How To Become a Tsardom in EU4

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The Tsardom government reform is only available to two formable nations: Russia and Ruthenia.

You also need to follow the Orthodox religion and be in the East Slavic culture group to maintain it.


Tsardom Mechanics

The Tsardom reform and its effects / EU4
The Tsardom reform and its effects.

First of all, let’s see the direct bonuses the Tsardom government reform provides:

  • National Manpower Modifier: +20%
  • Monthly Autonomy Change: -0.05
  • Yearly Absolutism: +0.50
  • Governing Capacity: +250

All these bonuses are excellent, especially for an expansionist empire in Eurasia.

The Governing Capacity allows you to integrate and efficiently govern more land, while the boost to Autonomy Change makes these provinces give you their full benefits in no time!

Absolutism is always welcome. On top of allowing you to annex more land in a war, it gives your army higher discipline.

And finally, the sizeable manpower bonus is godsent. Manpower is the most important resource in the game and all sources of it are highly sought after.

On top of all these direct buffs, the Tsardom reform allows you to claim entire states instead of individual provinces. This isn’t that much important, as Russia enjoys tons of permanent claims due to its mission tree and events.

Finally, you also gain access to the “Russian Government Abilities”. This is shared with the “Veche Republic” and “Russian Principality” reforms.

These abilities are available in the government tab. There are 3 of them:

  • Reform Sudebnik, lowers autonomy by a flat 10% in all provinces
  • Support Oprichnina, lowers progress of all rebels by a flat 30%
  • Raise Streltsy, lowers war exhaustion by 2 and creates Streltsy infantry regiments based on your development.
The three Russian Government Abilities / Europa Universalis IV
The three Russian Government Abilities.

Each of the three abilities is tied to a category of monarch points. You can click them and enjoy their effects once progress reaches 100. You can have up to 150 progress stored at any time.

Progress is accumulated at the start of year and largely depends on your ruler. The formula is 3 base progress plus one extra point of progress for every skill point your ruler has in the corresponding category.

For example, a ruler with a military skill of 5 will gain 3+5=8 progress each year towards the “Raise Streltsy” ability.


Unlocking the Tsardom Government Reform

The requirements for the reform are essentially:

  • East Slavic culture group
  • Orthodox religion
  • Is Russia or Ruthenia

These might seem simple at first glance, but in reality, they are quite restrictive. Let’s explore in detail what each of the requirements!


#1: Culture and Religion

The requirement you initially need to fulfil is the one regarding culture and religion. The rest will come into place upon forming Russia or Ruthenia.

All starting nations with the “Veche Republic” and “Russian Principality” government fulfill the requirements automatically. These two governments also necessitate you belong to the east Slavic culture group, while all these nations follow the Orthodox religion by default.

The Russian Principality reform is essentially a weaker version of Tsardom. The logic behind this is that whoever unifies their region and forms Russia or Ruthenia upgrades its government to that of Tsardom.

Muscovy has the Russian Principality reform, which is essentially a weaker version of Tsardom / EU4
Muscovy has the Russian Principality reform, which is essentially a weaker version of Tsardom.

The two starting Veche Republics, Novgorod and Pskov, switch to monarchies and become Tsardoms upon forming Russia. At the time of writing, that is.

When the 1.34 patch comes online, they’ll get the option of getting a republican version of Tsardom!


#2: Forming Russia and Ruthenia

The government reform “Tsardom” is available only to the formable nations of Russia and Ruthenia.

Ruthenia is formable by any nation with Ruthenian as its primary culture. If you have released and chosen to play as a Ruthenian minor, a goal of yours will be forming Ruthenia the soonest.

Another option is culture converting to Ruthenian culture as Poland or Lithuania and forming it that way.

The requirements to form Ruthenia are easy to fulfill, especially if you play as Lithuania or Poland and culture convert to Ruthenian. The necessary provinces are all close to each other.

Honestly, waiting for administrative technology 10 is what you will be doing.

Ruthenia with access to the Tsardom government reform / Europa Universalis IV
Ruthenia with access to the Tsardom government reform.

Russia is the option available to all other nations with east Slavic culture. It has an elaborate mission tree and tons of flavor. Russia also has one of the strongest idea sets in the game.

Russia will be the usual suspect in most campaigns with the Tsardom government. AI-formed Ruthenia is as rare as a unicorn. The requirements for forming Russia aren’t that steep. Playing in the area, you will conquer the necessary provinces through your natural course of expansion.


When To Get Tsardom

This government reform is very strong, undoubtedly.

However, it locks you into a specific religion and culture group. The culture group isn’t much of a concern.

Religion, on the other hand, must always be considered.

Orthodox is currently one of the strongest religions in the game, but it might be nerfed at some point in the future.

Usually, the Tsardom government reform isn’t something you will go out of your way to obtain. Forming one of two specific end-game tags is necessary for it, which is a very big barrier.

But if you’re playing as any nation in the area though, you should always consider forming Russia and unlocking the Tsardom mechanics and bonuses.

And if you’re achievement hunting then just make sure forming another nation doesn’t make you ineligible for your desired achievements.

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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.