5 Best Methods to Speed Up Hearts of Iron IV

Hearts of Iron IV (HOI4) is a grand strategy game that many players enjoy, but it’s not uncommon for players to experience slow gameplay, especially in the late game.

This guide will show you the top five ways to speed up HOI4.

Why Does HOI4 Slow Down?

The main reason for HOI4’s slow gameplay is the number of divisions and the AI’s constant need to check and update the front lines. Every country in the game reassigns and moves its generals around, so the AI checks the front lines to ensure that enough divisions are in place.

As a result, the more divisions in the world, the more AI checks, and the more lag occurs.

Related | How to Do a Naval Invasion in HOI4 (Step-by-Step)

Method 1: Change In-Game Settings

Change In-Game Settings
Change In-Game Settings

Turning Off Day/Night Cycle and Fog of War

The first thing we recommend is turning off the day/night cycle and possibly the fog of war. The day/night cycle can look cool in screenshots, but it can tire your eyes horribly, so it’s best to turn it off. The fog of war can be turned off or on depending on your preference, but it’s important to note that it’s necessary for tracking enemy movements.

Graphical Options

Under the video tab in graphical options, we suggest turning off cities and rivers, but she prefers to keep them on as they add to the game’s aesthetics and tactics. Similarly, she prefers to keep 3D trees, buildings, and units on as they make the game look better.

Important Options to Turn Off

The most important options to turn off are high-quality pixel shaders, reflections, weather, and shadows. While these options may make the game look nicer, they tend to create visual clutter and make everything look blurry, making it difficult to distinguish objects.

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Achieving a Balance

Achieving a balance between how clear everything looks and how nice the game appears is essential. While the game may look nicer with all the options turned on, it becomes difficult to understand what’s going on. Therefore, she prefers to turn off these options to make the game look clean and easy to comprehend.

Fog of War

We admit that turning off the fog of war makes the game look even better, but it’s a tactical choice. The fog of war is essential to tracking enemy movements, so it’s up to the player to decide whether to turn it off or keep it on.

Method 2: Turning Off AI

To reduce lag, the AI can be turned off by opening the console and entering the command ‘ai. However, this method is not recommended as the game becomes unplayable without AI, and it cannot be used in multiplayer games.

Method 3: Deleting All Units

Deleting All Units
Deleting All Units

The console command ‘deleteallunits‘ can be used to remove all divisions and navy in the game, making the game run faster. However, this method is also not practical as the game becomes unplayable without units.

Method 4: Using Mods

Toolpack mod
Toolpack mod

The Toolpack mod is a great option for players who want to make their own roleplay scenario or annex useless countries like South America. However, using mods means that achievements cannot be earned.

Another great mod is Expert AI 4.0, which makes the AI focus on meta combat, reduces the number of divisions, and has an option to make minor powers have only one research slot.

Method 5: Debug_Smooth

Debug_smooth is a console command that prioritizes hardware towards the game, reducing input device priority. This method can improve game speed by up to 20-30%, even for those with high-end CPUs.


In conclusion, there are several ways to speed up HOI4; however, players must be aware of the limitations of each method.

Using mods means no achievements can be earned, and some methods, like turning off AI or deleting all units, are not practical.

Regardless, these tips can help improve gameplay and reduce lag for a better experience.


  • Matthew Flores

    Matthew Flores plays games for a living... what a life! He began with World of Warcraft when he was just a young man; nowadays, he has evolved to play every genre—grand strategies, RPGs, shooters, MMOs, and everything else! With this being his passion, he dreams of sharing his 1000s of hours of knowledge and expertise with others by creating YourGlobalGamer.

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