Europa Universalis IV Tips and Strategy Guide – How To

By   /   2 years ago

Europa Universalis IV is one of the complex strategy games on PC. The sheer scale of the game can scare the new comers but worry not; we have covered everything in-depth to get you started with the game.

If you are new to series and find few aspects confusing, read through the guide that follows!

Europa Universalis IV Tips and Strategy


Memorizing the hotkeys is core to successfully playing an RTS game and EU IV is no exception. In this section, we’ll be covering all the necessary hotkeys you need to know about to have a smooth in-game experience.

The ‘F1’ key is used to pull up your main interface where you can further utilize your numeric keys from ‘1’ all the way to ‘0’ to scroll across all the top columns with ease.

Then you have your Q-W-E-R-T-Y key binds which you can use to customize any of the map modes according to your play style.

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The ‘A’ key can be used to attach or detach any ground units you have to a ship or any form of transport, then you have your ‘S’ key which is used to split your armies; it is useful to manage your armies properly as it maintains your ratios to keep your numbers balanced regardless of the types of units you have.

The ‘D’ key is there to detach a blockade which leaves behind a single transport unit or ship you may have or the ‘D’ key can also be used to detach a siege which leaves behind just enough units to perform a successful siege.

The ‘F’ key can be used to go to your Capital Province or find out any possible Provinces. The ‘G’ key is used to combine any split armies or ships you may have.

The ‘Z’ key is there to select specifically the infantry in your army selection while ‘X’ does the same job but towards cavalry and ‘C’ for your cavalry. On ships, you’ll be using ‘Z’ to select heavy ships, ‘X’ to select your light ships, ‘C’ to select Galleys and ‘V’ to select transports.

The ‘L’ key brings up your Ledger menu. F10 takes a screen-shot of the current map mode in the form of a .PNG file in your Documents folder in the Paradox interactive subfolder, while F11 does a similar function, only difference is it will take a screenshot of the actual game at the time.

Lastly, the space bar key is used to pause/un-pause the game.

Trade Nodes and Trade flow

There is a specific map-mode in the game by default known as the trade map-mode which you can access through the ‘R’ key. In this map mode you can see all the trade zones in the game differentiated by their color.

Each zone basically has its own trade node; this is where all its trade and information related to it are compiled into one place. Also if your capital province is located in the area, you can actually gain extra bonuses when collecting from trade in that zone.

Trade flows are represented by arrows in the trade map mode; they basically show the direction towards where trades flow, and stay constant throughout the game and cannot be changed.


Merchants are units that every country has 2 of by default; their main purpose is either collecting from trade or transferring trade power.

You are not confined to having only 2 merchants as you can actually increase the amount by using ideas depending on your culture through which you’ll be able to unlock a few more merchants over time.

As you collect from trade, you’ll actually be increasing the income you gain by about 10%, but you don’t necessarily have to have a merchant in the area to collect.

You could send the merchant somewhere else, and you’ll still be able to collect from the trade zone your capital province is present in but keeping a merchant in the zone can often times be beneficial thanks to 10% increase to income gain.


As you would probably guess by the name, Rivals are countries you’re most likely to come in conflict with in the coming future. Every country is allowed to assign up to 3 Rivals and selecting a Rival requires you to pay 10 Diplomatic Power.

You may have heard the saying “My enemy’s enemy is my friend”, well that saying applies to Rivals as well, because you’re very likely to gain alliances with enemies of your Rivals in the form of a bonus relationship score.

By assigning Rivals you also get certain benefits, for example 25% increase in prestige for defeating them in a battle


Embargoing is basically reducing the trade power a country has in a specific network. The math behind this is that when you Embargo a country, you reduce their maximum power in a specified node by a stated percentage.

If you feel your embargoing is not having that big of an impact, there are multiple ideas that actually increase your Embargo efficiency. For example in the Espionage where you can get +33% Embargo efficiency.

You should note that that if you wish to have maximum Embargo efficiency, you should have at least 50% of the trading power in the said Trading Node.

Taxes and Tariffs

Taxing is the main way to earn money in Europa Universalis IV. Money that you earn through taxes goes directly into the treasury.

Every province in the game has a base tax value; this tax value may be increased through buildings such as a temple, and is further modified by tax income efficiency.

Along with taxes, you can also earn income through another way known as ‘Tariffs. Tariffs aren’t applied to local markets; they are applied to overseas markets.

Overseas territory basically means anything, which is on a continent other than the continent where your capital is.

Tariff income is based on your trade value, which basically means the goods that are produced and further modified by the production efficiency you have.

Treasury, Loans, Inflation and War taxes

As you can probably judge by the name, the game’s treasury basically represents the amount of money you currently have in hand, used to create new buildings, hire advisers and recruit armies.

The treasury icon is at the top left of your screen and you can hover over it to see your current statistics. On top of showing you the amount of money you have, the treasury menu (accessed by moving your mouse over the treasury icon) also shows you your statistics from last month such as profit or loss in hiring armies, production and trade etc.

You can also access all this information and more through your economy tab using the ‘3’ hotkey.

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