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Indians in Sid Meier's Colonization are Native Americans. They are present in camps, villages, or cities on the map before your arrival. All are initially friendly at first contact but some are more aggressive than others. All become more hostile over time as your colonies develop and encroach on their land. Game mechanics push the Spanish towards conquest (especially of the wealthy Aztecs and Incas) and the French towards cooperation, but extensive use of missions and trading can allow any nation to work alongside most Indians.


A sun indicates a capital.

There are 8 separate tribes (nations) of Indians. At the beginning of the game, Indian units begin to walk around the map and claim land around their settlements. The more civilized the tribe, the further these claims extend. The most important settlement is marked with a gold starburst and is considered the tribe's capital.

Indian report (Col)

The Indian Adviser Report (F9), showing the tribes known to your nation, their technological level, and their number of missions, muskets, and horse herds.

Semi-nomadic tribes live in camps marked with teepees.

Agrarian tribes live in villages marked with longhouses.

There are two native empires.

The Aztecs are considered advanced, live in cities marked with tan stone pyramids, and are more warlike. The Incas are considered civilized, live in cities marked with gray stone pyramids, and are more peaceful.


Arawak camp (Col)

An Arawak village that has become actively hostile towards a nearby French settlement.

Each tribe has its own relationship status with your nation.

At first contact, each tribe's leader will offer you peace and a small grant of land. You can choose to accept or reject this offer. Rejection leads to an immediate declaration of war. Acceptance allows you to visit the tribe's settlements, trade with them by sea or land, learn skills from their elders, and receive periodic gifts from their units when they visit your colonies.

The development of your colonies―especially the addition of soldiers, dragoons, and artillery and the seizure of Indian land―gradually antagonizes nearby Indian settlements. This is marked by exclamation points (!) on the settlements, first green (alarm) and then red (hostility). Alarmed and hostile Indian units may refuse trade, attack your colonies and units, and kill visiting scouts. The warlike Arawak tribe may do all of these things even when nominally friendly.

An Apache camp with minimal alarm and a Dutch mission.

The French enjoy a national bonus reducing (but not eliminating) the growth of such hostility. The presence of skillful missionaries will also slow the growth of hostility in a native settlement. Recruiting Pocahontas to your Continental Congress eliminates all current hostility and reduces the rate of its future growth. Gifts and haggle-free trade, losing battles, and withdrawing armed units into colonies or out of the area will also reduce a native settlement's hostility.

Destroying the capital of a hostile tribe causes it to immediately surrender and resets its settlements' hostility to zero. This can only be done once, as no new capital can be established by the tribe.


When at peace, Indian settlements will greet visiting scouts with various gifts. These range from a few gold in the case of the semi-nomadic camps to over 1000 from some Incan and Aztec cities. Native leaders may instead provide guides (immediately changing the unit to a seasoned scout even if was a criminal or other professional before) or discuss nearby lands (revealing terrain and units in the area).

Similarly, Indian units will occasionally visit your colonies. They typically provide small gifts that match the terrain around the unit's base settlement, such as cotton from a settlement near prairieland. Indians who have stolen or purchased horses may provide some as gifts, and the advanced tribes may provide a small number of tools. If a settlement has very little food, the advanced tribes will generally provide as much as 75 food rather than any other gift. Semi-nomadic tribes, on the other hand, will request half of a successful colony's food to make up for their poor harvests; refusing increases hostility while providing the food is rewarded with reduced hostility and the usual small gift of local goods.


Scouts, soldiers, and dragoons can demand tribute when visiting an Indian settlement. If the tribe considers itself sufficiently weak and your military sufficiently strong, some goods will be automatically added to the nearest colony. Repeated requests do not work, with the tribe praising your strength but pleading poverty. Generally, demands for tribute do not work and they sometimes lead directly to a declaration of war.


After first contact, peaceful Indian settlements will trade with your wagon trains or ships. (Hostile settlements will refuse entry to ships and may destroy wagon trains.) Indians will generally buy manufactured goods, trade goods, muskets, horses, and tobacco but not food or other raw goods. They will not even accept them as gifts.

The prices offered vary according to the wealth of the tribe and the game's random number generator. Trading directly with a tribe's capital also increases the price offered. At any given time, each settlement will have a single good that it will pay a strong premium for and two others that it will pay a small premium for. Once a good has been sold to a settlement, another good must be sold or given to it before it will buy any more of the first one. At no time will the amount paid be much over 1000 gold but no tax is paid to your nation's king on these sales. This limits your ability to simply profit off direct Europe to Indian trade in the early game (with the exception of muskets or tools) but means trade with remaining natives can be very attractive in the late game.

Gifts and trade generally keep relations with the Indians healthy and help prevent the growth of hostility. During trading, however, you can haggle over the price. Generally, if relations with the tribe are good, you can successfully increase the amount offered a single time before the Indians become annoyed and refuse to trade in that item. You will need to sell a different good to that settlement before it will resume trade in the original one.

After selling your goods to an Indian settlement, it will offer you some of their own goods for sale. The amount offered will vary according to the amount you just sold to them. If you sold 100 units, a wagon train will be able to buy 100 units of the native good and a ship (even a galleon) will be able to buy 25 units. If you sold less than 100 units, the total amount you can buy is decreased proportionally. Aztec and Incan cities near mountains will sometimes offer up to 100 silver for less than 500 gold, which can be extremely lucrative until the European price crashes. If you haggled successfully over the sale, you can almost never haggle successfully over your purchase and will just annoy the settlement by trying to do so.

Living among the Natives[]

Sending a Free Colonist or an Indentured Servant into an Indian settlement will give you the option to learn a specialization from them (They will not teach Petty Criminals). You can check with a Scout first to see what is taught in that particular village. Once a colonist has been trained there, the skill is "used up" and the Indians will not teach another colonist their secrets. However, the capital city of each tribe, indicated by a star, will train an unlimited number of colonists. Finally, if the settlement is not happy with you, your colonist may be scalped instead of taught.

Colonization games [edit]
Original version of Sid Meier's Colonization (1994)
Remake Civilization IV: Colonization (2008)
Fan Created version FreeCol (2003-Present)