Top 5 Most Fun Minor Nations To Play in HOI4

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Playing as the 7 Majors is a great way to learn the game.

But exploring the many smaller nations of 1936 and carving out your place in the sun offers a more unique experience.

This ranking is meant to help you decide which minor nation to play, mostly based on which ones are the most fun (looking heavily into their focus trees). The metrics I’m using to rank these nations mainly focus on how soon are you’re thrown into the action, and what can you achieve with each nation.

I also left RNG-dependent nations like Hungary out of this list, primarily due to the amount of frustration caused by RNG. I wouldn’t even wish for my worst enemy to have a campaign ruined by bad luck.


5. Greece

Greece map screen / HOI4

Greece’s focus tree allows them to rise and reclaim their fallen glory. Or should I say glories?

Since the Greeks are so ancient, you can choose many moments of their civilization to emulate.

Will you choose Democracy, like the Athenians?

What about the glorious Byzantine Empire?

There’s also the old Macedonian Empire, the empire of the man who conquered all of the known world.

If none of the old ways suit your fancy, there’s always the communist route, where you can either ally with the Soviets or tackle the Axis by yourself.

In any case, expect Greece to face many wars for supremacy in the Balkans and Anatolia. Turkey will likely be your early game nemesis.

Greece has 7 unique achievements.


4. China(s)

China map screen / HOI4

The main portion of China lies with Chiang Kai-Shek, while Mao Zedong controls the fledgling state of Communist China. The old emperor is a Japanese puppet in Manchukuo.

The rest of the land is controlled by warlords, who can be led to proclaim lordship over all China. With the exception of Mengkukuo, who apparently only exists to either be conquered or to give Japan a place to put their troops.

Kai-Shek’s China allows you to fix the government issues and possibly become democratic.

With Mao’s China, you can bring the revolution to the country, and follow the historical route to proclaim the People’s Republic of China.

Emperor Aisin Gioro Puyi starts as a Japanese puppet. So you can choose to be boring and remain loyal to them, or rebel against Japan and claim what’s rightfully yours.

Whatever you choose, prepare for an early Japanese incursion – since they will attack China in 1937.

Also, China has the highest manpower in the game and a lot of room for industry. It can grow to an absolute powerhouse once it’s consolidated. And there are 11 achievements in total spread among the Chinese nations, so there’s a lot to do.


3. Mexico

Mexico map screen / HOI4

Mexico is one of the 3 nations in the American continent with a focus tree. This can give you a refreshing experience away from all the chaos of the old world.

And this country can choose to rearrange its internal politics in many different ways.

You can choose to become an officially Catholic State, purging atheism from the country. Or perhaps communism suits you better? Mexico can have Leon Trotsky as leader, allowing you to clash against the USSR for ideological supremacy in the late game.

Of course, democracy is also possible. But who wants that anyway?

Mexico can gain cores on Central America and a few Caribbean countries.

Although your true challenge will be defeating the USA. You can attack them and get cores back on the land that Mexico used to own.

After defeating the US, Mexico will be a major power. You can then choose whose side you’re on in WW2 and land on European shores.

Mexico also has 4 exclusive achievements for itself.


2. Spain

Spain map screen / HOI4

Spain is famous for its bloody civil war just a few months after the game starts.

This country gives you all the sides of the war to choose from, and there are a few of them that don’t appear on Historical Focus unless you play as them.

When playing Spain, you’ll learn how to manage frontlines against multiple enemies without having a good amount of troops.

The varied political options with Spain allow you to pick many different routes after the civil war is over. Due to this, Spain has great replayability value. You could play dozens of hours with this country before actually seeing all leaders and ideologies available.

Monarchists, Fascists, Republicans, and Communists…. everyone gets their slice of the civil war cake.

Spain also has the unique Anarchism form of government. After doing the relevant focus, this allows you to core any state in the world, as long as you have enough compliance there.

Spain has 6 exclusive achievements in HOI4.


1. Poland

Poland map screen / HOI4

Stuck between the Nazis and the Soviets, Poland isn’t for the faint of heart in HOI4.

With the latest DLC, the Polish focus tree is absolutely huge, with some focuses being secret and only appearing when certain conditions are met.

When you’re playing Poland, your decisions will shape WW2. You can choose to align with either the Germans or Soviets, or try to forge alliances with other nations.

Or you can choose to decide that you’re enough on your own & conquer all of those who would dare to take away Polish sovereignty.

The many focus paths available will help you pick your campaign’s playstyle. Hell, you can even have a bear as king!

For every decision you make, expect the game to hand you a new challenge every time. Poland is complex, and even an experienced player will need to put in many hours to master it.

Whatever you choose, you will surely face one (or both) of the two strongest nations in HOI4 as this minor country. It will be up to you to guide Poland through their darkest time.

And there are 7 achievements available only for Poland – so there’s a lot to keep you busy.

Defeat your enemies, keep your independence, become a major power. But, most important of all, make sure that Poland can into space.

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Vinícius Teixeira de M. L.

I’ve always liked strategy games and when I picked up the Paradox Historical Grand Strategy genre I fell in love. I like to fool myself into believing that I play these games to learn History and Geography, but in reality I’m just trying to find the most cursed ways to restore the Roman Empire.