Germany is an absolute powerhouse in Hoi4, one of the game’s three ‘superpowers’ – they serve as a major player in the second World War. In addition to their raw strength and military prowess, Germany in Hoi4 is also known for having a great focus tree – despite the fact that its size and depth are rather limited when compared to most modern focus trees.
This capable focus tree allows us to decide upon 3 paths for the future of Germany – each with different views on how Germany – and the world at large – should be run. So, in this Hoi4 Germany Focus Tree Guide, we will show you what each of these paths are, what they do – and how you can get the very most out of this focus tree. This article is a long one – so feel free to use the contents tab below to help you navigate around!
So, What Paths Are Included In Germany’s Focus Tree?
(The ‘Waking The Tiger’ DLC is required for the alternate paths in this guide!)
Assuming you have the ‘Waking The Tiger’ DLC – you will get access to Germany’s full focus tree. The Hoi4 Germany focus tree contains:
- An industrial path for Germany
- Air, Army and Navy paths
- And two main political paths, those being
- The “Rhineland” historical path – where you remain fascist
- The “Oppose Hitler” alternate history path – where you can either revive the German Empire or form a Democratic Germany
Before delving into the political paths for Germany – we’ll take a look at the industrial and military paths for Germany – which are shared across both political paths. These paths offer strong bonuses for Germany – and shouldn’t be ignored if you’re trying to maximise your power.
Become The Economic Centre Of Europe Using The German Industrial Path!
Starting off with the industrial path – this small but mighty path will significantly boost your civilian and military industries with some of the most generous additional free factories that can be found anywhere in Hoi4. In addition – this path can scale with your expansion quite well depending on the choices you make here.
To begin – we are given the “Four Year Plan” focus, which gives us two sizable research bonuses towards our industry – and gives us access to a “Captain of Industry” advisor – boosting our civilian factory and infrastructure build speeds.
Next, we have 3 branching paths – the first on the left is kind of an oddball. The three foci here (“Westwall”, “Atlantikwall” and “Ostwall”) don’t really relate to industry at all. Rather – they instead give you buffs to building forts, and construct some forts for you on the border with France, the Atlantic ocean once you’ve taken France – and the Dnieper river in the Soviet Union once you’ve pushed that far.
Moving towards the central path, this path mostly revolves around your foreign war economy – and deciding between prioritising your own industry – or boosting the industries of some of your smaller potential allies. In addition – this path also gives you some notable buffs to your industry.
This branch Starts with the “Großraumwirtschaft” focus – which gives you a 10% buff to infrastructure, and railway construction speed through a national spirit – meaning you’ll always have it. The next foci are “Align Romania” and “Align Hungary” – these simply promote your ideology (be it Fascist, Non-aligned or Democratic) in Romania and Hungary, and give you an opinion boost with those countries.
The penultimate foci for this branch form the big choice that you will make in this hoi4 Germany focus tree path. That choice is between building up the war economies of some of your allies or solely building up your own. The “Integrate War Economies” gives you 8 military factories, and gives Romania and Hungary 4 each – and makes them your puppets – assuming they’re in your faction and agree to the proposal that is.
The other option – titled “German War economy” simply gives you six military factories – and sets your economy to “War Economy” – assuming you’re not on that already. Following from these foci, you reach the final focus for this branch of the industrial path. This focus allows you to create the Reichskommissariat puppets, assuming you chose to stick with Hitler. In fact – we have a whole guide on these decisions – which you can find below!
Moving onto the final branch of the hoi4 Germany focus tree industrial path, we begin with the ”Autarky” focus, which gives us two 100% research buffs to excavation techs – which can help Germany to harvest enough raw materials for its hungry economy. It also gives us the “Autarky” national spirit, granting a 10% increased construction speed to military and civilian factories – as well as naval dockyards.
Moving towards the bottom left, we reach the “Reichsautobahn” focus, which maxes out infrastructure in the German states of Brandenburg, Hannover, Thüringen and Franken. These states are great for industrial development due to their central location – much more so now that they’ll have max infrastructure thanks to this focus.
