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A civilization is a specific historical nation, which represents a player in the game. Each player adopts a single civilization at the setup of each game.

Civilization Unique Features[edit | edit source]

Besides the name, history and leader, every civilization has a set of unique features which set it apart from the others and give it particular advantages These features are:

  • A unique gameplay ability - Each civilization has a unique ability which provides unique bonuses that are geared towards a certain victory condition, or two (or even all). The unique ability is always active throughout the entire game, although its efficiency might not be the same as the game progresses.
  • Unique unit(s) - Each civilization has at least one unique unit, and there are also some civilizations with a second unique unit. Each of these units replaces a generic unit of a given era. Unique units are generally most effective during the era they appear, and often possess unique features and/or abilities that the regular ones do not. But in many cases, their unique abilities may transfer to more modern units, when they're upgraded. This means that the civilization will retain its unique units' advantages in subsequent eras, as long as they keep upgrading the same units (and not, for example, build the equivalent newer units). Keep that in mind and use it.
  • Unique building or improvement - Many civilizations also have a unique building, and some even have a unique improvement instead. This is possible if the given civilization only has one unique unit. While each unique building replaces a generic one (as in unique units), all unique improvements are in addition to normal ones. Both have additional special features which give the civilization some sort of gameplay advantage. Unique buildings are effective throughout the rest of the game, whereas unique improvements, like the regular ones, will provide nothing if pillaged.
  • Starting bias - Many civilizations tend to favor a particular type of terrain for their homeland. This is called "Starting Bias", and it's connected to the overall style and unique features of the civilization. Whenever there is a starting bias, the initial location of the starting units of a civilization will be close to a certain terrain type. Note that sometimes the starting bias is overridden for other reasons.

List of Civilizations[edit | edit source]

There are a total of 43 civilizations available in Civilization V, including DLCs and the expansions. It is also the first incarnation of the series where the leaders speak their native languages.

The civilizations in Civilization V
Civilization Bias Leader Unique Ability Unique Unit(s) Unique Building / Improvement
American
American
Washington
Washington
Manifest Destiny

All land military units have +1 Sight. 50% discount when purchasing tiles.

B17 B17
Minuteman Minuteman
(-)
Arabian
Arabian
Desert Harun al-Rashid
Harun al-Rashid
Vanilla and GodsKings5 clear.png Camel archer Camel archer Bazaar Bazaar
Trade Caravans

+1 20xGold5.png Gold from each Trade Route. Oil resources provide double quantity.

BNW-only.png
Ships of the Desert

Caravans gain 50% extended range. Your trade routes spread the home city's religion twice as effectively. Oil resources are doubled.

Assyrian
Assyrian
BNW-only.png
Avoid Tundra Ashurbanipal
Ashurbanipal
Treasures of Nineveh

When a city is conquered, gain a free Technology already discovered by its owner. Gaining a city through a trade deal does not count, and it can only happen once per enemy city.

Siege tower Siege tower Royal library Royal library
Austrian
Austrian
GodsKings5 clear.png
Hill Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa
Diplomatic Marriage

Can spend 20xGold5.png Gold to annex or puppet a City-State that has been your ally for 5 turns.

Hussar Hussar Coffee house Coffee house
Aztec
Aztec
Jungle Montezuma
Montezuma
Sacrificial Captives

Gains 20xCulture5.png Culture for the empire from each enemy unit killed.

Jaguar Jaguar Floating gardens Floating gardens
Babylonian
Babylonian
Avoid Tundra Nebuchadnezzar II
Nebuchadnezzar II
Ingenuity

Receive free Great Scientist when you discover Writing. Earn Great Scientists 50% faster.

Bowman Bowman Walls of Babylon Walls of Babylon
Brazilian
Brazilian
BNW-only.png
Jungle Pedro II
Pedro II
Carnival

20xTourism5.png Tourism output is +100% during their Golden Ages. Earn Great Artists, Musicians, and Writers 50% faster during their Golden Ages.

Pracinha Pracinha Brazilwood camp Brazilwood camp (Improvement)
Byzantine
Byzantine
GodsKings5 clear.png
Coast Theodora
Theodora
Patriarchate of Constantinople

Choose one more Belief than normal when you found a Religion.

Cataphract Cataphract
Dromon Dromon
(-)
Carthaginian
Carthaginian
GodsKings5 clear.png
Coast Dido
Dido
Phoenician Heritage

All coastal Cities get a free Harbor. Units may cross mountains after the first Great General is earned, taking 50 HP damage if they end a turn on a mountain.

