I have been attempting to unite the world under one tag in EU4 with moderate success, doing a few test runs recreating the Roman Empire as an orthodox Ottomans and getting the Mare Nostrum achievement. But as much as the world trembles before the awesome culture and religion shifting powers of the Great Green Blob, they don't exactly have the optimal set of national ideas to undertake global dominion.

Aside from making a custom nation, which country in the game would have the best possible shot in terms of total development and national ideas at creating a worldwide government, be it formable or otherwise?

  • How can one switch religions as Ottoman? Sorry, I don't have the game installed to check right now.
    – mafu
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 9:33

6 Answers 6


The easiest is catholic Ottoman. Become Emperor of the HRE and get a vassal swarm to conquer the world for you.

I don't understand, why you would say the Ottomans are not a good choice for world conquest. Ever since the game was released, they've been the #1 choice. While going for catholic makes it easiest an orthodox or even sunni Ottoman is still very much capable of world conquest.

They have three key adavantages over basically any other nation:

  1. Between increased manpower-recovery, reduced core creation cost and massive force limit, they have a very good set of national ideas. This was even nerfed, the Ghazi idea used to give +50% recovery speed.

  2. They are one of the most powerful nations at the start.

  3. Their position is uniquely suited to keep conquering all the time. Thanks to the reduced core creation cost you can afford coring and they are able to alternate wars between Europe, Russia, Arabia and Asia without obtaining enough aggressive expansion to trigger coalitions.

Other relatively easy options:

Ming/Qing - massive power right from the start or as soon you conquered China allows you to steamroll

Castille/France - colonial dominance, but you have to take out the other one quite early

England - With Personal Union over France you become a powerhouse

Austria/Bohemia/Brandenburg - HRE vassal swarm from the source, harder than Ottomans because their initial power level is much lower. Easiest of the three is Austria.


Catholic Ottoman should be good, Coptic Ottoman is also a good option (more CCR) if you are not opposed to a little exploit to start the game with the Westphalia peace.

To convert Ottoman, you can check FlorryWorry videos for more detail, but basically, you take some provinces the religion you want to convert, give them to the Dhimmi, then you piss off the Dhimmi and remove the provinces from them, generating religious rebels.
Let the Rebels roam free (stopping paying for your forts), while you are at war with an opm, they will convert all your provinces for free. Once they occupy enough provinces, break to them.
Being at war with an Opm prevent them to force break your country before they finished converting.

France is another very good choice, especially if you can quickly force pu over Aragon or Castille. Became Emperor as soon as possible (I personally forfeit Colonization in profit of diplo/influ), and keep the empire catholic by conquering and converting any center of reformation that pop in the empire (once your are the emperor of course).

Try to put your dynasty in PLC and Russia (i was able to do both on my current run), an aggressive PU allows basically allows you to conquer a 800% country in one war.
That's a huge help to a WC.
You can use the put relation on the throne on every HRE member after you revoke the privilege, it should help you to expend your dynasty.

Don't even start me about a diplomatic PU (was able to get PU over Russia and France diplomatically as Castille, without even trying). PUs are another reason why Catholics country are better for your first WC.

Ming is weird. It gets a very easy start, but it can be very difficult to manage WC with the mandate. Keep if mind that a 0% mandate means 50% weaker units.

You don't really have to worry about the Colonization part. Let a weak Portugal or Castille manage it, then PU/Vassalize/conquer the country and get all the Colonial Nations for free.

So my choices :

  • Coptomans with Westphalia
  • France

The three easiest nations to do a WC with are

  • Austria,
  • Castille
  • and Mughals,

in that order.

Austria into HRE

Austria starts as Emperor of the HRE with a force limits slightly above 40 and has missions and events to get PUs over Hungary and Bohemia, as well as a gold mine (in reality a silver mine, but the game only knows gold) in Tyrol.

