Game Guides

Crusader Kings 3 – What Are Lifestyles

These talent trees will shape your ruler and how they play.

by Brandon Adams


Lifestyles are a new addition to Crusader Kings 3, and they provide a variety of perks and traits that’ll help your ruler accomplish their goals. They are tied to the 5 main attributes in the game, and the system largely replaces Crusader Kings 2’s Bloodlines (in tandem with the new dynastic “Legacies”). Knowing how to maximize your lifestyles is crucial to your ruler’s success, so you’ll need to know exactly how they work.

Lifestyles in Crusader Kings 3 provide perks and traits that make you better at a specific playstyle.

You can access your Lifestyles by clicking the circular icon next to your ruler’s portrait in the bottom-left corner of the HUD. Lifestyles are broken down into five categories, each matching one of Crusader Kings 3’s primary attributes: Diplomacy, Martial, Stewardship, Intrigue, and Learning. Every character will have a certain amount of points in all five of these attributes, and they give you an idea as to what Lifestyles will best benefit them.

For example, King Murchad excels at Martial, so Martial Lifestyle perks will work well for him. That also means you’re gonna wanna press your claims and wage war more often with him as your ruler, because the Martial perks are tailored around that playstyle. If you need to establish better relationships both home and abroad you’ll want to shift to Diplomacy, but his low Diplomacy means he won’t be great at it. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the Diplomacy Lifestyle entirely with King Murchad – adapting to your current situation is critical to your success in Crusader Kings 3 – but if you want to get some good ole’ fashioned warring out of the way you’ll want to get it done while Murchad wears the crown.

Lifestyle experience is earned in one of two ways: passively and through story events. As you can see within the focuses to the right of the Lifestyles HUD, you’ll earn a set amount of experience for your selected Lifestyle per month, and if your ruler was educated in a specific Lifestyle as a child they’ll gain a percentage-based bonus to that amount. Additionally, story events will appear that are tailored to both the overall Lifestyle you are focusing on at the moment and the, well, literal Focus you picked within.

To keep with the Murchad reference: he is currently following the Chivalry Focus in Martial, so he’ll experience general Martial story segments, and segments built entirely around the Chivalry Focus. Depending on your choices these can net you temporary traits and experience, so pay attention to what’s on offer and pick what best suits your needs.

Children can be educated by adults in Crusader Kings 3, and you’ll want to match them up with someone who has a high attribute of whatever Lifestyle that child is focusing on. The better their education the more perks they’ll have unlocked by the time they become an adult. That means it’s incredibly important to manage your heirs’ education at the very least: you’re going to play as one of them eventually, so you’ll want to mold them for whatever role you need them to fill. Don’t sleep on educating your heirs if you want to maximize your Lifestyle bonuses by the time they take the throne.

You can change your primary Lifestyle focus at mostly any time, though you’ll have to wait five years between changes to do it again. If you want to change which of the five categories you’re earning experience in just go to that category and select one of the three focuses to move over. Perks can also be reset, but there’s a couple catches. First, you’ll only refund perk points in the trees that have been leveled. Second, you can only reset perks once in a ruler’s lifetime, and you’ll take a nasty 100 stress hit for doing so. Think of it as a bit of a mid-life crisis. You won’t always need to do so, but if you find your current set of perks are not helping you in your current situation the option is there.

- This article was updated on:September 1st, 2020

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