Modding Civilization 5 Makes a Great Game Even Better
by: Elton Gahr
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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There are hundreds of mods available for Civilization V, and it can be a bit intimidating to know where to start. This article contains a few of the best mods, allowing you a good place to start, or if you're an old hand at modding a few good suggestions.
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Civilization V Mods - Which Civ 5 Mods Are the Best?
Since the beginning of the Civilization game franchise it has been possible to mod the game. In the first Civilization game you could go into the files and change the amount of food, money or hammers the tiles gave. In every game since the modifications have become easier to add and more complex in how they effects the game. In Civilization IV there were mods that let you play in space, fantasy worlds and more. Among the major changes in Civilization V is that mods have been made far easier to use.
We've provided the links when we can, but you can also download and install mods inside the program. If you're looking for a place to start go to the mod section of Civ V and look for these mods.
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Spanish Civil War
Scenarios are one simplest ways to get into the mod scene. These mods generally let you play out specific times and places in history. Currently, the best of these available is the Spanish Civil War scenario. This Mod lets you play as either side in that war and balances them well. It might even give you a feel for the real war. The only real problem with this mod is that, like with many scenarios, it is a bit difficult to set up. You need to find the right map in the maps section, choose to use it, find the button under that map that says play scenario, select that and then choose the leader you want.
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If you are more interested in altering the game in some minor way those mods are available as well. You can run a number of these at the same time, though some can conflict. One of the simplest and most fun of this type of mod is the Tree Growth Mod. This mod makes the world feel more alive by having forests randomly grow next to other forest covered tiles. This won't change the outcome of any games, but it makes the world feel more alive.
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Hakkak's Extra Civs Pack
The most common type of mod are mods which give you more civilization leader choices. The best of these is currently Hakkak's Extra Civs Pack. This adds sixteen more civilizations to the game including the Dutch, Mongols, Inca, Zulu, Sioux and Portugal. Each of these has a different ability, for example the Holy Roman Empire has a 20% reduction to the unhappiness penalty for the number of cities and a 15% bonus to experience for all units. They also each get two special features, which are either military units or buildings. This adds more to the game than you might think, because not only can you play a different leader but against different leaders as well.
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One of the best new additions to Civilization V are the policies which replace governments, but there are some policies which are far better than others. After a few games you might find yourself choosing the same policies in every game. One of the best mods to adress this is the Civilization Nights mod which changes every policy while keeping the general feel of what they were trying to do. This mod also adds a few other minor effects to help make the game play go a bit more smoothly with the policy changes.
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Unofficial Patch III
There are problems with every new game. This mod fixes many of those problems whether they are legitimately bugs or simple annoyances. There is not a lot to say about this except that if you are running into game play issues that make it less fun to play this is a mod you should get.
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There are hundreds of mods for Civilization V and more coming every day. It is worth the effort to look through them and find ones that will improve your game play experience. For that reason, these mods should not be the end of your modding experience, but they are a great place to start. Each of these mods will give you an idea of what you can expect from other mods you may try and give you a better understanding of the entire game, and how each part interacts.
What's your favorite mod? Leave recommendations in the comments.