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Game Info[]

Powerful Renaissance Era ranged naval unit. Upgrades from the Galleass. Requires Iron Iron.

  • Common abilities:
    • May Not Melee Attack


The Frigate is the dominant vessel of the Renaissance Era, the pinnacle of sail-based military technology. Its long-range cannon batteries can lay waste to both sea and land forces (if the latter are in range, of course), and are also very effective against coastal cities. Its iron-shod corpus is strong and at the same time allows even faster movement than the Caravel. With its ability to cross the ocean, the Frigate starts in earnest the naval contest in the game. 

The Frigate is also the first vessel to require a resource. Fortunately, it appears right when your front-line units are being upgraded to gunpowder units and stop requiring Iron, so usually this is no problem.

Finally, in vanilla Civilization V, Frigates can upgrade to Destroyers if they are not upgraded to Ironclads or if Combustion is discovered before Telegraph.

Civilopedia entry[]

During the "Age of Sail," a frigate was a warship that was smaller than the three-decked "ships of the line" which formed the core of a navy's fighting vessels, but was still large enough to pack a considerable amount of firepower. Frigates were three-masted ships with their guns mounted on a single deck (a ship of the line might have two or even three decks of guns). Depending upon its size, a frigate might carry 25-50 guns. Frigates generally served as escort and patrol vessels, as well as pirate-hunters. During the War of 1812 the United States deployed so-called "super frigates" which carried up to 90 guns. One such vessel, the USS Constitution still survives; she is the oldest commissioned frigate still afloat.

Unofficial custom card[]

Custom homemade card featuring the Frigate.