Crusader Kings 3 Change Character Appearance Full Guide

This guide is for all Crusader Kings 3 players and it shows how to use a portrait editor to change character appearance. You will need a text editor and debug mode to make the changes. Do read on…

How to Change Character Appearance in Crusader Kings 3

Finding DNA for Appearance change

  • You can skip this section if you are going to create a brand new character.
  • Go to your document folder.
  • Open folder named “Paradox Games”
  • Find the folder named “Crusader Kings III”
  • Open folder named “save games”
  • Find the file with the extension .ck3 where the character you wish to edit is.
  • Copy the file somewhere safe.
  • Right-click the file and unpack it.
  • Open the gamestate file in a text editor.
  • CTRL+F the unique ID of your character or find the character by name.
  • Protip: to find the character by its ID search for <ID=>. For example, if the character id is 102583 search for 102583=
  • Copy the string in dna= and boot up the game to begin editing.

Working with the DNA for Appearance Change

  • Go into Crusader Kings 3
  • Open the console
  • Select “Portrait editor“, first-row 3rd column
  • Click paste DNA string without quotation marks
  • Play around with the genes
  • Don’t use genes’ sliders too much or the game will crash
  • Protip: the portrait changes only when you touch sliders or buttons.
  • Alternatively, select a 3D view and observe the character from there. Left-click rotates the camera, right-click moves the camera.
  • Once done editing, add clothes to your character so that it is not naked in the main menu.
  • Once satisfied, click copy DNA string from the button on the right.
  • If you are editing your heir, spouse, or your player character, also copy the persistent DNA.
  • Paste these temporarily in an empty text file so you don’t lose your hours of work.

Applying DNA to Change Character Appearance

  • Save the game and exit it.
  • Navigate to your folder with the saved games.
  • Copy the save file to a safe place and unpack it.
  • Open the gamestate file with a text editor.
  • Find the character by ID whose DNA you wish to edit.
  • Replace the character’s DNA with your own edited DNA. Remember to preserve the quotation marks.
  • If you are editing your heir, spouse or playable character you might need to paste the persistent DNA as well.
  • Go to the top of the gamestate file
  • Find the meta_ portrait you need.
  • Copy and replace the genes dictionary. Do not replace anything else unless you know what you’re doing.
  • Save the gamestate file and add the extension .ck3. If you do not know how to change file extensions, Google it.
  • Rename the file so that you preserve the original in the save folder.
  • Place the edited .ck3 file back into your save folder.
  • Start the game
  • The portrait in the main menu may not be updated. Wait until you enter the game to check whether you’ve made a good edit.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article: Crusader Kings 3 Change Character Appearance Full Guide. For more gaming, and related updates don’t forget to keep an eye on our posts. 

Credits to Savant231a

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