[Top 15] Crusader Kings 2 Best Mods Every Player Should Have

Top 15 best CK2 mods and overhauls
This incredibly detailed Warhammer mod allows you to enjoy the series without the price tag

What are some great mods for Crusader Kings 2?

If you’re still playing Crusader Kings 2 and you’re tired of filling your empire with horses for the fifth time, take a look at these popular mods to freshen up your game.

From fantastical overhauls to smaller quality-of-life tweaks, there’s still plenty out there to lure you back in for another campaign!

Note that to enjoy some of the infrequently updated mods you may have to roll back your CK2 version on Steam. You can do this through the Properties > Betas menu for any game.

15. A Bigger Interface

An example of expanded UI

Some of the windows and menus in vanilla CK2 can be very small and hard to read. There are many UI mods out there to choose from that increase the size of windows in the game. This mod is best suited to resolutions of 1920 x 1080 and higher, and is compatible with a few other interface mods too.

The following windows are expanded:

  • Character finder
  • Vassal and prisoner lists
  • Decisions
  • Available plots
  • Many more

Some additional keyboard shortcuts are added to make menu navigation slightly easier.

Get A Bigger Interface here, or on the Steam workshop here

14. In Heaven’s Cartographic Map

Western Europe in a classic, paper-like style

While CK2 excels in gameplay, it falls behind for some players when it comes to map presentation. If you’d like a more artistic look you can try out this map mod. The vanilla map textures are converted to a cartographic map, as if drawn on paper.

This design adds:

  • A classic cartographic map look
  • Muted colors to mimic a paper illustration
  • A new font
  • Flatter terrain

Get In Heaven’s Cartographic Map here, or on the Steam workshop here

13. Simple Abdication

The abdication decision, allowing you to step down in favor of your heir

A common annoyance in Crusader Kings is finding a way to “dispose of” your old ruler when it’s time to switch to an heir. If you’d like to streamline this process, you can try out an abdication mod.

When abdicating, you can:

  • Immediately pass your titles to an heir
  • Transfer your gold and artifacts to your heir
  • Play as non-dynastic heirs

Get Simple Abdication on the Steam Workshop here

12. No Hassles Vassals

The lower your banner decision, which is used to give away lands after marking them

Crusader Kings 2 Mod Spotlight - No Hassles Vassals

No Hassles Vassals is a quality-of-life mod that cuts down the time it takes to distribute new land in your kingdom. Instead of struggling through menus to assign vassals, use its simple flagging system to automatically distribute land you don’t want!

Using this mod, you can:

  • Flag land to keep by using levies
  • Instantly give away any unwanted land

Get No Hassles Vassals here, or on the Steam workshop here

11. Avatar: Four Nations Restored

Famous characters from the ATLA show along with part of the map

Let's Play CK2: Avatar 4 Nations Restored| Dragon of the West #1 -Breaking Ba Sing Se

This version is the updated fan fork of the original Avatar: Four Nations mod. Fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender should give this one a try. It recreates each of the nations from the show, including an interesting take on the larger cities, which are divided into smaller county “districts.”

Current features include:

  • Four nations, with unique mechanics
  • Custom artwork and portraits
  • Great Serpent mechanics
  • Avatar Cycle
  • New societies, scenarios, cultures, and religions

Get Avatar: Four Nations Restored here, or on the Steam workshop here

10. Faerun - Forgotten Realms

Part of Faerun split into many counties and kingdoms

D&D Meets CK2: Faerun - Forgotten Realms

Faerun - Forgotten Realms is another fantasy total conversion mod, this time with a focus on Dungeons and Dragons. This mod is still in development and already features a lot of new content including working classes and spellcasting! The developers try to stay faithful to the source material within the allowances of CK2.

Current content includes:

  • Multiple continents
  • Custom races, religions, and cultures
  • A class system
  • A spellcasting system, for relevant classes
  • Magical artifacts
  • Custom governments

And more to come as the mod continues its open beta phase.

Get Faerun - Forgotten Realms here, or on the Steam workshop here

9. When the World Stopped Making Sense

Western Europe in the year 480

CK2: Short Series - WTWSMS #1 - Franks Be Cruisin' For A Bruisin'

WtWSMS is set in the Dark Ages, in the middle of the Roman Empire’s collapse. The mod introduces starting dates from 476 to 600 during the fall of the Western Roman Empire. You’re able to continue playing until the vanilla end date for a whopping total of 977 years!

This overhaul features:

  • Historical characters and dynasties
  • New religions and cultures
  • Several new government types
  • Tribal migrations
  • A new tributary type - Foederatis

Get WtWSMS here, or on the Steam workshop here

8. Romance of the Three Kingdoms

A war taking place on a map of China

[CK2] Romance of The Three Kingdoms - Liu Bei - Ep. 1

Looking for more than the base Jade Dragon experience? Romance of the Three Kingdoms focuses on China during the Han dynasty. If you’ve read or played anything related to RotTK before, definitely give this a try.

