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This article is considered accurate for the current version of the game.

Primary culture
Cosmopolitaine (cultural union)

Capital province
Île-de-France (183)

Feudal MonarchyGovernment monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
Ideas and traditions

Traditions.png Traditions:

+20% National manpower modifier
+1 Diplomatic relations

Income from vassals.png French Language in all courts

+15% Income from vassals
-10% Diplomatic annexation cost

Morale of armies.png Elan!

+20% Morale of armies

National tax modifier.png Estates General

+10% National tax modifier

Reduced native attacks.png Native Trading Principles

Native attacks are severely reduced.
+100% Tax and manpower from natives

Defensiveness.png Vauban Fortifications

+30% Fort defense

Technology cost.png The Philosophes

-10% Technology cost

Tolerance heretic.png Liberté, égalité, fraternité

+2 Tolerance of heretics
+2 Tolerance of heathens

Idea bonus.png Ambitions:

+5% Discipline

"I am the state" - Louis XIV of France (1638 - 1715)

France is a kingdom located in Western Europe, on the French Region, and is one of (if not the) most interesting and entertaining nations to play as in EUIV due to its quite overpowered (albeit historical) military. France allows for the player to make mistakes with usually limited consequences due to its military and sheer size, taking down France as an outside nation can be difficult, but not impossible. In 1444, it borders Burgundy to the north and east, England to the north and west, Aragon to the south, Savoy to the east and a large number of minor nations all around.

France starts out having five vassals: Armagnac, Auvergne, Bourbonnais, Foix and Orleans, as well as an independence guarantee to Scotland. This means the player is at their maximum diplomatic relations limit at the start and can only form additional alliances by taking a hit to diplomatic point generation or by revoking some of the current vassalage or guarantee.

In addition, France also starts in the midst of the Hundred Years' War with England, with a large army already raised. (30 regiments) By contrast, England has 9 and 8 regiments stationed in Normandy and Gascogne respectively. Defeating the outnumbered English army should be relatively straightforward, though the player might not be able to reach the home isles due to an inferior navy.


Main article: French missions

French missions are focused around uniting the myriad states in France itself, interfering in the Holy Roman Empire, defeating the English and colonizing America.


Main article: French events

Wars of Religion[edit]

The rise of Protestantism in Europe led to three decades of civil war within France known as The Wars of Religion. This event can occur between 1550 and 1570 if less than 80% of the country has the state religion. Rival Catholic nations can form La Ligue Catholique, a major player in the French Wars of Religion, directed at the eradication of Protestants in France. The League was used not only to defend the Catholic cause, but also as a political tool in an attempt to usurp the French throne.

The formation of the La Ligue Catholique will decrease relations with Catholic nations and give qualifying neighboring powers a casus belli to restore the one true faith!

Palace of Versailles[edit]

Around 1650, the player will be presented with the choice, through an event, to begin construction of the Palace of Versailles. A high initial cost to set the construction in motion, as well as a temporary but lengthy tax cut, can be a very costly procedure, where several loans might be required. However, finishing the Palace of Versailles will give France the desired model of kingly ruling, and as long as the Palace remains, France will benefit from yearly prestige and legitimacy.

The French Revolution & Napoleon[edit]

This event can occur after 1750 if the French economy is on its knees or is suffering from high War Exhaustion and the probability of the event chain firing is increased if demands for economic and social reforms have been turned down. This event chain can create revolts, uprisings and even the overthrow of the monarchy!

Form French Nation[edit]

France is a French cultural union, a Formable Country should France or its revolutionary counterpart cease to exist.

Execute decision.pngForm French Nation

This year will mark the beginning of an evolutionary period for our nation. The old feudal ways will begin to make way for a more modern centralized nation. Although struggling financially due to miscalculated projects and military campaigns, we have managed to transform ourselves into one of the most dominant powers of Europe.

