Section E: Cheats

Civ1 FAQ: Cheats

There are lots of ways to cheat, but most of them make the game less interesting. The one exception is editing the save file. I play most games honestly, and don’t edit the save file just for the sake of winning; sometimes I edit the save file in order to create unusual and interesting situations.

(I try never to cheat at all, but occasionally can’t resist using the fast-settler.)

Editing the save file just to give yourself huge amounts of cash is boring. Be creative! Give the Romans a battleship in 3980 BC and see if you can still beat them! Try playing difficulty level 5, which is worse than Emperor, but start yourself with extra advantages to make up for it. Edit the unit definitions and play with different kinds of military units. Be the barbarians.

At difficulty level 6, you have no contented citizens at all, even when your city size is 1 (one!). The computer does not labor under such a disadvantage; its unhappiness is still Prince level, I think. The computer builds a militia with about 3 or 4 resources. You need a lot of extra advantages to win at difficulty level 6.

To play at difficulty level 6, you must change the tenth byte of the save file to a 6. There is always a chance that the game will crash when you save, because the difficulty level is used to index the strings "Chieftain. "Emperor". So far I never had a crash.

To play the barbarians, change byte 2 to a zero. If there are no barbarian units, you get a "Centuries Later…" ending; this means you need to give yourself a Barbarian settler, by writing, at offset 0x26c0 of the file,

00XX YY00 0300 ff00 ff00 ffff

where XX and YY are the latitude and longitude; try 2020 as a start.

I described above a game where I edited the save file to give myself an incredible advantage, and then set myself an unusual goal in addition to the normal goal of just winning.

Another time recently, I was getting too many barbarians. I was handling them easily, but got tired of them. I don’t like the barbarians, and I wish Civ had an option to turn them off. I saved, quit, and deleted all the barbarian units! I got a 400 year breathing space out of that…

The most famous ("infamous") known cheats are:

1) The Shift-56 cheat

Note: The cheat only requires %^ (shift 56).

This is the Shift-56 (sometimes shift 1 to 8) cheat, only available in v1.0. It was the player-test mode for Microprose play testers. Refresh the map after pressing Shift 1-8 (by moving the cursor or pressing t twice) and you will see the map of the whole world. You can click on the cities of other players and unfortify their troops and sell their city improvements

F7 will show you the development profile of each civilization, showing you all their advances and allowing you to see if they have a vendetta against you.

F8 shows you the powergraph and allows you to see a replay up to that point.

F9 shows numbers representing the attack points, defense points, and 3 of the cities the computer uses to calculate battle, on each continent (along with giving the size of each continent in land squares.

F10 shows a complete world map.

The other function keys sometimes do their normal functions, but they mess up the display a lot of the time. Just a word of warning.

2) The Movement Cheat

Any piece that sentries in a town before the end of its movement can be unsentried and REGAINS ITS FULL MOVEMENT for the turn. What this means is that if you have roads linking your cities together and a chariot in a city on one side of your continent, you can move it all the way to the other side of the continent in one turn. All you do is sentry it in each city along the way (as long as each city is {=5 squares away). In fact if you have some invaders to kill, you can kill one, sentry it in a nearby city, unsentry it, kill the second, move into the city again all in one turn.

This is how I defend 10 cities with 4 chariots.

3) The Settler Cheat

(Spoils the game) Most settler functions take from 2 to 12 turns to accomplish. Any of them can be accomplished in one turn by putting the settler a square, pressing R or M or I or whatever, clicking on the settler to make it blink again (which seemingly aborts the function) and pressing R again. Keep repeating this process until the road or irrigation is finished. If you turn on the End-of-Turn feature, this helps you perform the desired function in one turn. Otherwise you could just keep some nearby piece blinking so that the turn doesn’t end before you’ve milked the cheat for all it’s worth. Irrigating swamp takes 10 or 11 turns so this cheat is real handy.