African forest elephant African forest elephant
Quinquereme Quinquereme
(-)
Celtic
Celtic
GodsKings5 clear.png
Forest Boudicca
Boudicca
Druidic Lore

+1 20xfaith5.png Faith per city with an adjacent unimproved Forest. Bonus increases to +2 20xfaith5.png Faith in Cities with 3 or more adjacent unimproved Forest tiles.

Pictish warrior Pictish warrior Ceilidh hall Ceilidh hall
Chinese
Chinese
Wu Zetian
Wu Zetian
Art of War

The Great General combat bonus is increased by 15%, and their spawn rate is increased by 50%.

Chu-ko-nu Chu-ko-nu Paper maker Paper maker
Danish
Danish
Coast Harald Bluetooth
Harald Bluetooth
Viking Fury

Embarked units have +1 20xMovement5.png Movement and pay just 1 movement point to move from sea to land. Melee units pay no movement point cost to pillage.

Berserker Berserker
Norwegian ski infantry Norwegian ski infantry
(-)
Dutch
Dutch
GodsKings5 clear.png
Grassland William
William
Dutch East India Company

Retains 50% of the 20xHappiness5.png Happiness benefits from a Luxury Resource if your last copy of it is traded away.

Sea beggar Sea beggar Polder Polder (Improvement)
Egyptian
Egyptian
Avoid Jungle and Forest Ramesses II
Ramesses II
Monument Builders

+20% 20xProduction5.png Production towards Wonder construction.

War chariot War chariot Burial tomb Burial tomb
English
English
Coast Elizabeth
Elizabeth
Sun Never Sets

Vanilla:
+2 20xMovement5.png Movement for all naval units.
GodsKings5 clear.png and BNW-only.png:
+2 20xMovement5.png Movement for all naval units. Receives 1 extra Spy.

Longbowman Longbowman
Ship of the line Ship of the line
(-)
Ethiopian
Ethiopian
GodsKings5 clear.png
Haile Selassie
Haile Selassie
Spirit of Adwa

Combat bonus (+20%) when fighting units from a Civilization with more Cities than Ethiopia.

Mehal sefari Mehal sefari Stele Stele
French
French
Napoleon
Napoleon
Vanilla and GodsKings5 clear.png
Ancien Régime

+2 20xCulture5.png Culture per turn from Cities before discovering Steam Power.

Foreign legion Foreign legion
Musketeer Musketeer
(-)
BNW-only.png
City of Light

Museum and World Wonder theme bonuses are doubled in their Capital5.png Capital.

Musketeer Musketeer Chateau Chateau (Improvement)
German
German
Bismarck
Bismarck
Furor Teutonicus

Upon defeating a Barbarian unit inside an encampment, there is a 67% chance you earn 25 20xGold5.png Gold and they join your side. Pay 25% less for land unit maintenance.

Vanilla and GodsKings5 clear.png
Landsknecht Landsknecht
Panzer Panzer
(-)
BNW-only.png
Panzer Panzer Hanse Hanse
Greek
Greek
Coast Alexander
Alexander
Hellenic League

City-State Influence (Civ5).png Influence degrades at half and recovers at twice the normal rate.

Companion cavalry Companion cavalry
Hoplite Hoplite
(-)
Hunnic
Hunnic
GodsKings5 clear.png
Avoid Forest and Jungle Attila
Attila
Scourge of God

Raze Cities at double speed. Borrow City names from other in-game Civs. Start with Animal Husbandry technology. +1 20xProduction5.png Production per Pasture.

Horse archer Horse archer
Battering ram Battering ram
(-)
Incan
Incan
Hill Pachacuti
Pachacuti
Great Andean Road

Units ignore terrain costs when moving into any tile with Hills. No maintenance costs for improvements in Hills; half cost elsewhere.

Slinger Slinger Terrace farm Terrace farm (Improvement)
Indian
Indian
Grassland Gandhi
Gandhi
Population Growth

Unhappiness (Civ5).png Unhappiness from number of Cities doubled, Unhappiness (Civ5).png Unhappiness from number of Citizens halved.

War elephant War elephant Mughal fort Mughal fort
Indonesian
Indonesian
BNW-only.png
Coast Gajah Mada
Gajah Mada
Spice Islanders

The first 3 cities founded on continents other than where Indonesia started each provide 2 unique Luxury Resources (and can never be razed).

