EU4: A Simple Guide to Trade | Merchants, Companies, and Nodes

Welcome to our EU4 trade guide, where we’ll discuss trade nodes, trade power, and mercantilism, as well as how to increase trade value and maximize profit from trade.

This guide will be helpful for players who want to learn more about the trade system in EU4.

Trade Nodes and Trade Power

Genoa Trade Node
Genoa Trade Node

The trade system in EU4 is represented by trade nodes. There are two types of trade nodes in the game: end trade nodes and non-end trade nodes. End trade nodes are nodes where you don’t have any outflowing trade, meaning you get to keep all the trade from your own provinces and other parts of the world. Non-end trade nodes have trade that both flows into and out of the trade area.

Trade power is the percentage of a trade node that belongs to you. It determines your income from a trade node and can be used to transfer trade from other trade nodes into the node where you are collecting.

Related | EU4 Army Composition Guide | Europa Universalis 4

Increasing Trade Power and Mercantilism

There are several ways to increase trade power in a trade node. One method is to assign light ships to protect the trade in that trade node, but this will cost maintenance. Another way to increase trade value is to have high mercantilism, which increases the provincial trade power modifier, embargo efficiency, and the burghers loyalty equilibrium.

Trade Value and Production

Trade Goods
Trade Goods

Trade value is the total worth of a trade node, determined by the production of the provinces in that node. The value of trade goods can change over time due to events that impact their prices. Goods produced efficiency also plays a role in trade value, influenced by nearby merchant republics, trading cities, or trade companies.

Increasing Trade Value with Buildings and Trade Companies

To increase trade value, you can build specific buildings, such as the marketplace, trade depot, or stock exchange. If you set up a trade company, you’ll get access to trade company-specific buildings like the company warehouse and the company depot. These buildings can help increase your trade power and production efficiency.

Merchants and Trade Companies

Trade Companies
Trade Company

Merchants are essential for transferring or collecting trade from various trade nodes. You can get merchants through trade ideas, establishing trade companies, or having colonies with more than 10 provinces. Keep in mind that trade companies can only be established in provinces not part of the same continent (such as colonies) as your capital and cannot become states.

Maximizing Trade Profit

To maximize trade profit, consider moving your trade capital to one of the three end trade nodes: Genoa, Venice, or the English Channel. Alternatively, you can set up your home trade node in another good trade area, such as Constantinople or Lubeck. Be sure to control a majority in the connecting trade node to optimize your income from your main trade node.


  • Matthew Flores

    Matthew Flores plays games for a living... what a life! He began with World of Warcraft when he was just a young man; nowadays, he has evolved to play every genre—grand strategies, RPGs, shooters, MMOs, and everything else! With this being his passion, he dreams of sharing his 1000s of hours of knowledge and expertise with others by creating YourGlobalGamer.

Leave a Comment