Crusader Kings 3 has very much been designed with modders in mind, with Paradox even giving them early access to ensure that a bunch of mods were ready to go when it launched. A week later, we’re already approaching 500 mods on the Steam Workshop, ranging from tiny cosmetic tweaks to massive total conversions. There are already several that everyone should consider adding to their game, which you can download by following the links below.
CK3’s modding scenes will likely become vast, so expect this list to grow along with it. We’ll almost certainly see Game of Thrones mods making an appearance, but this time the thing I’m really looking forward to is more custom character models. Characters look great now, and they evolve dramatically as they gain traits, but they’re also likely one of the trickier things to mod. We’re already seeing teams designing new outfits, though, so there’s already been some progress. For now, here’s some of my favourite mods to get you started.
Total conversion mods
Princes of Darkness
Crusader Kings lends itself to any intrigue-laden setting, which is why the CK2 Game of Thrones mod was such a perfect fit. But if you’re looking for intrigue, you’ll find just as much in the World of Darkness. Princes of Darkness lets you play as a vampire in the universe of Vampire: The Masquerade, immortal and thirsty. You can feed on mortals, sire new vampires, develop mental and magical powers, and even craft your own undead culture. Based on a CK2 mod, it’s already fairly developed, and it really takes advantage of CK3’s religious system, which is how you’ll set the rules and rituals of your vampire society.
The Bronze Age: Maryannu
A Total War Saga: Troy has given me a real itch for Bronze Age strategy, and The Bronze Age: Maryannu is here to help me scratch it. It’s a historical total conversion that whisks us back another couple of thousand years to a custom map focusing on the Aegean and Near East. That means new cultures and religions, with unique mechanics and innovations to match them. You can rule Egypt as a pharaoh, consult the oracles, send chariots into combat, and the team’s also started designing new outfits for your characters.
SarcFa’s Custom Ruler designer
Instead of being stuck with CK3’s historical rulers, you can design your own with SarcFa’s Customer Ruler Designer. You have to start a ruler normally, and then design your new ruler through an event chain, selecting their gender, traits, culture, religion and skills. You can give them an eyepatch or the plague, as well as changing their height and body weight. And then when you’re done the old ruler dies and is replaced with their perfect heir. The circle of life!
Barbershop for Everyone + Fullscreen Barbershop
CK3’s barbershop lets you dress up your ruler and give them a haircut, and thanks to Fullscreen Barbershop you can now show off your character in all their glory. You can tweak their appearance from a dropdown menu, as well as selecting their pose and background. The mod also comes with Barbershop for Everyone, which lets you change the appearance of anyone, not just your ruler.
You’ve already forged an empire, so what’s next? How about discovering the secret of immortality, and the power to bestow it on others? The Immortality mod gives you a bunch of decisions, including granting and taking away immortality from yourself and others, setting your visual age and curing diseases and wounds. From there, you might as well start your own religion.
Shattered World was an official CK2 mode and, before that, a CK2 mod that broke up the map into independent counties. No more kingdoms. Just countless tiny realms vying for supremacy. CK3’s Shattered World mod does the same, and once again you can choose how shattered it actually is, so you can split everything up into duchies instead of counties. It levels the playing field a bit and makes everything a lot more unpredictable.
City of Wonders 2
Cities of Wonders 2 introduces another type of holding to your counties: the metropolis. It’s a hybrid that’s part castle, part city, so you can finally have a holding that makes you gold and has nice thick walls. A metropolis also nets you more unique buildings, and depending on who you’re playing, you might start with one already on the map.
If you can’t be arsed staring at lists of Crusader Kings 3 console commands and laboriously typing them out—who has the time?—then this cheat menu should come in handy. If you want to edit a character, for instance, you just right click on them and open up the cheat menu you’re interested in, letting you change their stats or edit their appearance without any hassle. You can also use it to get rich, spawn troops, kill characters and cure all your awful diseases.