How To Raise Absolutism in EU4 (Best Methods)

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The absolutism mechanic consists of two variables: Maximum Absolutism and Actual Absolutism. You’ll start with a base max of 65 during the Age of Absolutism. This will usually be adjusted by several modifiers, both negative and positive.

The common modifiers available to all nations are:

  • +5 from the Empire rank
  • +5 from being a Great Power
  • 0 to +5 relative to your religious unity
  • +5 during your Golden Age
  • +20 after resolving the “Court and Country” disaster

Further modifiers are based on your government type and your estates’ privileges and land ownership.

For your actual absolutism, you can immediately increase or decrease it by using these actions:

Action Button Location Change to Absolutism
Strengthen Government Government tab +2
Decrease Autonomy Province UI +1
Increase Autonomy Province UI -2
(per 20 province development)
Assign Parliament Seat Province UI -0.15
(per province development)
Harsh Treatment Stability & Expansion tab +1
Boost Stability Stability & Expansion tab +1
Accept Rebel Demand Stability & Expansion tab -10
Reduce War Exhaustion Stability & Expansion tab -1
Debase Currency Economy tab -1

You can also get yearly absolutism from these modifiers:

Modifier Name Modifier Type Yearly Change to Absolutism
Absolute Government Age Ability +1
Strengthen Religious Head Tier 7 Reform (Theocracy) +1
60–100% Crown Land High Crown Land Bonus +1
Tsardom Russian Government Form +0.5
Political Absolutism Tier 7 Reform (Monarchy) +0.5
Dei Gratia Rex Catholic Golden Bull +0.5
Local Nobility Aristocratic Idea Group +0.5
The Forbidden City Great Project (Beijing) +0.25–0.5
(depending on its level)
The Grand Palace of Bangkok Great Project (Bangkok) +0.25–1
(depending on its level)
Bankruptcy Bankruptcy -2

You can check your absolutism in the Government tab. The two icons in the middle will show you these values.

Hover over these numbers to see the modifiers that are affecting them.

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How to Check Your Absolutism Values

Modifiers to Maximum Absolutism




Monarchies are better positioned for absolute power, because their legitimacy attribute grants a scalable +10 to -10 max absolutism.

Certain nations have access to special power structures that have major absolutism modifiers.

Power Structure
(Tier 1 Reform)
Absolutism Modifier Exclusivity/Conditions
Solomonic Empire +20 max Ethiopia:
Enacted after completing the “Centralize the State” mission
Chakravarti +10 max Southeast Asian nations:
Enacted after completing the “Chakravarti” mission
Prussian Monarchy +10 max Prussia (if it was formed by a monarchy)
Ottoman Government +5 max Ottomans
Shogunate +5 max Japanese nations:
Enacted if/after controlling Kyoto
Mossi Confederal Kingdom -20 max Mossi
English Monarchy -30 max England:
Will be removed after the “English Civil War” disaster
Elective Monarchy -30 max Poland:
Will be removed after the “Struggle for Royal Power” disaster
Tsardom +0.5 yearly Russia

You can get further modifiers from these two generic reforms:

Reform Tier Absolutism Modifier Reform Name
5 +5 max Royal Decree
7 +5 max
+0.50 yearly
Political Absolutism

Republics are complicated as they have a -40 max by default.

However, they have the most number of reforms to offset that malus.

Power Structure
(Tier 1 Reform)
Absolutism Modifier Exclusivity/Conditions
Presidential Dictatorship +40 max Any republic will get this after:

  • Re-electing a ruler when having less than 20 republican tradition
  • Having less than 40 republican tradition for 12 years
Stratocratic Administration +30 max Prussia (if it was formed by a republic)
Military Dictatorship +30 max Switzerland:
Enacted by the “Helvetic Republic” event

Potential ending to the “Golden Ambrosian Republic” disaster

Noble Elite +20 max Available to all republics
Free City +20 max Can be granted by the Emperor to HRE members with only one province

Will be replaced by Oligarchy if they acquire a second province

Protectorate Parliament +20 max England:
Enacted if Oliver Cromwell wins and survives the “English Civil War” disaster
American Republic +20 max United States of America:
Potential ending to a series of Congressional events in 1781
Federal Republic +10 max United States of America:
Potential ending to a series of Congressional events in 1781
Autonomous Swiss Cantons +10 max Swiss nations
Dutch Republic +10 max Netherlands
Ambrosian Republic +10 max Milan:
Potential ending to the “Golden Ambrosian Republic” disaster
Italian Signoria +10 max Latin nations
Veche Republic -10 max Eastern Slavic nations
Peasant’s Republic -10 max Dithmarschen, Friesland, and East Frisia start with this.

