Civilization IV: Frequently Asked Questions
By Ginger_Ale at 2008-03-24 16:21
Civilization 4: Frequently Asked Questions
Most importantly, welcome to the FAQ! This collection of popular questions and answers has been compiled to become a one-stop reference for both general and specific questions about Civilization 4. We ask that you give this a quick read before you ask a question in the forum, and hopefully in doing so, you will learn something new. If you wish to search this thread, you may do so either by pressing the Search This Thread button in the top right of this thread or by pressing Control + F in your Internet browser. We hope this thread is of use to you in your Civilization 4 experiences.
Note: In questions that have different answers for Civilization 4 and Warlords, or for information specific to one game, we have written them as Civilization 4 and Warlords to stand out.
- Game Setup
- Basic Questions
- City Management
- Empire Management
- Civics and Religion
- Resources and Terrain
- Strategy and Techniques
- Civilization Community
- Changes from Civilization 3
- Technical Support
- Forum Help
Is the game on a CD or a DVD?
Both - however, it's based on your location. For Americans, the game was on 2 CDs, but for Europeans and others, it came on a single DVD.
When was Civilization 4 released?
Civilization 4 was released on October 25th, 2005, although it did not reach most stores until October 26th.
What is Warlords and when was it released?
Warlords is the first expansion pack, and it was released July 24th, 2006. It contains new civilizations, scenarios, units, wonders, and more.
When I enter the second disc labeled Play, I get an error message. Why won't it play?
This is a known problem with the Civilization 4 CDs. Although both discs are used in the installation, only one is needed to play the game. However, due to some sort of error, the disc labeled Play is not actually the disc you want in the CD drive. Disc #1, or Install, is actually the one needed to run the game.
How much size does the game take up?
Civilization 4 takes up about 1.5 gigabytes and Warlords takes up slightly over half a gigabyte.
What are the system requirements for Civ4?
The absolute minimum requirements are: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4 or similar AMD Athalon, 256 MB RAM, 64 MB video card (with Hardware Transform and Lighting), and DirectX 9.0c, which comes with the game. Recommend specifications are 1.8 GHz, 512 MB RAM, and a 128 MB video card (with pixel and vertex shaders).
What are patches? Do I need one?
Patches are modifications made to the game, usually to fix bugs or errors, that are released after the game in response to a newly discovered problem. The most recent, and probably final, patch for Civilization 4 is version 1.61 (v1.61). The most recent (and first) Warlords patch is v2.08. When installing a patch, you only need to get the most recent patch, not all the previous patches as well. You can get the patches here, or in game by selecting Advanced from the main menu, and then Check for Updates.
What were the extra things inside the Special Edition box for Civ4?
The Special Edition of Civilization 4 came with a few extras: a CD of the official Civ4 soundtrack, a fold-out keyboard shortcut chart, a chart with a technology tree, terrain and resource info, and promotion tree, and a spiral bound manual.
Where is my Civilization 4 folder located?
Your files are in two seperate locations. The default files, including artwork, rules, and scenarios that come with the game, are installed to C:/Program Files/Firaxis Games/Sid Meier's Civilization 4/. The other folder for Civ4, located in ../My Documents/My Games/Sid Meier's Civilization 4/, houses all the user's files. These include your screenshots, saves, any mods you have downloaded, maps, scenarios, and new artwork. In short, the latter is where you can change your game, because you should keep the default game files in your Firaxis Games' folder unaltered.
What is my ".ini" file? What does it do?
Your .ini file (or initialization file), named CivilizationIV.ini in your ../My Documents/My Games/Sid Meier's Civilization 4/ folder, is a text document that contains all of personal settings and options for Civ4. If you double click it to open it in Notepad, you will see lines such as "Era = ERA_ANCIENT", explaining that the last turn played was in the Ancient Age, or one like "Alias = Ginger_Ale", indicating your name in-game. The .ini file is also home to more technical settings, most of which can be changed by writing a 0 for no, and 1 for yes. While some of these options, like whether or not to play music, are available in-game, this is where many other options are located.
Do I have to take screenshots manually or can I set the game up to do it automatically?
One cool new feature is the ability to have the game save a screenshot in your ../My Documents/My Games/Sid Meier's Civilization 4/ScreenShots/ folder every time you press PrintScrn (near F12). To set it up, open your .ini file and scroll down to the line that says AllowScreenShots. Make sure this setting is set to 1. Also, you can choose the format of the screenshots from TGA, JPG, or BMP. Then, once you are in-game, just press PrintScrn and it'll save the screenshot automatically. To give a screenshot a custom name, press Shift + PrintScrn.
If you encounter problems during installation, visit our Technical Support forum.
How many leaders and civilizations are there?
In Civilization 4, there are 18 civilizations and 26 leaders (8 of the civilizations have two leaders). Warlords added 6 new civilizations as well as 10 leaders (1 for each of the new civilizations, and 4 additional ones for civilizations in Civilization 4). This makes a total of 24 civilizations and 36 leaders!
How come some civilizations have two leaders and others just have one?
This is just the game was made, unfortunately. The good news is that, with Warlords, 50% of the civilizations have 2 leaders, with the other half just having one.
What are civilization traits?
Traits are characteristics assigned to leaders to make them unique. Each leader is given 2 traits, and each trait gives the leader's civilization some sort of bonus as well as double the build speed of certain city improvements (this is replaced with another various bonus in Warlords). The following is a list of all 11 traits and their benefits:
Agressive: Free Combat I promotion for all melee and gunpowder units and double build speed of barracks and drydocks.What are the different advantages/disadvantages on the difficulty levels?
Creative: +2 culture per city and double build speed of theater, libraries, and colosseums.
Spiritual: No anarchy time when switching civics and double build speed of temples.
Industrious: +50% production when building wonders and double build speed of forges.
Organized: Upkeep of civics reduced 50% and double build speed of lighthouses, factories, and courthouses.
Philosophical: +100% birth rate for Great People and double build speed of universities.
Financial: +1 commerce on tiles with 2 or more commerce.
Expansive: +3 (only +2 in Warlords) health per city, +50% production for workers (only in Warlords), and double build speed of granaries and harbors.
Imperialistic (only available in Warlords): +100% emergence rate of Great Generals and settlers are built 50% faster.
Charismatic (only available in Warlords): +1 happiness in each city, +1 happiness from monuments and broadcast towers, and 25% less XP needed for a promotion
Protective (only available in Warlords): All archery and gunpowder units receive the Drill I and City Garrison I promotions when built and double build speed of walls and castles.
For starters, there are 9 difficulty levels in Civ4. From easiest to hardest, they are Settler, Chieftain, Warlord, Noble, Prince, Monarch, Emperor, Immortal, and Deity. The different benefits that you and the AI receive at the start of the game depend on the difficulty, but they include:
Empire Bonuses: The lower the difficulty level, the more bonus health and happiness your cities start with. Also, benefits from goody huts are dependent on difficulty as well: the lower the difficulty, the better your chances of getting the best possible result.What are the types of maps I can play? How are they different?
Finances: On easier difficulties, civic costs, maintenance costs, and monetary inflation are all lower.
Production Speeds: The AI receives production, research, and growth penalties/bonuses depending on the level. Below Noble, it takes them more food/hammers/beakers to grow a city/build/research something, on Noble you and the AI have the same required amount, and above Noble, the AI gets discounts.
Barbarians: The human player gets bonuses when fighting barbarians, and the exact number is determined by your difficulty level (the lower it is, the higher the bonus). Also, on higher difficulties, barbarians appear earlier in the game and more frequently.
AI Start Bonuses: Much like Civ3, AIs receive free units, such as settlers and workers, on high difficulty levels, as well as free technologies. For example, AIs start with a free worker on Monarch and work their way up to a free settler on Deity!
Unit Support: On lower levels, you can build more units before you have to start paying gold to support them.
There are a wide variety of map types in Civ4, ranging from typical continents and archipelago-style maps to unique ones like a "wheel" or a "maze". In total, there are 21 different map scripts included in the game. Twelve of these (Pangea, Continents, Archipelago, Terra, Lakes, Ice Age, Great Plains, Highlands, Inland Sea, Fractal, Shuffle, and Oasis) are selectable when you start a game via Play Now. These are more of your standard maps. However, there are other maps, some oriented towards fair Multiplayer games and some towards just plain wacky games! All the map scripts are very consistent in delivering maps of a certain type. For more information, please see this map guide by Sirian (Bob Thomas), the man who actually created most of these map scripts!
How can I change the number of opponents in a game?
Under the Single Player menu, select Custom Game instead of Play Now, and change the drop-down menus on the left to Closed.
How do I set up a game involving teams?
In the Custom Game screen, the second column is used for determining which team each civilization is on. If they are all different, then it's a free for all. However, by assigning the same number to multiple civilizations, you are placing them on the same team, allowing for games like 2v2, 3v3, and even 2v2v2.
What are the benefits of being on the same team?
In team play, one of the most obvious advantages is the ability to work together on research. You can research twice as fast if you have a teammate, but take note that you don't have to research the same tech as your ally. Also, you share the fog of war, open borders, and the ability to see your teammate's city screens. A wonder built by one member of the team will affect the whole team. Perhaps the biggest difference the fact that you can never declare war on your ally.
