Creating a country
This guide will direct you through the process of creating a new country whose given culture already exists. The guide contains information for both countries that will be on the map upon starting a new game and countries who can be released by their current owner or formed through another country waging war on the owner with the wargoal "Free ____ in ____" This guide will make Byelorus a playable nation as an example.
Finding the Files
The first step is to find the files you will be editing. They are in the Victoria 2 folder. Go to My Computer and access your C: Drive. Open up program files (or program files x86) If the game is bought on steam, it is under Steam --> steamapps --> Common --> Victoria 2 if you downloaded the game off of Steam, but if not it will be under the Paradox Interactive folder. It is strongly recommended that you make a back-up. Simply hold ctrl and drag a copy to your desktop. Let's choose to edit the files in the Victoria 2 folder in program files. Rename the one on your desktop something that will let you know it is a backup. Open up the folder in the Paradox Interactive/Steamapps folder and begin.
- Victoria 2\common\countries.txt --#list of country tags to load into game
- Victoria 2\common\countries\country name.txt --#country parties and common names
- Victoria 2\history\countries\TAG - Country Name.txt --#country culture, govt, policies, techs
- Victoria 2\history\units\TAG_oob.txt --#starting units
- Victoria 2\history\provinces --#edit province txt files you want to own, console command "provid" can show province ID in game or Provinces
- Victoria 2\gfx\flags\TAG.tga --#don't forget TAG_monarchy, TAG_fascist, TAG_communist, and TAG_republic versions of your flag
- Victoria 2\gfx\flags\flagfiles.txt --#also edit flagfiles_monarchy.txt, flagfiles_fascist.txt, flagfiles_communist.txt, and flagfiles_republic.txt
- Victoria 2\localisation\text.csv #localization file, use notepad to edit, open office and notepad++ can mess up formatting
Creating the Country
In the Victoria 2 folder, find the folder named "common" and open it. First open the .txt file (NOT THE FOLDER) named "countries". Find the category that the country you are trying to make best fits into. The placement of the line does not make a difference for the game files. It is only for your sake. You can also create an entire new category just for your own nations.
For Byelorus, let's go with # Eastern Europe. Create a new line somewhere in the block and type a three letter tag. The tag must be three upper case letters. It cannot be taken by another country (Prime grounds for not naming the country "Belarus" and entering a name conflict with "Belgium"). Ctrl-F and type in the tag you chose to verify that your tag is not already taken. The tag "BYE" is not. So in a new line under CZH we will type BYE. Then hit the tab key twice and type following the format of the lines above: = "countries/Byelorus.txt" Save and close this document.
Now go back and find the folder named countries. Inside will be .txt files of every playable country in the game. To make a .txt for the new country, pick the country most similar to the one you aim to make. For Byelorus - let's go with Russia. Hold ctrl and drag Russia to make a copy of it. Rename the "Russia - copy" file to "Byelorus" and then click on it.
The first line is the country's color - what shows up on the political map. It's in RGB format, if you are familiar with it. If not, the first number is red, the second green, and the third blue. The numbers are a scale of 0 to 255; 0 being devoid of that color, 255 being the highest amount. Play around until you find what you want, or copy the numbers from a "custom color selection" in MS Paint. The second line is the Graphic culture. One can change the names of the party either by editing the names directly in the countries.txt file or by choosing a tag and adobt that nations parties. E.g. one can adopt Chiles parties if one makes a Spanish nation.
Now go into the "history" folder and find the file named RUS - Russia. Make a copy of it and rename it to BYE - Byelorus. First thing's first, the capital can't be Moscow. Look up the province number for the capital of Byelorus - Minsk, which is 718. One can find any province in the victoria2/history/province folder and the corresponding number. Next, change the primary and secondary cultures. The words are always lowercase. If you want less accepted cultures, simply delete the line. One can also add by writing culture = [name]. Let's go with byelorussian as primary and Russian as secondary. If you really want you can make polish or Ukrainian accepted cultures, too. Let's keep religion and government type the same. Under that block of text will be something with the phrase Great Power. Delete that line. In the next line, set the prestige for Byelorus. Russia's 80 is way too high, Denmark has only got 5! How about matching Denmark and going with 5. Keep the rest of the information the same except for the oob. Change the RUS to BYE. If you don't Byelorus will start with the same amount of troops in the same places as Russia! Save and close this document.
