How to use paratroopers in HOI4?

Today I will show you how paratroopers work in HOI4 and how to effectively use them. This feature is one of the features I don’t use every time. However, still, paratroopers can be very useful while needing a frontal invasion into the enemy’s rear.

Prepare for paratroopers

First, if you want to use paratroopers, you must research them. You can do it through research (W) in the first section which is called “infantry” (where are special forces). There you can find the main research (as can be seen in the picture below):

Where to find paratrooper research in the research screen

There are 3 sections of research on paratroopers. I don’t think that you must research paratroopers II or III but if you have empty research slots, this could eventually be a good upgrade for your troops.

ResearchYearWhat you get?
Paratroopers I1936You will be able to train paratroops
Paratroopers II1939Soft attack: +5% and organization: +5
Paratroopers III1943Organization: +5

Transport planes

Later, you must build some transport planes which will transport your paratroopers. However, transport planes are not something cheap so it’s a good start to having some. If you want to use the transport planes in the late game, there isn’t so much need to prepare because your economy should be already better.

Building planes is in the same place as other weapons

Tip: If you have DLC No Step Back, I would recommend you to have transport planes even if you don’t plan on using paratroopers. You can use these planes as support for your troops.


You want to build them from the very beginning. I use basic or heavy fighters because I need air superiority during the process of preparing for paratroopers’ invasion. Simply put, I need a lot of fighters to help maintain dominance. I prefer heavy fighters because they have a bigger range and you will not need that many airports.

Division template

While you have all units in preparation you need to optimize your division. You can make changes like other templates but if you add some “heavy” units to your template, you can’t airborne with them. There is an icon that shows you if your paratroops will work or not.

Where to find the status whether the division can be in the air

So yes, you can have a division created just from paratroopers. What to change/modify and how to boost your paratroopers are in the “support” column. For me, I like to add support companies, military police, and hospitals.

Basic paratroops’ template at the start

On some sites can be found tips on how to setup paratroops and eventually three types of templates:

  • 2 paratroops >> fast template for unexpected attacks
  • 5 paratroops >> 10 width division for an attack in the rear
  • 10 paratroops >> 20 width division for frontal attacks

Training paratroopers tips

If you want to train paratroopers, there is one thing which you must watch and calculate with it. There are limits on special forces – you can have just 24 special forces divisions. If you have a large army, you can have 5% of your non SF divisions. It means that if you have 500 divisions, you can have 25 special forces. Overall, if you want more you will need more divisions.

What do the limits of special forces look like

After training, you must create a new “army” with a new general to centralize all of your divisions and you want to train them to elite status. After that, you want to centralize all of your new paratroopers in one airport from which you can deploy them.

General paratroopers traits

There is just one trait of Paratroopers, namely Extra Paratrooper Supply Grace: +240.0 Hour(s).

Or you can hire a commando general who can have +15% special forces attack or defence.

Prepare invasion

Preparing an airdrop is easy. You must centralize your division at the airport which is near the target zones and if the airport is near to frontline, I recommend having other classic divisions around so you don’t get ambushed at the airport.

To be able to lead an attack from a given airport, you need to forward transport aircraft to it. And once you have both paratroopers and planes there, you can start planning the invasion.

There is a button on which you must click…

Where to click if you want to plan a paratroop

… after that, you select an airport from which you want to send paratroopers. And after that, you select your destination…

What does the planning for airborne look like

…you must set the destination correctly because you need to do some major intervention. Either you can send paratroopers into the cities one division at a time or take the enemy’s ports.

As can be seen in the picture, paratroops are put inside the enemy army to overrule them

Alternatively, you can use paratroopers to cut off supplies to enemy units to simplify their elimination.

Air superiority

To do an invasion, you need air superiority of at least > 70% and you also need to have superiority in every country or air space where will your paratroopers fly. Because of that, you need to split your fighters into smaller groups and secure all of the air space which your paratroopers will use.

If you don’t have air superiority in a specific country, you can get info in about available countries through hovering on big X. The popup you can see on the image below:

When you don’t have enough air superiority.

Start invasion

When you have all things prepared and you have enough air superiority, you can click on play and wait on your paratroops to land at the final destination. But this isn’t all, yes, you make good airborne but now you must support your units. So for the rest transport planes, you must set up to “support” and also choose a destination in a sector where you have paratroops.

Now you can do damage, but be careful about the enemy noticing you. That’s why I recommend occupying some strategic places like a port and immediately sending more divisions to the area.

FAQ about paratroopers in HOI4

There are some questions about paratroopers in HOI4 that can be found in forums very often. If you have any more questions about paratroopers let me know and I will extend this article!

How do you do the paratrooper invasion in HOI4?

  1. Prepare troops (research, enough fighters, transport planes)
  2. Prepare troops at the base (all from one, potential protection from normal divisions)
  3. Select good target for your troops
  4. Get air superiority
  5. Attack!

Why can’t I train paratroopers in HOI4?

Probably because you don’t have researched it. Or if you have this division, there are limits on how many special divisions you can train. Simply, the limit is set to 24 so if you have for example mountain divisions or marines, you have to change them to classic divisions, and then you can train paratroopers.

Are paratroopers a part of any DLC HOI4?

No, paratroopers are a part of the core game.

How do you send troops across water in HOI4?

If you need to send troops across the water, you can prepare a paratroopers invasion with which you conquest naval bases of your enemy and after that, you can send normal divisions on transport ships. Or you can prepare for the naval invasion which I will write about later.

I'm Martin, the main creator of this site. I love city builders, transport, and war strategy games. So I create this site to share my love with others! Let's make Tycoon games great again!