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Crusader Kings 3: how to stop your vassals fighting

Control your vassals in Crusader Kings 3 with this guide

How do I stop my vassals from fighting in Crusader Kings 3? If you fancy taking over large swathes of land in Crusader Kings 3 you'll need to have vassals under your control. Vassals are the middle managers of the middle ages: nowhere near the dynasty leader in terms of power, they're nevertheless the most important person your run-of-the-mill peasant or plebian is ever likely to see.

This is all well and good if they're all doing their jobs and paying taxes and levies to their rightful liege, but in Crusader Kings 3, your vassals have minds of their own — they're medieval leaders after all. What if they start petty infighting for seemingly no reason? You'll have to keep tabs on them to make sure they're in check. Well, here's how to stop your vassals from fighting each other in Crusader Kings 3:

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What happens when vassals fight in Crusader Kings 3?

Is it even a bad thing for vassals to scrap? It's not illegal - your vassals answer to you, their liege, rather than each other. There are some negatives to your vassals fighting between themselves though, and we don't want to have to resort to the North Korea strategy and do away with the vassal class altogether. Don't make me turn this chariot around, kids, or I swear I'll hoard all the titles for myself!

Firstly, if a specific vassal starts gaining control over a load of land, you will be at risk of them becoming too powerful and starting a revolt. If you press F2 or click the 'Realm' icon in the top right of the screen, you can see a list of your vassals sorted by the size of their realm. If one of them has been gaining power and influence, and maybe has a few vassals beneath them too, they might look to start an independence or liberty faction against you, so be careful.

Another potential issue is if your vassals are weakening or taking over each other, your preferred vassal might lose power too. For example, if a vassal is dragged into a war that reduces their gold and military production, that directly impacts your ability to tax them for both gold and levies.

There's also the worry of losing out on vassals commanding your armies. On rare occasions, you might want to put a particularly strong knight in your army but they're off fighting their own petty war.

There are a few positives to vassals fighting though, so don't lose hope! Firstly, it keeps them weak. Yes, you can get big bad dukes getting above their station, but much more likely to happen is both your vassals fighting each other are weakening themselves in the process, making them less of a threat to you.

Also, vassals at war only use their own troops, not the levies promised to you. Sure, they might lose out on the total levies they have access to, diminishing your supply slightly, but in far more situations the vassals at war will take the brunt of the losses, keeping you at the top of the food chain and able to fight your own wars. So what if you just want your vassals to stop warring with one another?

How to stop vassals fighting each other in Crusader Kings 3

In certain situations, you can stop vassals fighting, as well as mitigate their power gain if one of them becomes stronger than you're comfortable with. The way your vassals work differs depending on your government type, whether it be Clan, Tribal, or Feudal.

Crown Authority is a mechanic that helps you deal with your vassals in a much more hands-on way. Found above your vassal list in the Realm menu, you can upgrade it by using Prestige.

With level 3 in the Feudal or Clan government type, High Crown Authority forbids vassals from fighting each other unless they have a hook on their liege, whilst Absolute Crown Authority, the maximum level, forbids them from fighting any war at all without your permission. It takes a while to unlock these laws, because it takes a while for cultures to unlock the innovations required, but by improving the development in your realm you can make this much speedier.

By upgrading the Tribal Authority in the same way for Tribal governments, you can settle and choose to become Feudal or Clan, then being able to continue as above. It's also possible to force an inconclusive war depending on the Casus Belli used to declare it. For example, if it's a claimant war, where one vassal is claiming the De Jure territory of another, you can always carry out a murder scheme to get them out of the way, or work to change the religion in a region targeted by a holy war. Of course, these aren't always viable, but depending on your current situation it might be worth a go.

Remember though, it's not always the way to go! Sometimes, your own vassals fighting each other is absolutely fine, and you should leave them to it. It all depends on your current situation, including which starting ruler you picked as well as what console commands and cheats are currently active.

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James Law avatar

James Law

Former Guides Writer

James was part of Rock Paper Shotgun's guides team from 2020-2021, bringing his expert knowledge about FPS games, Hearthstone, Path Of Exile and more from his time at Metabomb. He's also a dab hand at Hitman 3, and making his own jam - things which may or may not be related to one another.