Civilization III: Info Center

Civilization III Info Center

A directory of all information related to Civilization III.

Compiled by Civilization Fanatics’ Center

Last updated on: Friday, January 16, 2004.


  1. Foreword
  2. Overview
  3. Graphics
  4. Music
  5. Civilizations
  6. City Management
  7. Units
  8. Technologies
  9. Governments
  10. Culture
  11. Nationality
  12. Borders
  13. Resource Model
  14. Terrain & Terrain Improvements
  15. Trade
  16. Difficulty Levels
  17. Interface
  18. Diplomacy
  19. Military
  20. Golden Ages
  21. Barbarians
  22. Wonders of the World
  23. Victory Conditions
  24. Multiplayer
  25. Replay Features
  26. Map Generator and Editing Tool
  27. Play the World Expansion Pack
  28. Other Features
  29. Screenshots
  30. Game Arts
  31. Multimedia
  32. Beta Testing & Demo
  33. FAQ
  34. Feedback
  35. Update History


Welcome to the Civilization III Info Center! The purpose of this Info Center is to index ALL known Civ3 information to make it easier for you to find the info you need on any aspect of the game. The info in the Info Center are gathered from numerous previews, reviews, interviews, articles, strategy guide, manual, and forum posts, both official and unofficial. With more than 36 pages of info, we are proud to say that it provides the most complete reference of Civilization III on the net. The Info Center will be frequently updated to ensure it’s always up-to-date. To make it easier for you to see, new info is in red and recently updated info is in blue. All links open in a new window.


  • Full Title: Sid Meier’s Civilization III
  • Developer: Firaxis Games
  • Publisher:: Infogrames
  • Genre: Strategy (turn-based)
  • Platform: PC
  • Origin: U.S.
  • Development Status:
    • Civilization 3 project announced on May 18, 1999.
    • Third alpha version on July 29, 2001.
    • Hit beta on August 22, 2001.
    • Gone Gold on October 8, 2001.
    • Released on October 30, 2001.
    • Released in Europe on November 16, 2001.
    • Patch v1.16f released on December 7, 2001.
    • Mac version released on January 7, 2002.
    • Patch v1.17f released on February 14, 2002.
    • Patch v1.21f released on April 18, 2002.
    • Play the World expansion pack announced on May 1, 2002
    • Patch v1.29f released on July 18, 2002.
    • Play the World hit beta on August 22, 2002.
    • Play the World released on October 30, 2002.
    • Play the World patch v1.04 released on October 30, 2002.
    • Play the World patch v1.14 released on November 26, 2002.
    • Play the World patch v1.21 released on February 28, 2003.
    • Second Civ3 expansion pack Civilization III: Conquest announced on May 14, 2003.
    • Firaxis and BreakAway announced Civ3:Conquest closed beta test on May 20, 2003.
  • Release Dates:
    • Collectors Edition: October 30, 2001
    • Standard Edition: October 30, 2001
    • Strategy Guide:October 30, 2001
    • Mac Version: January 7, 2002
    • Game of the Year Edition: October 29th, 2002.
    • Play the World expansion pack: October 30th, 2002.
    • Civilization III: Conquest expansion pack: Fall 2003
  • What’s in the box?
    • The Standard Edition only contains the game and the manual. It doesn’t include a fold out tech tree.
    • The Collector’s Edition comes in a very nice tin with the game, a manual, a “Making of Civ III” CD, Video Celebrating Sid Meier’s Induction into the IDSA Hall of Fame, Designer’s Notes from Sid Meier and Jeff Briggs, and a Fold-Out Tech Tree.
    • The Official Strategy Guide contains complete coverage of all civilization advances, tips for building and controlling your armies, essential strategy for diplomacy, politics, and commerce, how to use Great Leaders, tactics for understanding and developing the new Culture element, advice for immersive single-player gaming, detailed information on the game editor, etc.
    • The Game of the Year edition is a re-release of Civilization III and includes the most current version of the game (version 1.29f), three new game maps, a keyboard command card, a making-of video, and an excerpt from Prima’s official strategy guide for the game. It does NOT include the expansion pack.
    • The Play the World expansion pack includes 8 new Civs, multiplayer, new game modes, new city improvements, a new Wonder, etc. For details please see the PTW section of the info center.
  • Box Art: US Version | Limited Edition | UK Version
  • Starting Units: One Settler, One Worker.
  • Starting Gold: 10
  • Number of Civilizations: Cut down from 21 to 16.
  • Number of Years Covered: 6050 (4000 BC – 2050 AD)
  • Number of Difficulty Levels: Still 6, same as in Civ2
  • Number of Civilizations in one game: Depending on map size, you can have a maximum of 16 civs in one game. The default number of civs for different map sizes are listed in the table below.
  • Default World Sizes & Number of Civs:
    Tiny World: 60×60 4 Civs
    Small World: 80×80 6 Civs
    Standard World: 100×100 8 Civs
    Large World: 140×140 12 Civs
    Huge World: 160×160 16 Civs
  • Official System Requirements:
    • Pentium 300 MHZ Pentium II or Better (500 MHZ Recommended)
    • 32 MB RAM
    • 500 MB hard drive space; Full install requires 700 MB
    • 4X CD-ROM
    • DirectX 8.0a compatible video card (must be able to display 1024x768x16bit)
    • DirectX 8.0a compatible sound card
    • Platforms: Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP
  • Official Civ3 Related Links:
  • The Mac Port:
    • There is a Mac version of Civ3 and Westlake Interactive did the porting.
    • Mac Civilization III was shipped on January 7th, 2002.
  • Sid Meier took an active role in the design but Jeff Briggs was responsible for leading the team. Jeff Morris acted as Associate Producer for the title.
  • Picture of the entire Civ3 team


