These big strategy games, like Stellaris and Civilization 6, show off the best parts of negotiating.
Grand strategy games have been around for a long time and are known for being very difficult to master. Players can spend hundreds of hours playing these games. This type of games is known for simulating everything from war to economics. Players can use a lot of different tools to outsmart and beat their opponents, but diplomacy may be the most rewarding.
Well-thought-out diplomacy tactics can often be the most useful and fun to play with. For example, you can force an enemy into vassalage or dictate unfair treaties. These games will help you become a better communicator.
The first game in the Civilization series, which was made by Sid Meier in 1991, was one of the first big strategy games for PC. Since the first game came out, the series has become more famous and more difficult to play, with each new title and DLC adding new features.
With the Gathering Storm DLC, which came out in 2019, Civilization 6 got more diplomatic tools. The “World Congress” mechanic and the “Diplomatic Favor” coin were added. These changes make it possible for a skilled player to negotiate their way to a real diplomatic win in Civilization 6.
Hearts Of Iron 4
Hearts of Iron 4 adds to the original game with DLCs like “Death or Dishonor” and “Together for Victory.” It now has some of the most unique and varied political features of any game in this genre, giving even neutral nations strong tools to sway their neighbors.
Players can send expeditionary troops and set up lend-lease agreements. Countries that have extra civilian factories can find intelligence agencies that are looking for agents to steal secrets and start coups. There is also a peace conference system that is only found in this game. Winners can demand fleets, factories, and land after the war is over.
When it came out in 2021, Humankind tried to build on the turn-based gameplay style made popular by the Civilization series. It did this by becoming both a familiar and new addition to the grand strategy genre. Like the game it was based on, Humankind added a “Congress” system after the 2022 “Together We Rule” DLC. This added embassies, spies, and a diplomatic currency called “Leverage.”
One of the most interesting things about it is its “Grievance” system, which lets groups ask for compensation when they’ve been wronged. Anything from embargoes to war could happen if these requests are not met or are refused.
Although Emperor: Rome didn’t get good reviews when it first came out and isn’t being worked on anymore, the 2.0 update made it a fully realized Paradox game with all the features and hallmarks that fans have come to expect from the creator. The diplomacy system in Imperator: Rome is based on the one in Europa Universalis 4. It adds a new diplomatic stance feature and builds on the diplomatic reputation system from the previous game.
The diplomatic move “Demand Subject Transfer” is also a nice addition; it lets players persuade the people who work for their enemy to join their side.
Grand strategy game fans had been waiting for Victoria 3 for so long that it had turned into a joke. Fans of the series will be disappointed to know that the game’s status on Steam is still “Mixed.” This is mostly because of the controversial changes that were made to the battle system.
Victoria 3 may not have the best combat system in its genre, but it really shines when it comes to diplomacy. It comes with a fully developed “Diplomatic Play” system that makes even the smallest diplomatic acts more interesting. Victoria 3 has some of the most complicated diplomatic rules of any Paradox game. It brings back the “Infamy” system from Victoria 2, and adds a new “Obligation” system.
Total War: Warhammer 3
Total War: Warhammer 3 is the newest game in the long-running Total War series. It builds on the success of the previous games to give players the most complete Total War experience to date. Even though Warhammer is known for its deep real-time combat, Basket Random has a lot of great diplomatic features. When it’s time to make a deal, the game takes everything into account, from how reliable each group is to how biased it is against certain races.
When the player brings the enemy to the bargaining table, they can offer anything from trade deals to confederations. This game is a fun alternative to just painting maps.
Crusader Kings 3
Crusader Kings 3 is one of the most unique games on this list. Its diplomacy methods are made more personal by having you manage a family and their relationships over hundreds of years. Players won’t be negotiating trade deals, but marriages and contracts with vassals. They can trade favors for rights or, if they’re good at sneaking around, they can blackmail their peers and vassals into submission.
Alliances aren’t as easy as they are in most games either; close family members have to get married to make the relationship official (though there is a perk that lets its owner make one alliance without getting married). This means that the player character’s children are some of the most useful diplomacy tools they have.
Age Of Wonders 4
Age of Wonders 4, the newest game on this list, came out to mostly positive reviews, and it still has a “Very Positive” review average on Steam. Following the success of Age of Wonders 3 and Age of Wonders: Planetfall, Triumph Studios tried to improve and add to the features that made those games so well-liked.
The developers of Age of Wonders 4 put a lot of thought into the diplomacy features. There is a trading system that lets players negotiate for anything from cities to prisoners, and a pressure system that adds more depth to the similar “threat level” features of similar games. There are also classic features of the series, like AI characters with full personalities.
Europa Universalis 4
For just over a decade, players have been navigating their way through a complicated web of diplomatic ties and power politics in Europa Universalis 4. It is a true classic in the grand strategy genre. When the game is at peace, players can use the “Favors” method to influence both friends and foes, in addition to the usual sneaky moves.
In war, players can make their fallen enemies do a lot of things, from giving up their trade power to changing their religion. But be careful not to push too far, because the “Aggressive Expansion” system can punish those who are greedy or not ready by hurting national security and joining forces with enemies that are hard to beat.
Stellaris, which came out in 2016, is one of Paradox Interactive’s most famous games. It can be played in more ways than almost any other game in its genre. The seven main add-ons for the game have also added to these choices by adding things like the “Galactic Community” and “Federations” into the game.
For players who like to be diplomatic, there are a lot of tools available. The deep subject and vassalage mechanics make it possible to play in a purely diplomatic way, and the bilateral agreement system lets players build relationships based on research and trade instead of just military agreements.