Civilization 5 Tips, Tricks and Strategies for Winning

Civilization V Strategy and Tips

Here are some Civilization V Strategy & Tips and Tricks.

Thanks to Rob and our site staff for these tips.

  • Start small (1 or 2 cities until they reach population 5-ish), focus on settling your cities near Resources (Strategic & Luxury),
  • Be careful scouting - When scouting and exploring the land, try to move your scout 1 step at a time in areas you think there may be enemies. This way you won't accidentally run into barbarians and lose your scout.
  • Automation - It is never a good idea to automate your workers or scouts, the AI is not good a t building or avoiding barbarian encampments, so it is better to manually direct them every turn.

    When automated, the workers may build too many unneeded things on tiles like farms which results in a higher gold cost every turn.

  • Don't build every building in every city -be selective, build for specialization (1 city builds military, 1 city generates cash, 1 city generates research, etc.)
  • Science - Try to prioritize buildings that give you science. Science can really help you research useful technologies and get ahead a lot faster.
  • Learn about the various City-State offerings and choose your Allies based on your current needs (food bonus at start of game, culture bonus to grow quickly once established, military bonus if you're in a war).
  • Spend some turns at "Avoid/Prevent Growth" (check box in City Management screen) once your cities get to pop. 10 or so, to make sure your Economic and Happiness buildings are in place before growing too big. This way your happiness is much more manageable.
  • Keep an eye on your Military rating in the Demographics page, don't fall below 4th on the list or you WILL be attacked
  • Keep your military a manageable size - don't overdo it or you'll sink yourself in maintenance costs (go for 2nd or 3rd largest military on the Demographics page - small enough to be economical, large enough to deter attack.
  • AI teammates can end wars - When using AI teammates, keep in mind they can auto end wars you are currently in.
  • Friend or foe? - Be aware that any of your early Allies can backstab you later in the game.
  • The more roads, the better - Once you get a good sum of money rolling in, build a bunch of roads everywhere so your units can travel around faster.
  • Civ help with war - You can trade things like gold, iron or horses to a Civ and ask them to help you go to war with another Civ.
  • Diplomacy overview shows you how long you are friends or enemies with other Civs.
  • Production - Chop forests for production.
  • More info on current state of game - You can use info addict for important information like how far or behind you are in technologies in relation to the AI.
  • Wonders - Keep in mind it is better to choose wisely when it comes to wonders. If your cities have stone or marcible, the mausoleum of Haicarnassus should be chosen over the Statue of Zeus or the Great Wall.

Civilization V Strategy for Winning:

(This strategy may be a bit cheap but it works. If you don't like loading and saving to win, then don't use this strategy.)

(Thanks to K7 for the tip)

Here is a strategy on how to not get overrun by the AI and win a regular game of Civilization V:
  • First, set your autosaves to every 5 turns, and save 10 of them.
  • Manually control your workers until at least the late renaissance era. Don't let them run rampant. You only need ~1 worker per city. Start connecting your cities to your capital when they hit ~5 food.
  • A city needs a 3 tile radius to be fully optimized. Don't build useless cities (on deserts, snow, next to mountains, etc.), make sure they have plenty of good resources near them. The only time you would want to build a city in a "bad spot" is if theirs a strong strategic resource you need.
  • Focus on your economy. Economy, economy, economy. Don't go short on your military techs either.
  • Only build enough military units to hold off barbarians.
  • Eventually, an AI will attack you. Typically with this method, you won't have a strong enough military to stop them, but you should be rolling in the $$/happiness. Here's the trick... you ready for it?
  • Load the game ~10 turns back, and turn all your cities into production focus of building military units. Wait for the AI to attack you, hold them off, and stomp them.
  • I had tried 2 games on the prince difficulty before figuring this out (as japan and england), and lost both due to either negative income, terrible unhappiness, or both. Now I'm playing as Rome on a huge earth map, and I control nearly all of asia, have 80 gold/turn income, and 20 happiness. I have ~20 military units and am warmongering into europe.
  • Economy is the key. And auto saves.