The best Hearts of Iron 4 mods

These excellent user creations can turn the WW2 strategy game up to 11 - from new mechanics, to new settings and full overhauls

So, you want to know about Hearts of Iron 4 mods? Hearts of Iron IV is the most popular of Paradox’s grand strategy games, and a great war game on top of that. Its continued and growing success comes from the mod scene. Hearts of Iron 4 mods range from quality-of-life and gameplay improvements to full-on reskins taking you to the modern day, WW1, or even an alternative timeline.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular Hearts of Iron 4 mods on Steam Workshop right now. You can also grab mods directly from the Paradox forums as well. Doing this is necessary if you have the Paradox Store version of the game, but also, some mods are only available via Paradox’s forums because their design won’t play nicely with the workshop.

Make sure you check to see whether the mod you want to install is compatible with your version of the game. After a major update, it can often take the mod teams a while to update mods to the most recent patch, so you may need to roll back your game to an earlier version to keep playing.

Hearts of Iron 4 mods

These are the best Hearts of Iron 4 mods:

  • Kaiserreich
  • Road to ’56
  • Palpatine’s Gamble
  • Millennium Dawn: Modern Day
  • Cold War Iron Curtain: A World Divided
  • Hearts of Iron 4: The Great War
  • Old World Blues
  • Strategic View Adjustments
  • Expert AI 4.0
  • Player Led Peace Conferences

The world map in Hearts of Iron 4 mod Kaiserreich

Kaiserreich

No Hearts of Iron 4 mod list would be complete without tipping the hat to the most popular alternate history mod, Kaiserreich. While this overhaul doesn’t touch as many mechanics as other mods on this list, it does alot of work to create a fascinating, immersive new setting that starts with a simple question: What if Germany had won WW1?

As easy as this is to ask, it’s not as easy to answer. The world of 1936, according to the Kaiserreich team, is one filled with powder-kegs and conflicts waiting to kick off, meaning that no matter what part of the world you choose to explore, there will always be something to hold your attention. Check out our in-depth feature exploring why Kaiserreich transforms Hearts of Iron IV into the ultimate historically inspired sandbox strategy experience.

Related: the best strategy games on PC

If you really want to get meta, there’s an alternative mod called Führerreich, which is set in the Kaiserreich ‘universe’ but asks: What if Germany had lost WW1? You’d think that this is just Hearts of Iron 4 vanilla, but Führerreich is another alt-history mod, just one with a more recognisable set-up.

Road to ‘56

At the time of writing Road to ‘56 is actually the most popular Hearts of Iron 4 mod on Steam Workshop. While it doesn’t offer an overhaul of the setting or theme, those using it will get additional alternate-history paths based on the vanilla design, an overhauled tech-tree, and more events and other content to extend the timeline right through to 1956.

Other new features include new units, a new troop experience system, expanded difficulty modifiers, new releasable nations, and more laws, including women’s rights and press freedoms. If you’re happy playing the more grounded history vanilla HOI4 offers but want more meat to the mechanics, this is the mod for you.

Palpatine’s Gamble

Turn Hearts of Iron IV into the best Star Wars game with this up-and-coming mod. Palpatine’s Gamble is still in early alpha, but it’s also the Star Wars Clone Wars experience we never knew we needed. This will completely transform the WW2 game into a grand strategy romp of galactic conquest in a galaxy far, far away.

Space surrounds 2D renditions of iconic Star Wars locations, and you must ferry your forces from planet to planet to try and gain the upper hand in the Clone Wars. It’s very much a work in progress, but it’s super cool and worth checking out if you want to try something with true ambition.

Millennium Dawn: Modern Day mod

This mod is the end result of a merge between two older projects – Millennium Dawn and Hearts of Iron 4 Modern Day – both of which provide ‘modern’ settings for Hearts of Iron 4. The new hybrid project is now making great strides, and is the first port of call for anyone wanting a contemporary version of Hearts of Iron 4.

