Bankruptcy Guide EU4: Europa Universalis 4

Eu4 bankruptcy Guide

Today we are going to take a deep dive into something you either love or hate — EU4 bankruptcy! Now, at first glance everyone (obviously) would hate the idea of going bankrupt.

You basically spend the first 20 years trying to survive economically. All that not even to mention the security threat you will be under from both rebels and rivals.

But what if I told you there is a way to use bankruptcy as an advantage, as opposed to something to be afraid of? That’s right, we are looking at strategic bankruptcy. 

Eu4 bankruptcy Guide

What Does Declaring Bankrupty in EU4 Do?

Strategic bankruptcy is the idea of racking up a lot of debt to secure your borders, fight on multiple fronts, preserve your manpower, max out your army and navy size, and to build fortifications.

Then, when this is complete and you are staring down the barrel of crimpling debt and a negative monthly income — you simply bankrupt out.

Now you might be wondering what is the distinction between this strategy and just regular bankruptcy. The answer is the planning that goes in ahead of time.

Bankruptcy just happens and leaves you weak, strategic bankruptcy is a legitimate strategy that you can build upon. If, for example, you are playing early in the game and are facing enemies that militarily outnumber you, you can take out a bunch of loans and hire mercenaries to help you win the war.

EU4 Bankruptcy Tips: When to Declare Bankruptcy

Before you do this, however, let’s go over some tips on when to declare bankruptcy — the best time to do a strategic bankruptcy is when you meet each of the following criteria:

  • After fighting a Coalition: Wars against rivals or coalitions result in a ten-year peace, the exact same time as bankruptcy lasts. 
Europa Universalis 4 Coalition Map
  • When you need to max out your army and naval force limit: This is not just practical — it’s also free money to expand! Declaring bankruptcy once you need to hit your militarys force limit, is a great way to win wars. Plus, increasing the amount of troops you have in total discourages enemies, and rivals from declaring war.
  • Constructing building in high value provinces: I’m sure that if you are a Europa Universalis 4 veteran — you have had the debate on which buildings are worth it. Should you build a church? Or, perhaps a Manafactuary? Whether you prefer to build a naval dockyard, or a workshop — I’m sure that we have all come to the agreement that buildings are useful. And, through strategic bankruptcy, you can significantly improve you nations income. Taking out loans to construct buildings that will earn you alot of money — such as, in highly developed provinces— can give you a massive advantage over your enemies.
  • Lastly, when you need to strategically build fortifications that will allow you to block off areas from enemy soldiers in the near future: Picture this — you have formed Italy, and your nation is doing great. But, suddenly, you discover that Austria (whom is located along your northern border) plans to declare war upon you. What do you do? An excellent method to deal with such an event, is to strategically bankrupt your nation, and use the funds you have gathered to build forts in provinces that will severely slow the enemy down.
  • Maybe you could use this money elsewhere if you are not a fortifications fan, you could use it to build churches or marketplaces to increase your future income. 
Europa Universalis 4 Italy at war with Austria Bankrupt


So, all this is to say that strategic bankruptcy may not solve all of your problems — but it can help you stay on track, and grow your nation exponentially.

As having alot of ducats in the early game can jump start your nation into success, these methods should surely help you progress within your own game.

Money (just like manpower) is the resource that fuels expansion. And luckily for you, you have just learnt how to strategically bankrupt in Europa Universalis 4. 

Thanks for reading our Bankruptcy Guide EU4: Europa Universalis 4

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