[Top 10] Hearts of Iron 4 Best Challenges

The best challenges to complete in Hearts of Iron IV
The Top 10 best challanges to attempt for in Hearts of Iron IV

Challenges in Hearts of Iron IV may range from insanely impossible achievements to interesting alternate history scenarios that play on the player’s imagination. They are a test of the player’s ability and luck in the game. Regardless, we’ll be including a good mix of the two here in this article.

Without further ado, let’s go over the top 10 best challenges to face in Hearts of Iron IV.


1. Bearer of Artillery

One of the weirdest and yet historical achievements in the game, the Bearer of Artillery achievement, requires the following:

  • Stay non-aligned
  • Don't be in a faction with an independent Soviet Union, though you can puppet them if you want to control them.
  • Be at war with Italy and have a division in Latium, Abruzzo, or Tuscany.
  • Have completed the focus on "Artillery Modernization."
  • Control the Iranian Province of Hamadan (either by you or a faction member).

Ideally speaking, the best plan for achieving this achievement is this:

  • Choose the monarchy of Poland in order to remain unaligned.
  • Appease Germany by giving up Danzig but not going the fascist route.
  • Prepare for war with the Soviet Union around 1940.
  • Take on the big Soviet bear.
  • Take on Iran during or after the war, preferably without British guarantees.
  • Prepare for a war with Germany.
  • Once you’re at war with Germany, push into Italy and have some of your divisions in the aforementioned territories.

Once you’re done, you’ll finally get Wotjek as a military commander. If you haven’t noticed already, he’s a bear, and yes, he is notable historically for traveling with the Polish contingent during the Second World War.


2. The Romanovs Laugh Last

Moving to alternate history, this achievement is gained when Imperial Russia gains the following territories and restores her place as one of the major world powers once again.

  • Brandenburg 
  • Bohemia
  • Lower Austria
  • Northern Hungary
  • Sofia
  • Ankara

The difficulty in this run is the possibility of needing to fight both the Axis and Allied powers, as you’ll inevitably rack up a lot of tension going this route. Likewise, you’d need to win the Russian Civil War to put the Romanovs back on the throne, so you’d need to take extra time to complete the achievement.

One method to speed up the civil war is to get the Allied powers to declare war on the Soviet Union by justifying it against any allied or neutral nation, getting the British to offer a guarantee, and then declaring war on said nation. Your goal is to start the civil war while still at war with the Allied powers, then use their distraction to push against the Bolsheviks and ultimately win the war.

3. I’m Not Locked In Here with You

One of my personal favorite achievements, this one requires you to play as Switzerland, declare war against Germany, and win said war. The best part here is that you can take on the Germans yourself in a massive defensive war or wait for the Allies to land on Germany, allowing you to stab the Germans in the back.

Generally speaking, it shouldn’t be too difficult with the mountainous terrain in the Alps. There’s just something about seeing the enemy casualty numbers rise way above your own.

4. Revenge of Montezuma

In this achievement, your goal is simple: take back the lost territories of Mexico from the United States. While simple on paper, you’ll be taking on the sleeping giant of the world, and if you’re not careful enough, they can simply wipe you off the face of the map.

In order to get the achievement, you need to control the following states:

  • Texas
  • New Mexico
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Nevada
  • Utah

Your focus here is to go along a fascist path, as you need the manpower and the ability to justify against any nation. Justify against the Philippines as you do not want to bring world tensions up and allow the United States to receive aid from allied nations, nor do you want their war support to be high. Likewise, you should target the United States while it's still suffering from the effects of the Great Depression, so focus more on infantry and cavalry, with the latter doing the outflanking attacks. From that point on, it should be a game of micromanagement.


5. Second Time’s the Charm

A big what-if during the Napoleonic Wars was what if Russia had offered terms to France during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia and the disastrous retreat never occurred, allowing the French Empire to continue existing. Well, fret not; the second time is surely the charm for the Bonapartists!

To accomplish this, you require the following:

  • Controls Moscow
  • Napoleon VI is your country’s leader.

The easiest way to get this achievement is to ally with Germany, guarantee Finland, and then just push through to the Soviet capital, but where’s the fun in that? I say the best route is to imitate Napoleon himself and push your way through Germany, establish your own puppet government, and then take the fight to the Soviets themselves.

