EU4 vs HOI4: Which Paradox Game Is Better? Comparative Guide


When we talk about grand strategy video games, players usually think of the company Paradox Interactive. Paradox has been designing strategy games involving political, military, cultural and economic issues for many years. Undoubtedly the best of the games released so far have been Europa Universalis and Hearts of Iron series. As someone who has played both games for thousands of hours, I decided to prepare the Eu4 vs Hoi4 article, which I think can be a guide for new players.

EU4 vs HOI4
EU4 vs HOI4 image source: MasterofRoflness

Both games are one of the next generation productions of Paradox. Although it has been 13 years since the release of Eu4, the game has managed to stay up to date with the DLCs that are constantly coming. Hoi4, on the other hand, has been trying to stay active with DLCs for 7 years, just like Eu4.

Since both games are so successful and are still played simultaneously by tens of thousands of players, then I think it’s time to make a comparison. Now if you’re ready, take a stroll through the dusty pages of history to find out which game is better with me.

By the way, if you like to play Hoi4, we recently prepared a guide called Hoi4 Fascist USA. You can make America an empire without a civil war.

EU4 vs HOI4: Similarities

First I decided to focus on the similarities between the two games before moving on to Hoi4 vs Eu4. In this way, you will understand why both games should definitely be played by strategy lovers.

  • When I looked at the two major strategy games for the first time years ago, the historical focus caught my attention. For example, when playing with Nazi Germany in Hoi4, all historical events take place in the same timeline, the same is true for EU4. However, since the EU4 timeframe is longer than Hoi4, you may encounter thousands of historical events.
  • The biggest similarity of the Eu4 vs Hoi4 match, in my opinion, is the country management styles. In both games, when we run a state, empire or country we need ministers, policies and laws. While all these decisions we implement determine what kind of manager we are, they also change the style of the country we govern.
EU4 vs HOI4
EU4 vs HOI4
  • Another important similarity is the development of the country you rule through research. You can make your soldiers stronger, fix your economy or support the development of cultural differences. For example, researching “Marketplace” on Eu4 unlocks a building that allows you to get 50% more Local Trade Power. In Hoi4, after researching Concentrated Industry technology, the amount of products produced in factories will increase by 15%.
EU4 vs HOI4
  • The biggest similarity in Hoi4 vs Eu4 is diplomacy. Because you cannot declare war on a random country in both games, you must have the right to wage war. Again, to give an example, when playing with Florence in Eu4, we first need a reason to declare war on the Pope. This reason can sometimes occur historically. All this applies to Hoi4 as well.
  • The last element that is similar is the “decisions”. In both games, there are some decisions that vary according to the countries. These decisions help you decide how to run the country. For example, you can turn a democratic country into fascist by getting the support of fascism in Hoi4. In Eu4, however, you can gradually turn a small republic like Florence into an Italian kingdom by using decisions.
EU4 vs HOI4 decisions
EU4 vs HOI4 decisions

As you can see, the similarities between Eu4 vs Hoi4 are quite high. In fact, there are many other similarities, albeit minor ones. However, it is not possible to describe all this here. It would be more accurate for you to experience some things by playing. Now let’s take a look at the differences. In this way, we will make a real Eu4 vs Hoi4.

EU4 vs HOI4: Differences Final Decision Stage

While writing about the EU4 vs Hoi4, I wondered what would be surprising if someone who played only EU4 before starts playing Hoi4. And frankly, that inspired me a lot to write the decision phase. That’s why I decided to list the differences in rows. If you’re ready, let’s take a quick look.

Production of Soldiers and Building an Army

Anyone who plays Eu4 knows that producing soldiers is only about manpower and force limit. No matter which country you play with, it will be enough to have a high manpower to produce soldiers. As you can see in the picture below, the higher the “Army Force Limit”, the more soldiers you can produce. Other than that, you don’t need to do anything else.

EU4 vs HOI4

When it comes to the production of soldiers in Hoi4, things get very complicated. First of all, you need to create the details of the army you want to produce from the “Recruit & Deploy” page in the main menu. For example, let’s say you decide to build an army containing 10 units of infantry, 5 units of artillery, and 2 units of anti-air. After you start producing this army, you must produce the equipment that this army needs in the production section of the main menu. If you produce enough weapons, support equipment, artillery and motorized vehicles from this page, your army will be established in a few months. However, producing soldiers is not limited to those in Hoi4.