  • The game runs on a completely brand new graphics engine. Units are animated as they move about the map and engage in combat. Phalanx units, for example, wield giant spears in combat and collapse to the ground when killed.
    • To speed things up, you can selectively disable or enable unit animations in the game. The available options are:
      1. Animate Our Moves
      2. Animate Friend Moves (Friends are those Civs that have a peace treaty with you).
      3. Animate Our Automatic Moves
      4. Animate Enemy Moves
    • Holding the SHIFT key will make the units move a lot faster.
    • The 1.16f patch added additional options to show or hide enemy moves.
  • Civ3 has contoured maps. Elevations and terrain features affect strategies and combat. For example, you can see farther on a hill or mountain.
  • The aerial View screen reflects the current state of your city, from wonders to city improvements. Your city view also varies depending on the terrain of the tile on which your city is built, whether or not the city is adjacent to a river or coast, your civilization, and the current era (ancient times, middle ages, industrial age, and modern era).Clicking on a structure in the aerial view screen will bring up its Civilopedia entry.
  • City Style: Culture type and era (along with city size) determine how your city appears on the main map screen.For example, Germans and French share the same style of map city look, but the Germans look radically different from the Japanese.
  • Map cities animate to show different situations such as civil disorder and We Love the King Day (WLTKD). Civil disorders are represented by black smoke and WLTKD is represented by fireworks.
  • The game has a 3D rendered look reminiscent of Pieter Breugel’s Tower of Babel.
  • The throne room of Civ2 is gone and in its place is the Palace of Civ1. There are 5palace styles.
  • Civ3 doesn’t have Wonder movies, but it does have an opening movie and a victory movie for spaceship win.


  • There is a very cool system that “builds” or layers the background music as you progress in the game.
  • Units will have SFX (sound effects) that are mixed on the fly with pitch and volume randomization so they sound different and time perfectly. There is much more music than in CIV II and the music starts interactive with a new game. For example, each time the player builds a city or a unit, the music changes to reflect this.
  • There are five different “mixes” that represent the five major cultural groupings of the Civs in the game (European, North American, Middle Eastern, Greco-Roman, and Asian). These cycle continuously while you play, and will change throughout the course of the game.
  • Another area that has new music is diplomacy sessions; there are both aggressive and passive tracks for each culture grouping that play depending on the mood of the Civ who you are haggling with.
  • All the music in the game is stored in MP3 format. Sound effects are in WAV format as usual.
  • You can change the volume of music and sound effects independently, so you can disable music but still get the full glory of the sound effects. Using programs like WinAmp in the background while playing Civ III seems to work fine, so you shouldn’t have any problem listening to whatever music you want to while playing.