6. Miklos Horthy and the Habsburg Prince

Another restoration path (weird how Hearts of Iron IV has a lot of these), this time you need to start off as Hungary and restore the Austro-Hungarian Empire with the Habsburgs once again in power. While fairly simple on paper, there’s quite a challenge behind this, as you need careful planning and luck to take the territories needed to forge the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

You need to own the following states as Austria-Hungary to get this achievement

  • Upper Austria
  • Tyrol
  • Lower Austria
  • Sudetenland
  • Bohemia
  • Moravia
  • Eastern Sudetenland
  • Zaolzie
  • Western Slovakia 
  • Southern Slovakia 
  • Eastern Slovakia
  • Carpathian Ruthenia
  • Jordan
  • Palestine
  • Neiderschlesien
  • Oberschleisien
  • Tuscany 
  • Franche-Comte
  • Lombardy 
  • Emilia Romagna 

A good strategy is to blitz Austria and the Czech Republic early to keep them from ending up in Germany’s hands. Once Germany demands the Sudetenland, you should give it up to them (no worries on this; we’ll get it back later). After that, an invasion of the Balkans is key, as you need to make sure your southern flank is secure. Once the Germans have invaded Russia, you need to seize the moment to take them by surprise. After dealing with the Axis, it’s time to deal with the Allies, and by then, you’ll be unstoppable.


7. One Empire

Imagine if the British Empire had not collapsed and gone on to conquer the entire world. Well, that premise is this achievement’s aim. As the United Kingdom, the entire world should be owned by you, a puppet, or a nation in the same faction as you. Easy on paper, but hard to accomplish due to the sheer length of time needed to complete this.

Your first target here should be the Axis powers, as their aggression will ultimately threaten your hegemonic dreams. Following this, you should aim for the Comintern, and from then on, you should have enough manpower and the strongest navy to launch attacks anywhere in the world without reprisal. Bonus points go to you if you can get the United States into your faction or into a federation with you, as their manpower and resources will go a long way in ensuring your global dominance.


8. Hail to the Qing

What if the Mandate of Heaven was restored after being lost? That is the principal question of this challenge as you look to start as Manchukuo and ultimately end up as the Qing Empire once again. Push back the Japanese invaders and upstart warlords, and take back the throne for the Xuantong Emperor!

To gain this achievement, you need to complete the “Claim the Mandate of Heaven” focus, which requires you to:

  • Be independent
  • Own all the starting territories of Nationalist China, Communist China, Shanxi, Xibei San Ma, Yunnan, Guangxi, and Sinkiang.

The easiest way to push through this is to disable historical focus, but again, where is the fun in that? Instead, your target should be to gain independence from Japan once you’re ready, push against the Chinese United Front, defend against Japan once more, and then just mop up the remaining Warlord states. Doesn’t sound that hard, right? Just don’t look at China’s technological deficiencies and keep the spirit up!

9. Big Entente

What if the Allies, specifically France, had pushed back hard against Germany during the Munich discussions and not allowed a single inch of Czech territory to be surrendered? Well, this challenge focuses on said idea, as you need to start off as France, create the Little Entente, and control Germany.

The following requirements are needed to achieve this achievement:

  • Has completed the focus on "The Little Entente."
  • Is a faction leader
  • Germany has to be fully controlled, or it is a French puppet.

The best timing for attacking Germany should be during the Sudetenland Crisis, as they should be facing two or possibly three fronts. If you chose to take on Germany during the remilitarization of the Rhineland, you’d need to deal with a minor civil war, which is not ideal for you. The survival of your allies is not necessary, so you can remain on the defensive for as long as you’d like until you have prepared enough to finally march into Berlin.


10. This Time for Africa

One of the best scenarios to imagine and also one of the hardest to accomplish in the game. The goal? Found the African Union and have 13 other countries with capitals in Africa as members of your faction. If you need to ask why this is difficult, allow me to remind you that Ethiopia is the only African nation to not have been colonized or under foreign rule. So if you want this achievement, you need to go through the British, French, Belgian, and Portuguese forces.

The requirements for the achievement are:

  • Complete the "Towards African Unity" focus.
  • Is in a faction with 13 other African countries.

Now there is no easy way to do this, but two methods remain: one by conquest and one by both conquest and collaboration. The former is simple, take back the African continent by force. The other requires you to make use of your spies so the conquest of said lands can be done much easier, all while compliance in each province remains high.

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Forever content in the world of strategy and simulation, Jonathan has been testing out new games in the genre for millenia, never ceasing his unrelenting wonder for the genre.
Gamer Since: 2008
Favorite Genre: RTS
Currently Playing: Hearts of Iron IV
Top 3 Favorite Games:League of Legends, Sid Meier's Civilization V, Dragon Age: Origins

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