There are four eras in Crusader Kings 3 each with 14 cultural innovations. Meaning total 56 technologies to unlock. However, there are also cultural and regional innovations that are exclusive to the certain cultures. Most of the time, exclusive culture innovations are OP, and you should get them ASAP. As for the global techs, let’s talk about the best culture innovations in CK3.
Most of the time, top tier culture fascinations in Crusader Kings 3 are siege weapons, succession laws, and building unlocks with a few exceptions. But again, it all depends on the situation you’re in at that moment.
CK3 best innovations:
Top tier cultural fascinations in the tribal era are the ones giving you an edge over your neighbors.
- Onager: If you don’t have onager at the start, you need to unlock it asap. Because you can’t capture castles without siege regiments. If you can’t capture castles, you can’t win wars!
- Plenary Assemblies: It unlocks Fortified Tribal Hold for tribal nations. That bonus doesn’t matter really. What matters is the second bonus, limited crown authority. Without limited crown authority, you can’t revoke titles from your vassals. That’s utterly important for a ruler.
- Mottes: Mottes unlock tribal era fortification buildings such as castles. You need to unlock building upgrades as early as possible for snowballing effect.
- Barracks: Barracks unlock first military buildings. Now military buildings are more important than ever because you can station man at arms regiments for huge bonuses.
- Crop Rotation: This one unlocks all tribal era economic buildings. You gotta build your economy fast in order to sustain your future empire. Economy first!
- Ledger: Ledger gives +1 additional building slot which is huge either for economy or military depending on your preference.
- Gavelkind: Gavelkind increases domain limit by +1. It’s important to control as many holdings as you can in Crusader Kings 3 because you can’t depend on your vassals…
If you’re in tribal era, first thing you should focus is to acquire a big kingdom or empire title before you die so that your titles do not separate as sovereign duchies / kingdoms. Because you can’t enact partition law before researching hereditary rule in the early medieval.
Early medieval innovations. The utter most important innovation is hereditary rule in this age if you have confederate partition succession law. It sucks and split your kingdom between your children on death.
- Hereditary Rule: It’s a must in order to keep your kingdom intact. Because confederate partition will create new titles for your heirs, and they will split into new nations.
- Royal Prerogative: Unlocks high and absolute crown authority laws. They are important for more gold, levies, and stopping wars between your vassals.
- Mangonels: Much better than onagers. You need-em to siege castles.
- Burhs: Unlocks early medieval era buildings including special duchy buildings. Duchy buildings boost the power of men-at-arms units a lot!
- Battlements: Medieval era fortification buildings including level 2 keep.
- Manoralism: Medieval era economic buildings. You gotta build good economy early game to sustain big empire later.
- Bailiffs: Another +1 building slot for all holdings that’ll strengthen your kingdom tremendously.
High Medieval culture innovations are the most powerful technologies in the game. You better have a ruler with high learning in 1050s to unlock OP innovations as fast as you can.
- Windmills: Nice, another +1 building slot! But windmills innovation has two other perks, it unlocks windmills and watermills buildings. They give lots of lots of money, development growth, and couple other bonuses. I always take windmills fascination the moment I hit the high medieval era.
- Guilds: Again, +1 building slot! Also, unlocks high medieval era economic buildings, and small caravanserai building. Want to be rich? Unlock Windmills and Guilds.
- Divine Right: Can press several claims in a single war. Perfectly synergizes with buy claim action coming with learning lifestyle. It also gives piety bonus, short reign duration reduction, and reduced title creation cost. Pretty OP.
- Trebuchet: Very strong siege men-at-arms regiment effective against forts up to lvl 15.
- Hoardings: High Medieval era fortification buildings. Basically, castle upgrades.
- Castle Baileys: High Medieval era military buildings.
- Advanced Bowmaking: Unlocks one of the best ranged men-at-arms regiment (Crossbowmen) and shooting ranges building for men-at-arms stationing. If you don’t have access to English longbowmen, you want to have crossbowmen, it’s great.
I did not include heraldry because high partition is not that really game changing. Because by the time you got access to high partition via innovation, you already got a fully built county capital with at least 2-3 castles. So, inheritance shouldn’t be much of a problem when you have a strong powerbase.
Also, you can get high partition succession law by playing or merging with a Visigothic Code culture even in 867 start date.
I didn’t include any building technology as a great late medieval innovation. Because fully upgraded high medieval holdings are more than enough for a stable empire. There are much more important innovations in the late medieval you should prefer over building upgrades.
- Primogeniture: This innovation unlocks primogeniture succession law. Under primogeniture succession, your oldest child inherits everything. Including multiple empire titles. I mean, it’s obviously the best succession law ever. The game turns into an easy mode after unlocking that. Also, Byzantine Empire has primogeniture law from the start in case you didn’t know.
- Bombards: Best siege men-at-arms in the game. With enough bombards, you can even siege max level forts in no time. It’s needed in the late game.
- Sappers: Reduces siege phase time by -10% which is huge for late game. Because by the time you hit late medieval, everyone has high level forts.
- Plate Armor: Heavy Infantry and Heavy Cavalry man-at-arms units are the strongest already. What does Plate Armor do? It gives even more toughness to the Heavy Infantry and Heavy Cavalry regiments.
- Court Officials: Court officials increase your domain limit by +1 and makes courtly vassals more common. Courtly vassals are the best because they get many relation bonuses.