• Victoria 3 - Sign up now!

    The journey begins, sign up now and get a special in-game item when the game is released.

  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.

    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
  • Crusader Kings II Expansion Subscription

    Subscribe to the CK II Expansion and enjoy unlimited access to 13 major expansions and more!

Featured content

Other Articles


CK2 Dev Diary - The Rules of the Game

Well people, what do you know? I needed a break from the Stellaris crunch, so here’s an unscheduled dev diary! All the hubbub about Defensive Pacts and Shattered Retreats got me thinking about an old ambition I’ve had to improve the game set-up screens in order to allow players to customize their experience without having to resort to modding. The idea is inspired by games like Civilization and the Second Wave DLC for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which allow players to change various advanced options and settings for a different experience in the game. I really like such options and typically make good use of them myself.

Now, of course there is such a thing as “the way the game was meant to be played”. That is, how the designers made the game and like to play it themselves. However, variety is the spice of life, and after 11 Crusader Kings II expansions things are not as clear-cut anymore. It’s actually pretty funny that I’ve been using a small personal mod for CK2 for awhile myself. There are some downsides to modding and using mods though:
  • It requires awareness that it’s possible, and where to find existing mods. The modding scene is a jungle.
  • It takes a modicum of extra effort and skill.
  • It might not feel quite legitimate (it can feel a bit like cheating) and you might not get any Achievements.
  • Mods typically do not have the same level of support as the base game. Many become fossilized or are otherwise problematic.
For these reasons especially, I think that adding a bunch of Paradox-approved, fully supported in-game rule variations is a good idea. Thus, when you start a new game, you are now presented with several interesting options. Most of them are simple flavor variations, but some are more fundamental and will disable Achievements in Ironman mode. Here’s the list of options we are currently showing in the new screen (still a work in progress though):
  • Sandbox vs Ironman
  • Shattered Retreats: On/Off
  • Defensive Pacts: On/Off
  • Gender Equality: Default/Historical/All/Players
  • Sunset Invasion: 13th Century/Random/Off
  • Mongol Invasion: Historical/Random/Off
  • Raiding: Historical/Unrestricted/None
  • Epidemics: Dynamic/Historical/Deadly
  • “Supernatural” Events: On/Off
  • Adventurers: Normal/Rare/None
  • Provincial Revolts: Normal/Rare/None
  • Regencies: On/Off
  • De Jure Drift: Default/Restricted/Off
  • Dynamic Kingdoms and Empires: On/Off
  • Diplomatic Range: On/Off
Red options disable Achievements.

View attachment 173389

Our new rule system is itself fully moddable, so that modders can use the same system with pretty much any options they might want!

View attachment 173388

I look forward to your thoughts and comments. Are there any rule variations you think we’ve missed, or that you would really like to see?

Stellaris Dev Diary #31 - Modding (Scripting Anomalies)

Hello, earthlings. My name might be unfamiliar to some dev diary readers; I’ve been working on Stellaris for some time now and am in charge of scripting/content design duties for Stellaris while the eminent Goosecreature is away rearing his brood. This week’s dev diary is the first in a two-part series on modding, which you will read, enjoy, and be enlightened by. We’re here to get our hands dirty, so don’t expect any pretty screenshots! Only functional screenshots.

Stellaris is built on the Clausewitz engine, and has had a lot of functionality ported over from our other games. Since we use a random galaxy generated at game start (unless you mod in a static one) we have to approach things a bit differently than you would in a game with a pre-set map of Europe - if you’ve modded a Paradox Development Studio title before you may come across a few surprises, but you should feel right at home soon enough.

Hearts of Iron IV - Development Diary 53 - 2D Art

Hey people, this weeks topic is about the 2d art, everyone's favourite yay! Let me start by introducing myself, I'm Mats Virtanen, aka Sideburnout, I´ve done most of the 2d art in the game, from the cover, loading screens, interfaces, icons down to the smallest land battle modifier (only made a handful of the portraits though). I´m a classic forum lurker so I seldom post stuff, but rest assured i read as much as I can, the forum is always a good place to check out if I need references, a good laugh or just inspiration.

