Hearts of Iron IV – Easy Starting Guide

I’ll help you get started easy for beginners.

How to Start Easy


Hearts of Iron IV (HoI4) is a grand strategy game by Paradox Interactive set during World War II. It’s a complex and deep game that can be overwhelming for newcomers, but with the right guidance, you can become a master of global warfare. This guide will help you get started and understand the key concepts of the game.

Choosing a Nation

Major Nations:

If you’re new to the game, consider starting with a major nation like Germany, the United States, or the Soviet Union. They have more resources and industry, making them forgiving choices for beginners.

Minor Nations:

If you’re looking for a challenge, try a minor nation like Canada, Australia, or Belgium. These nations have limited resources but can provide a unique gameplay experience.

Understanding the Interface

Map Mode:

Familiarize yourself with the map modes. Political, Diplomatic, and Trade maps are essential for decision-making.

Top Bar:

The top bar displays key resources: Manpower, Equipment, and Factories. Pay attention to these as they affect your ability to wage war.


Use the Production tab to manage your military factories, civilian factories, and dockyards. Prioritize equipment production based on your strategic goals.


Invest in research to improve your technology and unlock new equipment and doctrines. Balance your research between industry, army, navy, and air force.


Check the Political screen to appoint ministers, choose national focuses, and handle laws. These decisions have a significant impact on your nation’s capabilities.

National Focus and Focus Trees

Focus trees are unique to each nation and provide a path for your nation’s development. Pay close attention to your focus tree and choose focuses that align with your goals.

Building and Deployment


Create divisions with the division designer. Experiment with different templates but keep them well-balanced with infantry, artillery, and support companies.

Pay attention to supply limits and infrastructure when planning your offensives.


Build and deploy ships strategically. Protect your trade routes and naval supremacy in key areas.

Research naval doctrines and assign admirals with appropriate traits.

Air Force:

Utilize your air force for reconnaissance, interception, and close air support. Control the skies to gain a significant advantage.

Research air doctrines and assign skilled commanders.


Form alliances and justify war goals to expand your territory. Be cautious about overextending yourself in multiple conflicts.


Use battle plans to execute coordinated offensives. Pay attention to terrain and weather modifiers.

Be mindful of supply lines and logistics. Encircle and cut off enemy units whenever possible.

Adapt your strategies to the evolving situation. Flexibility is key to success.

Production and Resources

Prioritize the production of essential equipment, but also focus on infrastructure, factories, and resource extraction.

Trade for resources if you lack them, and secure key resource-rich regions in wars.

National Unity and Victory Conditions

Pay attention to national unity and the capitulation threshold of your enemies. Achieve your victory conditions to win the war.

Modding and Community

Explore mods created by the HoI4 community to enhance your gameplay experience.

Join online forums and communities to learn from experienced players and share your own experiences.

Practice and Patience

HoI4 is a complex game that takes time to master. Don’t be discouraged by initial failures. Experiment, learn from your mistakes, and enjoy the challenge of the game.

Remember that Hearts of Iron IV is a game of strategy and planning. Take your time to learn the mechanics, experiment with different strategies, and enjoy the immersive experience of leading a nation through the turmoil of World War II. Good luck on the battlefield!

Jan Bonkoski
About Jan Bonkoski 823 Articles
A lifelong gamer Jan Bakowski, also known as Lazy Dice, was always interested in gaming and writing. He lives in Poland (Wrocław). His passion for games began with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64 back in 1998. Proud owner of Steam Deck, which has become his primary gaming platform. He’s been making guides since 2012. Sharing his gaming experience with other players has become not only his hobby but also his job.

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