4) Ship Movement Cheat

a) With two ships (Sail, Frigate and Transport) you can move anywhere in the world, provided you have one ground unit aboard. The process is to move one ship (needs to be able to take one unit) until it has one MP, place it in sentry mode, move the next ship (the one with at least one unit in it) next to it and "unload" the unit into the sentry mode ship. Then place the just unloaded ship (with most likely 1 MP) into sentry mode and repeat with the ship just loaded (It will have its normal MP restored, wonders are not included). Repeat this process until you get where you want to go. (Note: sometimes the computer will flash "end of turn" after placing a ship into sentry mode, even though you just transferred a unit and the other ship should be active. Just click onto the supposedly active ship, hit a key/button, and the ship should become fully active again. I’ve also noticed what appears to be a glitch after doing this for a while in one turn. It seems the computer knows you’re doing something not quite right, or the programming is straining with the large number of moves.

Note: Apparently, this cheat *does* work with triremes, provided you do not sentry them away from land.

b) This sub-section is a contribution from Bob O’Bob and when combined with the settler cheat makes the game almost impossible to lose!

  (and you thought the settler cheat spoiled the game...)
  ALL ships can have unlimited movement.  This includes having a battleship
  bombard a city an unlimited number of times, or until it loses ;-).  
  This is really based on the original ship movement cheat, but is so much
  more powerful, and in a way so much simpler to implement, that I'm 
  surprised it has not been written up before. In use, it is very similar to 
  the movement cheat of sentrying units in towns. If any ship is sentried 
  before its movement points (MPs) are used up, it can be awakened by any 
  ship that can respond to the "U"nload command on the same square.  The 
  sentried ship(s) will wake up with full MPs (not counting WoW extras). The 
  simplest form of this will allow you to map the whole ocean with only two 
  sails.  Starting on the same square, move one until it has only one MP 
  left, then sentry it.  Move the other to the same square and unload it.  
  Sentry the second, and unload the first. Now, both have full MPs again!  
  Or, for a real thrill, make a convoy out of a battleship and two 
  transports.  Two transports are needed to wake each other up, because the 
  battleship does not react to the unload command.  The transports can be 
  *completely* full, too, another advantage over the earlier ship movement 
  cheat.  One "convoy" like this, with the liberal application of the 
  save-game cheat, can wipe out all enemy units on coastal squares or in 
  coastal cities - in a single turn. Like the settler cheat, actually doing 
  this can get boring, both in terms of how many motions it takes and in how 
  easy things get.
  Warnings: do not "U"nload a ship on a square where a bomber has ended its
  turn without a carrier or city underneath it. This may cause the bomber
  to run out of fuel. When stacking large numbers of units (including cargo)
  to be awakened by a single ship "U"nloading, there may be a maximum number
  of units awakened by a single "U" command (it appears to be 8) and you
  might have to "U" more than once to get them all.  Remember, the last
  ship arriving still has to sentry and be awakened to keep a whole convoy
  I'm still looking for a method of giving air units unlimited life, and 
  yes, a carrier *can* wake up a battleship.
  Note: _once_, while working with five sails and fifteen "cargo" units,
  I managed to have a caravan unit out on the ocean, alone, blinking.
  I was so surprised that I forgot to make a save file. If I _could_
  duplicate this, I would tell you how, and what it's good for. If anyone
  sees such an occurrance, *make a save file* and let me know!
	---Bob O'Bob

5) The Shipping Lanes Cheat

You can make enough transport-type ships, string them along in a convoy, just enough spaces apart that you use up the full MP of each one, and start from one shore, move the ship on top of the next, use that ship to go to the next… and your troops will move with the active ship, provided it can carry them all.

Note: If you string along enough ships to make a complete circle, with ships moving each way between each pair of ports, you can move one ship-load each way, each turn.

6) The Unloading Ships Cheat

This one is when you wish to unload units in a city. Dock the ship, and go into the city description screen (click on city) and then click on the units in sentry mode you just delivered. They will then have full MP restored, and you can continue to move them normally at this point. (With Railroad (RR), this cheat allows for faster deployment across continents between your cities and/or ships.) Note that a unit can have several full moves in one turn this way.

