Victoria 3 – Rank and Prestige Mechanics Guide

Rank and Prestige Mechanics

Rank and prestige are two interconnected mechanics that play a very central role in how diplomatic matters play out in the game.

Rank is a measure of how glorious and influential a country is in the eyes of the rest of the world. What rank a country has — be it a mighty great power or a largely irrelevant unrecognized power — is determined by two factors: prestige and recognition.


Recognition is a measure of whether the reigning (mostly European) great powers, as a whole, see the country as a potential equal, i.e. whether the country could potentially be included as a decision-maker in said system if they grew strong enough.

Countries start the game either unrecognized or recognized, and unrecognized countries have to gain or force recognition in order to properly climb the rank ladder. Being an unrecognized country is purely a diplomatic status with diplomatic penalties — an unrecognized country does not inherently become worse at constructing factories or fighting wars, though many countries with unrecognized status do also start out on the lower end of the technological scale.


Prestige is the accumulation of all factors that makes a country more or less glorious. It is what determines who gets to occupy what rank in the global pecking order. In order to become a certain rank, a country must meet the prestige threshold for that rank, which is based on both how it compares to the global average and percentile-wise compared to the most prestigious country.

This means two things:

  1. The number of great powers, major powers and so on is not fixed to a specific number.
  2. The requirements to maintain and increase one’s rank will change over the course of the game.

A country might start as a great power due to their starting prestige, but then begin quickly falling behind due to economic and military stagnation, eventually being reduced to a major power even though their actual prestige number never went down.

Prestige Sources

Many things in the game can provide prestige to a country. Some examples to such sources would be:

  • The tier of a country (whether it’s considered a city-state, principality, kingdom or so on) gives it a little bit of base-level prestige. This is inherent to a specific nation and can only be increased by forming a new, more glorious nation.
  • Having a large army gives prestige, with more prestige being given based on its ability to both fight effectively and look imposing.
  • Having a large, powerful and impressive-looking navy gives prestige to an even greater degree than the army.
  • The total GDP (and thus indirectly level of industrialization) of a country gives it prestige.
  • Subjects contribute prestige to their suzerain based on their military and economic might.
  • Being a global leader (first, second or third) in the production of a good gives a country prestige, with some goods being more prestigious than others.
  • Building and supporting art academies (being a sponsor of the art) gives prestige.
  • Successful undertaking of certain globally recognized projects, such as undertaking major expeditions to certain regions of the world or the construction of a canal can give a country a permanent increase in its prestige.

Country Ranks

There are 7 different ranks that a country can occupy (not including a special 8th rank that only applies to decentralized — non-playable — nations):

  • Great power: These are the most powerful and glorious of nations and often have a global reach, getting involved in far-off conflicts. The most obvious example of a great power at the start of the game is great Britain.
  • Major power: These are regional powerhouses that often decide the course of conflicts in their home regions and may have a limited global presence. An example of a major power at the start of the game is the kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
  • Minor power: These are regional powers that may be important for determining how a local conflict in their home region turns out but are generally irrelevant on the world stage. An example of a minor power at the start of the game is Mexico.
  • Insignificant power: These are nations that generally do not even have the ability to influence the outcome of local conflicts and can be safely ignored by anyone other than other insignificant powers in their immediate vicinity. An example of an insignificant power at the start of the game is the free city of Krakow.
  • Unrecognized major / regional power: These are unrecognized powers that are powerful and prestigious enough to throw their weight on a regional stage, try to resist the demands of the recognized powers and to be a potential candidate for recognition. An example of an unrecognized power at the start of the game is the Qing Empire.
  • Unrecognized power: These are unrecognized powers that generally lack the power to go up against anyone other than the weakest of recognized powers, and will often find themselves at the mercy of great and major powers and having to play them against each other to survive. An example of an unrecognized minor power at the start of the game is the kingdom of Nepal.

Rank Benefits

The higher a country’s rank the better the below benefits are:

  • The more influence capacity it generates (allowing for a greater freedom in conducting diplomacy and signing diplomatic pacts)
  • The more declared interests it can support
  • The more maneuvers it has in diplomatic plays.

Rank also plays a key role in many other systems such as subjects, infamy, diplomatic actions and more.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13686 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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