What are Unit PIPs and are they important? Should you care and do they change anything? What on earth are Fire PIPs and Morale PIPs? Well, I’ve done the hard work, so you don’t need to go in blind and lose more battles. This is our EU4 Unit PIP guide to help explain Unit PIPs.
Firstly, you should care about Unit PIPs, those dots are confusing when you first start the game, but Unit PIPs are important for combat reasons. The three PIP types are Fire, Shock and Morale and these are divided into two categories. The yellow PIPS are offensive, and the green PIPs are defensive.
One way to think about it is, if you’re about to be invaded or if you’re going to war, you’d need offensive units. The first row is the fire PIPs these represent your attack. If you have more PIPs for defensive or attack, then your unit gets combat modifiers. Eg. If our French Infantry has 4 Fire Pips and the English have 3 Fire PIPS, the French will win the dice roll for an attack. But, if the English have 3 Shock PIPS and France has 2, England has higher defence modifiers and will take fewer losses than France; the same goes for Morale PIPs too.
But some nations have bonuses to certain units which will make them more effective than your units in combat. Keep your eyes open and learn as you go. Unit PIPs increase with higher Military Tech, so it’s always a good idea to stay up to date with tech.
Generals have PIPs too, their types are Fire, Shock, Maneuver, and Siege. The maneuver PIPs increase the movement speed of the army, reduce attrition, increase reinforcement speed and it negates crossing penalties. Siege pips make the siege go faster.
At Tech Level 1 most infantry has 2-3 PIPs, but the Nomads have the best early game infantry with 4 PIPs until Tech level 8 which puts them at an advantage for some time. That may be something to bear in mind when picking a fight.
PIPs play a part in combat, but modifiers also come into play such as bonuses you or the opposition may have as well as terrain modifiers all of which can lead to a victory or defeat. Cavalry has better Shock than infantry units, but infantry has better Fire than cavalry. A good rule is to go with offensive when you have a larger army than the enemy and defensive when outnumbered.
PIPs are extremely useful, and they can make or break a battle and even you when you thought it was a good idea to declare war on that small nation. And now they’re winning so you’re left staring at your monitor watching them invade your land and take over every province. Remember the more pips you have the more effective your army will be and the same goes for your general too. I hope this EU4 Unit PIP guide has helped you learn a bit more about this massive game.