What are the different ways to win the game?
There are 6 ways to win the game (the same type of victory conditions as in Civ3): Domination (controlling 65% of the world’s land and having 25% more population than the next biggest civilization), Conquest (defeating all enemies), Diplomatic (building the UN, being elected Secretary General, and calling up the resolution for a diplomatic victory), Space Race (building all the required spaceship parts and “launching” it), Cultural (getting 3 cities to have a total of 50,000 culture points), and Time (known as Histographic in Civ3, it involves having the highest score at 2050 AD).
What are goody huts?
Spread throughout the map at the beginning of the game, goody huts (formally known as “tribal villages”) are overlays on a tile that yield a one-time bonus when a unit moves onto that tile. For example, while exploring the map, if your warriors comes across a goody hut and chooses to move to that tile (and thus “enter” the goody hut), one of a few things could happen: your civilization might receive a bonus (such as maps of the surrounding area, extra experience for your exploring unit, or gold), barbarians might spring out of the hut, or nothing could happen (the village was deserted). Note that scouts are guaranteed not to get barbarians from a goody hut.
What is the Fog of War?
Every tile has three different states it can be in: visible (you have explored this tile and can currently see it, whether you have that tile within your territory or you have a unit on that tile, etc.), fog of war (meaning you have previously discovered this tile, but it is not currently visible. For example, most tiles that aren't inside your territory are part of the fog of war.), and unknown (basically you have no knowledge of what type of tile it is). All unknown tiles are black - in the beginning of the game, almost every tile is unknown! Visible tiles are brighter than tiles in the fog of war, although in the fog of war you can still see each tile as well as other features such as terrain and resources. Keep in mind, however, that the state of a tile (e.g. it's tile improvement, or road status, etc.) maybe have changed if it's in the fog of war. The fog of war simply represents the state of a discovered tile as you last saw it. Also, barbarian units can spawn in any tile that is not visible, even in the fog of war.
What is the event log?
The event log, located in-game, is where you can see a list of events that took place as well as the corresponding year in which it took place. Things that are logged include the outcome of battles, the founding of religions, the completion of wonders, and similar occurrences. You can access the event log by clicking the pencil icon (located in the top left part of the screen) or by the shortcut Control + Tab.
People have said to read the Civilopedia. What is that?
The Civilopedia is a place that contains information for almost everything in the game, including attack/defense/move values and resource requirements for units, benefits and shield costs of wonders, information about every civilization and their Unique Units, and all the different kinds of terrain and their tile yields, to name a few. It is a resource that contains a lot of data about the things that makes up the game. To open the Civilopedia, click the book-type icon in the top right corner of your screen, or press F12.
Can you abandon cities?
No, you cannot. Once you build a city or capture a city and decide not to raze it, it's there for good.
What are unique units?
Unique units (UUs) are civilization-specific units whose abilities are better than those of the unit that they replace. Each civilization has their own unique unit that only they can build. For example, the UU of England is the Redcoat. The Redcoat, which replaces the Rifleman , has an additional 2 strength points (16 total) and also has the bonus of +25% vs. gunpowder units. These benefits make the Redcoat better than the Rifleman unit that all the other civilizations build. Unique units allow for a civilization to have the upper hand in a certain type of unit some point in the game.
What are unique buildings?
Like unique units, each civilization has a unique building that only they can build. An example of a unique building is the English Stock Exchange; it gives +65% gold instead of the +50% provided by a regular bank. Unique buildings are only available in Warlords.
What are the game's "ages", such as the Ancient Age, Medieval Age, Renaissance Age, and others? How do I progress through them?
These ages don't actually represent anything other than a historical reference. Every standard game starts out in the ancient age, unless you select otherwise when you create the game. Every tech has an age "assigned" to it, meaning when you research a technology with has a different age, you will enter that new age. Graphics for things such as cities and terrain improvements will also change as you enter a new age.
What are the different "speeds" for the game?
There are 4 different speeds for Civ4: Quick, Normal, Epic, and Marathon. The longer the speed, the longer it will take for things such as building units, growing cities, expanding borders, and researching technologies. As it implies, Normal is the speed that the game is probably best played on if you want an average length game. Be warned, however, that Marathon games really do last a very long time!
Is there a minimum or maximum research time like in Civilization 3?
No, there is no set research limits. It is very possible to have some new technologies take an extremely high amount of turns while old, undiscovered techs might take just 1 turn!
Are ships able to travel along river tiles?
No, they are not. Keep in mind that rivers are not actually tiles, they are between tiles.
How can I draw lines and label the map?
First, you have to zoom out (by scrolling the mouse wheel or by clicking the globe icon) until the icons above the minimap in the bottom right of your screen change. Then, select the Strategy button, and you'll see several options appear, including the ability to draw lines and label the map. You can also press Alt + S, which is the hotkey for adding a sign to the map.
Are there any scenarios that come with the game?
Yes, there are 3 Firaxis-made scenarios: the American Revolution, WWII in the Mediterranean, and The Greek World. Also, there is a standard Earth map, the Earth at 1000 AD, and the Earth in the Ice Age.
What is the "WorldBuilder"?
The WorldBuilder, included in Civ4, is an in-game editor, much like an advanced Civ3 editor. By pressing Control + W in the middle of a game, you enter WorldBuilder mode, in which you can: add units, give units experience, create cities, add improvements/wonders, change terrain, add religions to cities, reveal fog of war, add civilizations, and more! The best way to learn about the WorldBuilder is to just experiment around in it and test its features, but you can also head over to the Creation and Customization forum to learn more. Keep in mind that in some competitive games, such as the Game of the Month, the WorldBuilder is locked to prevent cheating.
What are specialists and what is their purpose?
Specialists are citizens in a city, that, instead of working a surrounding tile to bring in food, hammers, and commerce, contribute other things to a city. These contributions include extra culture, research, gold, hammers, and Great Person points. The six different specialists are:
Artists: Each artists provides +1 research, +4 culture, and +3 Great Person points (increasing the probability of a Great Artist being born).As you can see, specialists are much stronger than in previous Civ games, especially because of their ability to generate Great People. Because of this, sometimes you will find it worthwhile to build a "Great Person farm", a city which has enough food to sustain large numbers of specialists to rapidly gain GP. Also, take note that there is a certain number of specialist type available: for example, to assign a citizen to become a scientist, you must have built a library or university. The Caste System civic allows unlimited artists, merchants, and scientists in cities, the Mercantilism civic allows 1 free specialist per city, and the Pacifism civic double the Great Person points in a city that has the state religion, greatly increasing the value of specialists.
Engineers: Each engineer provides +2 hammers, +3 Great Person points (increasing the probability of a Great Engineer).
Merchants: Each merchant provides +3 gold, +3 Great Person points (increasing the probability of a Great Merchant).
Priests: Each priest provides +1 production, +1 gold, +3 Great Person points (increasing the probability of a Great Prophet).
Scientists: Each scientist provides +3 research, +3 Great Person points (increasing the probability of a Great Scientist).
Citizens (not to be confused with a standard laborer working a city's tiles): Each citizen provides +1 hammer (no Great Person points). Citizens are the default specialist assigned when your city has more population points than tiles to work. You can turn these into other types of specialists if you have openings.
How can I tell what kind of Great Person my next one will be?
In the city screen, if you mouse over the Great Person points bar, you will see it shows the probability that the next Great Person will be a certain type. These percentages can fluctuate based on new sources of Great Person points, whether it's from changing around specialists or building a new wonder.
What is the build queue?
The build queue is a way to maintain a list of multiple items you want to build in a city after the current project finishes. When you open the city screen, the current build is displayed in the bottom left of the screen. By holding in Shift + clicking the mouse on other units/improvements/wonders, you can place them after what is currently being built, so you can plan ahead and not have to select a new project everytime the city completes on. To delete items you do not want from the build queue, you can simply right click on them.
What are "food", "hammers", and "commerce"?
Every tile has a certain amount of food (used by cities to grow its population), hammers (used to build projects such as units, city improvements, and wonders), and commerce (used for science research, spare cash, and potentially extra culture and happiness). For example, a grassland tile has just 2 food, 0 hammers, and 0 commerce. By building certain tile improvements with your workers, such as a farm, you can increase the food to 3, or a hamlet, which will add 1 commerce. Also, resources found on tiles yield extra food/hammers/commerce, making them more attractive than a standard terrain tile. Every citizen in a city, besides specialists and angry citizens that refuse to work, "works" a tile in the city's radius (it starts out as the surrounding 8 tiles, and after a cultural expansion it goes to 21 tiles, or 2 tiles in every direction except directly north, south, east, and west). The yields from the tiles that these citizens are working make up that city's total food per turn, hammers per turn, and commerce per turn. This determines how fast a city grows (more food = faster growth), how quickly is builds things (more hammers = faster production), and how fast your civilization researches technologies and how much gold you have (more commerce = more commerce converted into science research and gold).
How does my city grow and increase its population?
