Civilization Wiki
For the scenario, see Barbarians! (Civ4).

Barbarians are a special "civilization" that is always at war with all normal civilizations. Barbarian units can be spawned out of nothing via a random process. Players often refer to barbarians as just barbs.

Civilopedia entry[]

The term "barbarian" was created by the Greeks; it was originally used to denote any foreigner. Since then it has gained a more negative connotation, and it is commonly applied to civilizations deemed "inferior" to one's own. The Chinese, for instance, thought of all foreign cultures - everybody from the Manchus to the Turks to the Europeans - as barbarians. Rome applied it to the Huns and the Germanic tribes, as well as to the more advanced Gauls.

In Civilization IV, the term denotes people that are not part of any organized civilization appearing in the game, but are instead old-style hunter-gatherers who prey on the "weak" civilized world. Though some barbarians may have acquired fairly advanced weaponry - swords and axes, for example - and though they may occasionally capture or even build their own cities, they remain at heart hostile nomads, destroying everything that comes in their path. Barbarians cannot be bargained with or appeased: they must be destroyed - before they destroy you!


Barbarians can be built normally in barbarian cities. When the city has enough defenders (the number varies with difficulty level), extra units will leave the city and wander the continent.

Barbarians can be spawned from Tribal Villages if the civilization entering the village has bad luck. Note that using a Scout (or Explorer) prevents this outcome: huts cannot spawn barbarians if explored by a Scout.

Barbarians can also be generated out of nothing, in any land or coast tile which is

  • out of the line of sight of all cities (including barbarian cities),
  • out of the line of sight of all units (excluding barbarians), and
  • not within the 5x5 square centered on any existing unit (excluding other barbarians?).

The chance for barbarian generation is higher for tundra and desert tiles. In the very early game, the barbarians spawned will be animals. After a particular turn, animals can no longer spawn, and only normal units (Warriors and Archers initially) will spawn.

One other way in which barbs can be created is via events. There is a rare event called "barbarian uprising" which can happen very early in the game, producing a stack of barbarians that will invade and attempt to take a city.

Barbarians can never be permanently wiped from the planet. Even if you destroy every barbarian unit and city currently visible, they will always respawn eventually.

Barbarian units[]

A number of special rules apply to barbarian units. Both human and AI players are given bonuses in combat against them, even including "free wins" for humans at low difficulty levels. However, the amount of experience a unit may get from fighting barbarians is capped. A unit cannot raise its experience above 5 experience via fighting animals or above 10 fighting other barbarians.

Here is a table relating the difficulty level to various aspects of barbarian units:

Settlr Chief Warlrd Noble Prince Mon Emp Imm Deity
Free Wins Versus Barbs 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 0 0
Animal Attack Prob 0 25 50 75 90 95 98 99 100
Barbarian Creation Turns Elapsed 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10
Barbarian City Creation Turns Elapsed 55 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15
Animal Bonus -70 -60 -50 -40 -30 -20 -10 -5 0
Barbarian Bonus -40 -30 -20 -10 -5 0 0 0 0
AI Animal Bonus -70 -70 -70 -70 -70 -70 -70 -70 -70
AI Barbarian Bonus -40 -40 -40 -40 -40 -40 -40 -40 -40

Barbarian Civilization[]

The barbarian civilization is a civilization that is always at war with other civilizations, and cannot communicate with them. It is led by a leader with no traits (modeled after Sid Meier, though cannot be talked to in-game). Other than that, it behaves like AIs do. Barbarians do research new tech (although very slowly).

Barbarian Cities[]

Some time after the point in the game where animals stop spawning, barbarian cities can randomly appear. Barb cities follow the same limits on spawning as units do.

Barbarian cities follow the same rules as other cities. Eventually they will build Workers and improve their land. A city will build buildings if the barbarians have the tech to do so; this may include culture buildings which will eventually expand the barbarian cultural borders just as civs do.

The city names come from tribes and cultures not included in the Civilization series.

