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HOI4 (Hearts of Iron IV): 8 Best Plane Designs

HOI4 (Hearts of Iron IV) 8 Best Plane Designs

Hearts of Iron IV (HOI4) is a revolutionary addition to the esteemed Hearts of Iron series, brought to life by Paradox Interactive. Continuing the tradition of allowing players to assume the role of a nation and shape its destiny during World War II, Hearts of Iron IV focuses on the ascendancy of air power. In stark contrast to previous conflicts, air warfare has greatly evolved, and this is highlighted in the game. In this guide, we delve deep into the intricacies of aircraft design, exploring the nuances of creating formidable air squadrons that can propel your nation toward the precipice of dominance. Additionally, we showcase the best plane designs that can serve as game-changers in your pursuit of victory in HOI4.

Understanding the Plane Design Stats in HOI4

When it comes to aircraft designs, there are a number of statistics to be aware of. These are:

  • Air Attack
  • Air Defense
  • Agility
  • Speed
  • Range
  • Fuel Usage
  • Surface Detection
  • Submarine Detection
  • Naval Targeting
  • Air Superiority

Depending on your parts, an aircraft’s designation may change. For example, having a lot of machine guns on your aircraft will automatically classify it as a fighter plane. 

In addition, an aircraft cannot function if its weight is greater than its thrust. Keep this in mind when designing your plane.

If air combat is your focus, then speed, agility, air attack, and air defense. If your goal is to focus on close air support, focus on ground attack first and other stats second. The key here is to focus on the stats in which your intended plane design is supposed to excel.

Best Plane Designs in HOI4

Moving onto the best plane designs in HOI4, we’ll provide a list here and give a quick analysis of their advantages.

The Early Game Cheat Bomber

HOI4 (Hearts of Iron IV) Best Plane Designs The Early Game Cheat Bomber
Screenshot by Raider King

This plane design is a personal favorite in the early game as it focuses on one goal: grinding air experience against technologically inferior nations. Think of the civil war in Spain or the war with Ethiopia.

As long as those nations have little to no air power or anti-air, you’ll be able to generate a steady stream of air experience through this plane design, and sooner or later, you’ll be able to complete your air doctrine tree with little to no hassle. Bear in mind that without proper fighters, this plane stands little chance of surviving on its own.

The Early Game Fighter

HOI4 (Hearts of Iron IV) Best Plane Designs The Early Game Fighter
Screenshot by Raider King

It’s only fitting that we talk about an early game fighter to accompany the cheat bomber previously. With this plane design, the goal is centered around producing as many of these as possible so as to dominate the skies. Despite being an early-game plane, it still has a decent range and air attack. So as long as we have more birds in the air than foes, this fighter should do nicely.

The Mid-Game Fighter Plane

HOI4 (Hearts of Iron IV) Best Plane Designs The Mid-Game Fighter Plane
Screenshot by Raider King

An upgraded version of the early game fighter, this HOI4 plane design is great for the years 1939–1942. Having been granted more modules and better parts, the air defense, air attack, and agility of this plane have gone up so significantly that it won’t matter what they throw at you: you’ll still be master of the skies with enough of these planes.

The Late Game Multipurpose Plane

HOI4 (Hearts of Iron IV) Best Plane Designs The Late Game Multipurpose Plane
Screenshot by Raider King

Admittedly only appearing late in the game, this rocket plane has a notable purpose: to serve in both a fighter and close air support role, which you won’t see the AI do much of. Thanks to the addition of a rocket artillery module, we still have a high agility value, which will be useful in contesting the skies. 

The Mid-Game Close Air Support Plane

HOI4 (Hearts of Iron IV) Best Plane Designs The Mid-Game Close Air Support Plane
Screenshot by Raider King

Your mid-game close air support plane, this HOI4 design contains a great ground attack value. In addition, it also possesses anti-tank guns, so you should be able to counter both infantry and armored vehicles with this plane. Its only downside is that it’ll easily lose out in an aerial dogfight, as seen by its subpar agility and air defense value. Be sure not to leave any of these planes out in the skies unescorted.

The Only Naval Bomber

HOI4 (Hearts of Iron IV) Best Plane Designs The Only Naval Bomber
Screenshot by Raider King

This plane design can be used from both airbases and carriers. The sole goal of this cheap plane is to attack enemy ships and ports and locate submarines. The low cost of this naval bomber can easily be met, as we do not need too many modules here when quantity is a quality of its own. With an air fleet of this type, we should be able to prevail in most naval engagements as well as the sinking of enemy vessels.

The Anti-Plane Plane

HOI4 (Hearts of Iron IV) Best Plane Designs The Anti-Plane Plane
Screenshot by Raider King

This HOI4 plane design is great for intercept missions against enemy fighters, support planes, and bombers. The high agility and air attack ensure that the advantage will always be on the side of your fighters when it comes to dogfights. Although this design demands a lot in production costs, it can be justified when you down enemy planes.

The Best Close Air Support Plane

HOI4 (Hearts of Iron IV) Best Plane Designs The Best Close Air Support Plane
Screenshot by Raider King

This close-air support HOI4 plane design should be at the heart of all your air fleets. The terrific ground attack, coupled with the long range, means that enemy units can be targeted even from far away, which will help with the overcrowding of air bases, especially those along the frontline. Give this some extra bonuses from focuses, advisors, design companies, spirits, or doctrines, and this plane’s ground attack can become even more terrifying.


And that is all you need to know about the best plane designs in HOI4. Check out other interesting HOI4 guides and articles:

Based in Santa Rosa, Philippines, Jonathan Ledesma is a Freelance Writer for Raider King.
Jonathan Ledesma
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