7 Best World Conquest Nations 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).
World conquest is a goal many players aspire towards. It could represent the main goal of a campaign.
For many of us who have had our fair share of such campaigns in the past, the idea might sound like a tedious slog. I guess it is up to one’s taste!
In any case, there exist some nations EU IV that are objectively better choices for conquering the entire world.
These nations are simply strong from the early game, while some of them also have mission trees and national ideas that make conquering large swathes of land a breeze.
While most of these nations are in Europe, you might be pleasantly surprised by the top half of this list – and the geographical variety of it!
The composite crown of Aragon finds itself in a very strong position at the game’s start.
The term “composite crown” alone can give you a hint of the feudal and dynastic roots of the kingdom. It’s certainly one of the most interesting realms of the early renaissance period for sure.
Aragon begins the game as the overlord of Naples, something that very quickly will be questioned by an event on your ruler’s death. This shouldn’t pose much of a problem; you have the option of keeping the union.
You’re in a very strong position to rule the Mediterranean and curb the Ottoman’s power from very early on.
No-CBing Byzantium and defensively fighting the Ottomans with your allies can make your campaign far easier down the line.
After that, abuse your overpowered mission tree, culminating in the formation of Spain.
From there, playing as Spain you should already have access to the new world through Castilian and Portuguese colonies.
The Spanish mission tree can give you Personal Unions over all western Europe, while you can annex all of Burgundy through event. Leading the HRE isn’t even hard as Spain, allowing you to abuse its mechanics for an even easier world conquest!
France is another super powerful state in western Europe.
That said, France doesn’t have any particular aspect tailored towards world conquest. Much like Aragon, it’s simply very strong and can be piloted in a way that makes world dominance easy.
Just pick the correct idea groups for a world conquest and France can easily become a map-painting giant.
In fact, there’s an achievement that wants you to conquer 100 provinces before 1500. People have done this challenge, but finished with 4 times the provinces! This only shows how strong the nation can be under an experienced player’s hands.
So how do you play France here?
Your first move should as France should be to get rid of the English from the mainland, as any good Frenchman would do.
After that, you need to either dismantle or attempt to rule the HRE as emperor. No CBing Byzantium to vassalize them is also a good idea in such a campaign. Keeps the Ottomans in check.
Access to the new world can be achieved through stealing maps and subjugating Spain through your mission tree, so you can opt out of exploration ideas altogether.
If need be, unlock only the first idea necessary to recruit explorers. Refund it for another group later.
The Ottoman menace has to appear in this list.
Sporting national ideas that make them a terror in the early game, while also having easy access to core creation cost reduction, makes them a prime candidate for conquering the world.
Where do the Ottomans fall short though?
They have an outdated mission tree.
Sure, it gives some nice claims in their historical lands, but that’s it. No strong permanent (or even temporary) modifiers and their inability to form other nations are quite a hindrance.
Despite this obstacle, the sheer power of the Ottoman state makes them a force to be reckoned. With expansion options on all sides and an army that cannot be challenged in quality until the mid-16th century, the world is your oyster!
It’s also a perfect nation for beginners.
Even if you feel unprepared for a full world conquest, attempting it as the Ottomans will grant you lots of teachable moments.
The Majapahit empire is on its last legs at the game’s start.
The once glorious maritime state with its center of power in the island of Java has seen much better days. So why is such a dying nation in this list?
Well, the game rewards you immensely if you succeed in defying history and keeping Majapahit alive despite the disaster you begin with.
The final reward for your efforts comes through the mission tree, and it is a unique casus-belli.
And oh boy if it isn’t a powerful one.
At first it allows you to declare a subjugation war on any nation in Indonesia. After finishing that conquest, it also allows such wars against all nations in the Chinese culture group. Finally, you can use it against any nation on the map, regardless of their size.
Well, you might say that having so many vassals isn’t ideal. They will rebel for sure.
You can stop that by becoming the Shogun.
Yes, it’s as cheesy as it sounds.
Culture convert to a Japanese culture, conquer Kyoto, and become the Shogun. Then your vassals will be daimyos and far more loyal.
Note: If you don’t have a powerful CPU, the late game vassal swarm can be very taxing on your computer.
The Timurid empire in 1444 is held together only through the respect the various Timurid princes have for the Great Sultan Shah Rukh.
On Shah Rukh’s death, the vassals’ liberty desire will skyrocket.
It doesn’t help that the Great Sultan begins the game at 66 years old!
While the AI will usually fail at handling its vassals, you can easily deal with them. If Shah Rukh dies too early, you can always restart. You have cores on all your vassals’ lands, so after 10 years you can annex them instantly if you have high enough relations.
You also have lots of cores in western Persia.
Conquering the nation of Ajam should be your first goal. Make sure to conquer enough land westwards to deny it from the Ottomans!
After that, move into India.
Conquering Delhi and the land around it allows you to form the Mughals, which is the main reason the Timurids are so high on the list.
The Mughals are as overpowered as a nation can be.
Their mission tree gives them a whopping +10% administrative efficiency (through the “Sultanate of the Deccan” event, make sure to choose the vassal option).
Aside from the huge administrative efficiency bonus, the Mughals enjoy a unique government which automatically accepts all cultures it fully controls. Add humanist ideas and the religious toleration bonus they have already, and you can say goodbye to rebels.
Austria represents a different route for a world conquest – one that needs you to have an above average computer!
Like the Majapahit campaign, Austria’s power relies on what is known as a “vassal swarm”. In the late game, this swarm can take a toll on your computer.
How does one get this vassal swarm?
Well, by passing all but the final HRE reforms. Austria, already starting as emperor, is in a prime position to achieve that very fast.
Instead of conquering, your early game will revolve around gathering imperial authority and making nearby European states a part of the HRE. They’ll all become your vassals when you pass the second to last reform.
After securing Europe, you can move towards the rest of the world.
You do not even need an army. Your vassals will march to the end of the world and win you the wars.
The elaborate and powerful Austrian mission tree gives you all the tools necessary to dominate the HRE.
Personal Union casus bellis against your neighbors and an incentive to fight the Ottomans from early on is all you will need.
Horde gameplay is based around huge land conquests.
And a world conquest is just that, but on a bigger scale.
So it should come as no surprise to veteran players that the Oirat confederation gets the number one spot on this list.
All hordes can do what Oirat can. The Oirats are simply in the best starting position for it, thus they’re the nation of choice if you want the best odds at conquering the globe.
Oirat isn’t an end-game tag either, and gets the option to form whatever they think is best for their purposes.
The two main options are going for the Mughals, or remaining a horde and forming the Great Yuan and eventually the Great Mongol State.
Both options have pros and cons.
Whatever you choose, your early game will play largely the same: it can be boiled down to “explosive expansion in every direction”.
You might spot that you start the game bordering Ming – by far the largest nation in the game with ten times your troops. You can declare war on the 11th of December 1444 (earliest possible date) and stomp them to the ground.
Demand full money and boom, you can now finance your campaigns in the west!
Exploit the horde mechanics to the fullest and raze the world to the ground.