First steps in Victoria III

After a few tutorials, I think I have enough experience to be able to put together tips on what to do first when starting a new game in Victoria III. Below is a list of tips on what to look for right after I choose a state.

The game is ready, it’s totally tempting to start playing, but you need to prepare for the game before you start and get it right. Yes you can already see yourself building new factories, changing laws, but hold on. You need to go over a few basic things to make it easier to play.

And that’s what I’m gonna show you today!

Pressing play is tempting, but it pays to hold on…

Get your game recalculated

Click on the “play” button and do nothing until you see their minimum expected standard of living below the population. This always takes a week, and I do this to give the game a bit of a recalculation so I can see what direction it’s all heading.

State at the beginning
State after the first week

The reason I do this is to make sure everything is calculated before I start making key decisions. So as you can see the income still went up during the week and you’ll get a couple of notifications during the week as well. You want to read all of them and see what happened:

Analysis of the political situation

Explore Politics > Goverment. See who is currently in power and what positive/negative effects it has. Really look carefully at what parties have what bonuses and negatives. Optimally, write down which parties you want to keep an eye on, as they have a big negative effect if they are unhappy, or conversely look at who you want to improve to move you forward.

For example, in the US there is a section of “Southern Planters” that if I am unhappy by more than -5 will reduce my taxes dramatically. So until I have a strong economy that doesn’t depend on agriculture I have to watch it and not upset them.

If you need one of the parties to work for you right from the start, you might as well try to start enforcing the law. But I’d hold off until you’ve completed the audit.

Are we making money or not?

Your next steps should go to the budget tab and there you should examine how you are doing and if you are in the black at all. You should check how the taxes and the construction sector are set up. You usually have enough of everything at the beginning, so it makes sense to start expanding.

Look at where your income comes from you should usually have enough income without changing taxes (first option above) and you also usually don’t need to enter any consumption taxes right at the start. The more you can play without “help” now in the beginning the more it will come in useful when you start having real problems.

Don’t forget to explore the budget tab, which tells you how much money you currently have in your account and how much debt you can go into.

Advanced game screen orange = money in the account, red = maximum debt

In the beginning, you might have quite a bit of gold in reserves from which you can finance your expansion. In fact, you might say that you have quite a bit saved up and it makes sense to invest and kick the economy a bit more, even at the cost of going into temporary negative territory for a while.

In terms of construction, I’m still going to look at the construction sector development and see how much one more construction sector will cost me. In this case it will be about 5k so if I have an income of 27k I can build 4 constructions sector before it gets any bigger.

So now I might be clear on my tactics. I know what party I want to support – I have room to invest and it makes sense to kick-start the economy. Now the question is what to invest in to get the best return.

People’s needs and goods on the market

Another thing to do is to check your residents and their standard of living. This affects the satisfaction of your residents. You want to improve it in the long term, so you want to look at what is not working for your residents today…

… you can look at it through the number 12,7 (see above) and then you will see the detail in which it is even better to see what your inhabitants lack/abound. For example, some of the population is below the subsistence level and therefore have a good chance of becoming radical…

… it can be seen that taxing 10.2% can be perceived as high and it takes money away from residents that they could spend on their expenses. It might make sense to cut taxes, but I wouldn’t take that step until there is a significant money surplus.

In addition, it can be seen that your people pay on average +10.7% of the basic price for goods. You can also look at a detailed breakdown of what is significantly more expensive than the rest, and it would make sense to produce more of these goods to lower the price.

Here it can be seen that the most expensive are Groceries and Luxury Clothes so it would make sense to optimize primarily these raw materials to reduce. In addition it makes sense to reduce the price of everything that contributes above +5% expenditures.

Then you can see that we have over 41% peasants. They need to be employed in factories/fields as a priority somehow to benefit your economy. So states where these people are I would prioritize when building if you build in states where there are no people you will have a problem.

In addition to this analysis, it is important to look at the market and what raw materials cost a lot and what costs little. It should partially replicate what we have already established, but in this view you will see how they are doing in terms of industrial raw materials.

Check the factory and production mechanism

Now that we know what is expensive and needs to get to market you need to optimize your production. From the screens above we can see that we have significantly cheaper 🌱 Fertilizer – it would make sense to use it for more food.

Notice all the buildings that have different directional arrows there you have different techniques there it would make sense to see if you switch something and optimize production that way.

Optimally, pay attention to all factories that have 💰 0,0 there is some problem with efficiency. And maybe you want to focus on these buildings and optimize them somehow. Apart from that, try to work on employing as many peasants as possible and build the factories you need to lower the price of building materials or for the needs of the population.


This was just an example of me starting a new game. I’ve gone through an example for the US here, but similarly you need to go through each country right after you start. Optimally you should still look at the “jurney” which will guide you further and show you what the next steps should be.

How to continue in Victoria 3?

I'm Martin, the main creator of this site. I love city builders, transport, and war strategy games. So I create this site to share my love with others! Let's make Tycoon games great again!