How Trade Works in Hearts of Iron IV

During your conquests in Hearts of Iron IV, you will inevitably find that running a self-sufficient country is incredibly difficult. As you expand your industrial capabilities and introduce new technologies to your military, the need for different types of resources will make trading with other countries necessary.

Personally, I prefer to trade for any resources I may have a deficit in currently. This removes the annoying flag at the top of the screen telling you that you are out of resources. However, many players prefer to wait to trade until they are missing a large quantity of a resource.

Trading in Hearts of Iron IV is a simple matter of just a few button clicks. At the top of your screen, select the icon indicating trade and you will open the trading interface. Here, you can select the resource you desire and then select which country you would like to trade with. After selecting the desired country you can move the slider or press the arrow buttons to request the resources you want.

The trade selection screen in Hearts of Iron IV.
The country selection section of the interface.

Due to the lack of any money in-game, countries buy resources from each other by utilizing industry. One civilian factory will buy 8 units of any type of resource. The selling country gains full access to the civilian factory for the length of the deal, effectively expanding their industry.

When a country has less than 8 resource units available then the price does not change, you will still have to pay the full civilian factory for it.

All production resources are available on the global market. The quantity of resources on the market depends on the economic laws of countries around the world. Trade laws will determine how much of a countries domestic production is automatically sent to the market, no individual control over resources is given.

If resources are not being traded for on the global market then they will remain available for use by the country producing them. However, resources cannot be stockpiled so if the surplus is not used they can be traded at anytime.

Resources cannot be teleported from one country to another, instead trade routes will be established between countries. These routes can be disturbed by hostile forces if overseas so protecting them with fast ships should be a priority.

Countries in close proximity will establish a land trade route, which is secure except if a hostile country interrupts the connection between countries. For example, if Luxembourg has a trade route with Czechoslovakia, then war with Germany will end the trade route.

An example of a naval trade route leaving Germany in Hearts of Iron IV.
A naval trade route

If countries are not within close proximity of each other then a trade route oversea will be created. This will take convoys from your stockpile and begin trade. When a country is at war trade routes are vulnerable to enemy attack which reduces the resources your country receives. Losing resources at sea can be devastating for a country, especially one without many natural resources.

Trade is an essential mechanic to navigate the diplomatic waters of Hearts of Iron IV. Whether you are planning to import oil to fuel engines of war or bring in more steel to produce firearms, your knowledge of trade will prove vital.

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Lucky Boop
Lucky Boop

Strategy game enthusiast, especially Paradox titles and the Civilization series. Whenever he's not writing he spends his time watching sports, enjoying coffee, or studying history.

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5 months ago

Newbie question, what do these buttons do?

1 year ago

Thank you for the good explanation 🙂