Victoria 3 Beginner’s Guide: 17 BEST Tips & Tricks

Learn all the important features & mechanics of the game by reading Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide

Story Highlights
  • A game with multiple systems to manage.
  • Realistic depiction of the economy and the market.
  • Diplomatic ties with other nations.
  • Progress and development in society through technological advancements.
  • Tips to perform better at the game.

Victoria 3 is the hottest strategy game in the block. The game features a rich and diverse system of mechanics. These mechanics are complex and intertwined with each other. To get a better understanding of these mechanics and to familiarize you with the game, we have compiled a definitive guide. This is our Victoria 3 beginner’s guide!

For the sake of this guide, we have chosen Great Britain as our starting point, but that is not very relevant. You can go with any country or nation that you want, and these points will be applicable all the same. 

Understanding The Tutorial

Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
In-game Tips.[Image Credit: eXputer]

Now, this may seem counterintuitive, but most players don’t pay enough attention to the tutorial. They gloss over the section of the game where it teaches you about things. This becomes a problem later on when you are lost and don’t know what to do.

Understanding and following the tutorial is very important in that regard. The game knows which information to feed you and how to feed you. There is no better way than to understand the mechanics through the game itself.

In case you didn’t heed much attention to the tutorial, worry not; that is why we are here to guide you. A thing worth noting is that even after the tutorial section of the game, it doesn’t stop guiding you. The hints system within Victoria 3 is very detailed.

It can get you out of a tough situation if you don’t know what to do. Just keep your eyes out for any related hints that the game might throw at you at any point. These hints are related to the tasks you are doing and are sure to help you out.

Managing Your Goals

Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
Starting screen.[Image Credit: eXputer]

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the definitive Victoria 3 beginner’s guide, there is something that you absolutely need to understand. This is the fact that your goals will contradict each other more often than not. This means that you have to sacrifice some goals and prioritize certain goals over others so that you can progress in the game. 

Let’s consider an example of this without getting into too much detail for the sake of convenience. Consider that you want to increase your nation’s GDP. Now a simple method to increase your nation’s GDP is to produce some sort of good that can be sold at a high price.

But you have to balance the supply and demand perfectly so that the price of the good remains more or less the same. This means having to export said goods in order to maintain balance.  And indirectly, you will have to spend money when you had originally set out to increase your GDP.

This example has been simplified so that you can better understand, but this is the gist of it. In Victoria 3, you will have to make decisions like these all the time. And the basis on which you make these decisions will be your goals.

Now you can have any number of goals in the game, but defining a clear goal is an easy way to streamline this process. You can easily decide between one thing or another just by seeing whether or not it affects your long-term goals. But this is easier said than done. Let’s jump into the meat of the guide now. 

POPS

Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
Overview of the pops.[Image Credit: eXputer]

Pops are at the core behind everything in Victoria 3. In the game, the population of the people that live in your nation is referred to as ‘Pops’. There are different classes of pops in Victoria 3, just like there are people who belong to different professions in real life. These pops are divided into the following categories:

  • Profession
  • Culture
  • Religion
  • Location

Changing Classes

Pops are responsible for doing everything in the game. From fighting wars to running the economy, the pops do it all. Besides the main categories that pops are divided into, they are also divided into categories depending on the type of work that they do. These pops can move between all of these categories depending on when something changes. For example, if a certain person that is living in your nation changes his profession, the change is reflected in your pops menu. 

The pops can change these categories only if they meet certain prerequisites. For example, a laborer could accumulate enough wealth to open up a shop. This would change his type to a shopkeeper, thus changing his profession. This isn’t possible if the laborer doesn’t meet the qualifications for wealth and literacy etc. The qualification of pops is the deciding factor for their profession and also the roles that they play in your nation on a larger scale. Let’s talk about that in detail.

Role Of Pops

Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
Roles of pops.[Image Credit: eXputer]

Speaking of the pops menu, the pop-menu gives details regarding everything you need to know about your pops. It entails the wealth, living standards, literacy rate, etc for your pops. The pops form the central component of your economy as well.

They spend the money that they earn from working on goods. These goods may range from luxury items, such as status symbols, to something necessary for survival, like food and grains. Purchasing these goods will result in the flow of money in your economy.

This system of wealth and income is essential for the pops. When the income of the pops covers their necessary cost of living, and they still have money left over, this will be added to their wealth. Having more wealth means that now the pops can splurge a bit on some non-essential items, thus increasing the cash flow in your economy.

An important thing worth noting is that in case the income of pop doesn’t cover their basic necessities, they will still purchase them, which will lead to a decline in their wealth. 

