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Duchy rankAustria
Primary culture
Austrian (Germanic)

Capital province
Wien (134)

Feudal MonarchyGovernment monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
WesternWestern technology group
Austrian ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
+10% Morale of armies
+30% Improve relations

Imperial authority growth modifier.png Imperial Ambition

+10% Imperial authority growth modifier
−15% Diplomatic annexation cost

Fort maintenance.png Military Frontier

−10% Fort maintenance
+15% National garrison growth

Inflation reduction.png Fugger Banks

+0.05 Yearly inflation reduction
−1 Interest per annum

Diplomatic reputation.png Habsburg Dominance

+2 Diplomatic reputation

Missionary strength.png Edict of Restitution

+2% Missionary strength

Diplomatic relations.png Austrian Court

+1 Diplomatic relations

Reinforce speed.png Hofkriegsrat

+30% Reinforce speed
+3% Discipline

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+50% Chance of new heir

Austria starts the game as the Emperor of the Flag of Holy Roman Empire Holy Roman Empire. It is up to the Emperor of the traditionally fractious German HRE states to unify the Empire as the famous Habsburgs and stake their claim on history as a world power.

Austria is present in Central Europe, bordered by Flag of Bohemia Bohemia and minor German states to the north and west, Flag of Hungary Hungary to the east and Flag of Venice Venice to the south. They also start with an army of 39,000 troops, the largest army in Europe.

The Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire may be called into defensive wars against outside aggressors, and are also tasked with maintaining order in the empire and enforcing religious unity.


Main article: Austrian missions

Austrian missions are focused around uniting the Habsburg lands and uniting the Holy Roman Empire.


Main article: Austrian events

Austria's events deal with Austro-Bohemian relations, instability in Austria's holdings in Hungary, famous people of the time period such as Mozart and Metternich, and the Italian Wars.


Flag of Styria Styria can form Flag of Austria Austria if Austria no longer exists.

Execute decision.pngUnite the House of Habsburg

By uniting the Leopoldian and Albertinian lines of the house of Habsburg we will once again assert our influence over European politics and secure our place as the most prestigious member of the Holy Roman Empire.

Potential Requirements

The country:


Flag of Austria Austria does not exist.
Flag of Styria Styria:


Flag of Styria Styria.

  • becomes Flag of Austria Austria.
  • gains Prestige.png10 prestige.


Playing Austria is very different from most other nations in the game and therefore could offer a unique experience. Austria should retain the title of Holy Roman Emperor in order to maintain their might as a continental power, which means playing the diplomacy and imperial authority game within the HRE. Thankfully, Austria's national ideas form the one of the best sets of diplomatic ideas in the game. Maintaining allies is also essential as all of Austria's major opponents (particularly France and the Ottomans) have superior military-oriented ideas.

As a note, economically Flag of Austria Austria is relatively weak in trade due to its home trade node being the inland node of Wien. However Flag of Austria Austria is unique in that it has one of the few Gold gold mines in Europe (Tirol) and starts out as Emperor with 8 free cities providing a Gold Icon.png16 ducat bonus as taxes per year. The inflation from the gold mine can be managed by either Economic Ideas, Austria's third national idea, or by using Papal Influence to choose the Forgive Usury action that reduces inflation.

Flag of Austria Austria is also perhaps in the best position to form the Flag of Holy Roman Empire Holy Roman Empire, due to starting as Emperor, having several diplomatic oriented national ideas, and their relative position and strength in the empire to enforce their will on the other Princes. Following the steps below will help ensure the player can form the Empire at a relatively quick pace.

Imperial Authority[edit]

In general, things to keep in mind for monthly Imperial authority.png Imperial Authority:

  • with more princes in the HRE +0.004 per prince over 25
  • up to 8 free cities +0.005 per city
  • peace in the empire +0.10
  • heretic princes -0.01 per prince
  • electors that are vassals or missing electors -0.1 per elector (This does not include personal unions, however there is a -50 penalty in elections for the suzerain.)
  • Imperial provinces under the control of non-members or subjects of non-members -.005 per province.

Other mechanics can be seen at Flag of Holy Roman Empire Holy Roman Empire.

Minimizing the Reformation[edit]

To reduce the impact of the Reformation it may be helpful to let one province countries like Flag of Friesland Friesland or Flag of Oldenburg Oldenburg be annexed by larger countries to prevent Center of reformation.png centers of reformation and religious rebels from instantly converting princes. This decreases Imperial Authority tick, but they may be released after 1650 if their cores still exist.

Another option of dealing with the reformation is to go to war with countries in the Empire who have centers of reformation in them, take the province, and convert it back to Catholicism. This will help stop the spread and ensure more nearby princes stay true to the faith. If done quickly enough, the Empire may be able to avoid the Thirty Years War altogether. However, Reformation Centers have high Missionary resistance and thus Austria will usually need to either complete all Religious ideas to have enough Missionary Strength for conversion, or embrace the Counter-Reformation.

Rein in Northern Italy[edit]

The Empire can be greatly strengthened by preventing the Shadow Kingdom event.

The provinces in red must be added to the HRE by 1490 to prevent the Shadow Kingdom event.

