: School of Salamanca
  • Cebu idea 6: Befriend the Europeans
  • Dahomey idea 6: The Yovogan
  • Dalmatian idea 4: Center of Art and Literature
  • Ferraran idea 2: Center of Culture
  • Flemish idea 4: Flemish Innovation
  • Frankfurter idea 1: Establish the Buchmesse
  • Granada idea 3: Beacon of Learning
  • Hausan idea 7: Borno Refugees
  • Japanese idea 3: Modernization
  • Jaunpuri idea 2: Shiraz-i Hind
  • Javan idea 2: Indianization
  • Lan Xang idea 7: Renaissance of Lan Xang
  • Liège idea 6: Société Littéraire
  • Münster idea 7: Support the Schools
  • Otomo idea 6: Tensho Embassy
  • Pagarruyung idea 5: High Education
  • Québécois idea 5: The College of Quebec
  • Rothenburg idea 2: The Beautiful City
  • Semien idea 7: Haskalah
  • Sistani idea 7: Scholars of Sistan
  • Songhai idea 4: Sankore Madrassah
  • Sulawesi idea 5: Encourage Diffusion of Ideas
  • Urbinate idea 7: The Light of Italy
  • Full Plutocracy
  • Cherokee ambition
  • Golden Horde ambition
  • Hatakeyama ambition
  • Hosokawa ambition
  • Isshiki ambition
  • Takeda ambition
  • Tapuian ambition
  • Teutonic ambition
  • Humanist-Plutocratic: Cultural Recognition Act
  • Influence-Quality: The Integrated Administration Act
  • Corsican idea 7: True Home of the Revolution
  • Manchu idea 3: Manchu Alphabet
  • Navarran idea 5: Cross-Pyrenean Trade

Effects of development

Developing a province gives that province an immediate increase in the oldest non-present institution equal to 16.66% (slightly under one sixth) of the new development of the province. The increase is capped at 10% (60 development). The development required to bring an institution with 0% presence to 100% presence is of 601 cumulative development points, because for 600 points (reaching 36 dev starting from 11) you get 99.96%. The required development within a province of a given starting development is summarized in the table below.

Initial development
(0% institution presence)
Final development
(100% institution presence)
3–7 35
8–10 36
11–13 37
14–16 38
17–18 39
19–20 40
21–22 41
... ...
49–50 60

Up to an initial development of about 30, the total cost of going from 0 to 100% institution presence in a province is always about 2100 monarch points before other modifiers (such as terrain or the merchant guild estate bonus) to development cost. The amount of monarch points required to reach 100%, without any modifiers or initial presence, is summarized by the table below:

Institution dev cost.png
Initial Development Required Monarch Points
3 2286
4 2236
5 2186
6 2136
7 2086
8 2158
9 2108
10 2058
11 2133
12 2080
13 2026
14 2101
15 2044
16 1985
17 2060
18 1998
19 2075
20 2010
21 2088
22 2017
23 2095
24 2018
25 2095
26 2176
27 2090

Embracement cost.png Embracing institutions

Embracing an institution can be done from the technology tab by clicking on the Institutions.png institution symbol, then clicking on the institution desired and clicking on the button labeled “Embrace”. At least 10.1% of the country's autonomy-modified development must have the institution present to be able to embrace it. Once this threshold is met, it requires 2.5 Gold Icon.png ducats per remaining development to embrace the institution, after which it will rapidly spread through any remaining provinces that do not have it.

Embracing an institution will reset the monarch power cap, usually to a lower value. This may cause the loss of monarch power if the amount accumulated of any type (Administrative power.png Administrative, Diplomatic power.png Diplomatic or Military power.png Military) exceeds the cap. However, if the power is spent immediately after embracing the institution, none will be lost.

