A lot of Paradox fans are saying Crusader Kings 3 is one of the most accessible games from the studio in recent history. When you’re used to the likes of Europa Universalis, Imperator: Rome, and Hearts of Iron, that’s most certainly the case. But even if that’s true, Crusader Kings 3 is still incredibly deep and has a pretty steep learning curve. To help get you up to speed we’ve put together a few tips which we hope prove helpful!
Play the Tutorial
All right, technically the game does tell you to play the tutorial. That said, we recommend you do so. For those of you afraid of it taking too long, it’s about 20 minute experience, mostly walking you through the menus and explaining some basics like combat and constructing buildings. If you don’t want to continue playing as Ireland after it concludes, don’t!
There Are Two Starting Years
When you go to create a new game there are two years to choose from despite there being six tabs: 867 and 1066. Which one you choose comes down to personal preference. If you’d prefer a long, drawn out game opt into the earlier starting point. If you’d rather have a game where the a lot of today’s current countries exist, you can choose the latter.
Choose A Ruler to Start
As we just said, those six tabs recommend some starting rulers for you. But if you want to instead ignore them and choose from the entire world, you can do so. Our only recommendation is that you choose someone who’s leading rather than someone underneath them. It’s much more difficult to play as a vassal to a higher power than it is to be that power yourself, at least when you’re first starting.
Hold And Hover to Have Tooltips Stick
If your first decision was just to dive into the Crusader Kings 3 tutorial and then into a real match, you might be a bit confused by how tooltips work. Sometimes they stick around, sometimes they don’t. Fortunately the rule here is actually super straightforward. Hover over the tooltip until the background color completely fills up. The tooltip will then hold there, letting you mouse over it and hover over the text inside to get even more tooltips.
You can change how tooltips work in your settings option including the ability to have the middle mouse button lock them on screen.
Create Men-at-Arms Regiments
Money flow can be a bit low so we wouldn’t blame you for not poking around too much when it comes to your military. Once you declare war you can raise your levies and everyday citizens will go to battle alongside your knights. You can, however, also create specialized forces. Once you click “Create Men-at-Arms Regiment” you get the option to choose between a handful of options such as bowmen, light horsemen, pikemen, etc. Each has strengths and weaknesses, but will be stronger than regular levied armies. Creating these will set you back some amount of gold and maintenance will be around half a gold per month when levied and half of that when unraised. Don’t be afraid to use these if you need to!
Pay Close Attention to Succession Laws
While you may be comfortable at the start of your efforts, keep in mind your nation’s rules of succession. More powerful rulers might hand over everything to their eldest son, but that isn’t the case for every nation. For example, as Scandinavia your initial law is Confederate Partition. With these succession rules, your titles and holdings are divided up among all of your children with a lot, but not all of it, going to your heir. This can be dangerous when you hold multiple titles that are equal. If you’re the jarl of two separate holdings, your rules may dictate that some of that land goes to two different children which means you’ll no longer have rule over that land after you die.
One of the ways to get around this is to make sure that your title is higher than those around you. As the King of Sweden, for example, the jarl titles may be divided among your children, but they’ll still rank under your heir once they take your place as king.
Release Stress Using Hold Feast / Call Hunt
One of the new mechanics in CK3 is stress. This bar can fill up over the years and cause your character to suffer some penalties after it reaches 100. These become worse as it hits higher levels at 200 and 300. Stress reduces over time, but if things are particularly bad, you can pay to hold feasts or call for a hunt. These are the main ways to reduce your stress quickly which just might save you from some of the worst affects this new system has to offer.
Each stress level causes increasing penalties to your character’s fertility and health and as long as stress is over level one there’s a chance of a mental break. These can be minor at low stress levels but at higher levels there’s usually more at stake and even a risk of death.
Pilgrimages Don’t Require Actual Travel
If you’re anything like me, and worried about having to physically travel across the map to make your pilgrimages, don’t. These are like hunts and feasts and are simply carried out using pop up boxes which tell you what happens along the way. No actual travel and board encounters with enemies required.
You Can Go Into Debt
“Of course you can go into money debt,” I hear you saying. But that’s not the only area where you can carry a negative balance. It’s perfectly acceptable to have negative fame, reputation, or piety. Sure there are penalties and eventually repercussions if you carry a bad enough balance, but the point stands. Don’t be afraid to spend your currencies! They go away after you die after all.