As a nation develops technologically, it unlocks the ability to gain additional idea groups. Investing into a full idea group can take a long time and cost several decades worth of power. The act of choosing at any point of time a certain idea group over the other and advancing in it represent the time and focus nations choose to spend historically along certain administrative, diplomatic, and military specializations.

Early Idea groups Edit

These ideas are added to avoid a colonial empire in classical era. Early administrative and religious cost administrative points, diplomatic and trade cost diplomatic and military and defensive cost military.

Early administrative idea group Early administrative


Production efficiency: +10%


Stability cost modifier: -10%


Advisor pool: +1

Resistance to foreigners

Hostile core creation on us: +20%

Efficient administration

Core creation cost: -10%

Administrative innovation

Administative tech cost: -6%

Noble soldiers

Diplomatic upkeep: +1

Traditions Ambitions:

Prestige: +20%
Early religious idea group Early religious

Early tolerance

Tolerance of heathens: +1


Missionaries: +1

Acceptance of differencies

Tolerance of heretics: +1

Religious customs

Stability cost modifier: -10%

Religious education

Tolerance of the true faith: +1

Divine heritage

Prestige decay: -1%

Organized religion

Global missionary strength: +1%

Traditions Ambitions:

Tolerance of heathens: +1
Early diplomatic idea group Early diplomatic


Diplomats: +1

Additional relations

Diplomatic upkeep: +1

Vassal tribute

Vassal income: +10%

Diplomatic reputation

Diplomatic reputation: +1

Foreign customs

Unjustified demands: -10%


Cost of fabricating claims: -15%

Diplomatic conquest

Diplomatic annexation cost: -10%

Traditions Ambitions:

Diplomatic upkeep: +1


Early trade idea group Early trade


Merchants: +1

Galley slaves

Naval forcelimit: +10%

Merchant admirals

Navy tradition decay: -10%

Naval innovation

Diplomatic tech cost: -6%

Merchant travels

Trade range: +10%

Protected trade

Global trade goods size: +5%


Global ship costs: -10%

Traditions Ambitions:

Trade efficiency: +10%
Early military idea group Early military


Discipline: +2.5%

Professional soldiers

Infantry power: +5%

Military education

Army tradition decay: -1%

Horse breeding

Cavalry power: +5%

Early mercenaries

Mercenary cost: -10%

Military innovation

Military tech cost: -6%

Cheaper mercenaries

Mercenary maintenance cost: -10%

Traditions Ambitions:

Core creation cost: -10%
Early defensive idea group Early defensive

Border guard

Defensiveness: +5%

No aid for enemy

Attrition for enemies: +1%

Fight for our land

Land morale: +5%

History of independence

Hostile core creation on us: +30%


Manpower recovery speed: +10%

Slave army

Global manpower: +10%


Defensiveness: +5%

Traditions Ambitions:

Army morale recover speed: +5%

Vanilla idea groupsEdit

Those idea groups are visible as soon as you get administrative technology 50.

Administrative groups Edit

Administrative power is required to unlock ideas within these groups.

Administrative idea group Administrative

Organized Mercenary Payments

-25% Mercenary cost


-25% Core-creation cost

Benefits for Mercenaries

-25% Mercenary maintenance


-1 Interest per annum

Mercenary Recruitment

+25% Available mercenaries

Administrative Efficiency

+1 Possible advisors

Civil Service

-10% Administrative technology cost

Traditions Bonus:

+5 Number of states
Economic idea group Economic


+10% National tax modifier

Organized Construction

-10% Build cost

National Bank

+0.10 Yearly inflation reduction

Debt and Loans

-1 Interest per annum


-0.05 Monthly autonomy change

Nationalistic Enthusiasm

-10% Land maintenance modifier

Smithian Economics

+10% Production efficiency

Traditions Bonus:

Development cost: −20%
Expansion idea group Expansion

Additional Colonists

+1 Colonists

Additional Merchants

+1 Merchants

Faster Colonists

+10 Global settler increase

Organized Recruitment

-10% Recruitment time

Additional Diplomats

+1 Diplomatic relations

Improved Shipyards

-10% Shipbuilding time

Competitive Merchants

+20% Global trade power

Traditions Bonus:

-25% State maintenance
Permanent Casus Belli against nations from less advanced technology groups (for Western/High American, Eastern and Anatolian)


