Crusader Kings 3 is such a sandbox for weird scenarios that it seems practically impossible to see and do everything, even in the base game. But one of the biggest draws for Paradox's epic strategy game is its fully-functioning mod support and strong modding community. All you have to do is head over to the CK3's Steam Workshop page and start browsing through tons of add-on content.
Some of the Crusader Kings 3 mods available are extremely simple, changing up a few graphical options or making minor quality of life changes. Some mods, though, are much grander in scale, including total conversions, dramatically reshaping the game's systems and mechanics.
Since there's so much to parse through, we thought we'd do the heavy lifting and find the mods that stand out as essential so you can search from them directly.
Mods often disable achievements or put save files at risk. Be aware that most CK3 mods will disable your ability to earn achievements, and they might muck with your saved games if you don't start fresh. Even developer-supported modding is still manipulating the game files, so there may be some troubleshooting necessary on your end.
If you're unsure if a mod will work with certain aspects of your CK3 game, leave a comment on the mod's Steam Workshop page. Most modders are fairly active and will probably have an answer for you fairly quickly.
99 Immersive Loading Screens
If you're the type of person who loads up Crusader Kings 3 all the time, you've probably gotten sick of the game's loading screens. They feature some pretty impressive artwork, but there just aren't that many of them.
Variety is the spice of life, so switch things up a bit with the 99 Immersive Loading Screens mod.
This CK3 mod is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It adds a number of thematic, high-quality images to display while you wait for your next Ironman run to load. It doesn't change things in a massive way, but CK3 is a game that wants you to load it up again and again.
With that in mind, you'll be happy for some variation on your 1,066th game, especially if you're like us and find joy in choosing the most difficult starting rulers.
What do you mean I died of tuberculosis and don't have an heir? I just started! At least this new loading screen is pretty ...
SarcFa's Custom Ruler Designer
If you've exhausted your options when creating the perfect ruler, or if you just want to create yourself and see how far you go in the world of Crusader Kings 3, this is the mod for you.
It allows you to design a custom ruler and immediately take over any house you like, going through an event dialogue tree that fits in with most of the events in the game.
With Custom Ruler Designer, Download the mod hereyou'll pick things like age, appearance, traits, attributes, and skill levels. There's even a rule you can turn on so you only have a certain number of skill points to allocate (if you're worried about keeping things fair).
Once you are finished with the in-game event, which triggers to get all of the gears moving, the mod kills off the ruler you started with and disinherits their immediate heirs, putting your custom ruler in charge. Good luck out there, newbie.
The Bronze Age: Maryannu
There aren't a ton of total conversion mods for Crusader Kings 3 out there yet. They take a lot of work to build and also need to be updated every time Paradox pushes out a game patch, so it's often well into a game's lifecycle before we see too many.
The Bronze Age: Maryannu, though, is the exception. It's still recognizable as CK3, but this total conversion mod does some very interesting things with the game's systems and takes players to an equally fascinating time period.
This mod was built from the skeleton of a popular CK2 mod, and it shows. There are plenty of gameplay tweaks that help shift the game's perspective from the Middle Ages to the Bronze Age where ancient pharaohs Babylonians reign.
The Bronze Age: Maryannu is updated frequently to add new content, and a team of artists is constantly updating character models, events, and other game content to make things fully immersive. If you want to experience CK3 in a new but familiar light, this is a great place to start.
Daddy Pika's Cheat Menu
There are plenty of cheat codes you can use to edit your games of Crusader Kings 3 — check out our full list right here — but console commands can be a bit unwieldy to the uninitiated. If you want all the omnipotence of the CK3 command console but don't want to learn the intricacies of inputting variables and understanding the scripting language, then this is the mod you need.
Daddy Pika's Cheat Menu basically takes the in-game cheat codes you normally access through console commands and transforms them into easier to navigate menus.
The mod allows you to manipulate the game in a variety of ways: instantly kill characters, move titles around, switch to an entirely new dynasty, fill your coffers with riches, and much more.
As with The Bronze Age: Maryannu, it's constantly being updated, and new cheats find their way in all the time. This mod is a great way to experience CK3 in entirely new ways, creating any scenario you can dream up.
One of the most satisfying runs in Crusader Kings 3 is when you start with a character on the lowest rung of royalty and work your way to a dynasty controlling the known world. Becoming the Holy Roman Emperor after starting with just a single title to your name is about the closest you can get to "beating" CK3.
