Crusader Kings II

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Crusader Kings II
Crusader Kings II cover
Developers
Paradox Development Studio
Publishers
Paradox Interactive
Engines
Clausewitz
Release dates
Windows February 14, 2012
macOS (OS X) May 24, 2012
Linux January 14, 2013
Reception
Metacritic 82
IGDB 84
Taxonomy
Monetization DLC
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Bird's-eye view
Controls Direct control
Genres RPG, Strategy, Simulation
Art styles Realistic
Themes Medieval
Series Crusader Kings
Crusader Kings II on HowLongToBeat
Crusader Kings II on IGDB
Crusader Kings II on MobyGames
Crusader Kings II on Wikipedia
Crusader Kings
Crusader Kings 2004
Crusader Kings II 2012
Crusader Kings III 2020

Crusader Kings II is a singleplayer bird's-eye view RPG, strategy and simulation game in the Crusader Kings series.

Key points

Performance can be poor in the later game due to the increased save game size and the increased number of calculations that have to be performed.

General information

Official manual
Crusader Kings II Wiki
Steam Community Discussions
Official Forum

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Publisher website
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Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Amazon.com
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Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Green Man Gaming
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Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Steam
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (notes may include more details)
Imperial Collection also available.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
All versions require Steam DRM. The GamersGate DRM-free version is no longer being updated or supported.[1]

DLC and expansion packs

This game has over 45 separate cosmetic micro-transactions, these are comprised of unit packs, portraits, music, ebooks, dynasty shields, clothing and customisation tools.
Name Notes
Dynasty Shields
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Mongol Faces
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Songs of Albion
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Songs of Faith
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Ruler Designer
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Songs of the Holy Land
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Sword of Islam Now possible to play Muslim rulers.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
African Unit Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Songs of the Caliph
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Dynasty Shields II
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Legacy of Rome Able to restore The Roman Empire, expanded Orthodox religion and employable retinues.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Byzantine Unit Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
African Portraits
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Mediterranean Portraits
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Russian Unit Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Russian Portraits
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Songs of Byzantium
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Sunset Invasion The Aztec Empire will invade across the Atlantic at mid to late game, unique culture and religion.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Songs of the Rus
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Norse Portraits
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Norse Unit Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
The Republic Can now play as Merchant Republic, able to build trade posts and compete in new Doge election system.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Songs of Prosperity
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
The Old Gods New bookmark set at the year 867. Now possible to play Pagan rulers and reform religion. Added raiding system for Pagan rulers.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Hymns to the Old Gods
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Celtic Unit Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Celtic Portraits
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Dynasty Shield III
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Europa Universalis IV Converter
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Customization Pack DLC
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Sons of Abraham Now possible to play Jewish rulers. Revised Christianity with College of Cardinals for Pope election. Pope has new powers and can now donate to Holy Orders.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Military Orders Unit Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Warriors of Faith Unit Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Hymns of Abraham
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Songs of Yuletide
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Saxon Unit Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Finno-Ugric Unit Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Rajas of India Now possible to play as Indian rulers. Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism as new religions with separate sects. Also adds a caste system.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Turkish Unit Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Turkish Portraits
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Songs of India
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Persian Unit Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Persian Portraits
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Charlemagne New bookmark set at the year 769. Introduced tribal holdings that offer a new unique playstyle.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Early Western Clothing Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Early Eastern Clothing Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Dynasty Shields Charlemagne
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
The Song of Roland Ebook
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Way of Life Rulers are now able to select one of ten focuses for ruler granting stat boosts and new events and decisions.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Iberian Unit Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Iberian Portraits
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Tales of Treachery EBook
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Horse Lords Introduces new government type, "nomad". Adds The Silk Road trade mechanics. Expanded adventurers mechanics.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Horse Lords Content Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Orchestral House Lords
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Conclave The council now has more power and influences realm decisions. Revised the education/guardianship system. Added new "favor" mechanics.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Conclave Content Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Viking Metal
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
South Indian Portraits
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
The Reaper's Due Improved illness and diseases, added hospitals, court physicians and province prosperity.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
The Reaper's Due Content Pack
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Full Plate Metal
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Monks and Mystics Adds Societies you can join including demon-worshipers and monk orders. New councilor actions.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
South Indian Portraits 5 Year Anniversary Gift
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Hymns of Revelation
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Jade Dragon Adds China as an off-map entity you can interact with.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Holy Fury Overhauls gameplay with Christian and Pagan religions, adds dynastic bloodlines, Christian saints, Pagan warrior lodges and coronation ceremonies for royalty. Also adds the ability to start games with worlds shattered down to its duchies, or with the cultures, religions and names randomised.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Pagan Fury
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
Pagan Fury - Warrior Queen
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux
When playing multiplayer, expansions and some micro-transactions (customisation tools) that the host owns are made available to all clients for that session.