Humanist idea group Humanist


+25% Religious unity

Local Traditions

-2 National unrest


+3 Tolerance of heretics

Indirect Rule

-10 Years of separatism

Cultural Ties

-50% Accepted culture threshold


+30% Better relations over time

Humanist Tolerance

+3 Tolerance of heathens

Traditions Bonus:

-10% Idea cost
Innovative idea group Innovative

Patron of the Arts

-1% Prestige decay


-25% Mercenary maintenance

Scientific Revolution

-5% Technology cost

Dynamic Court

+1 Possible advisors

Resilient State

-10% Reduce inflation cost


-0.05 Monthly war exhaustion

Formalized Officer Corps

+1 Leader(s) without upkeep

Traditions Bonus:

-25% Advisor costs
Religious idea group Religious

Deus Vult

Permanent casus belli against neighboring heathens and heretics

Missionary Schools

+1 Missionaries

Church Attendance Duty

-25% Stability cost modifier

Divine Supremacy

+3% Missionary strength


+1 Tolerance of the true faith
+2 Yearly papal influence

Religious Tradition

+1 Yearly prestige


+2% Missionary strength vs heretics

Traditions Bonus:

-25% Culture conversion cost

Diplomatic groups Edit

Diplomatic power is required to unlock ideas within these groups.

Diplomatic idea group Diplomatic

Foreign Embassies

+1 Diplomats


+1 Diplomatic relations

War Cabinet

-33% Cost of reducing war exhaustion

Benign Diplomats

+25% Improve relations

Experienced Diplomats

+2 Diplomatic reputation

Flexible Negotiations

-20% Province warscore cost

Diplomatic Corps

-10% Diplomatic technology cost

Traditions Bonus:

Lowered impact on stability from diplomatic actions
Espionage idea group Espionage

Efficient Spies

+50% Spy network construction
-10% Advisor costs

Agent Training

+1 Diplomats


+10% Provincial trade power modifier
+33% Foreign spy detection

Additional Loyalist Recruitment

-10 Liberty desire in subjects

Claim Fabrication

-25% Cost to fabricate claims


+25% Embargo efficiency

Audit Checks

-0.10 Yearly corruption

Traditions Bonus:

+50% Rebel support efficiency
Exploration idea group Exploration

Colonial Ventures

+1 Colonists

Quest for the New World

Allows recruitment of explorers and conquistadors.

Overseas Exploration

+50% Colonial range

Land of Opportunity

+20 Global settler increase


+20% Global tariffs

Free Colonies

+1 Colonists

Global Empire

+25% Naval force limit modifier

Traditions Bonus:

Permanent Casus Belli against Primitives


Influence idea group Influence

Tribute System

+25% Income from vassals

Establish Cadet Branches

+0.50 Yearly prestige
+0.25 Chance of new heir

Integrated Elites

-25% Diplomatic annexation cost

State Propaganda

-20% Aggressive expansion impact

Diplomatic Influence

+2 Diplomatic reputation

Postal Service

+1 Diplomatic relations
-25% Envoy travel time

Marcher Lords

+100% Vassal force limit contribution

Traditions Bonus:

-50% Unjustified demands
Maritime idea group Maritime


+1 Yearly navy tradition

Merchant Marine

+50% National sailors modifier

Sheltered Ports

+20% Global ship repair

Grand Navy

+50% Naval force limit modifier

Ship's Penny

-10% Ship costs

Excellent Shipwrights

+2 Naval leader maneuver

Naval Fighting Instruction

+50% Blockade efficiency

Traditions Bonus:

Ships can repair when in coastal sea zones
Trade idea group Trade

Shrewd Commerce Practice

+20% Global trade power

Free Trade

+1 Merchants

Merchant Adventures

+25% Trade range

National Trade Policy

+10% Trade efficiency

Overseas Merchants

+1 Merchants

Trade Manipulation

+25% Trade steering

Fast Negotiations

+25% Caravan power

Traditions Bonus:

+1 Merchants

Military groups Edit

Military power is required to unlock ideas within these groups.

Aristocratic idea group Aristocratic

Notes: Only available to Monarchies, Theocracies, Noble Republics, and the Papacy.

