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There are six ways to achieve victory in Civilization IV.

Conquest[]

Eliminate all other civilizations.

Tips for Conquest Victory[]

  • Tanks and planes are the ideal units for the job, as the planes will destroy the defenses while the tanks do the work.
  • Do not use an ICBM, as it will turn a city into a radioactive wasteland.
  • Give melee, siege, and armored units promotions from the City Raider line.
  • If you have the Beyond the Sword expansion, forcing another civilization to capitulate and become a Vassal State will count as that civilization having been conquered. This is a much easier way of winning a war, and has the added benefit of guaranteeing you an ally in all future wars (since a Vassal State automatically declares war against its master's enemies).

Cultural[]

Be in possession of 3 cities with legendary culture.

Tips for Cultural Victory[]

  • Your ideal civics should be Caste System (for unlimited Artists), Free Speech (for double culture), and Organized Religion (for quickly spreading religion around with Missionary spamming).
  • You should ideally aim for 12 cities (which is easiest to achieve on Huge maps). Three of your cities should be marked as "cultural" cities. These are the cities that you are trying to get up to legendary culture status. The other nine cities are supporting cities.
  • Get as many religions into your civilization as you can, and spread those religions to every city. Proceed to build 12 temples to each religion in your 12 cities. For every four Temples, you can construct a building unique to that religion (such as a Christian Cathedral or a Jewish Synagogue). These unique buildings increase the rate at which that city gains culture by 50% each, so create 12 Temples per religion so you can create three unique buildings per religion (one for each cultural city). When the Free Speech civic combines with seven unique religious buildings, your cultural cities will be cranking out culture at an astronomical nine times their usual rate.
  • Focus on generating Great Artists to the exclusion of other Great People. You can use Great Artists in your cultural cities to create "Great Works" that instantly provide 4,000 culture to your city of choice. The culture provided is subject to the aforementioned buffs from Free Speech and unique religious buildings as well. So with the aforementioned 9× multiplier to cultural output, a single Great Work can instantly and single handedly generate 36,000 culture!

Domination[]

Lead in world population by 30% and have 65% of the world under your control (the percentages may vary).

Tips for Domination Victory[]

  • On smaller maps, either eliminate weaker opponents or turn them into vassals - half of each vassal's territory and population counts toward your victory progress and score.
  • Capture your opponents' largest cities and install new governors in them.
  • Construct buildings and tile improvements that provide your cities with food and health.
  • Develop your cities' culture to help their borders expand.

Space Race[]

Main article: Spaceship (Civ4)

Build and Launch your spacecraft and get to Alpha Centauri first.

Tips for Space Race Victory[]

Diplomatic[]

Win a United Nations election as world leader for diplomatic victory.

First, you must reach the Modern Era and build the United Nations wonder. Once it has been built, an election will be held and one leader will be chosen to be the Secretary General. This leader can then choose from a number of different voting agendas, including the election for a world leader. If the Secretary General holds a world leader election and a single leader receives at least 60% of the votes, he or she becomes the world leader and wins a Diplomatic Victory.

In Beyond the Sword, it is also possible to win a Diplomatic Victory by building the Apostolic Palace wonder, which allows a world leader to be chosen in much the same way as the United Nations.

Tips for Diplomatic Victory[]

  • Rush Mass Media.
  • Build the United Nations as quickly as possible.
  • Focus on founding cities and increasing your empire's population - a larger population means more voting power in elections.
  • If you have to go to war with other civilizations, try to make them your vassals so that they will be forced to vote for you in elections.
  • If you are attempting to win with the Apostolic Palace, you can control the spread of the AP religion to give yourself an advantage.

Time[]

Have the highest score when the time ends. (At Normal speed, it ends in 2050 AD.)

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