Hearts of Iron 4 (HOI4) – How to Become a Major Country

You are currently viewing Hearts of Iron 4 (HOI4) – How to Become a Major Country

In Hearts of Iron 4, most players will want to choose to control one of the major countries of the period to make the biggest impact possible on the Second World War.

However, there are many countries on the side that can make the war much more interesting if they play around with history a bit and increase their power before 1942.

Recommended Read: Hearts of Iron 4 – China Country Guide

There are only 7 major nations at both the 1936 and 1939 HOI4 start dates. However, there are a lot of minor countries with interesting focus trees that you can choose from, which should be able to become major countries.

To become a major country in HOI4, you will need to either be in the top 7 when it comes to factories (military and civilian), have at least 0.7 of the average factories of all the top 7 majors, or lead a faction.

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Why Being a Major Country Matters

You might wonder why you would even care if your minor country ascends to become a major or not in HOI4. The main and only reason it would matter is because it forces other countries in a faction war to have to capitulate you.

If you were to join the Axis, Allies, or the Comintern as a minor nation and the major nations would lose the war while you kept all your territories safe, you would actually instantly lose the war and your territories.

However, if you manage to become a major nation, then the enemy faction will need to make you capitulate as well to win the Second World War, or any war for that matter.

But, besides that, there is no actual reason for you to try to become a major power. Even if you are playing someone like Canada, Hungary, or Mongolia, you really don’t have any power to do anything after your powerful allies have lost.

If you have the power to combat any faction by yourself, then you likely have enough power to become a major nation.

How to Become a Major Country in HOI4

There are three ways to become a major country in HOI4:

  • Reach top 7 in factories.
  • Have 70% of the average total factories of the top 7.
  • Become the leader of a faction.

Building Factories

The main way most countries become majors in HOI4 is by building or stealing enough factories to rival the ones of Germany, Italy, Japan, France, the USSR, the USA, and the UK.

If they manage to surpass the factory count of one of these countries, they immediately become major powers.

However, the other method to become a major is to reach 70% of the average between these powers.

Usually, this can happen if all countries have a similar factory count, which means you can become the 8th major power, even if you haven’t surpassed any of them.

Since spying on all major powers to see their factory count is not really a reliable way to check how far you are from becoming a major nation, just build and steal as much as you can and see where you end up in time.

This is the main reason why many players will see the British Raj or Canada become major powers by the end of the war, needing to capitulate them, since most of the majors have capitulated by that time and they managed to reach the top 7.

Become Faction Leader

If you join one of the three major factions in HOI4, then there is no way to become the faction leader without being a major nation since you will need more than 150% of the current leader’s factory count.

To become a faction leader in HOI4, you will first need the Man the Guns DLC. After that, you will need to meet these four requirements:

  • Exceed the deployed Manpower of the faction leader by 100%.
  • Exceed the number of factories of the faction leader by 50%.
  • Be in every war the faction leader is currently in.

Since these requirements are very high, if you meet them in the Allies, Comintern, or the Axis, then you are already a major power.

However, if you create your own faction, you have managed to become a major nation since other factions will need to take you down personally to capitulate you and your faction.

The only problem with making your own faction is that you can’t really get most of the major powers to join you, which will make you a relatively weak faction.

Can You Lose Your Major Country Status?

Yes, you can lose your major status in HOI4 as long as you are at peace. If you don’t meet any of the three requirements from above anymore (lose your leader status, have fewer factories than 7 other nations or 70% of their average) while at peace, you will lose your major country status.

However, since most countries will spend their time at war from 1940 till the end of the game, most countries never lose their major nation power.

That’s everything you need to know about how to become a major nation 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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