Hoi4 Dispersed VS Concentrated – Which Is Better?


Which industry branch should you choose in Hoi4? Is one of the most important questions to answer with regards to Hearts of Iron 4. You may have found yourself in this situation, not sure which industry branch is for you, only to just select one or the other to progress in the game – well, this guide should teach you everything you need to know about the illusive question: Hoi4 dispersed vs concentrated?

Hoi4 - dispersed vs concentrated industry, which should you choose?

Sit back, as we hope to give you a bit of insight into what each of the branches actually does, when is best to pick each of them, and the overall champion of Paradox Interactive’s WW2 grand strategy title: Hearts of Iron 4.

Firstly, What Are The Industry Choices, And Where Do You Find Them?

The industrial path in Hearts of Iron 4 is a segment of the industry research tab within your tech folder. Your industrial path determines how your country handles the construction, usage, and flexibility of military factories in Hearts of Iron 4. It is one of the most important technological paths in the game – and should not be ignored unless it’s absolutely essential to do so – say if you need to research weapons and you only have 1-2 research slots.

hoi4 dispersed vs concentrated

A Basic Description Of Concentrated Industry

According to the game’s descriptions, concentrated industry prioritises: “Focusing our industrial production to a few key sites (will allow us) to dramatically improve its efficiency.” Concentrated industry, as a result – prioritises making your industries as dense and efficient at outputting equipment as possible.

A Basic Description Of Dispersed Industry

On the other hand, dispersed industry prioritises creating a flexible production line that is harder to bomb, even if that means losing raw output, the tooltip for dispersed in-game is as follows: “By spreading out our industries, we can ensure that it becomes difficult for the enemy to target in times of war.”

So, What Are Each Of The Modifiers For Hoi4’s Industries – What Do They Do?

With a rudimentary understanding of each of the industries – we can move onto dissecting each of their bonuses – so that we can explain what the numbers behind the tooltip say. This should help you grasp what each of these branches can do for your nation in Hearts of Iron 4. Each of concentrated industry’s five levels give the same bonuses, which are the following:

hoi4 dispersed vs concentrated

Alternatively – dispersed industry has 2 different buff values depending on the tier of technology. For tier one, the buffs are as follows:

hoi4 dispersed vs concentrated

While for the rest of the tiers (two – five) the buffs are the following:

hoi4 dispersed vs concentrated

A breakdown of what each of these values actually mean can be found below:

  • “Max Factories in a state”: This value dictates the maximum number of factories that you can build in each state. Each state in Hoi4 has a different quantity of slots that you can build in – this modifier increases this value. Both concentrated and dispersed industries have the same exact bonus in this regard.
  • “Factory Output”: This is exactly what it sounds like – just how efficient are your factories at their jobs. This is not the only factor that impacts output – as we’ll dive into later, but it is the first to focus on. This modifier only impacts military factories.
  • “Dockyard Output”: This is the exact same as the above mentioned modifier – only this time for your naval dockyards which produce ships.
  • “Product Efficiency Retention”: This value is a little complicated, but essentially – it reduces the penalty incurred when upgrading, or changing the equipment that a factory line is currently producing. For example:
hoi4 dispersed vs concentrated
hoi4 dispersed vs concentrated

In the images above, we have swapped our 3 military factories from working on “Infantry Equipment I”, to “Towed Artillery”. This change has cost us almost all of our production efficiency – which is how efficient a factory line is at producing a particular product. This efficiency loss is dictated by just how different the two products are from each other. For example, a direct upgrade of a particular product will reduce the efficiency by a lower amount than completely changing what that factory line is producing. Efficiency retention is added before the reduction is applied.

So: Repeating this above example, this time with dispersed industry (which is the branch containing efficiency retention) unlocked to level 3, we get the following result:

hoi4 dispersed vs concentrated
hoi4 dispersed vs concentrated

As you can see, we have kept just under 15% extra efficiency with dispersed industry unlocked to level 3. In reality – this means you can upgrade, and switch your line more efficiently as the game goes on. So more production efficiency retention means a smoother and more flexible production line – especially if you upgrade your equipment often.

