Civilization V – How to Play Better

Best Way to Learn to Play Better

  • 1) Tactical Strategy & Long-Term Strategy
  • 2) Exploration , Growth, Expansion
  • 3) Wonders & Great People
  • 4) Science
  • 5) Happiness

I usually prefer a domination victory, as i feel it is the purest and highest form of victory. Its a game of fighting and armies, not friendship and diplomacy.

Having said that, you should already have a victory type in mind when you start a hard game, as you will need to choose what to research based on your planned road to victory.

1) Strategy

  • Maximize tribal village rewards by reloading till you get what you want ( or use pocatello)
  • Cheese the enemies by exploiting their poor choices (city placements, unit movements)
  • Dont throw units away…always fight with multiple units, focusing attacks to make complete kills while at the same time limiting the movement attacking ability of the enemy units ( the ai is surprisingly bad at moving a group of units at once, you can learn to disrupt their movement and separate them easily even at the hardest levels.

Road to Victory:

With swordsman/catapults close neighbors should be destroyed, with stronger neighbors becoming extinct by knights.

With muskets and trebuchets/ cannons and phasing into riflemen you should have established a nice holding on enemy continents.

With artillery (3 hex range) and cavalry/armor you should have the majority of enemies weakened to the point of being ineffective.

By now you have chosen your ideology (probly autocracy if youre militaristic) and have upgraded your artillery to rockets and are fielding modern armor and airpower. The world now belongs to you, its just a matter of taking it.

2) You should constantly be growing, and just above the threshold of unhappiness. JS bachs cathedral is essential, and you should have a great engineer by this time, because you built the pyramids and great library ( never let the enemy build those, NEVER)

Dont waste turns, ever. If you find yourself rolling over turns without doing anything…thats a problem, you must always be growing, exploring, blocking, building, planning where to settle next.

3) You’ll want to build the great library ASAP for the great scientist points and the free library in ur capital. And you CANNOT let any1 else have this.

Some of my favorites include : pyramids, great wall, oracle, js bachs cathedral, sistine chapel,

4) No matter what your path to victory, wether cultural, scientific, diplomatic, or domination the goal is the same at first: grow strong.

Building certain wonders not only gives you the bonus, but it prevents the enemy from having it. At higher levels you will not be able to build every wonder that you want, so you must prioritize what you want the most… great library, oracle, pyramids are very important for growth from an early time. Save your great engineers to fast-build critical wonders.

You want to maximize you cultural output from the beginning, so you can get more policies faster. I have developed a starting build order for this:

  • Build a scout or barbarian
  • Build a monument
  • Build another scout or barbarian
  • Build a settler
  • Start building the Great Library
  1. Take the Tradition tree opener for extra culture per turn
  2. Take honor opener for extra culture each barbarian killed (and make sure you are killing barbs with your 2 military units)
  3. Now take the 2nd tree until you get a free settler, and complete that tree for a free Great engineer (you will need him to rush a wonder by early mid-game)


  • You start the game getting 1 culture per turn, because of the palace in ur capital.
  • With your 1st unit you will find a tribal village and get gifted 20 culture, launching you to you 1st cultural reward at 25 culture points, which will allow you to pick you 1st policy-tradition- that will increase your culture-per-turn ( save just before you explore the village so you can reload if its not the reward you want).
  • At this point in the game, that is 20 turns worth of culture, you would be unwise to ignore this critical boost.
Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2715 Articles
My first game was Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation) back in 1996. And since then gaming has been my main hobby. I turned my passion for gaming into a job by starting my first geek blog in 2009. When I’m not working on the site, I play mostly on my PlayStation. But I also love outdoor activities and especially skiing.

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