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Tradition is a social policy tree in Civilization V. It is always available at the start of the Ancient Era, and aims to provide growth and Capital Capital-centric bonuses, especially for tall strategies and cities with an individually high population-count.

Game Info[]

Tradition is best for small empires.

Adopting Tradition greatly increases the rate of border expansion (25%) in cities (by diminishing the accumulated Culture Culture needed for successive new tiles) and also grants +3 Culture Culture in the Capital Capital. Unlocks building the Hanging Gardens wonder (BNW-only.png only).

Adopting all Policies in the Tradition tree will grant +15% Food Growth in all cities and:

  • Vanilla: +2 Food Food in each city
  • GodsKings5 clear.png: A free Aqueduct in your first four cities
  • BNW-only.png: A free Aqueduct in your first four cities. It also allows the purchase of Great Engineers with Faith Faith starting in Industrial Era.
Policy Effect Requirement
Aristocracy Aristocracy +15% Production Production when building Wonders (any Era) and +1 20xHappiness5.png Happiness for every 10 20xPopulation5.png Citizens in a City. Adopting Tradition
Oligarchy Oligarchy Garrisoned units cost no maintenance and cities with a garrison gain +100% (+50% in GodsKings5 clear.png and BNW-only.png) Ranged strength Ranged Combat Strength. Adopting Tradition
Legalism Legalism Provides a free culture building in your first 4 cities. Adopting Tradition in Vanilla and GodsKings5 clear.png
Oligarchy in BNW-only.png
Monarchy Monarchy +1 Gold Gold and -1 Unhappiness (Civ5).png Unhappiness for every 2 20xPopulation5.png Citizens in the Capital Capital. Legalism
Landed Elite Landed Elite +10% Food Growth and +2 Food Food in the Capital Capital. Legalism


Main article: Social strategy (Civ5)#Tradition

If the Capital Capital is in a good spot and expansion is not necessary, this tree will likely be a good one to pick. A number of these policies benefit that city, excepting Oligarchy and Legalism (and depending on where you decide to build your Wonders). This tree favours scientific civs as its bonuses are food and population oriented, and Oligarchy only affects garrisoned (and so defensively positioned) units.

Civilopedia entry[]

Tradition is the policy of honoring the decisions made by one's ancestors and all earlier rulers of the state. New policies are viewed with deep suspicion and distrust. Even in allegedly forward-thinking countries like the United States, tradition can be quite powerful indeed, as may be seen in the tension between those who favor strict adherence to the original literal meaning of the US Constitution, and those who believe that the Constitution must be more broadly interpreted in light of the changing nature of the United States and the world. The former group would be considered to be more traditionalist than the latter.

Related achievements

Master of the House
Master of the House
Fully Explore the Tradition Policy Track.
Civilization V Social Policies [edit]

AristocracyLanded EliteLegalismMonarchyOligarchy


CitizenshipCollective RuleMeritocracyRepresentationRepublic


DisciplineMilitary CasteMilitary TraditionProfessional ArmyWarrior Code


Free ReligionMandate of HeavenOrganized ReligionReformationReligious ToleranceTheocracy


AestheticsConsulatesCultural DiplomacyEducated EliteMerchant ConfederacyPhilanthropyScholasticism


EntrepreneurshipMercantilismMercenary ArmyMerchant NavyNaval TraditionProtectionismTrade Unions Wagon Trains


Free ThoughtHumanismScientific RevolutionSecularismSovereignty


Artistic GeniusCultural CentersCultural Exchange Fine ArtsFlourishing of the Arts


Maritime InfrastructureMerchant NavyNaval TraditionNavigation SchoolTreasure Fleets


Civil SocietyConstitutionDemocracyFree SpeechUniversal Suffrage


FascismMilitarismPolice StatePopulismTotal War


CommunismNationalismPlanned EconomySocialismUnited Front