A city requires a certain number of surplus food to grow to the next population point. Keep in mind that the amount of food needed for growth is dependent on the speed you have your game set on as well as the current size of the city. For example, if, from all the tiles a city is working, the city brings in 17 food, and uses 16 food to "feed" its citizens, you will only have a surplus of 1 food per turn (fpt), so it will take longer than if you worked more food-producing tiles such as farmed grassland. The amount of food needed to for the city to grow and the amount you currently have stored up is depicted by the food bar on both the main map screen under the city's name and on the city screen. Also, remember that if you use up more food than you bring in, your city will starve and can lose population. Granaries divide the amount of food needed for growth in half.
How much food does each citizen use up? Does this include specialists and angry citizens who refuse to work?
Every citizen uses up 2 food per turn, regardless of whether they are working a tile, acting as a specialist, or even refuse to work. They still have to eat!
How can I increase my city's defense?
Your city's defense bonus is a result of gaining high culture, or building certain improvements, such as Walls or Castles, which increase the defense rating. Keep in mind that certain units automatically get bonuses when defending cities, such as the warrior, who gets a 25% increase. There are also promotions that increase that unit's strength when defending cities (the City Garrison I, II, and III promotions).
What are We Love the King celebrations in my cities?
Much like Civilization 3, We Love the King celebrations occur in cities when there is happiness in large cities. The requirements are the following: the city must be size 8 or higher, have no food lost to unhealthiness, and have no angry citizens. If it meets all those criteria, that city will pay no maintenance costs for the turn.
My city seems to be losing food even though I have enough to feed my citizens! What's going on?
This involves an imbalance of health and sickness. In normal cities, the amount of "health" it has outweighs sickness, which comes as a result of factories, lots of population, and other factors that increase as a city grows. In order to combat this, you must have an equal or higher amount of health points in the city. You can acquire health in various ways: from resources, from city improvements, from nearby forests, and from difficulty levels (the lower the difficulty, the more bonus health each city starts out with) among others. When you do not have sufficient health, however, for each sickness point more than the amount of health you have, it costs 1 food. Because of this, even if your city appears to have enough food, it may actually be starving!
Why aren't all my citizens working? What do I have to do?
If your city does not have the same amount of tiles being worked as its population, there are two possibilities: the first is that the game might have changed some of the laborers into specialists, so first check to see if you have any that you weren't aware of. The second possibility is that some of your citizens may be so angry they refuse to work. By checking the top middle of your city screen, where it lists the city name, you will see a line that reads something like 7 happiness > 5 unhappiness. This means that your citizens are happy enough and are all working tiles like normal. However, if there is more unhappiness than happiness, the difference between the two will be the amount of citizens that refuse to work. Factors that contribute to unhappiness include overpopulation, war, and certain improvements the citizens do not like. To counter this, you can build improvements such as temples, bring in more luxury resources, or do any other action that provides happiness for the city.
Are there any quicker ways to change my city's production than opening up the city screen?
Yes, there are some much faster ways; the first involves single clicking the city name (not double clicking, as that will open the city screen). Once you do this, the bottom of your screen will look just like the city screen's production selection menu. You can then just click an icon to switch your production. Similarly, if you have the Domestic Advisor screen open (F1), and you select a city name, the bottom of the screen will again turn into a place where you can choose a different build for that city.
What are trade routes and how can I get them to bring in more gold?
Cities in your empire automatically have trade routes to other cities, as long as they are connected by some sort of trade network (roads, rivers, ocean, etc.). At the beginning of the game, each city can only have one trade route (although other cities can have trade routes to it), but this number can be increased with various technologies, resources, and UN resolutions. Cities will each use the most profitable trade routes possible, and foreign trade routes (unlocked by open borders with a nation) are generally more profitable than shorter, domestic ones.
How are my city's cultural borders determined?
In the city screen, you can see a culture bar (colored purple) on the left hand side, indicating how much culture is needed for an expansion of that city's borders. Culture points are accumulated by city improvements such as temples and obelisks, from specialists (the artist specialist gives 4 culture per turn), and from religions (1 culture per turn). When the culture bar becomes full, the borders for that city expand and the culture bar starts over (you keep your total amount of culture, you just need to reach a higher amount for the next expansion).
What are work boats and what do I use them for?
Work boats allow a person to "connect" a water resource, such as fish or crabs, to their city, much in the same way that a road and a tile improvement would for a resource like horses. After researching Fishing, a player can build a work boat in a costal city, move it over a resource on water in their territory, and connect it to the trade network, just like a normal resource. Work boats can also be turned into Offshore Platforms, once you research Plastics.
Why doesn't my city grow when I build a worker or settler?
This is just the way the game works. Unlike Civ3, growth halts in a city during construction of a worker or settler. Instead of just hammers per turn being adding to the building of the worker/settler, surplus food per turn is also added (each surplus food counts as one hammer). When the worker/settler has been completed, the city will resume growth as normal.
What are Great People? What can they do?
Great People are special units generated by your cities after they have accumulated a certain amount of Great Person (GP) points. Great Person points can come from wonders or specialists (the Pacifism civic also increases GP points by 100% in cities with the state religion). Once a city has gained the necessary amount of points, a GP will spawn in that city (the type is determined by the points contributing to it; for example, if you only got GP points from scientist specialists, there is a 100% chance of your GP being a Great Scientist). There are five types of Great People, each with their own benefits (there is a sixth in Warlords, which is slightly different from the others).
Great Artist: Can join a city as a "super-specialist" (a permanent specialist providing 3 gold per turn, 12 culture per turn), can provide 4000 culture to a city immediately, or can discover a cultural-based technology.How do I start a Golden Age? What happens then?
Great Engineer: Can join a city as a "super-specialist" (3 hammers per turn, 3 science per turn), can rush production of a city's build (including wonders), or can discover an engineering-based technology.
Great Merchant: Can join a city as a "super-specialist" (1 food per turn, 6 gold per turn), can conduct a trade mission (involving going to a foreign city, yielding a large amount of gold), or can discover a commerce-based technology.
Great Prophet: Can join a city as a "super-specialist" (2 hammers per turn, 5 gold per turn), can construct the shrine for a religion in its holy city, or can discover a religion-based technology.
Great Scientist: Can join a city as a "super-specialist" (1 hammer per turn, 6 science per turn), can build an Academy (4 culture per turn, +50% science), or can discover a science-based technology.
Great General (only available in Warlords): Instead of being spawned when your GP points bar is full, these units are spawned in your capital after your units combined gain different levels of experience. They can build a Military Academy (+50% unit production in the city), join the city as a "great military instructor" (2 free experience to units built in that city), or they can form Warlords, special units that, when created, provide 20 experience (shared, not each) to the units on that tile, as well as give additonal promotions and the ability to use special promotions in the future to the unit is joined with. See this page for more info.
To start a Golden Age, a period of 8 turns when every tile that produces at least 1 commerce or hammer produces an extra, you must do one of two things: either build the Taj Mahal, a Great Wonder, or use a number of Great People. To begin a Golden Age with Great People, you must first have 2 Great People of differing types, say an Engineer and Prophet, and then you can click the "Golden Age" button at the bottom of your screen. However, the next time you wish to use GP to start a Golden Age, you are required to have 3 different types, and then 4, and so on. Also, if you enter a Golden Age while you are already in one, the 8 turns gets tacked on to the end of your current one for a total of 16 turns!
What are the factors that affect my economy and gold per turn?
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to a failing economy, but here is a brief overview of possible causes:
Maintenance: City costs maintenance. The further they are from the capital, the more gold they will cost per turn. If you expand too fast, especially early in the game, your gold per turn will plummet due to increasing maintenance costs. Expand slow, and you will be able to sustain each city you found.What are the science and culture sliders?
Inflation: This one aspect of your economy that, while it uses up gold per turn, you cannot control it. Inflation is a natural process that gets worse as the game goes on, draining more and more gold per turn from your economy.
Science/Culture Sliders: If you are losing gold per turn and have your science slider at 100%, or a combination of your science and cultural sliders at that rate, you might want to turn it down a bit to allow for some of your incoming commerce to be converted into gold per turn instead of culture and beakers.
Cottages/Towns: Building cottages early in the game to allow them to develop into villages and towns later in the game really help your economy, as not many tiles provide commerce unless there is a resource or river on it. These towns can turn into major commerce sources to help feed your economy.
City Improvements: There are some city improvements, such as a Grocer or Market, which will increase your gold per turn output to help keep you from losing money. Similarly, building improvements like libraries, which speed up science, will allow you to turn down the science slider while still getting technologies at the same speed if you are losing money.
Unit Support: Some civics require you to pay for every unit you have, which can affect your economy if you have a large standing army. Also, although you get some free unit support based on the difficulty level you are playing on, if you go over it, that can be a source of cash loss.
The science and culture sliders allow you to determine what percent of your cities' commerce you would like to devote to science and culture. While the science slider is available from the beginning of the game, the culture slider only appears after you research Music. As you increase the science and culture sliders by 10% increments, the amount of gold in your cities that is being changed into beakers or happiness and culture will scale accordingly. Don't forget that whatever commerce you don't use up in the science or culture sliders will become gold.
What are cottages and hamlets?
