The Best Starting Characters / Countries in Crusader Kings 3

If you’re new to Crusader Kings 3, it’s highly recommended to play someone in an advantageous position at either of the two starting years. While it can be tempting to just hit the play as a random character button, odds are you’re going to get stuck as a vassal, or the vassal of a vassal and have very little power. If you want to ensure you have a good first game, we’re here with some recommendations in what we think are the best starting characters/countries in Crusader Kings 3.

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Best Starting Countries in 867

Sweden – Bjorn Ironside, Duke of Uppland

While Sweden starts off splintered, it’s not too hard to gain the title of King before Bjorn Ironside kicks the bucket. We recommend Sweden primarily because the Nordic nations are very strong in these early years and they don’t need any kind of claim to war for territory outside of their empire. If you want to go conquer and raid any region in the world, you can do so!

Novgorod – Jarl Rurik of Holmgardr

Novgorod is a nearly landlocked version of Sweden which has more neighbors to conquer early on. Whereas Sweden primarily relies on the seas to get around, Novgorod has a lot of smaller to mid-size duchies and counties around which it can conquer one by one. That doesn’t mean it can’t also do raids or conquering by sea, but it has some more immediate places to bring into its fold.

Byzantine Empire – Basileus Basileios, Byzantine Empire

It doesn’t get much easier than the Byzantine Empire. The nation starts at war with a much smaller foe, but it has about 4,000 troops, is entirely Orthodox, and almost entirely Greek. Basileious has already brought about feudal law too, so you can more easily manage how your titles and lands are handed down. No more pesky Confederate Partition!

Pratihara – Maharaja Bhoja of the Pratihara Kingdom

Located between a few different clashing religions and cultures, Pratihara is unique in that it has vastly more soldiers than all of the surrounding empires even though some very much rival it in size. Plus it’s feudal which comes with the aforementioned succession benefits.

Anyone in Ireland

Crusader Kings 3 starts you off as Ireland in the tutorial for a good reason. It’s fractured so there’s lots of territory to gain without ending up on a super powerful country’s shit list and it’s on an island so you don’t have as many foes to worry about. Sure the Nordic countries will come knocking at some point, but in the meantime you can slowly work to increase your holdings while learning the ropes.

Best Starting Countries in 1066

Scotland – King Malcolm of Scotland

With Ireland still splintered and England embroiled in war, 1066 isn’t a bad time to play as Scotland. While you might have to accept Norway on your northern shores, The Isles are ripe for conquering and should give you a solid foothold early on.

Denmark – King Svend of Denmark

Denmark doesn’t have much when it comes to soldiers, but King Svend does have a claim to both the Swedish and English thrones which you can take advantage of to vastly grow your empire. If you’re more into diplomatic means of expansion, Denmark is one to try out.

Mongol Empire – Khan Saru of Cumania

When it comes to land size, Khan Saru has the biggest advantage in 1066. The succession law is still stuck on Confederate Partition so your lands will be fractured into many pieces assuming you have multiple children. But as far as easy starts go, this is one of the best available. Saru is only 26 years old and already has an heir though you will have to deal with half of your realm being Tengri and the other being Kabarite.

Seljuk – Sultan al-Muazzam Alp Arslan Chagri-Begoglu of Seljuk

Seljuk starts off at war, sure, but they also have 25,000 soldiers at their disposal and their disposal alone. That doesn’t even take into account all of the soldiers your vassals have. Just keep in mind that this realm is of multiple cultures and religions, so you’ll need to either accept that fact and deal with the popularity hit or bring your internal popularity back under control.

Anyone in Ireland (Again)

Forever and always the tutorial island.