Preventing the Shadow Kingdom is most easily accomplished by enacting the Rein in Northern Italy decision, which requires that eight provinces be under Flag of Austria Austria's rule through direct or indirect ownership: Flag of Venice Venice's Treviso, Fruili, and Verona, Flag of Urbino Urbino's Urbino, Flag of The Papal State The Papal State's Ancona, Romagna, and Umbria, and Flag of Naples Naples' Abruzzo. Successful completion of the Rein in Northern Italy decision adds all the listed provinces to the HRE. Enforcing this decision means more Imperial authority.png Imperial Authority, but it also means more wars to keep minor states in line, and potentially more princes to fall victim to the Reformation spread. Careful management will be needed to ensure that Flag of Austria Austria can keep the Italian princes in line with the rest of the Empire.

Territories in Flag of Burgundy Burgundy[edit]

Flag of Burgundy Burgundy through Personal Unions controls imperial territory in Flag of Holland Holland and Flag of Brabant Brabant, as well as four Imperial provinces of its own.

The strategies behind dealing with Flag of Burgundy Burgundy should have in mind keeping Imperial territory in Empire hands and protected from Flag of France France and Flag of England England. The strategy can be started from Sundgau via fabrication or a rival conquest mission. Ways to pull apart Flag of Burgundy Burgundy include:

  • Forcing Flag of Burgundy Burgundy to move their capital by annexing Bourgogne through Franche-Comté. Flag of Burgundy Burgundy may move their capital into Imperial territory automatically forcing Flag of Brabant Brabant and Flag of Holland Holland back into Imperial arms. (This is greatly increased by having Picardie and Artois in another nations hands: Flag of France France has missions and Flag of England England generally fabricates claims.)
  • At least three wars, releasing Flag of Hainaut Hainaut, Flag of Luxembourg Luxembourg, cancelling the subjects of Flag of Holland Holland, Flag of Brabant Brabant, and reclaiming French-Comté.
  • through the Burgundian Succession Crisis (a luck based event) which can give direct control over all provinces controlled by Burgundy or its subjects which are in the Holy Roman Empire. Note though that Flag of France France will generally receive control of the Bourgogne, Picardie, Artois, Charolais, Nevers, and Rethel provinces. Austria can also choose to release the princes after inheriting their land for more imperial authority with the bonus of having another base of territory in the Empire to keep the Princes in line.

Other Subject Members[edit]

Flag of Provence Provence at the start is the suzerain of Flag of Lorraine Lorraine (Metz and Lothringen) and controls the Imperial territory of Barrois, from which you can release Flag of Bar Bar to have an extra prince. Flag of Holstein Holstein is also part of the Empire, but is a vassal under Flag of Denmark Denmark.

Territories of Non-Member Nations[edit]

Neumark, a core of Flag of Brandenburg Brandenburg starts under Flag of Teutonic Order Teutonic Order's control at the start. There is now an event that can allow the TO to sell Neumark to Brandenburg, or otherwise Brandenburg will usually get it via war. Brescia, a Venetian province, is also part of the Empire, and can usually be returned to Flag of Milan Milan should Austria go to war with Venice to add their provinces to the Empire.

If the first Imperial Reform is passed, the Imperial ban casus belli may be used to secure these provinces.

Idea groups[edit]

Diplomatic or Influence are strong contenders for first idea group due to the importance of holding onto the Holy Roman Emperor title. Both grant an Diplomatic relations.png+1 diplomatic relations and Diplomatic reputation.png+2 diplomatic reputation (+10 modifier for elections and +5 per point for supporting Empire reforms). Influence enables faster expansion due to reduced aggressive expansion (Aggressive expansion impact.png-20%) and reduced diplomatic annexation costs (Diplomatic annexation cost-25%). Diplomacy, however, may have better events (including one that could give Imperial authority.png+5 Imperial Authority), better improved relations (Improve relations.png+25%), and free royal marriage breaking (from Icon stability.png-1 stability and Prestige.png-1 prestige).

Offensive or Defensive are both helpful to Austria as a major land power that must repel hostile invasions on the HRE. Offensive may be slightly more useful due to the need to wage many small wars within the HRE to free annexed states, as Engineer Corps decreases the length of siege times Siege ability.png+20% and Grand Army provides a larger force limit Land forcelimit.png+20% to win battles against the French, Ottoman or Polish armies.

Religious or Humanism may be essential by the third idea group in order to counter the heretics during the Reformation. It is in the Emperor's interest to remain Catholic and convert ProtestantismProtestant/Reformed.pngReformed princes back to CatholicismCatholicism which makes Religious a strong choice. However, if the Reformation starts right next to or within Flag of Austria Austria, Humanism may be necessary to prevent the religious turmoil disaster. Alternatively, the Religious-Offensive policy (Anti-Heresy Act) offers a powerful bonus (Religious unity.png+20% Religious Unity, Missionary strength vs heretics.png+3% Missionary Strength vs Heretic) for a Military power.png-1 monarch point upkeep cost.


The pen is mightier than the sword icon
The pen is mightier than the sword
Have three unions at the same time as Austria.
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