Games developed by Paradox Interactive fit hand-in-glove with mods. Hearts of Iron IV is no exception. The Steam Workshop is teeming with a plethora of top-notch content that adds even more replayability to a game that is already quite addictive. From bug fixes to UI enhancements, mods have all the bases covered.
The total conversion mods are arguably the best of the bunch. These types of mods add and/or change so much of the vanilla content that it often feels like playing a completely different game. Some make the experience more realistic while others are purely fantastical in their settings. The common denominator among them is that all deserve some serious attention from fans.
Updated August 13, 2022 by Mark Hospodar: Hearts of Iron IV fans eager for content won’t have to wait much longer for their next grand strategy fix! A new DLC expansion, By Blood Alone, is set to finally give Italy some much-needed love after six long years. Fans can also look forward to a new Plane Designer feature that should add even more layers of complexity to the proceedings.
While fans expectantly wait for the release of By Blood Alone, there’s still a massive collection of excellent mods available to download on the Steam Workshop. Unsurprisingly, some of the best HOI4 mods are of the total conversion variety. This list has been updated to include a few more worthwhile entries for fans who like to radically alter the settings of their HOI4 games.
18 Apres Moi Le Deluge
Hearts of Iron IV possesses a wide range of mods that ask various “what if” questions. One of the more unique mods concerning alternate history is Apres Moi Le Deluge, which translates to “After me, the flood.” It’s an aphorism whose meaning foretells the onset of a great disaster. The name proves to be an apt one.
This mod reimagines a Europe in which Napoleon Bonaparte was never defeated. His French Empire, and the Continental System he created, are still intact. It’s an awfully precarious situation, however. France’s old enemies continually hover around her, ready to strike. The player, of course, can have a say in who manages to emerge as the victor.
17 Pax Britannica: An Imperial Timeline
Mods that deal with fictional alternative scenarios offer some of the most unique experiences in Hearts of Iron IV. A relatively new addition to HOI4‘s collection of total conversion mods is Pax Britannica: An Imperial Timeline. It stands as one of the most creative mod offerings currently available on the Steam Workshop.
Pax Brittanica explores a world where the British Empire still reigns supreme by 1933. In this timeline, Nikola Tesla’s advancements led to a “Second Renaissance” and ushered in an age of rapid technological advancement. The old monarchies of Europe, such as the Bourbons, have only recently fallen and America stands ready to cast off British hegemony.
16 BlackICE Historical Immersion
Many gamers enjoy a good challenge. Sometimes ramping up the difficulty to the maximum level in Hearts of Iron IV still isn’t enough. In addition, when it comes to history-related titles, some gamers are proponents of a high attention to detail when it comes to historical accuracy.
The BlackICE Historical Immersion mod is the heavyweight champion when it comes to these two trains of thought. The difficulty scale is blown off its hinges as the mod adds an astounding level of detail when it comes to managing a country and its military. The care taken to maintain historical accuracy is nothing short of admirable. If you want to fight WWII as it actually happened, then this is the mod that comes the closest to achieving that goal.
15 World Ablaze
If the BlackICE mod proves to be too difficult, World Ablaze offers an excellent alternative. It’s an ongoing project that still receives periodic updates from the authors, all in the interest of making the vanilla game more dynamic and challenging. Best of all, for players who enjoy historical accuracy, the mod does an admirable job of remaining faithful to the source material wherever possible.
Most of the major powers, including some minor ones, receive new and expanded focus trees. The technology trees are altered as well, with the major nations each getting their own unique roster. New decisions and events, a map, weather system, and political/economic overhauls are also implemented. It’s certainly an ambitious mod, one that deserves more attention.
14 Hearts Of Azeroth
Of course, historical immersion doesn’t count for everything. Fortunately, plenty of mods cater to fans who wish to leave behind the real-world setting. In terms of total conversion mods regarding fantasy, one cannot go wrong with Hearts of Azeroth. Instead of gloomy, 1930s Europe being the focus, this mod transports players to the lands of the World of Warcraft franchise.
