Civilization V Beginner’s Guide

You can play Sid Meier’s Civilization V in two different turn formats, the classic turn-based format, which you will experience during single-player games and the Simultaneous turn-based game which you will experience in multiplayer mode.

Turn-Based Games

A solo game of Civilization V is turn-based like it has always been, if you are new to Civilization series. It goes like you take a turn, move your units, set your diplomacy and then your opponent takes their turn and it goes on like that until somebody wins.

Simultaneous Turns Games
A multiplayer game is a “simultaneous turns game.” You and your opponents take their turns simultaneously. Everyone moves units, conducts diplomacy, maintains their cities all at the same time. When everyone has done everything they want to do, the turn ends and another begins.

Civilizations and Leaders
Each civilization in the game is unique. Every leader has a special “trait”, unique units, and unique buildings. These add up to unique advantages for Civilization which they can capitalize on, so choose your Civilization that suits your playing style.

Mastering a civilization’s strengths and exploiting your enemies’ weaknesses is what you need to do, its challenging, and also most rewarding.

All of the civilizations’ traits and unique units and buildings are displayed during game setup when you choose your civilization. You can also check them out in the Civilizations section of the Civilopedia in game.

Leader Traits
Each leader has a unique trait, which gives it some special advantage during a game. For example, Ramesses II of Egypt has the “Monument Builders” trait, which speeds Egypt’s construction of Wonders. Keep your leader’s traits in mind while playing the game, it can work to your advantage.

Unique Units
Each civilization possesses one or more “unique units,” each of which is a powerful replacement for a standard unit. Greece, for example, has the Companion Cavalry unit, which it gets instead of the Horseman unit. Greece also receives the mighty “Hoplite” in place of a Spearman. Which makes Greece a dangerous opponent in the early phase of the game.

On the other hand, Germany gets a Panzer instead of the standard Tank that other civilizations will receive. So if Germany survives Greece’s early advantage, it will then go on to become the most fierce opponent for the later part of the game.

Unique Buildings
Some civilizations also get Unique Buildings. These are like unique units in that they replace the standard buildings that other civilizations get. For example, Persia gets the Satrap’s Court in place of a Bank, giving a significant edge in happiness and in generating wealth. Siam gets a Wat instead of a University, which provides it with extra culture in addition to a big science boost.

Advisors
You have a group of Advisors who will assist you with every aspect of the game. They’ll point out things that they believe are important, or that you might have forgotten about. You can turn them off if you like, but you may want to try playing with them for a while first.

You have four different Advisors. Each provides advice on a specific area of expertise:

Economic Advisor
The Economic Advisor provides advice on building and improving your cities and territory.

Military Advisor
The Military Advisor provides advice on combat and all things related to war.

Foreign Advisor
The Foreign Advisor advises you on exploration and your relations with city-states, and other civilizations.

Science Advisor
The Science Advisor gives you advice on science and technology, as well as information on game rules.

How to Contact An Advisor
During play, your Advisors will appear in “popups” when they have something they think you should know. You can also press the “Advisors” button in the upper right hand corner of the screen to reach the “Advisor Counsel” screen.

How to Turn Off the Advisors
You can determine how much assistance you get from the Advisors on the “Options” screen. You can set the advice level to Full, Minimal, or No Advice. If turned off, they won’t ever appear in popups, but you can still go to the “Advisor Counsel” screen to see what they’re thinking.

The Interface

The Main Screen
The Main Screen is where you’ll spend most of your time. Here you move your units,engage in combat, build cities etc.

The Main Map
This is where the action takes place. The Main Map displays the “known world” – the places you’ve explored, your cities, the terrain, resources and improvements around them, your units, and all neutral and foreign lands that are “visible” to you.

Navigating the Main Map
There are a number of ways that you can change your point of view on the

Main Map

Zoom In and Zoom Out
Use your mouse wheel or press [PageUp] or [PageDown] to zoom in and out.

Re-Center
Click on a space on the Main Map to center your view on that space.

Auto-Center Upon Unit Activation
When a unit becomes “active” during your turn the Main Map automatically centers upon that unit.

Manually Center Upon Active Unit
Click upon the active unit’s icon to center upon that unit.

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By Afnan Mir

We've got a lot of guides and FAQs here, and you can thank Afnan for providing many of them. It's him who does the research and assembles our FAQs before we can publish them.

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