Europa Universalis 4: X Best National Ideas (2024)

Highlights

  • Understanding a country's National Ideas in Europa Universalis 4 can provide efficient playstyles and make the game more enjoyable.
  • The Roman Empire's National Ideas provide stability and bonuses to land forces, production efficiency, and taxation.
  • Forming the Mughals allows players to take advantage of reduced stability costs and faster administrative efficiency for easier conquest.

When players choose to play a country in Europa Universalis 4, they don’t just get a state in a particular geographic location. Rather, they also take on that country’s objectives at the time as well as current religious, cultural, and social backgrounds that may affect the way they interact with their internal systems and the rest of the world. Represented as National Ideas, these properties give nations unique bonuses that establish their current situation in the context of the global scene.

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Should players plan on selecting a particular nation in Europa Universalis 4, it helps to understand what National Ideas they possess in their Idea Set. Understanding just what bonuses these Ideas provide can give players efficient playstyles concerning their nations, with specific countries standing out with National Ideas that make it much easier for players to enjoy the game.

10 Roman Empire

Secure Stability For Its Large Borders

Europa Universalis 4: X Best National Ideas (2)

Primary Culture

Roman (Lost Cultures)

Capital Province

Rome

Government

Feudal Nobility

State Religion

Catholic

Ideas of Interest

Pax Romana (-2 National Unrest) Legacy of Rome (+2 Diplomatic Reputation) The Roman Legions (+15% Land Force Limit Mod, +10% Infantry Combat Ability) Roman Architecture (+20% Production Efficiency) Imperial Bureaucracy (+10% National Tax Mod, +5% Administrative Efficiency) Imperium Sine Fine (-25% Core-Creation Cost, -5 Years of Separatism) Ambition (+33% National Manpower Mod)

Despite the Holy Roman Empire’s existence in Europa Universalis 4, it remains possible to reform the glorious Roman Empire either as its remnant Byzantium or as any Christian or Pagan nation (sans Papal States, HRE). Its steep requirement of owning 425 provinces within the borders of historic Rome alongside Roma can set up the Roman Empire as a foothold for global conquest plays. Thankfully, its capability of maintaining stability within its sizable borders via its National Ideas can make the Roman Empire a worthwhile build.

By the time players form the Roman Empire, they get access to stronger Infantry and can field more Manpower and Land Forces to mount more effective warfare efforts. Likewise, despite the minuscule addition to Administrative Efficiency, the cheaper costs to coring and additional Diplomatic Reputation facilitate faster integration of territories with fewer risks of mismanagement.

9 Siam

Military Quality At The Expense Of Administrative Efficiency

Europa Universalis 4: X Best National Ideas (3)

Primary Culture

Central Thai (Thai)

Capital Province

Ayutthaya

Government

Mandala System

State Religion

Theravada

Ideas of Interest

Traditions (+10% Army Morale, +25% National Manpower Modifier) Advanced Elephant Warfare (+15% Cavalry Combat Ability, +1 Cavalry Fire) Royal Absolutism (-0.05 Monthly Autonomy Change, +0.5 Yearly Absolutism) Encourage Immigration (-10% Development Cost) Consolidation of the State (-15% Diplomatic Annexation Cost, -15% Culture Conversion Cost)

Despite their separation by sea, a united Southeast Asia in Europa Universalis 4 gameplay can form the mighty Siam. Should its foundational nation have an Eastern religion, Siam can establish a more stable foothold in the area via Tributaries that may give it Ducats, Manpower, or Monarch Power on top of a lack of aggressive expansion.

Should Siam plan on dominating the West, its Idea Set that focuses on military expansion can ensure the quality of its fighting force. Improving Army Morale and strengthening Cavalry Combat can secure Siam’s land warfare capabilities, while its reduced Development, Culture Conversion, and Diplomatic Annexation Costs make annexations easier. The lack of benefits to administration and economy leaves much to be desired in terms of post-war management, however.