The qualifications, such as the literacy rate of your pops, will decide the role that they play in the elections and also in passing laws. Having more facilities like universities will increase the overall literacy rate of your pops. Similarly, other institutions will affect your pops in different manners.

Pops have the ability to join interest groups, something that we will cover in greater detail in a moment. These interest groups govern your nation’s politics,  laws, and even the faith of the majority.

Employment For Pops

The profession of pop will determine a lot of factors for that specific category of pop. It will determine the interest groups that the pop will support as well as their standard of living and what they earn. This will put them in certain classes of society, namely the lower, middle, and upper classes. The pops will be employed according to their qualifications. If they meet the job requirements for a certain job, they will be employed automatically. 

Interest Groups

Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
Interest groups in the government.[Image Credit: eXputer]

We touched upon interest groups briefly in the last section of our Victoria 3 beginner’s guide. In simple terms, an interest group is a group of pops who support a certain political ideology.

These interest groups will try to mold the nation to be more in line with their own views and ideologies. These interest groups can have multiple motivations, such as religion, race, culture, or even status of living. 

Pops of a nation have two options, either they are part of an active interest group, or they are politically inactive. Once again, the factors such as literacy rate and standard of living are the decisive factors when it comes to the alignment of these pops. An educated pop is more likely to support an interest group that has a high priority for educational institutions. Similarly, a pop which is a peasant, is likely to support an interest group that is an advocate for labor rights.

Categories

The interest groups in Victoria 3 are divided into 8 major categories. These interest groups are:

  • Armed Forces
  • Petite Bourgeoisie
  • Devout
  • Industrialists
  • Intelligentsia
  • Landowners
  • Rural folk
  • Trade unions

All of these interest groups have varying ideologies and traits. These ideologies determine their views and are also the deciding factor behind the passing of laws. We will discuss how to change laws later in our Victoria 3 beginner’s guide.

But what you need to know for now is that the interest groups will pass a law if they are in line with their ideologies. And the interest group with the most strength of pops supporting it will decide the final outcome. It is worth noting that these ideologies aren’t a set of hard and fast rules. Just like in real life, they are bound to change.

The strength of an interest group is dependent on the political strength that a pop contributes to it. For example, a single pop with more wealth will be a much stronger asset than multiple impoverished pops. Balancing these factors is key to the strength that an interest group garners in your nation.

These interest groups will inevitably decide the policy changes that you want to make or the policy changes that they want to see instead. This comes down to the passing of laws. 

Laws

Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
Laws in the game.[Image Credit: eXputer]

The laws in a nation are the legal reforms and policy changes that affect a nation’s pops. These laws will modify the geopolitical and economic situation of the pops in your nation. The laws are heavily influenced by the interest groups in your nation, as we discussed earlier.

Each country started off with a set of laws that best reflected the actual laws they had during the Victorian Era. But these laws can be modified, and you can change them. But you have to consider certain things before you set out to change the laws of a nation.

Through laws, you can alter some aspects of the country and some aspects of your society. You can also make things legal or illegal, depending on the direction in which you want your country to move in. These are the laws that you pass because of your own ideology.

But certain laws are pushed by the pops of a nation. These are the changes that the people living in a nation want to see. These laws will also determine the strength pops provide to their interest groups, and different interest groups may support or oppose certain laws.

Depending upon the political situation in the nation, the players may choose to appease a certain interest group. Similarly, they can also choose to anger certain interest groups by passing laws that go against their individual ideologies.

Balancing these acts will determine the strength of certain groups in your nation, as well as your society as a whole. Another thing worth noting is that laws also determine the pops that move in or out of your nation, depending on how they are treated there. 

Passing Laws

Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
Political institutes that affect laws.[Image Credit: eXputer]

Now that the concept of laws has been clarified, we can finally discuss how to pass laws. Although it may sound simple, it is not an easy process. Any law that you want to enact should have an interest group backing it up. This will depend upon the approval score of these interest groups. The representation of an interest group in the government can allow you to spearhead a law and pass it. 

Once a law has been passed, it is put into practice. But the changes take place in a more gradual manner rather than instantly. Most of the time, these changes can take months to be implemented. In case this law is opposed after it was passed, changes can take even longer and sometimes even be stalled. The official period for passing a law is around six months in the game.

Types Of Laws

Laws affect the politics in the game.[Image Credit: eXputer]

There are multiple types of laws in Victoria 3. They can be classified into 3 main groups and then further into some categories. Here are those laws.

Power Structure Laws

These laws determine who runs the various facets of the country. Things like who will the head of state be and how power is distributed in the government are decided through these laws. Here are the power structure laws.