Embracement cost is affected by the following factors:

Embracement cost.png Trigger
  • Government republic.pngColonial Government type
  • Government republic.pngPresidential System republic reform
  • Great power.pngGreat power
  • At 100 Prestige.png prestige (scaling modifier)
  • Assimilated Latin culture group as Flag of Mughals Mughals
  • Open Doors isolation level as a Shintoism Shinto country
+0.5% per year after the year 1444(this modifier is applied multiplicatively)

Embracement cost is also affected by the following ideas:

Embracement cost.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Naval-Administrative: Harbor Administration
  • Flemish traditions
  • Innovative idea 3: Scientific Revolution
  • Farsi idea 5: Shirazi School
  • Utrecht ambition


Feudalism icon
Over time, most societies develop a need for a common structure with stronger and more permanent institutions of government. After the fall of the Roman Empire, this need came to be filled by a number of institutions and customs that taken together, are often considered to be part of the European Feudal system. For similar reasons, permanent government and societal systems have formed all over the world, some of which have roots that go far further back than Feudalism itself.
Unlike the other Institutions, 'Feudalism' covers a wide range of different systems and exists from the start in all parts of the world where a strong tradition of Urbanism, Institutionalized Government and Social Stratification has reached a critical point. The institution can spread from contact with any of these cultures, or in some cases begin to grow on its own in a society that fulfills certain criteria.

This is present from the start in almost all the Old World. Exceptions include the hordes (other than those of Manchu culture), tribal countries (the New World, sub-Saharan Africa, the upper Nile, and others scattered throughout Asia), and a few others. The start date is 1066, so all nations that have not embraced it get the full +50% technology cost penalty.

Broadly speaking, a custom nation starts with Feudalism in all its provinces if it would start with it as a non-custom nation, or if it has an Old World technology group other than East African or Central African.

Yearly spread per development
Spread reason Base percentage
Port or capital of a colonial nation whose overlord has embraced Feudalism 5.0
Not Trade Company and owner has embraced Feudalism 2.0
Present in friendly nearby province 0.6
Present in non-friendly neighbor province 0.1
Capital in Old World (not North or South America) while not horde, native, or tribal 0.1
Present in neighbor province and the country has a non-disloyal Noble Estate with at least 30% land share 0.15

Bonus for embracing: General.png +1 Leaders without upkeep.


Renaissance icon
Since the 14th century the wealthy and powerful in the Italian City states have been patronizing artists and scholars willing to explore the old Roman and Greek societies of their forefathers. As a cultural movement the Renaissance already encompasses most of the region and has had a profound impact on literature, art, philosophy and music. Humanist scholars are also analyzing the society in which they live, comparing it to the ideals of the Classical philosophers. Renaissance Humanism has grown into a more mature movement, ready to permeate all aspects of society. A new ideal for rulers as well as those who are ruled is spreading as quickly as the early Printers can distribute copies of these new ideas. A true Renaissance Humanist is an expert on everything from Politics and Philosophy to art, textual analysis, music and architecture. The Renaissance is now ready to reshape the world to better fit its classical ideals.

The Renaissance can appear from 1450 in a province that:

It can only be embraced by nations that have already embraced Feudalism.

Yearly spread per development
Spread reason Base percentage
Port or capital of a colonial nation whose overlord has embraced Renaissance 5.0
Not Trade Company and owner has embraced Renaissance 2.0
Province in the Flanders, Tuscany, or Venetia area 0.5
Present in friendly nearby province 0.6
Present in non-friendly neighbor province 0.3
European province with at least 5 development after 1500 0.1
European province with at least 10 development 0.05
European province with at least 20 development 0.05
Yearly spread
Spread reason Base percentage
Latin-cultured capital in the Italian region 1.0

Bonus for embracing: Development.png −5% Development cost and Construction cost.png −5% Construction cost

Birthplace of Institution gains: Development cost.png −5% Development cost


Colonialism icon
The discovery of the New World has heralded a new era not only for the colonizers and the colonized, it has lead to a spread of materials and techniques as well as a realization of the vast size of the globe. As animals, crop types, silver and diseases spread across the Atlantic the first steps have been taken towards a truly global economy and as foreign lands and people are mapped and documented ideas as well as religious and philosophical debate has become more and more colored by what we have found in overseas societies. Great minds feel the need to question what was once truth and from Valladolid to Fatehpur Sikri the nature of the world is now up for debate.