Moving to the right, we get to the “Coal Liquidization” focus – this simply gives us a research buff for synthetic resources – and builds one synthetic refinery in the state of Sachsen. Just below that – we continue the investment in synthetic resources with the “Synthetic Rubber” focus. This makes each of our synthetic refineries produce an additional two rubber each – which can add up quickly as we build more refineries.
Moving to the right once again – we reach “Hermann Göring-Werke” and “Kdf-Wagen” – these foci give you a substantial 6 civilian each – totalling a mammoth 12 civilian factories – which will put you substantially ahead of the Allies with regards to your industry.
The final focus for Germany’s industrial path is a simple one, being an extra research slot focus – which does exactly what it says on the tin – giving you an extra research slot. This is a notable buff, as Germany already begins the game with a strong 4 research slots – a number only matched by the US, UK, Japan and Italy.
What Are The Best Foci To Prioritise In Germany’s Industrial Tree?
Now that we’ve gone through all of the foci in the industrial tree – which should be your priority, and which can probably be left alone?
The first priority for this tree should be getting the extra civilian factories from “Hermann Göring-Werke” and “Kdf-Wagen”. The early game boost that these give you cannot be understated – and this will allow you to most of the German MEFO bills should you choose to keep them – which greatly increase the construction speed of military factories for their duration.
Your next priority should be gunning for “Integrate War Economies” – which is probably stronger than its counterpart for singleplayer. The 8 military factories plus getting Romania and Hungary as puppets can be crucial. As this will provide guaranteed, cheap oil and Aluminium for the war effort.
With regards to foci to avoid/lower priority foci in the hoi4 Germany focus tree’s industrial path – that would be the fortification foci on the left of the tree. These can be useful – but are typically best left for later in the game. Other than that – an argument could be made for skipping the “Coal Liquidization” and “Synthetic Rubber” foci – as these are not requirements in order to get the extra research slot at the end of the tree. Despite this, the additional rubber from refineries could be crucial later in the war if trading for rubber becomes nigh-on-impossible due to trade restrictions and convoy raiding.
Crush Your Enemies Using The German Military Paths!
In the Hoi4 Germany focus tree – the foci relating to the military, like other nations’ trees, is split into three branches, those being the Air Force, Army and Navy. Each of these branches grant powerful advantages to Germany – and their bonuses can directly or indirectly be the difference between victory and defeat. So, let’s take a look – starting with the Air Force Branch!
Rule The Skies With The Air Force Branch!
The “Air Innovations” focus begins this branch, it gives us the following bonuses:
These bonuses are very useful – in particular the cost reduction for the battlefield support doctrine – which works well for Germany, and more importantly – the advisor that gives air XP daily, which is massively important for designing new planes and unlocking new doctrines.
Next, we have a choice between “Strategic Air Effort” and “Tactical Air Effort”, this choice essentially boils down to faster research for either strategic bombers (“Strategic Air Effort”) or tactical bombers and close air support planes. Both can certainly be viable – but the extra flexibility and freedom from “Tactical Air Effort” is probably slightly better than the alternative. In addition – moving down this path allows you to take the “Naval Air Effort” focus, which gives you research bonuses for naval bombers as well.
Moving to the centre of the tree – we have the “Long-Range Escorts”, which grants two 100% research buffs for heavy fighters. Moving into the final bottom left section of this branch – we reach the “Air Innovations II” focus. This focus grants air XP, additional research speed for jet technology, one research bonus for RADAR technology, and finally (and probably most significantly) a permanent 7% reduction to the battlefield support doctrine cost – making that branch a no-brainer for Germany.
The final foci for this branch revolve around rockets and nuclear weapons. These advanced technologies take a while to research – so anything to get these researched faster is always a plus.
The German air force branch is a pretty good way to have the best planes on the battlefield, though it does lack in direct plane buffs, the extra speed you’ll get from the research buffs can help massively – especially when dealing with the British and American air forces.
The next military branch path is the army branch – and this is a surprisingly small path for a nation so reliant on its army.
Conquer The Globe With The German Army Path!
This branch begins in the same way as the previous – with its “Army Innovations” focus. Which grants the following benefits:
As with the airforce branch – having an advisor that grants passive XP is massively important in the current state of the game – in addition, Rommel’s substantial buffs to tanks and the two reductions towards land doctrine cost are also great.
