Civilization V Beginner’s Guide Part-II
Second post in the series on basics of Civilization V, it contains all the information from units to technology tree with useful tips tricks and the options, the game has to offer. If you somehow missed the first part, you can read it here.
In Civilization V, the term “unit” refers to anything that can move around the map. There are a number of different types of units in Civilization V, military units, Workers, Settlers, Great People, with military units forming the bulk of them.
Units are built in cities. Each unit has a certain “Production Cost” which determines how many points of Production a city must expend to produce the unit. In addition, in order to construct a unit your civilization must have knowledge of the requisite technology (you must know the “Archery” technology, for example, to construct Archer units).
Some units also require that your civilization have access to certain resources to construct them (Swordsmen require Iron, for instance).
All units have three basic statistics (stats): movement speed, combat strength, and promotions.
A unit’s Movement Points (MPs) determines how many clear tiles a unit can move through. Most early units have 2 MPs.
A unit’s Combat Strength (CS) determines how powerful it is in combat. The Warrior, the earliest combat unit available, has a CS of 6. Non-combat units like Settlers and Workers have CS’s of 0 (zero).
They are defeated (captured or destroyed) when attacked by any military unit.
A military unit may earn “promotions” through advanced training or from hard-won experience gained through battle. See “Unit Promotions” on page 145 for more details.
Unit Special Abilities
Many units have special abilities, allowing them to do things better than other units, or to do things that other units cannot do at all. Settler units can found new cities, for example, and no other units can do so.
An Archer unit can deal “ranged” damage, allowing it to attack an enemy that is not adjacent to it, while most combat units cannot. Check out a unit’s Civilopedia entry to see its special abilities.
Each civilization in Civilization V has one or more special “national units.” These units are unique to that civilization, and they are in some way superior to the standard version of that unit. The American civilization, for example, has a Minuteman unit, which is superior to the standard Musketman available to other civilizations, and it also possesses the B17, replacing the Bomber unit.
The Greek civilization has the Hoplite and Companion Cavalry units, which replace the Spearman and Horseman other civilizations get.
Generally, units move from hex to hex, paying the “Movement Cost” required to enter that new hex.
Units are subject to “Stacking” limitations – two military units may not end their turn in the same hex, nor can two non-military units, but one military and one non-military unit may end their turn stacked in the same hex.
Most units are limited in where they can move – land units cannot enter mountain hexes and naval units cannot enter land hexes (except for port cities). Improvements like roads and railroads speed a unit’s movement through land hexes.
Military units can engage in combat against other units or against cities. Most military units are “melee units,” meaning that they can attack only enemies in hexes directly adjacent to them. Some military units are “ranged units,” meaning that they can attack enemies one or more hexes away.
If a military unit survives combat, it may gain “Experience Points” (XPs), which can be used to purchase “promotions” for the unit. Promotions may improve a unit’s combat ability in certain circumstances – say, when defending in forests – or give it some other advantage in battle.
There are four types of non-combat units: Settlers, Workers, Work Boats, and Great People. Each is critically important to a civilization’s success. As the name “non-combat” would suggest, these units cannot fight. If attacked by an enemy unit while alone in a hex, they are automatically captured or destroyed.
Therefore it usually makes sense to escort them with a military unit when sending them out into the wilderness.
Combat units are divided into several categories. These include “Melee Units,” “Ranged Units,” “Naval Units,” “Air Units,” and “Missile Units.”
Melee units are land units which can attack enemies in adjacent land hexes. They cannot attack enemies at sea, nor can they attack enemies more than one hex away. Melee units include Warriors, Spearmen, Musketmen, Infantry, and more. Most of your military units are melee units.
Ranged units are units that can attack enemies in adjacent hexes and in hexes one or more spaces away. The distance a unit can attack is determined by its “Range” statistic. The strength of its ranged attack is determined by its “Ranged Combat” statistic. An Archer unit, for example, has a Combat Strength of 7, a Ranged Combat Strength of 8, and a Range of 2.
It can attack enemy units one or two hexes away with a Strength of 7. However, if an enemy unit attacks it, it defends with its Combat Strength of 4. Note that Ranged units always employ Ranged combat when attacking another unit, even if that unit is adjacent. The Ranged unit uses its Combat Strength only when it is defending against an attack by another unit.
Naval units are units that can move in water hexes. They cannot enter land hexes, except for coastal cities. Depending upon its type, a naval unit may be limited to travel in coastal waters, or it may be able to enter deep water Ocean hexes. Naval units are Ranged Combat
Air units are units which, not surprisingly, travel through the air. They are critically important during the late game, as control of the skies often determines victory or defeat in modern warfare.
Nuclear units are the most powerful units in the game. They blow a lot of stuff up, destroying units, cities, improvements and pretty much everything else. Land that has been subject to nuclear attack is badly polluted, requiring major reclamation efforts before it can be made safe and useful once again.
Unit Action List
When a unit is active, it may have one or more “actions” available to it. Click on the unit’s action icon to order it to perform that action.
During a game of Civilization V, much of your time will be spent moving units around the world. You’ll be marching your military units off to discover stuff or to fight with your neighbors.
Your workers will be moving to new tiles to improve terrain and to construct roads. Your Settlers will be moving to good locations on which to build new cities. Following are rules for moving land units and naval units. Air units have their own special rules; since they don’t occur until late in the game, they’re covered elsewhere.
How to Order a Unit to Move
Right-Click When a unit is active, you can right-click anywhere on the map to order the unit to move there.
You can also click on the “Move Mode” Action button, then left-click on a target space.
Legal and Illegal Moves
If the target location is illegal for the unit, it will decline the order and wait for new instructions. The movement cursor will turn red on attempted illegal moves.
If the location is legal and the unit can reach that location in one turn, it will do so.
Multiple-Turn Move Orders
If the unit requires multiple turns to reach the location, it will pick the shortest route and proceed on its way. It will continue to move each turn until it gets to the assigned spot. If it becomes impossible for the unit to reach its target location — say, because exploration reveals that the tile is across the ocean and the moving unit can’t embark or perhaps because another
unit has sat down in the target location – the unit will stop and request new orders.
You can change a unit’s orders at any time by clicking on the unit and then either giving it new orders or clicking on the “Cancel Orders” action.
All mobile units have a certain number of “Movement Points” (MPs) that they can expend on movement in every turn. Once they’ve expended those MPs, they can’t move any more until the next turn.
Most early units land units have 2 MPs; horse and naval units have more.
Expending Movement Points
Units expend MPs to enter tiles. The terrain of the tile a unit is entering determines the MP cost of the move. It doesn’t cost anything to leave your current tile; the MP cost is only calculated by the tile you’re entering.
You can refer to Civilization V Terrain Guide for complete information on all the terrain types.
It also expends all of a unit’s MPs to cross a river (unless a road is there; see below). A unit can always move one tile if it has any MPs left. It doesn’t matter how expensive the tile is; as long as the unit has something left, it can enter. Once the unit has expended all of its MPs, it must stop moving.