7) The Save Game Cheat

Apart from the obvious reasons for saving regularly. It is well known that the computer cheats when it comes to World Wonders. They appear to be awarded randomly to any city the computer likes. If one gets awarded, it is possible to go back to your last save, and the chances are that it won’t be awarded again for a while.

Another use for the save option is when you are having problems attacking your enemies because of an uncooperative senate.

  • 1. Have a revolution
  • 2. Attack whoever you wish
  • 3. Save the game
  • 4. Reload it
  • 5. You will be prompted for the type of government you require

Thanks to Evan for that one.

8) The Settler Movement Cheat

Move the settler 2 squares along a road, then tell it to do something. Now wake it up and move it another two squares. This means you can move a settler a minimum of 13 squares along a road before the development of railroad. If you move them along a mountain range where it takes a long time to build mines, or across swamp you can move about 19 squares in one turn (tell the settlers to mine the mountain/hill or clear the swamp).

9) The Spaceship Cheat!

Not too sure if this is a cheat or a bug, but I thought I would include it anyway. Pointed out to me by Don Davis (nod sivad).

It is possible to launch a spaceship with 0% chance of success. All it needs is a habitation module and a connected engine. I’ve never lost any of these ships. This has saved my butt a couple of times when engaged in a space race. I call this a cheat because the 100% success rate must be due to a bug.

10) The Settler/Railroad at Sea Cheat

  Unload the settler and build, now wake the settler up and build until the 
  road/railroad is built. Now move the transport one square and unload the 
  settler - now you can get more production out of this busy little settler. 
  If you have enough transports you could theoretically railroad every sea
  sector with only one settler.

  Here's how to do it:
  Have a settler in a ship.  
  Command the ship to "U"nload.
  Command the settler to "R"oad.
  Click on the ship. (I'm assuming you have a mouse)
  Click on the settler's icon in the pop-up, "waking up" the settler
  Press some key or click elsewhere to clear the pop-up (I press "R")
  Go back to the step of commanding the settler to "R"oad.
  Once the settler completes a phase (road or rail) the ship underneath
  it must move once, to make it willing to start again.
  I find it best to use *two* settlers; for each sea square one builds
  the road, the other builds the rail; then move the ship.  With two ships
  and a ship movement cheat (q.v.) there is no theoretical limit to how
  much of the ocean can be railroaded in a single turn
	---Bob O'Bob

11) Hacking the .SVE file

An amusing and informative post for those that wish to hack the .SVE files themselves. Remember, there are easier ways to do this !?!

CIVILIZATION - What a great game! :)

  Want to go back in time?
  Want to play a different civilization?
  Want to make the game easier or harder without starting over?
  Want to give civilizations more appropriate names?
  Want to really speed up scientific research?
  Want to give yourself (or another civilization) lots of cash?
  Want to reduce the number of civilizations in your current game?
          Or increase it?
  Want to play with a couple of friends?
  Want to change the computer players' tax/science/luxuries ratio's?
          Or your own?

Here's how to do it:
  First off, a few helpful hints:
         1) use a HEX editor (BEAV, available on the net is a good choice)
         2) always remember that ALL numbers in the game are represented by 
            2 byte LSB,MSB format numbers in the .SVE files.  (At least, 
            this seems to be the case. :)
         3) most numbers have an upper limit, either game imposed or 
            compiler imposed.  For instance, you can't have more than 32000 
            in cash - that's game imposed.  Even if you could have more 
            than 32000, you couldn't have more than 32767 because 1 bit of 
            the 16 bits used for each number is used to indicate that the
            number is negative - this is compiler imposed.
         4) make backups of your .SVE files before changing them.

