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Sid Meier's Civilization V (called Civilization V or Civ5 for short) is a turn-based strategy game released on September 21, 2010. The game's first expansion pack, Gods & Kings, was released on June 19, 2012 in North America and June 22, 2012 elsewhere. A second expansion, Brave New World, was released on July 9, 2013 in North America and July 12, 2013 elsewhere.

Civilizations and Leaders[]

There are eighteen civilizations available from the start of Civilization V, and seven additional civilizations are made available later through several small DLC add-ons. Nine more civilizations were added with the Gods & Kings expansion pack, and nine other civilizations were added with the Brave New World expansion pack, bringing the total number of civilizations to 43.

This is the first incarnation of the series where the leaders speak in their native language in a fully animated diplomacy screen. This applies only to the audio; all text is in the language selected.


Civilization V has 87 units, ranging from military to civilian. Unlike in previous games, you can have only one unit of each type (Military/Civilian/Embarked) per hex. For example, you cannot have a Horseman and an Archer on one tile. This also applies to cities.

Most units can move 2 hexes (4 hexes for mounted units) and are no longer destroyed if they lose a battle, taking damage instead. Players can swap a unit out with one next to it during battle.

Units take longer to produce than in previous games. They also have higher upkeep costs, potentially reducing the number of units you can maintain at one time. The upkeep costs become more expensive the further you are into the game.

There are no longer troop transports. Instead, units instantly transform into makeshift floating transports when moving into water after the Optics technology is researched.


One new concept in the game is the addition of CityStateIcon5 city-states - small countries usually limited to a single city, that don't compete to win the game. However, they can expand their territory and acquire the same resources as any player can. They provide economic and diplomatic bonuses if you befriend or ally them by doing quests or giving gifts. If you are hostile toward a city-state, its allies become hostile towards you.



A standard-sized Earth map showing various terrain features as well as units, cities, and city-states

Plain terrains
Grassland, Marsh, Plains and Desert
Cold terrains
Snow and Tundra
High terrains
Mountains (are impassable to all units except helicopters and Carthaginian troops, after Carthage earns its first Great General) and Hills (provide more defense and negate the effect of obstacles such as trees for ranged units)
Water terrains
Coast, Ocean, Lakes and Rivers (affect those attacking across them and use up all movement points)
There are several types of Forests/Jungles representing the four major landmasses. Wounded units can hide and recover in trees/forests.

Civilization V also includes natural wonders which are automatically placed around the map. These wonders provide 20xHappiness5 Happiness bonuses to any civilization that discovers them. Some of these natural wonders are: Old Faithful, Mount Fuji, Krakatoa, and The Great Barrier Reef. They also give additional bonuses to Production Production and Gold Gold income when cities are founded near them or cover them with their territory.


There are three types of resources: strategic resources, luxury resources and bonus resources. If you have more than 1 luxury resource, you can trade the excess with other civilizations. However, the same does not hold true for strategic resources. A single Iron Iron deposit, for example, yields between 2 and 9 Iron Iron resources, letting you build that number of units that require Iron Iron. Therefore, acquiring as many strategic resources as you can is a must to support large armies.

Buildings and Improvements[]

Civilization V has 71 buildings, 49 wonders, and 23 improvements. The number of unique buildings is included in the building count. Note that not every civilization has a unique building: some have a unique improvement or two unique units instead.

Wonders come in the form of world wonders, national wonders and projects, just like in Civilization IV. The concept of tile improvements has been modified slightly: in addition to Workers and Work Boats, the Great People can now construct special improvements (or "bulb") too.

Great People's special tile improvements replace any improvements already built on them. Roads can go through these special improvements, and they automatically hook up any strategic resources on those tiles.

The building of these special improvements consumes the Great Person, removing them from the game.

Technologies and Research[]

Civilization V comes with 74 technologies divided into seven eras, from Ancient Era to Future Era. In single-player games, the discovery of each tech is accompanied by a famous quotation from history that is voiced by William Morgan Sheppard.

Although technology trading has been removed, a new feature was added: making a research agreement. Two civilizations at peace can form one for an initial investment in Gold Gold, and as long as the two civilizations remain at peace, the research agreement provides both of them with a research points boost after a set amount of turns. The amount of the research points equals half the median value of costs between the technologies available for this particular civilization. The amount of the research points can be increased with wonders and social policies. However, this can be used simply to make the other civilization spend money before declaring war. Even the AI is known to use this.

Social Policies[]

In Civilization V there is the ability to adopt social policies through accumulated Culture Culture. There are ten separate trees of social policies, and filling out five of the ten rewards the player with cultural victory. Instead of switching one policy with another, some policies build on others. Each policy has its own bonuses, such as starting a Golden Age Golden Age.

In Brave New World, there are also Ideologies - end-game uber Social Policies, which not only grant powerful bonuses, but also impact a civilization's standing in the world and its relations with other civilizations. Unlike Social Policies, Ideologies compete with each other on a world level.