  • Firaxis: “One of our goals with Civilization III was to make the civs more distinctive and memorable; we wanted them to differ in more than just their team color. One of the ways we approached this was the art: we created animated leaders for each civ and city art that varies based on the civ. Another major approach we took was to give each civ certain bonuses based on its historical strengths.”
  • Civilization III has 16 Civilizations (compared to Civ II’s 21).
    • Jeff Morris: “The designers looked for an interesting mix of diverse civilizations. Since the amount of art generated for each civilization is significantly higher in Civilization III, we couldn’t include as many as in Civilization II. Those civilizations that are represented are ‘rendered’ in much more detail than their peers in Civilization II.”
    • The upcoming Play the World expansion pack will include 8 new Civs. (See the Play the World section for more info)
  • The Civilizations:
Civilization Leader Capital Unique Unit (A/D/M) Replaces Abilities
Romans Julius Caesar Rome Legion (3/3/1) Swordsman Militaristic & Commercial
Greeks Alexander Athens Hoplite (1/3/1) Spearman Commercial & Scientific
Germans Bismarck Berlin Panzer Tank (16/8/3) Tank Militaristic & Scientific
Chinese Mao Tse-Tung Beijing Rider (4/3/3) Knight Militaristic & Industrious
Japanese Tokugawa Tokyo Samurai (4/4/2) Knight Militaristic & Religious
Indians Gandhi New Delhi War Elephant (4/3/2) Knight Commercial & Religious
Aztecs Montezuma Tenochtitlan Jaguar Warrior (1/1/2) Warrior Militaristic & Religious
Iroquois Hiawatha Salamanca Mounted Warrior (3/1/2) Horseman Expansionist & Religious
Egyptians Cleopatra Thebes War Chariot (2/1/2) Chariot Religious & Industrious
Babylonians Hammurabi Babylon Bowman (2/2/1) Archer Scientific & Religious
Russians Catherine Moscow Cossack (6/4/3) Cavalry Expansionist & Scientific
Americans Lincoln Washington F15 Fighter (8/4, 4/6/2) Jet Fighter Expansionist & Industrious
French Joan of Arc Paris Musketeer (3/4/1) Musket Man Commercial & Industrious
Persians Xerxes Persepolis Immortals (4/2/1) Swordsman Industrious & Scientific
Zulus Shaka Zimbabwe Impis (1/2/2) Warrior Militaristic & Expansionist
English Elizabeth I London Man-o-War (3/2/4, 3/1/2) Frigate Commercial & Expansionist
  • Each civ is assigned to a global culture, which determines some graphical things. There is a game effect though: members of the same culture get along better in negotiations, so the Americans can negotiate with the Iroquois more easily than the Zulus
  • The Mongols, the Spanish, the Celts, the Vikings, and the Carthaginians are not in Civilization III. But by “using the supplied editing tools, players can create and play with other custom civilizations”.
  • In Civilization III, each civilization is categorized based on its strengths. There are six categories (Militaristic, Commercial , Expansionistic, Scientific, Religious, and Industrious), and each civ is attributed two categories. These bonuses add another level of interesting choices to the game in that you will now want to carefully consider the strengths of a civ before you start playing. If you are an aggressive player, you might want to consider a “Militaristic” civ, whereas a player who chooses the route of diplomacy could be better served by a “Religious” or “Commercial” civ.
Civilization Abilities
Militaristic Commercial Expansionist Scientific Religious Industrious
Free Tech Warrior Code
or The Wheel
Alphabet Pottery Bronze Working Ceremonial Burial Masonry
Effect 1 Reduced military improvement costs Extra commerce in city center Better stuff from barbarian villages Free random tech at the beginning of each new era Production costs reduced for religious buildings Workers work faster
Effect 2 Battlefield promotions more likely Lower Corruption Civilization starts with a scout Reduced science improvement costs No Anarchy
Between Governments
Extra production in city center
  • Civ3 includes a robust editor. You can create new civilizations, import them into the game, and share them with other players.
  • You can disable Civ-specific features when you start a new game.
  • 16 Civs: Depending on the map size you select, you may play with up to 16 Civs at once. The foreign advisor screen will only display eight civs at a time, however, so you can hold Shift & Right Click on any of the eight slots on that screen to select another known civ to display. Using the editor, you can modify the game rules to force even tiny maps to support 16 players if you wish.
  • Each civ also has one “special unit” that only they can build, and depending on the tech tree, these units may become available at various stages of a game. This presents another interesting choice to consider: will you play as the Zulus, who get their Impis very quickly in the beginning of the game, or the Americans, whose F-15 will become available only in the modern era of the game?
    • Generally speaking, the special units have the same abilities as comparable units that all civs can build, with slightly upgraded attack, defense, or movement ratings. For example, the Babylonian special unit, the Bowman, has nearly the same combat ratings as the standard archer, but has an movement rate of 2 rather than the standard archer’s movement of 1. Most special units also carry the same building costs in shields as their regular unit counterparts.
  • Each Civ has its own “aggression setting” as well as individual strategies that the AI will use. These things can all be changed in the editor, and don’t have anything to do with the Civ Specific Units. For example, the Indians, as you might expect, are less aggressive than the Romans and the Aztecs.