From this mod, you can expect:

  • A detailed map of China
  • New religions and cultures
  • New mechanics, such as nobility and imperial systems
  • Scenarios from the year 184 to 225

Get Romance of the Three Kingdoms here, or on the Steam workshop here

7. Your Personal Castle

This cellar upgrade is one of many additions from this mod

This mod allows you to personalize your capital county by adding new features to your castle. The Personal Castle mod is perfect for players who build tall and focus on a few primary locations to upgrade. Building new areas in your castle also opens up new events, decisions, and bonuses.

Here are some examples of the additions:

  • Herbalist’s quarters
  • Castle library
  • Personal study
  • Wine cellar
  • Training yard
  • Observatory

Get Your Personal Castle here, or on the Steam workshop here

6. Rich Childhood

An event from the Rich Childhood mod

Ever found yourself dying a bit too early, leaving you with a child ruler? Instead of fast-forwarding through your childhood, you can add more events and features to it using this mod. You might actually find yourself choosing a young ruler more often!

Enhance your early years with:

  • 52 new childhood events
  • Interactions with courtiers and family
  • The ability to influence your personality and traits

Get Rich Childhood on the Steam workshop here

5. Warhammer: Geheimnisnacht

The bookmark selection menu for the Warhammer setting

CK2 - Warhammer: Geheimnisnacht - First Mod Impressions

This overhaul is set in the Warhammer universe with a custom map and a huge amount of content. There’s an incredible level of detail here, from the landscape to the races. The developers chose to work on only one bookmark at 2010IC to polish their mod as much as possible - it won’t disappoint.

The mod includes:

  • Almost all WH races, with new mechanics
  • A magic system
  • A reformation system
  • WH canon events, like the Storm of Chaos

Get Warhammer: Geheimnisnacht here, or on the Steam workshop here

4. Improved Genetics 2.0

An outcome of Improved Genetics - siblings may be born with a larger variety of traits under Mendelian genetics

In CK2, the genetics system isn’t very satisfying, especially if you enjoy creating a strong dynasty. This mod changes inheritance to correspond to real-life Mendelian genetics, with dominant and recessive genes. That means you can continue to forge a strong bloodline, even if a trait skips a few generations. 

Using this mod, you can:

  • Breed inheritable traits into your dynasty
  • Use negative traits and marriages to sabotage other dynasties
  • Inherit a range of new traits, like dim or delicate

Get Improved Genetics 2.0 on the Steam workshop here

3. Elder Kings

An Argonian character in the Black Marsh region

CK2: Holy Fury - Elder Kings (SVN) - Mod Showcase

If you’re a fan of The Elder Scrolls, this mod is perfect for you! The main focus of this mod is the continent of Tamriel, though all of Nirn is included, and it spans a hefty 1600 years across Elder Scrolls history. And yes, you can become the Dragonborn too!

In Elder Kings, you can expect:

  • Custom portraits for all races
  • Custom cultures and religions from TES lore
  • Functioning magic, including different disciplines and a variety of spells
  • Tamriel, Akavir, Yokuda, and Atmora
  • Bookmarks like The Interregnum and The Kamal Invasion

Get the Elder Kings SVN here, or the Steam workshop version here

2. CK2+

An expanded Pagan religion, with more detail than the vanilla version

Crusader Kings - CK2 Plus Mod - Karling Restoration - The “Last” Karling #1

Veteran players looking for a bit more challenge and depth might want to try out this enhancement - CK2 Plus. The mod introduces more mechanics and options in the game while sticking to its core style. It also increases the difficulty of the game by making it harder to hold together a large kingdom and acquire lands for yourself, among other things.

The CK2 Plus mod includes:

  • Playable Aztec invasion
  • Overhauled factions
  • Expanded religions
  • New events
  • A coronation system
  • Spy networks
  • Disinheriting

And many more features and changes. Several other mods are also compatible with CK2+!

Get CK2+ here, or on the Steam workshop here

1. After The End Fan Fork

Several unique decisions and part of the US map

CK2 Top 10: Most Interesting Characters In After The End Fan Fork

The Fan Fork version of this mod is the continuation of the original mod, After The End, and features a post-apocalyptic version of North America. The map also spans the Caribbean and northern areas of South America.

The lore behind this setting is fantastically creative. Worship atomic bombs and radiation, or horde wealth to strengthen the Almighty Dollar!

It boasts an incredible level of detail, featuring:

  • 47 religions
  • 31 cultural groups
  • Over 100 provinces
  • Monuments from the present day
  • A completely new and immersive setting

Get ATE: Fan Fork here, or the Steam workshop version here

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Hailing from the chilly reaches of Scotland, I love to explore new lands and always take my trusty companions, my games, with me.
Gamer Since: 2008
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Crusader Kings 3, Thief, & DMC5
Top 3 Favorite Games:Devil May Cry DMC, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, Mount & Blade: Warband

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