Europa Universalis III

Europa Universalis III
Europa Universalis III
Cover art of Europa Universalis III
Developer(s) Paradox Interactive
Publisher(s) Paradox Interactive
Engine Clausewitz Engine
Version 1.3
2.2 (Napoleon's Ambition)
3.2 (In Nomine)
4.1 (Heir to the Throne)
5.1 (Divine Wind)
Platform(s) Windows
Mac OS X
Release date(s)
  • EU 26 January 2007
  • NA 23 January 2007
Genre(s) Real-time grand strategy
Mode(s) Single player
System requirements

Europa Universalis III is a grand strategy computer game by Paradox Interactive. The main game was released for Windows on January 2007, and was later ported to Mac OS X by Virtual Programming on 2 November 2007.[1]

The player controls a nation and handles matters concerning war, diplomacy, trade, and economy. The original game without expansions starts in 1453, right after the Fall of Constantinople, and continues to 1789, just past the beginning of the French Revolution. The expansion Napoleon's Ambition extends the end game year forward to 1821, whereas the expansion In Nomine moves the starting year back to 1399.

Europa Universalis III has a 3D engine that requires the system to meet the Pixel Shader 2.0 specification. The map has 1,700 land and sea provinces encompassing most of the world, with 250 playable historical nations. The game also uses elements of other Paradox games such as Crusader Kings, Victoria, and Hearts of Iron II.



Players have many options to shape their countries. Forms of government include various kingdoms, republics, theocracies, and tribal governments. Players can influence a nation's society and values by adjusting "sliders" such as free trade/mercantilism, and may hire court advisors such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. As the game advances, players can pick "national ideas" such as Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, which give specialized bonuses.

The game has over 300 playable countries, including giants like Ming China, regional powers like Bohemia and Kazan, and tiny nations like the Maldives. Without formal victory conditions, players sometimes set goals for themselves like raising a minor city-state to world prominence. The world map includes some 1,700 provinces and sea zones. Many provinces in the Americas, Africa, and Oceania are not owned by any country, allowing for colonization.

Economics in the early modern era is simulated by taxes and production income from provinces, as well as trade. National merchants compete in "centers of trade" such as Venice and Lübeck, and nations focused on trading income (i.e., Holland) enjoy significant advantages. Nations which mint too much currency, or are over-reliant on gold mining, are penalized by inflation. Technology investment is important in the long run; the game does not use a Civ-style tech tree, but instead has several different technology categories, which unlock new military units and buildings.

Diplomacy is rather detailed: royal marriages, insults, alliances, trade embargoes, and so on all affect relations between countries. Players are able to gain control over other countries peacefully through personal unions and vassalage. Early international institutions such as the Holy Roman Empire, the Papal Curia and with the Divine Wind expansion the Shogunate are simulated in some depth. Every country has its own culture and religion, a frequent source of diplomatic unity or friction.

Rulers have control over armies, navies, and mercenaries they recruit. Combat is abstract, with no direct control over battles (contrast the Total War games). Military tradition is necessary for recruiting good generals and admirals. Aggression (seizing provinces without a rightful claim) is checked by the "badboy" system of international infamy common to Paradox's games.

The game is historically detailed; one can play the "grand campaign" starting in 1453 or 1399, but any date before the French Revolution (1821 with the Napoleon's Ambition expansion) is a valid starting point as well, with historical leaders and countries appropriately updated. Major events such as the War of the League of Cambrai are playable this way. Often the game diverges from reality after some time in-game, with unhistorical events such as Portugal colonizing North America, or Poland-Lithuania surviving to bully its neighbors.

The game may be played single-player or multiplayer, with players controlling different countries; every non-human country is controlled by its own AI.

Most of the game's settings are in plain text files that are easily changed to modify the map, historical events, etc. Some popular mods extensively change the game, adding historical flavor, fantasy scenarios, or new game mechanics. One such mod, Magna Mundi is now in development as a full game published by Paradox Interactive. [2]

Expansion packs

Paradox has released 4 expansion packs for EU3; each one requires all the previous expansions. One version of the game, Europa Universalis III Complete, includes the original game and the first two expansions.

Napoleon's Ambition

On 3 May 2007, an expansion named "Napoleon's Ambition" was announced by Paradox. It was officially released on 22 August 2007, on GamersGate. The Windows version of the expansion is available as a download from GamersGate or as part of the Europa Universalis III Complete retail package, and aims to expand on EUIII, with an improved interface, enhanced trade system, expanded options, and greater content to cover the extended time period.[3] Virtual Programming published the Napoleon's Ambition expansion pack for Mac OS X on 7 December 2007.[4]

Some of the features of Napoleon's Ambition include:

  • The timeline has been expanded by 33 years to 1820, encompassing the French Revolution and Napoleon.
  • New leaders, rulers, advisor wars, countries and national ideas have been added as well as dozens of new units to give more tactical choices.
  • In addition to hundreds of new events, players will be able to see their rulers, leaders and advisors appear on the accurate historical dates.
  • A ledger has been added displaying information on colonies and leaders, and a detailed trade map for each province has been added.
  • The new option to move capitals enables the player to focus more on certain areas of his nation. Also, centres of trade can now be added or removed.
  • Players are able to select a trading centre to be concentrated on; the game will then automatically focus on the centre. Also, players must now engage in diplomacy or war to send merchants to overseas markets.
  • More options have been added, enabling customisation of gameplay. Players now have options for "No Inflation", "Free Colonization", "AI Aggressiveness" and many more.