Road and Railroads
Roads and railroads cut a unit’s movement cost in friendly or neutral
territory. As long as the unit moves from one tile containing a road/railroad into another tile containing a road/railroad, the unit will expend just a fraction of the normal cost to move.
As long as the unit has any MPs left, it can continue to move along the road/railroad.
Rivers and Roads/Railroads
Once you’ve learned the “Construction” tech, you can move across rivers on roads/railroads without paying the standard penalty. If you don’t have Construction yet, you must pay the penalty even if crossing over on a road.
Certain tiles cannot be entered by certain units. A naval unit can’t enter a non-city land tile, for example, and a land unit cannot enter a mountain tile or an ocean tile. If a unit can’t enter a tile, you won’t be able to order it to move there. Sometimes a move is revealed as illegal during a unit’s move. If that is the case, the unit will stop when it discovers the illegality and wait for new orders.
Remember that only one combat unit can end its turn in a tile, and only one non-combat unit can end its move in a tile – though a single combat unit and a single non-combat unit can end their turn “stacked” in the same tile.
A unit may pass through another unit as long as it has enough movement to complete the full move, and does not end up on top of another unit of the same type.
Movement During Combat
Generally, if you order a unit to move into a space occupied by an enemy unit, the unit will interpret that order as instructions to attack the enemy unit. If the moving unit is a non-combat one, the unit will stop and ask for new orders.
Zones of Control
Combat units exert a “Zone of Control” (ZOC) over the tiles around them. When a unit moves between two tiles within an enemy’s ZOC it expends all of its MPs.
Generally, naval units follow the same rules as land units, except that they move in the water rather than on land. Early naval units are often limited to coastal waters (those adjacent to land tiles) and coastal cities.
Eventually, you’ll produce naval units that can enter deep ocean tiles, and thus explore the world. Naval units cannot enter ice tiles (except for submarines, which can go under ‘em).
Embarking Land Units
At the start of the game, your land units cannot enter any water tiles. However, once you’ve learned the Optics technology, a unit can earn the promotion that allows it to “embark” and move into coastal water tiles. To embark a unit, move the unit to a coastal tile and then click on the “Embark” Action.
Once embarked, the unit must move into water. (Optics allows movement into coastal water only. The later Astronomy tech allows embarked units to enter ocean tiles.) In the water the embarked unit is very slow and helpless. It is totally unable to fight, and any enemy naval vessel can easily destroy it.
It’s critical to accompany embarked land units with a strong naval defense. When the unit is adjacent to a land tile, you can click on the “Disembark” action. The unit will then be able to return to dry land. Alternatively you can right-click on a land tile and the unit will disembark automatically.
Combat occurs between two political entities that are at war with each other. A civilization may be at war with another civilization or with a city-state. Barbarians are always at war with all civilizations and city-states.
There are three major forms of combat: melee, ranged, and air combat. The first two occur throughout most of the game, while air combat doesn’t happen (naturally) until somebody discovers flight.
Since it occurs so late in the game you needn’t be concerned with how to conduct air combat when you begin play.
War against another civilization may be declared in a couple of different ways, or you may find yourself on the receiving end of an enemy’s declaration.
Diplomatically Declaring War
You may declare war on a civilization through the Diplomacy panel. You may declare war on a city-state by clicking on the city-state’s city and picking “Declare War” from the pop-up.
Attacking Another Unit
You can simply order one of your units to attack another civilization’s units. If you’re not currently at war with the civilization you’re attacking, a pop-up will appear asking if you want to declare war on that civilization (or city-state); if you choose to do so, the attack occurs. If you decline, the attack is aborted.
Entering a Civilization’s Territory
It is also an act of war to enter a civilization’s territory if you don’t have an “open borders” agreement with that civilization. A pop-up will appear and ask you to confirm your move.
Note that it isn’t an act of war to cross a city-state’s borders, so no pop-up will appear in that case.
Receiving an Enemy Declaration of War
At any time another civilization or city-state may declare war on you. If so, you’ll be informed by an unpleasant pop-up (or notification). You may have an opportunity to try to negotiate your way out of the conflict, or you may have no choice but to fight.
Barbarians are always at war with you, so you’ll never get a declaration of war from them.
Ending a War
Wars end automatically when one side has been destroyed because it has lost its last city. Or the combatants can agree to halt hostilities short of this unpleasant eventuality through diplomatic negotiations. You or your opponent may choose to initiate such discussions.
Barbarians cannot be negotiated with. You’ll remain at war with them as long as they’re around.
Which Units Can Fight
Any military unit may attack an enemy unit. Non-military units such as Workers, Settlers, and great people may not initiate attacks. If attacked while on their own, Workers and Settlers are captured (captured Settlers turn into Workers) and Great People and Work Boats are destroyed.
A city may attack an enemy military unit that is within the city’s Ranged Combat Range, and a unit may in turn attack an enemy city.
Unit Combat Statistics
A military unit’s combat abilities are determined by its combat statistics. There are four basic combat stats:
Ranged Combat Strength
Only units able to engage in “Ranged Combat” have this stat. It is the ranged unit’s combat strength when it is attacking.
Only ranged combat units have this stat. It is the distance, in tiles, within which the ranged combat unit can attack the enemy.
All military units have this stat. Melee units use their Combat strength when attacking or defending. Ranged units use their Combat strength when defending.
A unit’s health is measured in “Hit Points”. When fully healthy, all combat units have 10 hit points. As it takes damage, it loses hit points. If a unit’s hit points reach 0, it is destroyed.
Melee combat occurs when a melee unit (any military unit which doesn’t have the Ranged Combat ability) attacks an enemy unit or city. It doesn’t matter if the defender has Ranged Combat; as long as the attacker doesn’t have Ranged Combat the resulting battle will be melee.
When two units engage in melee combat, the result is determined by the relative strengths of the two units – e.g., if a powerful unit fights a weak one, the powerful unit is likely to do a lot more damage to its enemy, possibly destroying it altogether.
However many different factors may affect a unit’s strength in battle. Many units receive “defensive bonuses” that will increase their melee strength when they are attacked while occupying forests or hills, or are fortified.
Some units get bonuses when fighting other specific unit types (spearmen get bonuses when fighting mounted units, for example). Also, a unit’s injuries may reduce its current combat strength.
Multiple Units in Combat
Units receive a “flanking” attack bonus of 15% for each unit adjacent to the target unit. Some promotions and social policies give an attacking unit additional bonuses beyond the basic flanking bonus. These bonuses can be incredibly powerful when enough units are involved.
When one of your units is active, hover the cursor over an enemy unit to bring up the “Combat Information Table” and learn the probable outcome of any battle between the two units.
This table shows your unit’s modified combat strength on the left and
your enemy’s on the right. The box at the center top of the screen tells you the likely outcome of the battle, and the bars in the center of the box tell you how much damage each side will take if combat occurs.