Kris Swordsman Kris Swordsman Candi Candi
Iroquois
Iroquois
Forest Hiawatha
Hiawatha
The Great Warpath

Vanilla and GodsKings5 clear.png:
Units move through Forest and Jungle in friendly territory as if it is Road. These tiles can be used to establish Trade Routes upon researching The Wheel.
BNW-only.png:
Units move through Forest and Jungle in friendly territory as if they were Roads. These tiles can be used to establish 20xCityConnection5.png City Connections upon researching The Wheel. Caravans move along Forest and Jungle as if they were Roads.

Mohawk warrior Mohawk warrior Longhouse Longhouse
Japanese
Japanese
Coast Oda Nobunaga
Oda Nobunaga
Bushido

Vanilla and GodsKings5 clear.png:
Units fight as though they were at full strength even when damaged.
BNW-only.png:
Units fight as though they were at full strength even when damaged. +1 20xCulture5.png Culture from each Fishing Boat and +2 20xCulture5.png Culture from atolls.

Samurai Samurai
Zero Zero
(-)
Korean
Korean
Coast Sejong
Sejong
Scholars of the Jade Hall

+2 20xScience5.png Science for all specialists and Great Person tile improvements. Receive a tech boost each time a scientific building/Wonder is built in the Korean capital.

Turtle ship Turtle ship
Hwach'a Hwach'a
(-)
Mayan
Mayan
GodsKings5 clear.png
Pacal
Pacal
The Long Count

After researching Theology, receive a bonus Great Person at the end of every Maya Long Count calendar cycle (every 394 years). Each bonus person can only be chosen once.

Atlatlist Atlatlist Pyramid Pyramid
Mongolian
Mongolian
Plains Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Mongol Terror

20xStrength5.png Combat Strength +30% when fighting City-State units or attacking a City-State itself. All mounted units have +1 20xMovement5.png Movement.

Keshik Keshik
Khan Khan (Great Person)

(-)

Moroccan
Moroccan
BNW-only.png
Desert Ahmad al-Mansur
Ahmad al-Mansur
Gateway to Africa

Receives +3 20xGold5.png Gold and +1 20xCulture5.png Culture for each Trade Route with a different civ or City-State. The Trade Route owners receive +2 20xGold5.png Gold for each Trade Route sent to Morocco.

Berber cavalry Berber cavalry Kasbah Kasbah (Improvement)
Ottoman
Ottoman
Coast Suleiman
Suleiman
Barbary Corsairs

Vanilla:
50% chance of converting a Barbarian naval unit to your side and earning 25 20xGold5.png Gold. Pay only one-third the usual cost for naval unit maintenance.
GodsKings5 clear.png and BNW-only.png:
All melee naval units have the Prize Ships promotion, allowing them to capture defeated ships. Pay only one-third the usual cost for naval unit maintenance.

Janissary Janissary
Sipahi Sipahi
(-)
Persian
Persian
Darius I
Darius I
Achaemenid Legacy

20xGoldenAge5.png Golden Ages last 50% longer. During a Golden Age, units receive +1 20xMovement5.png Movement and a +10% 20xStrength5.png Combat Strength bonus.

Immortal Immortal Satrap's court Satrap's court
Polish
Polish
BNW-only.png
Plains Casimir III
Casimir III
Solidarity

Receive a free Social Policy when you advance to the next era.

Winged hussar Winged hussar Ducal stable Ducal stable
Polynesian
Polynesian
Coast Kamehameha
Kamehameha
Wayfinding

Can embark and move over Oceans immediately. +1 Sight when embarked. +10% 20xStrength5.png Combat Strength bonus if within 2 tiles of a Moai.

Maori warrior Maori warrior Moai Moai (Improvement)
Portuguese
Portuguese
BNW-only.png
Coast Maria I
Maria I
Mare Clausum

Resource diversity grants twice as much 20xGold5.png Gold for Portugal in Trade Routes.

Nau Nau Feitoria Feitoria (Improvement)
Roman
Roman
Augustus Caesar
Augustus Caesar
The Glory of Rome

+25% 20xProduction5.png Production towards any buildings that already exist in the Capital5.png Capital.

Ballista Ballista
Legion Legion
(-)
Russian
Russian
Tundra Catherine
Catherine
Siberian Riches

Strategic Resources provide +1 20xProduction5.png Production, and Horse, Iron and Uranium Resources provide double quantity

Cossack Cossack Krepost Krepost
Shoshone
Shoshone
BNW-only.png
Pocatello
Pocatello
Great Expanse

Founded cities start with additional territory. Units receive a combat bonus when fighting within their own territory.

