Crusader Kings 3 is one of the most flexibly vast and random experiences around. The game is chock-full of NPC characters acting with, against, and nebulous of your activity, trying to further their rule and lineage by any means available to them. Even so, if the “vanilla” foundation of Crusader Kings 3 isn’t tooled just to your liking, then you’ll be delighted to know Paradox Interactive worked to make the game immensely and easily moddable as well.
There are already hundreds of mods over on the Crusader Kings 3 Steam Workshop, made by creators from all over the community that run from simple conveniences, to outright overhauls. It may be staggering to know where to start if you want to dabble in CK3 modding. We absolutely recommend the base game in our Shacknews review, but if you want to get freaky and tweaky, then we’ve compiled a solid list of mods for you to peruse. As is common sense if you’re going to mod, be sure to back up your saves to make sure you have them in case something breaks.
Last updated on September 9, 2020 at 9:00a.m. ET.
Best Mods - Crusader Kings 3
Princes of Darkness
Creator: Sparc, Guiscard, Hastur Nyogtha, and Heitor
Take the regality of Crusader Kings 3 and mix a touch of vampire lore in to become an immortal vampire king. This mod is an overhaul that brings Vampire: The Masquerade and other World of Darkness-influenced touches into the overall CK3 experience. As an immortal, you will keep the secrecy of your proud bloodline in check while keeping the humans from knowing your more monstrous ways. Successors may not be as important to you as they were, but assassination and being put to the fires of judgement for your nature are still a possibility. Developing your powers and containing the beast within, as well as minding your enemies and their schemes must become second nature if you are to survive and outlast other rulers, be they human or rival vampire clans.
CK2 Style Colorful Education Traits
Even with the evolution and advancement of systems that have gone into Crusader Kings 3, sometimes the old style is just better in some ways. This one in particular applies to the educational traits in Crusader Kings 3. Throughout the game (and in CK2 more thoroughly), the traits have colors attached to them that help set them apart, but there are areas of CK3 where the color is sapped out of these traits for whatever reason. This mod adds the colors back to the educational traits on all fronts to make them stand out and really pop throughout the game.
Do you wish to take full-size screenshots of characters that are not your own in environmental backgrounds like you often see of your own family on the title screen of Crusader Kings 3? Then this mod will do wonders. With it, you can choose any character, open the “Barbershop” and see them, their spouse, and heir in various poses and full environmental backgrounds. You can even pose and move them around, or apply a green screen background to make even more of your own fun. Fullscreen Barbershop makes screenshots and visual projects with the characters in CK3 a much easier process.
The Bronze Age: Maryannu
Creator: Svanley, Sloth, Owlcoholic/Rewinged, Benjin, and more on the Bronze Age team
The Middle Ages are great and all, but this mod takes aim at other periods of time. Taking players to a specialized map in eras of 2115 or 1590 BCE, taking up the roles of ancient pharaohs and ancient leaders of ancient Egyptians, Mycenaeans, Akkadians, Sumerians, and more. A fully fleshed out region map shares the conquest of these rulers in their respective times, complete with situations and additional tweaks made to better give players the full experience of the time and its peoples’ beliefs. It’s still a mod in progress, but arguably a solid and well-designed experience that will just get better with time.
Custom Ruler Designer
There will likely be many a custom ruler designer mod out there before Crusader Kings 3 gets its own official one, as this is a highly requested feature. That said SarcFa’s Custom Ruler Designer is a pretty good one for the time being. Though you must do your character creation on successors to your throne, it allows you to choose from oodles of stats for it. Congenital, earned, and other various traitscan be tweaked, as can education points, sex, size, weight, and more to make sure that players get exactly the heir they want. It’s a good mod to have if you’re not interested in leaving genetics and growth of your heirs entirely up to fate.
Total Warfare - Battle with an Army
Battle in Crusader Kings 3 arguably looks pretty boring to watch. When armies meet, there is no change in look or perspective. Two soldiers just clash and numbers change until its over. This mod is made to add some visual spice to the matter, expanding armies into multiple characters that clash when a battle occurs. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but even in its early form, this mod should go the distance in making a normally extremely boring affair in CK3 a bit more of a spectacle when war and skirmishes occur.
Creator: Slightly Productive
Want to preserve the life of your ruler for all eternity without the curse of supernatural bloodlust? Then this might be the simple tweak you need. It allows you to use a simple option menu to bestow your ruler with god-like immortality, take it away at your leisure, and even gift to and take immortality away from other rulers. With this mod, you can also tweak various attributes of your immortality, such as negating negative penalties like wounds and diseases and choosing what look of life you wish to have as an immortal being. With no strings attached to things like godhood or vampirism, this mod allows you and others of your choosing to become eternal beings with very few strings attached.
If you want to see the world of Crusader Kings 3 in absolute chaos, this allows you to do it in degrees. How? Simple. You choose the tier of titles of land claimancy, all the way up to kingdoms and down to duchies, and you can choose to destroy them, leaving only the lower tiers valid. Getting rid of kingdoms won’t do much, but getting rid of duchies will leave the world outright splintered as smaller nations are formed and rulers scratch and scrape for control of patches of land throughout the world. Shattered World is an interesting option if you want to make your games that much chaotic.
This mod is a simple utility addition to the game. Crusader Kings 3’s alert system is pretty good at keeping you afloat on ongoing situations that your ruler ought to be aware in, but it’s not perfect. There are some pretty interesting omissions of things you probably ought to be aware of in your ongoing pursuits and this mod aims to add them. If a child needs a guardian or educative ward, you’ll know. If you haven’t employed a court physician to look after your health, you’ll know. It’s simple, but does wonders in aiding already fairly solid guidance system in the game.
Battlefield Safety / Battlefield Chaos
These two mods are two sides of the same coin in Crusader Kings 3. Simply put, some of you may be concerned that your important commanders, knights, and kings/queens are getting injured too much despite their prowess in battles. For that, Battlefield Safety will aid you in keeping important cogs in your ruling machine safe, allowing your important court fellows more likelihood to remain safe and sound in each conflict. Battlefield Chaos goes the other way for those of you who believe no one should be safe on a battlefield. All possibilities of negative effects on knights and leaders in battle such as being killed, maimed, or captured will be increased. Whether you’re looking to make your warriors cozy or feel like they’re never safe, this pair of mods will cover you.
Visible Health, Fertility and Stress
Stress is maybe one of the most interesting features in Crusader Kings 3, but it’s not an overtly displayed value. Health and fertility are even less present. Given that these are very important values throughout the game, this mod adds easy-to-find tooltips for them. Just hover over a character’s heart icon and you’ll be able to see a clear reading of their health, fertility, and stress in an easy snapshot. No more relying on a very miniscule bar to see where a character’s stress is, and you can check on your friends and foes’ wellbeing (or lack thereof) with relative ease.
And that’s our gathering of mods so far. Didn’t find a mod you like? Be sure to check back from time to time as our list expands and changes. Find a mod that floored you? Let us know about it in the Shacknews Chatty comment section below.