Initiating Melee Combat
The attacking unit initiates the melee by attempting to move into the enemy’s hex. The attacker cannot engage in melee unless it can enter the defender’s hex. (In other words, a Spearman cannot engage in melee combat against a Trireme since it can’t enter that space except when embarked.)
To order an active unit to attack, right-click on the target. The active unit will initiate the combat.
Melee Combat Results
At the end of melee combat, one or both units may have sustained damage and lost “hit points.” If a unit’s hit points are reduced to 0, that unit is destroyed. If after melee combat the defending unit has been destroyed and the attacker survives, the attacking unit moves into the defender’s hex, capturing any non-military units in that hex.
If the defending unit survives,it retains possession of its hex and any other units in the hex. Most units use up all of their movement when attacking. Some however have the ability to move after combat – if they survive the battle and have movement points left to expend.
Any surviving units involved in the combat will receive “experience points” (XPs), which may be expended to give the unit promotions.
Some units like Archers and Catapults and Triremes engage in Ranged Combat (that is, they shoot missiles at enemy units) when attacking rather than engaging in melee combat. Such units have two distinct advantages over melee units: first, they can attack enemy units that are not adjacent to them, and second, they do not take damage when they attack.
Ranged Combat Strength
Any unit that can engage in ranged combat has a Ranged Combat Strength statistic. This number is compared with the target’s Combat Strength to determine the results of the attack.
To see the potential effects of a ranged attack, with the attacking unit active hover the cursor over the potential target. The “Combat Information Table” will appear, showing you the losses (if any) the target will take from a ranged attack by the active unit.
The unit’s “Range” stat determines the distance at which a unit can launch a ranged attack. A range of “2” means that the target can be in an adjacent tile or one tile distant. A range of “1” would mean that the target had to be adjacent to the attacker.
Line of Sight
Generally, a ranged unit must be able to “see” its target in order to be able to fire at it (although see the “Indirect Fire” promotion). A unit cannot see a target if a blocking object is between the two – a mountain or hill, for example, or a forest tile.
A unit can always see into a tile, even if it contains blocking terrain, but it cannot see objects in tiles past the blocking terrain. Note that units on hills and flying units can often see over blocking terrain.
Initiating Ranged Combat
With the ranged unit active, right-click on the target, and the attack will commence.
Ranged Combat Results
At the end of ranged combat, the target unit may have sustained no damage, some damage, or it may have been destroyed. Remember that the attacking unit will never suffer any damage during ranged combat (except possibly for air units).
If the target is destroyed, the attacking unit does not automatically enter the now-vacant tile (which is what usually happens during melee combat), but you may of course send another unit into the empty space if you’ve got one with the movement points available.
The attacking and defending units may receive “experience points” (XPs) as a result of the combat.
Units receive a variety of benefits during combat, some from the unit’s location, others from its defensive posture, and others from a variety of special circumstances. Some bonuses apply only to an attacking unit, some only to a defending unit, and some might apply to both.
The most common bonuses come from the terrain the unit occupies, and whether the defending unit is “fortified.”
Defending units get important bonuses for occupying forest, jungle, or hill tiles. Attacking melee units are penalized if they attack an enemy across a river. Attacking units get bonuses when attacking from a hill.
Once a civilization has acquired the Engineering technology, workers can construct “forts” in friendly or neutral territory. Forts provide a hefty defensive bonus to units occupying them. Forts cannot be constructed in enemy territory.
If a unit enters a fort in enemy territory, the fort is destroyed. Forts can be constructed atop resources.
Many units have the ability to “fortify.” This means that the unit “digs in” and creates defensive works in its current location. This gives the unit certain defensive bonuses, making it much tougher to kill. However, fortifications are strictly defensive: if the unit moves or attacks, the fortifications are destroyed.
While fortified, a unit will not activate. It will remain inactive until you manually activate it by clicking on the unit.
Which Units Can Fortify
Most melee and ranged units can fortify. Non-military, mounted, naval, armored, and air units cannot fortify. These latter units can “Sleep,” which means that they will remain inactive until attacked or you manually activate them, but they do not receive the defensive bonus.
The amount of the bonus depends upon the length of time the unit has been fortified. The unit receives a 25% defensive bonus on the first turn it is fortified and a 50% bonus during all subsequent turns.
The “Alert” Order The “alert” order is similar to “fortify,” except that the unit will “wake up” when it sees a nearby enemy unit. The wakened unit retains the fortification bonus as long as it doesn’t move or attack (so if you order it to go into alert mode again or to pass its turn it keeps the bonus).
Like land units, there are military and non-military naval units. Work Boats and any “Embarked” Land Units are non-military units, and they are automatically captured and held for ransom when attacked by barbarians and destroyed when attacked by other civilizations or city-states.
All military naval units are ranged combat units. They may attack other naval units and any land units within range that they can see. Naval combat is resolved like normal ranged combat. There are however certain late-era naval units that merit special attention: the Carrier, Missile Cruiser and the Submarines.
They are discussed later, in the Air Combat section. City Combat Cities are big, important targets, and if fortified and defended by other units, can be quite difficult to capture. However, doing so can reap rich rewards – in fact, the only way to knock another civilization out of the game is to capture or destroy all of its cities. Do this to enough opponents and you can win a mighty domination victory.
City Combat Stats
City Combat Strength
Cities have Combat Strength, just like units. The city’s Combat Strength is based upon the city’s size, its location (cities on hills are tougher), and whether its owner has constructed walls or other defensive works in the city.
The city’s Strength represents its Combat Strength and Ranged Combat Strength.
During the combat the city’s hit points may decline due to enemy attacks, but its Combat and Ranged, Combat strengths remain equal to its initial Strength — no matter how much damage the city has taken.
City Hit Points
A fully-healthy city has 20 hit points. As it takes damage, the city’s hit points are reduced. If a city’s hit points reach 0, an enemy unit can capture the city by entering its tile.
Attacking Cities with Ranged Units
To target a city with a ranged unit, move the unit so that the city falls within the unit’s range and then right-click on the city. Depending upon the power behind the attack, the city’s hit points may be reduced by the attack. (The attacking unit is not damaged, of course.)
Note that a ranged attack cannot drop a city below 1 HP: the city must be captured by a melee unit.
Attacking Cities with Melee Combat
When a unit engages in melee combat with a city, the city may take damage to its hit points, and the melee unit may suffer damage as well. No matter how few hit points the city has remaining, it always defends itself at its full combat strength.
Garrison Units in Cities
A city’s owner may “garrison” a military unit inside the city to bolster its defenses. A portion of the garrisoned unit’s combat strength is added to the city’s strength. The garrisoned unit will take no damage when the city is attacked; however, if the city is captured the garrisoned unit is destroyed.
A unit stationed in the city may attack surrounding enemy units, but if it does so the city loses its garrison bonus, and, if it’s a melee attack, the unit may take damage during the combat as normal.