A cottege is a tile improvements that a worker can build to provide additional commerce. For example, a worker can build a cottage on a grassland tile to provide 1 commerce per turn. After having a city work that tile for a certain amount of turns (dependent on your game speed; it's 10 turns on normal), it will grow into a Hamlet, which provides 2 commerce (these aren't cumulative). Hamlets will grow into Villages, and Villages into Towns. Villages, which produce 3 commerce, yield an extra one if the player has Printing Press, and towns, normally 4 commerce, have the following bonuses: +1 for Printing Press, +2 commerce for the Free Speech civic, and +1 hammer for the Universal Suffrage civic. Over time, and built early enough, cottages can turn into an important part of your economy, as roads no longer provide commerce bonuses.
What does the Forbidden Palace do?
Similar to Versailles, a Great Wonder that reduces (among other things) maintenance in surrounding cities, the Forbidden Palace also reduces the maintenance costs of nearby cities. What sets it apart, however, is the fact that it is a National Wonder, meaning it can be built by every civilization. Its only requirement is to have at a minimum, 8 cities, and to have 6 courthouses built. Because of its benefits, it is a good idea to build the Forbidden Palace in a city that isn't too close to your capital, to maximize the money you save.
If roads do not produce commerce anymore like Civ3, what is the benefit of roading every tile?
Well, simply, you do not have to road every tile, but in many cases, you will find it beneficial to build a road. Whether you are building a road to connect a resource to your trade network or to connect two cities, there are lots of times roading is necessary, even if only to have an alternate route to a city, or to connect parallel stretches of road. Also, there's always the habit of building roads everywhere, if only for convenience of moving your units in that direction or if your workers don't have other projects to work on. Ultimately, however, you have to now decide whether you have a need for a road, like whether that road on unworked desert tile is really needed, or if your workers have better ways to spend their time.
How does the technology tree work? Can I set a list of technologies I would like to research in a certain order?
The technology tree (an online version is visible here) is a picture of all the techs in the game, as well as their prerequisites. Connected by arrows, it shows what leads to what. There is one hitch however: while many techs can be researched by having knowledge of just one prerequisite OR the other(s) (not all of them like in Civ3), some require a certain tech. Those techs that have prerequisites that must be researched are indicated with a small version of the prerequisite in the top right of that technology box on the tech tree. For example, you can research Animal Husbandry by knowing Agriculture OR Hunting, but in order to research Monotheism, you MUST know Masonry (and Polytheism, as that is the tech that comes before Monotheism).
Just like the build queue for a city, you can set one up for the tech tree by Shift + clicking technologies in a certain order. When you finish one technology, the game will start researching the next one in your list.
How does technology research work? What is a technology's research time determined by?
Each technology has a certain price in beakers. Every turn, a certain number of beakers are produced (for where these come from, see how does my economy work/what is commerce?). These beakers are stored as part of the technology, and accumulate over time. Once the cost of a technology has been reached or passed, the technology is considered researched, and all of its benefits are provided to the civilization. Note that stored beakers are saved in technologies - with a small decline over time - if you pause to switch research to something else. For example, if you are researching a technology that costs 110 beakers, while producing ten beakers per turn, the technology will take 110 divided by 10, or eleven turns to research.
Sometimes my units can move 3 tiles in a turn on roads, sometimes just 2, and other times only 1 tile! Why?
This all involves whether or not you are crossing rivers, as well as what technologies you have. Normally, at the start of the game, your units will be able to move 2 tiles on roads for every movement point they have (over non-rivered tiles). However, moving over rivers costs 1 movement, regardless of whether there is a road or not. Once you research Construction, you enable "bridge building", or the ability to treat roads over rivers as normal road tiles (you don't actually have to build bridges, it's automatic). Also, upon researching Engineering, your units will be able to move an extra tile (a total of 3 per movement point) on roads.
What is the difference between Great Wonders and National Wonders?
The difference between the two types of wonders is who can build them. Great Wonders can only be built once, by one civilization, and once it has been built, no other civilization can build it. However, National Wonders are wonders that can be built by each civilization.
Can I plant forests like in Civilization 3?
No, you cannot. Forests (and jungles) will spread naturally on their own to undeveloped tiles, with terrain next to forests more likely to spawn a forest or jungle.
How are the different stats in the demographics determined?
On the demographics screen, there are variety of different categories, including land area, crop yield, life expectancy, and others. Here's what they all represent (thanks to Robi D for his article on demographics):
Gross National Product (GNP): The amount of total commerce brought in from cities, specialists, and trade routes minus your expenses including civic costs, city maintenance, and unit costs).
Manufactured Goods: Total amount of production from your cities, including the bonuses from improvements such as forges.
Crop Yield: Total amount of food brought in by cities per turn.
Soldiers: This is not just how many units you have! There are many variables that contribute to this, including population of your empire, technologies, improvements/wonders, and your units and their type (a tank is "more" soldiers than a warrior).
Land Area: Amount of land tiles inside your borders multiplied by 1000.
Population: The total population of each city added together (1 population point equals 1,000 people, 2 equals 6,000 people, etc.). To see a city's population in terms of people, just mouse over the city's name on the main screen and look in the bottom left.
Approval Rate: Happiness in all your cities / (Happiness + Unhappiness). It is a percent of your cities' happiness compared to all happiness/unhappiness.
Life Expectancy: Like approval rate, it is Health in all cities / (Health + Unhealthiness).
Imports/Exports: A ratio, where commerce from foreign trade routes in your cities are the imports, and commerce in foreign cities from trade routes with you are exports. Domestic trade routes are not used in this calculation.
Civics and Religion
What are civics? Are there still governments in the game?
No, there are no more static governments. Instead, they have been replaced with a more dynamic civic system. There are 5 categories of civics: Government, Legal, Labor, Economy, and Religion. Each category has its own five civics, all of them with differing benefits. Although you need to research the requisite technologies to get the civics beyond the basic five, once you do, you can easily mix and match to get the best benefits for your type of civilization. In Civ4, to get to the Civic screen, press F3 and you will see a list of all the categories, civics, required technologies, and their benefits.
How many civics can I change at a time?
You can change as many as you want out of the five, but beware, you must wait a few turns (for example, five in normal speed) before you can switch civics again, so it's more efficient to do as many as you can at one time.
How is anarchy time determined?
First off, all Spiritual civilizations can change civics without going through anarchy (they still cannot change civics without the "waiting period" though). Otherwise, all civilizations face anarchy when switching civics. Although anarchy is usually around 1 turn, it can go upwards depending on the speed of your game and the number of civics you are switching at one time (you can switch up to 3 civics and still go through just 1 turn of anarchy in normal speed).
What happens during anarchy?
During anarchy, your cities stop bringing in food and commerce and stop building units and improvements. As a result, your income might decrease and you will not make any progress in researching a technology.
How many religions are there?
There are 7: Taoism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
What is a holy city?
The holy city of a religion is the city where the religion was founded. That city is also eligible to build the religion-specific wonder to receive its benefits.
How do I determine what will be the holy city of a religion I found?
When you found a religion after first discovering the requisite technology, the holy city is determined by the game; you cannot choose.
What is my state religion and what are the benefits of having one?
Once at least one of your cities has a religion in it, you can adopt a state religion. Cities that have the state religion gain an extra 1 culture per turn as well as 1 happiness. However, the real benefits of state religions come when you pair them with the right civics.
How can my civics increase the bonuses of my state religion?
There are many civics that enhance the effects of a state religion in your civilization's cities. For example, if you have the Organized Religion civic, all cities that have the state religion build city improvements 25% quicker. Or, if you have the Theocracy civic, units built in cities with the state religion gain an extra 2 XP. The other civic with a similar benefit is Pacifism (+100% Great Person birth rate). Beware, as well, that if you adopt Free Religion, you cannot have a state religion.
Do I have to spread a religion myself or will it spread naturally?
Religion will spread naturally to other cities, both foreign and domestic, via roads and other trade routes over time, but it will spread much quicker if you make an effort. Ways to increase the spread of your religion include building monasteries in your cities so that you can produce missionaries, units that can travel to domestic or foreign cities and attempt to spread the religion. Also, switching to the Organized Religion civic allows you to build missionaries in all your cities, regardless of whether they have a monastery or not.
How do missionaries work?
Missionaries are designed to help spread a certain religion. To be able to build a missionary (there is one for each religion, for example a "Christian Missionary" and a "Buddhist Missionary"), you must either have built that religion's monastery in the city you wish to build a missionary, or have the Organized Religion civic, in which case you don't need to build monasteries. Once you have fufilled these requirements, you can build missionaries. Now, you have two options: the first is to attempt to spread the religion within your own empire to one of your cities. The other is to attempt to convert a city from a foreign nation. In order to do the latter, you must have an open borders deal with them so that your missionary can enter their lands and one of their cities. However, the process for converting a city is the same: simply click the button at the bottom of your screen. In most cases, the city will successfully convert to your religion, but not always. The chances of success depend on factors like number of religions already in the city, whether it is a domestic or foreign city, and distance from the religion's holy city.
What do the religion-specific wonders, like The Church of the Nativity for Christianity, do? What do I need to build them?
These wonders, only buildable in the holy city for a religion, require the use of a Great Prophet and when built, provide an extra 1 gold per turn for every city in the world that has that religion. These can be quite powerful if you help spread the religion or have a couple of these!
Resources and Terrain
I've built a road to a resource that is connected to my city. Why can't I use it?
