Best Crusader Kings 2 Mods: Our Top 30 Picks (All Free)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Paradox Interactive made a name for themselves within the grand strategy genre with titles like Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron, and Victoria.
They’ve created their own space within the genre, choosing to prioritize political and diplomatic simulations over typical warfare-focused games.
Years later, Crusader Kings 2 remains to be one of their most successful titles.
And the CK2 fanbase has only grown stronger over time – making way for some great community content.
With an even newer title out there, now is the perfect time to revisit Crusader Kings 2, enhanced with a whole bunch of mods. Here’s our top picks!
30. Colored Buttons
It’s pretty common for fans to find little ways to improve on a game’s visuals here and there.
Crusader Kings 2 is no different, as there are a few cosmetic mods available that make the game a little bit easier on the eyes.
While some graphics mods are purely cosmetic, Colored Buttons actually has practical use as well.
What it does is it adds some color to the main buttons of the game, making everything a little bit easier to remember.
This is great for a game like CK2 as the sheer number of menus and info screens in the game can get quite overwhelming.
29. Better Looking Garbs
Here’s an example of one of those mods that’s purely cosmetic.
Better Looking Garbs overhauls all portraits in the game, adding variety in terms of character clothing and styles.
Being focused on interpersonal political relationships, you’ll be getting to know most of the characters in the game pretty well – so why not make them look their best while you’re at it?
Faces, clothing, hair, and even facial hair have been cleverly swapped around to create new combinations.
There is some added material as well, taking cultural accuracy into account.
28. Patrum Scuta
Set in the Middle Ages, heraldry plays a significant role in Crusader Kings 2.
Factions, dynasties, and religions are all represented by crests displayed on banners – proudly presenting their traits and achievements.
Patrum Scuta improves on this by replacing these templates to make them more historically accurate.
Thousands of dynasties now have their coat of arms available in the game.
27. A Bigger Interface
Upscaling the game to more modern resolutions can be quite challenging, as the menus tend to get blurred out and difficult to understand.
A Bigger Interface calls itself the first “proper 1080p mod” for CK2.
And it makes things so much easier to dive into 1080 p gameplay.
Since you’re going to be spending most of your time in the game’s multiple info screens, A Bigger Interface expands the necessary menus to make everything fit well in 1080p.
As an added bonus, some keyboard shortcuts have been integrated as well, making it easier to navigate between the different menu screens.
26. A Revolutionary Tooltip Font
Here’s a great mod to have in addition to “A Bigger Interface”.
While “A Bigger Interface” resizes menus, some of the text is still quite difficult to read. Esspecially running the game at higher resolutions.
A Revolutionary Tooltip Font is a quick and easy fix, making the text bigger and easier to understand without changing the overall look and feel.
25. Orange Wikipedia Icon
Another small quality of life mod here, we’ve got the Orange Wikipedia Icon.
Modder iron0037 hated how it was so difficult to determine whether or not the Wikipedia icon was active, which led him to create the simple fix.
Taking a look at the side-by-side comparison, active and inactive actually do look pretty much the same.
This quick fix will make the Wikipedia icon appear orange when active, making it much easier to identify.
24. In heavens Cartographic map
Modder In heaven has become popular for this particular map mod.
Not to mention that the 3D contour map in vanilla isn’t great to look at – this mod was specifically made for those who just want a different aesthetic.
As In heaven already explains, his map actually prioritizes fashion over function.
All it does is changes the look of the map to an old school cartographic style.
Though it may be harder to use, it actually makes the game a bit more immersive as the map style is much more appropriate to the time period.
23. In heavens Graphics overhaul
If you want something with more detail, In heavens also has a graphics overhaul version that does exactly that.
The mod features 34 completely new textures that give the map much more life.
It includes dynamic atmospheres and water effects along with new borders and fonts for a completely different look.
As explained by the creator In heavens himself, this is how he imagines the Earth would look from a satellite.
22. Medieval Music Complete
Graphics aren’t the only factor that make a game immersive.
Audio cues play a large part in that as well, and the Medieval Music Complete pack makes sure the sounds you hear in CK2 are the best they can be.
Music is unique to different time periods, and the Middle Ages had its own unique flavor as well.
Not only does the mod add era-appropriate music, it makes music cues more dynamic at the same time.
Music played will be appropriate to your characters traits, making the game all the more immersive audio-wise.
As mentioned earlier, Crusader Kings 2 is all about the different characters.
With so many relationships to manage between yourself and the characters you’ll come across, it may get quite overwhelming.
Nicknames+++ makes it a bit easier, giving each character a special nickname based on their traits.
Instead of the generic “Duke Llywelyn of whatever nation he comes from,” he’ll be given a nickname like “The Siegemaster” or “The Wine Bather”.