Veterans of the Warcraft universe should feel right at home. Players can sink their teeth into a fully detailed map of Azeroth to conquer. With over 308 nations and 155 unique races, along with completely overhauled tech trees, national focuses, units, and ideologies, all help make this a truly impressive mod to experience.
13 The Lord Of The Rings
Now, when discussing popular fantasy settings, it’s hard not to mention J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth universe. The franchise is, rightfully, beloved by millions. Its popularity has spawned movie adaptations, video games, and even an upcoming television series. It was only natural that a game like Hearts of Iron IV get in on the action at some point.
The Lord of the Rings mod adapts the tried-and-true gameplay mechanics of Hearts of Iron IV to the Middle-earth setting. Everything a player can think of is overhauled to accurately fit Tolkien’s universe. There’s even a One Ring ownership mechanic that grants a significant stat bonus to one’s military, depending on who possesses the infernal item. Although it’s not perfect, the mod is definitely worth trying for fans of both Hearts of Iron and Tolkien.
12 Cold War: Iron Curtain
For some players, maybe fighting WWII has become a bit stale? The legacy of the Cold War still looms large in today’s world. Interestingly, the list of strategy games that tackle this subject is still surprisingly small, at least compared to WWII. Thankfully, mods have come to the rescue.
The Cold War: Iron Curtain mod recreates the post-WWII world with an amazing level of detail. Nuclear weapons obviously play a much larger role than they do in the vanilla game. The mod feels and plays more like a chess match between West and East. Famous events like the building of the Berlin Wall and the Vietnam War can be experienced through multiple starting dates that span the late 1940s, 1960s, and 1970s. Definitely give this mod a try if storming through the Ardennes Forest has become too tiring.
11 Old World Blues
The Fallout franchise is immensely popular with gamers. Some fans may have thought the Fallout games wouldn’t translate well when combined with Hearts of Iron IV‘s engine. It turns out the two styles blend quite well with each other.
Old World Blues recreates the Fallout universe in the year 2275. All the major players from the lore are represented: the Enclave, the NCR, Caesar’s Legion, etc. Custom focus trees, ideologies, models, and events are all included. Although it may not seem like it at first, playing Fallout like an armchair general is surprisingly fun.
10 The Road To 56
The Road to 56 mod gives players the opportunity to dabble in a bit of alternate history. Much of this is accomplished in new and expanded focus trees for almost every nation under the sun. Brand new nations and alternate historical events are included as well that adds some much-appreciated variety.
The timeline of the game is extended to 1956, hence the name. As such, most technology trees are given a revamp to account for the extra time. In many ways, this mod is the opposite of BlackICE. It gives the player a lot of freedom to steer their country in different directions, most of which are purely fictional.
9 The New Order: Last Days Of Europe
This mod poses a terrifying question: What if the Third Reich had emerged victorious in WWII? In a similar vein to the Wolfenstein series the map of the world in The New Order: Last Days of Europe has been radically redrawn. Starting in the 1960s, the mod deals with the slow disintegration of the Nazi empire as the ailing Adolf Hitler nears death.
The most interesting aspect of this mod is its story-driven focus. Decisions have to be made constantly and many of the major choices have their own branching narratives. It adds to some fun replayability that some other mods lack. The New Order is certainly worth checking out for players who enjoy “what if” scenarios.
Whereas the previous mod dealt with a Nazi victory in WWII, the Kaiserreich mod explores what might have happened if the Central Powers won WWI. This mod takes alternate history to a new level. Kaiserreich is unique in that it possesses its own massive lore, something akin to what a player might find in an RPG title.
Interestingly, the setting of Kaiserreich is a lesson in role-reversal. Although victorious in WWI, by the 1930s the former Central Powers are now weak and suffering from the Great Depression. The losers of the Great war, namely Great Britain and France, are in a process of ascendancy and are therefore quite powerful.
7 Fuhrerreich: Legacy Of The Great War
The Fuhrerreich: Legacy of the Great War mod is yet another example of a unique concept taken one step further. According to the mod authors, it serves as a “double-blind alternative history scenario,” essentially an alternate history of an alternate history. Needless to say, fans of the previously-mentioned Kaiserreich may find this mod worth their time.
