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Government types in 1066 (with Horse Lords.pngHorse Lords).

Government type is the form of government that a character lives under or rules by. It dictates the available succession laws and holdings of a character, and some government types have unique mechanics.

There are several ways to change government type during the game. Special decisions allow tribes and nomads to become more "settled". Inheriting a title, or dying with a landed heir, can also result in the player experiencing a change in government type.

List of government types

Government Group Description Special mechanics Settlements held without penalties ID tag
Castles Cities Temples Tribes
Feudal government.png Feudal Feudal Feudal government is a government in which the realm is organised around the Feudal system, where power is delegated to nobles who are given grants of land in exchange for troops. Non-Christian feudal rulers require the appropriate religion DLC (Dlc icon the old gods.pngDlc icon sons of abraham.pngRajas of India.pngHoly Fury.png) to be playable. Not available to Muslims and (Bons or Buddhists) in Tibetan culture group If same culture feudal_government
Iqta government.png Iqta Feudal Iqta government is similar to feudal; it rules according to the Arabic Iqta system rather than the feudal system. Requires Dlc icon sword of islam.png Sword of Islam DLC to be playable. Requires title holder to be Muslim. Realm laws are changed by spending piety. Allows decadence.

without conclave there is no voting on law change.

If same culture muslim_government
Monastic Feudal.png Monastic Feudal Feudal The Monastic Feudal government is unique to Tibeto-Burman cultures of either the Buddhist or Bön faiths, and allows holding Temples in addition to Castles. Monastic Feudal rulers can also construct Gompa Monastery buildings in Castle holdings. Playable with the appropriate religion DLC: Dlc icon the old gods.png The Old Gods or Jade Dragon.png Jade Dragon for Bön; Rajas of India.png Rajas of India for Buddhism. Must be (Bons or Buddhists) in Tibetan culture group. Realm laws are changed by spending piety. Gompa monasteries can be built in castles and are active only under this government form. If same culture theocratic_feudal_government
Chinese Imperial.png Chinese Imperial Feudal The Chinese Imperial government, much like the ordinary Feudal government, revolves around vassals owing fealty to their liege, who in this case is considered to be the divine Child of Heaven, and ruler of all. The Imperial government is unique to those who would claim the throne of China, much to the displeasure of the head of the current Imperial Dynasty, who rules from China proper. The decision to adopt Chinese Imperialism requires the Jade Dragon.png Jade Dragon DLC. Capital move cooldown 200 months. No opinion penalties from wrong government. No opinion penalties from wrong religion even for marriage proposal. Cannot demand conversion. Can revoke duchies and retract vassals without tyranny. Requires Khitan/Tangut/Jurchen culture or Chinese culture group and primary title to be an empire that adopted imperialism. +1 Piety per month. +10 vassal limit. Cannot create Religious mandate law. Cannot be elective. If same culture chinese_imperial_government
Order government.png Holy Order Feudal The most pious followers of their religion might join Holy Orders in an attempt to defend the faith from outside forces. Coming to the defense of any Lord or Lady who might be attacked by infidels, they are the stalwart protectors of the faithful. These orders have strict hierarchies, passing from one leader to next within the order. Since there is no dynastic persistence, holy orders are not playable. Cannot imprison and revoke landed title without just reason. Revoking titles from (holy order holders) and revoking baronies and retracting vassals is considered just. Cannot create or usurp or be granted kingdoms and empires. Holy order vassals give full taxes and levies regardless of opinion. order_government
Imperial government.png Imperial Feudal An Imperial government differs from its feudal counterpart by placing a larger focus on urban areas and a centralized court whose influence affects internal politics. It's available only to the Byzantine and Roman Empires. Councilors and Commanders hold a varying degree of influence, depending on their prestige and competence, which they can use to support or oppose the official heir of the Empire.

(NB: While defined as Feudal, this form of Government is essentially more of a Military Republic and several tooltips even use texts belonging to Merchant Republics, such as ones about usurping kingdoms)

Capital move cooldown 2000 months. Cannot imprison without just reason. Does not get wrong government opinion penalty. Cannot create empires. Cannot usurp empires and kingdoms. Can retract vassals without tyranny. Cannot be granted a kingdom or empire from character with different government. If same culture roman_imperial_government
Nomadic government.png Nomadic Nomadic Nomadic government is found in the steppes of central Asia in which the realm is not focused on keeping and holding baronies, but instead moves around in search of new grazing land for horses and other livestock. The only succession law is the Nomad succession law, in which the male relative (uncle, brother, son or nephew) of the same culture with the most prestige inherits.

Whilst nomads can have ordinary vassals, like in the Feudal system, most internal politics is centered around management of the other powerful clans in the realm, who can often rival or outshine the liege in terms of power. Nomadic rulers can only hold the Nomadic capital (a special holding type that is only available to Nomads and exists only in their capital province) without penalty, and gain benefits from having empty land in their realm (increasing their manpower and population, which they use to recruit troops for their horde). Requires Horse Lords.png Horse Lords DLC to be playable. Non-Christian nomads do not require the relevant DLC in order to play as rulers of certain religions (e.g. The Old Gods for pagans and Zoroastrians). However, if they convert to other government types without converting to a playable religion first, it's game over.