So, how do you go about to create the graphical profile of Hearts of Iron 4. First of, get in the mood. Glenn Miller is always a nice start ;) Since the beginning i´ve watched countless documentaries, war movies, series like band of brothers etc. Other ww2 games ofc and the team itself! I love the 30-40ies music and wartime posters so these were a natural inspiration too.

EU4 - Development Diary - 21st of April 2016: Meet the Team + 1.17

Hi all!

In this Dev Diary I'll present the EU4-team as it looks currently.

The Team
  • Johan, still game director, creating the high-level design for the expansions.

  • Anona, I’m the new project lead, making sure planning and priorities are made, as well as keeping deadline and being on budget. Been with Paradox for 2,5 years and hope you look forward to the upcoming expansions!

Stellaris Dev Diary #30 - Late Game Crises

Hi folks!

We’re getting close to release and there is not much left to talk about that we haven’t already covered. The only remaining major feature is, I believe, the “Late Game Crises” events, and I really don’t want to spoil them, so bear with me if I’m being slightly vague this time…

View attachment 171455

Now, last week I talked about how large empires will have to worry about keeping all manner of political Factions in check. This is one of the ways we try to keep the game interesting and challenging past that crucial point when you often tend to lose interest in most strategy games and feel that you’ve already won. It’s not much fun to spend hours of your life mopping up the final resistance just so you’ll get to see that sweet acknowledgement saying “Victory!”. Another way to keep a game interesting is through random occurrences that can upset your plans even at a very late stage. This is where dangerous technologies and late game crises enter the picture.

View attachment 171456

Some technologies are clearly marked as being “risky”, for example Robot Workers. Now, you might not always risk having your victory snatched out of your grasp, but in this case at least, you really are gambling with the fate of the galaxy. Just researching such a technology is safe; it’s the actual use of it that carries the danger. For example, the more sentient Robot Pops there are in the galaxy, the higher the risk is that they will come to deem organic life unfit to exist and rise up in a well-planned revolt. Unless crushed quickly and with overwhelming force, such a Machine Empire will quickly get out of hand and threaten all the remaining empires in the galaxy. Sentient robots will out-research and outproduce everyone. If the revolt is centered in a powerful rival empire, you’ll need to think carefully about when you want to intervene; a savvy player might time it just right and be able to mop up both the robots and the remnants of the rival empire. Leave it too long, however, and the robots will overwhelm you.

View attachment 171457

The idea is that you will usually see one of the possible late game crises every time you play, but the chances increase the longer it takes you to win. However, it’s very rare to see more than one in the same game. The different threats vary in nature and behaviour, and can offer opportunities as well as posing an enormous danger to your survival. For example, it might be possible to reverse engineer some really unique technologies from these galactic threats, but the geography of the galaxy might also change in your favor…

That’s it for now my friends! Next week, we’ll change tack completely, and do a two-part, in-depth guide for modders.

Hearts of Iron IV - Development Diary 52 - Modding

Hi everyone, this weeks diary is going to get really technical! We will be talking modding and improvements we have made for the modders in HOI4. This is also going to be a very long one :)

When starting out we decided we wanted to make HOI4 our most moddable game yet. That meant not hard coding things (HOI3 had a lot of hard coded logic and references to certain nations). In HOI4 all these things are in soft code, or part of scenario script setups making it a much better platform for cool mods. We have also decided to include the tool we use (more further down), and while it is provided as-is and not really polished compared to the real game its very useful. The game is also much better at letting you know when you have made mistakes and everything that can go wrong will usually let you know with logs etc.

Stellaris is now available for pre-order! Information + FAQ

Countdown to Launch: Stellaris Now Available for Pre-Order
Paradox to Send Fans’ Names into Space to Signal E.T.

