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.
|Civilization||Icon||Bias||Leader||Unique Ability||Unique Unit(s)||Unique Building / Improvement|
All land military units have +1 Sight. 50% discount when purchasing tiles.
|Arabian||Harun al-Rashid||Vanilla and||Camel archer||Bazaar|
|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||Avoid||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||Royal library|
|Austrian||Maria Theresa||Diplomatic Marriage||Hussar||Coffee house|
|Aztec||Montezuma||Sacrificial Captives||Jaguar||Floating gardens|
Receive free Great Scientist when you discover Writing. Earn Great Scientists 50% faster.
|Bowman||Walls of Babylon|
|Brazilian||Pedro II||Carnival||Pracinha||Brazilwood camp (Improvement)|
|Byzantine||Theodora||Patriarchate of Constantinople
Choose one more Belief than normal when you found a Religion.
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|
|Celtic||Boudicca||Druidic Lore||Pictish warrior||Ceilidh hall|
|Chinese||Wu Zetian||Art of War
The Great General combat bonus is increased by 15%, and their spawn rate is increased by 50%.
|Danish†||Harald Bluetooth||Viking Fury|| Berserker|
Norwegian ski infantry
|Dutch||William||Dutch East India Company||Sea beggar||Polder (Improvement)|
|Egyptian||Avoid and||Ramesses II||Monument Builders||War chariot||Burial tomb|
|English||Elizabeth||Sun Never Sets|| Longbowman|
Ship of the line
|Ethiopian||Haile Selassie||Spirit of Adwa
Combat bonus (+20%) when fighting units from a Civilization with more Cities than Ethiopia.
|Ancien Régime|| Foreign legion|
|City of Light||Musketeer||Chateau (Improvement)|
|German||Bismarck||Furor Teutonicus||Vanilla and|
|Greek||Alexander||Hellenic League|| Companion cavalry|
|Hunnic||Avoid and||Attila||Scourge of God|| Horse archer|
|Incan†||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||Terrace farm (Improvement)|
|Indian||Gandhi||Population Growth||War elephant||Mughal fort|
|Indonesian||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).
|Iroquois||Hiawatha||The Great Warpath
Vanilla and :
|Japanese||Oda Nobunaga||Bushido|| Samurai|
|Korean†||Sejong||Scholars of the Jade Hall|| Turtle ship|
|Mayan||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.
|Mongolian†||Genghis Khan||Mongol Terror|| Keshik|
Khan (Great Person)
|Moroccan||Ahmad al-Mansur||Gateway to Africa||Berber cavalry||Kasbah (Improvement)|
|Persian||Darius I||Achaemenid Legacy||Immortal||Satrap's court|
Receive a free Social Policy when you advance to the next era.
|Winged hussar||Ducal stable|
|Polynesian†||Kamehameha||Wayfinding||Maori warrior||Moai (Improvement)|
|Portuguese||Maria I||Mare Clausum||Nau||Feitoria (Improvement)|
|Roman||Augustus Caesar||The Glory of Rome|| Ballista|
Founded cities start with additional territory. Units receive a combat bonus when fighting within their own territory.
Father Governs Children
|Songhai||Avoid||Askia||River Warlord||Mandekalu cavalry||Mud pyramid mosque|
|Spanish†||Isabella||Seven Cities of Gold|| Tercio|
|Swedish||Gustavus Adolphus||Nobel Prize|| Hakkapeliitta|
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 (Great Person)|
Melee units cost 50% less maintenance. All units require 25% less experience to earn their next promotion.
† 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.
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.
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.
|Civilization V |
|Gods & Kings • Brave New World|