New to Hearts of Iron 4

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Quality training for foals such as yourself is critical to success on the battlefield! ~ Artist wolfjedisamuel

Welcome recruit!

So you're interested in our mod, but have never played Hearts of Iron 4? Well, prepare yourself for the most comprehensive yet accessible World War 2 simulation, combined with a rich world taken from the MLP you know and love.


The Steam Workshop page includes both automatic, or manual installations. Non steam versions may be downloaded here as well.

We also have an optional but recommended music mod.

Frequently Asked Questions

I heard HoI4 is really hard, is this true?

No... HoI4 is probably the easiest of Paradox's Grand Strategy games. With an understanding of the mechanics, some basic effective army templates, and a healthy dose of common sense, you should be able to successfully war against the AI as a major nation without much trouble

...and yes. HoI4 is a bewildering array of stats and mechanics. They aren't hard, once you understand them, and know what to pay attention to and what to ignore. But until then you'll accidentally leave your army cut off from supply in the middle of a jungle, let the enemy bomb you to bits with close air support, start a land war in Griffonia, or any number of other classic blunders.

Fortunately, it's quite possible to learn this quickly, and for best results, we strongly recommend you watch the game as its played by others. See Learning HoI4 for more info.

Do I need DLC?

No. Its nice to have, but its not essential. The mod is coded to handle any events using DLC features and non-DLC feature as available to ensure you don't miss out. Waking the Tiger is probably the best first choice. And if you love boats Man the Guns is essential (if you don't it will only make things needlessly complicated)

  • Together for VictoryTogether For Victory - Expanded mechanics around puppets, only sees minor use in Equestria at War but nice to have, especially for more advanced players who will be using puppet manpower.
  • Death or DishonorDeath or Dishonour - Allows equipment licensing and conversion of obsolete equipment. The first sees mild use in EaW and the latter sees massive use, but if you don't have it, neither does your opponent, so it doesn't really change the game.
  • Waking the TigerWaking the Tiger - General / Field Marshal traits, border conflicts and acclimatisation to weather conditions. Probably sees the most use in Equestria at War.
  • Man the GunsMan the Guns - Allows ships to be designed module by module, amphibious vehicles plus a few other advanced naval features. Adds Governments in Exile - a feature rarely used in EaW.
  • La RésistanceLa Resistance - Allows spying, deciphering enemy ciphers. Useful for changeling nations for obvious reasons.
  • Battle for the BosporusBattle for the Bosporus - Does not see use, as it is a country pack. It only offers a few voicelines and other cosmetic tweaks.
  • No Step BackNo Step Back - Allows for tank design, unlocks railway artillery, military spirits, and logistics bombing. Valuable if you like tanks, otherwise will just complicate things.
  • By Blood AloneBy Blood Alone - Allows for Aircraft design, embargoing, unit medals and additional peace conference actions.

What country should I play?

Well we happen to have a page called exactly that.

What Country Should I Play?

But for your first game...

  • If you want to plunge right into the action and experience the ponies we all know and love, play Flag of Equestria Equestria - turning Historical Focus off might give you some breathing room- but beware you will have big armies to manage - you will have to build up before the Changelings inevitably invade - make sure to save before the war begins so you can learn by trial and error - you might be pushed back but make the changelings bleed for it!
  • If you want something a bit quieter, but still with some war - Flag of Lake City Lake City to the east might be your style - its got ponies, a border with the Griffons, and both peaceful and more aggressive
  • If you want to be a powerful conqueror - the Flag of Griffonian Empire Griffonian Empire might be what you want - though be warned - Wingbardy, Aquileia, Griffonian Republic and Skyfall will grow to try to challenge you.
  • If you want to be part of a big war but not at the front lines try Flag of Stalliongrad Stalliongrad - its one of our early nations so the writing and mechanics are a bit dated, but if you can look past that they are well-positioned - they pack a punch but can rely on Equestria to bear the brunt of the changeling assault.

Does all of this match canon?

Surprisingly, it mostly does. Or it doesn't contradict canon, at least. The MLP:FiM canon and setting is generally intact, and the devs have borrowed liberally from the comics, fanfics and overall fanon where its suited their purposes, ignoring them where its not.

However, there are some key divergences. Let's rip the band-aid off quickly, shall we?

  • The tech level has been advanced several decades to be in line with a WW2 setting. My Little Pony has always been a bit schizophrenic about this, with candles sitting alongside DJ turntables, but generally, the writers have attempted to keep their tech, in their words, Edwardian Era (<1910) and earlier.
  • The map is not the same. Equestria at War features a detailed, massive custom map that was inspired by, but diverges greatly from the colourful, but mostly high concept, maps used by the show.
    • Notably, the vast continents of Griffonia and Zebrica exist to the east and south respectively.
  • Discord exists but is not really interested in helping anyone, as long as Fluttershy isn't personally threatened, and is thus uninvolved in this game. In fact he considers war the most boring form of chaos.

