- +10% Infantry combat ability
- +1 Possible advisor
- +10% Global trade power
- +10% Cavalry combat ability
- −10% Stability cost modifier
- +1 Tolerance of heretics
- +1 Tolerance of heathens
- +1 Yearly prestige
- +1 Diplomat
- +5% Discipline
- +50% Mercenary manpower
Vijayanagara emerged from the crumbling Hoysala empire as its efforts to resist repeated invasions from the Muslim Delhi Sultanate began to fail. Determined to drive back the invaders, the rising Sangama dynasty rallied an army and united much of southern India against their common enemy.
Though the Delhi Sultanate was ousted from the south a century ago, Vijayanagar has not seen the end of its struggle against Islamic conquerors. In 1347 the Bahmanis Sultanate won its independence from Delhi and has since become a power in its own right. The rivalry and warfare between Bahmanis and Vijayanagar has thus far been inconclusive; territory has changed hands, tribute has been demanded and refused, yet each kingdom remains steadfast in their determination to thwart the other.
Besides its northern rival, Vijayanagar finds itself surrounded by far weaker nations. The Sangamas have allied with the Reddy Kingdom of Andhra, agreeing to protect them from incursions from Bahmanis and Orissa. Though nominally Vijayanagari subjects, the small Malabari kingdoms as well as the Raja of Mysore are largely left to their own devices. The time may come when the Raja requires more of them. The empire's recent conquest of the Tamil kingdoms has not gone entirely smoothly; relations with the influential Tamil trade guilds are poor and must be repaired before the empire undertakes further conquests in the area. More direct vassalage is asserted over Jaffna in northern Lanka, where the small Tamil nation enjoys Vijayanagari protection from the Buddhists of the Kotte and Kandy Kingdoms.
The Vijayanagari empire distributes land to its most loyal and prominent generals in a system known as Nayankara. The Nayaks, provincial governors, administer the lands granted to them and carry the responsibility of raising armies for the Maharaja. Though the Nayaks have thus far been effective, the Raja must be wary of overly ambitious generals who may covet the throne for themselves.
- Main article: Vijayanagari missions
Vijayanagar's missions focus on consolidating control over South India, defeating their northern rival Bahmanis, and dominating the Indian Ocean trade, such as appeasing the Tamils and capturing the Arabian port of Aden.
- Main article: Vijayangari events
Vijayanagar's events are focused on its temples, poets and various interactions with its Tamil populace, including multiple uprisings.
Vijayanagar can form Bharat as a Dravidian nation.
Vijayanagar begins the game as the largest most powerful nation in India.
Vijayanagar's home port and most of its starting territory belongs to the Coromandel node, one of the richest in the world. The exception is the west coast north of Goa which belongs to the Gujarat node, which unfortunately cannot be steered home. It is probably best to use the starting merchants to steer trade home from Deccan & Bengal, and prioritize expansion in those directions over the northwest.
Much of southern India has tropical climate and/or seasonal monsoons. This can drastically increase attrition and cause problems from war exhaustion and manpower loss.
Playing as Hindu
Dealing with the Tamil events
Within the first few years, there will be negative events dealing with friction between government and their Tamil subjects in the east. It is almost impossible to make it through the event chain without taking at least one stability hit and revolt.