Pathfinder Pathfinder
Comanche riders Comanche riders
(-)
Siamese
Siamese
Avoid Forest Ramkhamhaeng
Ramkhamhaeng

Father Governs Children

Vanilla:
20xFood5.png Food and 20xCulture5.png Culture from friendly City-States increased by 50%.
GodsKings5 clear.png and BNW-only.png:
20xFood5.png Food, 20xCulture5.png Culture and 20xfaith5.png Faith from friendly City-States increased by 50%.

Naresuan's elephant Naresuan's elephant Wat Wat
Songhai
Songhai
Avoid Tundra Askia
Askia
River Warlord

Vanilla:
Receive triple 20xGold5.png Gold from Barbarian encampments and pillaging Cities. Embarked units can defend themselves.
GodsKings5 clear.png and BNW-only.png:
Receive triple 20xGold5.png Gold from Barbarian encampments and pillaging Cities. Land units gain the War Canoe and Amphibious promotions, strengthening them while embarked.

Mandekalu cavalry Mandekalu cavalry Mud pyramid mosque Mud pyramid mosque
Spanish
Spanish
Coast Isabella
Isabella
Seven Cities of Gold

20xGold5.png Gold bonus for discovering a Natural Wonder (bonus enhanced if first to discover it). 20xCulture5.png Culture, 20xHappiness5.png Happiness and tile yields from Natural Wonders doubled.

Tercio Tercio
Conquistador Conquistador
(-)
Swedish
Swedish
GodsKings5 clear.png
Tundra Gustavus Adolphus
Gustavus Adolphus
Nobel Prize

Gain 90 Influence (Civ5).png Influence with a Great Person gift to a City-State. When declaring friendship, Sweden and their friend gain a +10% boost to Great Person generation.

Hakkapeliitta Hakkapeliitta
Carolean Carolean
(-)
Venetian
Venetian
BNW-only.png
Coast Enrico Dandolo
Enrico Dandolo
Serenissima

Cannot gain settlers nor annex cities. Double the normal number of trade routes available. A Merchant of Venice appears after researching Optics. May purchase in puppeted cities.

Merchant of Venice Merchant of Venice (Great Person)
Great galleass Great galleass
(-)
Zulu
Zulu
BNW-only.png
Avoid Jungle Shaka
Shaka
Iklwa

Melee units cost 50% less maintenance. All units require 25% less experience to earn their next promotion.

Impi Impi Ikanda Ikanda
Civilization_V_Leaders

Civilization V Leaders

† Available as DLCs:

  • Babylon was included as a bonus with a pre-order of the Deluxe Edition through a number of Digital Distribution platforms, including Steam and Direct2Drive. It was later made available as DLC on October 25, 2010.
  • Mongolia was made available as a free DLC through a game update released in October 25, 2010.
  • Spain and the Inca were made available as DLC on December 16, 2010.
  • Polynesia was made available as DLC on March 3, 2011.
  • Denmark was made available as DLC on May 3, 2011.
  • Korea was made available as DLC on August 11, 2011.

GodsKings5 clear.png Valid only in the Gods & Kings expansion pack.

Nine new civilizations were added with the Gods & Kings expansion pack on June 19, 2012: The Netherlands, the Celts, the Maya, Carthage, Byzantium, the Huns, Austria, Ethiopia, and Sweden. In addition, the previously released Spanish civilization was included again.

BNW-only.png Valid only in the Brave New World expansion pack.

Nine new civilizations were added with the Brave New World expansion pack on July 9, 2013: Poland, Assyria, Brazil, the Zulus, Portugal, Indonesia, Morocco, Venice, and the Shoshone. In addition, the French, Arabian, and German civilizations have been updated to better work with new aspects of the expansion pack, and the previously released Ethiopian civilization was included again.

See also[edit | edit source]

Civilization V [edit]
Gods & KingsBrave New World

Lists
BuildingsCivsDLCImprovementsPromotionsResourcesScenariosSocial PoliciesTechnologiesTerrainUnique AbilitiesUnitsWonders (Natural)

Eras
AncientClassicalMedievalRenaissanceIndustrialModernFuture† • Atomic‡ • Information

Concepts
City-StateCultureEspionage‡ • FoodGoldGreat PeopleHappinessProductionReligion‡ • ScienceTourism‡ • Victory

Guides etc.
AchievementsMathematicsModdingMajor PatchesSoundtrack

† Only in vanilla Civ5
‡ Only in Gods & Kings and Brave New World

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