Europa Universalis 4: The 5 Best Government Types (2024)

Highlights

  • The choice of Government Type in Europa Universalis 4 affects gameplay and objectives, with some governance systems being more advantageous.
  • Native Tribes offer a fresh start but come with extreme handicaps, while Monarchies provide flexibility and diplomatic options.
  • Republics dominate early game management and provide better control over Monarch Power, while Theocracies have contentious leadership but offer efficient bonuses.

When players begin their Europa Universalis 4 session in the year 1444, they may notice that the world is just beginning to enter the Age of Exploration. This era in humanity’s history positions a player’s chosen nation as a potential leader in momentous events, with the growth of global trade and commerce also exposing different countries to new technologies and ideologies. Among the crucial concepts that players should take note of in nation-building is their Government Type, as this actively affects how their nation responds to various activities around them.

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While players have the option to change their Government Type, it might help them to first understand which are the most ideal governance systems that exist in the game. Although a player’s Government Type of choice should indeed be largely based on their nation’s objectives, some systems of governance seem to be ahead of the rest with the right implementation.

5 Native Tribe

Starting With Extreme Handicaps

Europa Universalis 4: The 5 Best Government Types (2)

Effects

-100% Reform Progress Growth +0.5 Monthly Reform Progress -2 Diplomatic Relations -50% Institution Spread +400% Provicne Warscore Cost -30% Land Force Limit +20% Development Cost

Unique Mechanics

Tribal Land

  • Limited to 1 Province

Tribal Development

  • Fixed Duchy
  • No Heirs, Consorts, Royal Marriages
  • No Estates
  • No Claim Fabrications
  • No State Edicts
  • No Institutions in Developing Provinces
  • Native Buildings

Native Tribe Mechanics

  • Native Federation
  • Prone to Grazing, Migration

Being a grand strategy title set in the beginning stages of the Age of Discovery and Age of Exploration, gameplay in Europa Universalis 4 isn’t particularly accessible for the Native Tribe Government System. While capable of traveling from one province to the next, a Native Tribe has the potential of Grazing the land they occupy and damaging it should they stay there for too long, with the game encouraging them to Settle Down or fulfill Migration requirements in order to become a full-fledged state.

Despite their inherent advantages, playing a Native Tribe positions players with the freshest start available to them. When positioned properly, players can start dominating the New World via forming or joining a Native Federation before settling down and converting into any of the Government Types that players see as the most suitable for their progress. With Native Tribes being smaller in scale, players have less to worry about in terms of grander-scale missions and objectives.

4 Monarchy

Vanilla But Flexible For Most Playthroughs

Effects

+5% Nobility Influence

Unique Mechanics

Legitimacy

  • Papal Influence
  • Create Royal Marriages, Personal Unions
  • Succession via Heirs
  • Pretender Rebels
  • Stability Loss Upon Leader Death

Considered a “vanilla” form of government for most grand strategy titles set in historical periods, the available sub-types for a Monarchy in Europa Universalis 4 generally provide more openings for diverse gameplay courtesy of strong diplomatic options. On top of curating the right heirs for the nation, being able to forge Personal Unions and Royal Marriages can become easier methods of securing allies and claims to other nations.

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With the Rights of Man DLC, new options such as Abdication and Disinheritance can provide players with more variety in how they want their Monarchies to prosper. More unique mechanics related to a Monarchy’s expansion, such as China’s Mandate of Heaven or Europe’s Holy Roman Empire, can incentivize conquest runs.

3 Republic

Dominate Early Game Management

Europa Universalis 4: The 5 Best Government Types (5)

Effects

+15% Burghers/Vaishyas Influence -40 Maximum Absolutism

Unique Mechanics

Republican Tradition Cultural Sufferance Plutocratic Ideas (but no Aristocratic Ideas) Elections

  • Re-Elections
  • Administrative, Diplomatic, Military Candidate
  • Relative of the Ruler Candidate

Monarch Power forms the crux of a player’s capacity to lead a nation in their Europa Universalis 4 playthrough, with the more people-centric Republic rewarding the implementation of Republican Tradition with better MP control. Tailor-fitting the Republic to maximize MP generation for nations is precisely why players prefer using this Government Type, especially if they’re gunning for specific developments for much faster nation-building.

With this in mind, players can secure early-game advantages when choosing the right Republic to begin their playthroughs. Milan’s Ambrosian Republic leverages the nation’s economy at the onset, while the strong infantry of the Dithmarschen’s Peasants Republic can help players capitalize on conquests.

2 Theocracy

Dominant Military Held Back By Contentious Leadership

Europa Universalis 4: The 5 Best Government Types (6)

Effects

+10% Clergy Loyalty Equilibrium +5% Clergy Influence +10% Brahmins Influence

Unique Mechanics

Divine Ideas (but no Aristocratic Ideas) Generals Cannot Be Rulers, Heirs Devotion

  • Replaces Legitimacy/Republican Tradition
  • Switching to another Government resets the nation’s Religious Unity
  • “Pious” Personality Leader increases Devotion
  • Crusade increases Devotion
  • Excommunication decreases Devotion

A nation can only be as excellent as its leader of choice, but with a Theocracy in a player’s Europa Universalis 4 playthrough, that isn’t always the case. Considering how Theocracy practically transforms leadership creation into RNG, players can’t always get reliable Monarch Points throughout their playthrough. However, while this caveat can indeed dampen overall development, players could potentially form a Theocracy around the right reforms.

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Despite potentially having mediocre rulers with little control over their state, Theocracy has some extremely efficient bonuses locked behind reforms. For instance, Monastic Breweries can transform a nation into an export powerhouse with Grains and Wine Production, while Integration of the Sohei can improve Infantry and Mercenary capabilities. Lastly, capitalizing on the Holy Horde can incentivize fast-tracked conquests with stronger Cavalry and faster Movement Speed.

1 Tribal Government

Razing As The Backdrop Of World Conquest

Europa Universalis 4: The 5 Best Government Types (8)

Effects

N/A

Unique Mechanics

Legitimacy

  • No Monarchy/Republic Institutions
  • Create Royal Marriages, Personal Unions
  • Succession via Heirs
  • Stability Loss upon Leader death

Horde Unity (for Steppe Nomads)

  • Looting increases Horde Unity
  • Razing increases Horde Unity

At first glance, the Tribal Government in Europa Universalis 4 gameplay places players at a disadvantage compared to more organized Republics and Monarchies, but it’s within their Reforms that the Tribal Government can shine in terms of gameplay. Just transitioning into the Steppe Nomads to become a Horde can transform a Tribal Government into a powerhouse, with the addition of National Manpower and Land Force Limit with faster Looting and Movement Speed emphasizing extremely aggressive plays.

Courtesy of Razing, a Horde has access to one of the most efficient methods of expansion in the game. While Razing a province lowers its overall development, its provision of Administrative, Diplomatic, and Military Power alongside Horde Unity and the area’s remaining Loot make the action rather favorable when expanding into other territories. A key disadvantage to a Horde government is its policies shoe-horning players into conquest plays, which can become an inconvenience to players enjoying the diplomatic aspect of the game.

Europa Universalis 4: The 5 Best Government Types (9)
Europa Universalis 4
Platform(s)
PC

Released
August 13, 2013
Developer(s)
Paradox Development Studio

Genre(s)
Strategy
  • Games
  • Europa Universalis 4

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