Hearts of Iron 4 (HOI4) – France Strategy Guide

General Strategy for France in HOI4

France, despite its historical reputation, faces harsh debuffs in Hearts of Iron 4 that mimic its challenges during World War 2. Players can choose from three paths: historical, communist, or Napoleonic. The communist path offers stability and access to a powerful Manpower source, while the Napoleonic path allows for annexation of European territories. For those seeking a historical route, defense is key in HOI4, with France needing to fortify its borders and address negative modifiers before pushing forward.

How to Start as France in HOI4

With a strong civilian economy but weak military industry, France begins with negative modifiers that hinder political power and military capabilities. Focuses like Defensive Stratagems and Army Reform are crucial for removing these debuffs and strengthening the country. By strategically navigating the national focuses and prioritizing fortifications and equipment, players can prepare France for the challenges of World War 2.

National Focuses

France must strategically select national focuses to remove negative modifiers and build up its military capabilities. Key focuses include Defensive Stratagems and Army Reform, which lower doctrine costs, increase Manpower, and prepare France for conflict. By following a specific focus order, players can effectively address France’s weaknesses and prepare for the impending war.


France’s industrial setup in HOI4 presents unique challenges, with a focus on civilian economy and limited military factories. To overcome these obstacles, players must carefully allocate resources and prioritize production to meet the demands of wartime. Despite initial limitations, France can leverage its abundant resources to bolster its military strength and prepare for conflict.


Optimizing construction in France is essential for preparing the country for war. From improving infrastructure to building military factories and forts along the borders, strategic construction decisions can enhance France’s defensive capabilities. By focusing on key regions and ensuring efficient resource allocation, players can strengthen France’s position in anticipation of World War 2.


France’s limited military factories require players to prioritize production and equipment allocation. By focusing on infantry divisions with support companies and artillery, players can optimize France’s military capabilities. Strategic decisions in production lines and resource allocation can help France build a formidable army to confront the challenges of World War 2.


Managing France’s military divisions and armies is crucial for success in Hearts of Iron 4. Players must organize their forces, upgrade equipment, and prepare for conflict on multiple fronts. By strategically deploying troops and focusing on key regions, players can enhance France’s defensive capabilities and prepare for the challenges of World War 2.

Intelligence Agency

Utilizing the Intelligence Agency effectively is essential for monitoring Germany and Italy’s actions. By upgrading key departments and deploying spies strategically, players can gather valuable intelligence to inform their strategic decisions. With a focus on espionage and reconnaissance, players can stay ahead of their enemies and prepare France for the impending conflict.

How to Win WW2

Building Up the Maginot

Strategic decisions at the start of the playthrough, including the remilitarization of the Rhineland, set the stage for France’s approach to the war. By making key choices and optimizing early mobilization, players can position France for success in confronting Germany and Italy.

Start of the War

As the war unfolds, strategic positioning and defensive strategies are crucial for France’s success. By fortifying key regions, defending against Axis advances, and leveraging naval and air power, players can maintain a strong defensive stance and prepare for eventual offensives.

Winning the War

France’s path to victory hinges on strategic decision-making and effective military tactics. By pushing into Italy, confronting Germany from the south, and coordinating with Allied forces, players can secure victory in World War 2. Strategic planning, naval supremacy, and decisive offensives are key to defeating the Axis powers and achieving victory.

What To Do Next

After emerging victorious in World War 2, players must consider their next steps and potential challenges. From addressing Japanese threats in Indochina to potential conflicts with the Soviet Union, strategic planning and diplomatic maneuvering are essential for France’s post-war stability. By staying vigilant and proactive, players can navigate the post-war landscape and secure France’s position on the world stage.