Crusader Kings 3 – What to Do First in the Game

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Crusader Kings 3 is a grand strategy game developed by Paradox Interactive, and it is a very complex game with many hidden mechanics that even veteran players are still learning to this day.

With so many different characters that you can choose from at the start of the game, it is no wonder that there are so many new players that don’t know what they should do first.

Recommended Read: How to Get Rid of Vassals in Crusader Kings 3

It would be advisable for rookies to always have in mind a checklist of things that they need to do before letting time flow in the game.

So, we will help you get your realm in order in this beginner guide: here is what you should do first in Crusader Kings 3.

Table of contents

What to do first in CK3

There are around things you should do in CK3 when you first select to start the game with a character.

All of these steps need to be fulfilled before you actually let time start, as you can potentially lose out on a lot of opportunities, which the AI will snatch from you in seconds.

From marriage partners to potential allies, there are many things decided at the start of a CK3 game, and you will need to do all of these things first. Otherwise, your playthroughs will be much harder than they should be.

1. Choose a Lifestyle in CK3

The first thing that CK3 will also notify you about will be the fact that you need to select a Lifestyle for your character.

These work like a “class” in an RPG, where you choose how your character will live their life for at least 10 years.

Will they try to become a mighty strategist or the smartest scientist this world has seen until now?

The Lifestyle choices will usually be hinted at, as the game will show you which Lifestyle path will get bonus experience, allowing you to get perks faster.

This is solely based on your education trait, which will decide where your character has natural talent (even if they have horrible stats in that category).

You don’t have to necessarily choose the option that the game suggests, as what matters most is what you want to do in your first years in your playthrough.

You should have a general idea before starting: will you reform your religion, conquer the continent and become an emperor, or plot your way to the top of your kingdom?

If you know what you want to do, choosing a Lifestyle will be relatively simple. Always have a goal in mind.

2. Get Married and Find Alliances in CK3

The next thing you should do in CK3 is checking if your character is married. If they are not, you should start looking immediately.

When it comes to your character, the most important thing in a significant other is congenital traits. You need to find someone who possesses positive traits, which your heirs can get as well.

While looking for a wife or husband, you can press the loop (Filters button) to the left of the “Sort by” option and choose to have Traits Inheritable.

Then, you can select to have them sorted by the sum of their skills, and you will have the geniuses and intelligent suitors at the top.

If you are married and already have some children, you will have to look for some suitors for them as well.

For your primary heir, you should use the same mindset as you used for yourself. They need a capable wife or husband that will allow their stats to flourish.

For your other female heirs, you will need to use them for alliances (if they don’t have some really good inheritable traits).

You can order the possible spouses by the power of the alliance, which means that the suitors will be ordered by the power of the potential ally.

3. Appoint a Council in CK3

At the top right of the screen, you will find most of the main hubs of CK3. One of them is the Council tab, where you can choose who is part of your council and what they do with their day-to-day lives.

It is extremely important that you choose the best people for each position, as each of their stats will directly influence your stats and ability to govern.

Since they also have extremely important abilities, which can fail if they are incapable, you will need to get the best of the crop.

Learning Councilor

For this person, you will most likely not even have a choice to change them. You can either try to kill them if they really hate you, or try to befriend them to get the necessary taxes from the churches.

The abilities that this councilor has in its arsenal are very circumstantial, so you should look at them a bit and realize if they are useful for your current playthrough from the start.

Diplomacy Councilor

The Diplomacy councilor may seem unimportant at first, but they can easily keep your kingdom together with their ability to make your vassals love you.

They can also help in establishing good relations with possible allies, which can help you when you find yourself in a tough spot.

This is why you should quickly choose someone with at least 15 in the Diplomacy stat, as they can otherwise damage your relations with vassals and neighbors.

Stewardship Councilor

Development is one of the most important stats in CK3, and a good Steward is exactly who will decide if this stat is high or not.

They also influence the amount of money you make from taxes and how you handle culture in your lands.

If you don’t have a priority in changing up the cultural scene in your lands, you should always keep your Steward on the Increase Development in Capital option.

Martial Councilor

In many ways, the Martial councilor single-handedly decides if your kingdom is good militarily or not.

With the ability to control the amount of money you spend on your troops and how many you can have, your marshal should always have a stat over 20.

Depending on the circumstances, you might find yourself changing their task between Organize Army and Train Commanders.

However, we recommend always keeping the Marshal on Train Commanders, as this will allow you to have dozens of incredibly good knights and generals in your court.

Intrigue Councilor

Disrupt Schemes should always be turned on unless you plan on getting secrets and hooks from a vassal or neighbor.

The most important thing when it comes to the Spymaster is that they should always be loyal to you.

They should love you so much that they would never plan to assassinate you. Because if they do, you will die faster than you can even imagine.

4. Start a Scheme in CK3

Since schemes take a really long time to actually reward you with something in CK3, you should start them as soon as you can.

Unless you plan on doing something sinister and murdering or seducing someone randomly, you should always have the Sway scheme on.

Whether it be a vassal, councilor, wife, or neighboring ruler, you should always be trying to Sway your way with someone if you have no other schemes in mind.

This can help you in establishing useful relations without even realizing it, as you might even forget from time to time that you are swaying someone.

This could be problematic if you chose a timid character, as they get stressed trying to accomplish even minor schemes such as Sway.

So, unless you are stopped by the traits of your character, start a scheme right from the start of the game.

5. Get Court Physician, Knights, and Claimants in CK3

The last thing on the list of things to do right before starting the game is to get yourself some good knights and a Court Physician.

To find potential characters, all you need to do is press the “…” button next to the date in the bottom left corner, and select find characters.

The first one you should look for is a Court Physician. You should filter the people that appear by adding the physician traits and then ordering them by their Learning skills.

Though you might think that they won’t accept joining your court, you can always marry them to one of your courtiers. If they are a man, matrilineally, or normally if they are a woman.

They will then join your court and you can easily employ them as your Court Physician. You can also just select and look for a physician through one of the events, but that takes a bit and you don’t know what you can get.

You can also find potential knights for your realm using the same marriage method, but you should just order them by their prowess and remove the need for the physician trait.

If you are also interested in getting easy casus belli on your neighbors, use this technique to get a claimant or two and get ready for some conquests.

That’s everything you need to know about what to do first in Crusader Kings 3!

Have any input or suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comment section below.

Adrian Oprea

Based in London, United Kingdom, Adrian Oprea is a Guides Writer. As a professional single-player RPG player, Adrian has often been stigmatized. He has decided to pour his frustration into writing guides!

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