  • “Product Efficiency Base” affects the same system as product efficiency retention, that being how efficiently your factories operate. In the case of the base efficiency – this is the minimum possible efficiency you can achieve when swapping or upgrading a production line. This value starts at 10% – but increases with each level of dispersed industry by 5%. Meaning your efficiency cannot go below this new base. This is an important value to consider if you completely swap out your lines often (guns → planes for example)
  • “Factory Bomb Vulnerability” is exactly what it sounds like – how vulnerable your factories are to bombing. This won’t particularly affect you unless your going up against a power with a large air force – and more specifically, a large amount of Close Air Support and Bombers. So smaller powers fighting other small powers, in China or the Balkans for example – will probably see little benefit from this modifier.

Hoi4 Concentrated VS Dispersed – Testing Comparison

Now that we have gone through a basic overview of each branch, and we have dissected what each of the modifiers actually do – we can now delve into an interesting in-game test from 71Clock, that directly compares the two technologies in their ability to produce infantry equipment – which will help us when determining when to use each branch in our campaigns. The test begins with simply running Germany’s 28 military factories to produce Infantry Equipment I for two years, and the results are roughly what you would expect if you know these two trees.

hoi4 dispersed vs concentrated

As you can see from the graph above – in this test where only one type of equipment is produced – you will gain more from dispersed early on – with concentrated having more benefits the longer you produce the same item. One crucial thing that 71cloak notes is that production efficiency (how efficient your factories are at producing their equipment) is calculated on a per-factory basis. This means that each factory has its own efficiency – meaning newly built military factories will start at the base efficiency, + any production efficiency base buffs, which dispersed industry has – due to this, dispersed will be better when building a large amount of new military factories.

The second test differs from the first in that after one year of producing Infantry Equipment I, the line is upgraded to Infantry Equipment II. This is generally considered a more common use case – as players typically upgrade their equipment frequently throughout their games.

hoi4 dispersed vs concentrated

As you can see in this test – it starts off much the same – with dispersed slightly ahead due to its better production efficiency – but it is upon hitting month 12 – where the equipment is upgraded from version 1 to version 2 – that the differences become apparent. In this stage of the test – dispersed holds a commanding lead over concentrated – to the point that still after 30 months of production – concentrated has still not caught up.

Hoi4 Dispersed VS Concentrated – Evaluated

With all that said and done – there is a pretty clear winner for the better industry tech branch, and that is dispersed.

In almost all use cases – due to the need to continue updating and switching production lines throughout the game – concentrated’s lack of flexibility dooms it to almost always producing less equipment than its counterpart – despite its advertised higher factory output. Dispersed industry can simply keep up with the rate of progress and advancement in Hearts Of Iron 4 much better, despite its lower factory output.

So when should you use each branch?:

  • Dispersed – Almost all cases – except from very small minor powers who have a small amount of factories and resources – meaning the regular upgrading of equipment is not feasible.
  • Concentrated – Only the superior pick in the aforementioned minor country scenarios, and right at the end of the game – where all technologies have been unlocked, where concentrated’s extra output should pull ahead. (But in most cases – games don’t reach anywhere near this length to make this a viable strategy)


So there we are – Hearts Of Iron 4’s industry trees dissected, compared and ranked. While industry is highly important in Hearts of Iron 4 – it is not the only thing that you will need to focus on. Fortunately – we have a rapidly expanding catalogue of detailed guides walking you through Paradox Interactive’s WW2 grand-strategy game – Hearts of Iron 4, be sure to take a look! We wish you the very best in producing enough guns to conquer the globe – have a great day!

Avatar for Emmet Bramley

Emmet started his gaming journey as a young child in the early 2010s. Sat in front of his Xbox 360 screaming at other children in Modern Warfare Lobbies... Since these early years - Emmet has continued to diversify his gaming portfolio - by mostly playing the same strategy and survival games for the last 7 years. Regardless, Emmet joined the Console Bandit team in order to share his opinions and insights on his favourite games with a larger audience, and bring a more cinematic perspective to discussing certain games.

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