Every country has a capital province, which acts as center of government. A nation's capital is generally its most important province, and consequently the capital affects, and is affected by, many mechanics throughout the course of a game. For example, countries with capital provinces located within the bounds of the Holy Roman Empire are automatically given membership in the Empire.
Finding the capital
The button with the right arrow symbol in the toolbar below the minimap, when selected, will offer an option, ‘Go to home capital'. When that is chosen, the map will center on one's capital province. Alternatively, hitting either the Backspace or 🏠 Home keys will center on the capital. The capital can also be visually identified, as the flag in the province will be topped with a small yellow crown.
Identifying the capital
In the province interface of the capital, left to the province name at the top, a gold crown within a red circle is displayed. Capital always has an extra fort level that costs no maintenance but also does not have a zone of control (unless there is also a fort building there).
Purpose & effects
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.13.
The capital province gets:
- In war: If a capital is occupied during a war, it will count for a greater warscore because of its value. Occupying the enemy capital will increase the desire for peace of the AI, allowing you to potentially claim more in the peace deal. Taking capital in a peace deal cost 20% more warscore.
- For trade: Trade is automatically collected from the node containing the main trade port, even without a merchant (although a merchant will boost the income received). Collecting from trade in other nodes reduces one's trade power there by 50%. A nation's main trade port is always in the same province as the capital at the beginning of the game.
Players owning the Wealth of Nations expansion may move their main trading port to a new province at the cost of 200 Diplomatic points.
Players owning the Common Sense expansion have development cost reduction in their capital city, proportional to the country-wide development. For every 20 development, capital gets a 1% reduction.
- For government envoys: Colonists, diplomats and missionaries all return to the capital when they are unassigned, and the time taken to return depends on the distance from their target to the capital.
Moving the capital
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.12.
- It costs 200 administrative power to move the capital. Cost is increased by 0.5 administrative power for every point of development of the country.
- The capital cannot be moved to another continent unless it is the last province in its current continent and has no neighboring provinces.
- A Holy Roman Empire member cannot move its capital to a non-imperial province, nor can a non-member move its capital to an imperial province.
The capital, and any foreign diplomats active in it, will automatically change in the event that it is conquered in a war.
If the main trade port is in the capital, moving the capital will move trade ports as well.
Tactical moving of capital For some countries, it can be effective to move their capital to another continent or region. For example, moving closer to a more valuable trade node so you lose the 50% trade collection malus. Moving your capital to a province is also an easy way to enact a decision for culture shifting. You can culture shift to any culture given that this culture is the dominant culture of your nation.
Additionally, moving your capital will reset the autonomy to 0% in the selected province.
Some countries have a so-called "fixed capital" defined. This is usually a province considered absolutely integral to the nation. For example, the nation of Ulm has the Ulm province as its fixed capital, and the Papal State has Roma. The AI cannot move its capital away from its fixed capital. Until patch 1.10 this also applied to the player. An AI controlled nation with fixed capital that does not own this province will move its capital for free to this province as soon as it owns the province. Full list of fixed capital countries as of patch 1.15:
- The Papal State
The capital area includes all provinces of a country which have a land connection only through the country’s own provinces to the capital. Straits count as land connection.
- See in Static modifiers#Capital City). (
- See in under PS_MOVE_CAPITAL.