In Nomine

On 5 March 2008, a second expansion titled 'In Nomine' was announced. It was officially released on 28 May that same year. Features include: a further extension of the game's time frame, the addition of the Byzantine Empire, a revised AI which focuses on strategic toplevel goals, and completely reworked rebellions with their own goals and abilities. Virtual Programming published the In Nomine expansion for Mac OS X on 18 August 2008.[5] The game now starts earlier, starting in October 1399, at the coronation of Henry IV of England. Expanding the game time by 50 years, this means the game includes the Byzantine Empire, Tamerlane and the end of the Hundred Years' War.

A key variation of the expansion is the ability to make the decisions that will shape the future of the country. For instance, a player can choose to create the United Kingdom, make Paris "worth a Mass", or institute an East Indian Trade Company. They can now implement decisions on both country and province level, with the new decision system, including hundreds of different decisions depending on situation (for example state religion), and country.

There is a new mission system, where the player and AI will both be given goals to achieve, such as conquering Ireland (for England), vassalising Lorraine (for France), liberating your countrymen, or reclaiming stolen territory. In Nomine also features 'rebels with a cause'. There are countless types of rebels (Religious, Patriotic, Peasant...), with different goals, and different abilities. For example, patriot rebels mean 10 years more nationalism if they take control of a province, and are more likely to defect. You may get colonial rebels in your colonies determined to get representation or independence, you may get reactionary nobles rising up to put the serfs back where they belong. You can now choose between crushing them by force, negotiating with them, or leaving them and watching them enforce their demands on your country. Religious tolerance now depends on the ideas and decisions you take (rather than the more usual sliders), making it a new layer of strategy, although choices are few and far between. As cardinals stay loyal longer, the power of the Papal Controller has grown, as he can now excommunicate rulers, and call crusades against infidels (giving bonuses for any Catholic nation fighting them). It also features a colonial system, where there is a key metric - the distance between where you want to colonise and the nearest core port. Elections in Republics, scorched earth & new spy missions also feature.

Both Napoleon's ambition and In Nomine as well as the original EU3 were sold in the Europa Universalis III Complete edition.

Heir to the Throne

On 19 August 2009, a third expansion titled Heir to the Throne was announced. It was released for Windows on 15 December 2009 and includes many features requested by members of the forum and as the title explains will mostly be focused on royal family dynamics. Virtual Programming published the Mac OS X expansion on 24 May 2010.[6]

Some of the features of Heir to the Throne include:

  • New Casus Belli system, where wars have specific aims from start to finish.
  • Monarchs now belong to dynasties, with far-reaching effects on the diplomatic model.
  • More involving and powerful Holy Roman Empire and Papacy options.
  • Special diplomatic options for Merchant Republics.
  • Set your National Focus in a province to enhance growth and strengthen your hold in the region.
  • Permanent Terra Incognita removed and replaced with impassable regions.
  • Cultural Tradition allows better advisors in the same way that Military Tradition allows better generals and admirals.

Divine Wind

On May 27, 2010, a poll was created on the Paradox forums by a developer in which users could vote for a new expansion. Options included expansions to Europa Universalis III, Europa Universalis: Rome, Hearts of Iron 3 and Victoria. With 46% of the votes, the poll was won in favour of a Europa Universalis III expansion which is to focus on the rest of the world. On 9 September, Divine Wind expansion was announced. It requires Europa Universalis III Complete and the expansion Heir to the Throne in order to play.[7] On November 30, the expansion became available for pre-order and was released on December 14, 2010.[8]

Divine Wind was published for Mac OS X by Virtual Programming on March 16, 2011.[9]

Some of the features in Divine Wind include:

  • New detailed map with more provinces and enhanced graphics.
  • The ability to play as any one of the four major daimyos in Japan for influence over the Emperor and control over the Shogunate.
  • Enhanced diplomacy, with more options for alliances and peace negotiation.
  • New building types.
  • Enhanced trading system.
  • The ability to manage the internal factions in China to keep the Mandate of Heaven.
  • New horde system for nomadic factions.
  • 50 achievements for the player to unlock.


Released on March 22, 2011, Europa Universalis III: Chronicles bundled all four expansions with the original game. This is the first time Heir to the Throne and Divine Wind are available in retail.[10]

Europa Universalis III: Chronicles was published for Mac OS X by Virtual Programming on September 28, 2011.[11]


  1. ^ "Europa Universalis III Released". Inside Mac Games. November 2, 2007. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  2. ^ "Magna Mundi". Paradox Plaza. January 22, 2010. Retrieved 2011-07-25. 
  3. ^ "Napoleon Invades Europa Universalis III". Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  4. ^ "Europa Universalis III: Napoleon's Ambition Available". Inside Mac Games. December 7, 2007. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  5. ^ "Europa Universalis III: In Nomine Available". Inside Mac Games. December 7, 2007. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  6. ^ "Europa Universalis III: Heir to the Throne Now Shipping". Inside Mac Games. May 24, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  7. ^ "Europa Universalis III: Divine Wind announced". Paradox Plaza. September 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  8. ^ "Europa Universalis available for pre-order". Paradox Plaza. November 30, 2010.!. Retrieved 2010-11-30. 
  9. ^ "Europa Universalis III: Divine Wind Now Available". Inside Mac Games. March 17, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  10. ^ "Europa Universalis III Chronicles announced". Strategy Informer. 2011-03-09. 
  11. ^ "Virtual Programming Releases Three New Game Titles". Inside Mac Games. September 28, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 

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