Unlike in Civilization 3, you cannot simply build a road to a resource. To actually be able to use it (say horses for Cavalry, or wheat for the health benefit), you must build that resource's specific improvement. For example, a worker must build a pasture (available with Animal Husbandry) on top of a sheep resource in order to gain the +2 food, +1 commerce, and +1 health bonus of sheep. You can see a list of what resources are connected to a certain city by going into that city's management screen (a column of available resources are on the right).
It says two of my cities are now connected and can share resources, but I haven't built a road between them! Is this a bug?
No, it's not. This is a new feature: the ability for cities on a common river to be able to use it as a road, allowing them to share resources. It is really helpful in the early game when all of your cities might not be linked together yet.
How do movement points work?
Movement points are a way of determining the distance a unit can move in a turn. For example, a warrior has 1 movement point. This means it can move 1 tile per turn, regardless of what terrain it is moving on. If the tile is roaded, for any unit, they move 2 tiles per turn, regardless of terrain as well. However, once you build units with more than 1 movement points, like chariots, terrain plays a factor in how far a unit can move. Each terrain costs a certain number of movement points to move through. "Flat" terrain such as grassland and plains cost just 1 movement point, so a chariot can move 2 tiles on grassland or plains, for instance. Terrain such as forest, however, use up 2 movement points, so a chariot can only move 1 tile in forest per turn. Keep in mind that you can always use your last movement point (or only movement point if you just have 1) to move onto any tile, so a chariot could go -> grassland -> forest (but not to the forest first, then grassland, as the forest would use up its 2 movement).
What are the different types of resources?
There are three types of resources, each grouped because they have similar purposes: strategic resources, or resources that are needed to build certain units or speed up production of improvements/wonders, luxury resources, which provide happiness to cities, and food resources, which provide extra food, and when connected to cities, health. Food resources are similar to bonus resources from Civ3. Most resources, apart from their uses for building units, providing happiness, or contributing health, also provide extra food, hammers, or commerce to the tile, other than what it normally produces. For example, corn, which can be found on grassland (2 food), produces an extra food, making the grassland yield 3 food. Every resource also has a certain tile improvement that a worker can build on them (to connect them to cities) which also has its benefits. Using corn as another example, on top of the 3 food it will normally produce on grassland, by building a farm on it (the tile improvement required to connect it to the trade network), it will yield an extra 2 food (total of 5), as well as 1 health. All in all, resources are very powerful in Civ4.
Are all resources visible at the start of the game?
No, at the beginning of the game, you will not be able to see every resource around you, as some strategic resources, such as Horses, which requires Animal Husbandry, are only visible after researching a certain technology. However, all luxury and food resources are visible from the very beginning, as well as two strategic resources: marble and stone.
Do tiles provide defensive bonuses?
Unlike Civ3, every tile does not have a defense bonus given to a defender being attacked on that tile. Only hills, forests, and jungles provide tile defense bonuses. There are also certain unit promotions (Woodsman I and II for jungle/forest tiles, and Guerilla I and II for hills) which give additional defensive bonuses to units on that terrain.
Do desert and ice really yield no food, hammers, or commerce? What is their purpose?
Yes, desert and ice really do produce nothing. In fact, if you even try to build a road on them, or any other tile improvement, it will take 25% and 50% longer, respectively. Because of this, desert and ice represent terrain that it not worth improving or using, if one can help it. Try to avoid placing cities in locations where they will not have large quantities of useless terrain.
Why can't I found a city on an oasis resource? This makes no sense!
Unfortunately, that's the way the game works. However, oases are sources of fresh water, meaning you can farm nearby tiles even if there isn't a river. They also produce an extra 3 food and 2 commerce, making them important tiles when placed in large expanses of desert.
How does terrain affect the health of my cities?
There are certain terrain types that produce (or subtract) health from a nearby city. The terrain types that do this are: forest (+.5 health per forest tile), jungle (+.25 unhealthiness per tile), and flood plains (+.4 unhealthiness per tile). These bonuses and penalties might make it worthwhile to either keep forests standing, cut down jungle tiles, or both.
Why can't I move onto a mountain tile?
This is just way the way mountain terrain (or "peaks") work in Civilization 4. They are impassable to every unit, with no exception. Because of this, they serve as great natural defenses.
How does diplomacy work, and how do I initiate it?
To begin diplomacy with another nation, simply click that leader's name in the score box in the bottom righthand corner of your screen, or right click the image of a leader on the Foreign Advisor screen. When you do so, a screen will appear with that leader, and you will have several options. One of them will involve proposing a deal, and when you select that one, you will be taken to the diplomacy table, where each civilization's goods, technologies, and tradable items are all listed. By mixing and matching items to trade, you can either complete a transaction if the AI feels it is even (or in their favor) or learn that the AI would need something more to sweeten the pot. This is how the trading of anything and everything is done.
What are the different things I can trade?
Tradable items include: a lump sum of gold, a per turn deal of gold, world maps, resources, technologies, cities, open borders, defensive pacts, a change in civics, a change of religion, forcing war between an AI and another civilization, forcing peace between an AI and someone else, cease fires, and peace treaties.
How come I cannot trade technologies/resources/maps/whatever?
There are a few reasons that you may not be able to trade technologies. Either tech trading may have been off when you created the game, or you may not have researched the required technology yet. In order for two civilizations to trade technologies, at least one of them needs to possess the Alphabet technology. Similarly, in order to trade maps, one of the two civilizations must Paper. If you are having trouble trading resources, it is because you are not connected to the other civilization by a trade route (see next question). If two civilizations want to sign an open borders agreement, at least one of them must have Writing. Military Tradition allows the signing of defensive pacts, and Fascism or Communism grants two civilizations the ability to sign a permanent alliance.
What are trade networks and how do they work?
A trade network is the interlinking of your cities to each other, as well as linking your capital city to foreign capitals. By doing so, you will be able to trade resources from your civilization to another and vice versa (since trading resources requires two capitals to be connected by land or water) and thus allow your domestic cities that are connected to your capital to make use of that resource as well. The ways to connect cities to one another include by road (building a road between the two cities) or by water (having two cities connected by either a river, coastal tiles in your own or neutral territory provided you have Sailing, or ocean tiles in your territory (or in neutral territory, but that also requires Astronomy)). All cities do not need to be connected to every other city - they just need to be linked to one, which is linked to another, and so on. You can also have trade networks using all the different kinds of connectors. Cities that are connected to your trade network are represented with an icon that looks like a triangle of arrows.
How is a civilization's attitude toward me determined?
There is a wide range of factors that determines a civilization's positive or negative attitude. You can see a list of recent changes in attitude when you mouseover the leader's image when you are in diplomacy with him or when you move the cursor over a leader's image on the Foreign Advisor screen. These attitude variables include: maintaining a relationship of peace for many years (+), trading resources together (+), having an open borders treaty (+), having similar civics (+), having different state religions (-), having close borders (-), trading with an enemy of theirs (-), and other similar statements.
Where can I see what deals I have going with an AI?
When you open up the Foreign Advisor screen (F4) and click the Active tab on the bottom, you will be able to see a list of all items you are giving and receiving with each individual civilization. This information is also available by moving your cursor over a civilization's leader image on the diplomacy table.
Where can I see what technologies/resources/other goods the AI has to offer?
One of the more obvious ways to see what the AI has to trade is to open the diplomacy table with them where all there goods and resources will be listed alongside yours, but another way is to open the Foreign Advisor screen and click the Resources and Technologies tabs to see what every civilization has to offer.
How long does a "per-turn" trade last?
When trading resources, gold per turn, open borders treaties, or other long-term deals, they will last for 10 turns, unless you choose to extend them or war is declared between the civilizations.
What is the difference between a cease fire and a peace deal?
Cease fires and peace treaties are similar in that they both stop the fighting between two nations and have each other's units removed from the other's territory. However, a peace deal lasts for at least 10 turns, whereas a cease fire has no limit - one civilization could declare war the next turn. Cease fires are a more risky alternative to a peace treaty.
Why are some of the things listed in the diplomacy screen red?
Trade items listed red are items that the AI will not sell or trade, no matter what.
What are promotions and experience? What do they do?
Unlike in Civilization 3, units do not gain additional hitpoints when they win battles. Instead, whenever a unit wins a battle they gain experience points, a number which is proportional to the odds that the unit would win the battle. Once units have reached a certain number of experience points (2, 5, 10, 17, etc., going up by odd numbers), they are able to get a new "promotion." Each promotion can give one or more benefits, ranging from an overall 10% increase in combat strength to +25% strength when defending a city to double movement on hills. Additionally, promoting units will heal half of any damage they have sustained. In Warlords, leaders with the Charismatic trait can promote their units with 25% less experience required.
Why is attacking cities so hard?
Conquering cities in Civ4 can be very difficult because of all the bonuses available to defenders in cities; not only can those units have promotions, including City Garrison I, II, and III, that increase they defensive strength, they also get bonuses from the defense strength of a city, terrain, and fortification. All told, these can easily add up to over 100% in accumulated strength bonuses. This makes it even more critical to soften the defenders up through the use of siege weapons, as well to have a variety of units with promotions to combat different scenarios faced. It won't hurt to have modern units either! When attacking cities, don't waste your units uselessly by attacking when the odds are clearly against you - not only will you most likely have your units killed, but you'll end up giving the enemy free experience for the defenders!