In the Fuhrerreich reality, the Central Powers lost the First World War as they did in actual history. Many events play out similarly as they did in real life, with several unique spins added for good measure. For fans who love to immerse themselves in the lore of Kaiserreich, this mod won’t disappoint.
6 In The Name Of The Tsar
The Kaiserreich mod deals with a Central Powers victory in World War I. In the Name of the Tsar takes a different approach to the alternate history WWI genre. In this world, the Russian Empire managed to decisively defeat Austria-Hungary after the successful Brusilov Offensive. Germany, without the aid of its main ally, sued for peace in 1917 and was subsequently dismembered into a collection of small states.
As usual, players take the reins in the mid-1930s. This time, however, the map of the world is radically different. Disparate German states seek to reunite the former empire, while the threat of a Communist Revolution still lingers. Beautiful, remade character portraits reflect the new setting, along with unique focus trees, national spirits, and much more. When returning to Hearts of Iron IV, make sure this mod is in the load order!
5 End Of A New Beginning
End of a New Beginning is perhaps the most ambitious mod on the list. It seeks to provide an unbroken playing experience that starts in 1857 and continues to the modern day. That’s a lot of ground to cover. As such, the mod isn’t fully complete yet, but still worth checking out.
Fans of Victoria II will be pleased to see the Victorian Age made playable in the Hearts of Iron IV game engine. Playing through 18th-century events such as the American Civil War can be a nice change of pace from the familiar WWII experience. Steering a country through three centuries of warfare is a neat idea that will be very cool to play once it’s completely finished.
4 Rise Of Nations
In a similar vein to the previous mod, Rise of Nations gives players the opportunity to play through an extended timeline. The mod takes place between 1900-2060. Fans who enjoy the highs and lows of running a country throughout multiple decades will find that this mod has plenty to offer.
A lot of expanded features are packed into Rise of Nations. Players can choose from several bookmarks centered around WW1 and WW2. New technologies, laws, focus trees, decisions, events, advisors, generals, and more are included in this mod. There’s even a zombie mode for fans who want to test their skills amid an undead apocalypse.
3 Endsieg: Ultimate Victory
Hearts of Iron IV only offers two starting bookmarks: 1936 or 1939. Some fans may have been disappointed in the lack of options regarding when to jump into the game. Endsieg: Ultimate Victory fixes that problem by providing a variety of different starting dates, including 1910 and 1914.
For WWII, there’s the option of starting in 1941 in the midst of Operation Barbarossa. Players are also given the choice to start in 1942, 1943, 1944, or 1945. Veteran players may want to test their skills controlling Germany in the 1945 scenario. Now that’s quite a challenge!
No flashy name adorns this mod. Nevertheless, don’t let the simple title fool you. The 1930 mod is assuredly an impressive piece of work. Its aim is rather straightforward. The mod adds two early additional bookmarks: 1930 and 1933. For players who enjoy having even more time to plan their actions before WWII starts, this mod is perfect.
It feels like a natural extension of the vanilla game, except with more detail. The fates of the various major powers have more time to diverge if the player so chooses. Germany, for instance, may never embrace Nazism and instead continue down its democratic footing. Additional focus trees, technologies, generals, advisors, and leaders are included as well. For more control over the decision-making process in a particular playthrough, the 1930 mod is definitely recommended.
1 The Great War
It was only a matter of time before a WWI-themed mod entered the scene when Hearts of Iron IV was released. The Great War mod was one of the first to tackle the subject and is still the best of the bunch, hands-down.
The mod offers three different starting dates, including 1910, 1914, and even 1919. The mod plays and feels very much like something Paradox themselves would have made, which is a testament to the level of talent at work by the mod authors. It’s a very faithful recreation of WWI that definitely shouldn’t be missed.
Hearts of Iron IV is currently available on PC.
MORE: Games Set In World War 2 (That Aren’t Call Of Duty: Vanguard)
https://gamerant.com/hearts-iron-4-best-total-conversion-mods/ Hearts Of Iron 4: Best Total Conversion Mods