How To Form Maya in EU4

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Maya can be formed by nations with the Mayan culture and the Mayan religion. Its decision has these requirements:

  • Reform the Mayan religion
  • Own these core provinces:
    • Petén
    • Sotuta
    • Ceh Pech
    • Ecab
    • Chacujal
    • Xicallanco
  • Not at war
  • Not an endgame tag
  • Not a nomad, a colonial, nor a subject nation except as a tributary

Note: The first condition is a tedious process of conquering, losing, and reconquering provinces. In fact, it’s so tricky that it needs its own separate guide.

For general pointers on securing the target provinces and how to dominate the region, read on.

The Provinces Required for Forming Maya / EU4
The Provinces Required for Forming Maya

The Best Nations to Form Maya


1. Huastec

Huastec can get the “League of Mayapan” achievement just by forming Maya.

However, they’re isolated from their fellow Mayans and are situated at the northern edge of Mexico. They’re also surrounded by the warmongering Nahautl nations, who have their own reform process for their religion.

Even if they plow through Mexico and rejoin their brethren, their capital state will still remain vulnerable to the Nahuatls.

Though the Huastec can also conquer the Nahuatls, they’d need to spend time and money to convert those provinces. Otherwise, they’ll have a low religious unity, which affects their unrest and stability.

The Faraway Land of the Huastecs / Europa Universalis IV
The Faraway Land of the Huastecs

2. Cocomes

In terms of economy and power, Xiu, Cocomes, and Chactemal have the highest development in the region.

The first two have 25 dev, while the third has 21. The rest of the Mayans each have around 15 dev.

Cocomes is the best of these three because of two reasons:

  • They’re between Xiu and Chactemal. They can attack either of the two at the start, and annexing them will double their development.
  • Cocomes owns the Chichen Itza monument, which has been pre-upgraded to the “Noteworthy” tier. They get +10% manpower recovery speed and -10% recruitment time from it.
The Cocomes and the Chichen Itza / EU4
The Cocomes and the Chichen Itza

General Strategy & Tips


Administration and Economy

Tip #1: Always reduce provincial autonomy whenever possible

Autonomy affects your income and manpower gains from your provinces. Newly annexed provinces usually have around 50–90% autonomy. This means you’re only earning half the amount of money and men than normal from those provinces.

You can reduce autonomy via the Province UI or the Production Interface. This instantly reduces a province’s autonomy -25% but increases its unrest by +10.

Even so, it’s better to have zero autonomy in most cases. You can always crush any rebels that spawn due to high unrest.

Reducing Provincial Autonomy in the Production Interface / Europa Universalis IV
Reducing Provincial Autonomy in the Production Interface

Tip #2: Manage your estates
The Mayans have the standard three estates and 30% starting crown land.

Prioritize granting the monarch power generation privileges first. As a non-European, you’ll use your power to dev your provinces and spawn institutions.

You’ll also need a lot of admin power to reform your religion. In particular, you’ll core and re-core provinces often as well as increasing your stability during the process.

These should be your starting privileges:

Estate Privilege Effects Equilibrium Changes
Clergy Religious State +1 Monthly Admin Power -5% Loyalty
-10% Crown Land
Nobility Supremacy Over the Kuchkabal Estates can pursue agendas at any time. +10% Loyalty
+10% Influence

*Applies to all estates

Nobility Primacy of the Nobility +1 Monthly Military Power -5% Loyalty
-10% Crown Land
Merchant Guilds Land of Commerce +1 Monthly Diplo Power -5% Loyalty
-10% Crown Land
Merchant Guilds Patronage of the Arts +15 Prestige
+0.5 Monthly Prestige
-5% National Tax Income
+5% Loyalty
+5% Influence

Tip: Press the “Call a Diet” button to select an estate agenda. The options are random, so choose one that gives you power if there’s one available.

Granting Privileges and Choosing Agendas in the Estates Tab / EU4
Granting Privileges and Choosing Agendas in the Estates Tab

Tip #3: Balance your crown land
After you hand out the power privileges, you’ll be left with 0% crown land. You can seize 5% back every 5 years, but you can also get more by annexing or developing provinces.

You generally want at least 20% crown land to avoid the autonomy growth penalty. You can sell the excess crown land to fund your wars and keep your economy up.


Politics and Warfare

Tip #1: Hire mercenaries

Try to get a merc company with a leader that has siege pips.

Even a single pip can make your sieges progress faster. You’ll need this advantage because all Mayans have a national tradition of +15% fort defense.

The good thing is that none of them have castles — only the free lvl 1 capital fort.

The mercs will be your main siege force. They’ll be tasked with taking the capitals of your enemies. If the merc leader has good shock pips, they can also function as your main battle group.

A Leader with 2 Siege Pips and Another with 5 Shock Pips / Europa Universalis IV
A Leader with 2 Siege Pips and Another with 5 Shock Pips

Tip #2: Build spy networks
All Mayans can always use the “Maya Confederation” casus belli (CB) against their neighbors. They don’t need claims to justify a war.

The reason you want spies is to passively improve your siege ability against your target. You can gain +0.2% siege ability per spy network size.

That said, you may still want to fabricate claims. You’ll get a -10% core-creation cost on claimed provinces. You’ll save more admin power this way.

Tip #3: Find allies but don’t enter into royal marriages
Allies can help you in war if you curry favors with them. However, you don’t want to commit to a royal marriage with them.

Your allies will soon become your targets after your initial conquests. Ending an alliance just results in a 5-year truce.

However, breaking a marriage penalizes you with -1 stability and -10 prestige. If you attack them, it’s still a -1 stability but with a +1 war exhaustion instead.

A royal marriage will only end if either of your rulers die, and that may take a long time.

Tip #4: Mark enemy allies as co-belligerents if possible
Every nation in the region will likely be allied to one or three other Mayans.

Fighting one of them means dealing with the rest.

To speed up your conquest of the region, mark the enemy’s allies as a co-belligerent on the war declaration screen.

This lets you annex their provinces without spending diplo power. They’ll also be cheaper in terms of war score cost.

Note: co-belligerents can call in their own allies too. If it seems like it’s going to be too much for you to handle, then just focus on your main target.

Marking Kaqchikel as a Co-Belligerent in the War Declaration Screen / EU4
Marking Kaqchikel as a Co-Belligerent in the War Declaration Screen

Tip #5: Settle for a white peace with non-co-belligerents
Truces can range from 5 to 15 years, depending on the war score cost of a peace deal. While it may be tempting to demand ducats and other terms, doing so results in a longer truce.

Breaking a truce incurs a massive -5 stability, +5 war exhaustion, and -30 aggressive expansion.

So for enemy allies who aren’t co-belligerents, you’ll want to take them out first to force a white peace. You’ll have the minimum 5-year truce with them. You won’t have to wait that long to attack them.

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Louie Nelson Zafico

As a frustrated otter who dreams of getting published, Louie instead wastes his life cuddling his cats. He spent his childhood playing Suikoden, grew up with Total War, and matured (somewhat) with EU4. He hopes to someday find a geopolitical JRPG with the 4X systems of a Paradox game.