Civilization Wiki

BackArrowGreen Back to the list of units

Game Info[]

Exploration unit. Available right from the start of the game.

  • Common abilities:
    • Ignores Terrain Cost


The Scout is available from the start of the game, and is designed primarily for exploration. Its ability to move through any terrain without considering its normal movement rules allows it exceptional mobility, especially when crossing vast expenses of forest or jungle.

The Scout has a melee attack, but it is so weak that it's best to avoid combat, instead outrunning the attackers. The Scout also has a unique promotion: Survival, which not only grants it additional healing outside your territory, but also a defensive bonus that allows the unit to survive attacks and move on.

The Scout is vital in the early game for exploring the map, locating Barbarian encampments, and discovering Ancient Ruins, Natural Wonders, city-states, and other civilizations. Remember that the Ancient Ruins benefits are only available to the first civilization that explores them, and that discovering a city-state first grants you double the normal Gold Gold reward. Build at least one Scout as soon as possible; some players will build one first thing after setting up their Capital Capitals.

The Scout is very useful for taking out Barbarian encampments when you need your other troops to defend a city. The Scout has a bonus when fighting against Barbarians, and can be surprisingly strong against Barbarian Warriors and Archers. The Scout can level up quickly so that you can get the Scout's upgrades.

The Scout becomes obsolete (unprocurable) with the discovery of Scientific Theory. Scouts are a "special" unit, in the sense that they're outside of the regular upgrade chain - there is no equivalent later era unit to which the Scout can be upgraded with Gold Gold. They can, however, be upgraded by the "advanced weapons" bonus of an Ancient Ruin, in turn giving an Archer that ignores terrain penalties. This special unit, nicknamed "scarcher" by the community, can then be upgraded by normal means and will retain the path finding bonus all the way through the tech tree.

Civilopedia entry[]

Scouts form the eyes and ears of early civilizations. These fleet-footed warriors are not supposed to engage with enemy forces - they're supposed to find the lay of the land, discovering any potential threats or treasures. A civilization that doesn't know what's going on in the world around it is blind to both peril and opportunity.

Unofficial custom card[]


Custom homemade card featuring the Scout.

See also[]

Civilization V Units [edit]
Civilian Archaeologist BNW-onlyCaravan BNW-onlyCargo Ship BNW-onlySettlerWork BoatWorker
Land military Anti-Aircraft GunAnti-Tank GunArcher (Atlatlist GodsKings5 clearBowman1Slinger1) • ArtilleryBazooka BNW-onlyCannonCatapult (BallistaSiege Tower BNW-only) • Cavalry (Berber Cavalry BNW-onlyComanche Riders BNW-onlyCossackHussar GodsKings5 clear) • Chariot Archer (Hand-Axe BNW-onlyHorse Archer GodsKings5 clearWar ChariotWar Elephant) • Composite Bowman GodsKings5 clearCrossbowman (Chu-Ko-NuLongbowman) • Gatling Gun GodsKings5 clearGiant Death RobotGreat War Infantry GodsKings5 clear (Foreign Legion) • Helicopter GunshipHorseman (African Forest Elephant GodsKings5 clearCataphract GodsKings5 clearCompanion Cavalry) • Infantry (Pracinha) • Knight (Camel ArcherConquistador1Keshik1Mandekalu CavalryNaresuan's Elephant) • Lancer (Hakkapeliitta GodsKings5 clearSipahiWinged Hussar BNW-only) • Landship GodsKings5 clearLongswordsman (Berserker1Samurai) • Machine Gun GodsKings5 clearMarine GodsKings5 clearMechanized InfantryModern ArmorMobile SAMMusketman (JanissaryMinutemanMusketeerTercio1) • ParatrooperPikeman (Impi BNW-onlyLandsknecht) • Rifleman (Carolean GodsKings5 clearMehal Sefari GodsKings5 clearNorwegian Ski Infantry1) • Rocket ArtilleryScout (Pathfinder BNW-only) • Spearman (Battering Ram GodsKings5 clearHopliteImmortalPictish Warrior GodsKings5 clear) • Swordsman (Kris Swordsman BNW-onlyLegionMohawk Warrior) • Tank (Panzer) • Trebuchet (Hwach'a1) • Warrior (BruteJaguarMaori Warrior1) • XCOM Squad BNW-only
Naval military BattleshipCaravel (Nau BNW-onlyTurtle Ship1) • CarrierDestroyerFrigate (Ship of the Line) • Galleass (Great Galleass BNW-only) • GalleyIroncladMissile CruiserNuclear SubmarinePrivateer GodsKings5 clear (Sea Beggar GodsKings5 clear) • SubmarineTrireme (Quinquereme GodsKings5 clearDromon GodsKings5 clear)
Aircraft Atomic BombBomber (B17) • Fighter (Zero) • Great War Bomber GodsKings5 clearGuided MissileJet FighterNuclear MissileStealth BomberTriplane GodsKings5 clear
Religious Inquisitor GodsKings5 clearMissionary GodsKings5 clear
See also Great PeopleSpaceship Parts
1 Requires a DLC

GodsKings5 clear Added in the Gods & Kings expansion pack.
BNW-only Added in the Brave New World expansion pack.