We all know how Europa Universalis 4 developer Paradox Interactive makes its strategy games. They shoot out the base game, and then for the next umpteen years, they keep on turning out DLC after DLC, until what was a streamlined, if perhaps slightly sparse, title has been gradually transmogrified into a hulking behemoth of a game, full of interlocking, intricate systems.
For better or for worse, that model seems to be working well for them, and all their games are DLC-heavy. So any Europa Universalis 4 player who’s just starting with this nation-building grand strategy game will need to know what the best EU IV DLC is. Hopefully, this guide will save you the trouble of signing up for the relatively new EU IV subscription service, which lets you try all the game’s expansions out for a monthly fee.
This may go without saying, but just in case you’re not aware, Paradox DLC goes on sale on Steam on the regular. Do with that information what you will, but don’t come crying to us if you buy a pack for the full price and then find it at a hefty discount in a few months’ time. You were warned. Now, let’s stop faffing around and take a look at…
The best Europa Universalis 4 DLC of all time
EU IV Common Sense used to be an absolute must-buy because it contained the feature of province development, a vital mechanic if you wanted to play ‘tall’ instead of ‘wide’, and one that all and sundry could see should have been included in the base game. Now, happily, it is, making this a less important DLC purchase than it used to be, but also one that doesn’t leave such a sour taste in the mouth.
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Common Sense adds a load of disparate features broadly focused on diplomacy and peacefully developing your nation. It includes a lot of new religious mechanics – making Buddhists, Protestants, and Religious Theocracies much more fun to play, a new Parliament system, and changing government ranks that let you progress from a duchy to an empire.
Art of War
As the name suggests, Art of War is Europa Universalis 4’s ‘war DLC’. And it’s really a big one. It not only adds unique features like the Religious League War and the endgame-changing Revolution mechanic, it shakes up war in general with lots of mechanics and quality of life changes. In Art of War you can give orders to allies, sortie out of fort garrisons, and you have better diplomacy options including new casus belli and new peace deals.
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Art of War also includes one of the most crucial quality of life additions across all Europa Universalis 4 DLC, army templates. Being able to raise whole armies at the click of a button is a real life (and finger) saver. If you’re going to go to war in EU IV, we recommend you do it /after/ you install Art of War.
Rights of Man
Rights of Man is a bit of grab-bag of features, with no real coherency to them, so it’s hard to sum up. You’ve got consorts – a named character representing your ruler’s significant other who can take over as regent when needed. Then there’s new goodies for Coptic or Fetishist nations, not that crucial, unless you’re planning to play some.
But the real good stuff in Rights of Man are personalities and traits for characters. While not quite at Crusader Kings 3 level, these random ruler quirks add a whole lot of flavour to the game. Great Powers are also a good addition to the game, giving new diplomatic options to powerful nations, and letting them throw their weight around a bit more.
Wealth of Nations
Wealth of Nations is an EU IV DLC that’s all about making that sweet, sweet money. You’ve got privateers, light ships you can send out to do a spot of piracy; better land trading, for making cash even if you don’t rule the waves. Most important of all is the option to build your own East India Trading Company, with trade companies.
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This feature is so vital, if you’re looking to win the economic game, that Paradox even threw it into another Europa Universalis 4 DLC: Dharma. Basically, if you want to play in or around India, we recommend Dharma, if not, Wealth of Nations is the DLC for you.