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Civilization 5: Basic Tips and Strategies


  • Civilization 5: Basic Tips and Strategies

    Civilization 5 is a game of enormous mechanical complexity. There are several dozen interdependent variables working together at any one time, and keeping up with everything is next to impossible. You'll save yourself some agony if you keep the Three Golden Rules below at the front of your consciousness.

    Rule Number #1: Everything Happens for a Reason
    Rule Number #2: Keep Em' Happy
    Rule Number #3: Make Sure the Boss Fits the Plan

    Rule Number #1: Everything Happens for a Reason

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    Hover your mouse pointer over an index to see what's affecting it. Now at least you know what they're mad about.

    Civilization 5 economics operate on the Butterfly effect, with seemingly small negligence growing exponentially over the passing of turns. If the mistake causing your current crisis is a recent one, it's probably easily identifiable and correctable. If it occurred farther back in time (like skipping past a vital Technology), then recovery will be more difficult, sometimes impossible.

    For example, King Minmax the Great notices that Happiness is steadily going down. Checking the factors effecting his current Happiness, Minmax sees that he's not generating much Happiness from Luxury Resources, and his Cities are outgrowing his ability to please his Citizens. He has an untapped source of Ivory near his Capital and sends a Worker to Improve it.

    Upon the Worker’s arrival, Minmax discovers that he skipped over Trapping in his early game rush to reach the Classical Era, and thus can't build Camps to harvest the Ivory. He immediately allocates Research to discover the neglected Technology, but loses several turns of Happiness in the meantime, which stunts his population growth and Golden Age Progress.
    There will be moments when it seems like the game has turned against you and there's no logic to the shortages that plague you. But almost every time the cause of your worries is the consequence of a decision you made.

    Rule Number #2: Keep Em' Happy

    A cardinal rule of success in Civilization 5 is to keep your people happy. Without Happiness, your population stagnates. Without population growth, all other indexes are handicapped.

    Keep the Luxuries flowing. Improve your Resources ASAP, create as many trade agreements as possible, construct Happiness-generating Buildings and prioritize anything with a yellow smiley face on it. If you maintain Happiness, you will find your ability to maintain everything else significantly improved.

    Rule Number #3: Make Sure the Boss Fits the Plan

    Every game of Civilization 5 begins with a decision: which nation will I choose? Every leader and society offers unique abilities and Units that fit certain styles of play, and coordinating your alter ego with your plan of action makes playing much more enjoyable.

    There are five ways to win Civilization 5, and all are quite different from one another. Choose one from the beginning and then pick a Leader who will help you get there. Go with the obvious choices at first, like Napoleon for Cultural Victory, and Nobunaga or Bismark for Domination. As your experience increases, experiment with less obvious combination, like Ghandi for Cultural Victory or Montezuma for Diplomatic Victory.


    • Dinner
      Dinner commented
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      We should update this for the new expansions.

    • Johansukipli
      Johansukipli commented
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