8 Golden Horde

Rebuilding A Global Powerhouse With Razing

Europa Universalis 4: X Best National Ideas (4)

Primary Culture

Founder (Tatar Group)

Capital Province

Varies

Government

Steppe Horde

State Religion

Sunni

Ideas of Interest

Traditions (+25% National Manpower Mod, -5% Land Maintenance Mod) Perso-Mongol Administration (-25% Core-Creation Cost) Secure The Trade Routes (+10% Provincial Trade Power Mod) Populating The Steppes (-10% Development Cost) Ambition (+10% Institution Spread)

Restoring the Golden Horde is an honorable accomplishment for any of the Mongol Empire’s remnants, and is a task players can accomplish in their Europa Universalis 4 gameplay once they subdue their fellow Tatar group states and subdue the entirety of Russia. Players attempting this on a first playthrough should consider using the Great Horde for its ideal location, where uniting the Hordes of the Steppes and the occasional Razing of non-Tatar cultures fast-tracking their way to victory.

Doing so can grant players access to the Golden Horde’s rather strong Idea Set, possessing reduced costs for Core Creation and Development, as well as a boost in Provincial Trade Power and National Manpower. These perks, on top of the Steppe Horde’s Razing mechanics to bolster their foothold in conquered regions, can make the Golden Horde a global powerhouse.

7 Saluzzo

Starting Small May Lead To Bigger Things

Europa Universalis 4: X Best National Ideas (5)

Primary Culture

Piedmontese (Latin)

Capital Province

Saluzzo

Government

Feudal Nobility

State Religion

Catholic

Ideas of Interest

Traditions (-15% Aggressive Expansion Impact, +10% Infantry Combat Ability) The Saluzzo Golden Age (+10% Provincial Trade Power Mod) The Rich Mountains of Saluzzo (+10% Goods Produced Mod) Marquisate (+10% Army Morale) The Key to the House of Italy (+20% Trade Steering) The Marquis Mint (+10% National Tax Mod) Ambition (-15% Core-Creation Cost)

Being a one-province minor, Saluzzo begins in a sensitive position in a player’s Europa Universalis 4 playthrough, as there’s little room for big moves within the vicinity of larger France and the Holy Roman Empire. However, their small size means players can enjoy Saluzzo’s decent Idea Set, wherein they’re given bonuses for trade moves (Provincial Trade Power, Goods Produced, Trade Steering) and infantry combat (Infantry Combat Ability, Army Morale) to build their momentum with the right pacing.

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Capitalizing on Saluzzo’s size has to do with establishing alliances with the HRE’s Emperor (usually Austria), the Papal States, and nearby Switzerland and Milan for expansion in the long term. Meanwhile, striking Provence while its ally France is busy fighting its own wars should open opportunities to expand further into Europe. Saluzzo’s convenient National Ideas can make it much easier for them to form the more stable Sardinia-Piedmont in the mid-game or go straight to forming Italy in the endgame with its powerful navy and CCR.

6 Yuan

Improve Military, Expansion Capabilities But Skip Mandate Of Heaven

Europa Universalis 4: X Best National Ideas (7)

Primary Culture

Mongol (Altaic)

Capital Province

Khanbaliq

Government

Celestial Empire

State Religion

Tengri

Ideas of Interest

Da Zai Qian Yuan (-25% Core-Creation Cost) Sino-Mongol Administration (+5% Administrative Efficiency)

Should any country of the Altaic culture group aspire to relive the glorious days of Genghis Khan, they can form the Yuan. Historically replaced by the current Ming of China, a reformed Yuan may still cement the legitimacy of Mongol emperors not just in China but also beyond its borders. However, forming Yuan by becoming Emperor of China isn't ideal as it switches the technology into Chinese, removing Permanent Casus Belli on neighbors and the Raze mechanic that can bypass over-extension penalties and Monarch Point woes.