What are the different types of units?
There are 11 different unit types, all pretty self-explanitory: non-combat (settlers, etc.), recon, melee, archery, mounted, gunpowder, armored, siege, naval, air, and helicopter units.
How do catapults and other siege units work?
Siege units (catapults, cannons, and artillery) are have 2 unique abilities: one is to cause collateral damage, and the other is to reduce a city's defenses. The latter works in the following way: when your catapult is next to an enemy city, you can have it bombard that city, reducing its defense bonus by 15% for catapults, 20% for cannons, and 25% for artillery. By doing this, you will help your units to conquer that city as the defenders will have less (or no) city defense bonus in their favor. Collateral damage is another option that siege units can undertake. By actually attacking the unit(s) on a tile like normal combat, your siege unit will cause collateral damage. This means that a number of units in a stack will suffer a drop in strength. This number can also be increased with the City Barrage I and II promotions. Siege units will also retreat from battle 25% of the time during a collateral damage attack. Because of this, siege units make large stacks of units prone to suffering lots of damage.
Is combat as streaky as it was in Civilization 3?
No. Civ4's combat model is completely different from Civ3's. Each fully healed unit has a total of one hundred hit points. Whenever combat takes place, a number of 50-50 rounds are contested. Whoever wins the round deals damage and receives none. The amount of damage that is dealt each round is proportional to the ratio of the unit strengths; higher strength units deal more damage and receive less. The unit strengths have no bearing on the outcome of each individual round, and the 50-50 coinflips help to keep ridiculous combat streaks in line.
What is the difference between healing and fortifying a unit?
Healing a unit will replenish strength to units that have suffered a damage in health, whereas fortifying a unit, unlike in Civ3, will not heal the unit. It will provide a defensive bonus of 5% a turn, with a maximum of 25% to that unit. Keep in mind that when healing units, it is quicker inside your territory than neutral territory (and that is faster than enemy territory); units in cities also heal faster. Promotions will heal half of a unit's damage when they are selected. For more info about healing, see this article by PieceOfMind.
Are there still stacks of doom? What is the best unit?
"Stacks of Doom", or large stacks of units, usually all one type, were common in Civ3. However, in Civ4, while possible, is no longer an effective strategy. Simply put, apart from the fact that enemy catapults and siege units could easily cause a lot of damage with collateral damage, no one type of unit is effective against everything else. If you build a massive amount of Horse Archers, strength of 6, they may make quick work of units such as archers, only 3 strength, they will have a hard time against spearmen (only 4 attack, but a 100% bonus against mounted units). This is only one example that shows the necessity of combined arms, or having multiple types of units with differing promotions. Combat is no longer just a "numbers" game - there is a lot of strategy and planning involved. To read a well-written article about the uses of military stacks in Civ4, look over this article by Sisiutil.
What is the formula for combat? How are my promotions factored in?
Each battle between units is fought via a series of "rounds", where the winner of that round deals a certain amount of hitpoint damage to the other unit (each unit has 100 total, but this varies when units are injured). The first unit that reaches 0 hitpoints dies (or it may retreat, if it is attacking and is able to). The amount of hitpoint damage a unit deals depends on the relative strength of the attacker to the defender, and vice versa - because of this, it lowers the chances of obsolete units killing modern units, since they will have to win many more rounds than the modern units that deal more HP damage. Also, since your HP level decreases as your strength does, units that aren't full strength deal less HP damage. Your promotions are used when calculating your unit's strength for the amount of HP damage it deals. To view a very in-depth study of combat, it's factors, and many examples, check out this article by Arathorn.
Is there a place in-game to determine the outcome of a battle?
Yes, whenever you press G for Go-To orders for a unit, and mouse it over an enemy unit, it'll show the bonuses for both your unit and the enemy's, as well as the chance of winning for each unit.
Is there a place in the game where it keeps track of how many units I have killed?
Yes, the game now automatically keeps a running tally of how many units you've defeated. To view this list, press F9, and then select the Statistics tab. You will also be able to see other stats such as the number of units of each type you've built, the number of your own units you have lost, and the number of units you've upgraded to other types.
How does War Weariness work?
War weariness (WW) is the effects of prolonged warring on your empire. At the beginning of the game it starts at 0, however, as the game progresses, this can increase, affecting the happiness of your cities. WW can go up if certain things, some of which are listed next, happen: you kill an enemy unit, your unit is killed, you capture a unit, you capture a city, or you launch a nuke, among others. The length of your war also affects the percent of war weariness in your cities. Each city will have its own unhappiness from WW number, based on factors including population, certain improvements, world size, and game settings, such as Always War. For a posting of the formula, as well as contributing factors for WW, visit this thread by Krikkitone.
What are Great Generals?
Great Generals, a special type of Great Person only available in Warlords, are units spawned in your capital when your units collectively reach a certain amount of experience (each subsequent Great General requires more experience). Much like other Great People, they can join a city as a type of "super-specialist" - in this case, Great Generals can join a city as a Great Military Instructor, giving 2 free experience to the units built in that city. They can also build a Military Academy, which provides a 50% boost in production to a city when building units. Their final ability is the ability to become Warlords, units that provide 20 experience, total, to the units on the tile when it was created, as well as providing additional promotions and other unique promotions to the unit it is joined to. For more information about how Great Generals work, visit this page.
Strategy and Techniques
There are numerous strategies, guides, and articles worth mentioning - because of this, it would be impossible to list them all. Instead, here are a few links that contain quality information about improving your Civ4 game: War Academy, Strategy & Tips forum, and the Succession Games forum.
What is Warlords?
Warlords is the first expansion pack to Civilization 4, released on July 24th, 2006. It requires Civilization 4 to be installed.
Is there a patch out?
Yes, patch version 2.08 (the first patch) was released October 31st, 2006. It can be downloaded here.
What are the new civilizations in Warlords?
There were six new civilizations added in Warlords: the Celts, the Vikings, the Carthaginians, the Koreans, the Zulu, and the Ottomans. Each contains only one leader, as well as their own unique unit and unique building. Additionally, 4 of the civilizations from Civilization 4 (Egypt, England, Rome, and Russia) received a new leader.
What are unique buildings?
Similar to unique units, unique buildings are city improvements that contain a bonus over the improvement it replaces. These buildings are only available to one civilization. For example, the Carthaginian unique building is the Cothon, which replaces the Harbor. Although it costs 20 more hammers, it provides an extra trade route. All other civilizations besides Carthage build regular Harbors.
Are there any new scenarios?
Yes, there are 8 professionally-created scenarios included with Warlords; they are: Pelopennesian Wars, Chinese Unification, Rise of Rome, Vikings, Alexander's Conquests, Genghis Khan, Barbarians (allowing you to play as the barbarians in a regular game, with the goal of razing all enemy cities), and Omen (an alternative history scenario based on the Seven Years War). For a detailed description of each, see this page.
People have talked about vassal states - what are they?
Vassal states are a new feature that allows a weaker civilization to become a vassal to a larger, more powerful civilization. Civilizations can become vassals either voluntarily, during peace if they have Feudalism (in which they get an option to renew the treaty every 10 turns), or during war, when they cannot break their vassalage until they become half the size and population of the owner, or if they lose half their territory. In being a vassal, they must pay money to the stronger civilization. Also, the vassal must declare war/peace on other civilizations when the owner does. The owner also enjoys happiness benefits, a benefit in score and land area and population towards a domination victory, and the ability to ask for any resource from the vassal.
Are there any new civilization traits?
There were three 3 traits added (as a result, some civilizations had some traits reassigned). They are:
Charismatic: 1 extra happiness per city, 1 extra happiness from Monument and Broadcast Tower, 25% less experience needed to promote units.Were there any rule/gameplay changes from Civilization 4?
Protective: Archery and gunpowder units receive Drill I and City Garrison I promotions free, walls and castles are built twice as fast.
Imperialistic: Great Generals are produced twice as fast, settlers are produced 50% faster.
Many more technical aspects of the game were changed, from strength of units to promotion changes to modifications to city improvements. To view a list of compiled changes, see this thread by Alexandru.
What are the different modes of multiplayer play?
There are 5 ways to play multiplayer, although two (LAN and Internet) are essentially the same. The other three are Play by Email, Hotseat, and PitBoss. All are the same modes of play as in Civilization 3, except for PitBoss, which is a very unique mode of play.
What's a PBEM?
A play by email game (PBEM) is one of the forms of multiplayer. Players play their turns in a set order, like in single player, but they only play one turn at a time. A player will play one turn, save the game, and then send the save on to the next player. That player will then player one turn, save the game, and send it to the next player. PBEM games generally progress far slower than typical MP games, but provide ample opportunity for strategic thinking and diplomacy.
What is hotseat?
Hotseat multiplayer is when 2 or more humans play a game using just one computer. One player will take their turn, hit enter, then the other will do so, until all players have completed their turn; then the cycle starts all over again. It is relatively slow compared to Internet/LAN play because each player cannot take their turn at once, but it does allow you to play MP if you only have one computer.
What is Direct IP?
