Thanks for checking out my latest Crusader Kings 3 guide! On this page, you’ll find the 10 best starts for coop campaign ideas.
You can play as two different independent rulers, top liege / vassal, or vassal / vassal. In the end, it’s all about your preferences. But I always prefer vassal + liege combination. That way you can feel the cooperative experience to the fullest.
If both of you want to be independent rulers, you guys should look for characters next to each other but within different de Jure empires. That way you can both expand and form empires bordering each other without clashing among yourselves.
One last thing, if all parties are experienced, you don’t need to choose characters from same dynasty or nation. Everyone can handle themselves. However, if one of you is inexperienced, better pick characters from same dynasty, same nation, same region, etc. in order to protect the newbie from external threats.
1. Sons of Ragnar Lóðbrok
King Aella of Northumbria has put Ragnar Lodbrok to death in a pit of snakes. That was a huge mistake. Coalition of Scandinavian warriors called Great Heathen Army invaded England as a result. Leaders of this army was the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok.
Ragnar had 5 sons. So, you can pick either of them in your coop session. They are natural allies who are determined to avenge their father’s death by invading Anglo-Saxon England. All part of the same dynasty but different houses.
Ubbe isn’t landed but the host can land him and invite the second player for a slightly harder campaign.
Jarl Björn would be the easiest. You can form Scandinavian Empire and reform Asatru religion in his lifetime.
2. Petty Kings of England
Here goes the other side of the coin. Yes, you can play as the vengeful sons of Ragnar Lodbrok. But you can also play as the Petty Kings of England.
Can you save England against wrath of the Northmen?
Defend your homeland from savages and barbarians for ultimate challenge. But keep in mind, it won’t be easy. The struggle will take time, you might lose some and win some. But the ultimate goal is to eradicate heathens and unite England under Anglo Saxon banner.
You can play as King Aethelwulfson of Wessex, Earl Alfred of Wessex (future king), King Aella of Northumbria, King Burghred of Mercia, King Eadmund of East Anglia, King Dumnarth of Cornwall, or one of their count tier vassals.
Eventually one will be the vassal of other player in order to form Kingdom of England.
After the death of Charlemagne’s son Louis the Pious, once great Carolingian Empire divided into 4 Kingdoms. King Charles II the Bald, King Lothaire II, King Ludwig II, and King Louis II. All related, all part of the Karling Dynasty.
Muslims on the south, Pagans on the North and East. Karlings are in tough position.
It’s especially hard because of the Scandianivan Adventurers hitting you every 5 years.
4. Capet Brothers
Henry Capet is the 14 years old child ruler of France in 1066. He has one brother (9) and one sister (11). The brother is unlanded at the start. Therefore, host should pick Henry Capet, grant title to brother Prince Hugues and then invite second player to the game.
It’s a good start because both characters are child. You can train them the way you like and enjoy a long reign.
The shared goal could be restoring the Empire of Francia, uniting England and France, or becoming the Holy Roman Emperor.
Jimenas are the 4 Kings of Iberia. All rule separate Kingdoms bordering each other. Kingdom Navarra, Castille, Leon, and Galicia. 3 of them are brothers and their lands can be united quickly with a couple of murder schemes.
Purpose of this 1066 campaign is to complete Reconquista. It’s now much more fun with the Iberian struggle mechanics. Of course, I’m assuming you own The Fate of Iberia DLC. Check out Crusader Kings 3 best DLCs ranking.
The Reconquista is the historical term used to describe the military campaigns that Christian kingdoms waged against the Moors from the 8th century until 1492, in order to retake the Iberian territories which were lost due to the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. – Wikipedia Reconquista
6. Matilda of Tuscany
Duchess Matilda is one of the most popular characters of the 1066 start date. She’s the topic of many CK3 memes.
Her duchy is big and part of Holy Roman Empire. But that’s not all of it. She’s single! You can pick any other horny single male medieval ruler and marry Matilda of Tuscany.
Become the biggest power couple in Holy Roman Empire. The goal of this coop campaign could be becoming the emperor / empress or gaining independence.
The key point is to add Saxon elective law to your primary titles because otherwise marrying each other will result in game-over for one party. Obviously, this co-op scenario recommended for experienced players.
7. King Salamon & King Boleslaw
Two bordering strong Catholic kings of eastern Europe with each in its own empire de jure. Literally the perfect start! It’s a bit easy though.
Poland can form Empire of West-Slavia. Hungary can form Empire of Carpathia. It’s all done by expanding to the east, which is fairly easy.
After that, you guys can turn to west, try and break down the Holy Roman Empire.
8. Basileus Konstantinos X & Doux Andronikos
Both characters are house Doukas, dynasty Doukas. They have nephew uncle relationship. So, no inheritance problem. One player will be the emperor, and the other one form Kingdom of Bulgaria, which is a pretty big de jure to be honest. It would be easy to form Bulgaria with the help of emperor.
Since both are Greek, the Byzantine Tradition will cause bunch of rebellions. You guys can team up and fight against disloyal vassals.
9. Countess Mariana & Duke Robert “the Fox”
They are right next to each other. Young countess Mariana can marry Duke Robert’s eldest son Bohemond de Hauteville. Since Bohemond is disinherited, the marriage won’t be a succession problem.
Oh, in case you didn’t know, Bohemond’s looks are literally copied from Henry Cavill. Ha ha. That’s why it’s one of my favorite characters in Crusader Kings 3.
When I play as Duke Robert, I always restore Bohemond’s inheritance. Because he is a beast.
Player one will be Haesteinn. The second player can choose any character! Because Haesteinn can Varangian adventure to anywhere with his ferocious army and unique casus belli. Then Haesteinn can merge with cultures and adopt local religions too.
When I pick Haesteinn, sometimes I go to England, sometimes to Middle East, and sometimes to India. All these runs offer completely different and unique playstyles.
It’s for experienced players though! If you don’t take advantage of Count Haesteinn’s special army and warfare skill at the beginning, you’ll end up in trouble. Because, special units do not regenerate numbers, and Haesteinn’s son is weak compared to him.
You have to be fast too. Because Charles the Bald will start a murder scheme against you at the beginning. Either move away from him Varangian adventure or you create a murder scheme against him before he gets you.
These are all the best co-op starts of CK3. If you’re asking about the competitive starts, try small nations from Iberia, the Iberian struggle will make it really interesting.
What’s harder? Steppes of course.