Civilization Wiki

Civilization II has been much played and much studied since its 1996 appearance. Many players have written guides for it.

Choices before actually starting[]

First set of choices[]

Start a New Game[]

Select Size of World
You have a choice of standard sizes: 40x50, 50x80, or 75x120
However, there is a "Custom" button, with more choice: "Rule: X times Y must be no more than 10,000 and no less than 1000. Each dimension must be at least 20, no more than 250."
Select Difficulty Level
Chieftain (easiest); Warlord; Prince; King; Emperor; Deity (toughest) - try Chieftain if you've never played this sort of game before; try King or Emperor if you have
Select Level of Competition
7, 6, 5, 4, or 3 civilizations altogether, including yours; but there is a "Random" button if you want to be guided by the program - the more the merrier, but if you are playing at a hard level you may want as few rivals as possible and a large map so that you can get organized before any nasty people visit you
Select Level Of Barbarian Activity
Villages Only (i.e. no barbarians except those that may be released when a unit enters a little hut); Roving Bands; Restless Tribes; Raging Hordes (and again there is a "Random" button) - fairly self-explanatory; if you can withstand their attacks, you can usually earn gold by capturing their unguarded leaders. However, the seaborne raiders are leaderless - and their ships can pop up even in a one-tile lake.
Select Game Rules
Use Standard Rules; Customize Rules (which offers: Simplified Combat; Flat World; Select Computer Opponents; Accelerated Startup; Bloodlust (no spaceships allowed); Don't Restart Eliminated Players)
Select Starting Year
4000 BC (Normal Start), 3600 BC, 3200 BC (Accelerated Start)
Select Gender
Male or Female - this will determine whether you are called a king or a queen etc
Select Your Tribe
There are 21 to choose from, arranged in the same way as in the coloured table on the Civilization II page, whites, greens, blues, yellows, teals, reds, and purples (note that the tribes that were grey in Civ1 are purple here) - but again there is a "Custom" button, letting you specify names of leader, tribe, and adjective, and set your official titles under Anarchy and each of the six other possible types of government
Select Your City Style
Bronze Age Monolith; Classical Forum; Far East Pavilion; Medieval Castle
If you chose "Select Computer Opponents"
Select Opponent #1 - You get a choice between "Random" and three named civilizations (the "white" ones) with named leaders
Select Opponent #2 - similar with the greens; and so on
If you chose a really small map size you may find you get only three rivals even if you asked for more.

Start on Premade World[]

This will offer a list of existing maps.

Customize World[]

You can choose things like percentage of land tiles and climate.

Begin Scenario[]

You will be offered a list of ".scn" and perhaps other files.

Load a Game[]

This may be the one you select most often.

View Hall of Fame[]

High-scoring games on your computer since you last cleared the list.

Noah Burnett

Jacob Fulk-something

View Credits[]

Sid Meier and/or associates.


"In the Beginning. . ."
"RFP, you have risen to become leader of the Scots. May your reign be long and prosperous. The Scots have knowledge of Alphabet, Bronze Working, Ceremonial Burial, Code of Laws, Construction, Currency, Horseback Riding, Iron Working, Map Making, Masonry, Monarchy, Mysticism, Warrior Code, and Roads." - if you had chosen the standard setup you probably know only Irrigation, Mining, and Roads.
Dialog boxes
Most of them can be moved around the screen if you drag their title bars. Some appear only once and therefore deserve careful study.
"What discovery shall our wise men pursue?"
(This may appear only after you have built a city.) You are presented with a menu of possible advances (often not all that you have qualified for). Highlight any one and click "Help" to see what its prerequisites are and what it enables; generally you can get more information about some of the items in each display by clicking them. If you know which future advance or unit or city improvement (building or Wonder) you want, clicking the "Goal" button will tell you which advance(s) you should choose.
You will probably also see a message from your Science Advisor or some other purported expert telling you what he or she thinks you should research and why. Sometimes it's useful.

Actual play[]

First map view[]

After the menu and any messages, you see a map of a rather small part of your game world, with a grid of diamond-shaped spaces ("tiles") that are really squares viewed at an angle. In the standard game, you have a settler unit (or two) awaiting orders, indicating that state by blinking. (In one of the variants, such as the accelerated start, you may see much more, including 21 white-bordered tiles that indicate a city's sphere of influence.) In the main right-hand pane you see an image and brief description of the unit that is awaiting orders: notably how many moves it can make before the end of the turn and which city is supporting it (which is "NONE" for the initial settlers). Other units on the same tile are depicted below that one. At the top of the screen you see a row of "Windows"-style menus, with some unfamiliar names: Game, Kingdom, View, Orders, Advances, World, Cheat, Civilopedia. "Orders" will tell you what the blinking unit can do on its current tile. If you choose to move it instead, you may use your numeric keypad (if any), on which each key except the "5" will try to move the unit in the direction indicated by its spatial relationship to the "5", or you may try "Click and Drag" or right-click on the target tile.


With the standard opening, with just a settler or two, your first task will be to build a city in a suitable location so as to start producing food, resources, and trade. When you have one city, you will be considering how soon and where you can build another. Settlers build cities just by sitting on the chosen tile and being given the "build" order; but they are also used to improve terrain by constructing roads, mines, irrigation, and later other improvements. Once a city is built, it can produce buildings and units, including new settlers, but each new settler reduces the population temporarily, so you need to think about the best time to complete one.

(There's heaps more to write here; but look at the contents of the menus, particularly Civilopedia.)


  • Monarchy is more user-friendly than in Civ1, because each city (whatever its size) can support three units at no cost.
  • Communism is much more user-friendly than in Civ1, being very like Monarchy except for:
    • No corruption - so sell your courthouses
    • Settlers and Engineers eat two units of food (despite what at least one version of the Civilopedia says)
  • Republic may be the one you end up with, but it has advantages and disadvantages that vary according to your civilization's size and situation and international relations.

External links[]

Civilization II [edit]
Conflicts in CivilizationFantastic WorldsTest of Time
Standalone remake with different graphics, units, etc.