Potential Requirements
  • France does not exist
  • Revolutionary France does not exist
  • Country is not Holy Roman Empire
  • Country is not The Papal State
  • Country is not Spain
  • Any of the following:
    • Culture group is French
    • Culture group is Basque
    • Primary culture is Breton
  • Is not a colonial nation
  • Any of the following:
    • Is not a former colonial nation
    • All of the following:
      • Is a former colonial nation
      • Is not an AI
  • Is not at war
  • Owns and has core Maine
  • Owns and has core Berry
  • Owns and has core Vermandois
  • Owns and has core Île-de-France
  • Owns and has core Orleanais
  • Owns and has core Othe
  • Owns and has core Champagne

  • Gallia region:
    • Limited to:
      • Is not owned by our country
    • Adds claim to France
  • Aquitania region:
    • Limited to:
      • Is not owned by our country
    • Adds claim to France
  • Occitania region:
    • Limited to:
      • Is not owned by our country
    • Adds claim to France
  • Adds the modifier "Increased Centralization" for 20 years:
    • -0.05 monthly autonomy change
    • +1 revolt risk
  • Gives 25 prestige
  • Changes country to France
  • France:
    • Sets capital to Île-de-France


Some of France's decisions are shared with Revolutionary France.

Execute decision.pngMove Court to Versailles

The land around the small village of Versailles has long been excellent hunting land, the small hunting lodge has steadily been augmented into a grand looking chateau. Is it not now fitting to make this the seat of the French government?

Potential Requirements
  • Capital is Île-de-France
  • Is a monarchy
  • Does not have "versailles_court" country flag

  • Gain Prestige.png33 Prestige
  • Gain Tax Base Icon.png2 base tax in Île-de-France

Execute decision.pngL'état c'est moi!

Granted the right to rule by the grace of God and God alone we should not allow our God given rights to limited by other, lesser, men.

Potential Requirements
  • Is a monarchy
  • Has not been previously enacted
  • Administrative technology is at least 13
  • Ruler's administrative skill is at least 5
  • Monthly income is more than 100


Change government to absolute monarchy

  • Adds the modifier "The state is me" for the rest of the campaign:
    • +0.5 Prestige.png Yearly Prestige
  • Adds the modifier "Increased Centralization" for 20 years:
    • -0.05 Autonomy.png Monthly autonomy change
    • +1 National revolt risk.png National Unrest

Execute decision.pngEnact Edict de Nantes

The realm was so torn by innumerable factions and sects that the most legitimate of all the parties was fewest in numbers. God has given us strength to stand out against this storm, we have finally surmounted the waves and made our port of safety, -- peace for our state.

Potential Requirements
  • Does not have country flag 'had_edict_de_nantes'
  • Any of the following:
    • The ProtestantismProtestant faith is enabled
    • The Reformed CatholicismReformed faith is enabled
  • State Religion is CatholicismCatholic
  • Dominant Religion is CatholicismCatholic
  • Does not have the country modifier "Counter-Reformation"
  • Any of the following:
    • At least 3 provinces follow the ProtestantismProtestant religion
    • At least 3 provinces follow the Reformed CatholicismReformed religion

  • Set country flag 'had_edict_de_nantes'
  • Adds the modifier "Edict de Nantes" for the rest of the campaign:
    • +2 Tolerance heretic.png Tolerance of heretics
    • -1 Tolerance own.png Tolerance of the true faith
    • +25% Religious unity.png Religious unity

Execute decision.pngRevoke Edict de Nantes

We have determined that we can do nothing better than entirely revoke the said Edict of Nantes, with the special articles granted as a sequel to it, as well as all that has since been done in favor of the said religion.

Potential Requirements
  • Has country flag 'had_edict_de_nantes'
  • Any of the following:
    • State religion is not CatholicismCatholic
    • Both of the following:
      • Does not have a province with the ProtestantismProtestant religion
      • Does not have a province with the Reformed CatholicismReformed religion
    • Île-de-France:
      • Controlled by Rebels

  • Remove country modifier "Edict de Nantes"
  • GainPrestige.png10 Prestige


As France is largely invincible directly on the land, due to their ideas, which give them increased manpower, morale, and discipline, influence or diplomacy ideas are a good idea group to start with. They can allow France to more easily absorb vassals, quicker, and further reduce the aggressiveness of any wars in which France has participated. France's powerful position allows it to choose very different paths to play, whether a colonial or land power or trade game, and so this should be kept in mind.

If a colonial game is desired, France may benefit more from going after Africa, as their fifth national idea is to reduce the aggressiveness of natives, and in Africa this is more likely to come to help. As African lands are generally quite poor, and will be counted as distant overseas unless the player conquers the entire Mediterranean to link Paris to Africa, it may be a good idea to add these provinces to trade companies to get some use out of them. A more viable option may be to colonize the wealthy lands of America, especially as the provinces in South America (and in particular, the Andes Mountains) are quite likely to produce gold.