Capital move cooldown 120 months. Cannot construct castles and cities. Calls nomadic vassals to wars. Does not recieve levies or taxes from nomadic vassals. Realm laws are changed by spending prestige. Revocation allowed even without laws. Raiding. Cannot demand conversion. Cannot change culture. De jure law effects ignored. Males can take up to 3 concubines. -4 Commanders. Vassals give max levies and taxes regardless of opinion. Tyranny actions against non-nomads do not incur tyranny penalty with nomads. Nomadic vassals do not take up vassal limit. Ignores religious differences regarding marriage proposals and concubinage. Can pillage owned non-nomadic holdings. Can settle in castles to become feudal, in tribes to become tribal, in coastal cities to become merchant republic. Can abandon provinces. nomadic_government
Merchant republic government.png Merchant republic Republic Merchant republic is a government in which the realm centers around trade, and leaders are elected from the five patrician families rather than inheriting according to specific laws. Within each family, inheritance is by Seniority, where the oldest member of the family inherits. It is formed when a coastal province has a city as its capital, and the burgher holding the county title receives at least a ducal title. Requires Dlc icon the republic.png The Republic DLC to be playable. If same culture merchant_republic_government
Republic government.png Republic Republic Republic is a government in which the ruler is elected from the citizenry. Because there is no dynastic persistence between rulers, Republic governments are not playable. If same culture republic_government
Confucian Bureaucracy.png Confucian Bureaucracy Republic Used only by the Western Protectorate. Because each new governor is appointed by China, this government is not playable. In games without Jade Dragon.png Jade Dragon, this government only exists in the DLC icon Charlemagne.png769 bookmark and from February 1227 onwards. Cannot revoke titles and/or imprison without just reason. Does not get wrong religion opinion penalty. Does not get wrong government opinion penalty. Cannot demand conversion. Cannot create kingdoms and empires. Cannot inherit titles unless from appointment. Non-nomadic vassals give max taxes and levies regardless of opinion. Characters with this government are generated with stewardship education and have same culture and religion as the emperor of China. If same culture confucian_bureaucracy
Theocracy government.png Theocracy Theocracy Theocracy is a government in which the realm is ruled by the clergy in the name of religion. Rulers are appointed or elected from the clergy. Since there is no dynastic persistence, theocracy governments are not playable. If same culture theocracy_government
Tribal government.png Tribal Tribal Tribal is a government which is settled but doesn't construct advanced holdings. The only succession law available to unreformed pagan tribes is the Elective gavelkind law, which splits the realm between all the sons of the ruler. Like nomads, tribes benefit from empty land in their realm. Non-Christian tribal rulers require the appropriate religion DLC (Dlc icon sword of islam.pngDlc icon the old gods.pngDlc icon sons of abraham.pngRajas of India.png) to be playable. Tribal vassals take up vassal limit. Can build tribes that cost prestige, but cannot build cities and castles. Allows decadence if Muslim. Allows raiding. De jure law effects are ignored. Males can take up to 3 concubines. Cannot revoke titles from tribal vassals of different religion without tyranny. Taxes and levies from tribal vassals or calling them to arms is determined by tribal organization and independence. tribal_government
Government icon nogovernment.png Landless Landless Landless government refers to people who have no rule whatsoever. It is normally only found on deceased characters who did not hold any titles at the time of death. When found on living characters, it is usually the result of save corruptions in a non-adventurer, and it is called "nogovernment" in code. As such, it is never playable.

Changing government

There are several ways to change the government type of the player character or succession line.

Among feudal governments

The three basic variants of feudalism are determined by religion and culture:

  • Muslims use Iqta government
  • Bön or Buddhist rulers from a Tibeto-Burman culture use Monastic Feudal
  • All others use standard Feudal

Chinese Imperial government can only be adopted by decision. It can be abandoned by having a heir of an ineligible culture, which will create an event where you can choose between converting your heir to your culture or abandoning Chinese Imperial Government. When adopted, the empire title becomes a titular title.

(Roman) Imperial government can only be adopted by having the Byzantine Empire (or Roman Empire) as primary and having Imperial elective succession. The government will change automatically the next time the game checks government eligibility, e.g. after a save and load.

