Crusader Kings Iii Crusader Kings 3 Guide Realm Holdings Settlements Special Buildings

Your realm in Crusader Kings III might be vast, but you need to continue to develop it as you progress. These domains have various holdings with buildings that can be constructed. Some are special buildings that provide powerful buffs because they’re also historical landmarks. Here’s our guide to help you out.

Note: For more information, check out our Crusader Kings III guides and features hub as well as our beginner’s guide (the things to do before you unpause).

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Crusader Kings III guide: Realm holdings and special buildings

In this Crusader Kings III guide, I’ve decided to take a tour of France by using King Philippe as an example. I feel that his realm allows you to check out various buildings — some of which are dependent on terrain — that can turn France into the big blue blob (BBB) that we’ll eventually come to fear.

If you click on King Philippe’s portrait, you’ll see that he currently has 4/5 holdings. The maximum number of holdings is affected by the King rank (+3), the “Ledger” technology (+1), and his mediocre stewardship stat (+1).

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Culture and tech

If you take a look at the culture panel at the bottom-left of Crusader Kings III‘s HUD, you’ll realize that it also doubles as the technology panel. This is where you unlock new tech by being “fascinated” with developments. It can take many years, and only the culture head (the ruler with the most number of counties of a certain culture in their realm) can do this. It’s actually funny because Philippe should be the culture head for the French, but Crusader Kings III can be iffy at times.

I digress. Anyway, the aforementioned “Ledger” tech has already been unlocked. It has its corresponding equivalents that can be researched in later eras — i.e., “Bailiffs,” “Guilds,” and “Court Officials” — each adding one more holding to your domain limit.

Culture/tech will also be a major fixture when you’re constructing buildings in your holdings. Many of these have tech requirements which I’ll discuss in a while.

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Main settlement buildings for your domain

Let’s take a look at Paris in the county of Ile de France. You’ll notice several building slots that are available for construction. The main building, however, is the castle (since Paris is a barony-type holding controlled by nobles). Others such as cities and temples are controlled by mayors or priests respectively.

Main buildings are quite costly to upgrade, but they tend to yield the biggest benefits (higher-tier holdings are even required for the regular building slots). Below, you’ll see the effects with the Paris holding at level 1:

Crusader Kings Iii Crusader Kings 3 Guide Realm Holdings Settlements Special Buildings 4a

Next, compare that when it’s level 2:

Crusader Kings Iii Crusader Kings 3 Guide Realm Holdings Settlements Special Buildings 4b

And, finally, check out the effects once you’ve upgraded Paris to a level 4 settlement:

Crusader Kings Iii Crusader Kings 3 Guide Realm Holdings Settlements Special Buildings 4c

See how the increased effects can be quite massive? Here’s what you can expect when you’re just starting out:

Main Building/Holding Cost Construction Time Effects (Level 1)
Castle 800 5 years +0.4 tax/month; +1 fort level; +175 levies; +250 garrison
City 500 5 years +0.8 tax/month; +75 levies; +150 garrison
Temple 500 5 years +0.5 tax/month; +125 levies; +150 garrison

Reaching the max tier is going to take you a while since successive upgrades to castles require the “Battlements” tech and its equivalents in other eras — i.e., “Hoardings” and “Machicolations.”

For cities and temples, meanwhile, you’ll need the “Manorialism” tech and its equivalents (these deal with upgrades for economic buildings including those in the construction slots). Lastly, the “Burhs” tech and its equivalents are for military buildings in the construction slots.

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Additional construction slots and terrain-dependent buildings

The slots seen below the main settlement’s box are for additional structures in that holding. These are the general ones that aren’t affected by terrain (don’t forget that they can still be upgraded):

Additional Buildings Cost Construction Time Effects (Level 1)
Walls & Towers (castles) 150 3 years +0.2 tax/month; +1 fort level; +150 garrison
Guild Halls (cities) 225 3 years +0.3 tax/month; +5% development growth/month
Prayer Halls (temples) 300 3 years +0.2 tax/month; +0.1 control/month; +0.1 piety/month
Barracks 150 3 years +125 levies; +2 damage for heavy infantry and spearmen
Military Camps 150 21 months +100 levies; +2 archer damage; +1 skirmisher damage; +1 skirmisher pursuit

For walls and towers, there are a few key differences depending on the terrain. For instance, baronies in drylands might use Watchtowers/Mudbrick Houses:

Ck3 Bldg 1a

However, many other buildings in Crusader Kings III tend to be affected by terrain. Again, this is based on the actual barony’s/settlement’s specific terrain. For instance, it’s possible for a county to have four baronies — two are farmlands, one is a forest, and the other is on hills. You’ll get a mish-mash of different building types to choose from.