City Management

  • Population Growth:
    • Each citizen requires two units of food each turn in order to survive. Any excess food a city produces is stored in the food storage box.
    • A city’s population increases by 1 when the food storage box is filled. The amount of food required for a city to grow depends on it’s class: Town, City, or Metropolis.
  • Town, City, and Metropolis:
    • A settlement is a Town if its population is 1-6, a City if the population is 7-12, and a Metropolis if its population is greater than 12.
    • Cities either need access to a fresh water supply (river or lake) or need an aqueduct to grow beyond size 6. To grow beyond size 12 you need to invent Sanitation and build hospitals.
  • Meaning of Numbers & Icons:
    • The large number on the left shows the size of the city (red if the city is decreasing in size, yellow if it stays the same, white if it’s growing)
    • The top number indicates how many turns are left before the city will grow.
    • The bottom number indicates how many turns are left before the current building or unit is built.
    • An anchor indicates there is a harbor in the city.
    • An airplane indicates there is an an airport in the city.
    • Black smoke means the city is in disorder.
    • Fireworks mean the city has a We Love The King Day (WLTKD).
  • Using the Production Queue:
    • Shift-Click – Add to production queue.
    • Shift-Q – Save production queue as default.
    • Q – Load production queue with default.
    • Shift-Del – Removes all items from the queue.
    • Click-Del – Removes the item clicked.
  • City Governors
    • You can Right click on your city and select Contact Governor to change options.
    • There are a variety of options for customizing governors. Not only can you set preferences for which types of units and improvements you want to build but you can also have the governor control basic city functions such as managing your citizens’ mood. In addition, you can have different settings for each city you control and each city can be configured individually to use the governor or not, as you desire. When not using the automated governor, the AI learns from the units and improvements you select for production and suggests similar items to build. You can also save a set of “default” settings for the governor that it will use for each new city you build. Alternately, you can have each new city governor mimic the settings of your capital city.
    • For even “finer” control, players can also determine the frequency with which the Governor will produce certain types of units (naval, artillery air, defensive, offensive, worker, etc.) and certain types of improvements/wonders (those which increase happiness, wealth, growth, science, etc.).
  • Cause of Unhappiness:
    • Clicking on an unhappy citizen icon on the city management screen will tell you the reason why the citizen is unhappy.Some of the reasons can be “It’s just too crowded”, “Stop the aggression against our mother countries”, etc.
  • Selling City Improvement:
    • To sell a city improvement, click on the improvement you want to sell in the city improvements list, Right Click and select “Sell”.
    • You can sell as many city improvements as you want in the same turn. In Civ2, you could only sell one improvement a turn. It’s a good idea to sell all the improvements in the city before it’s captured.
  • Specialists:
    • You can convert citizens into entertainers, tax collectors, or scientists the same way as in Civ2.
  • The penalty for changing production in mid-project is gone – except for any shields lost as overrun.
  • Abandoning City: The 1.21f patch adds the “Abandon City” command to the right click context menu. This command allows you to quickly disband your city without having to starve the city. Unlike razing cities, you don’t get any workers or settlers from abandoning the city.
    • “If you abandon a city that recently belonged to another civ, you get the same reputation as if you had razed the city when you captured it.Note that “recently belonged to another civ” refers to the civ who has the most citizens in the city. So if you raze a size 4 city from 3 of the citizens are Egyptian, it will affect your reputation as though you razed an Egyptian city. If you wait until 2 of those citizens are assimilated into your culture and only 1 Egyptian citizen remains, it will act like it is your own city and will not incur any diplomatic penalty.” (Thanks MikeB_Firaxis)
  • Sometimes the mobs destroy city improvements when a city is in civil disorder!!
  • A size 1 city that has no culture is destroyed when captured.
  • You cannot build cities on mountains anymore.