By guaranteeing every prince, as well as warning every country bordering Sundgau you can ensure peace within the HRE. This will get you massively over the limit for diplomatic relations, but diplomatic power (mana) can not fall below -999. This means for a while you will be unable to take land without claims, but can still conquer territory and add it to the HRE. keep in mind that waging war for more then 10 month per 1 IA is not worth it, because you get +0.1 IA/month for being at peace.

With boni from getting re-elected (put your king in the army and drill to kill him faster), you should be able to get the second-to-last reform by 1515-1525, which will get you the vassal swarm. Put your focus to dip points, you will have caught up in dip tech by 1550 - 1560.

At this point, you are absolutely unstoppable. Your vassal swarm can crush everything. you can be at constant 100% OE, but all the while also feed your vassals. Once you are able to form client states, do so at the border of HRE territory and feed the whole world into vassals. Once you have the whole world under the control of your vassals, click the last reform to become the HRE.

This is the most easy, most boring, most secure and most braindead way to do a WC and is basically just a big grind without many areas of luck or skill involved.

You can also use the timeline exploit to get 2 more provinces right at the start and to ensure the game starts with religious peace, disabling League Wars and reformation so you do not need to deal with that at all.

Castille into England into Spain

If you own at least one of Dharma or Wealth of Nations, plus have both Golden Century and Rule Brittania, Castille is the powerhouse of the game, due to their missions and events.

  • [Event] If you disinherit Enrique at game start, you ensure a very quick Iberian Wedding, granting you PUs over both Aragon and Naples (if Aragon still holds Naples, which they should at that point)
  • [Event] You have a good chance to get the Burgundian Inheritance, giving you access to the Lowlands
  • [Event] You have a chance to get an Habsburg Heir
  • [Mission] You get a mission to PU Portugal (do so after they have taken Exploration and are on the Historical Ideas track, ensuring they also take Expansion)
  • [Mission] Once forming Spain, you get a mission to PU Austria, who often also hold Hungary (via their event)
  • [Mission] By invading England and forming England, you get access to the english mission to Subjugate a 200% Scotland and PU France

By 1550, you can realistically have formed Spain and hold the thrones of Naples, France, Austria & Hungary, as well have Norway (via the 1st Age ability to transfer subject for half the price) and Scotland as strong vassals - effectively meaning you can colonize uncontested and at the same time eat Europe if you so desire. Alternatively, you hold enough land to become Emperor and feed provinces into the HRE to pass reforms and quickly gain the vassal swarm as well. But at this point you are strong enough to just brute force the WC, if you do not wish to deal with the HRE.

Having Portugal under you with Exploration & Expansion means they colonize for you. If you also colonize and collect in the English Channel, you are very well off financially and can field large Mercenary armies as well as +5 advisors, making you very well off in terms of both manpower and mana.

This requires a little more skill then my #1 pick of Austria, since you need to defeat England, for which you need to be able to land troops on the English Island, and you need to defeat France twice (once to get the claim on their throne, once to establish the PU) and you need to manage AE in the HRE when PUing France. You also need to dismantle Kebab by brute force, which needs to be started quick enough if you wish to avoid truce-breaking.

Timurid into Mughals

Much has been written about Mughals. In the late patches, they have become extremely strong. A Timurid -> Mughals run is more challenging then both above, but still a very easy WC if you know the basic mechanics of the game. Their -25% Core-Creation-Cost (CCR) paired with +5% discipline and -10% Idea Cost as well as -5% technology Cost places them in a very favorable position mana-wise. Their mechanic to assimilate cultures of which they hold all cores plus the -1 Unrest from their Ideas make them very stable, and the boni from assimilating some cultures are also superbly strong (another -10% CCR from hindustani, +15% Institution spread from germanic, 10% morale from japanese and more, see here). The Mughal missions offer many claims to start you off as well.

This requires more skill then #1 and #2, because you actually need to play the game and wage war/conquer, but with their extremely strong Ideas and other Boni, Mughals is hands-down the strongest nation in the game. Austria is only better because of the very broken HRE mechanics, and Castille is only better because of their insane missions if combined with english missions - they aren't stronger on their own.

