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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

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

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 Icon Bias Leader Unique Ability Unique Unit(s) Unique Building / Improvement
American American (Civ5) Washington (Civ5) Washington Manifest Destiny

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

B17 (Civ5) B17
Minuteman (Civ5) Minuteman
Arabian Arabian (Civ5) Desert (Civ5) Harun al-Rashid (Civ5) Harun al-Rashid Vanilla and GodsKings5 clear Camel archer (Civ5) Camel archer Bazaar (Civ5) Bazaar
Trade Caravans

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

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 BNW-only Assyrian (Civ5) Avoid Tundra (Civ5) Ashurbanipal (Civ5) 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 (Civ5) Siege tower Royal library (Civ5) Royal library
Austrian GodsKings5 clear Austrian (Civ5) Hill (Civ5) Maria Theresa (Civ5) Maria Theresa Diplomatic Marriage

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

Hussar (Civ5) Hussar Coffee house (Civ5) Coffee house
Aztec Aztec (Civ5) Jungle (Civ5) Montezuma (Civ5) Montezuma Sacrificial Captives

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

Jaguar (Civ5) Jaguar Floating gardens (Civ5) Floating gardens
BabylonianBabylonian (Civ5) Avoid Tundra (Civ5) Nebuchadnezzar II (Civ5) Nebuchadnezzar II Ingenuity

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

Bowman (Civ5) Bowman Walls of Babylon (Civ5) Walls of Babylon
Brazilian BNW-only Brazilian (Civ5) Jungle (Civ5) Pedro II (Civ5) Pedro II Carnival

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

Pracinha (Civ5) Pracinha Brazilwood camp (Civ5) Brazilwood camp (Improvement)
Byzantine GodsKings5 clear Byzantine (Civ5) Coast (Civ5) Theodora (Civ5) Theodora Patriarchate of Constantinople

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

Cataphract (Civ5) Cataphract
Dromon (Civ5) Dromon
Carthaginian GodsKings5 clear Carthaginian (Civ5) Coast (Civ5) Dido (Civ5) 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 (Civ5) African forest elephant
Quinquereme (Civ5) Quinquereme
Celtic GodsKings5 clear Celtic (Civ5) Forest (Civ5) Boudicca (Civ5) Boudicca Druidic Lore

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

Pictish warrior (Civ5) Pictish warrior Ceilidh hall (Civ5) Ceilidh hall
Chinese Chinese (Civ5) Wu Zetian (Civ5) 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 (Civ5) Chu-ko-nu Paper maker (Civ5) Paper maker
DanishDanish (Civ5) Coast (Civ5) Harald Bluetooth (Civ5) Harald Bluetooth Viking Fury

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

Berserker (Civ5) Berserker
Norwegian ski infantry (Civ5) Norwegian ski infantry
Dutch GodsKings5 clear Dutch (Civ5) Grassland (Civ5) William (Civ5) William Dutch East India Company

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

Sea beggar (Civ5) Sea beggar Polder (Civ5) Polder (Improvement)
Egyptian Egyptian (Civ5) Avoid Jungle (Civ5) and Forest (Civ5) Ramesses II (Civ5) Ramesses II Monument Builders

+20% 20xProduction5 Production towards Wonder construction.

War chariot (Civ5) War chariot Burial Tomb (Civ5) Burial tomb
English English (Civ5) Coast (Civ5) Elizabeth (Civ5) Elizabeth Sun Never Sets

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

Longbowman (Civ5) Longbowman
Ship of the line (Civ5) Ship of the line
Ethiopian GodsKings5 clear Ethiopian (Civ5) Haile Selassie (Civ5) Haile Selassie Spirit of Adwa

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

Mehal sefari (Civ5) Mehal sefari Stele (Civ5) Stele
French French (Civ5) Napoleon (Civ5) Napoleon Vanilla and GodsKings5 clear
Ancien Régime

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

Foreign legion (Civ5) Foreign legion
Musketeer (Civ5) Musketeer
City of Light

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

Musketeer (Civ5) Musketeer Chateau (Civ5) Chateau (Improvement)
German German (Civ5) Bismarck (Civ5) Bismarck Furor Teutonicus

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

Vanilla and GodsKings5 clear
Landsknecht (Civ5) Landsknecht
Panzer (Civ5) Panzer
Panzer (Civ5) Panzer Hanse (Civ5) Hanse
Greek Greek (Civ5) Coast (Civ5) Alexander (Civ5) Alexander Hellenic League

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

Companion cavalry (Civ5) Companion cavalry
Hoplite (Civ5) Hoplite
Hunnic GodsKings5 clear Hunnic (Civ5) Avoid Forest (Civ5) and Jungle (Civ5) Attila (Civ5) Attila Scourge of God

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

Horse archer (Civ5) Horse archer
Battering ram (Civ5) Battering ram
IncanIncan (Civ5) Hill (Civ5) Pachacuti (Civ5) 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 (Civ5) Slinger Terrace farm (Civ5) Terrace farm (Improvement)
Indian Indian (Civ5) Grassland (Civ5) Gandhi (Civ5) Gandhi Population Growth