Paradox Interactive, a publisher and developer of games that don’t just take up space, today began accepting pre-orders for Stellaris, the forthcoming sci-fi grand strategy game from Paradox Development Studio. Several versions of Stellaris are now available for pre-purchase, including premium editions which include a variety of bonus content. Stellaris challenges players to explore a new universe and establish an empire across the stars, venturing into new territory for Paradox’s traditionally historical games. The game will be released for Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs on May 9, 2016.

EU4 - Development Diary - 14th of April 2016

Hello everyone, and welcome to another development diary for Europa Universalis IV. Today we’ll focus a bit on Mare Nostrum, and what was the goal of the features in that expansion and the accompanying patch.

Improve the Naval aspect of the game
The Naval game is something that has received quite a few complaints over the year, so we really wanted to make an expansion on the naval theme.

Some of the features like Sailors and the Combat Tweaks were just too much of a rework of core concepts that they had to go into the free patch.

Help us improve for the future!

Greetings everyone,

We are reaching out to you, our beloved community, as we need your help to further our knowledge and understanding of how our customers communicate with the world wide web (I think someone called it "the internet" once :p).

To do this we would kindly ask you to download the tool found below (corresponding to your operating system) and run it, nothing more. As there will undoubtedly be a few questions we've compiled a little FAQ:

- What does the tool do?
The tool collects an assortment of data and sends it to us. Nothing besides what's in the list is collected. The tool collects:
  • Platform the tool is run on (Windows, Linux or OS-X).
  • Local IP version (IPv4 or IPv6).
  • Mapped/Public IP version (IPv4 or IPv6).
  • Outbound NAT behavior (i.e. how is outgoing traffic affected by destination)
  • Inbound NAT behavior (i.e. who can connect to me)
  • Port opening standards supported (i.e. UPnP, NAT-PCP and NAT-PMP).
  • Port opening standard utilized during the test.
  • Any error codes that prevents the tool from completing normally.
- Is the information shared with anyone besides Paradox?
No. Let me emphasize that again, the data you provide is for our internal use only and will not be shared. The data is also completely impossible to connect to a specific user.

Stellaris Dev Diary #29 - Pop Factions & Elections

Greetings fellow Spacers!

Today’s dev diary is about Pop Factions and Elections, which might sound like two wildly different topics, but they actually have some common ground. Let’s start with the Pop Factions. Now, as you know, each individual unit of population (a.k.a. “Pop”), has its own race, ethos and possibly even genetic differences compared to its species of origin. People who live far from the capital world of an empire - especially those who live in Administrative Sectors - tend to diverge in their Ethics over time. When you combine this with alien immigration and the conquest of alien worlds, you will soon have to deal with a potentially explosive mix of cultural diversity. As your empire grows, it will get harder and harder to keep everyone happy and your core group of loyalists might eventually find itself a minority. Discontent can manifest in two ways; the happiness of an individual Pop, and the growth of “Factions”, a type of political movement.

View attachment 169699

Unhappy Pops will tend to join or start the most appropriate Faction, depending on the reasons for their discontent. The most basic (and probably most dangerous) type of Faction is the Separatists, who desire independence. There are actually three Separatist variations; some want freedom for a single planet, some want their Sector to secede, and some are integrated aliens who seek the restoration of their lost empire. Another important Faction is the Democracy Faction, whose member Pops might prefer a change of Government Form, or just the right to vote (for example in the case of alien Pops who are denied the vote through a Policy.) There are other Factions as well, but one thing they all have in common is that you can actually deal with them before things get violent. This is an important use for Influence (and sometimes Energy Credits.) For example, you could bribe the Faction leader to prevent a revolt for a time, or you could grant a Separatist Faction limited independence as a vassal state. There are different potential actions depending on which type of Faction it is.

