Hearts of Iron 4 (HOI4) – Best Land Doctrine (Tier List)

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Games like Hearts of Iron 4 will require players to learn some of the metas and figure out how to beat the AI and other players using the best possible game mechanics.

The land doctrines are a huge part of HOI4 that can give your army buffs strong enough to help you beat some major power using only battle plans, avoiding micromanagement as much as possible.

Recommended Read: How to Transport Troops Over Water in Hearts of Iron 4

However, there is also a chance if you don’t look at the doctrines properly before using them that you will end up with a useless doctrine and a huge amount of lost army experience.

The best land doctrine in Hearts of Iron 4 is the Superior Firepower doctrine, with the Integrated Support and Shock & Awe branches.

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Best Land Doctrine in HOI4

There are 4 land doctrines in HOI4, and most of them have 2 to 4 branches that make them different, which means two people can get the same land doctrine and have different bonuses to their army.

To quickly give you an answer, the best land doctrine out of all 4 major choices and the 12 branches in HOI4 is the Superior Firepower doctrine, with the Integrated Support and Shock & Awe branches.

The Superior Firepower land doctrine is better than all of the other doctrines first of all due to its versatility.

Though most of the other ones require you to meet very special circumstances to work well, the Superior Firepower doctrine will give you buffs that work for any country.

All of your battalions will get a huge Soft Attack buff, which is the king of attack stats in single-player HOI4, and you will also have Organization bonuses to all the types of troops you might use.

Both infantry, artillery, and tanks get bonuses from this doctrine, which carry over no matter how you modernize your army.

Players will also get access to the incredibly powerful tactic, the Suppressive Barrage, which will give you an extra 10% attack when being on the offensive, while lowering the defense of the enemies by 20%.

If you also combine this preferred tactic with the Spirit of Division Command Smoke and Fire, which gives you an extra 100% chance that Suppressive Barrage is the chosen tactic, you will constantly destroy your enemies on the offensive with this constant powerful tactic.

Dispersed Support vs Integrated Support

The first question you will have after choosing to invest everything in the Superior Firepower doctrine is which branch is better: Dispersed Support or Integrated Support.

Dispersed Support will provide the player’s country with +10% Defense for Artillery, +0.2 Recovery Rate and +10% Soft Attack for Line Artillery, and +5% Coordination. Unfortunately, Coordination is relatively useless.

So, overall, you just get huge buffs to your artillery. However, Integrated Support will give you +20 Organization and +50% Soft Attack for Support Companies. This is incredible, considering one of the worst problems with stacking the powerful Support Companies is the Organization penalty.

Usually, most Support Companies will lower your division’s Organization by 10 to 6 Organization per battalion. However, with Integrated Support, this will be lowered to somewhere between 7 to 4.

The +50% Soft Attack bonus is also incredible since you can get up to +50 Soft Attack just by using a Support Company Artillery piece for your divisions.

Though Dispersed Support is also really good, Line Artillery is usually powerful enough without a 10% buff to Soft Attack.

Considering how easy it is to stick Support Artillery to most divisions and the huge boost to Organization for Support Companies, Integrated Support is the better branch down the Superior Firepower land doctrine in HOI4.

Airland Battle vs Shock & Awe

The next question is investing in either the Airland Battle branch or the Shock & Awe one. Generally, the Shock & Awe branch is just too good to not pick up for your army.

With Shock & Awe, players will get major bonuses to all of their army, improving both Organization, Soft Attack, and Hard Attack for all battalion types.

Combined with the Integrated Support branch, the Superior Firepower doctrine becomes the best land doctrine in HOI4 for a balanced player with many types of troops in their army.

The Airland Battle branch is also good, but it is more specialized for tanks and CAS, since it will help you dominate the skies while improving your Hard Attack.

Land Doctrine Tier List

Though we’ve already decided which land doctrine is the best in HOI4, there are around 12 choices you can make which can be better for your country.

So, with this in mind, here is a tier list for the best land doctrine in HOI4 for all your needs:

Land DoctrineTierSpecialization
Superior Firepower -> Integrated Support -> Shock & Awe


Complete versatility, best for varied divisions with full support.
Mobile Warfare -> Blitzkrieg -> Modern Blitzkrieg


Best for Tanks and pure offensive capabilities.
Superior Firepower -> Dispersed Support -> Shock & Awe


Best for Artillery. Does almost everything the same as the one at S+.
Superior Firepower -> Integrated Support -> Airland Battle


Best for Anti-Air and CAS/Air Superiority focus.
Superior Firepower -> Dispersed Support -> Airland Battle


Best for Anti-Air and CAS/Air Superiority focus. Choose this if you don’t want Line Anti-Air.
Mobile Warfare -> Mobile Infantry -> Modern Blitzkrieg


Best for Mot/Mech Infantry and pure offensive capabilities. Usually the choice for people that want to do a world conquest but can’t afford Tanks.
Grand Battleplan -> Infiltration


Best for Defense. If you play a country that has to stop an immense power and is weaker, always choose this (hint: Luxembourg can survive against Germany with this doctrine).
Grand Battleplan -> Assault


Best for Defense and pushing back Tanks. Usually a good choice for major powers that need to defeat Germany.
Mobile Warfare -> Blitzkrieg -> Desperate Defense


Desperate Defense is something you choose only if you are losing a war.
Mobile Warfare -> Mobile Infantry -> Desperate Defense


Desperate Defense is something you choose only if you are losing a war.
Mass Assault -> Continuous Offensive


Not that good, it’s a weird combination between a lot of Manpower and Tanks.
Mass Assault -> Mass Mobilization


Never good, only decent if you don’t care about losing millions in Manpower.

Second-Best Land Doctrine

Mobile Warfare and Grand Battleplan are really close in terms of usefulness. If you don’t really see yourself picking Superior Firepower, always pick one of these two.

Mobile Warfare is usually the choice you go for if you have a powerful industry and want to use a lot of Tanks to completely destroy your enemies.

The Blitzkrieg and Modern Blitzkrieg branches are perfect for multiplayer games, as they will allow you to push through almost any division.

The Mobile Warfare land doctrine has some problems as well, respectively the Desperate Defense branch.

Since this doctrine is supposed to be the perfect path for Germany, it also gives you the chance to roleplay the end of the war, where they had no chance to survive.

This is why Desperate Defense just gives you a lot of Manpower and nothing else. This is a complete waste, as the Modern Blitzkrieg branch does a really good job buffing your already modernized army. The only reason you would go down that path is if you are losing the war and you already lost most of your Tanks.

However, if you are playing a country that isn’t going to attack until the enemy loses all its Manpower or Supply, then Grand Battleplan is the best choice.

Countries like the USSR, Yugoslavia, Romania, and even Poland can use this doctrine to survive the onslaught of powerful countries with unstoppable militaries.

Worst Land Doctrine

The worst land doctrine by far in HOI4 that you should never use, even if it’s already chosen by your country, is Mass Assault.

All this does is buff your Leg Infantry and give you the capabilities to make a full army only made out of Infantry that is sent out to lose you Manpower.

Even countries like China would do better changing to a different doctrine if they really want a chance against the Japanese.

The only good thing you can get out of this doctrine is down the Mass Mobilization path, which will lower your Out of Supply Penalties by 40%. Still, this isn’t worth the amount of Land Experience you’ve just wasted going down this tree.

That’s everything you need to know about the best land doctrine in 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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