In turn, the best alternative to secure Yuan is to annex Ming and skip the Mandate of Heaven. Creating the Yuan Dynasty can be an ideal option for Europa Universalis 4 players looking into military and expansion capabilities, courtesy of a reduction in Core-Creation costs and boosts to Administrative Efficiency. Its straightforward boosts allow China to be a foothold for conquests, especially with access to faster coring capabilities.

5 Mughals

Cheaper Stability Costs Encourage Conquest

Europa Universalis 4: X Best National Ideas (8)

Primary Culture

Hindavi (Hindustani)

Capital Province

Central Doab

Government

Indian Sultanate

State Religion

Sunni

Ideas of Interest

Traditions (+20% Cavalry Combat Ability, -25% Core-Creation Cost) Control over the Clergy (-1 National Unrest) Ibadat Khana - House of Worship (-10% Idea Cost) Zabt System (+15% National Tax Modifier) Fatawa-i-Alamgiri (-10% Stability Cost Modifier) Ambition (-5% Technology Cost)

Should players manage to persevere in the formation of Mughals via a decent foundation with Delhi or Timurid, they get access to one of the most powerful endgame nations in Europa Universalis 4 gameplay. Courtesy of the Diwan mechanic’s auto-assimilation of directly owned cultures, the Mughals likely form when players already own a large portion of India, gearing them up for expanded conquest.

At its core, the Mughals possess an Idea Set that capitalizes on stabilizing their new acquisitions with less risk of uprisings. These include National Ideas that greatly reduce Core-Creation costs, access Ideas faster via reduced cost, and cheaper Technology and Stability costs. Fulfilling the Mughals’ Missions also gives them access to tremendous Administrative Efficiency, allowing them to core territories much faster.

4 Oda

Military Ideas That Unified Japan Can Unify The Globe

Europa Universalis 4: X Best National Ideas (9)

Primary Culture

Togoku (Japanese)

Capital Province

Owari

Government

Daimyo

State Religion

Shinto

Ideas of Interest

Tradition (+10% Army Morale, Infantry Combat Ability) Rakuichi & Rakuza (+10% Goods Produced Mod) Tenka Fubu (-10% Core-Creation Cost, -10% Province Warscore Cost) Triple Firing (+10% Land Fire Damage) Patronization of the West (-5% Technology Cost) Kenchi (+20% National Manpower Modifier)

Nobunaga Oda of the Oda Clan is known in history for his ambitious plans to conquer Japan, with Europa Universalis 4 reflecting his vigor through an Idea Set that encourages strong leadership that builds its momentum through the military. Since unifying Japan will likely happen close to a Korea-Ming alliance, keeping Relations < 0 with both of them should ensure Oda’s developments won’t spread to these rivals, while Oda Ideas facilitate faster Technologies.

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While players begin their Oda playthrough as a mere Daimyo, Oda among the warlords is best suited for unifying Japan much faster and allowing players to start expanding globally. From the perspective of insular Japan, expanding into Ainu and Kurils should open up Siberia and spawn Colonialism, strengthening Oda’s potential to also conquer Alaska, Mexico, and California courtesy of its military-oriented National Ideas.

3 Qing

Flavor, Strong Ideas Merit Extensive Formation

Europa Universalis 4: X Best National Ideas (11)

Primary Culture

Manchu (Chinese)

Capital Province

Beijing

Government

Autocracy

State Religion

Confucian

Ideas of Interest

Traditions (-25% Core-Creation Cost, -10% Aggressive Expansion Impact) The Green Standard Army (+15% National Manpower Mod, +15% Manpower Recovery Speed) Pigtail or Death (-2 National Unrest) Chinese Laws (+5% Administrative Efficiency) The Viceroyalties (-15% State Maintenance, -0.05 Monthly Autonomy Change) The Ten Great Campaigns (+15% Morale of Armies, +50% Prestige from Land Battles) Ambition (-15% Advisor Cost)

Among the formable nations in the grand campaign of Europa Universalis 4, the Qing Dynasty demands more precision on the part of players. Beginning as Jianzhou or other Jurchen-culture country, players first need to unite their fellow culture-members into the Manchu Horde before going independent as the Qing to conquer China.