  • Civ III has 65 Units. While many of these are the same as they were in the previous game, each of the game’s sixteen civilizations has a special unit (listed under “Civilizations”) that fits in a particular era. Instead of swordsmen, Rome has Legions. The Greeks replace spearmen with Hoplites. The English make use of the Man-o-War instead of the Frigate while the French create Musketeers instead of musket men. The American F-15 replaces the basic jet fighter and the German Panzer gives them the edge over normal tanks.
  • Civ III does not use Alpha Centauri style unit workshops.
  • The Civilization III Unit section has detailed info for all the units.
  • Unit Support:
    • Units are no longer supported by the city that produced them, they are now supported by your civilization as a whole.Units also no longer have home cities.
    • Depending on your government type, you can support a certain number of units “for free”; after that limit is exceeded, you must pay maintenance (gold) per turn for additional units. This frees up shields for production but puts a slightly higher strain on your economy. No unit requires shields or food for support.
    • If you capture a unit, it comes free of charge. Only units with 0 attack power can be captured.
  • Unit Health:
    • The familiar shields that every unit in the Civilization II game carried have been replaced. A vertical health bar now accompanies every unit in the game.
    • The length of this colored bar indicates the overall health of the unit. The bar is separated into segments, each of which represents one hit point.Conscripts have 2 HP, Regulars have 3 HP, Veterans have 4 HP, and Elite units have 5 HP.
    • Green still indicates a healthy unit, yellow still means the unit has been somewhat damaged, and red still marks a critically injured unit.
    • Health bar for units may increase after each victory in combat. If a unit has won several battles, there is a small chance that unit could create a Great Leader.
    • Units normally cannot heal in enemy territory, but you will be able to if you build the Battlefield Medicine, a small wonder.
    • Naval units can only heal in cities that have harbors.
  • The coloring on the unit’s uniform denotes nationality. For example, the Romans are red and the French are pink.
  • Civ III also added resource prerequisites for units. So, for instance, once you’ve found iron, you can begin to produce swordsman. If you don’t have access to any iron, you’ll have to trade for it before you can make phalanxes. Oil and Rubber are needed for tanks, horses and saltpeter for cavalry, etc.
  • War Weariness:
    • A new concept called “war weariness” has replaced the home-city-based system. This takes into account several factors, such as having military units in enemy territory (as opposed to simply being away from their home city), the presence of enemy units in your own territory, and just engaging in battles. All of this makes going to war a much more serious event than it was in previous game in the series.
    • The old Senate that interfered with decisions in republics and democracies has been eliminated, but the war weariness model takes government type into account and provides a similar constraint to decision-making in these societies.
  • Upgrading units: When some units become obsolete, you can upgrade them. Move the unit into any city with a Barracks and press [U]. If it’s possible to upgrade the unit and the city is capable of building the new unit, the job is done.
    • In order to upgrade land units, the city must have a barrack. Naval units can be upgraded in cities that have harbors.
    • Holding SHIFT and pressing U will upgrade all units of the same type. You must have enough money and the required strategic resources for this to work.
    • Elite status is lost when you upgrade the unit, but Veteran status is retained.
    • A unit is healed in the upgrade process. So if you upgrade an injured horseman with only 1 hit point left to cavalry, it will become a cavalry with full hit points.
    • Upgrading units takes an entire turn.
    • Leonardo’s Workshop is still a (Great) Wonder, but it now halves the costs of upgrades.All Civs can upgrade their units.
    • Sun Tzu’s Art of War, a Great Wonder, puts a barrack in every city on the same continent.
  • No Bribing: Civ3 no longer allow bribing or sabotaging of enemy units.
  • Altitude affects visibility: Units on high ground can see farther than usual, and units on Mountains can see over Hills. In no case can any ground or naval unit see over a Mountain square.
  • Civ III lets you stack units to form armies. Before the discovery of Nationalism, you can have one army for every four cities you control. Armies can also be led by famous leaders who will appear from time to time in the game. These leaders allow the armies under them to function at increased effectiveness.
  • When any one of your civ-specific units wins its first combat against another civ, your civilization will enter a Golden Age, in which all worked tiles in your empire contribute one additional trade and shield per turn. Golden ages only occur once and last twenty game turns.
  • Artillery units: Catapults, Cannons, Artilleries, & Radar Artillery
    • The artillery units have been changed from being a powerful offensive unit to being support units that must be grouped with and used by other soldier units. They don’t have attack or defensive values, but they have a powerful bombardment value that can be projected into any square within their range.
    • The Ancient Era’s catapults were fairly effective smashing town walls, but were next to useless on the battlefield.
    • Cannons are very effective in both shaking a city to the ground and blunting mass attacks against your territory.
    • These units are very effective in large numbers.
  • Capturing Units:
    • Enemy forces can now capture defenseless units, like Settlers, Workers, and artillery. If there’s no defender nearby, any military unit (one with an attack factor) can take control of a unit that’s incapable of defending itself. A captured Worker retains its nationality, but serves its new civilization as unquestioningly as it did its previous ruler. A captured Settlers unit becomes two Workers, because founding a city with only foreign nationals is a bad idea.
    • You can only capture units when you have the appropriate technology to build them. For example, you cannot capture catapults if you don’t have Mathematics advance. The catapult will simply be destroyed if you attempt to capture it.
  • Helicopters can be loaded up like naval transports and then airdrop their units to any tile within their operational range.
  • The Privateer is a weakened Frigate that can attack another nation’s ships without triggering war.
  • Nuclear Missiles (ICBM and tactical nukes) are covered in the Military section of the Info Center.
  • You can wake, disband, or upgrade a unit right from the military advisor screen.
  • The Unit Reference and Videos sections have unit stats, arts, and animations.