Colonialism can appear from 1500 in a province that:

  • Is in Europe, Asia or Africa
  • Is a coastal province
  • Is in a state
  • Is not an island
  • Is in the capital area of its owner
  • Is the capital or has at least 12 development or is a Province trade power value.png Costal Center of Trade
  • Owner has Exploration idea group.png Exploration idea 1 "Quest for the New World" and has discovered a land province in the New World

Colonialism can be embraced by any country, even those that have no other institutions.

Yearly spread per development
Spread reason Base percentage
Port or capital of a colonial nation whose overlord has embraced Colonialism 5.0
Not Trade Company and owner has embraced Colonialism 2.0
Present in friendly nearby province 1.2
Port while present in non-friendly neighbor province 0.5
Yearly spread
Spread reason Base percentage
Port or capital of an Old World country that has colonial subjects in the New World (not Australia) 10

Bonus for embracing: Trade power.png +10% Provincial trade power

Birthplace of Institution gains: Local trade power.png +5 Local trade power

Printing Press

Printing Press icon
The ability to massproduce the written word would revolutionize the spread of information and in many ways the early modern society as a whole. Pioneered by renaissance men such as Venetian Printer Aldus Manutius, the new art helped fuel the Renaissance by making the translated classics more widely avilable. Later the Reformation benefitted greatly from the ability to spread critical publications and translations of the holy scriptures.
Now that Printing has matured as a technique and spread throughout Europe editions have grown and hundreds of thousands of copies of everything from Religious and Political pamphlets to instructions in how to behave or scientific treatises are circulating the continent. With Print Shops growing evermore commonplace rulers have found it hard to contain the new technique as the comparatively easy means of production means censorship can be sidestepped by moving business across a border or even just changing the name on a title page.

Printing Press can appear from 1550 in a province that:

  • Is in its owner's capital area, but not an island
  • If not its owner's capital: has at least Development.png 15 development or produces Paper.png Paper
  • One of the following:
    • Religion is Protestantism Protestant or Reformed.png Reformed
    • Is in North Germany or South Germany region

Regardless of where Printing Press first appears, an event will immediately spread it to Venice, Rome, Paris and Augsburg.

Yearly spread per development
Spread reason Base percentage
Port or capital of a colonial nation whose overlord has embraced Printing Press 5.0
Has embraced Printing Press 2.0
Present in friendly nearby province 0.6
Present in non-friendly neighbor province 0.2
Owned by non-disloyal Clergy Estate while present in neighbor province 0.1
European capital with at least 20 development 0.05
Yearly spread
Spread reason Base percentage
Capital whose owner has diplomatic technology 15 1
Owner is Protestant, Reformed, or Anglican 2.0
Province is Protestant, Reformed, or Anglican 1.0

Bonus for embracing: Icon stability.png −5% Stability cost modifier

Birthplace of Institution gains: Institution spread.png +10% Institution Spread

Global Trade

Global Trade icon
Goods have been moved across continents since antiquity. But where this was previously limited to a set number of routes and goods such as the manufactured goods of India and China finding their way across the Indian Ocean and along the Silk Road, all trade is now increasingly becoming part of a greater world network. With the discovery of the Americas, sea routes around Africa and the crossing of the Pacific Ocean, local trade networks are being connected into one world-spanning interconnected web.
Silver mined in the Andes is now being boxed and taken via Europe all the way to China and India. Iron mined and wrought in Scandinavia is being sold in West Africa by English Merchants and others are making a fortune just distributing cloth and spices within the South East Asian trade sphere. Local Indian merchants are investing in future European trade ventures. It may still be early to speak of a truly Global Economy but surely the first seeds have been sown.

