User interface

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This article is timeless and should be accurate for any version of the game.

EU4's Interface, also called user interface (UI), or graphical user interface (GUI), has a number of specific screens and visual elements. This article will focus on the pragmatic purpose and utility of the interface (as opposed to the stylistic elements).

Main menu[edit]

The main menu is the first screen players see after the game loads at start up, and where players return to after they leave their in-progress games. It (usually) shows a map of continental Europe along with some tool bars, buttons and information along the bottom.

Main menu

Lower left corner[edit]

Lower center[edit]

Lower right corner[edit]

Single player interface[edit]

Eu4 scenario setup.jpg

Upper left corner[edit]

  • Historical Start, also called bookmarks
  • Saved Games, click here to select one
  • Starting Date, can be chosen between 1444-11-11 and 1820-12-31
  • Icons of enabled expansions

Upper center[edit]

  • Date
  • Map modes

Upper right corner[edit]

  • Country information bar

Lower left corner[edit]

Lower center[edit]

  • Country shields of interesting nations
  • Scenario description

Upper right corner[edit]

  • Custom nation – to start the Nation designer – only with El Dorado.png El Dorado DLC enabled.
  • Random nation – a random nation is selected
  • Play – to start the game

Ingame screen[edit]

Main interface

Upper left corner[edit]


Provides a heraldic representation of the country. The shield is not just decorative. It actually provides a pop-up view of information about your country.

Information bar[edit]

A gilded row to the right of the shield, showing an number of elements:

  • Treasury - a gold coins icon with a + or - to show whether you have a positive or negative balance. Hovering over this will display a tooltip telling you your monthly income, and a quick explanation about why you are in the black or in the red.
  • Manpower - this is your reserve of soldiers, with a value of 0 or greater representing how many individuals you can recruit or reinforce into your armies. Hovering over this will display a tooltip of how many men your current armies require to prevent attrition, the maximum reserves of available manpower, and how much this value will increase or decrease over the next month.
  • Stability - showing a scale of +3 (very stable) to -3 (very unstable). The tooltip will explain the benefits or penalties you receive based on your current stability level.
  • Prestige - on a scale of +100 (very prestigious) to -100 (utterly insignificant). Hovering over this will explain your current level, what is influencing it upwards or downwards, and the benefits and penalties you receive based on your current prestige level.
  • Legitimacy - on a scale of 0 (no legitimacy) to 100 (very legitimate); this section is called Republican Tradition for countries with a Republican form of government. Hovering over this will explain the contributors to your Legitimacy status, and the benefits and penalties you are receiving as a result.


These show four different types of specialists, called envoys who can be sent on missions for your country.

  • Merchants - This shows a two number figure, in the form "X/Y", where "X" is the number currently available for assignment, and "Y" is the total number available to the country. The maximum number varies depending a nation's idea groups. For example, if it said "0/2", there are no currently-available merchants out of 2 total. Merchants can be dispatched to trade nodes to steer income to your country's treasury.
  • Colonists - a similar scale of "X/Y"; this often begins the game of "0/0" until the player develops the technology/ideas for establishing colonies. Colonists can be sent on colonization missions around the world to (usually peacefully) add new territory to your country.
  • Diplomats - similar "X/Y" scale. They can be sent to improve relations with other countries, or conduct covert actions working against them. Diplomats are dispatched to interact with foreign powers, where they may handle short-term assignments, such as signing treaties, negotiating marriages, and delivering insults, after which they will return. They may also be given long term assignments, such as building stronger relationships or forging claims on certain lands you would like to possess, in which case they remain on site until recalled or until their task is complete. They will reach their target in a day and then take a certain amount of time to return home, the length of which is affected by events, ideas, and other modifiers.
  • Missionaries - similar "X/Y" scale. They can be dispatched to provinces where the local population does not share the same faith the state religion and try to convert them. They remain there until the task is complete. Each nation begins with one missionary and can get more depending on ideas/decisions/other modifiers.


A silver flowing banner below the gilded Information Bar shows the name of your country, plus your currently-accumulated Monarch Points, of three different types:

Lower right corner of main map[edit]

Holy Roman Empire Interface[edit]

Main article: Holy Roman Empire interface


Main article: The Curia

Catholic countries participate in a bribery competition/election for control of the papacy.