  • Tech path in Civilization III has been overhauled; some techs are renamed, some new ones are added, and some are removed,
  • Civ3 has a total of 82 technologies.
  • You can queue up items in the technology-tree screens so that the menu doesn’t appear after every few turns, but if necessary, it’s possible to change the queue and learn different skills.
  • The tech tree is separated into four eras: Ancient Times, Renaissance, Industrial and Modern. The new rules are that, in order to advance to the next section of the tech tree, you pretty much have to complete everything in the section before it, except those arts or the intellectual pursuits. For example, you don’t have to develop horseback riding in order to advance to the next era, nor anarchy, republic or literature. But literature gives you the Great Library, so they’re useful to have. The whole new concept with the arts is that they’re things you don’t need to progress, but if you have them your civilization is much stronger, and more developed.
  • List of Technologies (82 techs total):
    • Ancient Times (21)
      • Bronze Workings
      • Masonry
      • Alphabet
      • Pottery
      • The Wheel
      • Warrior Code
      • Ceremonial Burial
      • Iron Working
      • Mathematics
      • Writing
      • Mysticism
      • Philosophy
      • Code of Laws
      • Literature (new)
      • Map Making
      • Horseback Riding
      • Polytheism
      • Construction
      • Currency
      • The Republic
      • Monarchy
    • Renaissance (22)
      • Monotheism
      • Feudalism
      • Engineering
      • Theology
      • Chivalry
      • Invention
      • Printing Press (new)
      • Education (new)
      • Music Theory (new)
      • Gunpowder
      • Banking
      • Astronomy
      • Chemistry
      • Democracy
      • Economics
      • Navigation
      • Physics
      • Metallurgy
      • Free Artistry (new)
      • Theory of Gravity
      • Magnetism
      • Military Tradition (new)
    • Industrial (22):
      • Nationalism (new)
      • Steam Power
      • Medicine
      • Industrialization
      • Electricity
      • Sanitation
      • Communism
      • Espionage
      • The Corporation
      • Scientific Method (new)
      • Refining
      • Steel
      • Atomic Theory
      • Combustion
      • Replaceable Parts (new)
      • Flight
      • Amphibious warfare
      • Mass production
      • Electronics
      • Advanced flight
      • Motorized Transport (new)
      • Radio
    • Modern (17):
      • Recycling
      • Rocketry
      • Fission
      • Computers
      • Ecology (new)
      • Space Flight
      • Nuclear Power
      • Miniaturization
      • Synthetic Fibers (new)
      • The Laser
      • Genetics
      • Superconductor
      • Satellites (new)
      • Stealth
      • Smart Weapons (new)
      • Robotics
      • Integrated Defense (new)
    • Ancient Times (21) +Renaissance (22)+Industrial (22)+Modern (17) = 82 techs
  • Technology has an influence on diplomacy because diplomatic and trade agreements cannot be made unless a civilization has the writing skill.
  • Checkout this interactive online tech tree.


