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Culture groups in 1444
Individual cultures in 1444

Culture icon.png In the game, cultures are divided into groups. Each province has one dominant culture, and each country has one primary culture with possibly one or more accepted cultures.

Primary culture[edit]

All countries have one primary culture. This is normally fixed, although the Accept Cultural Shift decision can change it, as can certain national decisions.

For the cultural shift decision to be available, a nation's capital must be situated in a province that does not share its primary culture. To then enact the decision, the culture in the capital province must be the dominant culture in the nation. For the purposes of the decision, the culture with the most development in a nation defines which is dominant. The AI will never take this decision.

Execute decision.pngAccept Cultural Shift

The cultural identity of the ruling elite is shifting, as our $PRIMARY_CULTURE$ heritage is gradually losing ground to the language and traditions of $CAPITAL$.

Potential Requirements Allow
  • Is not a subject nation
  • Is at Peace
  • Has at least 1 Icon stability.png Stability
  • The dominant Culture icon.png Culture is the same as in the Capital.png Capital

(Note: dominant culture is the culture with the highest development percentage in the nation.)

  • Lose -5 Icon stability.png Stability
  • Change the Culture icon.png Primary culture to the Capital.png Capital culture

AI will never take this decision


Accepted cultures[edit]

Many countries have one or more accepted cultures alongside their primary culture, and these may change over time. These cultures comprise a significant minority, or even majority, of the country's population, and are treated as well as the primary culture (Their names will be in green, just like the primary culture).

A culture will become accepted if owned and cored provinces of that culture provide at least 20% development of total development from all cored provinces. The total development is summed across all provinces with a nation's cores, even if the nation does not currently own those cores. If the development percentage drops below 10%, cultures will lose their accepted status.

The thresholds for gain and loss of accepted cultures can be further reduced through a number of national ideas and policies:

Accepted culture threshold.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Humanist idea 5: Cultural Ties
  • Polish traditions
  • Athenian idea 2: Athenian Openness
  • Bahmani idea 3: Dakani Language
  • Fulani Jihad idea 6: Community of the Faithful
  • Mexican idea 2: The Republic of Indians
  • Ottoman idea 1: Millets
  • Arakanese traditions
  • Ayutthayan traditions
  • Shan traditions
  • Tumbuka traditions
  • Vindhyan traditions
  • Arawak idea 4: Tribal Tolerance
  • Beninese idea 6: Adoption of Benin Customs
  • Caucasian idea 1: Crossroad Of Cultures
  • Central Indian idea 4: Flexible Caste System
  • Lan Na idea 5: Red and Black Vassals
  • Lan Xang idea 1: Laotian Ethnic Diversity
  • Laotian idea 4: Laotian Ethnic Diversity
  • Mossi idea 3: Nyonnyonse Vassals
  • Sligonian idea 3: Cultural Crossroads
  • West African idea 7: Maintain Minor Kings
  • Humanist−Diplomatic: Multilingual Diplomats
  • Humanist−Plutocratic: Cultural Recognition Act

Having the bonus "trading in silk" will lower the accepted cultural threshold by 10%

Having Enlightened despotism will lower the accepted cultural threshold by 10%

Unlike other mechanics like reduced core creation cost, the accepted culture threshold have no cap, so you can reach a 100% of cultural acceptance with the right setup. This would require all possible factors: of course Humanism (50%), both polices (+20% =70%), trading in silk (+10%=80%), Enlightened despotism (+10%=90%), and a nation that has a respective national idea or tradition (10% or 15% which brings the total to 100% or above). If the Ottomans or a Polish Commonwealth manage to create a Eurasian Empire and dominate the silk trade, this would be an interesting strategy to maximize tax income and manpower, while minimizing unrest to keep the Empire stable. Since the policies have an upkeep of 1 administrative and 1 diplomatic power, small nations will often be better of with the one-time investment to convert provinces of a minority cultures.

The biggest problem about this strategy is that plutocratic ideas require republic government type, while Enlightened despotism is available only for monarchies. With the use of a custom nation, it is possible to get -20% accepted culture threshold from ideas, eliminating the need for plutocratic ideas or Enlightened despotism. It is usually not necessary to stack so many of these modifiers, as if a culture is so small that they do not become accepted when they are significantly less than 10% (entry threshold with Humanist Ideas completed and no other modifiers), the benefit gained out of having them accepted will be slight. While Trading In Silk can be easily acquired through expansion into Asia, the other bonuses require more investment in ideas, policy upkeep or specific government types that may not be wanted otherwise.

Cultural union[edit]

Cultural unions will automatically accept all sub-cultures within their respective culture group. Any nation can become a Cultural Union (CU) of its culture group upon reaching the Empire rank Empire government rank or 1000 development if the player does not have Common Sense. As part of this change it is possible for several nations to be a CU for the same culture group. A nation can become an empire as part of a decision, event, reaching a certain development level or by upgrading the government rank.

Penalties for unaccepted cultures[edit]

A province with a non-accepted culture will provide less tax and have higher unrest alongside other penalties. A province with a culture in the same culture group, but not the same culture as the owner will get lighter penalties:

  • Same culture group (Culture name will be in yellow)
Local tax modifier.png −15% Local tax modifier
Local manpower modifier.png −15% Local manpower modifier
Local sailors modifier.png −15% Local sailors modifier
  • Different culture group (Culture name will be in red)
Local tax modifier.png −33% Local tax modifier
Local missionary strength.png −2% Local missionary strength
Local manpower modifier.png −33% Local manpower modifier
Local sailors modifier.png −20% Local sailors modifier
Local unrest.png +2 Local unrest

Republican Cultural Sufferance

Republics get an additional cultural sufferance modifier in different culture-group provinces. This stacks with the usual penalty, mitigating but not eliminating it.