Global Trade can appear from 1600 in a province that:

  • Is not an island
  • Is in the highest-valued trade node in the world. This only counts the trade value that stays in the node.
  • Is the country's capital, or is a level 2 or 3 Province trade power value.png Coastal or Inland Center of Trade
  • Its owner is collecting or has a merchant in the highest-valued trade node in the world and has the most trade power there

The Age of Absolutism will begin after this institution has existed for 10 years.

Yearly spread per development
Spread reason Base percentage
Port or capital of a colonial nation whose overlord has embraced Global Trade 5.0
Has embraced Global Trade 2.0
Is a level 2 Province trade power value.png Center of Trade 0.1
Is a level 3 Province trade power value.png Center of Trade 0.5
Owned by non-disloyal Burghers.png Burgher Estate while present in neighbor province 0.1
Has a port and Global Trade is present in an adjacent province 0.5
Has no port and Global Trade is present in a neighboring province 0.25
Yearly spread
Spread reason Base percentage
Printing Press is present 0.5
Has at least Trade power.png 15 Trade Power 0.4
Has at least Trade power.png 25 Trade Power 0.8
Has at least Trade power.png 35 Trade Power 1.2
Has at least Trade power.png 45 Trade Power 1.6

Bonus for embracing: Merchants.png +1 Merchant

Birthplace of Institution gains: Province trade power modifier.png +10% Local Trade Power modifier


Manufactories icon
While a number of technical innovations during the course of the 16th and 17th centuries has increased the output of production for some products such as iron or cloth to an extent the biggest improvement in the field of production has come in the form of new forms of organization. By creating Manufactories, often outside the city limits, merchant capitalists can both bypass the ancient guild laws that prevent mass production in principle as well as pioneer ways to increase production through organizing and specialization of labour in one place. The forerunners of the later Industrialization are able to increase output by facilitating access to raw materials and mass organization of labor rather than by expensive new machinery. This is in itself a huge change over the often heavily regulated methods of old however and together with later technical advances this new mode of production will come to revolutionize society.

This arrives after 1650 in a province that:

  • Is in the capital area of its owner
  • Is not an island
  • Is part of a state
  • Both the Printing Press.png Printing Press and Global Trade.png Global Trade institutions are present
  • Has at least Development.png 20 development
  • Has at least two neighboring provinces which have at least Development.png 15 development
  • Has a Naval equipment.png Naval Equipment Manufactory, Weapons manufactory.png Weapons Manufactory, Textile manufactory.png Textile Manufactory, Plantation.png Plantation, Trade Company Trade Station, or Mill.png Mill
Yearly spread per Development.png development (in-game display is monthly)
Spread reason Base percentage
Port or capital of a colonial nation whose overlord has embraced Manufactories 5.0
Not Trade Company and owner has embraced Manufactories 2.0
Has a manufactory on the same continent as the birthplace of Manufactories 1.0
Has a Textile Manufactory on a different continent than the birthplace of Manufactories 0.5
Has a manufactory on a different continent than the birthplace of Manufactories 0.25
Present in friendly nearby province 0.35
Present in non-friendly neighbor province 0.05

Farm estates do not help spawning the institution, but do count as a manufactory for spreading. The modifier for a textile manufactory does not stack with the modifier for having any type of manufactory.

Bonus for embracing: Goods produced modifier.png +10% Goods produced modifier

Birthplace of Institution gains: Local goods produced +0.5 Local goods produced


Enlightenment icon
The last century has seen Rationalism and Empiricism gaining an ever increasing popularity among the great minds of the age. In letters, publications or coffee houses kings, scientists, philosophers and litterateurs are discussing the merits of tolerance, the scientific method and the spreading of enlightenment ideals to all humanity. From universities or courts of enlightened monarchs expeditions are being sent to measure, catalogue, weigh and map the world so that we can better understand the laws that govern the things around us. Others discuss the laws that govern society and try to reach an understanding of the Rights of Men.
Great projects such as the colossal undertaking of creating a complete encyclopedia of all knowledge or a complete index of all plants, animals and fungi in the world are being pursued for the greater good of humanity. The Light of Reason has been lit and many will not rest until it has been brought to all corners of the earth.

