Civilization V Terrain Guide

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Civilization V Terrain Guide

Civilization V features several unique types of terrains that players will play in Singleplayer as well as in multiplayer battles. On top of these terrains, they are many unique features that a terrain can posses at any given time. You can find all the relative information about them in Civilization V guide below.

Civilization V Terrain Guide

Coast
Coast hexes are the ocean hexes directly adjacent to land. They provide food and gold to a nearby city. Only naval units and “embarked” land units may enter coastal hexes.

  • Food: 1
  • Production: 0
  • Gold: 1
  • Combat Modifiers: None
  • Movement Cost: 1

Cannot build cities on coasts; only naval units or embarked units may
enter this kind of tile.

Desert
In general, desert hexes are remarkably unuseful. They provide no benefits to cities (unless the desert contains an oasis or resource, of course), and units occupying them receive a significant defensive penalty in combat.

  • Food: 0
  • Production: 0
  • Gold: 0
  • Combat Modifiers: -33%
  • Movement Cost: 1

Grassland
Generally, grassland produces the most food of any terrain type. Cities
constructed near grasslands will tend to grow faster than cities built elsewhere. This tile’s major drawback is the defensive penalty that an unprepared unit might get if attacked.

  • Food: 2
  • Production: 0
  • Gold: 0
  • Combat Modifiers: -33%
  • Movement Cost: 1

Hills
Hills are difficult to farm and hard to move through, but they provide good defensive bonuses and many different resources. In addition, units on top of hills can see over “blocking terrain.” Hills provide increased productivity to a nearby city, as well as important combat bonuses.

  • Food: 0
  • Production: 2
  • Gold: 0
  • Combat Modifiers: +25%
  • Movement Cost: 2

Mountain
Mountains are tall upthrusts of terrain, impossible for non-flying units to
move through. They’re not particularly helpful to a civilization, except as barriers to invasion.

  • Food: 0
  • Production: 0
  • Gold: 0
  • Combat Modifiers: +25%
  • Movement Cost: Impassable

Mountains are impassable except to air units.

Ocean
Ocean hexes are deep-water hexes. They provide food and gold to a
city, once the city has the technology to access them.

  • Food: 1
  • Production: 0
  • Gold: 1
  • Combat Modifiers: None
  • Movement Cost: 1

Oceans are only useful for Food and Gold once the nearby city has the
proper technologies to access them.

Plains
Plains provide a mix of food and production to a nearby city. A city surrounded by plains will grow more slowly than one in grassland, but it will be far more productive.

  • Food: 1
  • Production: 1
  • Gold: 0
  • Combat Modifiers: -33%
  • Movement Cost: 1

Snow
Snow is quite unproductive, with no food or production benefit to a nearby city. Of course a snow hex might contain a useful resource, but otherwise they’re just cold and barren.

  • Food: 0
  • Production: 0
  • Gold: 0
  • Combat Modifiers: -33%
  • Movement Cost: 1

Tundra
Tundra is the semi-frozen land found in the world’s colder climates. It is
less useful than plains or grassland, but slightly better than desert.

  • Food: 1
  • Production: 0
  • Gold: 0
  • Combat Modifiers: -33%
  • Movement Cost: 1

Civilization V Terrain Features
Features are elements of terrain or vegetation that appear in a hex, atop the hex’s terrain. Features modify a hex’s productivity and might also alter the amount of “movement points” (MP) a unit expends when entering the hex. Features may also provide defensive combat bonuses or penalties to a unit occupying the hex.

Feature Values
Like terrain, features also have values that determine city yield, movement, and combat.

Fallout
Fallout is a special “feature” that appears after the nukes begin flying. Fallout badly reduces the output of a tile until it is cleaned up by a worker.

  • Food: -3
  • Production: -3
  • Gold: -3
  • Combat Modifiers: -33%
  • Movement Cost: 2

Fallout must be cleared by a Worker before any Improvements can be
built.

Flood Plains
Flood plains are low-lying areas adjacent to rivers. Every year the river
floods, providing natural irrigation and rich nutrients to the land, making
flood plains incredibly fertile and the most productive farmland in the
world.

  • Food: 2
  • Production: 0
  • Gold: 0
  • Combat Modifiers: -33%
  • Movement Cost: 1

Flood Plains are only found in tiles bordering a river.

Forest
For early man, forests were a great source of bounty, providing wood for fire, tools and shelter, and also many animals for sustenance and clothing.
As a city grows there is a great temptation to cut down the forests
for farmland, but a wise leader will always leave some standing — for
productivity and to lift his people’s spirits. Also, military units stationed in forests receive a significant defensive bonus.

  • Food: 1
  • Production: 1
  • Gold: 0
  • Combat Modifiers: +25%
  • Movement Cost: 2

Tiles with forests covering them always yield 1 Food and 1 Production,
regardless of the underlying terrain type.

Ice
It’s almost entirely useless to civilization. It is impassable
(except to flying units and submarines) and provides no yields. Stay away from ice.

  • Food: 0
  • Production: 0
  • Gold: 0
  • Combat Modifiers: None
  • Movement Cost: Impassable

Ice tiles are impassable except to air and submarine units.

Jungle
Dark, forbidding, and deadly to the uninitiated, jungles are a rich source
of food to those with the skill and knowledge to live within them. However, jungles do not provide much in the way of materials, and a growing civilization may be tempted to mine them or turn them into cropland. However, military units situated in jungles receive a significant defensive bonus. When chopped, Jungle tiles become Plains.

  • Food: 1
  • Production: -1
  • Gold: 0
  • Combat Modifiers: +25%
  • Movement Cost: 2

When chopped down, Jungle tiles become Plains.

Marsh
Although rich in biodiversity, marshes have little to offer a hungry growing civilization. Marshes can be drained or farmed to increase their yield. Note that military units in marshes receive a significant PENALTY when attacked.

  • Food: -1
  • Production: 0
  • Gold: 0
  • Combat Modifiers: -33%
  • Movement Cost: 2

Oasis
An oasis is an especially lush and verdant area within a desert, usually
because it sits atop a source of clean and plentiful water. Oases are extremely valuable resources in an otherwise barren and lifeless desert, and countless battles have been fought between desperate desert tribesmen to possess them.

  • Food: 3
  • Production: 0
  • Gold: 1
  • Combat Modifiers: -33%
  • Movement Cost: 1

Oases may only be found on Desert tiles.

Natural Wonders
Natural wonders are the great and glorious creations of nature that awe and inspire us all. These include sites like Lake Titicaca and the Great Barrier Reef – places that truly display the grand beauty of the natural world.
In addition to providing wealth and production, Natural Wonders permanently increase happiness when first seen by a civilization.
Natural wonders are impassable (except to air units).

  • City Yield: 2 production, 3 gold
  • Movement Cost: impassable
  • Combat Modifier: none

Rivers
Traditionally, cities have been built along rivers, and for good reason. Rivers provide irrigation, improving the farmland around the city, and they also protect a city, as it is quite difficult to mount an assault against a city across a river.

River Locations
Unlike other features, rivers run along the sides of the tiles rather than through them, so rivers provide their benefits to the tiles/units adjacent to them.

  • City Yield Modifier-Rivers give +1 gold to adjacent tiles.
  • Offensive Penalty-When attacking across a river, the attacking unit gets a 25% penalty to its combat strength.
  • Movement Effect-A unit uses up all of its movement points when crossing a river. There is no additional cost for crossing a river if a road passes over the river and your civilization has the Construction tech.

You can check our Civilization V Guide Series for complete Civilization V strategy guides.