Cities Firing at Attackers
A city has a Ranged Combat Strength equal to its full Strength at the start of combat, and it has a range of 2. It may attack any one enemy unit within that range. Note that the city’s Ranged Combat Strength doesn’t decline as the city takes damage; it remains equal to the city’s initial Strength until the city is captured.
Healing Damage to Cities
A city heals one point of damage every turn, even during combat. Therefore to capture a city the attacker must do more than one point of damage per turn (and usually a lot more than that).
When a city’s hit points reach “0”, an enemy unit may enter the city, regardless of any units already inside. When this occurs, the city is captured. The attacker usually has the option of destroying the city, making it a “puppet,” or adding the city to his empire. Whichever he chooses to do, the civilization which loses the city has taken a huge blow.
Special City Capture Rules
Naval units, missiles and helicopters cannot capture a city – although they certainly can soften one up a good deal before the ground unit strolls right in. (And remember that ranged units cannot capture cities either.)
Certain ranged weapons are classified as “siege weapons” – Catapults, Ballista, Trebuchet, and so forth. These units get combat bonuses when attacking enemy cities. They are extremely vulnerable to melee combat, and should be accompanied by melee units to fend off enemy assault.
Most siege weapons have to be disassembled to move around the map. When they have reached their destination, they must expend a movement point to “set up.” They cannot attack until they have done so. Siege weapons are important. It’s really difficult to capture a well-defended city without them.
Great Generals are “Great People” skilled in the art of warfare. They provide combat bonuses– offensive and defensive bonuses both — to any friendly units within one tile of their location.
A Great General itself is a non-combat unit, so it may be stacked with a combat unit for protection. If an enemy unit ever enters the tile containing a Great General, the General is destroyed.
A Great General gives a combat bonus of 25% to units in the General’s tile and all friendly units within 2 tiles of the General. Great Generals are created when your units have been in battle and can also be acquired when you unlock the “Warrior Code” social policy.
A fully healthy unit has 10 “hit points” (HPs). When a unit takes damage during combat it loses HPs, and if it reaches 0 HPs, it is destroyed.
A unit that has taken damage is weaker than a healthy unit, and it is closer to destruction.
Wherever possible, it’s a good idea to “rotate out” damaged units from battle to allow them to heal up before reentering the fray. This, of course, is not always possible.
Effects of Damage
A damaged unit is less effective when attacking than a fully-healed unit. The more damaged the unit, the less its attack – melee or ranged – will damage an opponent. The actual formula is more complex than this, but as a general rule a unit’s damage output is reduced by half the percentage of HPs that it has lost.
In other words, a unit that has lost 5 HPs (50%) has the amount of damage it does reduced by 25%, and the damage a unit that has lost 9 HPs (90%) inflicts, is reduced by 45%.
To heal damage, a unit must remain inactive for a turn. The amount of damage that a unit heals depends upon the unit’s location.
- In a City: A unit heals 3 HPs per turn.
- In Friendly Territory: 2 HPs per turn.
- In Neutral or Enemy Territory: 1 HP per turn.
Note that certain promotions will accelerate a unit’s healing rate.
Naval Units Healing Damage
Naval units cannot heal unless in Friendly territory, where they heal 2 HPs per turn. The “Fortify Until Healed” Button If a unit is damaged, the “Fortify Until Healed” button appears in its Action buttons. If you click on this button, the unit will fortify and remain in its present location until it is fully healed.
Experience Points and Promotions
A unit that survives combat will gain “experience points” (XPs). Once the unit has acquired enough XPs, you may expend them to acquire “Promotions” for that unit. There are a large variety of promotions in Civilization V. Each gives a unit special advantages in battle.
Acquiring XPs Through Combat
A unit gains XPs for surviving a round of combat. The unit doesn’t have to win the combat or destroy the enemy to get the experience; it accrues each round that the unit lives through.
The amount of XPs the unit gets depends upon the circumstances of the combat. Generally, units get more XPs for attacking than defending, and more for engaging in melee combat than for other types. Here are some numbers.
- An Attacking Melee Unit: 5 XPs
- Defending Against a Melee Attack: 4 XPs
- An Attacking Ranged Unit: 2 XPs
- Being Attacked by a Ranged Unit: 2 XPs
- Barbarian Limitations: Once a unit has gotten 30 XPs, it no longer gets any additional XPs for fighting Barbarians.
Other Methods of Getting XPs
A unit constructed in a city containing a Barracks or other military building will begin its life with XPs, the number depending upon the specific building. (Barracks and Armories each provide 15 XPs.) Also, certain social policies and other special effects may also provide XPs to units.
When a unit has acquired enough XPs to purchase a promotion, the “Promote Unit” button will flash every time the unit is active. If you click on that button, a list of the promotions available to the unit is displayed. Click on a promotion to choose it. The XPs are expended and the unit acquires the promotion immediately.
There are dozens of promotions available in Civilization V. Some are available to all units, while others can be acquired only by certain unit types. Some promotions require that a unit have acquired other promotions before they become available.
If a promotion is available to a unit, it will be listed when you click on the “Promote Unit” button. You can check Civilization V Unit and Promotions Guide for full details on unit promotions.
Barbarians and Ruins
During the early portion of the game – say, the first 25 – 50 turns – much of your energy should be involved in exploring the world. During your exploration you will be encountering ancient ruins and barbarians. Ancient ruins are good, barbarians are not.
Ancient Ruins are the remnants of even earlier civilizations which rose and fell long before you came on the scene. Ruins provide a random benefit to the civilization of the unit that first enters their tile. The ruin is destroyed when it is entered.
Ruins are cool. Find as many as you can before other civilizations get to them.
- Free Technology-The ruin provides your civilization with a free technology.
- Map-The ruin provides a map of the surrounding area (lifting the fog of war from a number of tiles).
- Weapons Upgrade-The unit which enters the tile is upgraded to a more advanced unit (a warrior might become a spearman, for example).
- Survivors-The ruin contains survivors from the earlier civilization. They move to one of your cities, increasing its population by one.
- Treasure-The ruin provides gold to your civilization.
- Culture-The ruin provides culture to your civilization.
- Settlers and Workers-On easier difficulty levels, you can also receive free Settlers and Workers from ruins.
Barbarians are roving bands of villains who hate civilization and everything that goes with it. They attack your units and cities and pillage your improvements. They’re just not very nice at all.
As your civilization grows the barbarians become much less menacing, but early in the game they can be a huge problem.
Barbarians come from “encampments”, which may appear randomly
in any tile that cannot be seen by a unit. Every few turns the encampment will create another barbarian unit which will make a beeline for the nearest civilization and start causing trouble.
The only way to stop this is to find the encampment and destroy it. Encampments are usually guarded by at least one unit, so they’re not pushovers.
Reward for Destroying an Encampment
A civilization will earn a gold reward for dispersing a barbarian encampment — in addition to the benefit of stopping it from spawning more barbarian units, which of course is the primary reward.
