Each and every nation in Hearts of Iron 4 is fun to play. But of course, some of them are more fun than others. So, are you looking for interesting focus trees and playthroughs? Look no more. Today I am sharing my best 15 most interesting HOI4 nations list.
I hope you will find the perfect country to play on this page. But I am sure you will. Because this list contains only countries with their own unique focus trees. Nothing bland here.
Portugal is relatively small country. Yet, there are lots of things you can do with it.
Reuniting Brazilian throne and spreading your ideology through south America is one option. The other one is intervening in Spanish civil war and joining the faction of your choose.
Portuguese colonies: Macau in China, Goa in India, Timor in Sunda Islands, and Mozambique – South Angola – Guinea in Africa. Brazil is lost but you can re-take it.
Looking for HOI4 interesting minors? You have found it!
Holland is really small country but have a decent industry for its size. Also its colony Dutch East Indies that provides some manpower, resources, and factories. Netherlands is just another nation that was once an empire.
You will have couple of options playing Netherlands. Joining Axis is one of them. However, if you are going opposite of Axis route, start building your forts early. Because Germany will strike, sooner or later.
Hey, if you enjoy the civil war aspect of the game, make sure to try playing Spain.
Spain has the biggest focus tree in HOI4.
Civil war is inevitable while playing Spain. However, there are choices you can make that will help you get through civil war faster and easier.
You can choose any side you want in the civil war. But of course, playing as nationalist Spain would be the easier path.
Turkey had a generic bland focus tree up until the Battle for the Bosphorus DLC. Now Turkey has its own custom tree, events, decisions, and flavor.
You have many options like joining Allies, Axis, or bringing the Ottoman Sultanate back to the world scene. With its unique position and playstyle, I am sure you will enjoy the Turkey campaign in HOI4.
Mexico is in unique position and have lots of decisions to make. First one would be nationalizing oil fields because capitalist are exploiting Mexican resources.
Formable factions: Hispanic Alliance and Bolivarian Alliance.
Of course Mexico can join Axis too, but wouldn’t that be too cheesy? Still, I did it and it was lots of fun! One can say Mexico have the most interesting focus trees.
Canada is a dominion of UK at the start but you can easily declare independence via focus tree.
Fun starts after the independence. Canada can join North American Alliance with USA instead of allies. Joining Comintern is also another possibility.
But the most fun option would be going Facist with Mexico via Swastika Club focus tree. Then Mexico and Canada can easily destroy USA and split its lands.
Yugoslavia is just another Balkan country that does not exist in the current world. Because it is divided into million little pieces. In game limited self government focus can help you do that in-game too. You can release Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosova, Montenegro to create Balkan Defence League.
Communism path is also really enjoyable. Your custom focus tree allows you to create Pan-Slavic Worker’s Congress. Available nations for Pan-Slavic Worker’s Congress are Bulgaria, Albania, Hungary, Greece, Romania, and Turkey.
China is in a hot spot in Hearts of Iron IV. Japan has her eyes on the resources of China.
Chinese manpower is huge, however, can’t say the same thing for its industry. Also China is divided between lots of warlords.
Can you defend your country against the might of Japan Empire? Beware, you don’t have planes, navy, tanks, or even basic equipment. Only thing you have is time and manpower!
Once you drive Japanese forces out of China and Korea, a peace event will appear. So, you don’t need to invade Japan to succeed. Just save your main-lands.
7. Soviet Union
Final boss of Hearts of Iron IV is Soviet Union. Isn’t it time to give it a chance?
An atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust hangs over the Soviet Union. Iosif Stalin’s concerns about factionalism within the party grow as countless accusations and alleged acts of sabotage, wreckage and espionage are being investigated by the NKVD.
With Stalin’s unique paranoia mechanics, you will find yourself in a completely different gameplay.
One of the main targets of Axis the nation France. In almost all historical campaigns, France gets capitulated, sooner o later. However, it doesn’t have to be, with the help of your leadership.
Besides, you don’t have to rely on Allies only. It is possible to join Comintern. Also, Entente, Latin Entente or Paris Accord factions can be found depending on your government.
With its huge navy and decent army, France can easy be a strong world power.
United States have the biggest industry and vast resources in HOI4.
With the biggest navy on earth and war potential, you can shake the worlds power balance. By either going historical, or unhistorical facist path.
US also is interesting because of its vast influence on Americas. I am not even mentioning the war potentials on both Europe and Pacific.
All in all, you should at least play United States once for its unique congress mechanic:
4. United Kingdom
Protagonist of WW2 and the leader of allies, the United Kingdom is of course fun to play. UK have 6 puppets which single handedly makes things interesting.
Allies have 7 members at the start but it is possible to invite lots of nations. Such as France, United States, Poland, Portugal, and basically any other country that attacked by German Reich
Also via UK focus tree, you can restore monarchy, organize facist blackshirts under Oswald Mosley, and eliminate upper class via communism.
Italy has the most basic focus tree. Also it is the nation you play during the tutorial. However, that doesn’t mean that Italy is dull or not fun.
Axis path grants you unique opportunity. You don’t have to focus on land battles thanks to the German Reich. As Italy, you can focus only on air/naval productions and still thrive.
It is also possible to create Novus Imperium Romanum faction with the Italy first decision. Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, Spain, Portugal, and Greece/Turkey can be invited to this faction.
Japan is one of the most interesting nation to play in Hearts of Iron IV. You are fighting in China, Pacific, India, and many more fronts. The fact that you are fighting on multiple frontlines both on the land and the sea, proves a huge challenge.
Your main focus would be securing important resources in east Asia. Denying all those rubber production to Allies is a huge win for both Axis and East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere.
Facist Japan is really fun, however can’t say same thing for the communist / democracy routes.
For beginners, here is my Japan playthrough tip: Make sure to build tons of artillery because artillery grants soft attack which wipes out the infantry. Since China has nothing but infantry, producing artillery is mandatory. Also don’t forget to do couple of naval invasions to break Chinese frontlines.
1. German Reich
Germany is the main actor of world war 2, therefore it is the most interesting nation in HOI4. Not only it have huge industry, but also have many resources.
You don’t have to go historically either. German Reich offers many playthroughs. You can revive Kaiserreich and return to monarchy or simply go with democracy. Also staying facist and forming Berlin-Moscow pact with Soviet Union is just another option.
For lots of flavor, events, choices, and decisions, stop avoiding Germany like a plague and give it a shot.