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- See also: List of states
The state is the primary geographic unit of Hearts of Iron 4. A state consists of a set of provinces. In turn, supply areas, strategic regions, and the territory of countries consist of a set of states.
- Main article: Diplomacy
Ownership over territory is determined at the state level. Control over both the resources and state-wide construction of a state is determined by the plurality controller of a state; meaning the country that controls the most victory points. Each province in a state is worth at least 1 victory point, if more the player will be notified through the tooltip when hovering over a province. Resistance is also computed at state level.
States can be either core states or colony states. Cores are considered an integral part of the country, and the inhabitants are fully available for military service. Nations get a -98% penalty to manpower in colony states, and also only have half as many building slots available as in a core state. Nations may justify war goals against foreign-owned core states in half the time and for half the political power as on other states. Additionally, only victory points in core states count when determining if a country will capitulate.
Unlike other Paradox games, there is normally no way for countries to gain or lose cores. However, some country-specific events and national focuses, like the Anschluss event for Germany, will grant cores.
- Main article: Construction
Constructions can divided in 3 versions; state-buildings, shared buildings and province buildings.
State buildings are state-wide and every state may get the same maximum level of a certain building.
Infrastructure, airbases, anti-air and radar stations belong to this category.
Shared buildings are also state-wide, but the amount that can be built is limited to the amount of free slots. Once all slots are occupied, no more shared buildings can be built.
Factories, dockyards, synthetic refineries, rocket sites and nuclear reactors belong to this category
Province buildings are built per-province, their maximum levels depend on the type of building.
Naval bases and forts belong to this category.
- Main article: Production#Resources
Resources for production are generated at the state level. The majority controller will have a certain amount of the resources of a state added to their resource pool depending on their occupation policy.
- Main article: Manpower
Each state has a population, a part of which will be added to a country's manpower pool to be used for replacing losses in the military and training new divisions. The amount of manpower an occupied state will grant is dependent on the occupation policy. An owned, but non-core state will add only a tiny fraction of the population to a country's manpower pool.