[Guide] Hearts of Iron 4 Best Air Doctrine - What To Choose

Learn which air doctrines in Hoi4 can help dominate the skies.
Ruling skies without War Thunder.

What's The Best Air Doctrine in Hearts of Iron IV?


3. Strategic Destruction

Bombs away.

First, We have Strategic Destruction. For those unaware, the strategic destruction air doctrine is based on the idea that you're building an air force centered around the bombing of enemy assets.

For those who like reducing your opponents' war industry to ashes, you'll derive great satisfaction from what your strat bombers can accomplish with these bonuses. That said, they will also come with their fair share of drawbacks that put them at the bottom of the list.

Power and Capabilities

What makes Strategic destruction so effective are the bonuses you'll receive for not just strat bombing but also the improved defenses you can build against those same tactics. With bonuses like Bombing Defense and Mass Destruction, you can attack and defend quite effectively when it comes to bombing.

You'll even benefit from air superiority and ground support to better assist in your air missions with help from Offensive Formations and Direct Ground Support.

So long as you build enough high-quality strategic bombers to support these bonuses, no amount of infrastructure or factories will be safe from the wrath of your bombers.


While generals will acquire benefits from the industrial destruction they'll cause, they will suffer significantly in two areas: Namely in Air Superiority and Ground support missions.

While they still get bonuses in this area, the other two doctrines gain much larger bonuses that help support armies on the ground. It also will not afford you the best air superiority bonuses compared to other doctrines. 

What’s good about this doctrine:

  • Excellent Industrial Destruction.
  • Great Strat Bombing Defense.
  • Extra air superiority bonuses to assist with missions.
  • Fantastic -50% Night Bombing Penalty.
  • Decent bonuses to interception missions.

Choose This Doctrine if:

  • If you have an abundance of strategic bombers.
  • You want a doctrine to offer extra defenses against bombers.
  • Your war industry can be diversified heavily into a strong enough plane economy.


2. Operational Integrity

You'll win, but will you win after?

Operational Integrity is often chosen as a middle ground between Strategic Destruction and Battlefield Support. Operational Integrity satisfies a general who needs a jack-of-all-trades doctrine to support their air force or if they just have trouble committing to one style of strategy.

One thing you’ll get with this doctrine if you play your cards is achieving air superiority, which is always helpful if you have fantasies of conquering the skies.

Power and Capabilities

The strengths of Operational Integrity come in the form of giving you the right bonuses to dominate the skies. This is afforded through bonuses such as Air Skirmish and Dispersed Fighting, which will allow you to have better efficiency in fights and grant you some aces that can tip the scales of favor in your balance.

Your fighter support will also be buoyed by the Fighter Veteran Initiative, which grants your fighter planes an agility bonus. 


The shortcomings of Operational Integrity are actually quite ironic because even though it arguably affords the best chance of attaining air superiority, it grants you the least amount of bonuses after you obtain it.

The fact of the matter is that compared to its two other counterparts, the ground support this doctrine gives you is staggeringly weak, particularly in the ground attack and strategic bombing sectors that make a significant difference on the ground. It may offer minor bonuses in these aforementioned areas, but not nearly as much as the other doctrines.

What’s good about this doctrine:

  • Fantastic air superiority bonuses.
  • Good Ace Generation Bonuses.
  • Offers decent agility bonuses for your fighters.
  • Decent defense when enemy fighters are in your air space. 
  • You have a bit of strat bombing and ground support to assist your troops.

Choose this Doctrine if: 

  • You're torn between choosing from ground support or bombing.
  • You wish to dominate the skies and take out enemy fighters.
  • Want to generate more aces that will inevitably get blown out of the sky.


1. Battlefield Support

Death from above.

Armies are the backbone of your success in Hoi4. If you can’t give them the proper support when going against an equally strong or superior force on the ground, you might be screwed.

To unscrew yourself, battlefield support can easily win the game so long as you have the military industry to support because the ground support they offer is leaps and bounds ahead of the other doctrines. So long as you build up enough close air support planes, the battlefield bonuses will allow you to dominate the ground with ruthless efficiency.

These bonuses are part of why one can believe that this is the best air doctrine out of your choices because it is the biggest difference maker on the battlefield. 

Power and Capabilities

Thanks to bonuses such as Combat Unit Destruction and Dive Bombing, you will obtain fantastic support for ground attack and air superiority to accomplish those missions. The amount of ground support you can acquire in this doctrine tree is often too tempting to pass up for generals who desire to pummel their opponents into submission with CAS support raining from the skies.

Ensuring that you put enough factories into making more CAS for the long haul is crucial for making the most out of this doctrine. So long as you do, your opponent will bemoan how they didn’t use such a tactic themselves. 


You’ll be sorely missing out on bombing bonuses if you take this doctrine because it can be argued that even Operational Integrity has more of this bonus than Battlefield Support.

While you get rewards in ground support and air superiority, your fighters themselves won’t get many bonuses when fighting other fighters compared to the other doctrines making dog fights very hazardous to your pilots’ health.

Suppose you lack the industry to make a constant stream of fighters for your air corp. In that case, this doctrine can be your undoing without the proper protection to afford your CAS.

What’s good about this doctrine:

  • Excellent ground support bonuses.
  • Decent Air superiority bonuses.
  • Good at giving extra fighter experience.
  • Helpful for supporting armies in certain air spaces.
  • Perfect for nations that can build a large CAS support.

Choose this doctrine if:

  • You want to give bonuses to your army on the ground.
  • If you have an industry that can give fighters to protect your CAS.
  • You're not sure you can break stalemates with your ground forces alone.

You may also be interested in:

More on this topic:

A seasoned general who has led several conquests through the Fallout Wasteland, Avalon, the Old World and more!
Gamer Since: 1999
Favorite Genre: RTS
Currently Playing: Hearts of Iron 4
Top 3 Favorite Games:XCOM 2, Blood Bowl 2, Total War: Rome II

More Top Stories