  • Army Model
  • Bureaucracy 
  • Church and State
  • Citizenship
  • Governance Principles
  • Distribution of Power
  • Internal Security

Economy Laws

The economic laws determine where the nation’s money comes from and how it is used. Things like the percentage of tax and how a nation trades with other nations are all determined through these laws. Here are the economic laws in the game.

  • Colonization
  • Economic System
  • Education System 
  • Health System
  • Policing 
  • Taxation 
  • Trade Policy 

Human Right Laws

Human rights laws determine how pops are treated in their nation and what degree of freedom they have. Here are the human rights laws present in Victoria 3.

  • Children’s Rights 
  • Free Speech  
  • Labor Rights  
  • Migration  
  • Rights of Women  
  • Slavery 
  • Welfare 

It is worth noting that you can include interest groups in your government as you please. The laws that you pass will decide how legitimate an interest group is and in turn, decide whether or not you have a high-legitimacy government. 

Markets

Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
The British market in the game.[Image Credit: eXputer]

Markets are an important aspect of Victoria 3. The economy stands on the pillars of trade and markets, thus, it is essential that you understand how they work. The markets in the game work in a similar fashion to real life. When goods are produced, they are sold at a predetermined price.

This price is determined by the demand for that particular good. This means that prices are always shifting because supply and demand are constantly evolving. The game allows you to trade as well, using buy orders and sell orders.

Types Of Goods

There are 4 types of goods that are present in Victoria 3. These are as follows:

  • Staple Goods: Those goods which are necessary for the survival of pop, such as food to eat and clothes to wear.
  • Industrial Goods: These are the goods that are produced by manufacturing industries, and they can be used by other manufacturing industries. These include goods like coal and rubber.
  • Luxury Goods: These are the goods that pop consumes when they have excess wealth and a high standard of living. These goods include things like tea and sugar, which are not necessary for survival but are status symbols.
  • Military Goods: These are the goods utilized by the armed forces of your nation. These goods include all sorts of weapons and ammunition.

National Market

Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
Members of the market.[Image Credit: eXputer]

The national market of a country is what determines the price of goods. It is also responsible for maintaining a nation’s economy. As the nation’s territory grows, so does its national market. This is because there are more raw goods to be processed and more pops that contribute to the economy.

A country’s market is connected to its capital, and the capital is connected to the other states through a network of ports. As we discussed earlier, the prices of goods all depend on supply and demand, even in the national market. 

Trade

Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
Trade routes.[Image Credit: eXputer]

To maintain a balance between supply and demand, trade routes need to be established. You can trade the goods that your nation is good at producing and sell them for a high value. You can also establish a relationship with other nations so that you can trade something that they are proficient at producing.

For example, you may be good at producing opioids, an actual good in the game, and another nation might be good at producing tea. You may develop a trade route between the two and form a mutually beneficial relationship. 

Buildings

Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
Rural buildings.[Image Credit: eXputer]

Buildings are another pivotal part of the game. We will discuss all of them in detail here in our beginner’s guide for Victoria 3. Basically, buildings represent a wide array of facilities. Pops work at these buildings to produce goods and other resources. The buildings are divided into four major groups in the game. These groups are:

  • Urban: This category contains buildings such as food industries and textile mills. A higher scale of production uses raw materials to produce more widely consumed goods such as food and clothes.
  • Rural: This category mostly contains buildings like farms that produce raw materials and resources. Stuff like wheat farms and metal/mineral mines come under this category.
  • Development: This category contains buildings related to the armed forces and the like. Buildings like barracks and naval bases are part of this category. 
  • Construction: This category contains the construction sector. This sector determines how fast you build other buildings and how cost-effective they are. 
Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
Development buildings.[Image Credit: eXputer]

You can check out these categories in detail within the in-game menu. It will show you the exact goods that a sector requires and also the employees that a sector will create for your pops. It is worth noting that all these buildings require goods to be constructed. The game will explain how certain buildings will be affected by certain actions like changes in wages. These changes will also affect the political landscape of your nation in the long run.

As we hinted at earlier, each building has certain properties that can be modified. These include the quality and quantity of goods, as well as the wage of the pops working there. You can also choose different production methods as well as certain funding sources.

The buildings can also be expanded or upgraded depending on certain varying requirements. Keep in mind to use these buildings effectively, and manage your resources accordingly. 

Types Of Buildings

Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
Construction buildings.[Image Credit: eXputer]

Among the four major categories of buildings, there are various types of buildings. These buildings affect your nation in varying capacities. For example, government administration buildings will produce bureaucracy instead of feasible goods.

