best air doctrines featured image
Game: Hearts of Iron IV
Content Type: Gaming Guides


If you want to win the battle in the skies, choosing the right air doctrine is key. They provide substantial bonuses to different plane types and aerial missions that you won’t want to miss out on. In this guide, we’ll go over each of the three available air doctrines, and discuss when and why you’d want to pick each one.


The key aspect to keep in mind before selecting an air doctrine is what type of plane you want to support the most. You’ll also want to consider what your overall approach to the game will be, as the three doctrines are best paired with different strategies.

Choose Battlefield Support if: You plan to use plenty of close air support AND are confident you can win air superiority without any fighter bonuses

As the name suggests, the Battlefield Support doctrine provides excellent bonuses for supporting your troops on the ground with the air force. The trade-off for this is pretty steep, as it also has the weakest bonuses for normal fighters. This means you should only choose Battlefield Support if you have the industry to produce enough fighters to offset the lack of bonuses.

hearts of iron 4 battlefield support

You should always choose the left path for Battlefield Support to get the bonuses to air superiority. Choosing this doctrine earns you a whopping 40 percent bonus to ground support and air support mission efficiency. Additionally, CAS planes get a 20 percent agility bonus.

Bonuses

Fighter Detection
Ground Support
Interception Detection
Naval Mission Efficiency
Air Superiority Mission Efficiency
Air Support Mission Efficiency
Air Superiority
Strategic Bombing
+15%
+40%
+15%
+10%
+15%
+40%
+30%
+15%
+1

Choose Operational Integrity if: You don’t care about close air support or strategic bombing OR you just want the strongest possible fighters

The absolute best bonuses for fighters and earning air superiority come from Operational Integrity. This is an excellent choice if you want to prioritize defending your airspace from enemy missions.

hearts of iron 4 operational integrity

Operational Integrity provides a flat +10 percent agility bonus to all fighters. Along with that, they receive a 20 percent bonus to all stats while on interception missions, and a 15 percent bonus while on air superiority missions.

Bonuses

Fighter Detection
Ground Support
Interception Detection
Naval Mission Efficiency
Interception Mission Efficiency
Air Superiority Mission Efficiency
Air Support Mission Efficiency
Air Superiority
Bomber Defense
Ace Generation Chance
Strategic Bombing Visibility
+20%
+10%
+20%
+10%
+20%
+20%
+15%
+15%
+20%
+20%
-50%

Choose Strategic Destruction if: You are going to focus on strategic bombers throughout the game.

Strategic bombers can be invaluable for destroying enemy industry, the backbone of any war effort. Strategic Destruction provides excellent buffs to bombers and some moderate ones for fighters to protect the bombers.

hearts of iron 4 strategic destruction

This doctrine features several different paths to take. I advise going down the right side first, and then the left side. This provides bonuses to air superiority missions and nighttime bombing. If you want to decide for yourself, here’s a summary of each path option.

  • Right, then Left: Bonuses to air superiority and nighttime bombing.
  • Left, then Right: Bonuses to interception missions and moderately better strategic bombing.
  • Right and Right: Bonuses to air superiority and moderately better strategic bombing. Not ideal, because it wastes a bonus on escort efficiency, which has been removed from the game.
  • Left and Left: Bonuses to interception missions and nighttime bombing.

Right, then Left bonuses

Fighter Detection
Ground Support
Interception Detection
Naval Mission Efficiency
Air Superiority Mission Efficiency
Air Superiority
Night Time Strategic Bombing Penalty
Strategic Bombing
Bomber Defense
+10%
+10%
+10%
+15%
+20%
+30%
-50%
+40%
+25%

Left, then Right bonuses

Fighter Detection
Ground Support
Interception Detection
Naval Mission Efficiency
Interception Mission Efficiency
Air Superiority
Escort Efficiency
Strategic Bombing
Bomber Defense
+10%
+10%
+10%
+15%
+20%
+30%
+25%
+50%
+25%

Right and Right bonuses

Fighter Detection
Ground Support
Interception Detection
Naval Mission Efficiency
Air Superiority Mission Efficiency
Air Superiority
Escort Efficiency
Strategic Bombing
Bomber Defense
+10%
+10%
+10%
+15%
+20%
+30%
+25%
+50%
+25%

Left and Left bonuses

Fighter Detection
Ground Support
Interception Detection
Naval Mission Efficiency
Interception Mission Efficiency
Air Superiority
Night Time Strategic Bombing Penalty
Strategic Bombing
Bomber Defense
+10%
+10%
+10%
+15%
+20%
+30%
-50%
+40%
+25%

There’s no real best Air Doctrine in Hearts of Iron IV. Instead, you have three viable options, and which you choose will depend on the situation of your campaign. With these doctrines and the best plane designs, controlling the skies should be effortless.

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