Victoria 3: Western Frontier Expedition

How to complete the expedition and get the Oregon territory as the US



This is a guide on completing the extremely bugged and frustrating Frontier Expedition so you can get the Oregon Territory from Britain for free.

To activate the Journal entry, start by researching Pharmaceuticals and then Quinine. You won’t be needing Nationalism for quite a while. I know you’re thinking; “but what about Manifest Destiny and the cores on Mexico?!”

Well, from my experience you need to HOLD OFF on this decision until you complete the expedition! This is the most important part, taking land from Mexico, specifically California, will bug out the event and it will fail every time.

You will need to do 3 expeditions to complete the entire event chain, however Oregon Trail is the most important one to get.

Picking a leader

Once you get access to the decision after researching the tech, you will be prompted to choose a leader. If you have any commanders with the explorer trait pick them, as you get extra prestige when completing the expedition. Other than that, it has no effect on the success chance so it doesn’t matter too much.

One important note however, the commander will be “busy” for the time of the expedition so if you need them for any wars those troops they command will just idle, you won’t be able to use them to attack or anything. So basically don’t let your Admiral commanding your 25 flotillas do it as he won’t be able to do anything if a war breaks out.

Also, sometimes I’ve gotten a bug where the expedition has completed and he never has his “busy” tag removed, or he dies on the expedition but never dies in the game but is permanently busy. So just choose someone commanding the smallest possible force so if that happens it’s not as annoying.

Event decisions

So how this works is that a progress bar will slowly fill overtime and once it is done you will succeed. However, every so often you will get a decision you will have to make which can either give you more progress or give you peril, which if you max out will fail the expedition.

Basically most of them have either a “safe” option which will delay the expedition or a dangerous one that will speed it up. In the beginning I will usually go with the more dangerous one, but if I get to medium peril and above I will go with the safer one.

Here are some examples:

Hunting or finding a settlement, I almost always choose the settlement as the natives will usually help you, while hunting is dangerous and will usually create peril.

Wait for nightfall or push on. I will do push on unless my peril is high already.

If given the choice to build a fort and rescue the baby, always take them! The baby will give you an extra option with the native settlement to give you less peril and progress at the same time which is super good. The fort will give you a similar option later on your future expeditions.

Collecting plants isn’t worth the tiny amount of prestige.

Climbing the mountain usually gives a ton of progress so it is worth it if your peril isn’t too high.


After completing the 3 expeditions it should probably be 1845 or so, maybe earlier depending on how lucky you were. I failed 3 of them and was still able to finish them all by that time. Britain will automatically give you Oregon Territory once the Midwest is fully colonized.

After that, just take Manifest destiny decision and fight the Mexican-American war. Enjoy being OP the rest of the game!

By Eric

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