Direct IP is a way of connecting to a multiplayer game much quicker than using the lobby to navigate and find an Internet game you want to join. If you know the IP of the host computer of a game that you want to join, you can just enter that IP and it will connect you.
Can I play Internet/LAN multiplayer with simultaneous turns?
Yes, Civ4 includes a system to play multiplayer simultaneously, greatly increasing the speed of the game compared to turn-based multiplayer (and removing long periods of waiting for opponents to play). Each turn has a set time limit, but players can press Enter in order to signify that they have finished their turn. The turn ends when either the timer runs out or all of the players hit Enter. Keep in mind that simultaneous turns does not mean no turns, however. Construction, research, unit movement, etc., are still done in terms of turns. Be wary that simultaneous multiplayer can lead to "clickfests" when two players try to move their unit onto a tile first in a turn or attack each other first.
What is PitBoss? Where can I get it?
PitBoss (PB or PTBS) is a new mode of multiplayer play for Civ4 - released a few months after the game, as a downloadable add-on (available here). What is so unique about this form of play is the fact that, once the host sets up a game on their own server (say, another computer they have), within the time limit of each turn (say 24 hours), players log onto the server, play their turn, and then once all players have played that turn, a new turn starts. Because of this, it is faster than a PBEM game, especially when you have lots of people, but the game isn't as rapid as an Internet game that has to be finished in one sitting. Another cool feature about PitBoss is the ability to have AIs fill in for humans - for example, if you were to have an "open" PitBoss game, where there are no set players, anyone can just join, play a turn, and that's all. So if a game had been going on for a while with a few open human slots, one person could just join and take over the game from the AI and continue playing.
How does the multiplayer lobby work?
The multiplayer lobby is divided into 3 parts: the game staging area, where games are listed when they are waiting on more players and where the settings are selected when all players have joined, the chat section, in the bottom left portion, where you can post a message to the lobby (and hold private messages with individuals), and finally the bottom right area, or the more miscellaneous tabs section, where you can select different options and view your buddy list. The settings and chat sections are pretty self-explanitory; in the lobby, when you are searching for a game, there are various bits of information shown for each game: whether it is password-protected or not, the title of the game, how many players are in it (out of the total amount), what map they are playing, whether the game is new since your last refresh or not, whether or not the game is a PitBoss game, and the ping (connection speed; lower is better). By double clicking a game, you enter that game. In order the host to be able to launch it, you must select Ready. Once you do and everyone joins, you're off!
Is there a buddy list system?
Yes, in the multiplayer lobby screen, under the "Buddy List" tab, you can add people to your Buddy/Ignore lists, allowing you to see whether they are offline, in the lobby, or playing a game.
What does "pinging" a map mean?
When playing multiplayer with other humans, you can "ping" a tile on the map, which will make a buzzing sound and bring that tile to their attention. This can be especially useful when playing a team game, so that you can refer to specific tiles with your ally, rather than trying to describe it with words.
Where can I organize a multiplayer game and find opponents?
Although there are many Civ4 leagues, ladders, and sites out there for pure-multiplayer play (you can use Google to find some), there is a Multiplayer forum here at CFC where you can organize a game with fellow players. This makes communication a lot easier, so that you can work something out if you don't want to play the game all in one sitting! You can also use the in-game lobby chat to set up a quick MP game.
What happens if someone uses custom rules and XML files? Can't they cheat this way?
If, when creating the game, one or more of the players has custom rules, the default rules will be loaded for everyone, preventing the possibility of someone using modified files to cheat during the game.
What happens during an out-of-synch?
When there is an out-of-synch during a game, for example, if a person is somehow disconnected from a game, Civ4 will pause the game and bring up a voting screen. Unlike Civ3, which would normally crash during an OOS, Civ4 allows you to vote on what you should do: save the game, wait for the player, or continue on. Because of this, an error during a multiplayer game is not too devastating - you can simply just wait for the person to reconnect.
How do I install a downloaded scenario, mod, or map?
When you download a mod or scenario for Civilization 4, simply place the mod or scenario folder in your ../My Games/Sid Meier's Civilization 4/MODS/ folder. If it is a map, all you need to do is place the downloaded WorldBuilder file into the ../PublicMaps/ folder. For Warlords, these same steps apply, except the file path is ../Sid Meier's Civilization 4/Warlords/.
Where did the editor go?
The editor from Civ3, which you could open even when the game was not running, has been replaced with the WorldBuilder, a tool that not only allows you to make maps and place units and cities on a created map, but also allows you to edit a game you are currently playing. Unlike the Civ3 editor, which couldn't load saved games, with the WorldBuilder (accessible by pressing Control + W during a game) you can edit a game already in progress, adding units/cities/resources to the map all with a click of the mouse. To make rule changes, instead of using the WorldBuilder, you can copy and paste an XML file and change what you want (see next question and this one).
What is the difference between the ../Firaxis Games/Sid Meier's Civilization 4/ folder and the ../My Games/Sid Meier's Civilization 4/ folder?
The main game folder, which houses the default rules, artwork, sounds, scenarios, and map scripts, is the former, located at C:/Program Files/Firaxis Games/Sid Meier's Civilization 4/. If you download anything, be it a mod, scenario, map, artwork, map script, or anything else, it is best to place it in your ../My Games/Sid Meier's Civilization 4/ folder. When the game sees that there are two copies of a file in the folders, it will have the downloaded/modified one override the default, allowing you to play modified content.
What are Python, XML, the WorldBuilder, and the SDK?
All four of those are different tools you can use to modify the game. Here is a brief overview of each:
Python: Available from Python.org, this scripting language allows you to create map scripts, alter the layout of screens such as the Civilopedia, or add new events or functions to the game, such as a plague that occurs once a game with various effects.How can I just make a small change, like giving a unit an extra movement point?
XML: This stands for Extensible Markup Language, and it is the format in which the rules data is stored. For example, by opening one of the XML files in Notepad, say one of the unit data files, you can easily change a unit's hammer cost by just writing in a new number for the current cost. XML makes editing rules and attributes very fast.
WorldBuilder: Available by pressing Control + W in an open game, the WorldBuilder allows you to create/edit maps, add cities to the maps, add religions to the city, modify unit location, add improvements to a city, explore part of the map, and much more.
SDK: The SDK, or Software Development Kit, available from the official Civ4 website, lets experienced modders actually edit the game's DLL source code, even allowing for changes to the game's AI and other more technical and comprehensive changes.
All the default XML rule files are located in your main game folder (default: C:/Program Files/Firaxis Games/Sid Meier's Civilization 4/Assets/XML/). By copying the the file you want (in this example you would want the CIV4UnitInfos.xml file in the Units folder) to the ../My Documents/My Games/Sid Meier's Civilization 4/CustomAssets/XML/ folder (thus mimicking the structure of the game folder), you can open the XML file, make any changes, and when you save it, all your games will now use that modified XML file instead of the default. In this case, you would want to change the line "<iMoves>1</iMoves>" to "<iMoves>2</iMoves>". That's all there is to it!
Do I have to open Civ4, then have the game restart to load my mod each time I want to play it?
No - if you want to play a certain mod every game you start, you can change the following line in your .ini file:
; Specify a Mod folder (Mods\Mesopotamia), '0' for noneJust change the '0' to 'Mods\Mod Folder' and it will load that mod any time you open Civ4.
Mod = 0
How do I make units/resources/civilizations/etc.?
The Tutorial, Reference, & Guides forum contains a variety of documents on how to create new civilizations, mods, units, civics, and much more. In the event there isn't a tutorial for what you seek to make, you can always ask in the Creation and Customization forum.
What are some popular mods/scenarios?
There are many fantastic mods and scearios available, and while this is by no means an exhaustive list of well-done scenarios/mods, the following are very popular among the fans and provide for an interesting experience:
Fall from Heaven: No doubt the most downloaded, this fantasy mod includes a wealth of new material, including units such as Goblins, Vampires, and Mud Golems, as well as countless other promotions, technologies, religions, and civilizations. This mod has even been featured in a few magazines, including PCGamer.Where can I view a list of all downloadable content?
Rhye's and Fall of Civilization: This historically-accurate scenario starts at 3000 BC for some civilizations, but some, such as America, don't start until the 17th century, mimicking history. With scripted events, unique civilizations and victory conditions, this scenario contains many exciting changes to the game.
Total Realism: Focused on creating a realistic and balanced game, this mod adds over 50 new units, the ability to hire mercenaries, the addition of military generals, and land transports. Total Realism creates a more historically-accurate system of diplomacy, warfare, trade, religion, and more.
The Ancient Mediterranean: Set on a map of the Mediterranean, this mod contains ancient civilizations such as Carthage, Mycenae, Medes, and Phoenicia fighting for control of the region. It contains a completely new tech tree, additional units, and modified AI and religion spread.
Sevomod: With over 32 civilizations and 50 leaders, scores of new units and buildings, additional promotions and traits, this mod adds a great deal of new content to the game! A reworked combat system, forest planting system, and fortress improvements make this mod very unique.
To view the majority of all created content available here at the forums, you can visit the file database and search through its categories to find something that interests you. Additionally, you can search through the Creation and Customization sub-forums, as all downloadable add-ons may not be uploaded to the file database.