Noble Knights

-10% Cavalry cost
+10% Cavalry combat ability

Local Nobility

+50% Hostile core-creation cost on us
+10% Income from vassals


+25% National manpower modifier

Noble Officers

-1% Yearly Army Tradition decay
-1% Yearly Navy Tradition decay

International Nobility

+1 Diplomats

Noble Resilience

-20% Cost of reducing war exhaustion

Military Traditions

-10% Military technology cost

Traditions Bonus:

+1 Leader(s) without upkeep
Defensive idea group Defensive

Battlefield Commissions

+1 Yearly army tradition

Military Drill

+15% Morale of armies

Improved Maneuver

+1 Land leader maneuver

Regimental System

-10% Land maintenance modifier

Defensive Mentality

+20% Fort defense
-10% Fort maintenance

Supply Trains

+33% Reinforce speed

Improved Foraging

-25% Land attrition

Traditions Bonus:

+1 Attrition for enemies
Naval idea group Naval

Boarding Parties

+1 Naval leader shock

Improved Rams

+25% Galley combat ability

Naval Cadets

+1 Naval leader fire

Naval Glory

+100% Prestige from naval battles

Press Gangs

+20% Sailor recovery speed

Oak Forests for Ships

+20% Heavy ship combat ability

Superior Seamanship

+15% Morale of navies

Traditions Bonus:

+10% Ship durability


Offensive idea group Offensive

Bayonet Leaders

+1 Land leader shock

National Conscripts

-10% Recruitment time

Superior Firepower

+1 Land leader fire

Glorious Arms

+100% Prestige from land battles

Engineer Corps

+20% Siege ability

Grand Army

+20% Land force limit modifier

Esprit de Corps

+5% Discipline

Traditions Bonus:

+5% Recover army morale speed
Plutocratic idea group Plutocratic

Notes: Countries without access to aristocratic ideas get plutocratic ideas instead.

Tradition of Payment

+25% Available mercenaries

Abolished Serfdom

+10% Morale of armies

Bill of Rights

-2 National unrest

Free Merchants

+1 Merchants

Free Subjects

+10% Goods produced modifier

Free Cities

+25% Caravan Power


+20% Manpower recovery speed

Traditions Bonus:

-5% Technology cost
Quality idea group Quality

Private to Marshal

+10% Infantry combat ability

Quality Education

+1 Yearly army tradition

Finest of Horses

+10% Cavalry combat ability


+5% Ship durability

Naval Drill

+10% Naval morale

Copper Bottoms

-25% Naval attrition

Massed Battery

+10% Artillery combat ability

Traditions Bonus:

+5% Discipline


Quantity idea group Quantity

Levée en Masse

+50% National manpower modifier

The Young can Serve

+20% Manpower recovery speed

Enforced Service

-10% Regiment cost

The Old and Infirm

-10% Land maintenance modifier

Mercenary Contracts

+25% Available mercenaries

Conscripted Garrisons

+25% Garrison size

Expanded Supply Trains

-10% Land attrition

Traditions Bonus:

+50% Land force limit modifier

Industrial era idea groupsEdit

You can only choose one of those and only with a tech level of 81 or higher. They have no bonus or policy. Order one costs administrative points, Freedom costs diplomatic and Autocracy cost military.

Order idea group Order

State controlled economy

*Inflation reduction: -0.10
  • Global tax modifier: +15%


*Land morale: +0.10
  • Defensiveness: +20%

State police

Global unrest: -1

Workers' utopia

*Production efficiency: +10%
  • Global trade goods size: +10%

Free education

Administrative tech cost: -20%

Military service

*Global manpower: +20%
  • Land force limit: +20%

Universal healthcare

Manpower recovery speed: +20%

Traditions Ambitions:

+1 Leader(s) without Upkeep
Freedom idea group Freedom

Capitalist economy

*Merchants: +1
  • Global trade power: +10%

Freedom of Religion

*Tolerance of heathens: +2
  • Tolerance of heretics: +2

Universal suffrage

*Female advisor chance: +40%
  • Global unrest: -1

Freedom of speech

*Yearly republican tradition: +1
  • Yearly legitimacy: +1

Equality of races

Accepted culture treshold: -50%

Volunteer army

*Can recruit female generals
  • Discipline: +5%

Sharing of ideas

*Idea cost: -10%
  • Diplomatic tech cost: -20%

Traditions Ambitions:

+1 Possible Advisors
Autocracy idea group Autocracy

Glorious leader

Land morale: +0.10

Police state

Global unrest: -1

Élite generals

*Yearly army tradition: +0.5
  • Leader land fire: +1

Military industry

*Global regiment recruiting speed: +10%
  • Global regiment cost: -10%

Military thinkers

Military tech cost: -20%


*Culture conversion cost: -20%
  • Core creation cost: -20%

Total war

*Reducing war exhaustion cost: -20%
  • Manpower recovery speed: +20%

Traditions Ambitions:

+5% Discipline