The most challenging part of playing Mughal forming them when starting out as Timurids, as they start in a quite unstable position, as well as planning and executing the move of the capital to Europe to enable trading companies in Asia and to reduce stress through corruption by having too many territories. Although this can also be dealt with simply by rooting out corruption. Especially the start is why I didn't put Mughals at #1.

Honorable mentions

Of course there are way more nations which are very capable of doing a WC, but those three are by far the most easy. Prior to the latest patch (1.29), a Manchu -> Golden Horde -> Mongol Empire WC as also a good contender, but I am not certain how the lastest changes to Manchu (especially to banners) might have changed this.

Ottoman starts in a very strong position as well, and doing a WC with Kebab is certainly on the easier side of the scale. A somewhat disagree with becoming Catholic. By ensuring a draw in the Religious Wars, you can become Emperor as Orthodox nation or Coptic nation (Orthoman or Coptoman), or you can use the Sunni mechanic of spreading the religion through trade nodes if you stay Sunni. All are good choices with different strengths and weaknesses.

England is also a strong nation, although not as strong as the others. By PUing France you start off quite strong, and you can keep the HRE catholic by crushing the reformation centers afterwards. But honestly, starting as Castille, forming England and then forming Spain is just plain better.

A note on Poland: As Christian nation (Austria or Castille), make sure to have your dynasty on the throne of Poland via the Elective Monarchy when they abolish it and and form the Commonwealth. They'll be a monarchy, have your dynasty and no heir when they do so, offering the opportunity to quickly claim their throne and wage war against them. For both the Austria and Castille run, this is a nice bonus making a WC even easier.


I would argue that christian Ottomans is not the best choice due to these reasons:

  • you lose the Ottoman government type when you switch religion. Their unique government gives access to awesome heirs and make regency almost a 0-chance scenario. You can also focus your heirs to have high admin, so you can core much faster

  • The main reason for going christian - is HRE and annexing Europe. That's the hard way. Consider the opportunity cost - it's much easier at the start of the game to go east and south, conquer rich lands in Africa and Asia, exploit the spice islands. Instead you are forcing yourself to fight against major European powers.

But regular Muslim-Humanist Ottomans with lots of Janissary, with lots of Dhimmi for taxation and tech cost and religious tolerance, - this is an unstoppable steamroll. I urge you to try it this way. This was my way of doing my WC.

  • 2
    You really overestimate how difficult it is to become Emperor as Ottomans. It boils down to conquering a few catholic provinces from Bosnia, triggering Dhimmi rebelleions in there and let them convert your country. You will be nearly completely catholic and the HRE is willing to vote you emperor, because you are so strong. Entirely possible to do this by 1470. Meanwhile you can do the usual conquests. The two main reasons, why this is easiest are: 1) you do not have to conquer the HRE, which takes a very long time 2) you get vassals to conquer for you, i.e. you don't have to do much in wars.
    – Dulkan
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 11:19
  • @Dulkan alright, I don't have an experience of quick unification of HRE, I don't understand how to quickly push all the reforms, fight protestants and still find resources to grab land outside of Europe at the same time. I would expect this to be a much more advanced strategy, while topic starter seems to look for a way to do his first WC.
    – Alien-47
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 11:30
  • Simple, the religous war never triggers. Once you get the Erbkaisertum reform, the religous leagues will no longer trigger. As to how you can quickly get the necessary authority? You are the Ottomans, you can conquer the entire balkan region and other eastern european holdings, then add those to the empire. Each added province is worth 1 IA. Additionally, you can abdicate as often as possible for the +10 bonus for the succession. Getting the necessary 400-500 IA for the six reforms is quite possible in 70 years.
    – Dulkan
    Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 11:21
  • @Dulkan thank you) I should try this one at some point, although it breaks an important roleplay part for me) Would it be beneficial to release as many OPM as possible for a quick growth of IA, after I add their land to the Empoire? Should I fight and force-convert any stray member of the empire?
    – Alien-47
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 12:08
  • The most effective strategies usually break the roleplay aspect. ;) Remember that north american tribe Caddo? You could travel to mesoamerica, conquer the Aztecs with them and emerge as a superpower. Well, another prince is worth around 0.05 IA per year, that's not too much, but sometimes you might need that extra boost. I would try to go without though.
    – Dulkan
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 8:03