While similar to the Ming, the Qing Dynasty’s Idea Set boasts more flavor and stronger bonuses for a later-game world conquest. Access to more overall military manpower and less aggressive expansion penalties can make expansion more convenient, while reduced costs to coring and Advisors can make management of newly-conquered states more manageable.

2 Bengal

Trading Upper Hand Cemented With Strong Military, Economic Ideas

Europa Universalis 4: X Best National Ideas (12)

Primary Culture

Bengali (Eastern Aryan)

Capital Province

Gauda

Government

Indian Sultanate

State Religion

Sunni

Ideas of Interest

Traditions (+15% National Manpower Mod, +10% Infantry Combat Ability) Combat Coastal Piracy (+10% Trade Efficiency) Clear the Delta (-10% Development Cost) Attract Sufi Scholars (-10% Idea Cost) Begin the Minting of Rupees (+10% National Tax Modifier) Bengal Industrialization (+10% Goods Produced Mod) Ambition (+15% Artillery Damage from Back Row)

In 1444, the Bengal Sultanate was still enjoying its independence from Delhi’s Tughluq Dynasty, allowing players to enjoy their Europa Universalis 4 gameplay with its access to the powerful Bengal trade node and economically viable areas further boosted by its trade-buffing National Ideas. While Bengal can see rivals in the likes of the Ayutthaya, allying with Delhi and Malwa should give players some lead room for expanding into Orissa and Garjat courtesy of the Bengal Idea Set, which also boosts combat for Infantry and Artillery.

The Bengal Idea Set having a decent balance of improving military and economy may tie into a player’s expansion options. Through the years, Renaissance Bengal can enjoy stronger diplomatic capabilities that can be replicated with Colonialism and the Printing Press. If done correctly, Bengal’s Idea Set can help it form Hindustan and even Unify Islam.

1 Scandinavia

Lack Of Coring Compensated By Admin Efficiency, Military Quality

Europa Universalis 4: X Best National Ideas (13)

Primary Culture

Swedish

Capital Province

Stockholm

Government

Monarchy

State Religion

Protestant

Ideas of Interest

Traditions (+5% Discipline, +15% Goods Produced Mod) Masterful Craftsmanship (-5% Construction Cost, +1 Global Possible Number of Buildings) Unified Scandinavia (+5% Administrative Efficiency, +1 Possible Policies) Danish Baltic Fleet (+10% Trade Efficiency, +5% Ship Durability) Norwegian Marines (+20% Morale of Navies) Finnish Hakkapelitta (-15% Cavalry Cost, +0.5 Cavalry Fire) Swedish Caroleans (+20% Infantry Combat Ability) Lion of the North (+1 Yearly Absolutism, +10 Maximum Absolutism) Ambition (+20% National Manpower Modifier)

Among Europe’s formable nations in Europa Universalis 4, using any Nordic-culture nation to form Scandinavia can reward players with one of the game’s most efficient National Idea Sets. Despite the lack of Core-Creation cost reduction, Scandinavia’s Idea Set more than compensates with its provision of strong governing power.

Scandinavia’s National Ideas focus on three major areas. First, its boosted Admin Efficiency with additional Buildings can snowball into hyperefficient economic management. Secondly, while its Trade Efficiency and Naval Morale boosts aren’t its best features, Scandinavia sets itself up as a global naval power. Thirdly, its National Ideas leading to stronger Infantry and Cavalry can facilitate more guaranteed expansions.

Europa Universalis 4: X Best National Ideas (14)
Europa Universalis 4
Platform(s)
PC

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

Genre(s)
Strategy
Europa Universalis 4: X Best National Ideas (2024)
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