Barbarian encampments may spring up in any neutral space which cannot be seen by a civilization’s city or unit. If you want to keep barbarian encampments from popping up around your civilization, expand your borders and place units on hills to keep as much terrain in sight as possible.
Barbarian encampments can create almost any kind of unit in the game – from Warriors and Spearmen to Cannon and Tanks. (They can build units equal to those that the most advanced civilization can create.)
Once created the barbarian units will either hang around their encampment or head off toward the nearest civilization or city-state and try to cause trouble. They’ll attack units, destroy improvements and menace cities. If enough are involved, they can take down a poorly-defended city, which is then thoroughly pillaged.
A pillaged city may lose gold, buildings and population. This is why it’s important to periodically sweep the countryside around your civilization, destroying encampments before they become a threat.
Barbarian Naval Units
Barbarian encampments on the coastline can create naval units (again, equal to those that can be created by the civilization with the most advanced tech). These units will menace your coastline, destroy naval improvements and attack hapless land units which stray too near the coastline.
It’s important to maintain a navy to keep them off your back, but the best way to stop these attacks is to destroy the coastal encampments nearby.
Warning: If a barbarian ship comes across an embarked unit, it will destroy it.
If a barbarian unit comes upon a non-combat unit – Settler or Worker – the barbarians capture that unit. They will take it off to their nearest encampment, and the unit may be recovered by any player in the game.
Should one of your civilians be captured in this manner, be sure to pursue and retrieve them before somebody else does.
Experience Points Limitations
When they fight barbarian units, your less well-trained units will gain experience points. However, any unit that has already acquired 30 XPs (or has exchanged that many for promotions) no longer gains XPs from fighting barbarians.
The End of Barbarians
Barbarians can remain in the game right up until the end. However, as more land is acquired there will be less available for the barbarian encampments to spawn in. If the entire world is civilized, the barbarians will be gone.
Cities are vital to your civilization’s success. They build units, buildings and wonders. They allow you to research new technologies and gather wealth. You cannot win without powerful, well-situated cities.
How to Build Cities
Cities are constructed by Settler units. If the Settler is in a location where a city can be constructed, the “Found City” action button will appear. Click on the button and the Settler will disappear, to be replaced by the new city.
Where to Construct Cities
Cities should be constructed in locations with plenty of food and production and with access to resources. It’s often a good idea to build a city on a river or coastal hex.
Cities constructed on hills gain a defensive bonus, making it harder for enemies to capture them.
The City Banner
The city banner appears on the Main Map. It provides a useful snapshot of the goings-on in the city.
The City Screen
Click on a city’s banner to reach the city screen. The city-screen allows you to “fine tune” your control over each city. It contains the following elements:
Your Citizens at Work
The center of the City Screen displays the map around your city. Your city’s borders are displayed, and you can see which tiles your citizens are “working” (the tiles with the green citizen “coins” in them). Tiles that they could work are shown as black “coins”. “Locking” a Citizen to a Tile. You can order a citizen to work a specific (unworked) tile by clicking on that tile.
If an unemployed citizen is available, that citizen will go to work that tile. If not, the city will choose a citizen from another tile to work the tile. The coin will turn green and have a lock symbol on it. This notes that the city will always work that tile, until you order it to cease by clicking on it again.
Removing a Citizen from Work
If you click on a tile that is being worked (it has a green coin, either displaying a person or a lock), the citizen will cease to work that tile and become “Unemployed”, appearing in the Unemployed Citizen List.
You can then order that citizen to become a specialist in a building. You can click on an unemployed citizen in the list and he will return to work a tile on the map (if one is available to be worked).
This panel shows how much food, production, gold, science and culture the city is producing. It also shows how many turns until the city’s border increases and how many until the city’s population grows. Hover your cursor over an entry to get more details about it.
Civilization Output Summary
This line of data also appears on the Main Map. It shows:
- How much science your civilization is earning each turn from this city.
- How much gold your civilization possesses and how much it is earning.
- Your civilization’s happiness and your progress toward the next Golden Age.
- Your civilization’s culture, and how much is needed to acquire another social policy.
- Your civilization’s strategic resources.
The city banner displays the city’s name; the city’s Combat Strength is displayed under the name. Note the arrows on the left and right edges of the banner. Click on these to close this city’s City Screen and move to another. You can rotate through all of your cities in the game using these arrows.
Beneath the city banner is displayed any resources the city demands to go into We Love the King Day.
City Allocation Focus
Click on the “+” next to “City Allocation Focus” to open this panel; click on the “-” to close it. This panel allows you to determine what, if anything, the city will concentrate its population on producing. These are the choices:
- Default Focus: The city allocates its citizens to produce a balanced amount of food, culture, science, gold, and so forth.
- Food Focus: The city concentrates on acquiring food, which means it will grow faster.
- Production Focus: The city concentrates on production, so that it will produce units, buildings and Wonders more rapidly.
“Avoid Growth” is useful if your civilization faces mounting unhappiness from population pressure.
Note that this will not override any “locked” tile you’ve set. If you want the city to take over control of that population, you’ll have to unlock the tile by clicking on it.
This section is visible only if you have any unemployed citizens. Click on the “+” next to “Unemployed Citizens” to open this panel; click on the “-” to close it. Citizens in this list are neither specialists nor are they working the land around their cities: they’re unemployed. An unemployed citizen produces just 1 production per turn, while still consuming the same amount of food as all other citizens.
Click on an unemployed citizen and he will go to work any available tile outside of the city. Or you can click on an open Specialist slot in a building: the unemployed citizen will go to work as a Specialist in the building.
This panel displays any Wonders the city has produced. Hover the cursor over a Wonder to learn more about it. Read Civilization V Wonders Guide for more information.
Click on the “+” next to “Buildings” to open this panel; click on the “-” to close it. This panel displays the buildings the city has produced. Again, hover your cursor over a building to get more details on it.
If the building has Specialist slots, you can click on an open slot to order a citizen to become a specialist in that building. If a building has specialists, click on them to remove them from the building. They’ll go to either the Unemployed Citizens display or to an available tile to work.
Buy a Tile
This allows you to buy a tile when you can afford it. Click on this button and it will show you how much the next tile will cost. (Remember that the price goes up for each tile you purchase.)
At the same time, the tiles available for purchase will have symbols appear on them and the cursor will change to a “purchase tile” cursor. Click on an available tile to purchase it, or click on “Cancel” to stop purchasing tiles.
Return to Map
This button closes the City Screen and returns you to the Main Map.
The Production Menu
This shows the item (unit, building, Wonder or project) currently under production as well as its game effects/stats and the number of turns required to complete construction. Click on “Change Production” to order the city to halt production on the current item and switch to another.
Click on “Purchase” to order the city to purchase an item. The Purchase Menu will appear; click on an item to purchase it. Note that the city isn’t purchasing the item it is presently working on; after the purchase the city will continue to construct the item (unless unable to do so).
