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Unique abilities are a new feature added into Civilization V that give civilizations certain bonuses. Unique abilities were made to replace traits from Civilization IV (most likely to make civilizations more unique instead of two civilizations sharing one similar bonus).

All updates made to unique abilities in Gods & Kings apply to Brave New World as well.

Civilization Ability Name Effects
American American Manifest Destiny
  • All land military units have +1 sight.
  • 50% discount when purchasing tiles.
Arabian Arabian Trade Caravans (Vanilla and GodsKings5 clear.png)

Ships of the Desert (BNW-only.png)

Trade Caravans:

Ships of the Desert:

Assyrian Assyrian Treasures of Nineveh
  • When a city is conquered, gain a free technology already discovered by its owner. Gaining a city through a trade deal does not count, and it can only happen once per enemy city.
Austrian Austrian Diplomatic Marriage
  • Can spend Gold Gold to annex or puppet a City-State that has been your ally for 5 turns.
Aztec Aztec Sacrificial Captives
  • Gains Culture Culture for the empire from each enemy unit killed.
Babylonian Babylonian Ingenuity
Brazilian Brazilian Carnival
Byzantine Byzantine Patriarchate of Constantinople
  • Choose one more Belief than normal when you found a Religion.
Carthaginian Carthaginian Phoenician Heritage
Celtic Celtic Druidic Lore
  • +1 Faith Faith per city with an adjacent unimproved Forest. Bonus increases to +2 Faith Faith in cities with 3 or more adjacent unimproved Forest tiles.
Chinese Chinese Art of War
Danish Danish Viking Fury
Dutch Dutch Dutch East India Company*
Egyptian Egyptian Monument Builders
English English Sun Never Sets
Ethiopian Ethiopian Spirit of Adwa
French French Ancien Régime (Vanilla and GodsKings5 clear.png)

City of Light (BNW-only.png)

Ancien Régime:

City of Light:

German German Furor Teutonicus
  • Upon defeating a Barbarian unit inside an encampment, there is a 67% chance you earn 25 Gold Gold and they join your side.
  • Pay 25% less for land unit maintenance.
Greek Greek Hellenic League
Hunnic Hunnic Scourge of God
Incan Incan Great Andean Road
Indian Indian Population Growth
Indonesian Indonesian Spice Islanders
  • The first 3 cities founded on continents other than where Indonesia started each provide 2 unique Luxury Resources (and can never be razed).
Iroquois Iroquois The Great Warpath Vanilla and Gods & Kings:

Brave New World:

Japanese Japanese Bushido
Korean Korean Scholars of the Jade Hall
Mayan Mayan The Long Count
  • After researching Theology, receive a bonus Great Person at the end of every Maya Long Count calendar cycle (every 394 years). Each bonus person can only be chosen once.
Mongolian Mongolian Mongol Terror
Moroccan Moroccan Gateway to Africa
Ottoman Ottoman Barbary Corsairs Vanilla and Gods & Kings:
  • Moving adjacent to a Barbarian naval unit has a 50% chance of converting it to your side and providing a reward of 25 Gold Gold.
  • Pay only one-third the usual cost for naval unit maintenance.

Brave New World:

  • All melee naval units have the Prize Ships promotion, allowing them to capture defeated ships.
  • Pay only one-third the usual cost for naval unit maintenance.
Persian Persian Achaemenid Legacy
Polish Polish Solidarity
Polynesian Polynesian Wayfinding
  • Can embark and move over Oceans immediately.
  • +1 sight when embarked.
  • +10% Melee strength Combat Strength bonus if within 2 tiles of a Moai.
Portuguese Portuguese Mare Clausum
Roman Roman The Glory of Rome
Russian Russian Siberian Riches**
Shoshone Shoshone Great Expanse
Siamese Siamese Father Governs Children Vanilla:

Gods & Kings:

Songhai Songhai River Warlord Vanilla:

Gods & Kings:

Spanish Spanish Seven Cities of Gold
Swedish Swedish Nobel Prize
Venetian Venetian Serenissima
Zulu Zulu Iklwa

* This ability was formerly called "East India Company."
** This ability is called "Motherland Calls" in the game manual.