How To Raise Your Force Limit in EU4This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
A nation’s force limit (FL) is a soft cap on the number of troops and ships they can field simultaneously. Getting over it only costs more money to support your forces. This cost sharply goes up the more you get past the force limit.
The base Army FL is 6 and the base Naval force limit is 12. In the early game, going over your army force limit will cost you a ton of money relative to your current income, which can easily snowball into a huge problem.
The easiest way to raise both army and navy force limits is to expand.
The more development you have, the higher your force limit. Of course, the provinces’ autonomy also plays a role, you need it as low as possible to reap all the benefits from the provinces. For your navy, building Shipyards and assigning land to Trade Companies will work wonders for your Naval FL.
Increase Army Force Limit
As stated in the intro, you will get 0.1 army FL for every 1 development, modified by autonomy.
This means that a 10-development province at 0 autonomy will provide 1 army FL, while a 20-development one at 50% autonomy will provide the same.
Get the autonomy down to 0, and it will provide 2 army FL.
This is the main way you will be raising your army force limit, as it’s not that important of a modifier.
Remember, it only costs money when you go over the FL – and you are going to do it only in very close wars for a few years.
However, you need it high enough to permanently field at least a couple of armies, while also making it cheaper when you need to go all out.
Secondary Ways to Increase Army FL
There are some alternate ways to increase your force limit, either as a flat bonus or get a percentage increase.
Not all of them will be listed here, and they surely are not something you would look for in a pinch. Some of the most notable methods are:
Ideas and Traditions
Many nations have ideas that boost their force limit by a percentage. Most notably, Russia’s 4th idea gives them a whopping a +50% army FL which is more than enough for them most of the time.
Also, finishing Quantity ideas gives the same +50% army FL too. Quantity being one of, if not the, strongest idea group means you will usually have that modifier active without going out of your way for it.
Every province producing Grain gives a flat +0.5 army FL, while getting the bonus for “trading in Grain” gives a +20% army FL modifier.
Certain governments provide bonuses to army FL. Steppe Nomads for example get from +10% to +30% depending on their government rank.
The Dutch republic gets a +25% when the Orangists are in power, which is much needed for them when defending in Europe.
Each subject nation provides you with an increase to army FL, among other things.
A vassal will provide a 1+10% of their army FL to you, while a march a 1+20% of their army FL.
Colonial nations will also provide a bonus depending on their “relation type”. Private enterprises for example provide almost no bonuses to your army FL. Personal Unions also provide no bonuses to your army FL.
Of course, there are also ideas, traditions, and policies that multiply the army FL increase from subjects. For example, the Influence 7th and the Andalucian 2nd ideas give a +100% bonus to it.
Tip: Notice in the screenshot above how the large “Mazil” provides no bonus to army FL. That is because it was founded as a private enterprise.
Buildings and Trade Company Investments
There’s a building line that gives +1/+2 army FL. There’s also a TC investment providing +5 army FL.
These are not worth it. If for any reason you need a fast increase to you army FL and build the building, make sure you do it in a low-development province producing a low-value trade good.
Increase Naval Force Limit
In similar vein to army FL, you will get 0.1 navy FL for every 1 development, modified by autonomy.
The big difference is that ONLY coastal provinces contribute to this.
This means that a 10-development COASTAL province at 0 autonomy will provide 1 navy FL, while a 20-development one at 50% autonomy will provide the same.
Get the autonomy down to 0, and it will provide 2 navy FL.
Your navy FL is significantly boosted from other sources as well. This differs a lot from the army equivalent, as it’s worth it to hunt for some of these modifiers.
Remember, navies make you money as well. The more light ships you have, the more money from trade you can make.
Other Ways to Increase Navy FL
These modifiers are usually more powerful and worth getting than their equivalent army ones.
You should look into increasing your navy FL when you reach it. Being over it isn’t the end of the world, but you do not want to go too far over. The most notable methods are:
Ideas and Traditions
Many nations have ideas that boost their force limit by a percentage. Most notably, Danish and Dutch national ideas give them a whopping a +50% navy FL.
Also, Maritime 4th idea gives the same +50% navy FL too. Maritime isn’t the best idea group, especially in multiplayer. You can take it in single player with certain nations, but do not go out of your way for it.
Naval Supplies Provinces
Every province producing Naval Supplies gives a flat +0.5 navy FL, while getting the bonus for “trading in Naval Supplies” gives a +20% navy FL modifier.
Certain governments provide bonuses to navy FL. Pirate republics, for example, get a +50% bonus.
The Dutch republic gets a +10% when the Statists are in power.
Each colonial subject provides you with an increase to navy FL among other things. The amount they provide is based on their “relation type” and their own navy FL.
The Shipyard line gives +2/+4 navy FL. These buildings are the best way for you to raise your naval force limit in a pinch.
You can only build these buildings in coastal provinces. Of course, they should never be prioritized before manufactories, workshops, and marketplaces in high-value provinces.
With correct planning and a little bit of developing, every single coastal province should have a Shipyard.
But you need to be careful, as it’s easy to reach a point where your navy cannot be supported by the number of sailors you have. Make sure to build Impressment offices in Tropical Wood, Salt, Fish, and Naval Supplies provinces to vastly increase your nation’s Sailors.
There is a TC investment providing +5 navy FL. The investment is not worth it at all.
However, every single province that is part of a Trade Company will provide a flat +0.5 bonus to your navy FL. This can very quickly raise your limit by a large amount.
As any nation in need of a large navy will be one with a lot of Trade Company land, this modifier will organically occur by simply playing the game.