So for example, if a city is working on an archer and has 4 turns left and you purchase an archer, you’ll get the purchased archer immediately, and the one that’s under construction 4 turns later – unless of course you change production after purchasing the first archer.
Units in Cities
Only one combat unit may occupy a city at a time. That military unit is said to “Garrison” the city, and it adds a significant defensive bonus to the city. Additional combat units may move through the city, but they cannot end their turn there. (So if you build a combat unit in a city with a garrison, you have to move one of the two units out before you end your turn. )
Only one non-combat unit (Worker, Settler, or Great Person) may occupy a city at a time. Others can move through, but they cannot end their move in the city. Thus, a city may have at most two units in it at the end of a turn: one combat unit and one non-combat unit.
Construction in Cities
You may construct buildings, wonders, or units in a city. Only one can be constructed at a time. When construction is complete the “Choose Production” alert message will appear; click on this to access the “City Build Menu” and choose the next item to construct.
The City Build Menu
The City Build Menu displays all of the units, buildings and wonders that you can construct in that city at that time. As your technology increases new items will appear and obsolete items will disappear. Each entry tells you how many turns it will take until construction is complete.
If an entry is grayed-out, then you are currently unable to construct the item. Roll your cursor over the entry to see what you’re missing.
If you wish to change what a city is constructing, you may do so on the City Screen. The production already expended on the original item is not applied to the new item; however,it remains “on the books” for a while and if you later order that city to resume construction on the original item, it may get the benefit of some or all of the earlier production. The longer the delay, the more production is lost.
You can build any number of units in a city (as long as you have the required resources and the unit hasn’t become obsolete). Since you can only have one combat and one non-combat unit in a city, you may have to move the newly-constructed unit out of the city immediately after it’s built.
Only one building of each kind may be constructed in a city: you cannot have duplicate buildings in the same city. Once you’ve constructed a building, that building will disappear from that city’s City Build Menu. (You can still build the same building in another city, of course.)
There are two kinds of Wonders in the game: National Wonders and World Wonders. Each civilization may construct a single copy of a National Wonder (in other words, each civ may build one National Epic, but no civilization may build two).
Only one of each World Wonder may be constructed anywhere in the world: once one civilization has constructed one, no other civilization may do so. Wonders will disappear from the City Build Menu once you can no longer construct them.
If another civilization completes construction of a World Wonder while you are building it, you will receive a gold bonus to compensate you for your efforts, and you’ll have to begin construction on something else.
Working the Land
Cities thrive based upon the land around them. Their citizens “work” the land, harvesting food, wealth, production and science from the tiles. Citizens can work tiles that are within two tiles’ distance from the city and that are within your civilization’s borders.
Only one city can work a single tile even if it’s within two tiles’ distance from more than one.
Assigning Citizens to Work the Land
As your city grows, it automatically assigns its citizens to work the lands around it. It seeks to provide a balanced amount of food, production and wealth. You may order a city’s citizens to work other tiles – for example, if you want a certain city to concentrate on generating wealth or production.
Improving the Land
While certain tiles naturally provide good amounts of food, wealth, and so forth, many can be “improved” to provide even more, thus increasing a city’s growth, wealth, productivity, or science. You need to build “Workers” to improve the lands. Once you have a Worker, you can order it to construct improvements – such as farms, mines, schools and so forth – that will make the land around your cities far more productive.
When a city is first created, all of its citizens (population) will work the tiles around the city, generating food, production, gold, etc. Later on, you can construct certain buildings which allow you to reassign some of the citizens to work in the building as specialists.
For example, the Library has 2 “slots” for “scientist” specialists. Once you’ve constructed a Library in a city, you can assign 1 or 2 citizens to work in that Library as scientists. (Note that not all buildings create specialists; see the Buildings section in the Civilopedia.)
There are four different classes of specialists. The type a citizen becomes depends upon the type of building he is assigned to work in.
An artist specialist produces culture and generates points toward a Great Artist (see “Great Artist” on page 100). Artists are assigned to culture-related buildings like Temples and Museums.
An engineer specialist produces production (hammers) and generates points toward a Great Engineer. Engineers are assigned to production-related buildings like Workshops and Factories.
A merchant specialist produces gold and generates points toward a Great Merchant. Merchants are assigned to wealth-related buildings like Markets and Banks.
A scientist specialist generates science (beakers) and generates points toward a Great Scientist. Scientists are assigned to science-related buildings like Libraries and Universities.
To assign a specialist, go to the City Screen. Click on the “specialist slot” in the building where you want to assign the specialist. A citizen will be removed from working a tile and assigned to work in the building. If you click on the slot again, the citizen will be removed from the building and reassigned to work in the fields.
Effects of Assigning Specialists Upon City Output
Remember that a citizen working in a tile is generating something for the city – it may be food, production, gold, culture, or science. Once that citizen is assigned as a specialist, he or she will not be working the tile, and whatever he or she was producing will be lost.
Therefore it’s a good idea to check your city’s food, gold and production generation after creating specialists.
If a Citizen is not assigned to work in the fields and is not a specialist, that Citizen is “unemployed.” It still provides 1 production to the city.
Cities may be attacked and captured by enemy units. Each city has a “Combat Strength” stat which is determined by the city’s location, its size, whether any military units are “garrisoned” in that city, and whether defensive buildings such as walls have been constructed in the city. The higher the city’s defensive value, the harder it is to capture the city.
Unless the city is extremely weak or the attacking unit is extremely strong, it will take multiple units multiple turns to capture a city.
Attacking a City
To attack an enemy city, order your melee unit to enter the city’s hex. A round of combat will ensue, and both the unit and the city may take damage. If your unit’s hit points are reduced to zero, it is destroyed. If the city’s hit points are reduced to zero, your unit captures the city.
Attacking with Ranged Units
Although you can attack a city and wear it down with ranged units, you cannot capture the city with a ranged unit; you must move a melee unit into the city to take it. Similarly, water and air units cannot capture a city, though they can wear its defenses down to nothing.
Defending a City
There are a number of things you can do to improve a city’s defenses. You may “garrison” a strong unit in the city. A melee unit will greatly increase the city’s defensive strength, while a ranged unit will fire at nearby enemy units.
You may also construct Walls and Castles that will improve the city’s strength.
A city on a hill gets a defensive bonus as well. No matter how powerful a city is, however, it is very important to have units outside the city supporting it, to injure the attacking units and to stop them from surrounding the city and getting huge flanking bonuses against it.
Conquering a City
When your unit enters an enemy city, you have three choices: you can destroy the city, you can annex it and make it part of your empire, or you can make it into a puppet state. Each has its own benefits and costs.
Destroying the City
If you destroy the city, it’s gone. For good. All of its buildings, wonders, and citizens are no more. We hope you’re proud of yourself, you big bully! While there are some good reasons for destroying a city, mostly to do with your population’s happiness (see below), this extreme behavior does have significant diplomatic consequences – i.e., other civilizations and city-states may be less likely to ally with you if they think you’re a bloodthirsty maniac.