Essential improvements[edit]

Notable mods[edit]

  • A Game of Thrones: A full-conversion mod set in the world of George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" (ASoIaF).
  • Elder Kings: A full-conversion mod set in the Elder Scroll's world.
  • Crisis of the Confederation: A total conversion mod, allowing the player to take the role of a military officer, politician, or crime lord amidst the chaotic political upheavals of the 31st century. It is set in an original science-fiction setting.
  • After the End: A total conversion mod set in a post-apocalyptic New World.
  • Witcher Kings: A full-conversion mod set in the world of Andrzej Sapkowski's "The Witcher".

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Paradox Interactive\Crusader Kings II\
macOS (OS X) ~/Paradox Interactive/Crusader Kings II/
Linux ~/.paradoxinteractive/Crusader Kings II/
This game does not follow the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux.
Mods use the settings.txt located in the mod subfolder, e.g. %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Paradox Interactive\Crusader Kings II\A Game of Thrones\

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Paradox Interactive\Crusader Kings II\
macOS (OS X) ~/Paradox Interactive/Crusader Kings II/
Linux ~/.paradoxinteractive/Crusader Kings II/

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud
Approx. 954 MB available.

Video settings[edit]

Windowed[edit]

Windowed option added in patch 2.1
Manually edit fullscreen[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file location.
  2. Open settings.txt.
  3. Change fullScreen=yes to fullScreen=no

Borderless fullscreen windowed[edit]

Borderless fullscreen option added in patch 2.1
Manually set borderless fullscreen[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file location.
  2. Open settings.txt.
  3. Change fullScreen=yes to fullScreen=no
  4. Change borderless=no to borderless=yes

Anisotropic filtering (AF)[edit]

Edit anisotropic_filtering[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file location.
  2. Open settings.txt.
  3. Go to anisotropic_filtering=0
  4. Change this value to any number greater than 0 and less than or equal to 16 for varying degrees of anisotropic filtering.
  5. This doesn't actually do anything. This was confirmed by an official Paradox Employee.

Input settings[edit]

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Remapping
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller
Controller support
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.

Audio settings[edit]

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Ambient sounds, music & effects.
Surround sound
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
French
German
Spanish
Italian
Download here.

Network[edit]

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
14
Online play
14

Connection types

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native Notes
Nvidia 3D Vision
See Helix Mod: CRUSADER KINGS 2.

Other information[edit]

Console commands[edit]

All the console commands can be found on the Crusader Kings II wiki. Only some of the debug commands are listed below. Discretion is advised when using the console as it is very easy to cheat with it (adding/removing traits etc.).
Console is disabled if playing in "ironman mode"

Press ~ (or the equivalent key above Tab on your keyboard) or Alt+Numpad 2+Numpad 1 in-game to enter console commands.

