Hearts of Iron 4 (HOI4) – Best Country/Nation to Play

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Every time you open up Hearts of Iron 4, you will be faced with the hardest decision possible: which country should you play as today?

There are a lot of choices, and most of them are really fun. However, depending on your skill level, some countries might just be too hard to even consider.

Recommended Read: What Is the End Date of Hearts of Iron 4?

Do you want to learn how to play the game properly and are a beginner? Have you been playing the game for a really long time and are wondering which nation is considered by the community the best to play as?

In this guide, we will go through some of the nations in HOI4 and tell you which one is the best country to play as, depending on their role in WW2 and on your skill level (e.g., veteran, beginner).

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What is the Best Country/Nation to Play in HOI4?

In theory, every country in HOI4 that has a special focus tree is a fun nation to play as.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t play as one of the nations in South America, for example, but a special national focus tree allows you to roleplay more.

Usually, any major nation, such as Germany, UK, or USSR, is an amazing choice and will probably be very entertaining. However, if you are a new player, these countries can be very intimidating, with their huge focus trees and constant war.

All major countries and minor countries that have a special national focus tree are usually amazing choices, and you will probably have fun with any one of them.

Still, we will go through some of the best countries to play in HOI4, first talking about the best major nations, continuing with minor nations, and ending with the best nation for beginners.

Best Major Nation to Play

Though this might sound basic to some, the best major nations to play in HOI4 are Germany, the United Kingdom, and the USSR.

Germany is the most interesting country to play as, no matter if you choose historical or ahistorical paths, since you control what happens in the game. You are the main aggressor, allowing you to guide the future of Europe.

The Germans have incredibly powerful units and a fun focus tree that will keep you preoccupied until the end of the game or until you lose to the combined efforts of the Allies and Comintern.

Nevertheless, there is nothing more satisfying than conquering the world as Germany.

The United Kingdom is also an amazing choice, as you are the only force that can stop Germany.

You will dominate the Axis on the naval front and will have to figure out a way to bring the Germans to their knees before the USA decides to join the war and steal your glory.

The UK can also play very interesting ahistorical scenarios, as the focus tree allows them to turn into quite the conqueror.

The last best major nation in HOI4 has to be the USSR, as you have to face the full force of Germany and you are not allowed to lose. The Soviets have the hardest challenge in all of Europe and can bring you the most satisfying results.

There is no better feeling in the world than letting Germans constantly destroy their forces against your troops, only to lose all of their equipment and supply.

Even though you face a lot of problems at home, once you manage to fix them, you can end up conquering the world.

Best Minor Nation to Play

The best minor nation to play in HOI4 has to be Poland. There is no greater challenge than facing both Germany and the USSR from both directions.

Over time, most players have realized that giving the Germans Danzig is usually the best choice, as you would only have to face the USSR then.

However, this still makes Poland an amazing choice since you will come back for Danzig once you are done with the Russians.

Poland has many paths it can go on. However, the best one has to be the Non-aligned one where they unite the region.

There are two Non-aligned paths Poland can take, and both of them will end with Poland recreating something similar to the old Commonwealth.

There are also other minor nations in HOI4 that can be extremely entertaining if you give them a chance:

  • China
  • Turkey
  • Yugoslavia

China can be a really fun choice, as a really good player can easily push back the Japanese and then take it over. Once you manage to defeat Japan, you will have to face the upcoming civil war.

Either Nationalist China or Communist China are both really good choices for this scenario, and uniting the region can be very enjoyable.

Turkey is another great nation to play in HOI4, as you are right in the middle of the greatest conflict in human history, and you can tip the power in whatever direction you wish.

Yugoslavia is an interesting choice as it is rife with problems. This nation is on its last straw, and the Germans and Italians are coming for all of your territory.

Playing as Yugoslavia can be an interesting challenge that most veteran HOI4 players will appreciate.

Best Country to Play as a Beginner

The best beginner-friendly nations in HOI4 are:

  • Hungary
  • Romania
  • Mexico

Hungary and Romania are the best countries for beginner HOI4 players since they are minor Axis powers.

This means that you are strong enough to make a difference in the war, but Germany will be the actual power that guides how everything goes.

Since your struggles won’t really decide the outcome of the war, you have all the time in the world to learn how to play.

You can become incredibly powerful, and you will have some interesting focus trees to explore.

Naval warfare is extremely hard to understand as a beginner. Both of these will mainly rely on land troops, so you won’t have to worry too much about air or naval warfare.

Romania faces a lot of challenges from both the USSR and Germany, so it might be better to go with Hungary for your first playthrough.

On the other end of the globe, Mexico is also one of the best nations in HOI4 to play as a beginner. You are completely isolated from the World War but have one of the most interesting focus trees in the game.

Mexico players have time to learn all about the game’s mechanics without facing an imminent threat and will also have fun doing it. And, who knows, you might even conquer the United States and become the real power in America.

That’s everything you need to know about the best country/nation to play Hearts of Iron 4!

Have any input or suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comment section below.

Adrian Oprea

Based in London, United Kingdom, Adrian Oprea is a Guides Writer. As a professional single-player RPG player, Adrian has often been stigmatized. He has decided to pour his frustration into writing guides!

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