Victoria 3 update 1.2 open beta starts next week

An open beta for Victoria 3's update 1.2 will begin February 8, and the developers encourage player feedback because "there will be bugs" to track down.

Victoria 3 review: A smiling, triumphant couple walks through the streets of a 19th century town in the midst of a major celebration

Some major changes are coming to Victoria 3 in the next major patch, and to make sure everything’s working as intended before it arrives, Paradox is running an open beta for everyone who owns the newest addition to its ever-growing stable of grand strategy games. The Victoria 3 update 1.2 open beta begins February 8, and the devs caution players to strap in, because “there will be bugs.”

Finding those bugs and eliminating them is rather the whole point of running the open beta, as Victoria 3 game director Martin Anward explains in the latest dev diary.

“Some aspects of the game will be greatly improved, but other things will be in a rougher state,” he writes. “If not, we’d just launch it without a beta phase!”

The beta branch for update 1.2 will open February 8 at 1am PST / 4am EST / 9am GMT. Once it’s available, you’ll be able to find it in the Victoria 3 Steam options menu under betas, where a new branch called 1.2-beta will appear in the drop-down menu. Anward says there will be a post on the official forums with step-by-step instructions on how to access it if you run into any trouble.

Paradox is currently aiming to release the update on the main branch of Victoria 3 on March 13, but plans could change in the interim depending on how the beta goes. Over the course of the beta phase, the team plans on making at least two updates on a roughly weekly basis.

So, what can you expect in this update? When everything’s in place, update 1.2 will add new features like an autonomous investment system, which will add a new game rule that allows non-government entities to independently construct buildings using a country’s investment pool. Military campaigns are getting new player-definable strategic objectives – you’ll only be able to specify one of these at the outset of the open beta, but the plan is to allow for multiple strategic objectives per country.

The update also adds some fluffy nice-to-haves, like an in-game music player (similar to the one you may know from Hearts of Iron IV), rebindable keys, and a way to customise notifications – which Victoria 3 loves throwing at you in stacks.

Update 1.2 will also include performance optimisation and improvements to how the AI deals with its economy, military, and ports. You should see more tangible differences between various economic systems, and profits from trade routes and GDP will be modelled more realistically.

The update also makes some welcome changes to Victoria 3’s lovely interface, making it easier to see the needs of your pops, why radicals are radicalising, and your convoy network.

Check out our Victoria 3 beginner’s guide if you’re just getting started, and refer to our primer on Victoria 3 construction to get your nation up and running in the dawning industrial age.