Native mechanics[edit]

Main article: Tribal nations

Native tribes in Siberia and the Americas have a special interface to simulate the fact that they are not traditional states according to the Westphalian definition of a nation. This interface includes special native ideas, migrations, federations, and a unique way to reform the government.

Mesoamerican Religions[edit]

Main article: Nahuatl

Mesoamerican, Mayan, and Andean nations have a special mechanic representing their religions introduced in El Dorado. The player can institute religious reforms which are required in order to reform the government and westernize.


With the Common Sense DLC, the player can, with certain government types, access an interface allowing them to interact with members of government to pass acts and laws, providing certain bonuses.


Main article: Minimap

The minimap is a small representation on the world on the screen's lower right corner. In it, a box shows what part of the world is being displayed on the game screen. By using the mouse, one can click to a remote part of the world or adjust the part of the map being displayed.

Country interface[edit]

Country view (First tab - Government)

This is the interface for dealing with the player's nation or a foreign nation. The player access his/her own nation's interface by clicking the shield (with the player's nation's name next to it) in the upper left corner. A popup will appear underneath the shield, displaying several tabs with unique information.

The first tab is the government description, showing the government form, government type, government rank, current ruler and heir and their stats, primary/accepted cultures, hired advisor(s) and their stats and modifiers, national focus, etc. Next to the government type name there should be a button showing a crown and an arrow sign on it. Clicking on it will allow the player to change government type to another similar government type (feudal monarchy to despotic monarchy, bureaucratic despotism to noble republic, etc.), but depending on the current government type it may not be allowed. Clicking on the advisors' pictures will provide the player with replacement advisors should the currently selected advisor die and/or is fired.

The second tab is the diplomacy page. When not looking at another nation's diplomatic relations, the page will describe the player's diplomatic relations. In this case, the upper left corner will show the player's flag, current ruler and heir and their ages, diplomatic relations slots and reputation, and government type. Hovering over the heir's name will open a tooltip displaying what other nations have the player's dynasty (if a monarchy) and the results of said nations' monarchs dying ("Regency council for ____," "Personal Union upon monarch death," "Succession War between ____ and (player)," etc.). Below this are all nations the player is involved with diplomatically. Here the player can find a list of allies, royal marriages, vassals/personal unions/colonies/overlord, nations with claims/casus belli, and nations with truces/embargoes. In the lower right corner is a list of all nations and their current relations with the player. In the upper right corner is a box displaying the technology group, spy efficiency/defense, idea groups and completed ideas, accepted/primary cultures, etc. If the player is looking at another nation other than the player's own, all information will pertain to that nation.

The next tab is the economy. Here the player can see how much money is being made from trade, reparations, colonies, etc. The player can adjust expenses by way of sliders and attempt to reduce inflation.

The next tab is trade. Here the player sees all information pertaining to trade, including trade node power, embargoes, etc.

Other tabs include but are not limited to stability and expansion (see the stability page), military (see pages relating to warfare), religion (self-explanatory), and native mechanics (for Native Americans).

Province interface[edit]

Province view

This is the interface for dealing with the player's or foreign provinces. It appears when the player left-clicks on a province. Right-clicking will take the player to the country interface's diplomacy tab (see above). The province in question will be outlined while the interface is open.

In the upper left corner are two icons, with a crown and crate respectively. These will show if the selected province is a capital or a main trading port; if the province belongs to the player and is not the capital/main trading port, the player can click on the relevant button and change the capital/main trading port to the selected province. Next to these buttons are the names of the province and the provincial capital, which can be changed at will by the player. In the upper right corner are the "x" button, provincial history, and terrain modifiers. The rest of the interface displays unrest, cores and claims any nation may have, the current culture and religion of the province, garrison size and fort level, number of units fielded (if player's), trade goods and trade power amount, loot, and development level. If the province is the player's, there are tabs which enable recruitment of soldiers/ships, construction of buildings, development improvements, and culture/religious conversion. If the province is not the player's, there is a tab saying "Go to Diplomacy" with the nation owning the province, which is self-explanatory.