Millennium Dawn starts in the year 2000, so before 9/11 and the subsequent conflicts in the Middle East. It comes with a new map, a new economic system, tech tree, units, and plenty of opportunities for civil war and strife. There’s also a sphere of influence mechanic, and for the military nerds among you, the mod pulls all of the Order of Battle and army stats from the IISS’s The Military Balance 2016, SIPRI’s Trends in International Arms Transfers 2016, and FlightGlobal’s World Air Forces 2015.

Cold War Iron Curtain: A World divided

If the year 2000 is a bit too contemporary for your tastes, how about the Cold War instead? Cold War Iron Curtain: A World Divided has three start dates covering 1949, 1960, and 1970. You can live out any number of Cold War fantasies as you try to navigate through a post-WW2 world trying to come to terms with the emergence of global superpowers like Russia and the USA.

There’s a DEFCON system, a UN, decades worth of narrative content for major and minor nations, over 30 ideologies, and the ability to buy arms from the private sector. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you when the nukes start flying.

The Great War

More than any other historical setting, WW1 is probably the next best fit for something like Hearts of Iron IV. It’s a good thing then that someone has created a full-blown conversion mod for this era. The Great War mod turns back the clock to let you fight this devastating conflict.

There are three start dates: before the war in 1910, at the beginning of the war in 1914, and in 1919 as you try to navigate the consequences and fallout in the immediate aftermath of the Treaty of Versailles. It comes with new techs, units, doctrines, and everything else you’ll need to immerse yourself in history’s first ‘global’ war.

Old World Blues

If Star Wars or alternative history is not proving to be a fertile enough playground for you, how about the Fallout universe? Old World Blues transports you to a custom map of North America in 2275, around the timeframe of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.

Given the setting and source material, it adapts everything from units, techs, ideologies, factions, and events, customised for the new setting. So if you’re looking for the definitive Fallout experience outside of the actual Fallout games, then this could be it.

Player-Led Peace Conferences

The first of our recommended utility mods, one of the last bastions of vanilla Hearts of Iron IV mechanics that really need a face lift is peace conferences. They work, but it doesn’t seem like it’s been much of a priority. If you want to take matters into your own hands – literally – then you can grab the Player-Led Peace Conferences mod.

PLPC simply gives the player more control over peace conferences for wars they are directly involved in. Of course, there are some hardcoded limitations the mod can’t do anything about, but generally speaking, this mod will let you get a more satisfying conclusion to the war(s).

Expert A.I 4.0

A common complaint with veteran players is that the AI, even on the harder difficulties, can make less-than-optimal choices. If you also agree, the Expert A.I 4.0 mod may be essential. There’s no AI-connected area that this mod hasn’t touched and improved, apart from certain hardcoded behaviours that can’t be changed.

The creators have also introduced new AI features, such as AI army focus scripts, template options, and military and diplomatic coordination decisions for the player that allow you to influence what AI allies do. It’s fully up-to-date with the latest patch, and the creator highly recommends that you have at least the Man the Guns and No Step Back expansions.

Strategic View Adjustments

The Strategic View Adjustments mod is a modest quality-of-life mod that focuses on helping you organise and track your military forces, especially if there are a lot of them and/or you’re fighting across multiple theatres.

The changes this mod introduces aren’t huge, but you’ll wonder how you ever lived out these tweaks once you have them. Counters will collapse into piles, recoloured air and naval bases, and battleplans are more saturated for visibility are just a few of the key changes. There is also a multiplayer and achievement-friendly variant you can grab here.

Related: The best simulation games on PC

We hope you enjoy exploring the wonderful world of Hearts of Iron 4 mods. If you’re looking for more help, we’ve got a guide to the current Hearts of Iron 4 meta, how the new HOI4 supply system works, as well as some Hearts of Iron 4 cheats to give you a leg up.

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