Timurids to Mughals World Conquest

I agree with Polygnome that Mughals are the strongest nation in the game. But if played correctly they are the easiest world conquest since it only requires you to understand proper management of wars. You don't need to PU anyone or understand the HRE. You will win like Genghis Khan, massacre every army you face. So here goes, keep in mind I don't have every DLC but I do have the main ones along with the Dharma DLC. So this strategy would probably change a bit with all the DLC's I've developed this from conquering too fast in my Mughal world conquest runs and having to slow down to make sure the corruption mechanic doesn't break my economy in the early years.

So Ideas: First - Administrative Ideas, (For Core cost reduction) Second - Espionage Ideas, for Aggressive expansion reduction and more importantly -0.10 Corruption + another -0.10 Corruption from Policies. So two ideas in and you start saving massive amounts on corruption costs which means you can overextend much quicker. Third - Plutocratic Ideas: , +1 merchant, 10% army morale, unrest reduction, Institution spread, manpower Recovery and a massive 43% increase in manpower from policies. Ideally you take this before you switch to the Mughals that way you convert to a plutocratic government, take the idea then form the Mughals and get the standard overpowered Mughal government bonuses. At this point there isn't a conquering speed that can possibly get you manpower to drop, it will always be maxed no matter how tight you layer your conquests. Fourth - Exploration so you can take Australia and the East Indies. More Merchants means more money! Fifth - Humanist ideas which you take now so that you can have tons of rebels right when you want to max your absolution. Usually times nicely with a boost in number of states so you can squash rebels and reduce autonomy like a boss as soon as possible. After you have all the Humanist ideas you no longer have to waste time sending your armies across the entire map to deal with rebels. And I mean no rebels ever even after a 100 years of 95% overextension! After this it is all military ideas, I take Defensive ideas first because this gives you another -0.20 corruption in policies and then Offensive for late game siege speed. By this time your army morale will be about 8 to 9 which will be higher than every European nation, your core cost reduction is insane most provinces will cost you about 2 admin to core, your manpower is insane, your money is insane, you have no rebels and most of the world is already yours because you haven't cared about corruption at all for most of the game. The only trick is to try and surround Europe by 1700 so you have a good 100 years to take out only europe.


After all this time, I'm back with a new unlikely candidate since 1.32.
One of my main issues with world conquest is the endgame blobs.
Nations that cumulate 1000% war score, and therefore require to war against again and again.
As stated in my prévious solution, PU are a good way to work against it.
Well there was a new better and more efficent option :


Yes that small indonesian country that you get to wreck easily in all your games (If he even still alive when you get there).

At the end of their mission tree, they got a unique CB option, that allow them to vassalise any country in the world, for 80% War score, without consideration for their development.
Meaning that starting 1750, you can quickly vassilize Ottomans, Spain and Russia in one war each.
They will very likely be unhappy and unsupportive, but they can't declare independance as long as you are at war (and by that point, you are very likely to be at war all the time). And even if they don't help you attacking, they will still defend their countries (and they will very likely lure ennemies away from your land).
In fact those blobs that were a liabilty become a benefit. The bigger the blob, the more developpement you will conquere in one swoop.

Starting with Majapahit might be more difficult than starting with a more classic and strong power, especially considering that it start the game with a disaster.
But If you control South East Asia by 1600, you should be for an easy end game.

The main limitation would be if you want to try the One Faith at the same time :
Those big vassals would be with the wrong religion, and it is unlikely you would be able to force religion on them.

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