[Top 5] Europa Universalis IV Best Asian Nations That Are Powerful

The largest continent is home to not only the most people, but also the most nations.

Europa Universalis 4, as the name suggests, is a very Euro-centric game. Considering that most of the modern world can trace its roots back to the continent, there’s little doubt about the power and significance of the powers that be that came from there. That being said, Europe is far from the center of the world, despite its best efforts to be just that.

In fact, while a great many empires existed all throughout the world, however, few could match the wealth of the Rajas of India, or the splendor of the dynasties of China. Here though, are some of the most powerful countries which exist in Asia at the start of the game, and with a bit of luck, can quickly become World Superpowers.


1. Jaunpur ( Best for playing tall, conquest )

The Sultanate of Jaunpur was historically founded by separating from the, then, declining Delhi Sultanate, which does still exist in 1444. as a rump state. In fact, Delhi is arguably the country with the most cores that it does not control at the start, most of which are in, you guessed it, Jaunpur. But, why does that matter, I hear you ask?

Well, simply put, Jaunpur is a pretty good nation on its own, but it is arguably the best position to reform Delhi. Rather, Delhi is simply, one of the better nations in India, and is extremely easy to form as Jaunpur. But, surely, there must be some good reasons to stay as Jaunpur instead of reforming Delhi, aren’t there?

Well, kind of not. Delhi’s ideas, while not an upgrade from Jaunpur’s, are still good. Not to mention the fact that Delhi has a great mission tree, allowing you to conquer India, and then form the Muslim Hindustan, and the fact that even once you form the country, you’ll still have extra cores to reconquer.

Honestly, don’t get me wrong, Jaunpur is a very strong nation, with solid ideas and a very competitive start. The problem is that Delhi is, for the most part, just a superior option. In fact, once you form Hindustan, which would be one of your goals regardless, you get even better ideas and even more missions, allowing you to expand your influence even further.

However, expansion is not the only path to strength and power. In fact, the current meta of the game is to develop your land and develop it hard, since it has the capacity to increase your power almost exponentially. And the absolute best part of starting as Jaunpur?

The provinces you start off with are some of the best for developing in the game. Not only do they have good trade goods, but there are a lot of them. Effectively allowing you to make mega-city after mega-city.

Overall, regardless if you choose to form Delhi or even Hindustan, Jaunpur is in an incredibly good position at the start of the game, and its position only really becomes better and better the longer the game goes on. Besides, with India being such a mess of countries, starting as one of the arguably strongest ones doesn’t sound that bad.

What Jaunpur Excels In:

  • Best land for developing
  • Neighbors rich land
  • Easy formation of better nations

Pick This Nation If You Like:

  • Playing in a wealthy and tall empire
  • Unifying the largest Thunderdome region in the game.

Nationa Overall Power Score: 61 / 100


2. Majapahit (Best for vassal swarming, colonization)

At the start of the campaign, Majapahit starts in a terribly precarious position. So much so, that an AI Majapahit will virtually never be able to recover and strike out against its neighbors. That, however, doesn’t have to be the case when it's in the hands of players.

In fact, out of the many countries affected by the release of Leviathan, Majapahit is arguably the strongest, provided you managed to overcome the initial hurdles. And be warned, the decline of Majapahit is somewhat difficult to deal with, on the same level as the decline of Mali in West Africa. And just like Mali, once you managed to stabilize the realm, you’ll have access to one of the most broken mission trees in the game.

For starters though, let’s talk about ideas, starting area, and long-term goals. Majapahit’s ideas are solid, and they definitely incentivize you to play a certain way. That way being, of course, the path of the vassal swarm.

If you’ve ever thought that Revoking the Privilegia was powerful, wait until you start playing as Majapahit. Rather, once the initial disaster is taken care of, Majapahit is in a very good position to quickly unite their starting island of Java. Not to mention the fact that once you do, most likely by subjugating your neighbors, you’ll be able to do the exact same on all other Indonesian countries.

Be wary though, Indonesia is a rich region of the game, and fleets are going to be massive around these parts. So, having a strong navy will be essential not only to island-hop but also to contest the other powers of the area, namely Malacca and Brunei. Eventually, though, you’ll end up either conquering or subjugating all opposition, and then you’ll be able to form Malaya.

