EU4: How To Dismantle the HREThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
For those not familiar with the HRE mechanics: a nation is elected as emperor by the 7 electors. Austria begins as the emperor. The emperor enjoys substantial bonuses and will be called as a co-belligerent along with all his allies to defend any member attacked by outsiders.
But you can get rid of the HRE mechanic by dismantling the empire through a button in the HRE UI, located on the bottom right of the screen. To do this you’ll need to control the emperor’s and all electors’ capitals. Allying the electors is enough for them to be considered “controlled”.
Requirements To Dismantle the HRE
You need to control all the capitals of the electors as well as the emperor’s.
The first part of this requirement can be fulfilled diplomatically, as allying an elector will make him controlled, regardless of participation in a war against the emperor.
The starting electors are:
- The Palatinate
An elector is considered controlled when:
- They are allied to you (they do not need to participate in a war against the emperor)
- They are your subject
- You occupy their capital
Of course, allying every single elector will usually not be possible, as many of them will rival each other.
This is fine. Simply find an excuse to end up at war with the non-allied ones and occupy their capitals. In many cases they will be allied to the emperor; you won’t need to declare a separate war then.
It doesn’t matter if an elector’s capital is occupied in a different war from the one against the emperor, as long as it is occupied by YOU.
The emperor’s capital will have to be occupied in a war.
It doesn’t matter what the casus belli is, as long as YOU (not some other participant) occupy their capital while all the electors are controlled. Yes, simply occupy.
Just win the siege, open the HRE UI and press the button to dismantle the HRE!
Keep in mind that all these conditions need to be fulfilled simultaneously. It can be a good idea to vassalize some electors by force to make your life easier, as you won’t have to fight 2-3 wars simultaneously.
Note: You can dismantle the HRE even as a member, but not as the emperor. Being an elector makes dismantling a lot easier.
Alternative Ways of Dealing With the HRE
Dismantling the empire is certainly tempting, but is it always worth the trouble?
Sometimes there are better ways to solve this problem.
1. Usurping the Empire
First of all, you have to consider if it is preferable leading the HRE yourself.
Even as a non-member nation, you are eligible to be elected emperor.
Focusing on raising your diplomatic reputation and maintaining high relations and alliances with the electors can allow you to get elected even against Austria! Remember, Austria, the starting Emperor, isn’t an elector at the game’s start and can’t even secure a guaranteed vote for themselves.
The -50 modifier because you are not a member of the empire can be a hefty malus, but nothing you cannot overcome.
You could also vassalize 3-4 electors and get elected that way.
As a member of the empire, it’s far easier to secure the electors’ vote. Even more so as an elector yourself! 4 votes guarantee your election.
Ties go in favor of the emperor if he is involved, or to the nation with the higher prestige if it is between two other members.
2. Becoming a Member
Smaller nations bordering the empire can diplomatically join the empire by securing high enough relations with the emperor.
This is done through the leftmost button at the bottom of the HRE UI.
Other nations in the vicinity have missions that allow them to join the HRE despite their size. Hungary and Burgundy are two examples.
While you will still have to content with a decreased pace of expansion, becoming a member saves you the trouble of dismantling the empire, allows you to get elected far more easily, and gives you some protection against more powerful neighbors.
Tips for Dismantling the HRE
Generally, it shouldn’t be a priority to dismantle the empire as soon as possible.
Doing so will allow larger realms to move into the area. It will also make it easier for new powers to emerge, as it will be far easier to gobble up their neighbors.
However, if you want to do so for some reason, it is possible to do even in the first decade as certain nations.
France and Poland are your best picks for achieving that. Both can ally most electors and are capable of fighting Austria on equal terms.
Early game isn’t the time for explosive expansion anyway. Even if you want to go for a conquering spree in central Europe, you should first make sure to unlock a couple idea groups like administrative and diplomatic. Ensuring you have a lot of governing capacity is also crucial.
The land isn’t going anywhere; on the contrary, the HRE mechanics ensure you will find lots of weak nations to gobble up when the time comes!
Things to consider when attempting to dismantle the HRE:
Tip #1: Hover over the “Dismantle HRE” button before declaring the war
Ensure all electors that you aren’t going to war against are considered controlled. You might have missed something, it’s human.
Tip #2: Do NOT ally electors who are also allied to the emperor
They will join the war on the emperor’s side anyway, and you will have to occupy their capital. They will cost you a diplomatic slot and potentially make it hard to ally their rival electors who aren’t allied to the emperor.
Tip #3: Do NOT call your elector allies into the war against the emperor
If their capital is occupied by the enemy, you will have to liberate it.
The AI focuses weaker allies first, which means they will target these guys. Usually, it’s not worth the trouble having to worry about that too.
Tip #4: Wait for the Religious Leagues
Well, this isn’t aimed at all nations, but if you are protestant and are leading the Protestant league, the Religious Leagues War is a perfect opportunity to dismantle the HRE. All electors will be involved, and you can easily ally your league’s members.