7 Best Ruler Traits in Europa Universalis IV

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Every ruler in EUIV periodically gets assigned up to 3 personality traits as he is ruling their nation. This is true for active heirs and consorts as well.

Although, their traits will apply when and if they get to rule the nation.

The first trait is assigned when reaching adulthood at 15 years old, the next one after ruling for 10 years, and the final one after ruling for 15 more years. This means that only rulers can have more than 1 trait.

These traits can all be either positive or negative. For this ranking I picked out the most impactful positive traits that can make or break a campaign.


7. Well Connected

The Well Connected trait shown on the court tab. / EU4

The Well Connected trait provides a significant reduction to advisor cost, -20% to be precise.

While translating to only a couple ducats at the early game, its true power is seen when employing higher tier advisors.

Essentially, if this trait allows you to afford a couple of higher tier advisors you can translate it to a couple extra monarch points per month. I hope I don’t need to explain why this is a big deal.

Everyone knows how useful monarch points are!

Especially if combined with other modifiers reducing advisor cost (e.g., Hussite religion, certain national ideas), it can make half-cost advisors cost next to nothing to employ.


6. Industrious

The Industrious trait shown on the court tab. / EU4

The Industrious trait boosts your goods produced by a +10%.

Goods produced bonuses are some of the best you can get for your economy in the late game!

However, that is exactly what doesn’t allow industrious to get a higher position on this list. The keyword is “late game”.

During the early game this modifier will barely be noticeable on your monthly income.

In the late game though, oh boy. The more you start building manufactories and workshops the more valuable this modifier will get.


5. Careful

The Careful trait shown on the court tab. / EU4

The Careful trait provides a nice bonus of Aggressive Expansion Impact -10%.

While aggressive expansion can be annoying to deal with, it is generally something you learn to handle without the need of looking for such modifiers to reduce it.

Of course, there are instances (like some HRE campaigns) where this modifier is far more valuable. However, there’s another modifier on this list that does a similar job of preventing coalitions with better results.

While it can be a game changer in some early game situations, there are some other traits you’d rather get than Careful.


4. Zealot

The Zealot trait shown on the court tab. / EU4

The Zealot trait provides you with Missionary Strength +1%. It helps immensely when dealing with highly developed heathen provinces.

While you will get access to more and more missionary strength modifiers as the game progresses, the early game lacks them.

If you aim (or are forced) to conquer land that isn’t of your religion, you might think about getting religious ideas.

Religious ideas are not bad if picked early in the game, but there are better idea groups you’d rather had.

This is where the Zealot trait comes into play.

By getting it onto your ruler at the right time you can comfortably convert provinces to your faith without the need of religious ideas.

More valuable when dealing with hard to convert provinces (e.g., high development Muslim provinces or religious centers), the Zealot trait gets the middle position on the list as its bonus is quite unique!


3. Strict

The Strict trait shown on the court tab. / EU4

The Strict trait provides Discipline +5%. Discipline is arguably the strongest military modifier you can get in the game. It makes your entire army fight better; plain and simple.

Many a times, this modifier alone can be enough to turn the tide of an otherwise evenly matched war in your favor. The impact discipline has in battles cannot be overstated.

The Strict trait is more valuable in the later stages of any campaign. As the game progresses discipline becomes better and better while army morale starts fading into obsolescence.

Now, why is Strict not on the first position on this list?

Well, in the context of multiplayer, Strict is without a doubt the strongest trait your ruler can have.

However, in single player campaigns there are a couple other traits that are stronger.


2. Charismatic Negotiator

The Charismatic Negotiator trait shown on the court tab. / EU4

The Charismatic Negotiator provides you with a +1 bonus to Diplomatic Reputation.

This means that every single diplomatic action where you ask the AI something is more likely to succeed.

Be it an alliance offer or an offer to make them a free city in the empire, the Charismatic Negotiator trait will make it easier for the AI to say yes!

In certain early game scenarios this modifier can make or break a campaign. If you absolutely need a clutch alliance with a major power and you are off by a slim margin, this trait could have made the difference.


1. Silver Tongue

The Silver Tongue trait shown on the court tab. / EU4

Silver Tongue provides a +20% boost to Improve Relations.

This means that all opinion modifiers you have with other nations that gradually increase or decrease will do so faster. This applies to ALL such modifiers.

Yes, including Aggressive Expansion.

This is something many players don’t know, but stacking Improve Relations modifiers will make Aggressive Expansion tick down a lot faster. After all, it is an opinion modifier!

What this means is that with this trait, your diplomats will improve relations faster with nations, freeing them up for other activities. Negative modifiers from event choices or due to recent animosity will disappear faster than usually.

The indirect aggressive expansion reduction would be enough for this modifier to be somewhere in this list.

The further boosts are the cherry on top! Especially in the early and middle game, playing in or near the HRE, the Silver Tongue trait can allow you to squeeze some extra provinces during peace deals and shorten the time between your conquests.

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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.