  • The Governments:
Government Worker Efficiency Hurry Method Corruption Draft
Military Police Limit Unit Support Notes
Anarchy 50% None Catastrophic 0 0 Town: 0
City: 0
Metro: 0
No city production, no research
Despotism 100% Forced labor Rampant 2 2 Town: 4
City: 4Metro: 4
Any square which produces more than 2 food, commerce, or shields produce 1 less.
Monarchy 100% Pay citizens Problematic 2 3 Town: 2City: 4
Metro: 8
Republic 100% Pay citizens Nuisance 1 0 Town: 0
City: 0
Metro: 0
Communism 100% Forced labor Communal 3 4 Town: 2
City: 4
Metro: 8
Higher chance of espionage mission success
Democracy 150% Pay citizens Minimal 1 0 Town: 0
City: 0
Metro: 0
Cities immune from propaganda
  • Forced Labor: Forced labor means you can hurry production by forcing your citizens to engage in brutal, backbreaking labor. The unfortunate side effect of this is that some of your citizens will die, and the ones that don’t will hold a grudge against you for a long time because of it…. So you can choose what method a government can use to hurry production (if any): paying money or “sacrificing” citizens, and you can set how many shields equal the life of one citizen, for the purposes of rushing a building or unit.
  • Fundamentalism has been removed from the game entirely on the grounds that it tended to unbalance things.Communism still makes an excellent pro-military government however, so that avenue is still open to player interested in conquest.
  • Nationalism is a NOT new government type in Civ3. Nationalism is a just Tech that allows you to draft citizens and switch to a war-time economy (mobilization).
  • Republics and democracies now have “war weariness” instead of individual units causing unhappiness in their home cities. You get war weariness unhappiness if your units are in enemy territory for a long time. Its worse in Democracy than in Republic.
  • Citizens of Republics and Democracies do not like the slaving of Workers and Settlers.
  • You can add new government types to the game using the supplied editing tools. While your choice of government does not directly affect the production of culture, the editor allows you to assign a required government type to wonders and city improvements, effectively making a particular government more conducive to culture generation.
  • Lots of custom government types are available in the Completed Modpacks forum.


