Should i puppet or annex nations in HOI4? This is an important question. After the war is concluded, there are three options. Annexation, liberation, and puppet. Liberation simply grants independence to that nation with your ideology. It simply not worth doing unless you are role playing. So, puppet vs annex, which is the best option in HOI4?
HOI4 when to puppet? When you need manpower and extra divisions. Also there is one thing you should know. What happens to the annexed nations navy? It simply vanishes. So, if you have won the war against a nation with decent navy, don’t annex it completely. Because the navy could be useful on your next wars. Besides nations with decent navies likes to do naval invasions frequently. Which is quite useful in HOI4. I prefer reliable alliances with puppets but of course it is a preference.
HOI4 Why Puppet?
Why puppet in HOI4 instead of annexing? Simply because of the manpower bonuses.
In the division templates page, you can create colonial templates. These colonial templates draws manpower from the selected subjects. Why send your boys to die when you can send others peoples sons? It is evil but that is how it is done during a world war. It is quite useful when you are playing a nation with low manpower. If you can puppet a small land from China, that would be amazing. Because Chinese manpower is unlimited!
The other thing is resistance. You can enjoy the full benefits of newly annexed lands instantly. First you need to reduce resistance and increase compliance. Which is not an easy thing. Also you will face with sabotages in the resistant provinces.
In order to reduce resistance, you need to have a decent garrison template with military police. Here is my HOI4 best division templates guide. But again, garrison cost lots of manpower, infantry equipment, and support equipment. It must be remembered, you can ask for garrison support from your allies and puppets. Still, you need to equip them with your own gear.
Puppet is also preferable by some for its less micro-managament plus. Besides puppets with high manpower can mass a large army.
So, puppet or annex? Most of the time, puppet is more beneficial. However, if you are going for one nation world achievement, of course you should annex nations. But don’t forget, you can always annex your puppets by spending some diplomatic power. After reducing compliance of course.