The Enlightenment can appear from 1700 in a province that:

  • Is in its owner's capital area
  • Is not an island
  • Is part of a state
  • Both the Printing Press.png Printing Press and Global Trade.png Global Trade institutions are present
  • Has at least Development.png 30 development
  • One of the following:
    • Has a Parliament.png seat in Parliament
    • Has a Latin university.png University building
    • Is in Europe and its owner's ruler has at least 5 in every skill

The Age of Revolutions will begin 10 years after this institution has been discovered.

Yearly spread per Development.png development (in-game display is monthly)
Spread reason Base percentage
Port or capital of a colonial nation whose overlord has embraced Enlightenment 5.0
Not Trade Company and owner has embraced Enlightenment 2.0
Present in friendly nearby province 0.1
Yearly spread (in-game display is monthly)
Spread reason Base percentage
Has a Parliament.png seat in Parliament, and owner's capital is in the same continent than the birthplace of the Enlightenment 5.0
Has a Latin university.png University, and owner's capital is in the same continent than the birthplace of the Enlightenment 5.0
Has a Parliament.png seat in Parliament, and owner's capital is not in the same continent than the birthplace of the Enlightenment 0.5
Has a Latin university.png University, and owner's capital is not in the same continent than the birthplace of the Enlightenment 1.0
  • Is its owner's capital province
  • Owner has Diplomatic tech.png diplomatic technology 20
  • Owner employs a Advisor Natural Scientist.png Natural Scientist
  • Is its owner's capital province
  • Owner has Diplomatic tech.png diplomatic technology 20
  • Owner employs a Advisor Philosopher.png Philosopher
  • Is its owner's capital province
  • Owner has completed Innovative idea group.png Innovative Ideas

Bonus for embracing: Culture conversion cost.png −25% Culture conversion cost

Birthplace of Institution gains: Local autonomy.png −0.05 Monthly autonomy change


Industrialization icon
The rapid pace of technological change is beginning to have a profound effect on the very organization of society. The invention of the steam engine, the use of coke in iron production and new, mechanized manufacturing equipment allow for unprecedented economies of scale, bringing about a massive increase in worker productivity. Further inventions are helping to greatly ease the transportation of large volumes of goods. With global trade as interconnected as never before, factories can both draw on raw materials from and sell the resulting manufactured goods to markets around the world, bringing in unimaginable riches for their owners.
Meanwhile, the field of agriculture, new practices such as crop rotation and the use of enclosures have similarly increased productivity, meaning that fewer workers are needed to work the same area of land, leading many to abandon their homes and settle in growing industrial cities. A new world is being born, one in which the ambitious and the rich shall dominate society as never before

Industrialization can appear after 1750 in a province that:

  • Is in the capital area of its owner
  • Is not an island
  • Is part of a state
  • Has at least Development.png 30 development
  • Both the Manufactories Manufactories and Enlightenment.png Enlightenment institutions are present
  • Is in the highest valued trade node in the world or the year is at least 1760
  • If the year is before 1780 and the Rule Britannia.png Rule Britannia DLC is enabled:
  • else:
    • Has a Weapons manufactory.png weapons manufactory or a Textile manufactory.png textile manufactory
    • One of the following is true:

Bonus for embracing: National tax modifier.png +15% National Tax modifier and National manpower modifier.png +25% National Manpower modifier

Birthplace of Institution gains: Possible number of buildings.png +1 possible number of buildings


Adopting institutions

Most institutions are weighted to appear and spread more easily in Europe. Non-European nations will need to decide how best to obtain them, particularly if they are far from Europe – North Africa may only lag by a few decades due to the adjacency bonus, but it can take more than a century for institutions to reach China.

