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The best EU4 achievements

Paradox Interactive's vast, colonial-era grand strategy PC game Europa Universalis 4 has a ton of achievements - these are the best and hardest

The best Europa Universalis 4 achievements - EU4 artwork showing three leader figures from different ages of history

Do you think you’ve completed Europa Universalis 4 now? Does the sun never set upon your global empire? Is there truly nothing left to conquer? Think again! With some of the top-tier Europa Universalis 4 achievements we’re about to cover, you’ll question whether you even knew the game in the first place. Crack these achievements, though, and you will be well on the way to EUIV mastery.

Chasing achievements in Europa Universalis IV will force you to put yourself in some truly bizarre situations. Invading Hungary is neither here nor there. For European states, you’re not really considered a great power until you have. But invading Hungary… as Australia? Rule Prussia and Nepal… as the Songhai? It’s not enough simply to survive – you have to prosper, with a pro-gamer game plan to boot.

The best Europa Universalis 4 achievements - EU4 screenshot showing the in game map of Europe

And that pro-gamer game plan is a no joke. For many of these achievements, timing is everything. Things going wrong in your nation for just a couple of in-game decades could make certain achievements – even ones that aren’t time limited – impossible. Be prepared to fail, often.

We speak from experience. Furthermore, it’s entirely possible to do everything completely right, and just be unlucky. Good luck invading Hungary as Australia if it doesn’t even exist. Many rage-quits took place in the making of this guide.

The best Europa Universalis 4 achievements - EU4 screenshot showing the in game map of the philppines

When all is said and done, however, you’ll end every session spent chasing these achievements with a vastly improved knowledge of Europa Universalis 4 and its mechanics. Enjoy the journey, and be prepared for some of the most nail-biting decisions of your life.

A quick note on how you get achievements. Like other modern Paradox games, achievements can only be earnt in Ironman mode. A box will give you the choice of playing in Ironman mode when you begin playing. Be warned – in Ironman mode, you can never reload an old save. Your choices, once made, cannot be taken back.

These are the best Europa Universalis 4 achievements:

  • Imposter Syndrome
  • A Sun God
  • The Re-Reconquista
  • Bunte Kuh
  • Australia-Hungary
  • Ultimate Military
  • Prester John
  • Cotton Kandy
  • The Buddhists Strike Back
  • Spaghetti Western
  • Around the World in 80 Years

The best Europa Universalis 4 achievements - EU4 screenshot showing an in game map of north africa and iberia

Imposter Syndrome

As Sus, have three countries hostile to you (less than 0 opinion) after they discovered your spy.

You know a meme is dead when it’s an achievement in a Paradox game. Getting the Imposter Syndrome achievement is relatively straightforward; you only have to not be unlucky. It really is just a case of building spy networks in foreign countries and hoping they catch you. Of course, as soon as we want our spies to be caught, they all turn into James Bond.

The trick is less about getting them caught than making sure you have three nations mad at you, simultaneously, for spying. A good trick is to insult them if they still have positive relations with you even after catching your spies.

The best Europa Universalis 4 achievements - EU4 screenshot showing an in game map of south America

A Sun God

Form Inca, embrace all Institutions, and own all of South America as core provinces.

Now for a challenge. Playing a pre-colonial nation is difficult at the best of times. Conquering an entire continent, just as Europe is coming over – the requirement for A Sun God –  is a whole different ball game.

The key part here is speed. The faster you eliminate your rivals and form the Inca, the more time you have to develop a base to compete with the old world. Don’t forget that the Galapagos, Falklands, and South Georgia islands count as part of South America. We recommend you colonise them quickly, as grabbing them back from a European coloniser will be a Herculean task.

The Re-Reconquista

As Granada, form Andalusia and reconquer all of Iberia.

Our attempts to get the The Re-Reconquista achievement were an exercise in misery. Spain and Portugal loom from the north and hate you. Tunis and Morocco sit in the south and will soon hate you, as gobbling them up is the only way to succeed. You’re going to need a lot more before you can face down Christian Iberia, however, so you should keep going south into Africa. Consider also focusing heavily on colonisation, as it’ll make you stronger, while directly weakening your Christian rivals. All the same, you’d better hope France is putting in overtime keeping Spain in its box.

The best Europa Universalis 4 achievements - EU4 screenshot showing the map of a united Australia

Bunte Kuh

As Hamburg, trade in both Gems and Livestock.

Now for a change of pace. For reference, trading in something means you own a province that’s producing that trade good. All you have to do to get the Bunte Kuh achievement is own a province with livestock and gems – easy, right? There’s only the small matter of navigating Holy Roman Empire politics as a one-province city state and being trapped behind every other major colonial power in your tiny corner of the North Sea.

Our suggestion: focus on colonising the little islands on the way to the far east. Unless you’re really lucky, South America – with its gem mines – will be long since colonised by the time you make it there, so instead consider central Africa or Australia.

Watch out, though; every step of the way you’ll be dogged by major colonial powers whose navies and budget will be vastly superior to yours.

The best Europa Universalis 4 achievements - EU4 screenshot showing a post battle screen of Australia versus France


Starting as an Australian tribe, unite Australia and subjugate Hungary.

This achievement made us rage-quit. Twice. We still haven’t got it. The challenge with Australia-Hungary is two-fold. Uniting Australia before the Europeans turn up is manageable. Getting it on par with its competitors in Europe is quite another, however, especially when every colonial power views you as the next course in the colonial all-you-can-conquer buffet.

Make sure, first of all, that you become steppe nomads as quickly as possible. From there, you can easily outmatch the other nations you’ll be facing and work your way across the continent. From there, though, you’ll have to work very hard to develop your institutions and protect your trade.