The next focus (“Treaty with the USSR”) is possibly one of the most important – as it grants significant research bonuses to tank technologies – and more specifically, medium tanks, which if you’re playing in singleplayer are probably the best tank variety to go for. Following from this – we have another vital focus, that being “Army Innovations II”. This grants further research bonuses to tanks – which are the core of the German army.
The final few foci for this hoi4 Germany focus tree branch revolve around your policy towards the USSR and Turkey. The first and probably most important one the – “Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact” initiates a non aggression pact with the USSR and divides Poland between the two powers after they have been defeated. This is what happened historically – and it’s probably a good idea to do it in-game too – as this will give you time to fight the allies in the west before attacking the Soviets in the East.
At this point – we diverge from history as you can form the “unholy alliance” with the USSR, which essentially brings the Soviets into the axis – making them a permanent ally, which then allows you to puppet Turkey in the next focus. As stated, this is a significant divergence from the historical actions of Germany.
With regards to which foci standout here – obviously this falls to the “Treaty with the USSR” and “Army Innovations II” foci – granting essential buffs towards tank research – propelling your army above basically every other.
This brings us to the final military focus branch – the navy. Despite Germany’s small starting navy – they can become a strong naval power under certain circumstances, this is probably easiest while playing as the monarchist German Empire – but we’ll get into that later.
This branch of the hoi4 Germany focus tree details the German policy towards naval rearmament, and the approach you want to take. The first section of the branch is available to both Fascist and Non Fascist Germany’s – but it is expanded upon in the “Oppose Hitler” German Empire path – which we’ll discuss later.
Now, the first focus in the branch covers just that issue – “Naval Rearmament” grants 3 naval dockyards. The next focus – “Naval Effort” adds to that by giving you an additional two dockyards – in addition to 25 navy XP, and research bonuses towards destroyers and cruisers.
“Expand Dockyard Facilities” is the next focus, and it simply gives four additional naval dockyards. Moving down – we reach the main decision for this branch of the focus tree, that being between “Plan Z” And “U-Boat Effort” (You get an additional two choices as the German Empire – which will be discussed in the monarchist section).
Firstly, both plans grant two dockyards – “Plan Z” focuses on the researching of battlecruisers, battleships and carriers, while “U-Boat Effort” instead prioritises submarines. The main difference between the paths are the foci that come after.
If you do “Plan Z” – you get access to a series of foci that sees you promote fascism in the Nordic countries and the Netherlands in an attempt to have them join your faction. While alternatively you could go for “U-Boat Effort” – which doubles down on your submarines – granting cheaper naval doctrines and a reduced production cost on your submarines.
The final focus for this naval branch in the hoi4 Germany focus tree is the “Crossing The Atlantic” focus – a really interesting focus which can grant an enormous number of naval dockyards. More specifically, it adds 2 dockyards for every coastal state in Europe that you own. There is a catch though – that being that it will also remove 2 military factories from that state – or from another state if that state has no military factories. Assuming you have defeated the Soviet Union and have enough military factories – this can be a great focus to massively increase your dockyard count.
Germany – Industrial And Military Paths Broken Down – Which Foci Are Best?
With that, you have now seen all of the military and industry branches in the hoi4 Germany focus tree. It is probably advisable to focus a little bit into all of these paths – but getting the industry bonuses from the industrial path – in addition to the tank research buffs from the army path are probably going to be the most important – especially for those wanting to play the game with a good amount of historical accuracy. Now – we’ll finally delve into the political tree of Germany – starting with the historical “Rhineland” path.
Germany – “Rhineland” Route, Continue As Hitler’s Germany
This path is intended to be the much more historical of the two approaches, in this path, you keep Hitler and the Nazis in power, and follow a highly aggressive and expansionist foreign policy – culminating in a war with the Allies and a potential war with the USSR.
From here on in – we will not cover every single focus – instead we’ll detail each section of the political trees – picking out important foci that you should prioritise/pay attention to, so let’s begin!
The Fascist branch begins with the “Rhineland” focus, which pressures the British and French into allowing you to re-station troops in the region. The AI will usually accept this – but in the case that they don’t – you will get another event that asks if you want to back down – refusing to do so will start a war with either just France – or France and Britain depending on how the event went down, again – this is fairly rare when playing against AI.