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

War elephant (Civ5) War elephant Mughal fort (Civ5) Mughal fort
Indonesian BNW-only Indonesian (Civ5) Coast (Civ5) Gajah Mada (Civ5) 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 (Civ5) Kris Swordsman Candi (Civ5) Candi
Iroquois Iroquois (Civ5) Forest (Civ5) Hiawatha (Civ5) Hiawatha The Great Warpath

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

Mohawk warrior (Civ5) Mohawk warrior Longhouse (Civ5) Longhouse
Japanese Japanese (Civ5) Coast (Civ5) Oda Nobunaga (Civ5) Oda Nobunaga Bushido

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

Samurai (Civ5) Samurai
Zero (Civ5) Zero
KoreanKorean (Civ5) Coast (Civ5) Sejong (Civ5) Sejong Scholars of the Jade Hall

+2 20xScience5 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 (Civ5) Turtle ship
Hwach'a (Civ5) Hwach'a
Mayan GodsKings5 clear Mayan (Civ5) Pacal (Civ5) 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 (Civ5) Atlatlist Pyramid (Civ5) Pyramid
MongolianMongolian (Civ5) Plains (Civ5) Genghis Khan (Civ5) Genghis Khan Mongol Terror

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

Keshik (Civ5) Keshik
Khan (Civ5) Khan (Great Person)


Moroccan BNW-only Moroccan (Civ5) Desert (Civ5) Ahmad al-Mansur (Civ5) Ahmad al-Mansur Gateway to Africa

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

Berber Cavalry (Civ5) Berber cavalry Kasbah (Civ5) Kasbah (Improvement)
Ottoman Ottoman (Civ5) Coast (Civ5) Suleiman (Civ5) Suleiman Barbary Corsairs

50% chance of converting a Barbarian naval unit to your side and earning 25 20xGold5 Gold. Pay only one-third the usual cost for naval unit maintenance.
GodsKings5 clear and BNW-only:
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 (Civ5) Janissary
Sipahi (Civ5) Sipahi
Persian Persian (Civ5) Darius I (Civ5) Darius I Achaemenid Legacy

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

Immortal (Civ5) Immortal Satrap's court (Civ5) Satrap's court
Polish BNW-only Polish (Civ5) Plains (Civ5) Casimir III (Civ5) Casimir III Solidarity

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

Winged hussar (Civ5) Winged hussar Ducal stable (Civ5) Ducal stable
PolynesianPolynesian (Civ5) Coast (Civ5) Kamehameha (Civ5) Kamehameha Wayfinding

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

Maori warrior (Civ5) Maori warrior Moai (Civ5) Moai (Improvement)
Portuguese BNW-only Portuguese (Civ5) Coast (Civ5) Maria I (Civ5) Maria I Mare Clausum

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

Nau (Civ5) Nau Feitoria (Civ5) Feitoria (Improvement)
Roman Roman (Civ5) Augustus Caesar (Civ5) Augustus Caesar The Glory of Rome

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

Ballista (Civ5) Ballista
Legion (Civ5) Legion
Russian Russian (Civ5) Tundra (Civ5) Catherine (Civ5) Catherine Siberian Riches

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

Cossack (Civ5) Cossack Krepost (Civ5) Krepost
Shoshone BNW-only Shoshone (Civ5) Pocatello (Civ5) Pocatello Great Expanse

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

Pathfinder (Civ5) Pathfinder
Comanche riders (Civ5) Comanche riders
Siamese Siamese (Civ5) Avoid Forest (Civ5) Ramkhamhaeng (Civ5) Ramkhamhaeng

Father Governs Children

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

Naresuan's elephant (Civ5) Naresuan's elephant Wat (Civ5) Wat
Songhai Songhai (Civ5) Avoid Tundra (Civ5) Askia (Civ5) Askia River Warlord

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

Mandekalu cavalry (Civ5) Mandekalu cavalry Mud pyramid mosque (Civ5) Mud pyramid mosque
SpanishSpanish (Civ5) Coast (Civ5) Isabella (Civ5) Isabella Seven Cities of Gold

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

Tercio (Civ5) Tercio
Conquistador (Civ5) Conquistador
Swedish GodsKings5 clear Swedish (Civ5) Tundra (Civ5) Gustavus Adolphus (Civ5) Gustavus Adolphus Nobel Prize

Gain 90 Influence (Civ5) 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 (Civ5) Hakkapeliitta
Carolean (Civ5) Carolean
Venetian BNW-only Venetian (Civ5) Coast (Civ5) Enrico Dandolo (Civ5) 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 (Civ5) Merchant of Venice (Great Person)
Great galleass (Civ5) Great galleass
Zulu BNW-only Zulu (Civ5) Avoid Jungle (Civ5) Shaka (Civ5) Shaka Iklwa

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

Impi (Civ5) Impi Ikanda (Civ5) 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 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 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

Civilization V [edit]
Gods & KingsBrave New World

BuildingsCivsDLCImprovementsPromotionsResourcesScenariosSocial PoliciesTechnologiesTerrainUnique AbilitiesUnitsWonders

AncientClassicalMedievalRenaissanceIndustrialModernFuture† • Atomic‡ • Information

City-StateCultureEspionage‡ • FoodGoldGreat PeopleHappinessProductionReligion‡ • ScienceTourism

Guides etc.
AchievementsMathematicsModdingMajor PatchesSoundtrackCivilopedia

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

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