Beginner's guide

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As a beginner, it is recommended to pick a country in Europe because the better economy makes it easier to industrialize.

  1. Geography. Small compact coastal nations are great beginner countries since ports are easier to build early in the game and allows trade and colonization later on.
  2. Diplomacy. Countries
  3. Resources. Iron and wood are critical to building your industry, but access to coal is necessary to fuel and stabilize your economy. Food
  4. Literacy and politics.

Recommended countries[edit | edit source]

Sweden is an independent five-state country in northern Europe. Due to its location, involvement in the war of others is an option and not a necessity, and your neighbors don't require much to keep peace: Denmark has few resources for war, Prussia is relatively friendly and a valuable market, while Russia will industrialize later due to the state of its society. Sweden has great access to vital resources for industrialization (wood, iron, and coal), great resource modifiers for state specialization, starts with great literacy, and a society conducive to liberal reforms.

Belgium is an independent two-province country in western Europe sandwiched between Prussia, Luxembourg, France, and the Netherlands. Its location provides it a front seat to the brutal fighting in Europe and its only natural enemy with the Netherlands requires careful balancing of diplomacy; however, its compact population allows concentrated industry that can easily create surpluses for trade through decrees.

Chile is an independent country in South America, with Europe, compact, close to colonization, religious dynamics

Cape Colony protected by Britain, close to colonization, great resources

Lanfang is a one province minor on the island of Borneo. It starts with a Presidential Republic, over 30% literacy and a gold mine. The neighbors on Borneo can easily be conquered right at the start to give access to iron, coal and sulfur mining as well as several valuable agricultural crops. It starts as part of the Great Qing market, so goods can be easily bought and sold. The European colonials are easy to get along with, too. An outstanding choice for a new player in Asia.

Tips[edit | edit source]

Production[edit | edit source]

The production of Trade goods is how the vast majority of the wealth in Victoria 3 is created. Wealth is not just money, but a developed country inhabited by an industrious and happy populace.

  • Goods are produced in Buildings
    • Buildings are built by the player per state. They cost State status construction.png which is provided by all Construction Sector-"Buildings" in the country. The construction also costs money. The upkeep also costs money.
  • Production requires raw materials (a certain group of goods like e.g. Wood, Hardwood, Iron, Steel, Coal, Tools, etc.)
  • Buildings require Infrastructure (to achieve a high "market access")
  • Production requires workers maybe even skilled (i.e. educated) workers
  • Production creates jobs, and pays wages to the employees. That income allows people to consume those goods they need or desire.
  • Buildings adjust their wages over time in order to achieve full employment with minimal wage costs.[1]
  • Buildings won’t increase wages if this would cause them to go into deficit, so there’s little point to expanding industries beyond the point where they’re profitable[1].
  • Particularly in small economies, expanding production will drop the price of the output good (due to increased supply) so much, the building is not profitable anymore and will lay-off workers to a level where it becomes profitable again. Only sufficient demand in the market can get a building to full employment.
  • Employ all pops. Unlike pops employed in subsistence industries, unemployed pops do not contribute to the economy, generate unrest, and consume welfare payments. Pops in subsistence farms are not great either, but they tend to be able to support themselves enough to not cause a lot of problems. When you get the chance later it is beneficial to use up arable land to reduce the size of the subsistence economy.
  • Specialize your provinces. Economic growth during the Victorian era was fueled by economies of scale. Few large factories out-produce many smaller factories.

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Taxation capacity only affects pop taxes so it's not as useful for countries with consumption-based taxation laws. While it might be tempting to build more government administrations to fully tax your population, lack of qualifications, undeveloped paper industries and government wages will make it very inefficient. It can be helpful to build them to elimitate small shortages, but in cases of massive taxation capacity shortages it's advisable to focus on creation industry base, before unlocking more efficient production methods for your administration. Building government centers can be deferred to create goods producing buildings unless needed to maintain your institutions.

Laws[edit | edit source]

Your currently enacted Laws are very important.

E.g. as Russia starting in 1836.1.1, the Education System policy is set to "No education". You want to change this ASAP to any of the alternatives: Religious Schools, Private Schools or Public Schools. But you can’t, as you do not meet the requirements! Your current Labour Rights policy (or law) is set to "Serfdom", that excludes both "Religious Schools" and "Public Schools". Additionally you current Church and State-policy "State religion" excludes "Private Schools" again and additionally excludes "Private Schools". To change Labour Rights policy from "Serfdom" to "Serfdom Abolished", the new policy needs support from the government. The more the better. You need to reform your government and include an interest group with an endorsement or a strong endorsement of "Serfdom Abolished". You might want to remove "interest groups" with endorsement of "Serfdom" from government (and move them into the opposition). But this new government might have legitimacy problems!

Many laws will automatically create the first level of an institution. So before you institute health care, police or access to education, make sure you have enough bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is a constant resource. Each incorporated state will require a certain amount depending on their population and how many institutions you are running. Getting below the required amount will hurt your taxes! You can increase your available bureaucracy by building government administrations.

Diplomatic Plays

Diplomatic plays are accessed by clicking the diplomatic lens at the bottom of the screen. Under diplomatic plays are a variety of options such as conquer state, establish dominion, treaty port, etc.

When undergoing a diplomatic play, it will begin a countdown broken up into three stages (Opening Moves, Escalation, Preparation for War).

For nearly all diplomatic plays you will incur some infamy, it is key to check what you infamy level is in your country page before undergoing large diplomatic plays so you can stay under 100 infamy points. Going over may have some serious consequences in the international community!

Additionally, any country with an interest in the region of your diplomatic play can take a side. Notably, any rivals of your country in the area are highly likely to join the opposing side. There are multiple strategies to place yourself in the best chance for success in a diplomatic play:

  1. Engage in plays in regions your allies also have interests. Just like your enemies allies are likely to side with them, your allies are more likely to join and sway to your side during escalation phases.
  2. Engage in plays when your rival is already either in a play or at war. Both players and AI are much less likely to have the resources to intervene or even notice if they are currently tied up in more important affairs
  3. Be prepared to give in order to get. Any non swayed power can be offered a war goal to take your side. This is impacted both by how much they like you and how desirable the war goal is. Adding additional war goals also pauses the escalation timer. This gives time for the opposing side to respond, likely adding rivals of your new supporter!

Initial Steps[edit | edit source]

"Before you try building trains and guns, why not feed your pops." - Paul Depre, QA Manager at Paradox Games

The best place to start generating wealth for your nation is by focusing on the needs of your own market.

Your pops will always be there through the game and always need to be fed, clothed, and entertained. As such, meeting their demands and the demand of your local industry is key to having a solid foundation for which to expand your operations and trade to foreign markets.

  1. Balance Supply and Demand.
    1. Trade is the fastest way to balance; however, this might stunt the growth of your industries.
  2. Use your Political Capacities to Expand your Economy.
    1. Use bureaucracy to favor interest groups and activate their bonuses, create trade routes to balance resources, or
    2. Use authority to modify high producing states or to activate consumption taxes to expand your budget.
    3. Use your budget to expand your construction industry, create .
  3. Specialize your province at the start
    1. Identify provinces with good resource potentials and develop the province
    2. Automate expansion, and let the game do the balancing