You can destroy the city immediately upon capturing it or at any point after that.
Indestructible Cities-You can’t destroy a city that you founded. (Some other civilization can, but not you.) Also, you cannot destroy a city-state or another civilization’s capital city.
Annexing the City
If you annex the city, you make it a part of your empire. You have total control over the city, just as if you had constructed the city yourself. The one downside to annexation is that doing so makes your citizens very unhappy, and you will be required to construct happiness-related buildings like courthouses and coliseums or connect up to luxury resources to counteract their extreme displeasure.
Annexing too many cities too rapidly can bring your empire to a
Making the City a Puppet
If you make the conquered city a puppet, you gain the benefit of the city’s research and its output of wealth, while taking a much smaller hit to your citizens’ happiness.
However, you do not control the city’s production. It makes the buildings it chooses and it creates no new units or wonders at all. Thus you’ll have to provide the military force for its defense, and if you want to make the city more efficient, you’ll have to order your civilization’s Workers to improve its land.
You can annex a puppet city at any time. To do so, click on the city’s banner.
A city is more than a bunch of homes. It contains schools and libraries, markets and granaries, banks and barracks. Buildings represent the improvements and upgrades that you make in a city. Buildings can increase the city’s rate of growth, can speed production, can increase the science of a city, can improve its defenses, and can do lots of other good things as well. Read Civilization V Buildings Guide for more information on the subject.
A city that has no buildings is pretty weak and primitive and will probably remain fairly small, while a city with a lot of buildings can indeed grow to dominate the world.
How to Construct Buildings
When a city is ready to construct something, the city’s “Production Menu” will appear. If a building is available to be constructed, it will appear on this menu. Click on the building to order the city to begin construction.
Changing Construction and Purchasing Buildings
You can change a city’s construction orders on the City Screen. You can expend gold to purchase a building on this screen as well.
With the single exception of the monument, which has no prerequisites and is available to build at the start of the game, you need knowledge of a specific technology to construct any building. For example, you must learn bronze working before you can build a barracks.
Some buildings have resource prerequisites as well – for instance a city must have an improved source of horses or ivory nearby to construct a circus. Also, some buildings have building prerequisites. You can’t build a temple in a city unless you’ve already constructed a monument there.
Specialists and Buildings
Certain buildings allow you to create “specialists” out of your citizens to work those buildings. Specialists improve the output of the building, and they also increase the city’s output of Great People.
There’s one downside to buildings: most of them cost gold to maintain. The price depends upon the building in question, and can range from 1 to 10 per turn. The gold is deducted from your treasury each turn.
The palace is a special building. Part building, part Wonder, the palace automatically appears in the first city you build, which makes that city the capital of your empire. If your capital city is captured, your palace will automatically be rebuilt in another city, making that city your new capital.
If you subsequently retake your original capital, the palace will move back to its original location. The palace provides a small amount of production, science, gold, and culture to your civilization. If you connect other cities to the capital by road or harbor, you will create trade routes which generate additional income.
If a city is captured, its World Wonders are captured as well. A city’s National Wonders are destroyed when the city is captured. The city’s culture and military buildings (temples, barracks, etc.) are always destroyed when the city is taken. All other buildings have a 66% chance of being captured intact.
Food and City Growth
Plentiful food is the single most important factor determining the rise of human civilization. While humans had to spend virtually every waking moment hunting and gathering food for themselves and their families or tribe, they had little time or energy for other pursuits – making cave paintings, for instance, creating a written language, or discovering muons.
Once surplus food is available, all else is possible.
Cities and Food
A city requires 2 food per citizen (another term for “population”) per turn to avoid starvation. A city acquires food (as well as production and gold) by assigning its citizens to “work” the land around the city. The city can work any tile within two spaces of the city that is also within the civilization’s borders, provided as well that it is not being worked by another city.
Left to its own devices, the city will assign as many citizens as needed to acquire its food. If not enough is available, the city will starve, losing citizens until it can support itself.
Manually Assigning Citizens to Work the Land
You can manually assign a city’s citizens to work specific tiles, for example, demanding that the city concentrate its efforts on growth or on production or gold.
Getting More Food
Certain tiles provide more food than others, and cities near to one or more of these tiles will grow faster. In addition, workers can “improve” many tiles with farms, increasing their output of food.
Best Food Tiles
Tiles with “bonus” resources provide a lot of food once a worker constructs the appropriate improvement on the resource. These include bananas, cattle, deer, fish, and wheat. Read Civilization V Resources Guide for more information on the subject.
Oases provide a lot of food, particularly when compared with the desert in which they’re usually found.
Flood plains provide a lot of food too.
Grassland and Jungle
These tiles also provide a good amount of food.
Workers can construct farms on most tiles to improve their food output. Buildings, Wonders and Social Policies Certain buildings, wonders and social policies will affect the amount of food a city produces or how much it needs in its “bucket” to grow.
If you befriend a maritime city-state, it will provide food to all of your cites, with your capital getting the largest portion of the food.
We Love the King Day
If a city goes into “We Love the King Day” its surplus food input
increases by 25%. (If no surplus, no benefit.)
If your civilization is unhappy, then the city will produce less food. The city will produce enough food to feed its citizens, but the amount of excess food it produces is decreased by 67%.
Each turn, a city’s citizens gather a certain amount of food from the land around it and from various other sources as described above. The city’s citizens have first call on that food, and they consume 2 food for each population point (so a city of population 7 consumes 14 food each turn).
Any food left over is put into the poetically-named “City Growth Bucket.”
The City Growth “Bucket” The city growth bucket contains all of the excess food produced by a city each turn. When the quantity of food reaches a specific amount, the city’s population (citizens) will increase by 1; then the city growth bucket is emptied and the process begins all over again.
The amount of food needed for population growth increases significantly as the city gets bigger. The City Info Box in the upper left-hand corner of the City Screen tells you how many turns until the city grows; and the “Food” entry in that box tells you how much food the city is currently producing each turn. Hover your cursor over the “Food” entry to see exactly how much food you need to fill the City Growth Bucket.
Settlers and Food Production
Settlers can only be constructed in cities of size 2 or larger. During construction, Settlers consume a city’s production and all of the city’s excess food intake. As long as the Settler is in production, the city will not grow or add food to its growth bucket.
Note that Settlers don’t subtract food from the bucket; they consume excess food being produced, stopping more food from going into that bucket.
Culture is a measurement of your civilization’s commitment to and appreciation of the arts and humanities – everything from cave paintings and Tiki heads to “Hamlet,” or Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony to Lady Gaga’s latest video.
In the game culture has two main effects: it increases the size of your cities’ territories (and therefore your overall borders) and it allows you
to purchase new “Social Policies.” Most importantly, if you acquire enough culture you can win a “cultural victory.”