This doesn’t just make it easier to remember characters you come by; it also makes them feel more alive in a sense – as they’re actual people that you’ve interacted with somewhere before.
20. Rename Anyone
If you’re still having trouble remembering all the important characters in your campaign (which actually isn’t crazy, given the sheer number of people you’re dealing with), there’s a mod that actually gives you complete control over character names.
And guess what, the mod is called Rename Anyone.
That’s right! It’s completely up to you to give each character a unique name.
You can name them after your friends or family if that makes it easier for you.
19. Flogi’s Buildings & Technology Mod
As Paradox poured most of their attention into making the political aspects of Crusader Kings as deep as possible, this also means that other aspects of the game had to take a back seat.
Technology is a perfect example, as modder flogi felt that the game was lacking in this particular area.
His mod aims to fix that, adding over 50 new buildings and extensions to the base game.
This in turn adds focus towards technology as well, as you’ll be needing to research some of them to be able to build most of the new structures.
Overall it’s an interesting mod that adds a whole new depth to this particular mechanic of CK2.
18. Improved Genetics 2.0
As you play through your reign as king, you’ll inevitably grow old and be forced to hand the crown down to your heir.
This cycle is part of any Crusader Kings 2 campaign playthrough and grooming the next king is an unavoidable part of that.
With that in mind, genetics plays a huge role in the game. This determines the skills and traits your successor will inherit.
Modder Crimson9 didn’t think the vanilla genetic system was as good as it could be, so he took it upon himself to make enhancements of his own.
He takes a more scientific approach, making inherited traits less random and more reliable down bloodlines.
17. Rich Childhood
Nearing the end of a king’s cycle can be a pretty tedious time if the timing doesn’t line up with the successor’s readiness to take over the throne.
What it does is adds 52 new childhood events, making the growth and preparation of your young heirs much more interesting than before.
Instead of just sitting around waiting for your prince/princess to grow older, you’ll be playing a much more significant role in molding them to become the next ruler of your kingdom.
Of course, you might find yourself on the other end of the spectrum.
You might find that your king is ready to give up the crown, your heir is ready to take your place, but you still have a few years in you and have no choice but to keep going until you die.
Well what if you want to spend your last few years relaxing and enjoying all the wealth you’ve accumulated through the years? Isn’t that what most people want after years of hard work?
Abdication let’s you do exactly that – retire from your monarchial duties and let your heir take over.
Both this and the Rich Childhood mod add interesting new factors affecting gameplay, so I suggest giving both a try.
15. Your Personal Castle
Owning your very own palace is pretty boring if you can’t customize it.
Well Your Personal Castle lets you do that, introducing new extensions that can be built to expand your home.
This isn’t The Sims, though, as building on your castle will trigger new events associated with each extension, giving you different bonuses to enjoy.
For example, you can choose to build a Personal Study.
It doesn’t introduce any bonuses initially, but allows a new action to use the study.
And using the study branches out into new even chains that could potentially give you tech points or stat, trait and opinion increases.
You’ll be able to build anything from a chapel to an observatory, each introducing new events that will give you different bonuses for each.
14. CK2 Generator
For those looking for a refresh of their CK2 experience, CK2 Generator is a great way to get it.
We’ll be getting into the overhaul mods later on, but for those who want to get more out of the game while maintaining everything vanilla, CK2 Generator offers plenty.
Basically, it generates a completely new world from scratch – with a completely different history along with random cultures and religions.
The mod basically gives you a completely unique fresh start, where pretty much anything goes.
13. Sketchy Cheat Menu
If you’re looking for something less random, the Sketchy Cheat Menu gives you complete control to customize your game.
When I say complete control, I mean that literally.
The mod activates a cheat menu which gives you the ability to do pretty much anything.
Interaction cheats allow you to force a character to marry you, instantly kill someone, or even convert a character’s religion.
There are even mind control cheats that forces actions on other characters.
You can use the mod to get more money, create children, or modify your traits – basically anything under the sun. How you use it is up to you.
12. Historical Immersion Project
The first of the overhaul mods here is the Historical Immersion Project.
Most strategy games have a specific fanbase dedicated to historical accuracy. And CK2 gets the same treatment with HIP.
The main aim of the mod is to modify aspects of the game to make everything resemble actual historical events and characters more closely.
While it does include a few gameplay and mechanic changes, the mod’s main featurea are the host of accurate characters relevant to the history of the time period.
This is something history buffs are sure to enjoy.
11. CK2 Plus Mod
Another common mod theme for strategy games is an enhanced vanilla version, where the community tends to dump all possible improvements without changing much of the base game’s mechanics.
This comes in the form of the CK2 Plus mod, adding more content and choices to expand on what the original game has to offer.
The mod gives you an overhauled factions system, new events, and a unique map among other things – making for a completely different and more challenging CK2 experience.
