Victoria 3: How To Manage Your Interest Groups

Quick Links

  • Interest Groups And How They Form
  • Ideaologies And Traits
  • Approval
  • Clout
  • Bolstering And Suppression

Victoria 3 features a very in-depth political simulation and managing it is one of the biggest parts of the game. You have the ability to suggest new laws, for example – but doing so will require the approval of your people. Specifically, this means your Interest Groups.

If you go in with all guns blazing, attempting to change the very essence of your country's governance without an ounce of gradation, your people will rise up against you. Instead, gradually changing the makeup of your government and using both obvious and subtle techniques to manipulate those with political clout is the key to success.

Interest Groups And How They Form

Interest Groups are politically-motivated groups of people who band together thanks to a common interest, which will dictate what kind of politics they favor. For example, the Rural Folk will be far more in favor of lower taxes for their income group and a focus on developing agriculture, while the Intelligentsia desires more academia and less religion.

Interest Groups get more Pops to join them through attraction, which is based on factors like wealth, certain professions, and education access. Occupation is one of the biggest driving forces, with, for example, laborers being far more likely to join a Trade Unions group if one exists.

If your country has voting rights (i.e. is not Autocratic, Oligarchic, or Ararchistic), Interest Groups may form together to form political parties. This means they'll be grouped together when considering whether or not they can be made part of the government or not, and they cannot be separated. The Interest Groups within the party are still separate, but are empowered by the votes that the party earns in an election based on their Clout levels.

All Interest Groups have leaders, and leaders have traits that can have substantial effects. Notably, every leader has an Ideaology which will alter the entire Interest Group's Ideaologies – more on that later. Depending on your government type, your nation's leader may end up being the leader of the Interest Group or political party with the most Clout. This is not an issue with government types that have a singular leader chosen differently though, such as a Monarchy.

Ideaologies And Traits

Interest Groups have two features that you need to be aware of. The first is Ideaologies: these are a number of belief systems that dictate which laws the Interest Group approves and disapproves of. Each individual Idealology has a number of stances that they take – for example, the Anti-Clerical Ideaology takes stances on the Church and State, Education System, and Bureaucracy laws.

Not every Interest Group with the same name will have the same Ideaologies as a rule, and unless their leader is a Moderate, every Interest Group will have an extra Ideaology (listed at the top with a different color icon) that matches the leader's.

Interest Groups also have three Traits two positive, and one negative. These traits become activated depending on their approval, which is dictated by your current laws and any short-term modifiers that can come about thanks to events.

  • If the group's approval is five or above, the first positive Trait will be activated.
  • If the group's approval is ten or above, both positive Traits will be activated.
  • If the group's approval drops to minus five or below, the group's negative Trait will be activated.

Negative Traits can be highly damaging, while positive Traits can be fantastic boons for your country, so trying to appease every Interest Group that isn't Marginalized is not a bad idea.


Every Interest Group has an approval rating that shows how much they are in favor of the currently enacted laws. The laws that affect a group's approval depend entirely on the laws that they take a stance on thanks to their Ideaologies.

Also affecting approval is the balance of Radicalism to Loyalism within the Interest Group, moderated by political strength. This means that if there are lots of members of the Interest Group with high political strength and they are radical thanks to being unhappy with something, the Interest Group will have a lower approval level.

Approval can also be affected by many disparate factors, such as certain taxes, random events, individual leader traits, and currently-debated laws.

An easy way to see which laws would boost a group's approval is to click on the Laws tab of the Interest Group's overview menu. This will present you with a list of laws that are currently available to enact that would increase your approval.


Clout is a rating of how politically powerful an Interest Group is. The more a group's Clout, the more it's able to affect the governance and lawmaking processes for your country. Your government's Legitimacy is highly dependent on Clout – if your government isn't made up of Interest Groups with Clout (read: political power), it won't be considered legitimate, and you might have more radicalism to deal with as a result.

Wealth plays a huge role in determining Clout. The richer a Pop is, the more power they contribute to the Interest Groups they have a stake in, if any. This information provides you with the best means to increase or decrease a group's Cloud – enrich those with membership. This can be done by increasing the wages and the job opportunities for the occupations strongly represented in those groups.

Pops in a country's capital will contribute more political power to a group's Clout than Pops outside the capital. Conversely, Pops in unincorporated states contribute far less political power.

For example, the Trade Unions Interest Group is likely to have lots of Machinists, Clerks, and Laborers. To make this group more powerful, you can improve their working conditions and invest into their places of work, which are likely to be Industrial in nature. Conversely, Capitalists are likely to be part of the Industrialists group, and could be empowered by changing buildings' ownership to Publicly Traded.

There are three basic 'levels' of Clout that determine an Interest Group's overall relevance and power:

  • Above 20 percent, an Interest Group is considered Powerful. These groups' Traits become twice as effective as a result. This includes their negative traits so it's important to keep them happy.
  • Between five and 19 percent, an Interest Group is considered Influential.
  • Under five percent, an Interest Group is considered Marginalized. This means their Traits are never active, regardless of their approval level. An Interest Group in power cannot become Marginalized.

Bolstering And Suppression

One of the ways you can directly interact with an Interest Group is through the Bolster and Suppression actions. These can be taken from the Interest Group overview menu.

  • Bolstering an Interest Group increases its attraction. This means more Pops will join the group, giving it more Clout.
  • Suppressing an Interest Group decreases its attraction . This means fewer Pops will join the group and current members may wish to leave. You cannot Suppress a party that is in power.

Using either of these actions costs a good deal of Authority, so it's a good idea to keep an eye on the group's Clout and stop Bolstering or Suppressing once the desired level has been reached.

The efficacy of your Bolster and Suppression actions depends on your Free Speech laws. The harsher the laws, the more effective they'll be, and if you enact Protected Speech, you won't be able to use these actions at all.

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