The next foci right below that one detail your policy towards East Asia – and whether you want to aid the Japanese or the Chinese, this could be an important step in deciding whether either power will aid you in the war. Following from that – if we move towards the bottom left, we see the other side of the “Molotov-Ribbentrop” focus chain.
Historically, Germany did a mix of these – striking up the “Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact” – but also eventually declaring war on the USSR. This branch also allows you to form the “Anti-Soviet Pact”, and allows you to “Befriend Turkey”. The anti Soviet pact forms defensive pacts with all members of the already established “Anti-Comintern Pact” – meaning if the Comintern declares war on any of these members, all members will join in the war.
Following from that branch – if we move right we get to the core of the Fascist tree – the “Anschluss” section. This part details the bulk of your Fascist foreign policy and expansion opportunities. This is a very powerful path – especially for those that are less comfortable with direct wars, as you get a series of essentially free expansions – which we’ll get into more below.
Beginning this hoi4 Germany focus tree branch is the “Anschluss” focus itself – this focus integrates Austria into Germany – assuming you have a large enough military. Again – this is an RNG focus, but it is pretty likely that Austria will agree to the integration – significantly boosting your early industry, giving you all of Austria’s army, and reducing the upkeep of your MEFO bills.
Following from that, the path separates into several branches, going from the left – we begin with the “Befriend Czechoslovakia” focus – which does just that. Moving to the right, and the alternative focus to befriending the Czechs is to “Demand Sudetenland” – which puts you on the path to annexing and dividing Czechoslovakia – assuming the British and French allow it. Following deciding the fate of Czechoslovakia – You can initiate the “Second Vienna Award”, which allows you to decide the fate of Transylvania. You can either give all of it to Romania, all to Hungary – or split it. If Romania refuses – you get a war goal against them.
Below that – you have foci to befriend Italy and Spain, and to the right – you have the “Befriend Poland” path – where you can choose to trade for Danzig and your eastern territories – as well as to later improve relations with them.
This course of action is obviously contrasted by the “Danzig Or War” path – in which you demand Danzig – or else you’ll invade. This is the more historical path – this also allows you to reclaim the Lithuanian state of Memel. Following from that – you have foci to allow you to declare war on the Benelux nations, and the Scandinavian nations should you choose. Below that – you can declare war on France assuming that hasn’t happened already. The final foci in this branch – that being “Reintegrate Luxemburg and Alsace-Lorrain” and “Operation Tannenbaum” allow you to core Alsace and Luxemburg, and declare war on Switzerland.
Going back up to the right, we reach the “Demand Slovenia” focus, which begins a path allowing you to determine what happens to the nations of Yugoslavia and Greece. Allowing you to divide, puppet and annex them.
With that – we have reached the final focus in the Rhineland/Fascist path for the hoi4 Germany focus tree – that being the “Improve National Spirit” focus, which removes “bitter loser” and replaces it with a new, better spirit, assuming you control the states of London and Paris.
What Are The Best Foci In The “Rhineland” Path?
So, which foci should you prioritise when going down the Nazi Germany path? In Most situations, gunning for the foci which give you free expansion opportunities would be a good idea. Specifically, prioritising annexing Czechoslovakia for example will improve your industry significantly – as even at game start – Czechoslovakia has the industrial strength of Spain on its own.
Other more diplomatic approaches should be ignored, as they are not guaranteed to work, and will make you weaker in the long run. With that – we can now move onto the “Oppose Hitler” path – which allows you to either Restore the Kaiserreich, or return to Democracy.
Opposing Hitler And Winning The German Civil War
In order to oppose Hitler – you must begin and win the German civil war – fortunately, this is a relatively simple civil war to win – we’ll detail the best way to do it below: (without cheesing it by deleting your entire army)
The first thing you should do is to create a fall-back line on the future frontline of the civil war – this will give you a significant advantage as all your units will be ready to fight as soon as possible, see the image below to do this:
Once the civil war begins, you should focus the bulk of your forces around Frankfurt, and then attempt to encircle Bavaria by pushing through Nuremberg, from there – you should have more units than the Nazis – so it should be pretty easy to win the civil war.
Now that you’ve removed the Nazis, you can begin to rebuild and decide which path you want to take Germany on – the first of the two is the Kaiserreich path.
