Hearts of Iron 4 (HOI4) – How to Core States

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There is nothing more annoying than losing Manpower and equipment to garrisons that need to protect your conquered territories in Hearts of Iron 4.

Most Paradox Interactive fans have learned that you can easily core territories for games like Europa Universalis 4 just by clicking a button. However, there is no button to do this in HOI4.

Recommended Read: Hearts of Iron 4 – Austria-Hungary Guide

This can be a huge problem as you start conquering more and more provinces, considering that you don’t get their full Manpower and industrial capacity.

So, how do you actually core states in Hearts of Iron 4? Is it even possible? You can find all the answers you need below.

Table of Contents

How Cores Work

In HOI4, all countries start with a set amount of core states. Usually, unless something changed in the first World War, all countries only have cores on the territories they control in 1936.

Core states only offer benefits and no debuffs. You get their full Manpower and their full industrial capacity. You also won’t get any revolts in these territories and no resistance.

On the other hand, states that you’ve just conquered in a war, or colonies, will offer you only 2% of their Manpower, you will need to leave troops in them to lower resistance, and they won’t give you their full industrial power.

Generally, core states are much more important than other states since you need hundreds of colony states to get the bonuses you get from a core state.

Since you also lose Manpower and equipment due to garrisons, non-core states can be extremely bothersome.

This is why most players will probably wonder how to core them.

How to Core States in HOI4

There is no way to core states in HOI4 unless you complete special national focuses that give you cores or form new countries with new core states.

So, to core states in vanilla HOI4, you will have to:

  • Complete a National Focus
  • Complete a Decision to Form a New Country

National Focus

Most countries that have a unique focus tree in HOI4 can form cores on various states that make sense. For example, Germany gains cores on all of Austria when they complete the Anschluss focus.

Unfortunately, you will have to personally check in the focus tree when you choose a country to play in HOI4 to see if there are any focuses that give you cores.

If you play as a country with a basic/default focus tree, you will have no way to get cores through national focuses.

Form a New Country

Most countries nowadays in HOI4 have a special decision to form some new union or empire in their Decisions menu.

If you look at the end of your Decisions menu, you should find a decision that allows you to change your name and get cores on a lot of territories.

For example, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg all have the decision to form the Benelux if they conquer the others, gaining cores on the whole region.

This is where countries with default focus trees can become a lot more playable since most of them have the decision to create some new country with more cores.

Iran, for example, can recreate the Persian Empire, getting cores on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Egypt.

You can even play in the worst continent in the game, South America, if you choose one of the northern countries since they can revive the Bolivar Empire, getting cores on the whole northern part of South America.

Fascist UK has some amazing things they can do using formable nations since they can get cores on all of the Commonwealth, the USA, and most of Western Europe, if they play their cards right.


The closest thing you can do to get close to a core state in HOI4 is to increase the compliance of the states close to 100%.

Doing this will get you a lot of bonuses, almost making the state feel like a core state.

The amount of factories you get from a non-core state in HOI4 is calculated like this:

  • 25% + 65% * Compliance

This means that at the start, at 0% Compliance, you get 25% of the factories from that state. However, at 100% Compliance, you can get 90% of the factories.

Considering you also get a +10% bonus at 40% Compliance, this means you can get 100% factories at 100% Compliance.

When it comes to Manpower, you get 2% + 18% * Compliance. You also get a +20% Manpower bonus at 60% Compliance.

This means that, at 100% Compliance, players can get 40% of the available Manpower from a non-core state. Not as good as from a core state, but still better than nothing.

How to Core States with Cheats

If you really want to get core states no matter what in HOI4, you can always do it using console commands.

Here is how to get core states in HOI4 using cheats:

  1. Open the command console by pressing ~ on your keyboard.
  2. Write “add_core” and then type the number of the state you want to core.
  3. Enter.

You can see the IDs (numbers) for all of the states in HOI4 by using the “debug” command in the cheat console and hovering over any state.

For example, if you hover over Rome after using the debug command, you can see that Lazio is State: 2.

So, if you want to core the state that has Rome in it, Lazio, you would need to write the command “add_core 2” and press Enter to get a core on Rome.

How to Core States with Mods

The mod Core With Compliance allows HOI4 players to get core states in HOI4 by increasing compliance above 80%.

This brings a mechanic that would generally make sense in the game while also allowing you to feel like you aren’t cheating the system.

That’s everything you need to know about how to core states 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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