How To Play Brazil in Victoria 2 (Country Guide)

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Brazil is large and in charge. An up-and-coming power free from the grasp of Portugal, it dwarfs its South American neighbors in both size and population.

While dominating your own continent will be very easy as Brazil, the same is not true for the world. Great powers such as Great Britain, France, and Prussia start the game with much higher literacy rates, better and larger armies, and plenty of industrial resources.

You have quite a gap to close before calling yourself a great power. And in this guide we will try and establish a new, global empire.


Brazil Quick Guide

  • Conquer or sphere most of your neighbors to gain complete control over South America through war and diplomacy.
  • Set up your industry to grow your economy and assert your position in the world market by increasing production.
  • Gain the resources necessary to secure your industrial base by establishing protectorates during the Scramble for Africa after 1870.
  • Contend with the United States for supremacy over the Americas – or enjoy a peaceful relationship with your larger northern ally and prosper while Europe slaughters itself.

Early Moves

We have two problems to fix before we start thinking about expansion:

  1. Our budget is not so good
  2. And our starting literacy rate is outright terrible

For reference, we start with a bit more than one-tenth of what Prussia has, and we want to be able to compete with Prussia eventually.

The administrative efficiency map mode can be accessed through the “hammer” button above the minimap / Victoria 2
The administrative efficiency map mode can be accessed through the “hammer” button above the minimap. Red is bad, very bad.

Let’s start by increasing the administrative efficiency of our most populous states, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, by encouraging bureaucrats.

We will also research Malthusian Thought to improve our education efficiency slightly.

Malthusian Thought is the first of several technologies that improve education efficiency / Victoria 2
Malthusian Thought is the first of several technologies that improve education efficiency.

This is definitely not enough, as the great powers start with the technology we are now studying and will unlock more as the game goes on, but we have to do what we can.

Let’s move to the budget menu and raise taxes to increase our revenue.

We will also need to switch political parties on day one in order to raise tariffs, as our reactionary (dark blue) and conservative (light blue) parties support free trade.

The Partido Liberal is the best party in the early game / Victoria 2
The Partido Liberal is the best party in the early game.

Once our internal politics are less bankruptcy-friendly and our budget is in order, we can move on to our neighbors and the core provinces they have been holding for us.


Wars in South America (1836-1845)

War rages over Ecuador and Colombia, leaving the Brazilian armies hopefully unscathed / Victoria 2
War rages over Ecuador and Colombia, leaving the Brazilian armies hopefully unscathed.

There are four weak nations that we can easily prey upon:

  • Bolivia is an easy one: we just need to form an alliance with Chile and we will soon be called into a war between the two countries. We will also take the lead in the negotiations because we are larger and more powerful. Adding an acquire core war goal does not accrue infamy.
  • Colombia is stronger, so we will need to declare war ourselves. The best choice is justifying an acquire state casus belli for Guavaire and adding the acquire core war goal for free later, as we will not have enough jingoism to do the opposite this early in the game.
  • Paraguay owns a small strip of land in Mato Grosso that can be annexed via acquire core. The main benefit here is the prestige that comes with the casus belli, and the only ally of this small state, Argentina, can’t do much to stop us.
  • Uruguay is different from the others because we do not have a core, but. if we have no infamy and Uruguay has no allies, there is no reason not to justify a conquest casus belli to get more land and some prestige.

As you conquer territory, you can decide whether to extend slavery. If you do not do it, the consciousness of POPs across your many slave states will rise.

Pro Tip: as you go to war, try not to sacrifice too many of your troops. Let allied nations such as Chile or Ecuador take the brunt of the damage as you occupy undefended provinces with small forces and secure a beneficial peace deal.


Growing Your Economy (1845-1870)

A larger Brazil / Victoria 2
A larger Brazil. This is what your map should look like after the first few years.

After a few wars, it’s time for a few decades of peace and prosperity to bring down your infamy and let your population recover from all the bloodshed.

