Top 10 Best Arabian Nations in EU4

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The Arab homeland in the Middle East is, sadly, one of EUIV’s least flavorful regions.

This does not mean though that there are no interesting or strong nations available in the area.

For the sake of clarity, this list ranks only nations that start with a primary culture in the “Levantine” culture group, excluding nations with the “Turkish” culture.

The main metric for our ranking is how fun a nation is to play, and how many achievements you can get as them. We’re also focused around singleplayer, but many points hold true for multiplayer competitive campaigns as well.


10. Mahra

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Situated south of the Rub’-al-Khali desert,Mahra is in a relatively safe position, able to rapidly expand into Oman and Yemen. This means you can jump on the action right from the start.

They have very decent naval based ideas, while also sporting a +15% land movement speed idea which is something only a couple nations can get that easily.

Expanding into Yemen and forming the nation yourself should be an early goal. You can also choose to embrace Yemeni ideas.

As with all nations here, a late-game clash with the Ottomans is inevitable if you wish to form Arabia yourself. Always a great experience when you fight the Ottomans after their military falls off!


9. Hejaz

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If you play as Hejaz, you start as a vassal of the Mamluks.

Your early game should consist of helping your overlord with wars in your neighborhood and forcing them to grant you land by occupying it in said wars.

If your neighbor, Medina, is conquered or vassalized by the Mamluks, they get an event giving you their provinces for free!

You also start in control of Mecca, providing you with powerful modifiers from the game’s start.

Improve relations with the Ottomans and ask them to support your independence. With their help you can easily break free and expand into your former overlord’s lands.

Hejaz is one of the few Arabian nations that can avoid conflict with the Ottomans and form Arabia far more easily. Simply keep the alliance and call them in all your wars against the Mamluks until you have all the necessary provinces.

Do NOT give them any land. It’s all rightful Arabian clay of course.


8. Oman

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Sporting some awesome trade ideas focused on their navy, Oman is a nation prime for overseas expansion.

Ironic, as at the start of the game they are landlocked and surrounded by one nation, Hormuz!

Well fear not, because you start with cores on all Omani-cultured provinces that your neighbor owns.

Oman also is one of the only 3 nations that start as Ibadi. Out of them, they have the easiest start in my opinion, and can easily aim for the unique Ibadi achievement, “The Third Way”.


7. Hadramut

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This is the first Yemeni-cultured nation on the list.

Hardamut has some of the most unique national ideas in the game.

Looking at them, they are simply an average navy-based idea group set. Nothing too fancy at first glance. No overpowered military modifiers to boast.

Taking a closer look though, they have access to +30% improve relations modifier which is massive. You will forget what aggressive expansion is because coalitions will never form against you.

Technology cost -5% is also great, but the real reason Hadramut makes the list is their national ambition, +1 colonist. A free colonist, without the need of exploration or expansion ideas. Very few nations have that luxury.


6. Mushasha

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Mushasha is a military and religious powerhouse. Situated in the south of Iraq, the Sheikhdom is one of the only two Shia nations making the list. Not that there are a lot of them in Arabia.

Despite the rocky start, bordering 3 stronger nations, Mushasha and their incredible idea set become ever stronger as the game progresses.

They also have the unique -0.1 monthly piety in their ideas, something that offers a nice change for a Muslim nation’s gameplay.


5. Yemen

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The region of Yemen starts fragmented. The namesake Yemeni nation starts with control of only the Red Sea Coastline, but cores on all their neighbor’s land. The Rasulid dynasty faces revolts all around them, but you can help them restore order and expand even further than they ever did!

The idea set is decent, but nothing special. On top of that, every nation in the area can form Yemen, so they are accessible to all.

The unique Yemeni achievement also doesn’t necessitate starting as the nation. You just need to eventually form them.

Despite all this, Yemen still is a very strong option as they control and have cores on the richest provinces in the area. The area is also a pain to invade, making your life a lot easier in future wars.


4. Hormuz

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Hormuz starts with the most development in the Arabian Peninsula, also having cores in nearby provinces of Haasa and the Timurids.

Controlling their namesake island in the Persian Gulf, they are in a perfect position to make money out of trade.

This is reinforced by their idea set. It’s a set aimed at tall, colonizing gameplay.

-10% development cost is a modifier few nations get so easily. The rest of the set compliments that very well.

If you want a tall nation with a few core provinces and a vast overseas trade empire, Hormuz is an exceptional choice for you! Add to that an easy unique achievement, and you got yourself a campaign.


3. Najd

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Plain and simple, Najd is one of the most unique nations in the game. It’s the only one in the game with 2 missionaries in their national ideas.

Najd is one of the preferable nations for One-Faith world conquests. While getting those achievements, you can also net the unique Najd achievement “Jihad” and all Arabia-related ones as well. Forming Yemen will also allow you to get the Yemeni unique achievement.

Just be sure not to change your idea set when forming any nation!

Note: Najd is not recommended for new players. The start can be quite an ordeal, especially if you are unlucky with alliances and rivals.


2. Rassids

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The Rassid family at game start has recently revolted against Yemen and lay claim to the entire region, attempting to dethrone the ruling dynasty.

This nation is an absolute monster militarily. Almost every single idea buffs your military, and those that don’t give very strong trade bonuses. One of the strongest idea sets in the entire game.

They also follow the Shia religion, giving them even more military buffs from the game’s start!

Your first goal is to unite Yemen and form the nation yourself. Just make sure NOT to change your godlike ideas when prompted to.

The Rassids’ only shortcomings when compared to the Yemen start is slightly less development and no cores outside their land. Their insane military makes up for it big time though.

Pick them against an unsuspecting Ottoman player in a large multiplayer lobby and enjoy melting his armies after the mid-16th century.


1. Mamluks

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I even debated including them in this list, as they’re the obvious number one.

Seriously, Mamluks are undoubtedly one of the strongest nations at the hands of any EU4 player.

Despite being commonly called Memeluks by the community, the nation starts as the 2nd Great Power at game start, second only to the massive Ming empire of China.

They have excellent provinces in lower Egypt to develop and spawn institutions. Plus they can play out in whatever direction you want. Tall, Wide, Colonial, you name it.

They make up for their average idea set with a unique government that ensures they always get at least decent rulers.

And they are ALWAYS going to fight against the Ottomans, and the AI will almost always lose to them. But you, a player, even a mediocre one, can easily turn the tide and beat the ottomans right from the get-go.

Sadly, as all nations on this list do, the Mamluks suffer from a lackluster mission tree.

However, they do not exhibit the complete lack of flavor the other nations get. They do have unique events associated with them.

Lastly, it must be mentioned that the Mamluks can be re-formed by any nation in this list that controls Cairo, giving access to the unique government.

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G. Tsechilidis

Born and raised Greek citizen. His love of history, geography, and all things map-related, are certainly a contrast to his pursuit of a master in civil engineering. An avid gamer from a very young age, he found the perfect match in Grand Strategy Games. If not for a good chess match or a round of carambole billiards, you'll certainly catch him firing up EU4 or a Total War game to spend the evening.