Easiest Countries to Play as in Europa Universalis IV 1444
The Ottoman Empire is the recommended nation for new players, therefore suggesting it is an easy start.
Being surrounded by 3 or more geographic regions, aggressive expansion is a lesser concern. Got a lot of AE with Hungary and Poland? Just invade the Mamluks while that AE is ticking down and vice versa.
It is easy to expand quickly as there are many smaller nations like Byzantium, Serbia, Albania, Candar, Bosnia, Wallachia and Dulkadir, in which you could easily steam roll over, aslong they don't ally Austria, Mamluks etc.
At first the Ottomans are on par with the Mamluks and Poland, but after gobbling Byzantium etc. The Ottomans soon out pace them.
Be sure to get allies incase, Russia or Austria decides to Declare war when you're weak, usually France, Bohemia and Tunis are the way to go for Allies.
Same case as Ming, although aggressive expansion and unrest can be more of a problem
OP development and weak neighbours. Can practically decimate any nation nearby and aggressive expansion isn't much of a problem
Muscovy starts with a Core on Novgorod in 1444 so you can instantly declare war and quickly expand. Then once you reach the Swedish border, turn to the east and colonize and conquer the steppe, while waiting for Poland-Lithuania or Denmark-Sweden to either break union, have no allies or just be weak before declaring War.
Starts off with Pskov and Perm as vassals. Easy prey nearby such as Tver, Ryazan and Novgorod. Watch out for Lithuana and Denmark, as they can ally each other and war you.
Usually a Casual Game, aim is to ally Castile and basically be their lap dog, Portugal is good at colonizing so you'll do a lot of that. If you can you can try and conquer northern morocco, with or without Castile, but Castile will want the land too. Don't invade Castile unless they have rebels (a lot) and/or you're allied to France or Ottomans.
So Portugal is best for Colonizing and only that.
Not a very strong army, but is protected by Castille with the Historical Friend bonus. Starts off with an explorer, making it the best nation for colonisation. Be careful of Morocco and Tunis though.
Strong army and the strongest nation in Iberia. Navarra can easily be diplomatically vassalised. However, they are surrounded by three potential strong enemies: France, Aragon and Morocco. Iberian wedding event however allows for Aragon to enter a Personal Union with Castile.
France is a powerhouse, you can easily take all the provinces of England in France from England easily, and defeat Castile or Aragon, with the help of one of the other, before they unify. You can then easily conquer Burgundy when they're weak or get the Burgundian Inheritance which gives France half of Burgundian land for free if they lose a war and have no heir. And you can easily take a province in England while reconquering french provinces to avoid the english navy to invade England. Then start the empire, conquer Italy once they leave the HRE and be Napoleon.
The big blue blob. Although very strong, France is surrounded by England, Burgundy and Provence - all of which could potentially be a big problem.
Strong nation in India with many weak nations to prey on in the south. However, a major problem could be Bahmanis.
Starts off with Hejaz as a vassal and the opportunity to either diplomatically vassalise or conquer Dulkadir. However, Qara Qoyunlu and the Ottoman Empire are huge threats, and war with an expanded Ottoman Empire can destroy the Mamluks.
Can easily unite the British Isles and form Great Britain. However, the war of the roses is set to happen and France could declare war at any time.
A powerhouse once done correctly, either you can go the habsburg route or emperor route.
Habsburg route would involve forcing a Union with Bohemia, either getting it for free or forcing one on Hungary, and getting the burgundian inheritance in which the HRE lands of Burgundy go to Austria if Burgundy has no royal marriage with Castile.
The Emperor route involves implementing HRE reforms as quickly as possible while remaining emperor.
This involves invading Venice and the Pope to reign in Northern Italy and prevent Italy from leaving the empire, increasing Imperial Authority and help pass reforms.
Crushing the Protestant Reformation as quickly as possible by "forcing religion on nations".
And forcing german princes to release as many nations within the HRE a possible, more nations = more authority. This also includes adding provinces to the HRE, or nations or vassals to the HRE.
Once you reform the HRE on the 2nd to last reform, all princes are your vassal, ...more
Easy nation to play as, but has to manage the Holy Roman Empire.
Its national ideas are essentially a combination of the national ideas of Japan, France and Sweden which have some of the most quality-intensive ideas. On top of that, you can take innovative and quality ideas which by themselves give nice bonuses, but the +20% infantry combat ability policy amplifies quality ideas even further.