What are the scenarios the game comes with?
Civilization 4 comes with the following scenarios: the American Revolution, WWII in the Mediterranean, the Greek World, and an Earth 1000 AD map (as well as just a blank earth map). Warlords comes with an additional 8 scenarios: Peloponnesian Wars, Chinese Unification, Alexander's Conquests, Rise of Rome, Genghis Khan, Age of Vikings, Barbarians, and Omen (alternative history).
What are succession games?
Succession games (SGs) are games of single-player Civ4 played by a team. For example, a host will start a game with all the settings he wants in the Succession Game forum, and wait for interested people to sign up to play. Once a team has assembled (usually around 5 players), the game will begin and players will take their set of turns one after another. In most SGs, each player plays 10 or 15 turns per round. After posting a log of their actions (worker actions, unit movement, any warfare, diplomacy, etc.), the next player takes their turn, and this cycle continues until the game ends.
What does "GOTM" stand for? What is it?
GOTM is an acronym for Game of the Month, a monthly contest where a save is release to the public, people download and play it out, and then, win or loss, submit their final save. Because of this, it is a good way to compare your Civ4 strategies to those of others. Throughout the month spoilers are opened for people to discuss past progress, strategies used, and screenshots. When the game is over, results are published and a list of all people who played, as well as their score, dates won/lost, and victory condition are available. Because the settings for the game change every month, including the difficulty level, there are 3 'classes' of saves: Adventurer (where players get a few bonuses, such as additional units/techs at the beginning of the game), Contender (no bonuses), and Challenger (the game is made harder, for example, the player might start without one of the technologies at the beginning of the game). Civilization 4 GOTM saves are released every 1st of the month, and Warlords GOTM saves are released on the 15th. For more, you can visit the GOTM forum and website.
What is the demogame and the multi-team demogame?
The demogame (DG), short for game of democracy, is a single-player game of Civ4 where the play style mimicks a government and its organization. There are various positions, including a President and advisors, and the rest of the participants form the citizens, who take part in discussions, vote in polls, and share their opinions. Much like a SG, turns are played in segments and a summary is kept. Every month, elections are held and new officials are appointed. To find out more about the demogame, visit its forum. Additionally, there is a multi-team demogame (MTDG), although similar to the demogame in the fact that participants discuss, plan, and strategize their moves, it is different because this game is done via multiplayer (play by email style). Each of the 5 teams has their own forum in which they conduct diplomacy, formulate war plans, discuss the growth of the empire, and everything in between. While the MTDG teams are less structured than in the DG, the human aspect adds a different element to play.
What is the Hall of Fame? How is it different from the one in my game?
There is a forum-wide Hall of Fame (HoF) that contains the results of games not just from one player, but rather all players who submit their top games. The HoF sorts the top games by difficulty level, map size, and victory condition. Although HoF players sometimes use tactics that may not be the norm in order to gain a higher score or faster finish, it is still open to all to submit their games. Additionally, the HoF has "gauntlets" that it runs, or competitions lasting several weeks, in which it encourages players to submit games with particular settings (for example, a Deity Conquest game on Duel map size) to compete for the top slot. There is also a Quattromasters challenge, in which players who have submitted games from a variety of requirements (all the difficulty levels, all the civilizations, all the maps, etc.) are recognized.
Changes from Civilization 3
Due to the sheer size of changes from Civilization 3, below are some of the key additions/changes/improvements from Civilization 3 to Civilization 4.
The addition of a new civilization, Mali, as well as 17 other civilizations that were in Civilization 3 or its expansion packs.
Some civilizations have two leaders.
Eight new civilization traits and bonuses.
Your minimap no longer is centered at the beginning of the game; as you expand, you find out where in the world you are.
You can now have team games, such as a 3v3.
Shields are now called hammers.
There is no more corruption nor city riots.
You can no longer enter someone else's territory unless you have an open borders treaty.
Per-turn deals only last 10 turns.
Cutting down forests will now speed up wonder production.
If you are building a wonder and someone beats you to it, you will get cash for your lost hammers.
You cannot switch production and have hammers carry over. This means no more prebuilds. However, if you switch back within a certain amount of time, your hammers will still be there.
No more (or at least less) micromanagement - excess hammers and beakers are not lost.
Great People are new units that can perform a variety of special actions, including discovering techs, rushing wonders, expanding culture, and more.
To connect resources to your cities, you also have to build that resource's required tile improvement in addition to a road.
The technology tree does not require you to research every tech - in many cases, you only need one of the prerequisites.
Cities now have a system of health and happiness that negatively affect the city when they get unbalanced.
There are seven religions in the game that, when spread, yield extra happiness and culture to cities.
Windmills, lumbermills, and workshops are among the new worker improvements.
Specialists play more of a role in cities because of their ability to generate Great People.
Roads only provide 2 movement until you research Engineering.
There are no more governments. Instead, there are a variety of civics for you to pick and choose to determine your government system.
Units no longer have hitpoints. This has been replaced with an experience system.
Units can now select promotions, or certain bonuses, when they reach a certain level of experience. Promotions can grant them a variety of bonuses, from extra defense, more collateral damage, the ability to heal others, and more.
Unique units do not start golden ages.
There are no more armies.
There is no more attack and defense strength; just an overall "strength" number.
The game is now more customizable, although there is no editor (replaced with the in-game WorldBuilder). The game info is now stored in XML files, editable in Notepad.
A new system of multiplayer, called PitBoss, allows you to play games turn-by-turn on a server, by logging on and playing your turn. Similar to a play by email game, but faster.
How can I play in windowed mode?
In the .ini file, there is a line that says:
; Specify whether to play in fullscreen mode 0/1/askBy changing that value to 0, you will have the game run in windowed mode. Setting it to ask will prompt you whether you want to run it in full screen or windowed mode whenever you open Civ4. You can also change this setting in the options menu.
FullScreen = 1
How can I make it keep more autosaves and autosave more often?
By navigating to and opening your .ini file, you will see two lines that look like this:
; The maximum number of autosaves kept in the directory before being deleted.By changing those numbers around, you can modify the total number of autosaves kept and the number of turns per autosave.
MaxAutoSaves = 100
; Specify the number of turns between autoSaves. 0 means no autosave.
AutoSaveInterval = 1
How come some of the leaders' eyes during diplomacy are partially all-white?
This is a known problem that can be solved by turning off Low Resolution Textures in the options.
Where can I download the latest patches?
The most up-to-date patches are available here.
If you encounter any problems during installation or play, first read the Tech Support FAQ, and if that does not answer your question, try posting in the Tech Support forum.
How do I post a screenshot/upload a saved game?
There are lots of different places to upload your files, but the two here at CFC are the upload system and the attachment system. Another popular free service for images only is ImageShack. Just follow these steps to insert a screenshot or saved game into your post:
What is the difference between the attachment system and the upload system?
- Go to either the upload system, ImageShack, or click the "Manage Attachments" on the Post Reply page (you cannot see the button on the Quick Reply).
- Click Browse and navigate through your folders to find your saved game/screenshot.
- Press Upload.
- Now you have to find the URL of your file (if you used the attachment system, you don't have to worry about this; it will be automatically attached to your post). For the upload system and ImageShack, just copy the URL of your picture/saved game to the clipboard (Control + C) - keep in mind for ImageShack, there are a variety of options, including thumbnails. The non-thumbnail version is the last URL.
- In your post (if you are using the upload system or ImageShack), just type [img]YOUR URL[/img] for an image, and [url=URL TO YOUR FILE]Your File Name[/url] (which will output something like My File). If you are using the attachment system, your file, screenshot or save, will be listed at the end of the post automatically.
There is not much of a difference. The upload system allows you 30 MBs of space, and the attachment system 20 MBs. One difference is that the upload system allows you a maximum upload size of 10 MBs per file, so if you have a sizeable upload, that's the way to go. Otherwise, both are pretty similar.
What is the gallery and file database?
The Gallery is just a collection of user-uploaded screenshots from Civ4, Civ3, and Civ2. Anyone can take a screenshot from one of their games and upload it there, whether it is important or not. The File Database houses many mods, scenarios, maps, and any other downloadable content for Civ4, Civ3, Civ 2, and Civ1. You can search by category, much like on the forums, but it is much easier to just select and mod and click the Download link. If you create any sort of downloadable add-on for one of the Civ games, you can add it to the file database!
If you have any other forum-related question, please post in the Site Feedback forum.
Special thanks to the following people:
Ginger_Ale for authoring the FAQ.
Gogf for contributing some answers.
Civrules for compiling the invaluable Civ4 Info Center.
Sirian for his reference document about map types.
Zophos for contributing a detailed fog of war answer.
Robi D for his article about demographics.
maltz for his article about religion.
Pfeffersack for his article about civics and anarchy.
PieceOfMind for his article about unit healing.
Arathorn for his article about combat.
Sisiutil for his article about stacks of doom.
Krikkitone for his thread about war weariness.
Alexandru for his thread about changes in Warlords.
Kael, Rhye, thamis, Sevo, and Houman for their mod/scenario descriptions.
ainwood for his tech support question and answers.
The FAQ was last updated November 5th, 2006. If you would like to send in a question and answer, correct an error, or make a suggestion, please use this means of contact.
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