You will be a secondary power for the foreseeable future, so there is no need to worry much about prestige techs. But it is nonetheless a great time to increase your research points by raising literacy across the board.

Encourage clergymen in your most populous states and gain additional national focuses to do it faster and more efficiently.

Keep investing in Social Thought and Philosophy technologies to avoid falling behind, but otherwise develop your industry and prepare for colonization.

You’re not looking for a fight, so you won’t need many military techs, but keep in mind that at this time you can also research Army Decision Making (which is available from 1850) to take advantage of Brazil’s special decision: Fatherland Volunteers.

This unique decision will net ten prestige and reduce war exhaustion if necessary / Victoria 2
This unique decision will net ten prestige and reduce war exhaustion if necessary.

You should focus on technologies which make your industry more productive or improving your tax and administrative efficiency after 1850, and wait for the chance to establish new, lucrative factories.

Soon a whole new world of African provinces will open up to you.


Early Game Diplomacy

Great powers usually leave South America alone.

And you should encourage them to keep doing so by returning the favor and leaving them alone.

You have a large continent to exploit, and if your infamy drops low you can always expand at the expense of Argentina and Peru.

As long as your neighbors are not sphered, you can keep ruling over them even without being a great power. If you become one, on the other hand, you will not have a hard time sphereing them because you share a border, and that’s a +50% influence bonus.


Militancy and Rebels

Rebels fighting against the Brazilian army / Victoria 2
Rebels fighting against the Brazilian army.

Constantly keeping an unelected party in power will make the people unhappy and increase their militancy, ultimately leading to large-scale rebel uprisings that you will not be able to stop forever.

Reactionary rebels are only dangerous in large numbers. But if you haven’t passed any reform yet, letting them win is not a bad option: it will quell the unrest for a time, change your government to an absolute monarchy, and make it a bit harder to pass political and social reforms.

However, if you don’t want the rebels to win, a well-organized force half their size (or even a third, if they are too many and very sparsely distributed) should be able to stop them.


The Scramble for Africa (1870-1900)

The Brazilian production in 1850 / Victoria 2
The Brazilian production in 1850.

Take a look at the production screen above.

Did you notice what’s missing?

Brazil has no coal or iron.

Acquiring these resources during the scramble for Africa is what will allow a large, but only partially industrialized nation, to become a proper great power.

Open the RGOs view and look for these resources when choosing where to colonize. Be firm, but don’t let things escalate into an all-out war with a great power you can’t contend with. Secondary powers are probably safe opponents in this phase of the game.

After you secured enough protectorates, new resources should be flowing in, allowing for new investments.

You should try and use your natural resources to improve your industrial score and become a great power by reaching the top eight.


Late Game (1900-1936)

Guyana, controlled by France, Great Britain, and the Netherlands / Victoria 2
Guyana, controlled by France, Great Britain, and the Netherlands.

As usual, the late game varies wildly based on what happened especially in Europe during the last seventy years.

There are however a few interesting objectives that you could pursue while enjoying the benefits of a fast empire:

  • Taking Guyana from the Europeans can be a daunting task, as three different great powers hold it, but it will give you the satisfaction of owning all of South America.
  • Advancing in North America is similarly difficult: the United States of America is better equipped for war and has a larger population and economy than you unless something terrible and rare happened in the midgame.
  • Building a colonial empire while the European and North American powers are entangled in their great wars can be a nice exercise in alternative history, as Portugal never chose this avenue of expansion historically.
  • Finally, conquering Portugal is a funny reverse-colonization shenanigan that can also force you to familiarize yourself with the European landscape in the late game, after ignoring it for so long.

Now is my time to go, and your time to bring progress and order to Brazil. Tchau!

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Andrea Liuzzi

Andrea Liuzzi is an Italian nerd passionate about history and storytelling. His first favorite game was Pokémon Sapphire, and he started playing Paradox titles in the last days of EU3. Always looking for one more Pathfinder campaign to join.