7 Best Places To Colonize in EU4This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Europa Universalis IV at its core is a game about early gunpowder empires and colonialism. The colonialism part of that equation is what we’re exploring in this ranking.
More precisely, the most important regions to set up colonies in will be presented. These regions should be your priority in a colonial game. Your choices will vary of course, depending on your chosen nation and its geographical location.
The entries on this list will be ranked with the assumption you’re playing in Europe. It’s only logical, as all three terminal trade nodes are situated there. The game is Eurocentric by design – it’s even in its name!
Each region’s advantages will be presented in a way that helps you decide where to colonize in any campaign of yours.
Note: we’ll make sue of the game’s trade-related vernacular, and this ranking assumes that you have at least a little bit of experience with the game’s trade mechanics.
Brazil appears first on the list, the same way it will probably be your first ever colonial nation in a Portugal game.
Portugal being the go-to campaign for new players exploring the colonization mechanics, Brazil will be the first colonial nation ever established for many players.
Brazil is very close to the Iberian Peninsula and can be easily colonized by both Portugal and Castile. It’s a large colonial region, spanning 4 trade nodes, while exclusively containing the Brazil trade node. A rich trade node, with lots of Cocoa and Sugar.
Some Gold and Gems in the south are the cherry on top!
The main reason Brazil makes the list is because of the Brazil node mentioned earlier.
To steer trade into Europe from the southern tip of south America, you must control Brazil. There is no other route.
Brazil also flows only into the Ivory coast trade node. This means that if you play as a colonial or native nation in South America, you can turn Brazil into a pseudo end-node!
Mexico is a literal goldmine.
The native land of the Aztecs is full of Gold, while the Mayan jungles to the south overflow with Cocoa. Well, a goldmine and a chocolate fountain you could say!
Mexico is populated by various small Mesoamerican nations that you’ll need to conquer before enjoying the vast riches of this land.
When you contact these nations, you will be a lot more powerful than them technologically. A small army can conquer all of Mexico in a decade or so.
After your colonial nation expands into native land, make sure to keep an army there to handle rebellions. There will be a lot of them until all the land is cored and pacified!
Trade-wise, Mexico isn’t that important. It isn’t a chokepoint, while the gold it produces doesn’t translate into any trade money. Your treasure fleets will passively send back income depending on the gold income of your colony though.
5. Eastern America
The eastern seaboard as it is today called nets a place on the list because of its unique importance to northern European nations.
In terms of wealth, it isn’t the richest place you could set up colonies in. Tobacco and Fur are the main trade goods produced in this corner of the map.
The colonial region contains the entire Chesapeake Bay trade node and occupies a small part of the Caribbean and gulf of St. Lawrence nodes. The Chesapeake Bay node is the reason Eastern America makes the list.
There’s only one way to steer trade directly from the New World to the English Channel end-nodee: through Chesapeake.
Playing as England, the Netherlands, or any power that finds it profitable to collect in the Channel, controlling Chesapeake Bay should be a top priority.
The area is populated by disparate tribes that under normal circumstances you shouldn’t have any trouble dealing with.
However, in recent patches, Native American nations are a bit overpowered and can certainly pose a problem for your colonies.
Make sure you’re always able to enforce peace if the natives declare war on your colonial nations! Keeping an army overseas until the colony can maintain one of its own is advised.
Indonesia is the first entry outside the new world.
Outside the new world, you have trade company charters corresponding to a trade node instead of colonial nations. The Indonesian charter corresponds to the Malacca trade node.
As pictured above, Malacca flows into two other nodes: Bengal and the Cape.
On top of that, all trade east of Malacca, including south China and Japan, must flow through Malacca to reach Europe.
This makes Malacca an important chokepoint you most certainly want to control in order to corner the spice trade.
While Malacca is rich in spice and other exotic goods, the upstream node of the Moluccas is richer. However, you won’t enjoy any of that wealth without controlling Malacca!
The area has various local powers established, with some of them being able to show significant resistance to aspiring colonizers. Make sure your navies are up to the task when you try to conquer the area!
Colonizing the few available provinces is a good idea to establish a foothold. Do not underestimate the Malayan fleets.
The Caribbean’s power lies in its trading potential.
As the smallest of the colonial regions, the Caribbean is far from the richest in terms of produced trade goods.
It’s also the closest region for most of Europe, allowing for early colonization. This means that there will also be a lot of competition for that land. Don’t be surprised if you discover the archipelago as England, only to find it already colonized by the Portuguese!
Colonial Caribbean doesn’t even contain a whole trade node inside its borders. It contains most of the Caribbean trade node and all its Centers of Trade though. This alone is enough to put it high on this list.
All trade south of the Mississippi river, including the California and Mississippi trade nodes, can be steered into the Caribbean.
From there, you can steer it either into Eastern America, Sevilla, or Bordeaux.
In fact, 5 trade nodes need to pass through the Caribbean to end up in Europe. Controlling it, you can deny your competitors their income by steering trade towards the node you profit in.
As a colonial or native nation, the Caribbean holds even more value – as you can deny the Europeans most of their wealth in the colonies, especially their southern ones.
2. South Africa
The South African charter entry could easily be replaced with “Cape”. Cape as in the single Center of Trade province at the southernmost tip of Africa.
Yes, one province is arguably more important than the entirety of many trade nodes!
This is because you only need this single province to get more than half the provincial trade power in the Cape of Good hope. If your competitors start colonizing the rest of the charter, you still do not have to worry.
The Cape trade node flows into only one other node, that being the Ivory Coast. Other European powers colonizing the Cape will also be steering towards there, so there are no worries for you.
You’d still have most of the trade share with your single province; enjoy the free merchant!
Unless you’ve conquered all of India and the Middle East, all eastern trade must flow through the Cape.
Trade from India, Indonesia, Southern China, the Far East, and even East Africa will be funneled through here.
Especially in multiplayer games, you can snuff the European supply of the spice trade simply by locking down this node.
Even as a European yourself, collecting here and denying all these nodes from the rest of Europe is always a possibility.
As an Asian or east African nation, completely controlling the Cape allows you to turn Zanzibar (and to a lesser extent Malacca) into a powerful location to collect trade in!
The Guinea charter undoubtedly deserves the top position in this list.
All the spice trade (unless you have conquered all of Asia) has to flow through here.
But wait, isn’t that also true for the Cape of Good Hope?
Well, the Ivory Coast trade node also gets most of the trade from South America. As a European, if you want your money from Brazil and La Plata to reach the Old Continent, you need to control Guinea.
Guinea flows into four other nodes, the English Channel, Sevilla, Bordeaux, and the Caribbean. This means that all major colonial powers will have a stake in the node and a different optimal position to steer into.
This is a lot different from the Cape, which flows only into a single direction. Here, you do not have non-European monopolies concerning you.
Even a couple provinces from a competitor can deny you heaps of ducats.
Even if you fully control the charter, foreign powers will still attempt to steer trade away from it with what little power they can get. You always need to have some light ships protecting trade here.
Guinea itself isn’t that bad in terms of trade goods. The guaranteed provinces are mostly Slaves and Ivory, with a chance to spawn Tropical Wood in uncolonized provinces too.
Ivory is one of the most profitable good even into the late game.
All in all, unless you aim to only occupy yourself with north America, Guinea should be the first place you get a firm grip on.