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

Increase in World Tension

The following increases the level of World Tension:

Decrease in World Tension

The following causes a decrease in World Tension:

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

Decay over Time explained

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

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

Some national focus can lower the treshold. Below you find the base treshold 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 cant justify 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




Soviet Union

United Kingdom


World Tension needed for National Focus

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

United Kingdom

5% 10% 20% 50%
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