The least restrictive way to adopt an institution is by "forcing" the presence of that institution by developing in a single province. A single rich province will often be enough for a small country to adopt the institution, while a large one needs to wait for the institution to spread. Note that adjacency spread only starts when the initial province has been developed to 100% presence. Many institutions spread faster on provinces with higher development. It is thus advantageous to force presence in a province surrounded by other developed or easily developed provinces. Furthermore, as institution adoption only checks state provinces, it can be advantageous to delay making states early game until Colonialism is embraced.

Forcing presence is particularly relevant for Renaissance, which always originates in Italy and does not grow naturally outside Europe; Colonialism, which originates only in a country that has discovered the New World and only grows naturally for countries that have colonial subjects in the New World; Printing Press which only spawns in Germany and Protestant/Reformed provinces and only starts growing slowly and decades later outside Europe; and Enlightenment, which has a high chance to spawn in Europe and will have very slow growth on other continents than the birthplace of the Institution. Renaissance and Colonialism, as well as Feudalism, can only spread by adjacency to provinces where the institution is already present; whereas the later institutions can spread based on buildings and other provincial traits. However, Enlightenment spreads significantly quicker on the continent where the institution spawned (most often Europe). When forcing institution presence through development, it is wise to stack modifiers that reduce development cost. Encourage Development state edict, state prosperity, and the Expand Palace Bureaucracy Emperor of China Decree each give −10% (requires Mandate of Heaven.png Mandate of Heaven). It is generally cheaper to develop on plains and especially farmland. A Level 3 Center of Trade gives −10% (requires Dharma.png Dharma). Most significantly, the capital province has up to −50% development cost reduction. All of these modifiers are typically easy to obtain as long as the required DLCs are enabled. However, beware that developing the capital will make it more costly to move later; at the same time, developing the capital will help with the late game age objective Large Capital.

Another strategy outside Europe is to try to spawn the institution in your continent/nation. To increase the spawning chance you must fulfill the requirements to spawn the institution in as many provinces as possible (Except for Global Trade). Each province which can spawn the institution has a certain chance to spawn it at the beginning of the year. So if you have one province that qualifies and there are 3 in Europe, you'll have a 25% chance it spawns in your country and a 75% chance it appears in Europe. If you would increase your amount of qualifying provinces to 3, the chances would become even. In general, one important restriction for how many of your provinces qualify depend on their development and if they're connected to your capital and in a state (Global Trade is the only exception), so both conquest of developed provinces or developing your own provinces will increase your chances. In normal circumstances spawning an institution on a different continent than Europe will delay spread in Europe only for a short period of time, because there are many modifiers which help institutions grow in Europe. Major exceptions are Colonialism (if you can prevent Europeans from establishing colonial subjects) and Enlightenment (which will cause very slow natural growth in other continents than the continent where it spawned). Getting Manufactories to spawn in another continent will also slow down spread in Europe significantly, but to a far lesser degree than the Enlightenment.

For obtaining the origin of Colonialism, note that you must discover land provinces in the New World to be eligible; Old World (Including Australia) exploration does not count. To increase spawning chances get as many coastal provinces with 12 development or more, or a center of trade. For getting Manufactories, get provinces with 20 development and a manufactory other than Farm Estates (they will help though with spread if you don't spawn the institution). For the Enlightenment, get provinces with 30 development and either a seat in parliament or a university. When playing in Asia of Africa it might become profitable to help other high development regions in getting institutions. If the Enlightenment/Manufactories spawn in India, you will faster spread also in the China region and lower spread in Europe for instance. However these regions often lack Printing Press or Global Trade which are needed to spawn Enlightenment/Manufactories, so helping these regions to get their institutions might reduce the chances that either of these institutions spawn in Europe and hurt your own spread.

