Hearts of Iron 4 (HOI4) – Ideology Guide

Overview of Ideologies in Hearts of Iron 4

The mid-20th century was a time of intense ideological conflict, with three main ideologies vying for dominance on the world stage. In Hearts of Iron 4, players are tasked with navigating these ideologies, each offering unique advantages and disadvantages that impact gameplay.

It’s crucial for players to familiarize themselves with all four ideologies in the game, as each one unlocks different strategies and focus trees, adding depth and variety to the gaming experience.

Let’s delve into the details of each ideology in Hearts of Iron 4, exploring their strengths, weaknesses, and distinctive features.

Table of Contents

How do Ideologies Work?

Hearts of Iron 4 features four main ideologies:

  • Democratic
  • Fascist
  • Communist
  • Non-Aligned

Each country in the game has a political pie chart that reflects the popularity of these ideologies. The dominant ideology in a country determines its government and shapes its policies. Ideologies also come with specific “principles” that restrict certain diplomatic and political actions, influencing laws and international relations.

While Fascist and Communist nations tend to be expansionist, Democratic countries often focus on preserving peace and stability. Non-Aligned nations, originally meant to remain neutral, now offer unique monarchic focus paths for players to explore.

Regardless of your playstyle, each ideology offers a distinct gameplay experience, making it worthwhile to experiment with different ideologies throughout your campaign.

Now, let’s examine the in-game differences between these ideologies:

Ideology Effects on Gameplay Mechanics

Diplomacy World Tension Limits

One key aspect influenced by ideologies in Hearts of Iron 4 is diplomacy, particularly in relation to World Tension:

Justify War goal

  • Democracies: Requires 100% World Tension
  • Non-Aligned: Requires 50% World Tension
  • Fascists and Communists: No World Tension restriction

Guarantee independence

  • Democracies: Requires 25% World Tension
  • Non-Aligned: Requires 40% World Tension
  • Fascists and Communists: Can only guarantee countries with the same ideology

Create faction

  • Democracies: Requires 80% World Tension
  • Non-Aligned: Requires 40% World Tension
  • Fascists and Communists: No World Tension restriction

Start Lend lease

  • Democracies: Requires 50% World Tension
  • Non-Aligned: Requires 60% World Tension
  • Fascists and Communists: Requires 50% World Tension

Send Volunteers

  • Democracies: Requires 50% World Tension
  • Non-Aligned: Requires 40% World Tension
  • Fascists and Communists: No World Tension restriction

Peace Conference

Peace Conferences also vary based on ideology, with Democracies unable to puppet defeated countries:


  • Can puppet defeated countries as Supervised States

Fascists, Communists, and Non-Aligned


Each ideology offers different types of puppets with varying Autonomy levels:

Democracies, Non-Aligned, and Communists

  • Dominion
  • Colony
  • Puppet
  • Integrated Puppet

Integrated Puppets provide unique bonuses, such as increased manpower and control over factories and units.


Fascist countries have their own puppet hierarchy, including Satellite, Reichsprotectorate, and Reichskommissariat, each offering different benefits. Integrated Puppets under Fascism provide bonuses like enhanced manpower deployment and factory control.

Occupation Laws

All ideologies, except Non-Aligned, have specific Occupation Laws for governing conquered territories:


  • Local Autonomy


  • Liberated Workers


  • Brutal Oppression

Army Spirits

Each ideology offers unique Army Spirits that provide significant upgrades to the military:


  • Best of the Best
  • Relief of Command


  • Political Loyalty


  • Academy Scholarships
  • Ideological Loyalty


  • Political Loyalty
  • Ideological Loyalty

How to Change Ideology in HOI4

If you wish to alter your country’s ideology in Hearts of Iron 4, there are two legitimate methods to do so:

  • Complete National Focuses
  • Hire an ideology-boosting Political Advisor

For a quicker approach, players can use the command console to change ideologies, though this option is not available in Ironman Mode. Here’s how to use cheats to switch ideologies:

  1. Open the command console by pressing “~” on your keyboard.
  2. Type “set_ruling_party *ideology*”, replacing *ideology* with the desired ideology.
  3. Press Enter and then close the console by pressing “~” again.

Players can use f, c, d, or n as shortcuts for the four major ideologies. For example, “set_ruling_party c” would switch the ruling party to Communism.

Experiment with different ideologies and strategies to enhance your gameplay experience in Hearts of Iron 4!

Do you have any feedback or suggestions for this guide? Feel free to share them in the comments below.