10. Lux Invicta
Lux Invicta is one of the lesser-known overhaul mods for CK2, but is still worth checking out nonetheless.
The mod offers an alternative timeline where religion plays a much larger role in the storyline.
The worship of Sol Invictus has become prevalent in the Roman Empire, while the Muslim expansion was not as successful.
There are hundreds of new events to explore, more than 2000 new buildings, units, and systems in place to make for a completely unique playthrough.
If you want a more relaxed political simulation with more focus on battles, you might want to give Lux Invicta a try.
9. Witcher Kings
Witcher Kings transports your CK2 game to the Witcher universe.
The Witcher video game series is damn popular, as well as the recent Netflix TV series.
Fans of the games will definitely enjoy this CK2 overhaul.
The setting of the beast hunters offers a rich fantasy world, where you will encounter popular characters like Triss, Yennefer, and of course, Geralt of Rivia.
8. Warhammer: Geheimnisnacht
Another popular fantasy universe is the one from the Warhammer series – Warhammer: Geheimnisnacht takes CK2 in a completely different direction.
Set in 2010 IC, you’ll be able to play through some of the familiar Warhammer events, with almost every faction seen in the Warhammer games.
The mod features a completely new map, which spans from Naggaroth to the Mountains of Mourn. Almost every race from the Warhammer series is playable, each with their own unique traits and abilities.
You can become a wizard, or a vampire, it’s completely up to you!
7. Crusader Kings Z
Crusader Kings Z is a fun little mini mod that introduces zombies to the world of CK2.
You heard that right, zombies.
Paradox actually released a Crusader Kings Z teaser as an April Fool’s joke back in 2013, modders SaintDaveUK and Korbah decided that it was actually something he wanted to make a reality.
Fast-forward a few years later and we have Crusader Kings Z.
You’ll be playing in a world where zombies have begun invading, bringing with them a deadly new plague. Ravenous hordes of undead are beginning to consume medieval Europe, and you’ll have to find a way to help your kingdom survive.
6. Elder Kings
Based on another popular video game world, this time taking you to the universe of Elder Scrolls.
Elder Kings takes place throughout all of Nirn, where you’ll be able to rule as leaders from Tamriel, Yokuda, Atmora and Akavir.
The mod’s events actually take place long before the timeline of the original Elder Scrolls games, so you’ll be playing through completely new scenarios.
The details have been filled in based on lore and fan fiction, so you’ll be getting a completely original storyline.
You’ll also encounter popular playable characters from the series such as Abnur Tharn, Jorunn the Skald-King, and High Queen Ayrenn.
The mod already has 8 playable scenarios, so there’s tons of content to explore here. Skyrim fans can get a kick waiting for TES6.
5. Game of Thrones Mod
What better setting for intense political mind games than the world of Game of Thrones?
This Game of Thrones mod takes you to Westeros, where the varying houses vie for the Iron Throne.
The mod has received mostly praise as it has been stated to be very well researched giving a complete immersive Game of Thrones experience within CK2.
If you’re a fan of the books or the TV series, you’re definitely going to want to pick this one up.
4. Middle Earth Project
Of course, our journey through CK2 fantasy worlds wouldn’t be complete without making a stop at Middle Earth.
An in-depth LotR experience, allowing you to play either as humans, hobbits, dwarves, orcs/goblins, elves, nazguls/Sauron, or the Istari.
The mod already has 5 playable scenarios and will be easily recognizable to fans of the series.
The mod also features an impressive Middle Earth map with 650 provinces, complete dynasties and histories of Middle Earth including genetic traits and bloodlines, along with new artwork to match.
3. When the World Stopped Making Sense
Another great mod for the history buffs, When the World Stopped Making Sense takes you back to 476 AD, just before the collapse of the western Roman Empire.
The new timeline introduces new events and therefore decisions to be made, while maintaining historical accuracy of the time period as well.
The events of the time period are already interesting on their own, so it’s no surprise this mod is considered a must-have by most fans.
It’s also very well-made, where lots of research went into the historical accuracy of the events that take place. You’ll keep yourself busy for hours on end here.
2. After the End
After the End is probably one of the most popular CK2 mods, and one of the most imaginative as well.
Instead of then usual alternative timelines taking us further back in time, After the End takes us far into the future.
Specifically into an alternate reality where you’re trying to rebuild a post-apocalyptic America, after barely recovering from near extinction.
It’s an interesting take on CK2. And it introduces a lot of original ideas in the form of religions, tribes, and much more.
Give it a try and see what you think!
1. After the End Fan Fork
After the End was such a fan favorite that there’s actually a fan-made continuation already available.
After the End Fan Fork builds on the original release, making it compatible with newer versions of CK2.
It adds a few new religions, heresies, provinces, and locations to add flavor to an already great mod.
The mod is still in development as this writing, so there’s probably still much more to look forward to here.