How To Get Global Trade in EU4

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Global trade is one of the institution-spawning events that occurs roughly every 50 years. Like all institution events, it provides 100 points of each category and 25 government reform progress.

On top of that, the province that spawned the event gets a permanent modifier that increases its trade power by +10%. This is nothing to scoff at, especially in very high-value provinces like London or Sevilla.

Everyone who embraces the institution will also enjoy an extra +1 merchant for the rest of the game.


How To Trigger the Event

Global trade can appear from 1600 onwards in a province that:

  • Is NOT an island (as in, it doesn’t border another province at all. For example, Cyprus and Malta are islands, while London isn’t)
  • Is in the highest-valued trade node in the world
  • Its owner has a merchant or their main trading port present
  • Its owner has the most trade power in the node
  • Is one of the following:
    • Is the capital
    • Is a Center of Trade of at least level 2
    • Is a level 1 Center of Trade and the year is at least 1630

The hardest condition to meet is possessing most of the trade power in the highest valued trade node globally.

If you find yourself playing somewhere far away from the European end-nodes, you will have a hard time spawning the institution.


Increasing a Node’s Trade Value

There are two ways to achieve this:

  • Steer more trade into the node – Increase your trade power in upstream nodes by assigning light ships and conquering land there. Having lots of merchants to assign helps a lot.
  • Increase the local trade value – This is achieved by increasing your provinces’ “goods produced” value. Build manufactories and develop their base production with diplomatic points.

Important: Do not confuse trade value with trade power. Increasing your trade power essentially increases your percentage of control in the node. It won’t affect the overall value of the node.

Trade Power, Trade Value, and Goods produced shown on the bottom left. The manufactory being built will raise the goods produced by a flat +1. / EU4
Trade Power, Trade Value, and Goods produced shown on the bottom left. The manufactory being built will raise the goods produced by a flat +1.

Best Trade Nodes to Spawn Global Trade In

The only three end-nodes in the game are the English Channel, Genoa, and Venice nodes.

Trade cannot be steered out of them, only into them.

This makes them the easiest to spawn global trade in, without trying too hard for it.

However, there are more trade nodes in the game where “chokepoints” exist. These trade nodes make it hard for trade to flow out of them if the owners of the node’s provinces want to keep it that way.

(Click for full-size)
An end game Persia. Even if 100 ducats flow out, the node still retains more than 500 ducats without much effort.

There are various reasons why this happens, but it is quite complicated. This is not an extensive guide on trade obviously, so I will not go into too much detail here.

I will mention some trade nodes that can comfortably spawn global trade. Such nodes are:

  • Persia – A very rich node with only two directions outwards. All of India and Central Asia’s trade can be steered into it.
  • Constantinople – Technically not outside Europe, but worth mentioning. Granted you also control Ragusa, collecting trade in Constantinople renders it a quasi-end node. Very little trade will leak out of it.
  • Hormuz – Similar to Persia, all of India’s trade can be steered into it and it only flows onto Basra. Easy to monopolize.
  • Zanzibar – Another rich node that is downstream from India and Indonesia. Only flows into the Cape, which starts fully uncolonized.
  • Beijing – Controlling all of China allows for steering all its wealth into Beijing, which flows only into Yumen.

Of course, depending on the campaign, you can spawn the institution in other nodes as well. The ones mentioned are just better situated to compete with the European colonizers.

(Click for full-size)
Global trade spawned in the Persia node.
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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.