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Kingdom rankFrance
Primary culture
Francien (French)

Capital province
Paris (183)

Feudal MonarchyGovernment monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
WesternWestern technology group
French ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
+20% National manpower modifier
+1 Diplomatic reputation

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

Native uprising chance.png Native Trading Principles

−50% Native uprising chance
+50% Native assimilation

Fort maintenance modifier.png Vauban Fortifications

−20% Fort maintenance

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
For the region, see France (region).

"L'État c'est moi" (The State is me.) - Louis XIV "The Sun King" of France (1638 - 1715)

France is a kingdom located in Western Europe, in the French Region, and is one of (if not the) most interesting and entertaining nations to play as in EUIV due to its powerful 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 guaranteeing independence to Scotland, no alliances and has cores on all the English land in France. Calais is not in the France region nor has a French culture however, and is therefore not a core of France.


Main article: French missions

French missions are focused around uniting the myriad states in France itself, messing around in the Holy Roman Empire, fighting the English and kicking them out of the mainland, and colonizing North 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 (usually Catholic). Rival Catholic nations can form La Ligue Catholique, a major player in the French Wars of Religion, directed at the eradication of the 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 (especially if France has taken a lot of loans) 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! Sometime along this event chain, the player may get a general named Napoleon who has high stats.

Form French Nation[edit]

France can be formed by a French, Basque or Breton country should it 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
  • Playing with normal or historical nations
  • If AI-controlled:
    • Is not playing a custom nation
    • Is not a former colonial nation
    • France France does not exist
  • Is not the Holy Roman Empire Holy Roman Empire, France France, The Papal State The Papal State or Spain Spain
  • Primary culture is Basque, Breton, or in French group
  • Is not a colonial nation
  • Is not at war
  • Is not a subject nation
  • Is not a steppe horde
  • France France does not exist
  • Owns core provinces Maine, Berry, Vermandois, Paris, Orleanais, Nemours and Champagne

  • Country becomes France France
  • If a non-Elector member of the Holy Roman Empire, all provinces leave the Holy Roman Empire
  • Set government rank to Kingdom rank Kingdom if currently Duchy rank Duchy
  • France France gains a permanent claim on all non-owned provinces in the France region
  • Gain country modifier "Increased Centralization" for 7300 days:
    • Autonomy.png -0.05 Monthly autonomy change
    • National unrest.png +1 National unrest
  • Gain Prestige.png 25 prestige
  • France France changes capital to Paris


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
  • Is France France
  • Playing with normal or historical nations
  • If AI-controlled, is not playing a custom nation
  • Has not enacted this decision before
  • Capital is Paris
  • Government is monarchy
  • Has completed Economic idea group.png Economic Ideas
  • Administrative tech.png Administrative technology is at least 16

  • Gain Prestige.png 33 prestige
  • Paris gains Tax Base Icon.png 2 base tax

Execute decision.png'L'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 France France
  • Playing with normal or historical nations
  • If AI-controlled, is not playing a custom nation
  • Has not enacted this decision before
  • Government is monarchy
  • Administrative tech.png Administrative technology is at least 13
  • Ruler's Administrative power.png administrative skill is at least 5
  • Gold Icon.png Monthly income is at least 100 ducats

  • Gain country modifier "L'État c'est moi" for the rest of the campaign:
    • Prestige.png +0.5 Yearly prestige
  • Change government to Government monarchy.png Absolute Monarchy
  • Gain country modifier "Increased Centralization" for 7300 days (20 years):
    • Autonomy.png -0.05 Monthly autonomy change
    • National unrest.png +1 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
  • Is France France
  • Playing with normal or historical nations
  • If AI-controlled, is not playing a custom nation
  • Has not enacted this decision before
  • The Protestantism Protestant or Reformed.png Reformed religion is enabled
  • Religion is Catholicism Catholic
  • The country's dominant religion is Catholicism Catholic
  • Does not have country modifier "Counter-Reformation"
  • One or both of the following:
    • Has at least 3 provinces of Protestantism Protestant religion
    • Has at least 3 provinces of Reformed.png Reformed religion

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

AI will only take this decision if they have Innovative idea 2 "Pragmatism" and do not have Religious idea 3 "Divine Supremacy"

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 modifier "Edict de Nantes"
  • Playing with normal or historical nations
  • If AI-controlled, is not playing a custom nation
  • At least one of:
    • Religion is not Catholicism Catholic
    • Has no provinces of Protestantism Protestant or Reformed.png Reformed religion
    • Paris is controlled by Rebels Rebels

  • Remove country modifier "Edict de Nantes
  • Gain Prestige.png 10 prestige


As France is largely invincible directly on the land, due to their ideas, which give them increased manpower, morale, and discipline, either influence or diplomacy would be 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 (maybe go after "Big Blue Blob" achievement?), 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. One can also vassalize/release as vassal some countries from the second rank of colonizers (Brittany, Burgundy, Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands or Norway), as they usually colonize Northern America and put these lands (which would be otherwise colonized most probably by England) under the player's control. They will help in colonial wars against English/Castilian/Portuguese colonial nations. Similar approach may be used with Portugal - ally them early and try to get them under personal union. England and Castile are usually French rivals from the early start of game. The player will have 7 diplomatic relation slots if choosing Expansion idea group and build Embassy building, so should be able to maintain the colonizing vassals and also few allies. If one wants to get another advantages in colonization race, choose from Exploration, Expansion and Quantity idea groups and choose theirs national policies once completed (Colonial Expansion and The Colonial Settlement Act) which grant you +1 colonist and +30 yearly population growth. Another useful group for a colonizer is Religious. Even when choosing a colonizer strategy, France should still be capable to expand in Europe - either into HRE when the right moment is chosen or into Spain/British lands.

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.

Hundred years war[edit]

As of 1.12, the Hundred Years' War is over, and France starts at peace with England. 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 1 of the generals should be fired, as they cost 1 military point a month for being above the free leader limit. The English navy is nearly 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, Cornwall or Northumbria 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. Try to get Calais and Caux already in the first war, otherwise these will probably become a target of Burgundy soon.


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.

If one is in war with Burgundy, try to earn as much warscore as possibly by sieging of provinces which would not devolve to you in case of Burgundy Inheritance. When Burgundy Inheritance event happens, before choosing any option call peace with Burgundy and get some of these provinces or release countries which have cores there. Only then choose option to get your rightful provinces. This way you decrease the amount of lands which would become part of (most probably) Austria, your biggest enemy after fall of Burgundy. The released countries will be easy targets for diplomatic vassalization too.

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. Keep in mind, that you need lots of allies. Vassalizing 3-4 electors will give you heavy aggressive expanision. Allying Poland, and Denmark may be a wise choice, though keep in mind that Sweden might rebel against Denmark. 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, which will likely explode immediately). 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.

Another equally viable strategy is set 2 of your rivals as whom ever you wish ally 3 or 4 electors in the HRE and then rival Austria giving the electors an opinion malus with Austria (allied to rival) this will allow you to become emperor with enough coaxing of the electors through bribes and improve relations.

For an expansion in North Italy without being the Holy Roman Emperor, France should wait for "The Shadow Kingdom event" to annex Savoy, Milan and Genoa.


Azur semé de lis or icon
Azur semé de lis or
Get all the French Cores as France.

Better than Napoleon icon
Better than Napoleon
As France, own Vienna, Berlin and Moscow as core provinces.

Big Blue Blob icon
Big Blue Blob
As France, hold 100 European core provinces before 1500.
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