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This article may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. It was last updated for 1.1.

Primary culture
Cosmopolitaine (French cultural union)

Capital province
Île-de-France (183)

Feudal MonarchyGovernment monarchy.png

State religion

Tech 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 Bonus:

+5% Discipline

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

France is a kingdom located in Western Europe, on the French Region. 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 appearance of a certain officer named Napoleon Bonaparte to execute the king!

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
  • Rev. 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 at war
  • Owns Maine
  • Owns Berry
  • Owns Vermandois
  • Owns Île-de-France
  • Owns Orleanais
  • Owns Nemours
  • Owns Champagne
  • Has core on Maine
  • Has core on Berry
  • Has core on Vermandois
  • Has core on Île-de-France
  • Has core on Orleanais
  • Has core on Nemours
  • Has core on Champagne

  • Gallia:
    • Limited to:
      • Is not owned by our country
    • Adds claim to France
  • Aquitania:
    • Limited to:
      • Is not owned by our country
    • Adds claim to France
  • Occitania:
    • Limited to:
      • Is not owned by our country
    • Adds claim to France
  • Adds the modifier "Increased Centralization" for 20 years:
    • +10% global tax modifier
    • +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
  • Has completed Economic Ideas
  • Administrative technology is at least 16

  • 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 Allow
  • 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 "Increased Centralization" for 20 years:
    • +10% global tax modifier
    • +1 revolt risk

Execute decision.pngIntroduce Provincial Taxation System

By establishing a permanent provincial taxation system we will be able to optimize gains for the treasury considerably.

Potential Requirements
  • Administrative technology is at least 16

  • Lose Administrative power.png50 Administrative points
  • Adds the modifier "Provincial Taxation System" for the rest of the campaign:
    • +5% global tax modifier
    • +1 revolt risk

Execute decision.pngTake Control of the Guilds

Potential Requirements Allow

  • Lose Administrative power.png50 Administrative points
  • Adds the modifier "State Controlled Guilds" for the rest of the campaign:
    • 5% national trade income modifier
    • +1 national revolt risk

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:

  • Set country flag 'had_edict_de_nantes'
  • Adds the modifier "Edict de Nantes" for the rest of the campaign:
    • +2 tolerance of heretics
    • -1 tolerance of the true faith
    • +25% 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, 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. However, it is hard to resist the wealthy lands of America, and that shouldn't be ignored either.

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 be both a friend or foe, depending on whatever the player desires, and Denmark could also be a useful ally as England and Denmark are likely to be on unfriendly terms with one another. Against the Emperor, both Hungary and Bohemia are powerful allies.

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. 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.

Second idea

France's second idea should probably be the offensive idea group; it is a powerful idea group for France, which would usually rely mostly 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 handle near anything.

Hundred years war[edit]

The Hundred Years' War is very easy for France to win, initially. With superior land forces and a better general, as well as an excellent leader by comparison, France is almost always capable of crushing England on land. However, 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. Additionally, the War of the Roses is not very frequent in the current version. Therefore, it is usually better for France to take as much as they can and in a future war transport the army to Scotland before beginning the war. One way to get to the British isles in the hundred years war is to move your navy to your province in the mediterranean and build cogs, get fleet basing rights and military access with Scotland and land your navy of cogs there.


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.