Why is HOI4 so popular?

Hearts of Iron 4 is one of the most popular grand strategy games now available on Steam. After looking at stats, you can see that there are 40k – 50k active players in the last few months. In this article we will show you why is HOI4 so popular.

But let’s start with the stats…

… HOI4 came to the market in 2016. It is 7 years old and the player base is still growing.

Paradox Interactive

The one of best things is the developer of the game. I like how Paradox takes care of its games. Thanks to their care and great activity, we are gradually getting new DLCs, where the basic game mechanics are more or less changed. More and more countries are getting into the game together with their decision trees.

Since launch, we’ve received 7 big DLCs that change focus trees or add new mechanics. There are:

DLC nameDate of publish
Together for VictoryDecember 15th, 2016
Death or DishonorJune 14th, 2017
Waking the TigerMarch 8th, 2018
Man the GunsFebruary 28th, 2019
La RésistanceFebruary 25th, 2020
Battle For The BosporusOctober 15th, 2020
No Step BackNovember 23rd, 2021
By Blood AloneSeptember 27th, 2022

However, the DLCs are not only for paying players. With each DLC, a smaller patch is released with fixes or possibly minor new features for each player. For that reason, I think that Paradox is doing an excellent job here, and it’s one of the main reasons why HOI IV is so popular.

Game design

HOI4 is beautifully balanced in terms of game design. Most of the game mechanisms are set up well in my opinion. You learn the game gradually and in more detail until you get your own “hacks”.

If you don’t play as the aggressor from the start and you try to defend, for example, France, Czech Republic or Poland, you will have everything easier because you don’t have to plan attacks. This aspect of the game will be gradually added.

Well, despite the fact I love HOI4, I have to say that I don’t understand the Navy at all, even if you find some way to get there. But what I do like is we keep getting new mechanic updates. The last update, for example, changed the supply method drastically, and from what I see in the developer diaries, we will see some redesign of the aircraft mechanics soon.

One observation I will not forgive: unlike other Paradox games – here we play for a fairly clearly defined historical period and the game from start to finish can be played in 5 – 8 hours, so it can be played faster and more intensively.

Community, mods

What makes the game significantly better is the community, which brings more and more people to the game. You can find many discord servers, groups, and content creators dedicated to HOI4.

My favorite content creators are:

  • FeedBackGaming
  • Alex The Rambler!
  • TommyKay

Following the example of Cities Skylines, I must also highlight the modes that appear in the game, which are available on Steam Workshop. When you get tired of the base game, you can play any alternate history or alternate future.

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!