So, what if every character had to do that?
That's the concept behind Shattered World. This mod allows you to break up every kingdom and empire into individual counties.
A slider at the beginning of the game lets you achieve different levels of "shattering," but the key is that Shattered World puts everyone on a level playing field: one ruler, one county.
From there, it's a scramble to see who can conquer foes and amass enough power to stay afloat faster. It's a fascinating new way to start a game of CK3.
Fullscreen Barbershop & Brighter Portraits
Some people play Crusader Kings 3 to test their mettle against some of history's greatest minds. Others want to model their new queen or take impeccable screenshots of their rulers. If you're in the latter camp, these mods are for you.
We grouped them together because if you're the type of player who wants one of them, you probably want them both.
Fullscreen Barbershop is much more than just expanding the barbershop window. It allows you to edit any character model in the game as you see fit and set them in different poses against different backgrounds. If you want to screenshot your new family (or get an HQ image of your rival for... reasons), you'll need this mod.
Brighter Portraits is a simple mod that does exactly what it says. However, if you're going to be taking lots of screenshots, you want all those accessories and features to pop. This does just that, making your screenshots look even better.
One element of Crusader Kings 3 that's always a little tough to keep track of is who each character is. Sometimes, events will trigger and a bunch of names will get thrown at you before you're asked to make a huge decision. "I don't know! I guess I'll execute Hafdir van Bryllgenson for this."
Whoops! That was your brother-in-law, and now you're going to war with the person who was formerly your closest ally!
Once you start playing Crusader Kings 3 with the Nameplates mod, you'll be hard-pressed to play without it. All it does is place a nameplate under each character model when events trigger, giving you some context about who is who in the constantly shifting political climate of CK3, but it's very useful.
It also helps you answer questions like "Oh, that's my wife's name?" Which... is probably something you should be aware of.
Title-Ranked Portrait Borders
This CK3 mod packs a lot of useful information into a small package. Though it only changes the borders around character portraits, it helps you see how powerful a ruler or family member is at a glance. Normally, you can glean this information from the tiny portrait icons or by hovering over a character, but this mod allows you to quickly identify political power at a glance.
Title-Ranked Portrait Borders won't fundamentally alter your game experience in any way, but it is nice to know a person's power before you attempt a risky scheme or fire off a barbed comment that may lead to war. In the world of Crusader Kings 3, knowledge is power. This mod gives you just a little more knowledge in a little less time.
VIET Events — A Flavor and Immersion Event Mod
In our review of Crusader Kings 3, we wrote that one of the best aspects of the game is its sandbox RPG feel. Even though CK3 is ultimately a grand strategy game about conquering bits of the world and trying to fight off your rivals, it's remarkable how well CK3 forces you to care about the ruler you're controlling.
Events trigger about lost loves, missed opportunities, tiny triumphs, and, of course, very good dogs. If you're looking to expand on that aspect of the game, this is the mod you need.
VIET Events ((an acronym for "Very Immersive Events and Tales") lets you add to the stories in your headcanon, bringing with it a huge number of events (as of this writing, over 200) that flesh everything out.
These events are sometimes very small, touching on little things like an encounter with a stranger or a new experience with food, but sometimes they're massive, giving your character an entirely new outlook on life.
VIET is a wonderful mod for bringing the stories of CK3 to life.
Princes of Darkness
Of all the total conversion mods for Crusader Kings 3, Princes of Darkness is perhaps the most realized and game-changing of all. It takes the massive world of CK3 and fits it into the framework of the equally massive World of Darkness, which, of course, encompasses games like Vampire: The Masquerade.
Here, you're running around Europe as a literal creature of Hell.
Princes of Darkness comes from the "Dark Pack," an officially sanctioned fan-creation branch of the World of Darkness universe. That means there's a ton of detail and official jargon in this mod. If you're a geek for both CK3 and WoD, you've probably got this one already. If you aren't overly familiar with Vampire or the other associated properties, you'll still find a ton to enjoy here.
The lore and new gameplay mechanics brought to Crusader Kings 3 through this mod do a great job of introducing you to what's happening, and interacting with (or playing as) vampiric characters adds a ton of fun new wrinkles to the CK3 formula.
That's our list of best Crusader Kings 3 mods. As the community grows larger and more players jump into the world of CK3, there are sure to be more mods. We'll keep this list updated as more become available!