Knowledge sharing is also a viable method. It requires two things: an ally or friendly nation with the institution, and the disposable income to support the effort. It may be worthwhile to cultivate good relations with a nation that has or is likely to get the institution early.

A more direct way to get an institution is to conquer provinces that already have it. This is particularly useful for hordes in the early game that don't start with Feudalism.

The friendly nearby province from which an institution spreads can be either a province in the same country or a province in a foreign nation with positive relations. The province may either be adjacent or one sea province away. Keeping good relations with at least one advanced neighbor will encourage spread. Note that the "non-friendly neighbor province" spread will never stack with the "friendly nearby" spread – you get one or the other, and "non-friendly neighbor" only considers adjacent provinces, not those separated by a sea province.

Once one province has a new institution or if there is natural growth (from buildings, etc.) in provinces you own, judicious use of the state edict Advancement Effort can greatly augment its spread through the nation though at an increased state maintenance cost. A bit of micromanagement is required to enact the edict when any province in a state is beginning to grow the institution at a meaningful rate (greater than 0.50 per month as a guideline), as well as revoking the edict when all provinces in a state have successfully accepted the new institution.

Restricting institution spread

Once a nation has embraced an institution, the institution will spread in all of its provinces rapidly. Neighbouring nations can thus obtain the institution with little extra cost or effort by passive spread. It can thus be advantageous for a nation that has recently embraced a certain institution (mainly Renaissance, Colonialism, and Enlightenment) to restrict institution spread and thus preserve a technological advantage. Overseas provinces and colonies can "leak" institutions inadvertently. A few strategies can mitigate this:

  • Restricting early colonization and conquest to provinces that do not neighbor any foreign nation (by land or by sea). Isolated islands such as Maldives (1248) can be used for island hopping without leaking institutions later.
  • Temporarily sabotaging relations with select countries can slow down institution spread by removing the "Present in friendly nearby province" spread modifier.
  • Adding eligible Asian or African provinces to Trade Companies.

Obtaining Colonialism as an Asian country can delay technological advancement in European countries for decades (until some countries adopt the institution from development). It can hence be worthwhile to race Exploration ideas and colonization as Asian countries that start off with strong economies, and thus possibly a strong military, which don't have urgent needs for other ideas. Controlling two institution origins is a late game age objective. Seizing the origin of Colonialism also helps fulfilling said objective and helps obtaining the powerful late game age abilities sooner.

Obtaining Manufactories and in particular Enlightenment outside Europe will also significantly slow down advancement in Europe, but these are far more reliant on random chance and require a strategy to get as many provinces with high development in a state and with a connection to your capital. For Manufactories, get provinces with at least 20 development with a manufactory other than a farm estate. The slow-down will be limited though for highly developed provinces and those with Textile Manufactories (a 5-year delay for a 20 development province with a Textile Manufactory versus a 30-year delay for a 10 development province with another type of Manufactory). For the Enlightenment, get provinces with at least 30 development with a university or seat in parliament. The delay for the Enlightenment not spawning on the same continent is especially high because spread is not dependent on development (A province with a university and a seat in parliament will get the institution in 10 or 67 years depending on which continent it spawns). This strategy is far more risky than spawning Colonialism, due to the high amount of provinces in Europe with high development combined with easy requirements for spawning these institutions. The damage caused by the Enlightenment spawning on another continent is typically slightly less for Europe than for other continents, due to having more smaller nations in the late-game, because capitals can also get the institution in 50 to 10 years if the AI nation had the luck to have the right ideas, buildings and advisors.


A Sun God icon
Form Inca, embrace all Institutions and own all of South America as core provinces.
Fanatic Collectivist icon
Own all Institution Origin provinces.
Made in Japan icon
Embrace "manufacturies" institution as Japan by 1655.
No Trail of Tears icon
Own and have cores on the Thirteen Colonies as Cherokee with all institutions embraced.
Turning the Tide icon
Start as a Steppe Horde in 1444 and embrace all institutions.

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