Victory Conditions[]

Once again, there are many ways to achieve victory other than military conquest. You can win by focusing mainly on scientific research and be the first to assemble and launch a spaceship to Alpha Centauri. Diplomatic victory requires help from other civilizations and city-states in the United Nations and the World Congress in later expansions. Cultural victory now requires one to complete five out of ten of the social policy "trees" and completing the Utopia Project, or becoming influential over other civilizations with Tourism Tourism in the Brave New World expansion. Obviously, World Domination is one option, but the victory condition has been simplified compared to the other games. Rather than completely destroying the other civilizations, the player who gains control of all Capital Capitals wins. You can also win by having the highest score at the year 2050 AD.

Downloadable Content[]

There are multiple downloadable add-ons to Civilization V. This includes two expansion packs that add a massive amount of content including new civilizations, maps, scenarios, wonders, buildings, units, and gameplay elements. They are:

Aside from the two expansion packs, several additional add-ons are available to add a few more contents. These include:

Pack name Release date Contents Link
Civilization and Scenario Pack: Mongols (Genghis Khan) October 25, 2010 Installs automatically for free over Steam; adds the Mongolian civilization and Rise of the Mongols scenario
Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar II) Adds the Babylonian civilization [1]
Cradle of Civilization Map Pack: Mediterranean December 1, 2010 Adds maps for custom games [2]
Cradle of Civilization Map Pack: Asia [3]
Cradle of Civilization Map Pack: Americas [4]
Cradle of Civilization Map Pack: Mesopotamia [5]
Civilization and Scenario Double Pack: Spain and Inca December 16, 2010 Adds the Spanish and Incan civilizations and the Conquest of the New World scenario [6]
Civilization and Scenario Pack: Polynesia March 3, 2011 Adds the Polynesian civilization and the Paradise Found scenario [7]
Civilization and Scenario Pack: Denmark (The Vikings) May 3, 2011 Adds the Danish civilization and the 1066: Year of Viking Destiny scenario [8]
Explorer's Map Pack Adds several maps for custom games [9]
Civilization and Scenario Pack: Korea August 11, 2011 Adds the Korean civilization and The Samurai Invasion of Korea scenario [10]
Scenario Pack: Wonders of the Ancient World Adds the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Statue of Zeus and the Temple of Artemis wonders along with the Wonders of the Ancient World scenario [11]
Scrambled Continents Map Pack October 15, 2013 Adds several maps for custom games [12]
Scrambled Nations Map Pack November 5, 2013 Adds several maps for custom games [13]
Scenario Pack: Conquest of the New World February 4, 2014 Installs automatically for free over Steam to all owners of the Civilization V: Brave New World; adds the updated version of the Conquest of the New World scenario

DLC Bundles[]

Alternatively, some of the DLC packs can be purchased in bundles.

Bundle name Packs included Link
Cradle of Civilization - DLC Bundle Cradle of Civilization Map Pack: Mediterranean
Cradle of Civilization Map Pack: Asia
Cradle of Civilization Map Pack: Americas
Cradle of Civilization Map Pack: Mesopotamia
Denmark and Explorer's Combo Pack Civilization and Scenario Pack: Denmark (The Vikings)
Explorer's Map Pack
Korea and Wonders of the Ancient World - Combo Pack Civilization and Scenario Pack: Korea
Scenario Pack: Wonders of the Ancient World



Civilization V logo

Civilization V has multiple scenarios to play. All of them require downloadable content to be available.


The Steam version of the game comes with over a hundred achievements, ranging in scope from "Discover an ancient ruin" to "Beat the game on the Deity difficulty level." They are listed on a separate page, along with explanations of the myriad of references to other works that are included in the achievement names...and there are many.


You can see a lot of Civilization V images on



Sid Meier's Civilization V received "universal acclaim" reviews and was tagged as a "must-play" game on Metacritic holding a metascore of 90/100 based on 70 critic reviews.[1]


Site/Magazine Score Author Date
Destructoid 9.5/10 Sean Carey 2010-09-17
The Escapist 5/5 Greg Tito 2010-09-17
Shacknews ? Brian Leahy 2010-09-17
GamingNexus A Tyler Sager 2010-09-17
Wired 8/10 John Mix Meyer 2010-09-17
Joystiq 5/5 Alexander Sliwinski 2010-09-17
Game Informer 9.75/10 Adam Biessener 2010-09-17
IGN 9/10 Anthony Gallegos 2010-09-20
PC Gamer 93/100 Dan Stapleton 2010-09-20
Gamespy 4/5 Eric Neigher


Gamespot 9/10 Kevin VanOrd 2010-09-22 C Tom Chick 2010-09-22


See also[]


  1. Metascore for Sid Meier's Civilization V Metacritic, Retrieved June 24, 2020

External links[]

Civilization V [edit]
Gods & KingsBrave New World
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