Revive The Kaiserreich Foci Explained
The Kaiserreich path for Germany restores the monarchy to its former status at the top of German Society, attempts to reclaim lost possessions, and has the potential to rebuild the German fleet.
To begin this branch, we have the “Revive the Kaiserreich” focus itself, which grants a number of foreign policy benefits, and boosts the passive support for the monarchy. From there, we have the “Rebuild the Nation” sub-tree, which grants a number of strong economic buffs to help Germany recover from the civil war.
With regards to the rest of the political tree, it begins with the “Return of the Kaiser”, which starts an event to bring Wilhelm II back to the throne – if the allies/Dutch refuse this – you can instead have Wilhelm III as Kaiser instead.
As we move to the left – we see the expanded naval tree for this ideology. This decision revolves around whether you wish to rebuild the high seas fleet and focus on fighting the democracies of Europe, or whether you wish to instead ally with the British against the communists. Focusing on the True Enemy obviously gives additional benefits to your naval buildup – specifically to heavy class ships, while Expatriating the Communists gives a small bonus to factory output – and is more likely to turn France Communist.
Going down the high seas fleet path allows you to recreate the central powers by turning Italy monarchist and re-establishing Austria Hungary, and eventually leads to war with the allies. This makes this path the much more expansionist of the two, with the other option simply granting a wargoal upon Switzerland and France.
Moving towards the centre of the tree – we see the “See to the Eastern Front” focus path, which allows you to guarantee Finland and Lithuania, and reclaim Danzig in exchange for protecting Poland against the Soviet Union. Later on during this path, you can form the Anti-Comintern and Anti-Soviet paths, and later go directly to war with the USSR as well as Republican Spain.
What Are The Important German Kaiserreich Tree Foci?
With that, you have completed the monarchist Germany path. With regards to which foci are the most important – that would probably be the industrial reconstruction foci – which give some big economic buffs that you’ll need desperately. Some close contenders would be the “Danzig for Guarantees” – which can give you some needed expansion, and the Central Powers line of foci – as you’ll need allies to help you defeat your enemies.
With all that said – we have finally made it to the last of the hoi4 Germany focus tree political paths, that being the Democratic Germany path.
The Focus Branch That Lets You Restore German Democracy
The German democratic path is the perfect example of ‘soft power’ in Hoi4. This focus tree doesn’t give you many expansion opportunities, but it gives you some of the most research slots in the game (6 when combined with the industrial path), a massive faction, and great potential for tanks and nuclear weapons all thanks to its focus tree.
The focus tree is on the smaller side – but it gives you plenty of flexibility with what you can do with it.
First off – it shares the same strong reconstruction sub-path as the Monarchists, so we won’t go into it again here, following from there, you have the “Monarchy Compromise” focus – which makes you officially democratic and gives you the “Wilhelm III” national spirit – granting you additional stability.
After that – you get arguably the best focus for this branch – that being the “Reverse the Brain Drain” focus – which gives you an additional research slot – this means you will be the most technologically advanced Germany out there. Following the left path – you can form the Central European Alliance, and invite a huge amount of countries across Europe. With so many countries in your faction – you can dominate Europe fairly easily with this tree.
Other than inviting others to your faction and invading the USSR, your final foci for this hoi4 Germany focus tree path give you research bonuses for atomic research, and gives every single faction member the “Pool Technical Know-How” spirit, which does the following:
So, despite having basically no expansion opportunities – this tree can still give you a substantial amount of power in its own right.
Which Democratic Germany Tree Foci Should You Prioritise?
For this tree, focus on grabbing the extra research slot, and the atomic research asap, as these will help you out-tech nearly every other country. Later on, grab the “Pool Technical Know-How” focus for its great faction wide buff – but preferably only once all the members have already joined so that you get the most out of it.
Hoi4 Germany Focus Tree Guide – Conclusion
So you’ve now seen every single German focus tree branch available! We hope that this hoi4 German focus tree guide helped you to decide which ideology to play as Germany, and showed you which foci you should really be taking – and which can be mostly ignored. If you enjoyed this article, you’ll be sure to enjoy the rest of Console Bandit’s Hoi4 Guides, which you can find here. Have a great day!