Can spread to other nations during the “Great Peasants’ War” HRE incident

Pirate Republic -10 max Enacted by the “Hoist the Black Flag” decision
Venetian Republic -10 max Venice
Plutocracy -10 max Available to all republics

You’ll also have access to these generic reforms:

Reform Tier Absolutism Modifier Reform Name
3 +10 max Consolidation of Power
3 -10 max Frequent Elections
10 +25 max Strengthen Executive Powers

Theocracies have fewer reforms, but two of those can contribute to your yearly absolutism growth.

Reform Tier Absolutism Modifier Reform Name Exclusivity/Conditions
1 -30 max Autonomous Swiss Cantons Swiss nations
5 +1 yearly Strengthen Religious Head Available to all theocracies
6 +20 max Divine Guidance Not available to monastic orders
6 +20 max Open Public Elections Only for monastic orders
7 +1 yearly Organize Our Faith Only for pagans

Tribes only have two reforms, but both add up to +35 max.

Reform Tier Absolutism Modifier Reform Name Exclusivity/Conditions
1 +25 max Sacred Kingdom Only for pagans
4 +10 max Retain Tribal Hierarchy Available to all tribals



Privileges can reduce your max absolutism by -5 or -10.

Their bonuses are useful in the early game. However, they usually become irrelevant in the Age of Absolutism.

For example, the burgher’s “Patronage of the Arts” gives you +0.5% annual prestige but incurs a -5 max absolutism. There are plenty of ways to max out your prestige later in the game, which makes this burgher privilege unnecessary.

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The Effects of Privileges on Absolutism

To revoke a privilege, the estate it’s attached to must have their loyalty higher than their influence.

Doing so will make their loyalty drop by 20%.

You’ll likely need to wait for their loyalty to normalize again before you can revoke another privilege.

Alternatively, completing an estate’s agenda boosts their loyalty by 10–20%.

You can also grant them monopolies. These special privileges add 10% to an estate’s loyalty equilibrium but won’t increase their influence. This makes it easier to revoke other privileges.

Note: Monopolies also reduce your max absolutism by -5 and have a 10-year duration. You can’t revoke them until that period has passed.

Crown Land

The percent of crown land you own will influence your absolutism values.

The exact numbers are:

Crown Land Owned Max Absolutism Yearly Absolutism
0% -50 0
1–4% -40 0
5–9% -30 0
10–19% -15 0
20–29% -10 0
30–49% 0 0
50–59% +5 0
60–74% +10 +1
75–99% +15 +1
100% +15 +1

Pressing the “Seize Land” button in the Estates tab will give you 5% crown land. However, you can only do that every 5 years.

All of your estates will lose 20% loyalty too. If you’re also revoking privileges, do that first before seizing land. The loyalty loss may prevent you from doing the former.

You can also get 0.2% crown land every time you develop a province.

Tip: Like with privileges, you should start seizing land around 1550. By the time the Age of Absolutism begins in 1610, you’ll already have a significant amount of crown land.


Age of Absolutism

Age Abilities
Age of Absolutism Abilities / EU4
Age of Absolutism Abilities

The Age of Absolutism comes with three abilities that are useful for raising absolutism:

  • Efficient Autonomy
    • -50% cooldown for decreasing/increasing autonomy
  • Harsher Treatment
    • -50% harsh treatment cost
  • Absolute Government
    • +1 yearly absolutism

Age abilities cost 800 splendor to unlock. You can gain +2 monthly splendor for each Age objective fulfilled.

Five of them can be met before the Age of Absolutism, giving you a strong head start.

