Crusader Kings II

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Crusader Kings II
Crusader Kings II cover
Paradox Development Studio
Paradox Interactive
Release dates
Windows February 14, 2012
OS X May 24, 2012
Linux January 14, 2013
Crusader Kings
Crusader Kings 2004
Deus Vult
Crusader Kings II 2012
Sword of Islam
Legacy of Rome
Sunset Invasion
The Republic
The Old Gods
Sons of Abraham
Rajas of India
Way of Life
Horse Lords

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

Crusader Kings II Wiki
Steam Community Discussions
Official Forum


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
GamersGate DRM-free version is no longer updated or supported.[1]
Games Republic
Green Man Gaming
Humble Store
Publisher website
All versions require Steam. The GamersGate DRM-free version is no longer being updated or supported.[1]
Steam version can be launched without Steam running.

Downloadable content (DLC) and expansions

This game has 45 separate cosmetic micro-transactions, these are comprised of unit packs, portraits, music, ebooks, dynasty shields, clothing and customisation tools (not listed below). Below is the major 'expansions' to the game. When an expansion is released a major patch is usually released offering some of the features to everyone (including bug fixes etc.)
Name Notes
Sword of Islam Now possible to play Muslim rulers.
Legacy of Rome Able to restore The Roman Empire, expanded Orthodox religion and employable retinues.
Sunset Invasion The Aztec Empire will invade across the Atlantic at mid to late game, unique culture and religion.
The Republic Can now play as Merchant Republic, able to build trade posts and compete in new Doge election system.
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.
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.
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.
Charlemagne New bookmark set at the year 769. Introduced tribal holdings that offer a new unique playstyle.
Way of Life Rulers are now able to select one of ten focuses for ruler granting stat boosts and new events and decisions.
Horse Lords Introduces new government type, "nomad". Adds The Silk Road trade mechanics. Expanded adventurers mechanics
When playing multiplayer, expansions and some micro-transactions (ruler designer etc.) that the host owns are made available to all clients for that session.

Essential improvements[edit]

Note that any mods installed will use the settings.txt located in the mod subfolder, e.g. %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Paradox Interactive\Crusader Kings II\A Game of Thrones\

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.
  • Middle-earth Project: A full-conversion mod set in J.R.R Tolkien's legendarium.
  • 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

Game data[edit]

Configuration file and save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Paradox Interactive\Crusader Kings II
OS X %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Paradox Interactive\Crusader Kings II
Linux ~/.paradoxinteractive/Crusader Kings II/
This game does not support the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux.

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud

Video settings[edit]

Graphics option Option Notes
Widescreen resolution
Field of view (FOV)
See Windowed.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See Borderless fullscreen windowed.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See Anisotropic filtering (AF).
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Listed as 'Multisample Level' in game. Options are 0, 2, 4 and 8.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Locks to refresh rate set in video settings.
60 FPS
120+ FPS


Windowed option added in patch 2.1
Manually edit fullscreen
  1. Open settings.txt in the game data folder
  2. Change fullScreen=yes to fullScreen=no

Borderless fullscreen windowed[edit]

Borderless fullscreen option added in patch 2.1
Manually set borderless fullscreen
  1. Open settings.txt in the game data folder
  2. Change fullScreen=yes to fullScreen=no
  3. Change borderless=no to borderless=yes

Anisotropic filtering (AF)[edit]

Edit anisotropic_filtering
  1. Open settings.txt in the game data folder
  2. Go to anisotropic_filtering=0
  3. Change this value to any number greater than 0 and less than or equal to 16 for varying degrees of anisotropic filtering.
  4. This doesn't actually do anything. This was confirmed by an official Paradox Employee.

Input settings[edit]

Audio settings[edit]

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


Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
LAN play
Online play

Connection types

VR support[edit]

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.

  1. Open settings.txt in the game data folder
  2. Change draw_trees=yes to draw_trees=no
  3. Change draw_rivers=yes to draw_rivers=no
  4. Change draw_postfx=yes to draw_postfx=no
  5. Change draw_sky=yes to draw_sky=no

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 enter a singleplayer or multiplayer game, it's possible for the checksum to change in 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.

System requirements[edit]

Operating system (OS) XP, Vista, 7
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
System memory (RAM) 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 2 GB
Video card (GPU) NVIDIA GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon X1900
512 MB of VRAM
Operating system (OS) 10.6.8
Processor (CPU) Intel Core Duo 2GHz
System memory (RAM) 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 2 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce 9600
1 GB of VRAM
Operating system (OS) Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
System memory (RAM) 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 2 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce 9600
1 GB of VRAM


  1. 1.0 1.1 Crusader Kings II - Steam and GG Versions - The Future