Malaya is… honestly not that great. It has a very nice map color, and a pretty cool flag, however, its ideas aren’t that great and it doesn’t even have any missions, so it’s up to you if you want to play as them. However, by that point, the Majapahit mission tree will allow you to start subjugating the mainland nations, and will eventually even lead you to contest China’s supremacy and Mandate. And considering that Indonesia is so wealthy, not to mention easy to defend with a strong fleet, there’s little doubt that you could do just that.

Of course, there are also loads of unsettled lands all around you, and reaching the Americas is also an option for anyone willing to explore the Seven Seas and brave the long and harsh journey east. There’s also the Land Down Under for anyone not particularly thrilled by going so far away from their mainland. Eventually though, whether by your own armies or by the endless legions of vassals, you’ll likely end up rolling right over any foe you might come across as Majapahit.

What Majapahit Excels In:

  • Subjugation
  • Rich lands

Pick This Nation If You Like:

  • Having more vassals than you know what to do with
  • Swimming in buckets of ducats

Nationa Overall Power Score: 73 / 100


3. Jianzhou ( Best for versatility )

The Jurchen tribes of Manchuria formed the last Chinese Dynasty to exist in the world. In fact, you could say that the Jurchens, which eventually became the Manchus, were the last hurrah of the traditional Chinese state. But all of that’s real history, and the Jianzhou of EU4 is far more entertaining than reading about some emperor or other!

For real not, Jianzhou starts as a Tengri horde and a tributary of Ming. For the most part, that’s actually a really good thing, since that means that you can practically forgo having allies unless you’re really worried the Koreans might get some ideas. Though, considering that your path starts you off as a horde, there’s really not much need for friends where you’re going.

Rather, since you’re Tengri, and more importantly a horde, the unification of Manchuria into the Manchu state is extremely easy, especially considering the fact that pretty much no coalition will form. But, once you managed to form Manchu, what then? Well, you’re still a Tengri horde and a tributary of Ming, but this time, you have better ideas.

Ideas which, by the way, are always upgraded once you form the next nation on the list. However, it should be noted that once you do manage to unify Manchuria, a few things will happen that will greatly help you going forward. First of all, your culture of Jurchen flips to Manchu and joins the Chinese culture group.

As Micky Mouse would say, this is a surprise tool that will help you later. Beyond that, you’ll pretty much be able to expand anywhere you wish without consequence. Remember that Korea I mentioned earlier?

Well, it’s an easy target now, alongside the Mongols who may or may not be another Ming tributary. Either way, you’ll still be able to conquer them. And speaking of conquest, eventually, the Ming might start disliking you for growing so powerful and will try and cut you down to size, which will, coincidentally, be the part where the real fun begins.

Needless to say, the Ming won’t have a good time fighting you, from your own might to the disasters that they’ll have, and the Mandate they’ll lose. And once the Dragon Throne falls in your hands you’ll be able to proclaim yourself as a new successor dynasty as the Qing, a nation with one of the best ideas in the game.

From there, the sky is really the limit in terms of choice and opportunity. You can play extremely tall with the farmlands of China, or go colonizing the New World since you’ll be in a good position to do so. Or you can just have your Banners fly high from all of your neighbors' castles.

Regardless of the playstyle, Qing allows for all of them. Beware though, even though you can do all of this without claiming the Mandate, it is still advised to get it. Since, while it can be somewhat difficult to manage, the new changes to both it and Confucianism make them very appealing.

What Juanzhou Excels In:

  • Playing tall
  • Colonization
  • Conquest

Pick This Nation If You Like:

  • Being able to play in basically any way you want
  • Think a single state religion is for losers

Nationa Overall Power Score: 86 / 100


4. Ayutthaya ( Best for vassal swarming, conquest )

Ayutthaya is an interesting nation. Because, at first glance, it doesn’t seem as powerful as its neighbors, like Khmer, Lan Xang, and Dai Viet. In fact, you could say that of those four countries, Ayutthaya starts off as the weakest.

Well, I can only say that you’re wrong to think that.

First and foremost, Ayutthaya starts off with two vassals, Ligor and Sukhotai, as well as the Mandala government reform, which, to be fair, is fairly widespread in Indochina and South East Asia. Ayutthaya also starts off with very good ideas, and a great mission tree focused on subjugating your starting region, very similarly to Majapahit. On top of that, Ayutthaya also has very quick access to a large number of Monuments that provide some great buffs.

Really, the only noticeable downside to Ayutthaya is the religion they start off with, Therevada Buddhism. Except, even that faith isn’t really that bad, only mediocre compared to other options. In fact, you even start the game off as a tributary of Ming, which means that coalitions, as well as allies, just aren’t something you need to worry about.

