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There are 5 prerequisites to sphering a country in Victoria 2:
- Be a Great Power
- The nation you are trying to sphere is not a Great power
- It isn’t on another Great power’s sphere of influence
- Have friendly diplomatic relations with the country
- Have 100 influence points with them
When all those requisites are checked you can select the “add to sphere” option on the country diplomacy screen.
It’s easy to build influence and sphere any nation quickly if you are uncontested, but when other Great powers get involved it can prove a challenge.
There are a few helpful mechanics in order to build up your influence faster.
By using your diplomacy points, you can improve the country relations with the target up to 200 points.
There is a bonus of up to 20% to the influence gain speed based on country relations.
Sharing a Border
This will give you a flat bonus of +50% speed to your influence gain speed.
By being stronger than the country you are trying to sphere, you can build your influence faster.
If your national score and rank are higher than that of the country you are trying to sphere you will get a bonus of up to 100% to your influence on them.
If other countries have invested money in your target, there is a penalty to influence speed of up to -50%.
To counteract other national investors you must invest in their infrastructure or build factories in their territory.
By researching the Market functionality tree on the commerce research tab you increase the base amount of influence points you gain per day, effectively making all other bonuses more powerful.
Additionally, you can also add another 100% bonus by puppeting or vassalizing the country you are trying to influence, but this will cost infamy and a war with the country you are trying to influence.
Influencing Multiple Countries
In Victoria 2 you have a limited number of influence points you can gain per day.
This means that by influencing more than one country at the same time you are splitting your influence efforts.
It is possible to adjust how much each country gets from the total by setting your influence priority per country.
The three levels of priority are: low, medium, and high.
- Low priority will take 20% of the available points
- Medium priority will take 40% of the available points
- High priority will take the maximum amount of points available
This means that a country with 350 influence points daily, which is influencing 2 countries, will distribute 175 to each, and only then the modifiers are applied to reach the effective influence gain.
Removing a Country from Another Great Power’s Sphere of Influence
There are a handful of ways to remove a country from another sphere of influence.
- Using diplomacy, via the diplomatic actions screen
- By force, using the “take from sphere” CB
- By the sphere leader losing its Great power status
With the first option, you can focus on growing your influence faster than their current sphere leader can, and remove it via diplomacy.
In order to achieve that you must have friendly relations, and 100 influence points with the country you want to remove from the sphere. After that you can take the “remove from sphere” diplomatic action.
It is also possible to remove the country from the sphere by means of war.
To do this you must first justify the “Take from sphere of influence” Casus Belli, then defeat them in a war.
This casus belli can cost up to 4 infamy, and has a 20 war score cost.
Lastly, if a country ceases to be a Great power, they can’t have a sphere of influence anymore. And all countries that were in their sphere will leave.
Increasing Diplomatic Relations
Increasing your diplomatic relations is easy but essential to adding a country to your sphere of influence.
This is done via the diplomacy screen and selecting the “Increase opinion” diplomatic action.
To increase your diplomatic relations you need 50 influence points.
Your diplomatic opinion of a country can be:
- In sphere
Other Influence Actions
It is possible to influence the politics of another country to further your goals of sphering the country.
1. Ban Embassy
This action costs 65 influence points.
Banning another country’s embassy will:
- Remove all their influence points
- Reduce their relations by 10 points
- Stop them from increasing influence for a full year
2. Decrease Opinion
This action costs 50 influence points.
When you decrease the opinion of another country’s embassy, one level of diplomatic relations is removed, and their opinion drops by -10..
This is a way to stop another country from being friendly with the country you are trying to sphere.
Why Sphere Another Country?
Sphering other countries has a few positive effects.
- They are more likely to try and ally with you, this means you got a loyal partner in war to fight at your side.
- They cannot be called into a war against you, even if they want to.
- You get access to their market goods, creating a shared common market, the degree of how much access to their goods you get varies with their score.
- Uncivilized nations will give you access to 100% of their goods, 75% if they are civilized, and finally 50% if they are a secondary power.
- These percentages can be increased by investing in their country.
- Sphering another country is also a requirement for a host of decisions and events in the game, such as the German unification or forming Scandinavia.