Bringing your Country into Existence
Now comes the fun part. Making your country exist! Go into the history folder again and open up the province folder. Find the category your country falls in, Byelorus would be in Soviet. The search bar works well if you want a specific province e.g. Minsk. It is recommended that you keep a list of Province ID's up in your web browser for this. A complete list can be found here: Provinces. Find any province that you want Byelorus to control at the start of the game or potentially own upon being released by Russia or have cores for. Open it up. (Byelorus' modern day borders are 936 to 939 - but you can modify them however you like. Inside you will find just a short block of text. Let's go with 936 - Grodno. Underneath the "add_core = POL" type "add_core = BYE" Byelorus now has a core in Grodno. If you want Byelorus to be releasable by Russia, just save and close the file.
Provinces that border each other tend to have numbers next to each other. So a good bet is that all the provinces you are looking for are the same place.
If you want it to exist on the starting map of the grand campaign, then change the owner and controller from RUS to BYE. Save and close the document and move to the next one. Repeat. Congrats, using this information you should now be able to modify borders at the game start and add cores to provinces! Woo!
Maybe you find it realistic, that Byelorus is in the sphere of influence of Russia at the start of the game. To do this, go in the history folder again and then in the folder units. Find the file named RUS_oob.txt. In this file you can find all starting influence of a country. So, copy the stats from Sweden (SWE). In value, you can set the starting relations, 125 will be a good value. In level, you set the option (from 0 = hostile to 5 = in sphere). Set this to 5 to let be Byelorus in Russia's sphere. The last state is the starting influence, 25 will be a good value.
If you want, you also can create starting troops for Byelorus. To create them, copy the RUS_oob.txt file and rename it to BYE_oob.txt. Remember, in the "BYE - Byelorus.txt" file you set a reference to this file. If you don't (you maybe have simple delete the line), it doesn't work. Now, delete all Russian sphere of influence and all troops. Now, you have to create new stats. You can follow the structur in the RUS_oob.txt file. "army" means, that the following troops form an army. Any army have a name and a staring location (in this case, you can use 718, minsk). Then follow a lot of regiments (every regiment means a troop) with a name, a type and a home. home is to soldiers home (remember: To recrute soldier, you need soldiers POP).
Getting a Flag
Flags are in the folder "flags" which is in the "gfx" folder. If you take a look, they are all 93 wide and 64 tall and in the .tga format. You need a program to do this, I recommend paint.net. Install the program and create a new document with the dimensions above. Now pick out a flag for Byelorus, I went with the white red white horizontal tricolor. Find an image on the internet and copy paste it into the program. Resize the image so it entirely fits in the canvas, do not resize the canvas to match the image. Now save it as a .tga with the name BYE. If you want to make different flags for different government types, you can! For the communist Byelorus, why not pick out the flag of the Byelorussian SSR and use that? Simply save it as BYE_communist with the correct dimensions and format! Move the .tga files to the flags folder and just leave them there.
One has to make one BYE, one BYE_communist, one BYE_fascist, one BYE_republic and one BYE_monarchy. No more no less. If one forgets one, the game will fail to load.
Making your Country... Presentable
If you were to load up Victoria 2 right now, your country would be fully accessible. However, the name of your country would be whatever you made the tag. If it was releasable start a campaign as Russia. You do have the option to release Byelorus, however the name was BYE. Also, look at the region of Brest or Lida. Because it is split between Russian Brest and BYE_ADJ Brest. Search the entire Victoria 2 folder for a file named "text.csv" and open it. It's comma delimited so make sure to maintain all formatting.
Ctrl-F and type in any tag you know to find the section where country names are defined. Insert a new line and copy/paste another so you don't have to meticulously type in semicolon formatting. The format (in Notepad) is as follows:
Let's enter in:
If you are lazy and know that you wont ever use the game in French, German or Spanish one can just let the names stay, from the country you copied from.
You don't have to get the foreign names correct. Now Ctrl-F again to find where you see the list of countries names with _ADJ following them. This is where the adjective for countries shows up. Follow the instructions listed above to modify a line for Byelorussian. And once you save this file, the game is completely playable without looking ugly. There is more you can do, but that is beyond this guide.
If your game fails to load
Pay attention to when to game stops loading and the error message.
If the game stops while loading flags, you are missing a flag file. One has to make one [TAG], one [TAG]_communist, one [TAG]_fascist, one [TAG]_republic and one [TAG]_monarchy. No more no less. If one forgets one, the game will fail to load.
If the game stop loading and gives an error box saying "failed to load line 528 "common/countries/[name ... ... ENG" you have made a mistake in the countries.txt file. Usually one of the " " marks is missing and the game files thinks the next country's tag is a part of the name.
If the in-game text is messed up
If the in-game text is wrongly placed, you may have made a misclick in the text file (the one with all the country names and country adjectives). Find a backup and replace with the original. It is way faster than looking for your mistake, as the file is huge.
One can always reinstall the game, if one doesn't have a backup and the game is unplayable.