Between government groups

From To Method Requirements Notes

Nomadic decisions

Nomadic government.png Tribal government.png Settle as a Tribe in <tribal holding or capital> To use a nomadic capital, it must have a lv2 council building
  • All (personally held) nomadic counties build tribal holdings
  • The capital is converted to your religion and culture
  • Additional provinces converted per 5000 pop+manpower
  • Vassal khans will settle as tribal along with you
  • Horde troops are disbanded, but gain 200 event troops (140 Light cavalry.png Light Cavalry and 60 Horse archers.png Horse Archers) per fully nomadic province.
  • AI will not use this decision if his capital is in the Steppe region, or he has at least 7 steppes counties in his realm. AI will only take this decision if he has at least 20 counties in his realm.
Nomadic government.png Feudal government.png Settle as Feudal in <castle or mosque> Muslims may use a mosque instead of a castle
  • All nomadic counties are lost
  • Additional provinces converted per 5000 pop+manpower
  • Horde troops are disbanded, but gain 200 event troops (140 Light cavalry.png Light Cavalry and 60 Horse archers.png Horse Archers) per fully nomadic province.
Nomadic government.png Merchant republic government.png Found a Merchant Republic in <city> Players are limited to coastal cities
  • All nomadic counties are lost
  • Additional provinces converted per 5000 pop+manpower
  • Horde troops are disbanded, but gain 200 event troops (140 Light cavalry.png Light Cavalry and 60 Horse archers.png Horse Archers) per fully nomadic province.
  • Tribal (or non-lowborn republic) vassals may become patricians.

Tribal decisions

Tribal government.png Feudal government.png Adopt Feudalism
  • Peace
  • Organized religion
  • Capital is tribe with Hillfort IV (or a castle)
  • If a vassal:
    • Liege is feudal, republic, or (organized) theocracy
  • If independent:
    • Absolute Tribal Organization
  • Tribes are upgraded to castles
  • Cities and temples may be built
Tribal government.png Merchant republic government.png Found Merchant Republic
  • Peace
  • Organized religion
  • Independent
  • Duke or higher
  • Male
  • Capital is coastal
  • Capital is tribe with Market IV (or a city)
  • Tribes are upgraded to cities
  • Castles and temples may be built
  • Tribal (or non-lowborn republic) vassals may become patricians.
  • AI never uses this decision


Tribal government.png
Feudal government.png
Feudal government.png
Tribal government.png
Inheritance conflict Inherit a higher tier title, or die with your heir holding a same rank title.

Note that you cannot grant a kingdom to a ruler with a different government type, so you'll have to arrange for your heir to be independent and able to create the kingdom title themselves, or perhaps press a claim for them instead.

Nomadic government.png Any Settle a son Conquered settled land Strangely, inheriting a khaganate does not change your heir's government to nomadic. Vassal clans remain vassals but are not very useful.
Any Nomadic government.png Inherit clan from vassal Empire rank. Nomads exist.
  1. Press a claim on a khanate, such that you have a vassal clan
  2. Arrange to inherit your vassal's clan

Strangely, inheriting a clan changes your government type to nomadic.

(Does the khan have to be of your dynasty? Because of the claim war outcome, the succession rules, or both? Does this actually work in the same version as the method above for going in the opposite direction??)

Feudal government.png Merchant republic government.png Abdicate to mayor Duke, coastal capital This method is very fragile and requires taking advantage of several game bugs.
Chinese Imperial.png Merchant republic government.png Break Chinese Imperialism Emperor, Jade Dragon DLC This method also requires taking advantage of several game bugs.
Merchant republic government.png Feudal government.png Non-coastal capital on succession Capital of realm is not coastal, realm is independent, current ruler has died If an independent Merchant Republic's capital becomes landlocked (e.g. by losing the old one in a war, or by moving the capital with the "Traditional Capital" feature) it will not turn into a regular Republic. Instead, if the current ruler dies before a coastal capital can be restored, the realm will turn Feudal upon succession, with the election winner becoming the Duke/King/Emperor of the realm. Any Republican vassals will still maintain their government type however, and those with coastal capitals can themselves become Merchant Republics.

Special methods

Any Any Console commands Ironman disabled.png Not ironman The command set_government can be used to change any character's government type.
Any Any Select another character Ironman disabled.png Not ironman While loading a game, you may select another character before clicking "Play". The play console command does the same thing, more quickly. You lose your chronicle, score, and list of Important character.png characters of special interest.

The rule that you must play as your primary heir is rather arbitrary, and voluntarily switching play upon succession may feel better than abusing the game over escape hatch (below).

Any Any Lose all titles without dying Another dynasty member is playable Rather than getting game over, you may be transferred to play as another character — even a ToG adventurer! (Works only in previous versions)
Any Merchant republic government.png Form the Hansa
  • Christian
  • Direct vassal of HRE
  • Own Duchy of Mecklenburg
  • Own County of Lübeck
  • Various other requirements
  • Spend 1000 wealth
  • A city becomes the new capital holding
  • Change government to merchant republic
  • Gain Kingdom.png Kingdom of K hansa.png Hansa
Any Feudal government.png Crusades

You may switch to a new title when:

  • Creating a dynamic crusader state (and choosing to abdicate your old titles)

You may switch to a new character if a dynasty member becomes a ruler due a Crusade:

  • Recipient of the crusade target kingdom (if you were the most participating crusader)
  • Recipient of a dynamic crusader state
  • Winner of a Children's Crusade

See also