Note: Try to change to the terrain map mode to see the relevant terrain types in Crusader Kings III. Farmlands, the most bountiful terrain type, are in red.

Ck3 Bldg 1a1

Bear in mind that these also have upgrades. For instance, military buildings that originally just increased your levies from holdings will, eventually, boost the capabilities of specific troop types. Here are some examples:

Terrain Buildings Cost Construction Time Effects (Level 1)
Farms & Fields (farmlands, plains, drylands) 150 3 years +0.5 tax/month
Pastoral Lands (most terrain types except farmlands/mountains) 150 21 months +0.2 tax/month; +50 levies
Hunting Grounds (most terrain types except farmlands/deserts) 100 2 years +0.2 tax/month; +2 defender advantage; +1 light cavalry damage and pursuit
Forestry (forests, taiga) 150 3 years +0.3 tax/month; -2% building construction time
Hill Farms (hills) 150 21 months +0.2 tax/month; +50 levies
Wetland Farms (wetlands) 100 3 years +0.3 tax/month; -1% building construction time
Quarries (mountains) 100 21 months +0.2 tax/month; -2% building construction time
Desert Agriculture (drylands, desert, oasis, floodplains) 100 2 years +0.2 tax/month
Orchards (oasis, floodplains) 300 3 years +0.3 tax/month; +75 levies
Manor Houses (farmlands) 400 5 years +0.7 tax/month
Tradeport (coastal) 150 21 months +0.3 tax/month; +5% development growth/month
Regimental Grounds (farmlands and flood plains) 300 5 years +150 levies; +5% reinforcement rate; -0.20% men-at-arms maintenance
Outposts (forests, jungles, and mountains) 100 21 months +2 defender advantage; +50 levies
Camelry (desert, oasis, floodplains) 150 3 years +75 levies; +1 knights; +1 light cavalry damage and pursuit
Elephantry (jungles/Indian lands) 150 5 years +0.2 tax/month; -2% building construction time; +1 knights; +2% knight effectiveness; +2 heavy cavalry damage

Ck3 Bldg 1b

You’ll spot a reason why France can amass a lot of gold and field thousands of troops — lots of farmlands terrain for Manor Houses and Regimental Camps.

This isn’t even affected by a county’s or culture’s development — only by terrain. For instance, you’ll see these options available for a county in Hungary (which has a lower development level compared to Ile de France):

Ck3 Bldg 1c

Tribal buildings

Feudal and Clan government types in Crusader Kings III tend to share the aforementioned structures. The major difference, however, are buildings from the Tribal government type. Due to low development and tech, tribes only have a select few options and most can only be upgraded up to level 2.

These cost both gold and prestige:

Tribal Buildings Cost (Gold/Prestige) Construction Time Effects (Level 1)
Tribal Hold (castle/settlement main building) 200/400 5 years +0.2 tax/month; +1 fort level; +250 levies; +250 garrison
Pallisades 75/200 3 years +2 defender advantage; +1 fort level; +100 levies; +150 garrison (County)
+2 spearmen damage; +1 spearmen toughness; +2 archer damage; +1 archer toughness (Realm)
War Camps 75/200 5 years +150 levies (Holding)
+1 knights; +10% knight effectiveness; +2 heavy infantry damage; +1 toughness; +2 skirmisher damage; +1 skirmisher toughness (Realm)
Gathering Halls 75/200 5 years +100 levies (Holding)
+0.2 control growth/month (County)
+0.2 prestige/month (Realm)
Markets 100/300 2 years +0.4 tax/month; +500 supply limit (Holding)

Ck3 Bldg 2

Duchy buildings

Next, you’ve got Crusader Kings III‘s duchy buildings. The buildings are the same regardless of culture or government type. They can only be constructed in a duchy’s capital and they have some worthwhile yields — some buffs affect the duchy only whereas others affect the entire realm.

