World tension

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World Tension at 100%

World Tension represents the overall level of fear and anxiety that exists among the nations of the World. The number displayed can be between 0% and 100%. Total World Tension can be higher than 100%, but there are no additional effects beyond the 100% limit—the overflow instead acts as a "buffer" against events that decrease Tension.

The level of World Tension has several impacts on gameplay, in particular allowing or limiting political decisions, national focus, and more. It is shown as an icon depicting Earth, with flames engulfing it more fully the higher current World Tension is. Generally, the higher the World Tension, the more popular support nations have for taking belligerent actions.

Impacts on World Tension[edit]

Increase in World Tension[edit]

The following increases the level of World Tension:

Decrease in World Tension[edit]

The following can cause a decrease in World Tension:

  • Decay over time
  • Declaring war (Democracy only)
  • Peace treaties
  • Guaranteeing a nation's independence (Democracy)
  • Joining a faction.

Decay over time[edit]

World Tension is the sum of every positive and negative event that has occurred to date reduced by their decay. Each completed individual event will gradually decay toward 0 at .1 per month. Note that this also affects events which reduce World Tension, e.g. peace treaties reduce World Tension, but their effects decay just like aggressive events. World Tension from Declarations of War appear to be considered incomplete until the associated war has ended.

For example, if your current World Tension list has:

  • 2% Germany Demanded Sudetenland
  • 16.7% Treaty of Valencia ending Spanish Civil War
  • -1.4% Italian Peace Treaty w/ Ethiopia
  • 0.6% Militarization of Rhineland
  • Total: 17.9%

The next month, World Tension will change to:

  • 1.9% Germany Demanded Sudetenland
  • 16.6% Treaty of Valencia ending Spanish Civil War
  • -1.3% Italian Peace Treaty w/ Ethiopia
  • 0.5% Militarization of Rhineland
  • Total: 17.7%


World Tension reduces the time (and cost) of justifying of wargoals by up to 75% at 100% World Tension.

Ideological effects[edit]

Different ideologies have different effects on World Tension—both in terms of generation and in terms of how much World Tension is needed to take certain actions.

Tension required[edit]

Some national focus can lower the threshold. Below you find the base threshold without any modifiers.

Action Ideology
Communism icon.
Democracy icon.
Fascism icon.
Non-aligned icon.
Guarantee independence 25% 40%
Send volunteers 50% 40%
Join faction 80% 40%
Justify war goal 50%
Declare War 75% 100% 25%
Lend-Lease 50% 40%


World Tension threshold:

  • Comintern impact on tension threshold: -50%


Democracies cannot justify wargoals against other democracies.

Democracies have the most restrictive tension thresholds:

  • Allies impact on tension thresholds: −10%


World Tension thresholds:

  • None.


World Tension threshold:

  • Neutral faction impact on tension threshold: +10%

National Focus that impact World Tension by country[edit]


  • RhinelandRhineland +5
  • Anti-Comintern PactAnti-Comintern Pact +2
  • Reassert Eastern Claims +3
  • Demand Sudetenland +3
  • Fate of Czechoslovakia +5
  • Danzig or War +5
  • War with France +5
  • Demand Slovenia +2
  • Second Ljubljana Award +2


  • Chinese Border Incident +1
  • Reinforce the Soviet Border +1


  • Claims on Yugoslavia +4

Soviet Union[edit]

  • Claim Sinkiang +2
  • Claim the Straits +2
  • The Comintern +1
  • Claims in Baltic +1
  • Baltic Security +1
  • Claims on Poland +3
  • Claim on Bessarabia +1

United Kingdom[edit]

  • Benelux Intervention +1
  • Scandinavian Intervention +1


  • Black Chamber Operation +1
  • Preemptive Intervention +1

World Tension needed for National Focus[edit]

If a country is at war, these can be chosen even if the needed world tension is not yet reached.

United Kingdom[edit]

5% 10% 20% 50%
General Rearmament Issue Gasmasks Military Training

United States[edit]

25% 30% 40% 75% 80%
Prepare Intervention Military Construction The Giant Wakes Limited Intervention USACE Projects