  • Have at least 3 trade companies
  • Have a land force limit of at least 200
  • Have at least 5 accepted cultures
  • Be the Emperor of China with at least 50 mandate
  • Has won the Religious League War

Note: The League War will only break out in Germany. Though difficult, it’s not impossible to be part of it while also trying to become the Emperor of China.

“Court and Country” Disaster

Surviving this disaster for 10 years can potentially give you a permanent +20 max absolutism.

To trigger it, you must meet these conditions:

  • Must not have an ongoing disaster
  • At least 1 national unrest
  • Less than 3 stability
  • Must be at war
  • At least 50 absolutism
Disaster Conditions / EU4
Disaster Conditions

If you already have 50 absolutism, then the safest way to meet the other requirements are to:

  1. Declare war on a small nation.
    • Not using a casus belli penalizes you with +2 war exhaustion and -2 stability.
    • Each point of war exhaustion gives +1 national unrest.
  2. Annihilate their army and occupy all their provinces to reach 100% war score.
  3. Wait for the “Call for Peace”.
    • You get this if you’ve clearly won the war but haven’t sued for peace yet.
    • This increases your war exhaustion exponentially the longer you ignore it.
  4. End the war once the disaster starts.

During the disaster, you’ll get:

  • -20% national goods produced modifier
  • -20% national tax modifier
  • -20 max absolutism

You’ll also receive monthly events which let you choose between:

  • Fighting rebels and gaining +5 absolutism
  • Losing -5 absolutism and increasing a random province’s autonomy

You must take care not to get overwhelmed by rebels. If they force you to accept their demands, the disaster ends and you won’t get the permanent modifier.

“Court and Country” will end after these are met:

  • No provinces are occupied by rebels
  • At least 0 stability
  • Less than 2 war exhaustion
  • 10 years have passed since the disaster began

The permanent modifier depends on how much absolutism you hold at the end of the disaster.

Absolutism Retained Modifier
65 or more +20 max (permanent)
30–64 +10 max (permanent)
Below 30 -10 max (for 10 years)

Tip: Make sure you’ve completely taken care of your estate privileges and crown land before attempting this. You’ll need at least 85 maximum absolutism to counter the -20 malus and get the most out of this disaster.


Raising Absolutism

This is much more straightforward than setting up your max absolutism. Aside from events like those in the “Court and Country” disaster, you can manually gain absolutism from these actions:

  • +2 from Strengthen Government
  • +1 from Decrease Autonomy (scales with province development)
  • +1 from Harsh Treatment
  • +1 from Boost Stability

Strengthen Government

Government Tab / EU4
Government Tab

You’ll spend 100 Military mana to restore 10 points of your main government attribute:

  • Legitimacy for monarchies
  • Republican tradition for republics
  • Horde unity for horde nomads
  • Devotion for theocracies

Decrease Autonomy

Production Interface (Autonomy Tab) / EU4
Production Interface (Autonomy Tab)

This is the most efficient way to raise absolutism, because it doesn’t cost anything. The province/s only need to have at least 10% autonomy.

This reduces a province’s autonomy by -25%.

A province can only have its autonomy changed every 30 years. It’s half that number if you have the “Efficient Autonomy” age ability.


Harsh Treatment

This costs 50–200 Military mana depending on the size of the target rebel faction. The cost is halved if you have the “Harsher Treatment” age ability.

Using this on a rebel faction reduces their uprising progress by -30%.

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Harsh Treatment and Boost Stability

Boost Stability

The base cost for boosting stability is 100 Admin mana. This gets +50% more expensive for each positive point of stability.

Stability is capped at 3.

Note: Stability gained from events won’t add to your absolutism.


Benefits of Absolutism

Each point of absolutism gives bonuses to your army discipline, your administrative efficiency, and your provinces’ retention of foreign cores.

At 100 absolutism, you’ll get:

  • +5% Discipline
  • +30% Administrative Efficiency
  • -50% Foreign Core Duration

Admin efficiency reduces the mana cost for creating cores and annexing vassals. Modifiers that increase admin efficiency are rare, and absolutism is one of the earliest ones.

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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.