Hearts of Iron 4 (HOI4) – How to Annex Puppets

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One of the core mechanics of Hearts of Iron 4 is puppeting. After every war, you will most likely see Communist countries, like the USSR, make a puppet out of all of their enemies.

If you start HOI4 with puppets or make some new ones along the way because you want to stay true to your Puppet war goal, you will also need to know how to annex them.

Recommended Read: How to Leave a Faction in Hearts of Iron 4

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of ways to annex puppets in HOI4. You only have one method that you can use, besides the focus tree for some countries, that will help you easily conquer every vassal you have in this game.

The only way you can annex puppets in HOI4 is to lower their Autonomy until they reach 0.

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How to Annex Puppets in HOI4

Depending on the party ruling your country, all puppets in HOI4 will have a different name that represents their Autonomy level. The Autonomy level represents how much control you have over the puppet.

This level will go from annexation to freedom, with many levels in between.

Most governments have around 4 Autonomy levels for their puppets, while the fascists have 3.

Still, the amount of Autonomy points you have to lower to annex them will be the same, no matter what government rules the country.

To annex puppets in HOI4, you will need to lower their Autonomy to 0 and bring their Autonomy down to Annex.

Most puppets start at the middle of the Autonomy scale, at the Puppet Autonomy level, if you enforced this status on them during a war.

This means that you will need to lower their Autonomy by 500 points first and use 50 Political Power to bring them down to Integrated Puppet.

Then, you will need to lower the Autonomy again by 1k to Annex them in exchange for 300 PP.

How Autonomy Levels Work

For Democratic, Communist, and Non-Aligned governments, there are 4 different Autonomy levels that your puppets can have in HOI4:

  • Dominion
  • Colony
  • Puppet
  • Integrated Puppet

Dominion is the closest one to freedom, while Integrated Puppet is the closest one to annexation.

If you puppet a country during a war, they will generally start at the Puppet level.

The United Kingdom has mostly colonies and dominions as puppets, which makes them harder to annex.

Dominion is the worst since you can’t build in their territories, making the annexation process even harder. Here are the bonuses you get from an Integrated Puppet:

  • Manpower for Subject Division Deployment: 100%
  • Control over Civilian Factories: 25%
  • Control over Military Factories: 75%
  • Control over Deployed Units

Due to the fact that you can use 75% of the subject’s Military Factories, annexing them is actually a relatively enjoyable process.

All the factory power that you use to build Mil Factories in their territories will help you both annex the puppet and increase your military industry.

Fascist countries have a different Autonomy level system, where the only levels are:

  • Satellite
  • Reichsprotectorate
  • Reichskomissariat

The Satellite works similarly to the Dominion, the Reichsprotectorate is similar to the Puppet, and the Rechskomissariat is the same as the Integrated Puppet.

When you puppet someone in a war, you will get a Reichsprotectorate.

Here are the bonuses you get from an Reichskomissariat:

  • Manpower for Subject Division Deployment: 90%
  • Control over Civilian Factories: 25%
  • Control over Military Factories: 65%
  • Control over Deployed Units

Japan also has its special designations for puppets, but they are almost the same thing when it comes to bonuses to the normal Fascist ones.

How to Lower Autonomy

There are 4 things you can do to lower Autonomy in HOI4 and annex your puppets:

  • Lend-lease Equipment
  • Build Factories
  • Suppress Subjects
  • Send Attache

The best option to quickly annex puppets in HOI4 is to lend-lease them equipment. This is the best strategy by far due to the huge amount of Autonomy that puppets lose when you give them Convoys.

Players will always have to produce Convoys since you will need them for trade, naval invasions, and supply.

Enemies will also always destroy your Convoys, so you will have to produce a lot of them.

Each Convoy you lend-lease to a puppet will lower their Autonomy by 0.7. With around 2k Convoys, you should easily lower the Autonomy of a puppet you got during a war until you annex them.

The only other thing you need is Political Power to get from Puppet to Integrated Puppet and then to actually annex them.

The other good method to lower Autonomy of puppets to annex them in HOI4 is to build factories.

Military Factories are the best choice since you will get to use a large amount of them for your own production if you lower their Autonomy level.

Building a Military Factory in the territories of a puppet will lower their Autonomy by 50.

This means that you will need to build at least 10 of them to get them down to Integrated Puppet from Puppet after a war and then another 20 to annex them.

Can Puppets Get Freedom On Their Own?

As you have to work your way to lower the Autonomy of puppets in HOI4 to annex them, they will also slowly work their way to increase their Autonomy.

As their Autonomy increases, you might wonder if they can gain independence and freedom from you if they reach 1k Autonomy.

Well, yes, puppets can gain independence and freedom in HOI4 if they increase their Autonomy level to Dominion/Satellite/Imperial Subject and then reach 1k Autonomy again.

Still, even though puppets can increase their Autonomy and gain independence from you, it will be very hard for the AI to do this without your help.

They will help you in wars and increase Autonomy by helping you, but you can keep them in check just by doing some of the things we listed above.

That’s everything you need to know about how to annex puppets 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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