Crusader Kings III Summary
Paradox Interactive’s Crusader Kings III is the third and most-recent title in the grand-strategy Crusader Kings series. Originally releasing for PC in 2020, it made its way to modern consoles in 2022 and is currently the best-selling game in the series. As a grand-strategy title, the PC version is the recipient of near-universal acclaim and accolades. Conversely, the console version of the title has generally favorable reviews. The difference in reception among versions is likely due to the lack of keyboard and mouse support on consoles, with many deriding the use of a controller in a strategy title.
Building off the success of the first two titles in the franchise, Crusader Kings III has sold just over 2 million copies as of 2023. The title notably was the top-selling game on Steam during the month of its release. Both Crusader Kings III and its predecessor are responsible for bringing the series to a wider audience and helping to grow Paradox Interactive as a studio.
Crusader Kings III Premise
Similar to both of its predecessors, Crusader Kings III is a strategy title and dynastic simulator that places players into the shoes of a royal line during the Middle Ages. When the player’s character is killed or deposed, the player assumes the role of their character’s heir. While the game takes place in the Middle Ages, players do have the choice of beginning in either the 9th or 11th Century. Ultimately, players are trying to successfully develop a thriving dynasty that lasts until the 15th Century.
As in previous series titles, character models are in full 3D instead of 2D portraits. Additionally, player characters will have distinct traits that affect their abilities and stats as well as their dynastic reign. Crusader Kings III includes a genetics system whereby players pass along inherited traits to their lineage as the game progresses. Players need to carefully manage their character’s Stress and Dread levels as well. Stress increases after committing actions that go against the character’s traits. Similarly, Dread increases as players select harmful and tyrannical actions. The player’s Dread level affects the loyalty of their Vassals.
The realms that players control can have one of three government types (Tribal, Clan, or Feudal), and Religion and Culture are just as important to success as military might. In that respect, Crusader Kings III is very similar to the immensely popular and long-running Civilization series. The map in Crusader Kings III is roughly four times more detailed than that of its predecessor and includes continents other than Europe.
Crusader Kings III Main Characters
Because of its nature as a grand strategy game taking place in a fictionalized version of the Middle Ages, there are several main characters intended to resemble notable rulers from the time period. While none of these characters are real historic figures, they are modeled after real-world rulers and royalty. Crusader Kings III features more than 20 starting rulers and players eventually control their descendents as part of a dynasty. Some of the more notable and strong rulers in the roster include:
Rulers From 867 CE
- High Chieftess Daurama: A powerful and unique female leader capable of eventually establishing one of the game’s few matriarchal societies.
- Jarl Dyre: Disowned from his previous dynasty, Jarl Dyre is a capable military and diplomatic leader with great stat distribution.
- Sultan Yahya II ibn Yahya: Sultan Yahya has the benefit of starting in the rich land area of Northern Africa and having high diplomacy stats. He also has the unique perk of being believed to have the blood of the prophet in his line.
Rulers From 1066 CE
- Earl Murchad mac Diarmait: The leader of the game’s version of Dublin, the Earl is a great starter character for new players thanks to his relatively contained area of land. As a bonus, Dublin has a great growth rate despite its small size.
- Thakur Vijayabhahu: Thakur is one of the best military commanders in the 1066 dynasties and comes from a strong lineage. He begins the game with 4000 soldiers capable of easily winning most military engagements.
- King Sancho II “The Strong”: King Sancho is also a strong leader with a distinct lineage and the ability to annex new lands early on in the game. His collection of titles grants him claim to many neighboring lands and makes him a great character for a military victory.
Games in the Crusader Kings Series
To date, there are three games in the Crusader Kings series. While the first two games are only available on PC, the third game is availabel on PC and modern consoles. Additionally, all of the Crusader Kings games have substantial DLC expansions. The games in the Crusader Kings series include:
- Crusader Kings (2004)
- Crusader Kings II (2012)
- Crusader Kings III (2020)
Crusader Kings III Cheats & Cheat Codes
The virtual historic playground that Crusader Kings III provides is fertile ground for experimenting with some outlandish cheats, and luckily the PC version features Console Command codes players can use for that exact purpose. Similar to many other titles with PC and console versions, these Console Command cheats only work on PC. Unfortunately there are no active cheats for the console versions of Crusader Kings III.
How to Enable Console Command Cheats for Crusader Kings III on PC
Before players can enter any of the following Console Command codes, they will first need to activate Debug Mode. The process for activating Debug Mode differs depending on which version of the game players own.
For Steam Users
Right-click on the Crusader Kings III icon in your game library and select “Properties” from the drop-down menu. In the “General” tab, select “Set Launch Options”. Type -debug_mode into the field and click “OK”.
For Windows or Game Pass Users
Open Notepad. Create a new file and paste the following into the blank document:
start shell:AppsFolder\ParadoxInteractive.ProjectTitus_zfnrdv2de78ny!App -debug_mode
Save the file as a .bat file to your desktop and name it something like CK3cheat.bat. Double-clicking this file will launch Crusader Kings III in debug mode.
Once the game has launched in Debug Mode, simply press the tilde (~) key to open the Command Consle and enter any of the following cheats. Note that pressing Tab while in the Command Console opens up a list of realms, doctrines, traits, and other mechanics that have applicable cheats below:
|Adds [amount] of gold to the player character.
|kill [character id]
|Kills [character id]
|gain_all_perks [character id]
|Gives all lifestyle perks to [character id]
|Discovers all schemes targeting the player character.
|All schemes targeting the player character are abandoned.
|Holdings and buildings in the player character’s domain are finished in a day.
|add_perk [perk id] [character id]
|Adds [perk id] to [character id]
|Adds [amount] of piety to the player character.
|Adds [amount] of prestige to the player character.
|add_trait [trait id] [character id]
|Adds [trait id] to [character id]
|event [event id]
|Triggers [event id].
|give_title [title id] [character id]
|Gives [title id] to [character id]
|set_sexuality [sexuality id] [character id]
|Changes the sexual orientation to [sexuality id] for [character id]
|pregnancy [character id] [character id]
|Impregnates female [character id] with father [character id]
Recall that pressing Tab will pull up a list of all available items for a specific cheat. For example, using the event [event id] cheat, players can press Tab to pull up a list of all available events.
Crusader Kings III Cheat FAQs
How do you enable cheats in Crusader Kings III?
To enable cheats in Crusader Kings III, players need to first enable Debug Mode based on which version of the game they’re playing. For both the Steam and Windows/Xbox Game Pass directions, please refer to the section above.
How do you use Debug Mode in Crusader Kings III?
Once players enable Debug Mode, they can launch Crusader Kings III with it activated. With Debug Mode activated, players can press the tilde (~) key to open the Command Console and enter a variety of cheats.