Now that it is over three years old, nobody can blame players for browsing the internet searching for the best mods for Crusader Kings 3 in a quest to make the out-of-the-box experience even better.
Crusader Kings 3 mods come in many forms, from small quality-of-life improvements all the way to total conversions that change the very fundamentals of the game, the latter giving you a whole new experience to explore.
The CK3 community has produced thousands of mods, making finding the best ones a challenge. This guide will cover the best mods from various categories: quality of life, cosmetic, utility, gameplay enhancement, and total conversion. If you’re bored with vanilla CK3, you are in the right place to find the tweaks - or overhaul - you need to make your next game one to remember.
No one would blame you for finding the notifications system in CK3 a bit over-intrusive. No more is this so during times of war. The game interface can explode with information: enemy ally joins war, you are under siege, new councilor information, you are under siege again, and the list goes on.
The worst part? Dismissing these notifications is a laborious chore that involves dismissing them all individually. Well, thanks to Agami on the Steam Workshop, that problem is no more with the Clear Notifications mod.
This mod lets you clear all notifications in one fell swoop, using the 'F' key by default. No more dismissing nine siege notifications one at a time, saving your sanity to plot your next move. The mod also allows you to disable notifications altogether; while not an option everyone will take advantage of, for some people, this addition will be a godsend.
Stop wasting your precious gaming time swiping notifications away; CK3 is about ruling kingdoms, not losing your game time to worthless notifications. The convenience this mod provides cements it as one of the best mods for Crusader Kings 3.
Crusader Kings 3 is, first and foremost, a grand strategy game. You will be managing armies, your promiscuous wife, conducting nefarious plots, and all while trying to keep a knife out of your own back. Anything that can help make all that work easier is always a welcome addition. One such mod that adds spectacular value in this regard is the Extended Outliner mod by FUN.
This mod expands the outliner, making it a worthwhile feature. It provides a snapshot view of pinned characters, giving information on their opinion of you, their troop strength, age, and their title. All of this is, at a glance, speeding up your decision-making process while you are playing.
It also provides detailed information on your armies and everything you would want to know about your domain holdings as well. You have to wonder why this mod isn't part of the game already; the game devs should take note of this one, as it is a contender for the best mod in CK3.
Community Flavor Pack
Game mods are at their strongest when you don’t realize they are even there. That is precisely what you get with the Community Flavor Pack mod by El Tyranos. You could break into a friend's house and install this mod, and they would never even notice. It adds over 200 models to the game for you to use with your characters. This is more than a few extra clothing options; it adds crowns, hats, cloaks, armor pieces, beards, hairstyles, jewelry, patterns, helmets, artifacts, and even royal courts.
Everything added is historically accurate to cultures, religions, and locations. The mod will seamlessly add all the new options into your game, and once you have it, you will never want to play without it. The mod developer also runs a wonderful Discord server. There, you can make suggestions for future content, request support, and meet a lovely community of like-minded CK3 players.
The Community Flavor Pack takes your immersion to an entirely new level. The CK3 developers did a great job laying the foundations of an immersive world, but as usual, it was up to the game's community to create one of the best mods for CK3 and finish off that work.
Ethnicities and Portraits Expanded
Part of the very ambitious Crusader Kings expanded series, Ethnicities and Portraits Expanded seeks to breathe more life into CK3’s already detailed world. With six creators listed on the Steam Workshop, this mod's scope and ambition are about as high as a cosmetic mod can get.
The game adds a diverse collection of headwear for Arabic, Iranian, European, Turkic, Slavic, and Chinese cultures. There are also HD retextures of loads of vanilla assets, and the mod developers have big plans for the future of this mod.
Compatibility with other cosmetic mods is very important to the creators, and detailed instructions are on their mod page, including details on compatibility patches and load order instructions. Like the Community Flavor Pack, the mod developers run a Discord server for all suggestions, feedback, and bug reporting.
Cosmetic mods are a dangerous rabbit hole to go down, as there is so much amazing content out there. The cream rises to the top, though, and whenever the community discusses the best mods for Crusader Kings 3, it is never long before the Ethnicities and Portraits Expanded mod gets mentioned.
Daddy Pika's Cheat Menu
A lot of purists may scoff at the inclusion of a cheat mod in this list, but as anyone who has tinkered with CK3's console commands will tell you, exerting some outside control on proceedings can genuinely enhance the experience.
However, the standard console commands can only go so far, and if you want to have even greater control, you will want to take a look at Daddy Pika's Cheat Menu by SirPika.
This mod adds a wide variety of cheats, hacks, and modifications to gameplay options. It is akin to activating god mode in other games. You can change vassal contracts at will, create your own characters, switch characters whenever you want, change the stats of any character in the game, change the government, change character names, and get up to other mischief.
Using the cheats menu is a total breeze, and that's a good description of the gameplay from here on out, too. What is fun is using the cheat menu to create some omega-level enemies out in the world. Herculean foes that you can put in positions of power that have desires on your precious kingdom. Or you could give your king 100 children that all have asthma and watch them fight over nothing titles within your kingdom. Whatever you choose to do, there are laughs to be had while doing it.