But bureaucracy is an important asset. It is used to influence your armed forces and trade routes, among many other things. Similarly, if you construct universities, the literacy rate of your pops will increase. Victoria 3 has many unique buildings like these, which you must discover on your own!

Technology Tree

Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
Production technology tree.[Image Credit: eXputer]

The technology tree is a very vital part of Victoria 3, and we will explain it in depth here in our beginner’s guide. The technology tree utilizes innovation to progress in various technologies. Innovation can either be obtained by doing nothing, as there is a base rate for it.

But it can be increased by the number of universities you have in your country and the overall literacy rate of your country. No matter which country you choose, you will already have a handful of technologies researched already as other facets of your nation depend on them.

The technology tree is divided into three major categories which are:

Military technology tree.[Image Credit: eXputer]
  • Production Technology: These technologies all focus on improving the production and economy of your country. These technologies may include things like unlocking electricity and better modes of transport like railways.
  • Military Technology: These technologies focus solely on improving your armed forces. They may contain new weapons and also manage the manpower that goes into these institutions.
  • Society Technology: These technologies are about improving the society in your nation. They contain things like political ideas which will aid the pops that reside in your nation.
Society technology tree,[Image Credit: eXputer]

The technology trees form complex branches. Some technologies require prerequisites, and you will have to invest your innovation points wisely depending on where you want to go.

The innovation score will refresh each week. Keep in mind to implement new technology regularly so that your nation may thrive. Advancements in one field may lead to breakthroughs in areas you would never have expected. 

Capacities

Cultures, alongside capacities in the top, left corner.[Image Credit: eXputer]

Capacities are the main currencies that you will be using throughout Victoria 3. and we will touch upon their uses here in our beginner’s guide. The capacities determine various facets of a country’s power and influence. These capacities are:

  • Bureaucracy: This capacity represents a nation’s capacity to govern its subjects. It will be used in doing tasks like collecting tax and providing back to the pops. It is produced by institutions such as government administration buildings, which we have already discussed.
  • Authority: This capacity is a direct representation of the amount of power the head of state has. It is used to determine how easily he can make changes to the nation. This authority itself is decided by the laws of the nations.
  • Influence: This capacity is a representation of a country to conduct diplomacy. It is a very important currency when it comes to the global stage. It is used to improve relations with other countries as well as influence wars.
  • Money: Technically, this is not treated as a capacity in the game, but it is one. The treasury will define how much money your nation has, and it is the backbone of every action that you perform.

Victoria 3 has managed to do a great job of making these capacities have tangible effects on the game itself. They are not just placeholder numbers that you use to perform transactions. They actively affect your nation and the actions that you are able to take.

Diplomatic Aspects

Diplomatic plays.[Image Credit: eXputer]

To understand diplomacy, we must first understand the fundamental building blocks that make it up. These diplomatic mechanics further affect other aspects of your nation, especially warfare. We will discuss warfare in the next section of our Victoria 3 beginner’s guide, but for now, here are the 3 main aspects of diplomacy:

  • Relations
  • Infamy
  • Interests

 Relations

Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
Diplomacy.[Image Credit: eXputer]

As the name suggests, relations are the association you have with other nations. In reality, these are the diplomatic standings between the two countries. The relations in Victoria 3 are represented by a numerical scale. This scale goes from a negative 100 to 100, meaning that a scale with a total range of 200 points.

The value of these relations will determine a lot of actions. For example, which side a country will support in a war, a diplomatic situation, etc. You can improve or worsen your relations with other countries with your actions.

Infamy

Infamy is another mechanic of diplomacy. It is also pretty much self-explanatory. When the game starts, your nation will have an infamy value of zero. But this value is bound to change depending on the actions that you take. If your infamy value surpasses a certain value, you will start facing sanctions.

Other countries will avoid trading with you, and your relations will worsen overall. Usually, the infamy value is increased when a country commits a crime or a diplomatic breach of a contract. 

It is worth noting that infamy has a global effect, yes. But it also has a more localized effect. The region that you belong to will start to ostracize you as well, and in worst-case scenarios, you might have to resort to war. This can be avoided altogether by strategizing in a smart way.

You shouldn’t violate a country’s laws, avoid diplomatic incidents and uphold all agreements that you have with them so that your infamy score may remain as low as possible. 

Interests

Garrisons play a vital role in the war in case of high infamy.[Image Credit: eXputer]

Interests are a way of gauging whether or not a country has something to gain or lose in certain strategic regions in the game. This mechanic is tied into multiple other mechanics, such as diplomatic plays and incidents. This doesn’t benefit any country directly, but it may have some unforeseen issues.