This brings us to Elections and how they tie into the overall scheme. All of the Democratic Government Forms in the game have Elections, though the terms might vary. One difference between the various forms of democracy is which leader characters are the most valid and supported candidates for the chief executive office. In a Military Republic, for example, your Admirals and Generals tend to win the elections. However, all of the Faction leaders are also valid candidates; even the ones who seek independence for their species. If a Faction leader wins an election, that does not mean that their demands are immediately met, however. Instead, what happens is that the Faction becomes passive and will not revolt, which is great for you. Unfortunately, it also increases the attraction of the Faction, which means that it is likely to get far more member Pops…

View attachment 169700

Does the player have any direct control over Election outcomes? Yes, you can spend Influence in order to campaign for the candidate of your choice, but it’s not a sure thing, and the cost can be prohibitive if the candidate enjoys little popular support.

The main point of the Faction system is that big empires should become unstable and challenging to keep together. You should see a lot of dynamism in the galaxy, with many big empires descending into civil wars and breaking up. Of course, a lot of this depends on your choice of Ethics and general play style (using slavery and purges, etc), which trades internal stability for increased external pressure…

That’s all for now folks! Stay tuned for next week...
Metal King

Hearts of Iron IV - Development Diary 51 - Music & Sound Design

Metal King
Line up soldiers!

Welcome the 51th DD and for this week we will talk (mostly) about the music and sound design:


Hi, my name is Andreas “Jazzhole” Waldetoft and I am the music composer at Paradox.

Now, I have done a few Hearts of Iron’s by now (HoI2 and HoI3) so let’s just say that I didn’t need to research Second World War as much this time around.

However, Hearts of Iron series is the one that is very close to my heart indeed. It was the first game I had scored.

EU4 - Development Diary - 7th April 2016

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for all support and dedication to the game, and its great to see 1.16 & Mare Nostrum breaking popularity records. There were a few issues that cropped up, that we are fixing or changing for a 1.16.2 patch, which will be released as soon as its ready. I hope tomorrow,...

This is the current changelog, and we're working on a CTD, and a Multiplayer OOS.

- Updated corruption tooltip to show what actually effects it.
- Easy Difficulty now reduces your corruption dramatically.
- Root Out Corruption is now based on your development, not your income.
- Halved frequency of good and bad corruption events.


Extra History #1 - Arsenal of Democracy

The guys over at Extra Credits created a short extra history episode for you. Shining a light on the reality behind the events we strive to depict in Hearts of Iron IV. Without further ado I give you part 1 in this series: Arsenal of Democray! Stay tuned for more episodes to come...


Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum released!

View attachment 168120

Command the Seas and Control the Trade in Mare Nostrum

New Expansion to Europa Universalis IV Now Here

Your nation has long been at one with the sea. Salt water runs through the veins of your sailors, and no sound is as stirring as that of the wind whipping a top-sail just before the full gale arrives. The sea lanes hold the wealth of the East. Heave ho, and set sail for profit.

Mare Nostrum has arrived.

Mare Nostrum is the newest expansion DLC for Europa Universalis IV, Paradox Development Studio’s best-selling grand strategy game set in the adventurous days of the Age of Exploration, the Renaissance and the wars of Reformation and Revolution. Mare Nostrum adds a number of improvements and updates to the game, bringing more control and detail to the naval game.


Development Diary #4: Don't Call me Shirley

Hi again folks!

We are still discussing how to proceed with the dev diaries for CK2 and what we can and cannot talk about before the next expansion is actually announced. So, we shall see what next week will bring… One thing I can talk about though, is something that has been a bone of contention since the release of the previous expansion, Conclave. I’m thinking of the “Call to Arms” mechanic that we cut from the game. As you know, since the Conclave update, allies are automatically dragged into wars and given no option to refuse. Now, I have explained why we did it and what we hoped this would achieve in another post, but the fact of the matter is, it was a poor decision. That’s why we are going to add the old system back, though with some adjustments… Declining a Call now has very serious consequences:

Can't find what you need?

Ask a question, post a suggestion, start a discussion
Find a topic

Latest Videos


Redeem a Code

You will receive redeem codes if you buy our games outside Steam or our own store. These codes allow you to unlock private game-specific forums as well as forum icons.