Ok, here's the format for each question:
        (byte start address in HEX to change in .SVE file,length in decimal)
        (valid range in decimal if known)
        (explanatory text)

And here are the questions again:

  Want to go back in time?
         before 4000BC has worked, after 2200AD may also work
         Changing the current year allows you to play the game forever and 
         achieve phenomenal scores.  

  Want to play a different civilization?
         the range is 1-7.  choosing 0 would make you the barbarians.
         Now you can change to whatever civilization is winning at the 
         moment or simply see what each one of them can see.  This does 
         screw up the little map on your main screen, but you can live with 
         it. :)  
         NOTE: This number is very important for other questions.  For any
         question that applies to multiple civilizations (more cash, more 
         lightbulbs for science, etc) you need to multiple this number by 
         the number of bytes used for each civilization's set of values, and 
         add it to the byte start address.

   Want to make the game easier or harder without starting over?
         the range is 0-4.
         This is the difficulty rating.  A 0 is for Chieftain and a 4 is for 
         Emperor.  I haven't tested anything above 4, I shudder to think 
         what the game might do, considering how badly it cheats on 4.

   Want to give civilizations more appropriate names?
         This one is special, because it really encompasses three similar 
         10, 14  - This is for the Leaders' names
         80, 12  - This is for the PLURAL spelling of the civilization name
         E0, 11  - This is for the singular spelling of the civilization 
         Any character you like, plus the following special ones: 
                 # = Stick figure
                 $ = coin
                 ^ = check mark
                 { = wheat stalk
                 } = trade arrows
                  = diamond
                 | = shield
                 ~ = light bulb
                 _ = sun
         If the new name is shorter than the allowed space, the next byte at 
         the end of the name should be a 0 (this prevents junk remaining 
         from the previous name from showing up).

   Want to really speed up scientific research?
         148, 2
         0-lots :)
         This figure must NEVER exceed the amount required for the next 
         advance.  If it does, you'll never get the next advance.  The 
         amount required for the next advance is based on the difficulty 
         level (0-4), and how many advances you already have (invented, 
         stolen, or found makes no difference :).  The number of lightbulbs 
         needed for each new advance is:
         (difficulty level+3)*2*(# of advances you already have).  
         NOTE: In the beginning advances are slightly harder at the low 
         difficulty levels (weird, huh?) AND after 0 AD the number doubles 
         (i.e., add a *2 to the equation above).

   Want to give yourself (or another civilization) lots of cash?
         138, 2
         -32000 (or so) to +32000
         Don't make this number a negative - you'll lose EVERYTHING.
         This number won't go above 32000, so spend money if you start to 
         get close to it.

   Want to reduce the number of civilizations in your current game?
   Or increase it?
         93BC, 2
         The range is only 0-6 because the Barbarians always exist, and 
         there can only be 7 civilizations.  If you drop this number down 
         to 0, the computer will probably ignore all the civilizations 
         except yours and the barbarians.

   Want to play with a couple of friends?
         By playing with the number of civilizations, and changing the 
         player civilization number, you should be able to play a 
         multi-player game.  
         NOTE: Due to the required save, edit, and reload steps 
         such a game will take a LONG time to play.

   Want to change the computer players' tax/science/luxuries ratio's?
   Or your own?
         0738, 2 - This is the tax rate
         8BB4, 2 - This is the science rate
         0-10 combined total
         The ratios are determined in the following order: tax, science, 
         luxury.  Taxes are checked first, and the value is subtracted from 
         10.  Then science is subtracted from the new value.  The resulting
         value is placed in Luxuries.  NOTE: Taxes are generated first, so 
         if you set taxes at or above 10, science and luxuries gain NOTHING 
         no matter what the numbers show.  This can be verified by hitting
         the F5 key.  
Brought to you by Charlemagne, Emperor of the World (several times over :)
        also known as:

12) Is there an easier way to hack the .SVE files?

Yes! There is an excellent program called It is available at in directory pub/games/romulus/misc. See (GENERAL section 12) for details of obtaining it if you do not have FTP access.