If a continental game is desired, France is also capable of expansion into the Holy Roman Empire, and may even become the Holy Roman Emperor by vassalizing the electors and forcing Austria to its knees (or can ally with them and wait 100 years to take the throne by converting to Protestantism). Castile may serve as an excellent ally, although the player should keep in mind that they will likely not join in wars against Burgundy and sometimes England, as they are often friendly towards those two. It should also be noted that Castile receives an event to receive a personal union over Aragon, one of their rivals, which may lead to them filling that empty rival slot with France. Denmark may also serve as a good ally if they manage to integrate Sweden and Norway, as they frequently dislike England. Against the Emperor, both Hungary and Bohemia are powerful allies, and if Poland keeps their personal union with Lithuania, they can be another formidable ally.

Finally, if one wishes to have a trade game; they have the powerful French economy and lands to fund an absolutely massive navy, whilst they have the powerful French army to allow them to remain in safety, while their ships manage to take over the trade nodes of the world.

Idea groups[edit]

See also: Idea groups

Initially, France will want to reserve some administrative and military monarch power for technology upgrades:

  • Administrative points: will need ADM points to reach level 7 and unlock the second idea group
  • Military points: the first few Military technology upgrades are quite important for warfare

First idea

A decent first idea is the diplomatic idea group; the extra diplomats and relations will help France manage its vassals and consume fragments of perishing Burgundy. The influence idea group can achieve much of the same, however, and will not decline in importance as you grow stronger, which is the case with diplomatic ideas. That said, the economic idea group (ADM) can be a viable selection due to France's large number of provinces in which to build infrastructure, although it is likely a better idea to take a diplomatic idea group, as administrative technology is more important early on.

Second idea

France's second idea should probably be the offensive idea group; it is a powerful idea group for France, which usually relies upon its armies. The Forced March ability that the player would get at the end of it also is extremely powerful for France's armies, giving them the mobility to travel very quickly.

Hundred years war[edit]

The Hundred Years' War is very easy for France to win. The player has a large group of troops in Paris, and can easily use them to defeat the English troops nearby in Caux, especially with the excellent generals that the player has. Note, however, that 3 of the generals should be fired, as they cost 3 military points a month for being above the free leader limit. The English navy is near invincible when compared to the French one, and so it is almost impossible to land upon the British Isles in safety. Therefore, it is usually a good strategy in the long run to release Wales or Cornwall to provide a beachhead for future invasions of England, as the player can diplomatically vassalize them. If the player does not wish to interfere in English affairs, however, it is possible to take a couple of your cores, and save the rest for the next war.


Burgundy is a major contender against France's army, and so it is generally wise to send a French diplomat to begin improving France's relationship with Burgundy near the beginning. It may be beneficial to try to force the Valois dynasty on Burgundy, and attempt to force a personal union on the country before the shattering Burgundy Inheritance event can occur.

Becoming Holy Roman Emperor[edit]

If the player wishes, France may easily become the Holy Roman Emperor within a few years of the game's start. This is done by offering a royal marriage to Bohemia. As they start out with a regency council for nobody in particular, within a year of the game's start a member of the de Valois dynasty should appear on their throne, allowing the player to claim it and go to war with Bohemia, dragging Austria, along with their allies which likely include several electors, allowing France to become the Emperor after the current one dies. Note that if the King of Burgundy dies while France is the emperor, France immediately inherits all of Burgundy, becoming the most powerful country in the world (although perhaps behind Ming). As the King of Burgundy is more likely to die when Burgundy is losing a war, it may be a good idea to declare war on Burgundy and fully occupy them until France inherits them.

An Alternative way of Annexing your Vassals[edit]

As France you start with 5 vassals, owning a total of 6 provinces, diplomatically annexing these countries would result in a loss of 280 diplomatic points at the least (28 base tax * 10), if the player were to play the longer game he could pick Influence idea's first and get the first 3 idea's for the annexation cost decrease from both the idea and the French idea's, which would reduce the total cost by about 35%. However looking at each and every single one of the provinces owned by your vassals, you may notice something: You have Cores on all of the provinces. So why waste dozens of diplomatic points on an idea group that becomes less useful then many of the others you could have taken in replacement for it, at some point during the Hundred Year War just break the vassalization of the minor states. It will mean a temporary loss of income, but it will prevent the loss of up to 1500 diplomatic points spend on annexing and not losing any Diplomatic Reputation and only a minor amount of Aggressive Expansion.