Make sure you read the requirements for certain institutions to spread very carefully (unlike us) or you may never catch up. Your one saving grace is that, unlike most nations the Europeans will encounter, you have a continent’s worth of manpower and money to throw at problems.

Remember, too, that it’s possible to free Hungary from an occupier and then vassalise it – but to get that position you’ll be fighting across the world, against the most powerful nations on earth.

The best Europa Universalis 4 achievements - EU4 screenshot showing the in game map of Africa including Songhai

Ultimate Military

As Songhai, have Prussia and Nepal as marches.

Songhai, or “Stronghai” as they are called in Paradox multiplayer streams, boasts some of the strongest army bonuses in the game. With care and planning, you can gradually rise to dominate west Africa. Taking that power and projecting it both north into Europe and east into India is another matter.

On the way to the Ultimate Military achievement, you’ll have to push directly through first-rate powers such as the Ottomans and the survivors of the war over India, while the Holy Roman Empire (and Europe generally) will not take kindly to your subjugation of one of its members. Ensuring both Nepal and Prussia actually appear is also an issue. The best advice we’ve seen is to make sure that you give both powers land as an ally in a war, and then – when they form the nation you want – you can subjugate at your leisure.

The best Europa Universalis 4 achievements - EU4 screenshot showing an in game map of african kingdoms

Prester John

Own and have cores on Alexandria, Antioch and Constantinople as Coptic Ethiopia.

Named for the mythical Christian ruler said to live beyond the Islamic world, the Prester John achievement places you in direct opposition to the entire Muslim world generally, and its most powerful member, the Ottomans, in particular. While Ethiopia is no slouch, taking down both the Mamluks and the Ottomans presents an enormous challenge.

Building up your strength south is recommended, then waiting for the Ottomans and Mamluks to inevitably have a falling out. The Mamluks will come out worse, and that’s when you can step in. From there, working with the Ottomans’ rivals in Europe will force a two-front war that the Ottomans will struggle to cope with.

Remember, too, that if you can dominate the Mediterranean then you can split their empire in half just with blockades. Their armies can’t crush you if they’re on the wrong side of the Bosphorus.

Cotton Kandy

As Kandy, be production leader in Cotton.

This one is a two-fer – you’ll want to combine the Cotton Kandy achievement with attempting…

The Buddhists Strike Back

As Kotte or Kandy, own all of India and convert it to Theravada Buddhism.

Paradoxians hate him! Bag two achievements in one playthrough with this one weird paragraph of tips.

Playing Kandy parks you in two provinces in Sri Lanka at the bottom of the subcontinent. Playing against some of the very big and very powerful Indian states is going to be a real challenge. Remember, take your time, cultivate allies, and remember that aggressive expansion is a thing and will get you dismembered rapidly if you don’t respect it.

Make sure to pick off small states first, that won’t come back seeking revenge. Be prepared for the fact that Buddhism isn’t ideal for conquest, and plan accordingly.

The Cotton Kandy part of this should come naturally as part of the conquest of India required for The Buddhists Strike Back, as India has the majority of the cotton producing provinces. Remember that plantations are available to increase production if need be.

The best Europa Universalis 4 achievements - EU4 screenshot showing an in game map of Italy

Spaghetti Western

Starting as Bologna, become Mexico or Texas.

One mistake ruined our chance at getting the wonderfully named Spaghetti Western achievement. Bologna is no picnic. Colonising anything is going to be an issue when you’re surrounded by enemies, are parked in the middle of the Mediterranean, and, not least, don’t own a port. All these can be rectified – eventually.

First, watch Italy. Wars will inevitably start and, when they do, you swoop in to steal provinces while their owners are distracted. Ideally, grab something on Italy’s western seaboard, but the east will do too. Next, steal a province in North Africa. You won’t be able to make a claim, so don’t be afraid to declare war without a casus belli. With preparation, the scary numbers can be managed.

From there, colonising Arguin gave us a base to colonise the Caribbean and then jump towards Texas and Mexico, which you can then – in time – release and play as. Don’t do what we did and get pulled into pointless European wars by your allies, that result in three quarters of your Italian territories being taken in one peace treaty.

The best Europa Universalis 4 achievements - EU4 screenshot showing the in game map of Britain

Around the World in 80 Years

Starting as a Custom Nation of up to 400 points in the British Region, own New York, San Francisco, Suez, Bombay, Calcutta, Hong Kong, and Yokohama by 1524.11.11.

Of all the time-limited achievements in Europa Universalis 4, Around the World in 80 Years is the most ridiculous. 80 years to achieve all of that. Most of the world won’t have been discovered in that time! Speed is of the essence. You can get a decent chunk of Britain with your points, but even then you’ll have to be prepared to work very fast.

Colonising the Americas might actually be the easy bit. Stealing provinces from powerful nations in the Middle East and Asia is the real challenge. Snatching up provinces in Africa, as well as some Portuguese islands to aid colonisation, is recommended.

Capturing Suez early will give access to the Indian Ocean and allow expansion toward your objectives in China and Japan. Two warnings: remember to be careful to not create colonial nations on your objectives, as they don’t count as you owning them and, counter-intuitively, the game views the province of T’epot’aha’l, not Miwok, as the real San Francisco.

So there we have it, some of the best, meanest, and silliest Europa Universalis 4 achievements. Be prepared for rage, be prepared to fume as you find that the one critical sentence you didn’t read has ruined everything. Despite all that, enjoy your time with these achievements. There’s probably no better way to learn Europa Universalis 4 than being put through the meat grinder that some of these achievements are!