Your civilization acquires culture in a variety of ways:
- Your Palace: Your palace (created when you build your first city) produces 2 culture points per turn.
- Ancient Ruins: An ancient ruin might give you a big dose of culture.
- Buildings: Certain buildings provide culture. The monument and temple are two early examples.
- Specialists: Specialists, particularly artists, generate culture.
- Wonders: Some wonders churn out culture. The Hermitage, Heroic Epic and National Epics are three national wonders that give you culture, and there are plenty more to discover.
- Social Policies: Certain social policies will increase your culture output. The “Patronage” branch has a number of policies targeted at culture.
- Great Artist: A Great Artist can construct a “Landmark” improvement in a tile. If your city works that tile, it will gain a lot of culture.
- City-States: Some city-states give you culture if your relations are friendly.
As a city gains culture, it will acquire additional tiles in the surrounding unclaimed territory. The faster it gains culture, the faster its territory will grow. Each city acquires territory depending upon its own cultural output. When it reaches a certain level, it will “claim” a new tile (if any are available).
Check out the City Info Box on the City Screen to see how much culture a city is producing each turn and how long until the city grabs another tile. The amount of culture required to get a new tile increases as the city’s territory grows.
Note that you can also expend gold to “purchase” tiles; this is entirely independent of the city’s own acquisition based upon its culture.
Acquiring Social Policies
You acquire social policies based upon the total amount of culture produced by all of your cities. Check out the Status Bar at the top of the Main Screen to see how much total culture your civilization has accumulated, how much culture the civilization is producing each turn, and how much is required before getting a new social policy.
When you have accumulated enough culture, you can go to the Social Policies Screen and buy a new policy. (See “Social Policies” on page 93 for details.) Each time you purchase a new social policy the price of the next one increases.
Remember that you can achieve victory by acquiring enough social policies and then constructing the “Utopia Project.
Technology is one of the driving forces behind civilization. It was advances in the technologies of agriculture and fishing that allowed cities to grow and thrive. It was advances in weaponry and masonry that allowed some cities to drive off the jealous barbarians who sought to steal their food and plunder their wealth.
It was advances in medicine and sanitation that fought off the other great threat to civilization – disease. Advancing technology makes a civilization stronger, bigger, smarter, and a much tougher opponent. It is critically important for a civilization to keep up technologically with its neighbors.
Everything else being more or less equal, it is possible for a backwards civilization to overcome a more advanced neighbor, but it’s pretty difficult to think of many examples of such occurring in history.
Technology and Beakers
In Civilization V, each technology you acquire gives your civilization access to some advanced unit, building, resource or wonder, or gives you some other tangible benefit. Each new tech makes your civilization that much more powerful.
You acquire technology by accumulating “beakers,” which represent the amount of science your civilization possesses. Every turn your civilization gets a number of beakers added to its science pool. Each technology costs a certain number of beakers to learn; when you’ve accumulated enough beakers, you acquire the technology.
When you get the new tech your beaker pool is depleted and you start accumulating all over again, saving up for the next tech.
Where Do Beakers Come From?
Beakers come from your citizens (the population of your cities). Each turn you get a base number of beakers equal to the combined population of all of your cities. The larger your cities, the more beakers you generate.
In addition to the beakers generated by your base population, you get 3 beakers from your palace. (Once you build your first city you’ll generate 4 beakers each turn: 1 from your single citizen and 3 from the palace). You can earn additional beakers by constructing certain buildings or wonders, and by adopting certain social policies.
Increasing Beakers (and Speeding Up Research)
Here are some ways you can speed up your research (or your acquisition of technology).
Some ancient ruins will give you new technology. This is not guaranteed, but it’s another good reason to search them out and claim them before anybody else does.
You can enter into “Research Agreements” with other civilizations once you have learned the Writing technology. Under such agreements, each civilization pays 150 gold and in return gets a 15% boost to its research for the duration of the agreement.
You can construct a number of buildings which will increase your acquisition of beakers. The Library increases each citizen’s output of beakers by half and it allows two scientist specialists to be assigned . The University will do much
A number of wonders will greatly enhance your civilization’s technology. The National College national wonder will increase your civilization’s beaker output by 50%. The Great Library immediately grants your civilization one new technology. Read Civilization V Wonders Guide to learn more about the subject.
A Great Scientist can earn you an immediate free tech, or the unit can be expended to construct an Academy improvement, which provides 5 beakers/turn when the tile is worked.
The Rationalism Branch of Social Policies
The Rationalism branch of social policies is full of policies which can increase your research. This branch becomes available in the Renaissance era.
Choosing a Technology to Study
When you have constructed your first city, the “Choose Research” menu appears and you must select which technology you wish to study. Eventually you’ll acquire enough beakers and you’ll learn that tech, and the “Choose Research” menu will reappear and you’ll have to decide on the next tech.
There are over 70 techs to study, and if you get them all you can start on “Future Techs” which increase your game score.
The Choose Research Menu
When you need to pick a new technology, the Choose Research menu appears on the left edge of the screen. At the top it displays the technology you’ve just finished learning (it displays “Agriculture” the first time it appears). Below that is the “Open Technology Tree” button (more about that later), and beneath that is a list of the technologies available to you at that time.
Each technology displays the number of turns it will take you to get that tech, as well as icons representing the various buildings, improvements, wonders and so forth that the technology allows (or “unlocks”). You can hover your mouse atop an icon or technology to learn even more info about it.
Click on a tech to choose to research that tech. The Choose Research menu will disappear, and a large icon will appear in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, showing you which tech you are currently researching and how long until completion.
You can change which tech you are researching at any time. To do so, click on the tech icon in the upper left hand corner of the screen. The Choose Research menu will reappear, and you can choose any of the techs it lists as available.
You can continue to research the original tech later at the point you stopped; the previous research is not lost.
Which Technologies are Available
At the start of the game, there are just a few technologies available to research – generally animal husbandry, archery, pottery, and mining. All of the other technologies in the game have one or more prerequisite techs that must be learned before they can be studied.
When you’ve learned the prerequisite techs, the newly-available tech will appear on the Choose Research menu. For example, the techs of sailing, calendar, and writing require knowledge of pottery before they can be learned. So if you study pottery, that tech will be removed from the Choose Research menu (because you already know it) and sailing, calendar and writing will be added.
Some technologies require knowledge of 2 or 3 prerequisite technologies, not just one. Those techs will not appear until you’ve learned all of the required techs.
The Mighty Technology Tree
The Tech Tree can be reached from the Choose Research menu, or by pressing the F5 key.
The Technology Victory
Once you have learned enough technology, you can construct a space ship and send a colony off to Alpha Centauri. If you do this before any other civilization achieves any other kind of victory, you win a technology victory.
Read and Understood ? now go on and read Civilization V Beginner’s Guide Part-III.
You can also check our Civilization V Guide Series for complete Civilization V strategy guides.