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Trade and production are the best moneymakers in EU4. You can easily earn hundreds of ducats every month once you’ve dominated your home trade node.
This will involve conquering Centers of Trade.
How fast you can earn a shilling depends on how quick you are at killing your competition.
However, to make money off of trade, you must first spend money on improvements and investments.
You’ll need capital – and you can quickly get that with the financial options mentioned below.
Sell Crown Land
In the Estates tab, clicking the “Sale of Titles” button will give you a significant sum of ducats.
The amount depends on your yearly income, the current age, and the total land owned by the estates.
You’ll lose 10% crown land after the sale, but you can immediately regain 5% by pressing the “Seize Land” button.
Note: These buttons will be unavailable if you are at war or if there are rebels active in your country. They also have a five-year cooldown once pressed.
You can also gain crown land by annexing provinces. The lower your estates’ influence, the higher your gains.
Going under 30% crown land comes with these penalties:
|Owned Crown Land||Monthly Autonomy Change||Monthly Tax Income||Liberty Desire from Subject’s Development||Max Absolutism|
Liberty desire can be mitigated by granting the “Strong Duchies” privilege to the Noble estate. Plus, this is only a problem for countries like Denmark or the Timurids, who start the game with large, disloyal subjects.
The only penalty that really matters in the early game is the autonomy change. High autonomy provinces will have decreased production, trade value, and trade power.
That’s why it’s recommended to maintain at least 20% crown land.
Note: Once the Age of Absolutism starts, having at least 50% crown land becomes the new norm to get the Absolutism bonuses.
You can take out a loan via the Economy tab or the Estates tab.
The amount you get is based on this formula:
Loan amount = half of your total development • (1 + base trade efficiency from diplo tech)
There are two types of loans:
|Loan Type||Gained by||Terms|
|Bank||Pressing the “Take Loan” button in the Economy tab||
|Burghers estate||Granting the “Indebted to the Burghers” privilege in the Estates tab||
In addition, both loans share these traits:
- Each loan taken increases inflation by 0.1
- Each has a period of 5 years
- Expired loans can be extended but will add another 0.1 inflation
The “Debase Currency” button gives you ducats equal to one loan but will increase your corruption by 2.
You can always debase currency as long as your corruption is less than 90.
Two significant penalties from having corruption are:
- +1% to all mana costs
- 0.5% minimum autonomy
These will scale with your corruption value. On top of those, you’ll also receive bad events more frequently the higher your corruption gets.
If you are a Muslim nation, you can use the piety mechanic in the Religion tab to offset the corruption increase.
The “Enforce Faithful Adherence” button reduces your corruption by 2, effectively negating the increase from debasing your currency. This also has a five-year cooldown.
The option becomes available at 75 piety.
If you need more, you can gain 25 piety each time you declare war on non-Muslims.
When waging war, any army stationed in an enemy province will automatically loot it each month. The amount looted depends on the army size and composition.
Fleets will also loot coastal provinces that they’ve blockaded.
You can switch to the “Loot” map mode to check how much money each enemy province has left. Highly developed provinces will typically hold more loot.
This income will be labeled as “Spoils of War” in your Economy tab.
On that same tab, you’ll see the “War Taxes” button in the bottom-left corner. Toggling that reduces your army maintenance costs by 15% in exchange for 2 military mana per month.
Once you’ve accumulated enough war score, you can negotiate a peace treaty with your enemies.
Selecting “War Reparations” will give 10% of an enemy’s income for over 10 years.
“Transfer Trade Power” gives you 50% of their trade power in all trade nodes where you both have trade power. This remains in effect until the end of your truce.
Lastly, you can demand for an immediate payment of ducats. The amount can be equal to 5 loans that they’re able to take.
Since these terms are relative to their economy, that means that the bigger your enemy, the more money you can potentially fleece off of them.
Tip: If you can, you should sign separate peace deals with all minor belligerents before you propose peace with the war leader. You’ll get more profit from each of them.
The special ability to raid coastal provinces is available to pirate republics and these specific nations:
- The Knights
- Somalia (formable)
- Normandy (releasable by England)
- All Berber minor nations
All of them, except Normandy, start with this ability. Normandy will get it with their national ambition.
Pirate republics, Normandy, and Somalia can raid anyone.
The others can only raid countries that are not following the raider’s state religion.
The “Raid Coast” button is on the naval unit interface. It’ll be clickable if the selected navy is at sea and is adjacent to a lootable coastal province.
Note: You don’t need to be at war with your victim.
Each raided province will need 10 years to recover before it can be raided again.