Victoria 3 – Buildings (Economy Guide)


Buildings are a place where pops work to produce resources such as goods.

Buildings generally do not represent a single building, but rather a wide range of industries, businesses and government functions, ranging from humble subsistence farms to complex motor industries and sprawling financial districts. For example, a single level of government administration represents the necessary buildings and infrastructure to support a certain number of bureaucrats.

Buildings always need qualified pops to work in them to yield any benefit, and an empty building is just that — empty and completely useless. This holds true even for buildings like railroads and ports.

The buildings panel provides a detailed summary of the buildings in the player’s country and their associated production methods.


Buildings are located and built on the state level. Most buildings are directly constructed, but some (like subsistence buildings) will appear automatically based on certain conditions. When buildings are constructed, the construction uses pop labor and goods, and the costs involved will be subject to market forces.

While technically there is no limit on the number of buildings that can be built inside a state, different limitations put on the buildings themselves (which are meant to simulate a sensible and realistic way for them to function) limit the states the player can place them in. For example, many production buildings are limited by locally available resources, such as arable land for agriculture or iron abundance in the case of iron mines. In a similar fashion, urban buildings (such as factories) are only limited by how many people can be crammed into the state, simulating the more densely populated nature of cities.

Building Categories

In general, buildings can be broken down into the following categories:

  • Subsistence buildings – These are a special type of highly inefficient buildings that cannot manually be built or destroyed, but rather will appear anywhere in the world where there is arable land that isn’t being used for another type of building. The vast majority of the world’s population starts the game “working” in subsistence buildings as peasants, and much of the game’s industrialization process is about finding more productive employment for those peasants. Pops working in these buildings contribute little to GDP and taxes per capita.
  • Urban centers – Another special type of building. Like the subsistence buildings, these are automatically created rather than built, with the level of urban center in a state being tied to the amount of urbanization generated by its other buildings. Urban Centers primarily employ shopkeepers and provide a number of important local functions.
  • Government buildings – These are buildings that are fully funded by the state and provide crucial civil services required for the smooth running of a Victorian nation. Examples include Government Administrations where bureaucrats produce bureaucracy for the administration of incorporated states and funding of institutions, and universities where academics produce innovation for technological progression.
  • Private industries – These are the counterpart to government buildings. The vast majority of buildings fall under this category, which includes a broad range of industries such as (non-subsistence) farms, plantations, mines and factories. Unlike government buildings, private industries are not owned by the state but rather by pops such as capitalists and aristocrats, who reap the profits they bring in and pay wages to the other pops working there — though it is important to note that under certain economic systems the ownership of buildings may be radically different.
  • Development buildings – These are often, but not always, government buildings that distinguish themselves by providing vital state-level functions. For example, a barracks that recruits and trains soldiers from the local population or railways which provides the infrastructure other buildings need to bring their goods to the market.

Managing Buildings

To ease the management of all the different buildings (and their associated production methods) in the country the player can refer to the buildings panel.

The panel provides a birds-eye view of all industries in the country and see at a glance how they’re doing financially. The buildings are organized by major and minor type and can be broken down further to view the individual building in each state with the possibility of clicking on one to get an in-depth view of its balance sheet and workforce. In addition, the panel allows adjusting the production methods of an individual building or set all production methods for a certain building type to a specific setting all across the country.

Predictive tooltips will explain the anticipated impact on the building’s balance as a result of changes in production, consumption, and wage requirements, as well as the changes in employment (which new job positions will be created and which will disappear) that could also impact the country’s politics over time. A warning will be provided if there aren’t enough qualifying pops to take on any new professions created, as this could limit the industry’s effectiveness.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13372 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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