Whether CK3 is too hard or you want to fiddle about with the game's mechanics and try to break them, a cheat mod is the key to a unique gameplay style you didn’t know you wanted until you had it.
Knight Manager Continued
This has probably happened to you before; your character is getting on in years and will die soon. You have an amazing heir who will take on your titles and ensure the longevity of your dynasty for years to come. A minor border skirmish breaks out, so you send your 3000-strong army to deal with the pathetic 500-troop muster your opponent has put up. Then that dreaded notification pops up, “your heir has died in battle.” You likely didn't even know he was in that army, and now your realm's future is uncertain, and chaos awaits.
Thanks to the Knight Manager Continued mod by Lord DGP; you can now create rules for the knights who serve in your army. Get your enemies at the front of the vanguard, and keep your precious heirs at home, where it is sometimes safer than the front line of a battlefield. The mod was originally created by Lrds; after updates ceased, Lord DGP took up the mantle and updated the mod for CK3 players to enjoy.
Choosing your knights is great to ensure your military has the strongest fighters working, that your relatives are safe, injured knights are not in further danger, prevent councilors from fighting, or a whole host of other reasons too. The Knight Manager Continued mod has your back to automate all those decisions for you.
Losing a beloved character can be a problem of the past with the Immortality Improved mod by Paige 404. This mod does exactly what it says on the tin and makes your player character immune to aging. This doesn’t mean they are completely free of the reaper: they can still die in battle, commit suicide, or fall victim to assassination. The option to make other characters immortal is also available, so you and your beloved can rule for all time.
As a result of living so long, you never have to deal with a succession crisis, can wait for your rivals to die, can get yourself amazing stats, and build yourself the perfect kingdom. This makes the game a few tiers easier than vanilla CK3, so you should consider carefully if that is how you want to play the game. The experiments you will be able to try make this one of the best mods for Crusader Kings 3 on its own.
Immortality is a great way to shake up the core gameplay loop without making it harder, and every CK3 lover should try it at least once. It is the only way to have one character go from having one county to the ruler of the known world in a single lifetime, that's for sure.
More Game Rules
You know what a game with a wealth of customization options and endless possibilities needs? Even more of that. The More Game Rules mod by Neutrino does exactly that. This mod will allow you to have secret bastards, options for matrilineal marriages, have men at arms limits, heresy outbreaks, set limits on domains, and far too many more to list in this short guide.
One of the greatest features that makes this one of the best mods for Crusader Kings 3 is the alternative starts it offers. The best of which is the shattered world. A shattered world playthrough will see all titles destroyed and have every ruler start controlling only one territory. This puts everyone on an equal playing field, and the beginning of the game is a mad rush for power. These games can escalate to horrific violence very fast… which is a normal game of CK3, come to think of it.
This mod is one for players who want to customize every tiny detail of their game. Whether you want to remove the power cap the game sets on you or fancy throwing in some extra challenges for yourself, the More Game Rules mod can facilitate all those desires.
Godherja: The Dying World
How many times can you form the Kingdom of Ireland before the game starts to feel a little stale? Not many, that is for sure. Running around Europe: collecting heads, laying with concubines, raiding England, and putting Paris to the torch is fun, but you know what is more fun? A total conversion mod set in a custom dark fantasy world, complete with new gameplay mechanics, magic, and an entirely new map to conquer.
Total conversions are a mainstay of the Crusader Kings modding scene, and Godherja: The Dying World is a fan favorite. There is no point even trying to list all the features this mod adds, but the ones you need to know about are: it is set in an original fantasy world, there is a magic system, a colonization system, you can become the pirate king of the sea, a revamped diplomacy system, and the hunting of dangerous monsters.
If you are going to go all out when modding, you may as well go as hard as it gets. Godherja: The Dying World, managed by the Lonely Knightess, is without a doubt a beloved passion project. Whether you want a new way to play the game or want to explore the dark, immersive lore that this mod has to offer, you should stop wasting time and give one of the best mods for Crusader Kings Three a try today.
Lord of the Rings: Realms in Exile
No Crusader Kings mod list is worth anything if it does not include a Lord of the Rings total conversion mod. The best mod in Crusader Kings 3 for the Lord of the Rings right now is, without a shadow of a doubt, the Realms in Exile mod by Jamie-san and their team. You know Crusader Kings, now picture that in Middle Earth. You can take control of well-known Tolkien characters such as Saruman the White or Thranduil, king of the Woodland Realm.
Being able to recreate your favorite moments from the Lord of the Rings stories is a total delight. The sheer attention to detail taken by the mod authors is jaw-dropping. Custom royal courts, clothing, character models, and art do an amazing job of immersing you in the land of Middle Earth. While the mod still needs a lot of work, especially from a balance perspective, the future is bright.
Oh, and if you are wondering, can you play as Sauron and destroy the free people? Yes, you can. That should be all the convincing you need; if you are a LotR fan, this is the mod for you.
While mods are a great way to improve your CK3 experience, the actual developers aren't in any way slowing down, with the Legacy of Persia DLC launching later this month.