A country that has a lot of interests is bound to wind up in discords all the time. But that same country also has a chance to gain more, in case it is able to colonize the areas of interest. A country may also declare its interests officially. 

War

Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
Army.[Image Credit: eXputer]

Wars are the result of failed diplomatic situations. When two countries are unable to resolve a dispute amongst themselves through civilized and diplomatic means, it comes down to overpowering the other with brute force. The wars are fought by a country’s armed forces, which we have discussed previously.

Once a war breaks out, there will be a series of battles. Land warfare is mostly about defending certain pieces of land or capturing them instead. At the same time, naval warfare is about attacking or defending trade routes.

Tips And Tricks

We have covered nearly everything that was worth talking about. We couldn’t fit in everything because of the nature of the game. These tips will surely boost your efficiency in the game and help you progress much more smoothly. Here we have added some tips and tricks to our beginner’s guide for Victoria 3.

Journal

Journal.[Image Credit: eXputer]

The journal helps you a lot in the game. You can access it from its icon at the top of the screen or from the icon on the right. It will display a list of tasks that are up to you to complete. These sidequests are sort of challenges that are added as you make your way through the game.

You can attempt to complete these challenges on your own. But the game offers you guidance in this regard. You can click on a button to learn more about a certain task, and the game will show you how to do it. 

Victoria 3 Beginner's Guide
Decisions in the journal.[Image Credit: eXputer]

Lens

Lenses, with the diplomatic lens open.[Image Credit: eXputer]

The lens is very useful when you want to see certain views. You can see the lens menu at the bottom of the screen. These lenses will change how you view the map, and you can get a lot more information regarding that specific view. The lenses that are available in the game are as follows:

  • Production Lens 
  • Politics Lens
  • Diplomacy Lens
  • Military Lens
  • Trade Lens

Speed Of The Game

You can adjust the pace and speed of the game according to your liking. The speed can be set to 1x up to 5x speed by using the number keys 1-5. The game can also be paused if you need to take a break. 

Outliner

Outliner.[Image Credit: eXputer]

Pay attention to the outliner. It will highlight the important tasks at hand and show some information regarding them. You can also pin tasks to this list so that you can remember them.

Current Situation Tab

The game can get overwhelming at times at it gets hard to follow along with what is happening on screen. For times like these, the current situation tab comes in clutch. It will show you whatever is happening at a glance. Remember to use this tab regularly.

Natural Resources

The budget in the game is affected by natural resources.[Image Credit: eXputer]

The natural resources you get will heavily depend on the country that you start with. It is important that you take advantage of these natural resources. These will help to kickstart your economy and ensure that you have enough raw materials for goods.

Savescumming And Cheats

Savescumming and cheating are generally looked down upon in the community. But if you are just a casual player that just wants to enjoy the game and not worry about the details, you can certainly use these functionalities. You can use console command cheats to bypass all the challenges of the game.

You can also save your game before a critical situation, like a war. If things do not go your way, you can just simply reload the saved file. Although we have mentioned this, we wouldn’t recommend that you do this and experience the game as it was meant to be played.

Summary

Victoria 3 is a grand strategy game developed by Paradox Development Studio. The game allows players to create their own society during the fascinating 19th century. This was during the Victorian era, as the name suggests, and tries to replicate the situations of nations that were present at the time. As the player, it is up to you to manage the nation that you choose and work your way toward being the strongest nation. 

Players can create the society of their dreams in the world of Victoria 3. They are met with a realistic depiction of the 19th-century geopolitical situation. It is the ultimate society simulator and features detailed population groups, government and constitutional reforms, social innovations, and research regarding new and innovative technologies. 

The game also features a deep economic system. This system is backed by a heavily detailed system of goods and production. The economic system also has imports and exports, making the experience very realistic. Having to balance the supply and demand of goods will prove to be an interesting challenge for players. 

Victoria 3 features a massive scale, unlike many others of its type. You can use your diplomatic values to bargain with other nations and improve your ties with them. Moreover, you can wage wars and conquer territories. You can even colonize nations and make them part of your own kingdom. All these elements come together to form a huge and realistic world that you will not get bored of.

That was our Victoria 3 beginner’s guide. Were we able to help you out? Were you stuck wondering about a certain aspect of the game? What do you think about the game’s numerous systems? Let us know all about it in the comments section below!

Next: Victoria 3 Crashing On PC

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Moiz Banoori.


Having worked at various Video Game sites, coupled with 7 years of Content Writing Experience. I presently monitor teams, create strategies, and publish qualified pieces through my aptitude.

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