At level 1, all the duchy buildings cost 300 gold and will take five years to construct:

Duchy Buildings Effects (Level 1) Scope
Military Academies -2% army maintenance; +2 knights; +25% knight effectiveness Realm
Marches +4 defender advantage; +25% supply limit; +1 fort level; +20% hostile raid time; +25% garrison size; +25 levy reinforcement rate Duchy
Siege Works +20% siege weapon effectiveness; +2 siege weapon toughness Realm
+1 fort level Duchy
Royal Armories +20% levy size Duchy
Jousting Grounds -6% men-at-arms maintenance; +10% damage/toughness/pursuit/screen for light cavalry; +10% damage/toughness for heavy cavalry Realm
Blacksmiths -6% men-at-arms maintenance; +5% damage and +15% toughness for heavy infantry and spearmen Realm
Archery Grounds -6% men-at-arms maintenance; +15% damage and +5% toughness for archers; +10% damage, +5% toughness; +10% pursuit, and +5% screen for skirmishers Realm
Tax Offices +10% taxes from all holdings Duchy
Leisure Palaces +5% monthly prestige; +15% stress loss; +5 hostile and personal scheme success chance Realm
+0.2 control/month; +20% control growth factor Duchy
Royal Reserves +0.8 tax/month Holding
+10% development growth; +5 popular opinion Duchy

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Special buildings or historical landmarks

Lastly, you’ve got Crusader Kings III‘s special buildings which are akin to historical landmarks due to their cultural or religious significance (i.e., holy sites restricted to a particular religion). Some of these special buildings already exist on a given start date while others can still be constructed. These cost 1,000 gold and would take five to six years to finish.

Ck3 Bldg 4a

Here are some examples:

Special Buildings Effects (Level 1) Scope
Notre-Dame
(Paris/Ile de France)
+2 tax/month Holding
+20% holding taxes +0.2 development growth/month; +30% development growth/month; +5 popular opinion County
+1 stewardship stat per Devotion level; +1 piety/month; +5% monthly renown Realm
Tower of London
(London/Middlesex)
+6 defender advantage; +6 fort level; +750 garrison Holding
+5% holding taxes; +10% development growth/month; +0.1 development growth/month County
+30% Dread gain Realm
Grand Cathedral
(Santiago/Galicia; Christian holy site)
+2 tax/month Holding
+20% holding taxes; +20% development growth/month; +0.1 development growth/month County
+0.2 piety/month; +5% monthly renown; -15% holy order hiring costs; +5 clergy opinion; +5% control growth factor Realm
Grand Temple
(Nablus/Jerusalem)
+2 tax/month Holding
+20% holding taxes; +20% development growth/month; +0.1 development growth/month County
+0.2 piety/month; +5% monthly renown; -2.50% men-at-arms maintenance; -10% short reign duration; +5% control growth factor Realm
Dome of the Rock
(Jerusalem; already built; Judaism holy site)
+3 tax/month Holding
+20% holding taxes; +20% development growth/month; +0.1 development growth/month County
+1 martial stat per Devotion level; +3% monthly piety per knight; +5% monthly renown; +20% knight effectiveness; +10% control growth factor/month Realm
Great Mosque of Mecca
(Mecca; already built; Islam holy site)
+3 tax/month Holding
+20% holding taxes; +20% development growth/month; +0.1 development growth/month County
+1 piety/month; +5% monthly renown; -10% men-at-arms maintenance; +5 same faith opinion; +10% control growth factor/month Realm
The Colosseum
(Rome; already built)
-10% building construction time Holding
-5% army maintenance Realm
Hagia Sophia
(Constantinople; already built)
+20% development growth/month County
+2 learning; +2 intrigue stat per Fame level; +0.1 piety per knight; +5% monthly renown; +2 knights; +20% knight effectiveness Realm

Controlling these special buildings and historical landmarks will be very important in your Crusader Kings III playthrough. One look at the bonuses alone would show you that they’ll definitely help throughout your campaign.

Ck3 Bldg 4b


Crusader Kings III is available via Steam. For more information, check out our guides and features hub.

Jason Rodriguez
Jason Rodriguez writes for various websites under the Enthusiast Gaming umbrella -- Destructoid, Flixist, Daily Esports, PlayStation Enthusiast, and PC Invasion. Jason's Steam library has 1,400+ games at the moment so he definitely has a lot of things to talk about. He's also one of only five games journalists from the Philippines. Just kidding. There are definitely more around, but he doesn't know anyone. Mabuhay!

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