  • fullscreen - Toggles fullscreen
  • clear - Clears the console
  • debug_assert - Toggles asserts on/off
  • debug_bloom - Toggles bloom on/off
  • debug_borders - Toggles borders on/off
  • debug_citysprawl - Toggles city sprawl on/off
  • debug_dumpevents - Dumps event data to game log
  • debug_hires - Toggles terrain hires mode on/off
  • debug_info - Toggles debug info
  • debug_lines - Toggles debuglines
  • debug_nogui - Toggles GUI on/off
  • debug_nomouse - Toggles mouse scrollwheel on/off
  • debug_postfx - Toggles postFX on/off
  • debug_rivers - Toggles rivers on/off
  • debug_sky - Toggles sky on/off
  • debug_smooth - Toggles frame smoothing on/off
  • debug_terrain - Toggles terrain on/off
  • debug_textures - Dumps texture info to debug log
  • debug_tooltip - Toggles tooltips on/off
  • debug_trees - Toggles trees on/off
  • debug_water - Toggles water on/off
  • debug_wireframe - Toggles forced wireframe on/off
  • help - Print out all console commands or a specific command's description
  • observe - Switches to play no character at all
  • refresh_portraits - Refreshes all character portraits as soon as possible
  • reload filename - Reloads the gui or lua file
  • reloadinterface - Reloads the entire interface
  • reloadtexture texture-filename - Reloads the specified texture

Issues fixed[edit]

Activation code length[edit]

If your activation code is too short for the code input box upon installation, fill the additional spaces with the character 'X', e.g. for a code formatted as AAAAA-BBBBB-CCCC you would input it as AAAA-ABBB-BBCC-CCXX-XXXX-XXXX.

Graphics card stress/overheating[edit]

This is a likely cause of a game crash if your system only just meets the minimum system requirements to run the game. With such crashes, usually your graphics card will be at fault. One way to reduce stress on your graphics card is to turn off some of the more system-intensive options.
Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file location.
  2. Open settings.txt.
  3. Change draw_trees=yes to draw_trees=no
  4. Change draw_rivers=yes to draw_rivers=no
  5. Change draw_postfx=yes to draw_postfx=no
  6. Change draw_sky=yes to draw_sky=no

Notes

This will prevent the game from rendering trees and thus significantly reduce the amount of information your graphics card has to process, in turn reducing the overall load on your system.[2]

Multiplayer incompatible versions[edit]

Your game version is given by "CK2 v<version> (<checksum>)" (for example, "CK2 v1.06 (YYEV)"). After entering a singleplayer or multiplayer game, it's possible for the checksum to change on some PCs (for example, to "CK2 v1.06 (ZYEV)"), while the others keep the same checksum. This won't allow you to play in multiplayer due to incompatible versions. Restarting the game fixes this problem.

Most mods also change the checksum, so you may not be able to join the host if you do not have exactly the same mods (including same version) as the host.

Alt-tabbing out and back in changes system resolution (Linux)[edit]

Since the introduction of the new launcher, alt-tabbing out of the game and back into it changes the system resolution and consequently makes the game unplayable. This can be prevented by bypassing the launcher via a terminal command. The command, in its simplest form, is:

   /path/to/ck2 -skiplauncher

Additional arguments are:

  • -mod=$MOD where $MOD is the filename of the mod you want to enable.
  • -exclude_dlx=$DLC where $DLC is the filename of the piece of DLC you want to disable.

A third-party free software launcher is available that does these things for you.

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Linux

System requirements[edit]

Windows
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 7
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz
AMD Athlon 64 3500+
System memory (RAM) 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 2 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 8800
ATI Radeon X1900
512 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Sound (audio device) DirectX compatible
A 64-bit operating system is required.
macOS (OS X)
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 10.11
Processor (CPU) Intel Core Duo 2.0 GHz
System memory (RAM) 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 2 GB
Video card (GPU) AMD Radeon HD 6750
Nvidia GeForce 320
Nvidia GeForce 9600
1 GB of VRAM
A 64-bit operating system is required.
Linux
Minimum
Operating system (OS) Ubuntu 16.04
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz
AMD Athlon 64 3500+
System memory (RAM) 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 2 GB
Video card (GPU) AMD Radeon HD 6750
Nvidia GeForce 320
Nvidia GeForce 9600
1 GB of VRAM
A 64-bit operating system is required.

References