Intelligence agency in HOI4

An important part of La Resistance DLC in HOI4 is the intelligence agency. This agency allows you to use spies which could protect you or help you to defeat significantly larger states. They can help you cause problems in another country, gain access to information/technology or pave the way for your next steps.

Key facts about intelligence agency

In the section below, there are some facts about intelligence agency. Then I’ll explain it to you in more detail.

  • Regardless of whether you have it or not, missions can be launched against you.
  • IA allows you to recruit spies and send them on various missions.
  • Your spies can defend you or build a network in another country.
  • Once your spies have network in another country, they can carry out missions.
  • If you have problems with resistance, your spies could solve them.

If you have the La Resistance DLC, then the intelligence agency opens up a new dimension of strategy for you to play. If you are playing with this DLC, I recommend learning how to use IA properly.

Building intelligence agency

And overall development of intelligence agency will cost you civil factories. That’s why I recommend you have at least 10 factories. If you don’t have enough civil factories, you will have problems with espionage.

However, if you have enough factories, you can set up your own spy agency with your own logo and your name. You can’t get too far in the game without it. Just be careful – even if you don’t have an agency built up, others can attack you with spies.

Intelligence agency departments

If you build a basic building, you will be able to hire a spy and open a subsequent building of the department. In the game there are 5 basic departments that you have to gradually build up:

  • Intelligence branch >> provides you more information about other nations
  • Defence branch >> helps you with protection against other spies
  • Operations branch >> affects the success rate of missions
  • Operative training branch >> affects the success rate of missions
  • Cryptology department branch >> helps you with cryptography

If your plan is to play a defensive game, it would be good to improve the Defence branch and the Cryptology department branch. If you want to play aggressive, I would recommend upgrading the Operations branch and the Operative training branch.

What to upgrade in your agency?

Intelligence agency and missions

There are three types of missions and one larger agenda. Defensive missions and cryptography are easy. However, if you want to perform “aggressive/diplomatic missions”, you must build first an intel network in the opposite country.

Building networks takes some time. And when your network is strong, you can perform certain types of aggressive missions, which I’ll describe below.

Building an intel network

Defensive missions

If your operatives are not on missions in other countries, they can eventually defend your country from attacks by other spies. It’s always a good idea to have at least one spy at home, or at least to improve your defences so that other powers cannot get information about your country and your plans.

Counter intelligence as defence in an intelligence agency

Diplomatic missions

Diplomatic missions are good if you need to gain more support for your ideology…

Main diplomatic missions in HOI4
  • Boost ideology – helps to reinforce the ideology from your country to another
  • Propaganda – reduces stability and war support of another country
  • Control trade – helps you to improve opinion on trade – the country should do more business with you
  • Diplomatic pressure – increases the chances that undecided states will cooperate more with you

… but I don’t use it often. I have experimented in the past to see if trade controls would help get more exports from my country to another, but it doesn’t seem to help much.

Aggressive missions

If your intel network is strong enough, you can start with aggressive missions…

  • Infiltrate Civilian Administration
  • Capture Cipher
  • Infiltrate Army
  • Infiltrate Navy
  • Infiltrate Airforce
  • Orchestrate Coup
  • Prepare Collaboration Government
  • Coordinated Strike
  • Steal Industrial Blueprints

… these should help you to prepare for an invasion of another country.


The last thing you can do with your intelligence agency is cryptography. This department can help you with cracking enemy cipher. This may then lead to some strengthening of war planning. Decrypting takes some time but offers you a lot of benefits.

Cryptology in HOI4

Occupation and resistance tips

The hidden gem of La Résistance for me is occupation and resistance mechanics. If you manage to occupy another country, you will have to work with this country more to keep it under your domination. The guerrillas in this country will go against you if you have dysfunctional police force.

Root resistance in HOI4

The way to do this is very simple. All you need to do is to choose correctly what units to send to the country. In case you have spies available, you can send them on a mission to the occupied country and the spies will help you speed up the smooth running of the occupation.

More about occupation, resistance and collaboration in HOI4.

Are the spies in HOI4 worth it?

I think spies pay off in HOI4, you just have to know how to play with them effectively. As I showed above, there are many tips and tricks you can use to your advantage. Obviously, if I’m playing for a small country where I don’t have enough factories at the beginning, I only work with spies in the later stages.

Which DLC added spies to HOI4?

Spies can be found in the La Résistance DLC, which we got on 25.02.2020.

More about La Résistance DLC | If you have cheats, you can look at the agency codes.

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