For New Players: A Beginner's Guide to CKIII

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Paradoksalny Kierownik

Paradox Staff
Feb 20, 2023

Welcome everyone!

The Grand Strategy games like Crusader Kings III can be complex. However, while this complexity is part of what makes the game great, it also makes it, well… complex and not the easiest to dive straight into. Therefore we’ve decided to create this thread to help new players grasp the game and make it easier to get started.

There are many layers and elements to the game, but for now we’ll just focus on the basics. If you’re looking to dive deeper, check out the CK3 Wiki.

Many aspects of the game have been explained in a series of our short video tutorials

To be more specific, they focus on the following aspects of the game:


If you are brand new to Crusader Kings III, you may find these 11 simple pieces of advice useful in your first playthroughs.

1. The two big aspects of the game are managing your dynasty and your realm. You are not an omnipotent ruler or eminence ruling from the shadows - your dynasty means you will also have your vassals, your family members and potential rivals. However, you should also check on your realm - how is it managed? Are the alliances firm? Are there any threats on the horizon? Areas that could badly use development?
2. As the game follows history, there is no artificial balancing out of the starting conditions. Depending on the ruler you pick your game may be very easy or very challenging.
3. Gold, Prestige,Piety and Renown are all sorts of currencies in the game - Gold and Prestige will be used most often, but Piety and Renown can also work in your favor.
4. Depending on your culture and how advanced you are, how big your realm is, what your religion is etc., completely different strategies and goals will be possible. Some policies will be trivial for one ruler and almost impossible for another.
5. It is important to make sure that the members of your council are competent in their respective areas and they like you. Check their skills and remember that you can swap them (usually, more on this later), fire them, look for someone to replace them!
6. Speaking of the council: each member of the council can perform special tasks, shown as icons on the left side of their portraits. Sometimes these tasks can be VERY helpful.
7. You can always use the active pause to take a closer look at any aspect of the game. Look at the map. Check your culture. See the intrigues. Inspect your military. Take a look at your character and your Heir.
8. When a window informing you about a character or event pops up, keep it open for a moment and you’ll be able to check all the details.
9. You can pin characters by clicking on the link or character and then using the PIN icon in the upper right corner of the character’s panel. As there are hundreds of rulers and courtiers all over the map, pinning characters can make it easier to track someone who is important to you.
10. The Decisions ( F8 in game ) are divided into Major - consider them more of ambitions and possible long term goals with benefits, and Minor which you can take relatively often. Minor decisions offer various short term benefits. Check them out, especially when your character is stressed.
11. If you play a long campaign, your first ruler WILL pass away. And the second one. And another. Therefore you should make sure you’ve got your heir and it’s a capable person, time and again.


… However, as it’s a complex Grand Strategy game this covers just the basics. Check some more nuanced videos from tips and tricks to specific faction and realm guides!

Beginners guide

30 tips and tricks for beginners!
Another set of Tips for your first game

How to avoid making big mistakes


Another set of tips for beginners.

A Viking Saga

Guide to Religion in Crusader Kings III

ALSO: we’ll be adding more links and videos in the future!

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