Government type is the form of government that a character lives under or rules by. It dictates the available succession laws and holdings of a character, and some government types have unique mechanics.
There are several ways to changing government type during the game. Special decisions allow tribes and nomads to become more "settled". Inheriting a title, or dying with a landed heir, can also result in the player experiencing a change in government type.
List of government types
|Government||Group||Description||Settlements held without penalties|
|Feudal||Feudal||Feudal government is a government in which the realm is organised around the Feudal system, where power is delegated to nobles who are given grants of land in exchange for troops.||✓||If same culture|
|Iqta||Feudal||Iqta government is similar to feudal; it rules according to the Arabic Iqta system rather than the feudal system. This government type is only available to rulers in the Muslim religious group. The only succession law available is the open succession law, where the son with the most land inherits. Realm laws are changed by expending piety. Requires Sword of Islam to be playable.||✓||✓||If same culture|
|Nomadic||Nomadic||Nomadic government is found in the steppes of central Asia in which the realm is not focused on keeping and holding baronies, but instead moves around in search of new grazing land for horses and other livestock. The only succession law is the Nomad succession law, in which the son or brother with the most prestige inherits.
Whilst nomads can have ordinary vassals, like in the Feudal system, most internal politics is centered around management of the other powerful clans in the realm, who can often rival or outshine the liege in terms of power. Nomadic rulers can only hold the nomad holding (a special holding type that is only available to Nomads and exists only in their capital province) without penalty, and gain benefits from having empty land in their realm (increasing their manpower and population, which they use to build troops for their horde). Requires Horse Lords DLC to be playable. Non-Christian nomads do not require the relevant DLC in order to play as rulers of certain religions (e.g. The Old Gods for pagans and Zoroastrians). However, if they convert to other government types without converting to a playable religion first, it's game over.
|Merchant republic||Republic||Merchant republic is a government in which the realm centers around trade, and leaders are elected from the five patrician families rather than inheriting according to specific laws. Within each family, inheritance is by Seniority, where the oldest member of the family inherits. It is formed when a coastal province has a city as its capital, and the burgher holding the county title receives at least a ducal title. Requires The Republic DLC to be playable.||✓||✓||If same culture|
|Republic||Republic||Republic is a government in which the ruler is elected from the citizenry. Because there is no dynastic persistence between rulers, Republic governments are not playable.||✓||✓|
|Theocracy||Theocracy||Theocracy is a government in which the realm is ruled by the clergy in the name of religion. Rulers are appointed or elected from the clergy. Since there is no dynastic persistence, theocracy governments are not playable.||✓||✓|
|Tribal||Tribal||Tribal is a government which is settled but doesn't construct advanced holdings. The only succession law available for pagan tribes is the Elective gavelkind law, which splits the realm between all the sons of the ruler. Like nomads, tribes benefit from empty land in their realm.||✓|
There are several ways to change government type of the player character or succession line.
|→||Settle as a Tribe in <tribal holding or capital>||To use a nomadic capital, it must have a lv2 council building||
To prevent losing land belonging to nomadic vassals, absorb their clans shortly before using this decision.
|→||Settle as Feudal in <castle or mosque>||Muslims may use a mosque instead of a castle||
|→||Found a Merchant Republic in <city>||Players are limited to coastal cities||
Tribal (or non-lowborn republic) vassals may become patricians.
|→||Found Merchant Republic||
||Inheritance conflict|| Inherit a higher tier title, or die with your heir holding a same rank title.
Note that you cannot grant a kingdom to a ruler with a different government type, so you'll have to arrange for your heir to be independent and able to create the kingdom title themselves, or perhaps press a claim for them instead.
|→||Any||Settle a son||Conquered settled land||Strangely, inheriting a khaganate does not change your heir's government to nomadic. Vassal clans remain vassals but are not very useful.|
|Any||→||Inherit clan form vassal||Empire rank. Nomads exist.||
Strangely, inheriting a clan changes your government type to nomadic.
(Does the khan have to be of your dynasty? Because of the claim war outcome, the succession rules, or both? Does this actually work in the same version as the method above for going in the opposite direction??)
|→||Abdicate to mayor||Duke, coastal capital||This method is very fragile and requires taking advantage of several game bugs.|
|Any||→||Any||Console commands||Not ironman||The command |
|Any||→||Any||Select another character||Not ironman||While loading a game, you may select another character before clicking "Play". The |
The rule that you must play as your primary heir is rather arbitrary, and voluntarily switching play upon succession feels better than abusing the game over escape hatch (below).
|Any||→||Any||Lose all titles without dying||Another dynasty member is playable||Rather than getting game over, you may be transferred to play as another character — even a ToG adventurer!|