The land it has is rich, albeit not very development friendly, and you have expansion routes open to you in almost every direction. In fact, going south will lead to the predominantly Muslim and Hindu Indonesia, and in any other direction are either nations that share your faith, or Hindus. Honestly, Ayutthaya is only weak at first glance, because once you start playing them, you’ll quickly realize that they’re by far the region’s greatest powerhouse.

In fact, once you manage to kick out any and all Europeans, or even prevent them from landing in the first place, you’ll be able to form Siam. Not only will you get a very nice map color, but you’ll even also get a straight-up upgrade for your ideas. But, what will you be able to do once you reach this peak of power, I hear you ask?

Well, considering that you’re in the IndoChina region, perhaps the Dragon Throne would be better suited further south, rather than in the realm of the declining Ming dynasty? In fact, the experience of playing as Ayutthaya strongly mirrors that of Burgundy, so if you like playing as the crimson demolisher of Europe, why not give Ayutthaya a try? Overall, while some of the other nations might seem like better picks at first, Ayutthaya is a great pick for anyone who enjoys conquest and expansion.

What Ayutthaya Excels In:

  • Subjugating
  • Strong military
  • Rich provinces

Pick This Nation If You Like:

  • Playing as Burgundy, but in Asia

Nationa Overall Power Score: 92 / 100


5. Oirat ( Best for conquest )

Oirat. There’s little to say about this nation of mounted nomads. Not because there’s little to say about it, mind you, but because there’s little need to say much.

It is the ultimate horde experience in the game, and quite possibly the most powerful nation in the game, provided you are a skilled player. Now, if you’ve ever played as a horde nation before, you know that it’s an experience. While yes, you can play as monarchies, republics, even theocracies and so much more, hordes are legitimately the only type of nation that has a truly unique playstyle not shared by any of the others mentioned.

Rather, if you play as a horde, the only thing you’re really going to be doing is conquering land left, right, and center. Hordes, to put it mildly, don’t really have an economy, and as such, they rely on raiding and pillaging their neighbors for money. But that’s not all, because you see, hordes are the only nations that can basically reverse development.

When playing as a horde, once you conquer a province, but have not cored it yet, you’ll be able to raise it, lowering its development, making it cheaper to core, all the while gaining monarch points in the process. What this means is, basically, hordes are the only nations that could theoretically tech up from a start of zero monarch points if they conquered enough land.

Overpowered mechanics aside, what does Oirat itself have to offer? Well, first of all, you have fantastic conquest-oriented ideas, as well as a great mission tree. Beyond that, you also start off as Tengri, meaning that full cavalry armies, which is what you should be aiming at any way if you’re a horde, are possible.

But, let’s take a step back to the mission tree. Once you managed to beat the everliving snot out of the Ming, which won’t be hard given that you’re a horde and it’s the start of the campaign, you’ll be able to reform Yuan, either by taking the Mandate for yourself or by destroying it and becoming an empire the old fashioned way. Once you do that, by whatever means you deemed best, you’ll be treated to one of the best idea sets in the game, period.

From there, conquering the rest of China, as well as Central Asia becomes a breeze, though it wouldn’t have been that much harder even before reforming Yuan. However, Genghis Khan didn’t stop there, and neither should you, so once the steppes and grasslands are conquered, Persia and Russia will become your new targets. And once those are conquered too?

Well, it would be only right to proclaim the reformation of the Mongol Empire, giving you an even better variant of the regular horde government. Sadly, you don’t get any extra missions or ideas once you reform the empire of Temujin, but honestly, by that point, the world would be your oyster and the Yuan ideas are plenty powerful on their own.

So, if you just want to experience the pure joy of map painting, Oirat is easily the best pick for it, considering that no other nation has as high a potential for power as them. Not even the Ottomans!

What Oirat Excels In:

  • Conquest
  • Conquest
  • Conquest

Pick This Nation If You Like:

  • Being Genghis Khan incarnate
  • Having a colt following
  • Trying to stirrup trouble
  • Sounding hoarse from all that throat singing

Nationa Overall Power Score: 100 / 100

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Be it heroic or gritty face-to-face battles or a general's war table, I've seen it all. No bullet was left uncounted in my wake, nor was any soldier left behind (well, mostly anyways).
Gamer Since: 2008
Favorite Genre: RTS
Currently Playing: Europa Universalis 4
Top 3 Favorite Games:Europa Universalis IV, Metro Redux, Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition

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