Hearts of Iron 4 is all about who can prepare their country better for war. If you manage to make the best division templates and make sure that there is no strife in the country, everything should go your way.
However, there is something that most countries can’t really control, and that is Manpower. If you choose any other country besides the USSR or China, you will most likely have problems with Manpower.
Recommended Read: Best Defense Templates in HOI4
If you don’t have Manpower, you will end up losing every war, as your divisions cannot reinforce, and they will slowly be made of dozens of men.
The best and most common way to increase Manpower in HOI4 is to change the Conscription Laws, increasing the recruitable population ratio. However, there are other things you can try out, which we have listed below.
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How Manpower Works in HOI4
Manpower in HOI4 represents the number of adults that serve (or that can serve) in the army of your country.
There are two types of Manpower: Free and Used. Free Manpower is the number of people that can join your armies right now if you want to recruit new troops.
Used Manpower is the number of citizens already in your army, as part of your Land, Air, and Navy divisions, along with Garrisons.
At the start of the game, you will have a set number of Free Manpower that you can use to build up your armies, which increases every month based on the population of your territories.
There are two types of territories in HOI4: core and non-core provinces. Core provinces are considered a real part of your country and will offer all their adult population to the army, if you want to, with the help of Conscription Laws.
However, non-core territories, which are usually the ones that aren’t part of your starting lands, will only give you 2% of their population as recruits, out of which you are already getting around 1 to 25%, based on Conscription Laws.
Most countries will have an increase between 100 to 2k recruitable Manpower per month, which isn’t a lot. Most high-tier divisions need at least 10k Manpower, which also needs to be replenished.
This is why we will help you learn how to increase your Manpower pool in HOI4 and teach you how to conscript every last adult in the country.
How to Increase Manpower in HOI4
There aren’t a lot of ways to increase Manpower fast in HOI4, but we will do our best to list them all here:
- Change Conscription Laws
- Hire the Prince of Terror Political Advisor
- Change Occupation Policies for Occupied Territories
- Turn Communist and get the Ideological Loyalty Spirit of the Army
- Puppet Countries with a large Manpower pool
Change Conscription Laws
Here is how to change your Conscription Law and increase Manpower in HOI4:
- Press the flag of your country in the top left corner of the screen.
- Under Laws & Government, press the first button with the soldiers.
- Select one of the available Conscription Laws that appear on the right.
Once you increase the Manpower in HOI4 through Conscription Laws, you will actually have to wait for that new Manpower to join the Free Manpower pool, based on your mobilization speed.
Base mobilization speed at 50% War Support (War Support influences mobilization speed) is 0.01% per day.
This means that if you change your laws to increase the Manpower pool by 1%, it would take 100 days at 50% War Support for your Manpower to actually reach its new maximum point.
Most countries in HOI4 start with the Volunteer Only Conscription Law. This means that you only get 1.5% of the population of your country as Manpower for your army.
Each change to increase or decrease the number of people that can join the army will cost 150 Political Power per step.
So, if you want to jump from 1.5% to 25%, you will need to spend 750 PP while also meeting the special requirements for the law. Once you start recruiting more than 2.5%, you will also get debuffs that don’t make it worth it.
Usually, Extensive Conscription should be the place where you stop in the list of Conscription Laws, as it only has one debuff, which increases the training time of divisions by 10%.
If you play as a country that needs more than 5% of their country in the army, it means you should try some of the other methods to increase Manpower in HOI4.
Prince of Terror
The Prince of Terror political advisor in HOI4 will increase the non-core Manpower pool from 2% to 4%.
Though this might not sound like a lot, it is double what you were getting from those territories.
If you are one of the conquering forces of the game (Germany, Japan, and so on) then you will see that a large part of your Manpower will be made out of non-core territories. Doubling that Manpower pool can do wonders.
The only problem is that not all countries in HOI4 have the Prince of Terror political advisor available.
Only 28 countries in HOI4 have the Prince of Terror political advisor, which means that you will just have to accept the 2% Manpower from non-core states sometimes.
Change Occupation Policies
Another thing that can help you increase your Manpower pool in HOI4 and help you train more divisions is changing Occupation Policies in conquered territories.
The goal here is to make the policies a lot friendlier to the occupied population.
The gentler policies will lower the amount of Garrisons needed, giving you Manpower back to the pool, and will also increase Compliance faster, which can yield two bonuses to Manpower:
- Local Police Force (Compliance 25%) – Increases recruitable Manpower in the province by 0.5%
- Volunteer Force (Compliance 60%) – Increases recruitable Manpower in the province by another 20%
The only problem here is that this isn’t a viable option if the provinces are prone to revolution. Just try to find the right balance between harsh military policing and gentle civilian oversight.
Get Ideological Loyalty
All Communist countries in HOI4 can get Manpower for free each week. The Ideological Loyalty Spirit of the Army will give you 500 Manpower for free every week.
Though this might sound meaningless, that would translate to something around 2k Free Manpower per month.
Even large countries such as the United Kingdom only get 2k Free Manpower per month with Extensive Conscription.
This means that if you ever play as a country that seems to have 0 Manpower (like Luxemburg or Denmark), and you need some troops to survive WW2, going Communist is the way to go.
This Manpower bonus will not be influenced by your country’s circumstances at all, and you will always receive it every week until you end the game.
Here is exactly how you can get the Ideological Loyalty Spirit of the Army in HOI4 and increase your Manpower quickly:
- Click on the Officer Corps button (the last button with the officer hat under convoys) at the top of the screen.
- At the Army Command section, click on the second box titled Spirit of the Army.
- Choose Ideological Loyalty by paying 35 Army Experience.
If you have any other ideology besides Communist, you will not find this Spirit of the Army there. Each ideology has its specific bonuses here, and they have other names.
Only Communists enjoy free Manpower for the whole game for just a measly 35 Army Experience.
If you have puppet countries, you can train divisions that you control using their Manpower. Here is how to do this:
- Open the Recruit & Deploy menu (tank icon at the top of the screen).
- Next to the Division Designer button, to the left, there is a button that will allow you to choose to see the divisions of your subject. Press it and then select the puppet you want to use.
- Copy the division you would like to train.
- Go back to your division screen by following the same instructions and train the division with your puppet’s flag next to it.
The division you train now will use your equipment but will also use Manpower from your puppet. Depending on the level of control over the puppet, they will give a different percentage of Manpower to the division.
Colonies provide 70% of the Manpower, Puppets will give 90%, and Integrated Puppets will give you 100% of the Manpower for the divisions you train in their name.
This is the strategy that most players use when playing as a smaller country, such as the Netherlands.
You will never get the whole Manpower of Indonesia, as it isn’t a core territory, but you can use the colony nonetheless to make troops without losing too much of your Manpower.
That’s everything you need to know about how to increase Manpower in Hearts of Iron 4!
Have any input or suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comment section below.