EU4 vs HOI4

We just mentioned that you can produce military equipment from factories for your army. Since these factories are limited in number in the country, you also need to build military factories in your cities. Another important point is the lack of raw materials when producing military equipment. You can trade these raw materials from other countries by sacrificing your civilian factories.

EU4 vs HOI4

As a result, Hoi4 is incredibly complex when it comes to military production, Eu4 has a simpler structure.

Wars and Operations

Whether it’s land or sea wars, in EU4, advancing your army with the right click of the mouse will be enough to enter the war. In my opinion, the main focus of Eu4 vs Hoi4 is the battles.

EU4 vs HOI4

Because the battles in Hoi4 are quite realistic, you feel like a general. After organizing an army, you set up a network of operations on the border of the country you want to fight. Before starting the operation, it is important to plot where your army will attack. Because there will be a large army that has created defensive ranges. Therefore, you cannot right-click and order your army to march. You need to shock the enemy by making extra attacks from both land and sea.

EU4 vs HOI4

After you assign your generals to your army, you make attack plans and give orders for these plans to be implemented quickly. Moreover, while designing all these plans, you also need to establish a logistics network. For example, how will you send the support equipment your soldiers need in enemy territory? That’s why you need to take care of details like trains and supply points before going into battle.

In addition, the modern military needs fuel, which is an expense. Especially the need for gasoline can cause your army to wear out and gradually disappear. Another important point is air wars. No ground army can advance into enemy territory without air support.

EU4 vs HOI4

When you consider all this, fighting in Hoi4 is almost an art. You have to tune the instruments one by one and everything has to work in harmony to create a smooth composition.

History and Development

The final stage of the Eu4 vs Hoi4 fight for me is historical gameplay. Most of us play these games because we love history. When it comes to history, Hoi4 only accompanies you from 1936 to 1945. So everything you can do covers the second world war. It has to be admitted that it has limited gameplay.

In Eu4, the date starts with 1444 and can reach up to the 1800s. Moreover, all of the political, political or technological developments experienced during this 400-500-year period are witnessed. You witness some developments at the same time as the whole world. For example, when the Spaniards discover the South American continent for the first time, you will also get this sense, and you can immediately start colonial operations in your country and send your famous sailors to explore the Americas.

EU4 vs HOI4

You can take your place in the Catholic and Orthodox War, which began with the rise of the Holy German empire. Of course, there are important scientific and artistic developments such as the Renaissance. Especially at that time when religious bigotry was dominant, choosing sides in enlightened social events such as the Renaissance greatly affects the gameplay.

In addition, we should not forget the rising Ottoman and Islamic threat for Europe. While Europe is dealing with its own religious war, the Ottomans are at the door of Europe. In short, EU4 is a history book on its own. And in this history book, you would rather be the lead than a footnote.


As a result, when we look at Eu4 vs Hoi4, we can immediately understand that Hoi4 is complex. However, most people who have played both games for thousands of hours, like me, will have the opinion that Eu4 is more difficult. Because after playing Hoi4 for a while, you memorize everything you need to do.

In Eu4, on the other hand, no matter what you do, even if you have played thousands of hours, you may experience confusion in a country of your choice. The management of the country is almost equivalent to being a tightrope acrobat. The slightest mistake can cause European countries to form a coalition against you. In short, while many things are parallel to the historical focus in Eu4, at the same time, small details develop completely randomly. Yes, the army and war mechanics may be simple, but Eu4 is a very satisfying game in terms of managing an empire.

If I have to give an opinion as Console Bandit editor in terms of the final result, Eu4 is the winner for me. Although I enjoy playing Hoi4 online with my friends, Eu4 has become the indispensable game of my nights on vacation. What do you think?

Avatar for Sergen Çelik

Although years have passed, I still continue my adventure of RPG and Strategy games passionately, which started with World of Warcraft. And combining this passion with my editorial career, I try to prepare the best video game guides for you.

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