The Best Crusader Kings 3 Mods (So Far)

By Joe Robinson 09 Sep 2020 0

You wouldn’t think this soon after Crusader Kings 3’s general release that there would be much of a mod scene to speak about, but then, you’d be as wrong as a person can be without imploding in on themselves in a puff of logic.

Turns out people are not only keen to play Crusader Kings 3, they’re keen to mod it to high-hell and back again before the month’s out. At the time of writing the CK3 Steam Workshop area already lists over 500 mod entries, and that’s only going to grow as time goes on.

We figured we might as take a brief look at what’s already on offer and let you know what the most promising projects are right now. Expect this list to grow and change over time as the mod scene matures over time.

The Best Crusader Kings 3 Mods

  • Daddy Pika's Cheat Menu
  • P* Total Warfare - Battle with an Army
  • Sunset Invasion
  • The Bronze Age: Maryannu
  • Princes of Darkness
  • Switch to Primogeniture
  • SarcFa'sCustom Ruler Designer
  • More Game Rules - Shattered Realms, Marriage Options, AI Tweaks & More

Let's take a deeper look at those list above...

Daddy Pika's Cheat Menu

The great thing about a game that's highly moddable like CK is that a lot of customisation can be achieved via cheat commands. One infamous mod from CK2 - Sketchy Cheat Mod - has just made the jump over to CK3 for all of your dubious game interaction needs. Instead of via the decisions menu, the options for this mod are mainly accessed through the character interaction's interface.

Via this menu, you can achieve anything from changing someone's Religion and/or culture, change their look, force them to commit suicide (a bit grim) amongst a whole host of other things. The most recent update included the ability to change a character's hair style, as well as claim any title you want. Future updates promise more cheats, so if you're looking to truly mess around in the sandbox, the way has been opened.

ck3 mods cheat menu

P* Total Warfare - Battle with an Army

This is a fascinating mod that's recently gained popularity. One thing Paradox grand strategy games are not are detail tactical battle experiences like what you'd find in Total War. At best, you get two models (representing the army) fire off animations at each other, which is essentially the same in CK3 despite the graphical upgrade. Clicking on the duelling mini-knights will open up another screen which shows you how the battle is resolving in terms of numbers and stats.

It's nothing to be ashamed about, but I'm sure many would appreciate something a bit more... which is where this mod comes in. P* Total Warfare essentially tries to expand the campaign map battle animations to make it look a bit more interesting. Instead of a duel between two knights, battles on the campaign map looking a bit more meaty with to groups of unit models duking it out. Army models as well contain more than one unit, so everything just looks a bit more authentic. This isn't the perfect mod and certainly the campaign map can get a bit busy if multiple battles occur in a small space, but it's a nice touch and we hope the mod is developed further.

ck3 mods total warfare army battle

Sunset Invasion

The original Sunset Invasion expansion for Crusader Kings 2 was one of the first to come out, and slightly controversial. It didn’t really add anything meaningful to the game, but it did add the possibility of a massive invasion of Europe by an Advanced Aztec or South American culture. It was perhaps an experiment in alt-history DLC that we have to assume wasn’t taken any further.

Clearly, somebody loved it though as it’s one of the most popular mods available right now. This version of Sunset Invasion goes a bit beyond what the original mod did, adding in new mechanics in dealing with your new Tonalquizayan overlords. Timothy, who did our Crusader Kings 3 review, mentioned that the Golden Horse invasion seems a bit lack-lustre at the moment, so this might present a more challenging crises to overcome.

ck3 mods sunset invasion

The Bronze Age: Maryannu

Of course, the first thing one should do when modding CK3 is just completely overhaul the game entirely and set it in a completely different period and setting. The iconic Bronze Age mod from CK2 has already ported itself to the new game in all its glory, featuring a new custom map that features the Eastern Mediterranean in great detail.

It’s got plenty of new content and mechanics already, but key things the team want to bring to the mod as well involve new clothing and armour sets for characters, as well as new diplomacy related mechanics such as more fleshed out tributary system.

ck3 mods bronze age

Prince of Darkness

Another CK2 mod that’s made the transition, PoD brings the World of Darkness universe into the middle ages where your character can be an immortal (but not invincible) vampire. This classes itself as an overhaul technically, and for sure many base game mechanics have been changed to account for your longevity.

Learning the standard lifestyle perks is far slower, for example, and you’ll never have any children so succession is a vastly different (And rare) event. There are new ‘disciplines’ you can spend time learning though to unlock more unholy powers. If you’re looking for something that doubles down on the intrigue, this may be worth a try.

ck3 mods prince of darkness

Switch to Primogeniture

Let’s face it, Partition sucks ass. Seeing your realm divided up amongst your children so that your heir is left with basically nothing but a title and, if you’re lucky, a decent starting realm is always awful. And CK3 makes you stick with this awful awfulness for far longer than you had to in CK2 (it was called ‘Gravelkind’ in the previous game).

This is less of a mod then, and more of a cheat. It adds a decision that you can fire whenever you want to switch your succession laws to either Primogeniture (where the oldest inherits), or Ultimogeniture (where the youngest inherits). It’s worth noting that at the time of writing, this mode doesn’t function with the 867 start date, and the event text leaves much to be desired. Still, Partition SUCKS.

ck3 mod primogeniture

SarcFa's Custom Ruler Designer

The Custom Rulger Designer DLC for CK2 was also a fairly popular add-on as it delved more into RPG potential that the game offered. Ruler customisation isn’t really in CK3 -- though many things like Dynasty name etc. are customisable anyway -- so it was only a matter of time before a mod turned up adding it in again anyway.

This mod isn’t complete and you can’t pick your name, but if does offer a lot of choices around gender, various traits, culture, religion etc… The caveats are that you have to pick a ruler and a starting dynasty first, so your custom character has to be part of that dynasty. Once you’ve finished, the mod will then insert you as a child of your chosen character, and then kill off that character plus anyone else who might inherit instead of you so that your custom character then takes their place.

ck3 mods custom ruler designer

More Game Rules - Shattered Realms, Marriage Options, AI Tweaks & More

A recent trend in Paradox Games is to include additional ‘game rules’ - ways of customizing your experience or giving you extra control on how things progress. Hearts of Iron 4, for example, has a whole host of options that allow you to ‘guide’ the AI and shape the game’s narrative progression. Towards the end, CK2 introduced concepts such as broken or shattered worlds that completely changed up the political and even geographical landscape to give you a fresh experience.

This mod seeks to introduce options like these back into CK3 until the devs decide to do it themselves officially. There are options around who will accept matrilineal marriages, limits on Vassals, custom faiths… it even recreates the ‘shattered world’ option where Kingdom or above level titles are deleted, leaving only Dukes (or heaven forbit, only Counts!). I’d be surprised if you’re getting bored of the vanilla game already, but in the even you do want to spice things up (or bring in some control to multiplayer) this mod should be part of your library.

If you're interested in just the shattered realm option, there is another mod that focuses on just this functionality - Shattered World.

ck3 mods more game rules

There you have it - a quick selection of interesting Crusader Kings 3 mods to spice up your game, should you feel you need it already. Let us know if you’ve spotted any mods that you’re enjoying that you think should be added to the list!

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