Equestria at War is now a few years old, and thus has diverged over time from Season 6 onwards, though where the lore is compatible it has been kept.

  • (Season 6) - Chrysalis never tried to replace the Mane 6, and Starlight Glimmer never led a party to defeat her. Chrysalis has instead been working hard to industrialise, unite and militarise the Changeling Hives.
  • (Season 6) - Starlight Glimmer eventually grew uncomfortable with her place with the Mane 6, thanked Twilight Sparkle for her tutelage, and journeyed off to support Friendship and Harmony in her own way.
  • (Season 6) - The reformed rainbow changelings (aka skittlebugs) do not exist, and as far as anyone knows, cannot exist. Thorax never met Spike and is currently advocating for a system of trading goods with other nations for love.
  • (MLP: The Movie) - The Storm King never invaded Equestria, and was defeated by the Mane 6 and Hippogriffs as he was preparing to attack.
  • (Season 8) - Twilight's School has been established, though without the support of the reformed changelings and Starlight Glimmer, does not perform quite as well, though shows some promise in these troubled times.
  • (Season 8) - The Kirin are located in eastern Zebrica.
  • (Season 9) - The entire season is not canon in the mod - Celestia and Luna and not thinking of retiring (yet), and no defeated villains have been returned.
  • Note: Equestria Girls, while having little to no impact or implications on anything in the world of Equestria at War, is canon, at least for the most part (more information on specifics will be released in the future). Altered characters from the franchise made to fit the adjusted world can be found in both Equestria and New Mareland.

OK, so what's been added beyond the canon?

Too much to count. over 50 nations have been spun into existence from basically nothing, with histories, leaders, cultures, ministers, industrial firms, cities, and states. But to speak broadly...

Continent of Equus

  • A griffon colony, Flag of Nova Griffonia Nova Griffonia has been settled in the north.
  • In addition to the Yaks, Penguins and Polar Bears have nations in the chilly north.
  • A new race, the Deer, have been added in the nation of Flag of Kingdom of Olenia Olenia to the west of Equestria.
  • Batponies / Thestrals, always semi-ascended fanon, are a canonical full pony variant in EaW. Most favoured Luna, and most moved away from pony society to live in hills and caves, after distrust, suspicion, and lynchings from others during the first rise of Nightmare Moon. Batponies are equals in Equestria... legally speaking. But that's about it.

Continent of Griffonia

  • The Flag of Kingdom of Griffonstone Kingdom of Griffonstone, briefly mentioned in the show, has been expanded to include an entire continent of Griffons, Griffonia, filled with intrigue and chaos. It all exists in the shadow of the now shattered Flag of Griffonian Empire Griffonian Empire, which began to collapse after the loss of the Idol of Boreas.
  • Griffonia features the home island of Iron Will, Flag of Republic of Asterion Asterion.
  • This continent also features the River Coalition, ponies of the east who have very little contact with Equestria, and have existed without alicorn rule, forced to war to repeatedly defend themselves against Griffons. They never had the magic of friendship to unite them and are still largely divided into the three tribes.
  • Equestria has a colony in Griffonia called Flag of Commonwealth of New Mareland New Mareland.
  • A few other races live here, including an island of changelings, a Zebra colony, and a small nation of Deer.

Continent of Zebrica

  • Northern Zebrica features Flag of Hippogriffia Hippogriffia, the land of Hippogriffs, Flag of Chiropterra Chiropterra an enclave of loyalists of Nightmare Moon.
  • Kirins span across Northeastern Zebrica, especially in the Flag of Realm of Kiria Realm of Kiria.
  • The Flag of Macawia Macawian Archepelago in Northern Zebrica features the race of Harpies.
  • Gargoyles and Centaurs, featured in the IDW's My Little Pony comic series, makes an appearance in Southern Zebrica on Flag of Kingdom of Gargiloya Kingdom of Gargiloya and Flag of Kingdom of Senturya Kingdom of Senturya respectively.
  • The yetis of the Storm Kingdom, now shattered into different warlord states, can be found as well in Southern Zebrica.
  • Zebrica alone hosts the largest diversity of different races apart from the other continents, including Deers, Llamas, Horses, Donkeys, Camels, and a small minority of Dragons, Diamond Dogs, and Griffons.

Learning HoI4

A combination of trial and error, reading, and watching people play is essential to learning HoI4. We highly highly recommend watching a playthrough to understand HoI4. Three excellent videos are listed below

Trial and Error

  • For plain HoI4, Italy is an excellent starter nation (indeed the Paradox tutorial uses Italy).
  • For Equestria at War, Lake City or Griffonian Empire aren't bad places to start


Join us on the Discord

Our devs and players alike hang out in our Discord channel - it is the core of our community, and very welcoming. Come say "Hi!" here!