List of Barbarian "Cities"[]

City Name Notes
Cherokee Southeastern indigenous North American tribe
Anasazi Southwestern indigenous North American tribe
Teoihuacan An ancient Mesoamerican city
Olmec Earliest known Mesoamerican civilization
Zapotec Minor pre-Columbian civilization
Chinook Pacific Northwestern indigenous North American tribe
Apache Southwestern indigenous North American tribe
Chehalis Pacific Northwestern indigenous North American tribe
Illinois A Native American tribe, namesake of the US state
Navajo Southwestern indigenous North American tribe
Carib AKA Kalina, indigenous South American people
Saxon Ancient Germanic tribe inhabiting areas the North Sea
Vandal Ancient East Germanic tribes
Goth Ancient East Germanic tribes, dominant at the emergence of the Middle Ages
Angle Ancient Germanic peoples, namesake of England
Magyar Endonym of the Hungarian people
Khazak Misspelling of Kazakh, a Turkic peoples, namesake of Kazakhstan
Bulgar Nomadic Turkic tribes, namesake of Bulgaria
Alemanni Ancient Western Germanic tribe, namesake of Germany in various Romance languages
Burgundian Ancient East Germanic tribe inhabiting the area of present-day Poland
Gepid Ancient East Germanic tribe
Hun Nomadic tribes ruling over large parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia in the early Middle Ages
Jute Anicent Germanic tribe inhabiting the area of present-day Denmark
Phoenician Ancient North African civilization preceding Carthage
Etruscan Ancient civilization of Northern Italy preceding Rome
Thracian Southeastern European tribe
Phrygian Ancient kingdom located in parts of present-day Turkey
Gaul Collection of ancient Celtic tribes inhabiting regions of present-day France
Minoan Ancient civilization found on the island of Crete
Mycenian Ancient Greek culture
Cimmerian Ancient Indo-European peoples inhabiting the Crimean peninsula
Ligurian Ancient pre-Roman people inhabiting Northern Italy
Numidian Ancient Berber kingdom
Sarmatian Ancient Iranian tribes inhabiting parts of Eastern Europe related to the Scythians
Scythian Ancient Iranian tribes stretching from borders of Eastern Europe towards parts of Central Asia
Visigoth The westernmost sub-group of the Gothic people
Assyrian Major Mesopotamian civilization
Hittite Ancient Indo-European peoples inhabiting Anatolia
Suebian Ancient Germanic tribes bordering the Roman Empire
Mauryan Ancient Indian empire
Parthian Ancient Iranian empire
Harappan Advanced ancient Indus Valley civilization
Nubian Major ancient African civilization bordering Egypt
Bactrian Ancient land covering areas of present-day Afghanistan
Circassian Caucasian people found along the Black Sea
Cuman Turkic nomadic tribes found in Western Eurasia
Hurrian Ancient peoples inhabiting parts of Anatolia
Kassite Ancient Mesopotamian people succeeding Old Babylon
Bantu Collective term for Central African people speaking related languages
Khoisan Southern African peoples inhabiting the Kalahari Desert
Libyan North African peoples
Shangian Ancient Chinese dynasty, also known as Yin
Yayoi Name for a culture of Iron Age Japan
Zhou Ancient Chinese dynasty
Ainu Indigenous population of Japan
Polynesian Various seafaring peoples inhabiting the islands of Oceania
Aryan Ancient progenitors of the Indo-Aryan cultures
Avar Caucasian ethnic group found in Dagestan
Ghuzz AKA Oghuz, an ancient proto-Turkic people
Hsungnu Misspelling of Hsiung-nu, the Wade–Giles spelling of Xiongnu, an Asian nomadic people sometimes linked to the Huns
Kushans Ancient empire spanning Northern India and Central Asia
Yuechi Wade–Giles spelling of Yuezhi, ancient nomadic people found in China, thought of Indo-European origin
Sakae A branch of the Scythian people
Uzbek A Turkic people, namesake of Uzbekistan
Tartar AKA Tatars, a Turkic people found across Eastern Europe and Asia

See also[]