Local tax modifier.png +10% Local tax modifier
Local manpower modifier.png +10% Local manpower modifier
Local sailors modifier.png +5% Local sailors modifier
Local unrest.png −0.5 Local unrest

Culture change[edit]

The culture of a province can be changed to another culture if the province is cored by its owner, has the same religion as its owner and has no Separatism unrest. The cost for converting culture is 10 diplomatic power per development[1] and the duration for the change to take place is 10 months per development[2]. Like coring costs, culture conversion costs are capped at 30 development, so improving a 30 development province will not increase the cost of converting its culture. Sieges and occupations will pause culture conversion but will not cancel it, the culture conversion will continue as soon as the province is liberated, although conversion will be cancelled if the province's ownership changes. If the conversion is cancelled before progress reaches 10%, all diplomatic points will be refunded.

A province can have its culture changed to the primary culture of the province's owner. With The Cossacks, a province's culture can also be changed to any neighbouring province's culture or its culture can be restored to whatever it was originally. Changing to neighbouring culture can be beneficial if the neighbouring culture is accepted or close to being accepted.

Converting a province from culture A to culture B will incur a relations hit with every country whose primary culture is culture A.


The cultural conversion cost modifier reduces only the diplomatic power needed to change a province's culture. The time needed for the change to be complete cannot be reduced.

The following modifiers apply:

−25% if the province borders another owned province with the desired culture (adjacency bonus)
−50% if the province is being restored to its original culture

Culture conversion cost.png Triggers
−15% Parliament.png "Assimilation and Settlement Policy" active issue
−10% Trading in Fish.png fish

Ideas and policies:

Culture conversion cost.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
  • Fully Religious
  • Karamanid idea 1: Mehmet Bey's Firman
  • Muscovite idea 3: Oprichnina
  • Influence-Religious: Cultural Unity
  • Nizhny Novgorod idea 7: Russian Ambition
  • Lunda idea 5: Warrior Migrations
  • Kongolese idea 5: Aggressive Migration
  • Aragonese ambitions
  • Divine ambitions
Decisions and events:
Culture conversion cost.png Event modifier Trigger Duration
−5% Itinerant Capital Ethiopian event: “The Itinerant Capital
Option: ‘Actively encourage the cultural conversion of the countryside.’
for 10 years.
−15% One Language of Government Spanish event: “Grammar of the [Root.Culture.GetName] Tounge
Option: ‘Adopt [Root.Culture.GetName] as the language of our administration.’
until ruler changes.

Primary nation[edit]

Most cultures have a "primary nation." These nation will keep uncontested cores indefinitely,[3] so long as their cores are in provinces of their culture - culture conversion will force these cores to obey the normal 50/150 year expiry timers for cores depending on whether or not the new culture is the same culture group as the nation with a core there. Primary nations of each culture can be found in the list below.

Lost cultures[edit]

Cultures in the Lost Cultures group do not exist at game start, but can be created as custom nations or during the invasion. The only culture that can be re-discovered is the Roman culture by Restoring the Roman Empire that change the primary culture of the nation. All provinces with the former nation's primary culture will change to Roman culture.

Culture groups[edit]

Note that culture groups are not just based on linguistic criteria - for example, Romanian is grouped with the Carpathian cultures due to cultural similarities and for gameplay purposes, even though Carpathian is not a linguistic family.

Primary nations of each culture are listed to the right of each culture.





  • Het
  • Huarpe
  • MapucheMapuche Mapuche
  • Patagonian










Central Algonquian

Central American

Central Indian






East Bantu

  • Bena
  • Malagasy
  • SwahiliKilwa Kilwa
  • Takama
  • Thagiicu

East Slavic

Eastern Algonquian

Eastern Aryan


  • Aleutian
  • Inuit




Great lakes











Lost Cultures

  • Anglo-Saxon
  • Aramaic
  • Athenian
  • Atlantean
  • Babylonian
  • Etrurian
  • Hebrew
  • Jan Manyanese
  • Old Egyptian
  • Parthian
  • Phoenician
  • Pruthenian
  • Roman
  • Scanian
  • Scythian
  • Spartan






  • Chacoan


Mon Khmer






  • Aboriginal
  • Melanesian
  • MoluccanTernate Ternate
  • Papuan


Plains Algonquian




South Slavic

Southern African






  • Ingrian
  • Ostyak
  • Samoyed
  • UralicPerm Perm

West African

West Slavic

Western Aryan


  1. From /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: PS_CHANGE_CULTURE = 10
  2. From /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: MONTHS_TO_CHANGE_CULTURE = 10, -- How many months it will take to change culture in a province, per development.
  3. From /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: CORE_LOSE_PRIMARY_CULTURE_TAG = -1, -- how many years until a core is lost for the primary tag of a country (-1 = never lost)
Province mechanics
Management CapitalCoreCultureReligionRebellionAutonomyList of provinces
Economy DevelopmentTaxProductionBuildingsManpowerSailors