  • The most significant addition to the game is the concept of culture. It is the general social cohesion of your civ, as well as the impact of your nation’s philosophy and arts on the world. Culture is reflected in Civilization III by the great works created by your peoples, and when they were completed relative to other civilizations in the game.
  • What contribute to your civilization’s culture?
    • All structures that “promote art and philosophy”, such as like temples, libraries, coliseums, courthouses and cathedrals, will increase your cultural rating. Wonders and small wonders (small wonders are less-powerful versions of wonders that each Civ can build, but only one can be built per civ) also produce culture. Each one of those items produces a number of cultural points every turn.
      • The cultural buildings are Cathedral(3), Colosseum(2), Library(3), Palace(1), Research Lab (2), Temple (2), University (4)
      • All Great and Small Wonders produce culture, from 1 to 5 points per turn depending on how cultural it is (i.e. 1 for Military academy, 5 for Bach’s Cathedral.)
    • Each city produces a number of culture points (cp) per turn, depending on the wonders and city improvements you’ve built. These culture points are added to your total culture value, which represents the sum of all your cultural influence since the beginning of history.
    • There is an “age bonus” for cultural buildings. The longer a building has stood in your cities, the more culture that building generates per turn. This means the Oracle wonder you built in the ancient era can still be a powerful generator of culture in the modern era, even though its effects have long since been negated.
  • Effects of Culture:
    • Culture strengthens the bond within a civilization and expands the border or sphere of influence.As the culture of a city increases, it enters a queue that, when filled, causes the borders of a city to expand. As borders expand around your cities, they can eventually join to create a unified national border. Culture also helps decide border disputes; if two cities are equal distances away from a resource square and that resource could fall inside either city’s borders, the city with the higher culture will win out. Finally, a smaller city bordering a larger city with a substantial culture will sometimes be assimilated into the Civilization with the more dominant culture.
    • Other civs will treat you differently depending on your culture. Civilizations that are “in awe” of your culture, for example, would be more inclined to accept a deal than a civ whose culture is on par with yours. Having a culture advantage essentially allows you to tip the scales in favor of yourself during diplomatic sessions.
    • The more culture you accumulate, the easier it is to assimilate conquered cities.
    • Peaceful assimilation of enemy cities:When the sphere of influence increases and borders expand to a point that they’re encroaching on enemy territory, a number of factors come into play that determine how the border cities react to the presence of a new culture. If a border city of the opposing culture has very few cultural points, there’s a strong chance that it will be assimilated into the dominant culture as the game progresses, eliminating the need for a military force to move in and conquer it.
      • For it to happen at all, a city has to have a square inside its radius that’s owned by somebody else. One that happens there’s a whole series of checks to see if it actually converts, and it has to do with type of government, the strength of your culture, military units that are close by…all sorts of stuff.
    • In extreme cases, a city with substantial culture can actually fight off its conquerors and return to its original nationality, but in most cases, resisters will eventually rejoin the rest of the population and contribute to a city’s production. Finally, over time, foreign nationals can assimilate into the culture of the city in which they live. How fast this happens depends both on their national culture and the culture of the city they currently reside in, as well as the government type of their current city.
    • City-Flipping Exposed:Here are the factors that influence the probability of a city “flipping” and what the relative weight of each factor was. The base values used to determine the chance of city flipping are as follows:
      1. The number of foreign nationals in the city in question (resisters are counted twice), and
      2. The number of the 21-tile city-radius squares of the city in question that fall inside your cultural borders.

      These numbers are then further modified by a variety of factors, applied multiplicatively. Here those are, in order of importance:

      1. The ratio of distances to the respective capitals of both cities. Basically, if you’re closer to your capital than the other city is to its capital, you’ve got a better chance of getting a flip.
      2. The ratio of total culture points of both civs. Obviously, the better your culture is versus the opponent civ, the better your chance of getting a flip are.
      3. Apparently each city has a “memory” and remembers the total amount of culture generated by any civ who has ever occupied it. This is the 3rd most important factor, because if the “attacking” civ has more historical culture in the city than the “defender”, the chance of that city flipping to the attacker are doubled. This is one reason that conquered cities often flip back to their previous owners.
      4. Civil Disorder in a city doubles the chance of that city flipping.
      5. We Love the King (or whatever) Day in a city halves the chance of that city flipping.
      6. Lastly, the number of land-based combat units (e.g., any unit with at least 1 point of offensive and defensive capability) in the city in question are subtracted. This factor is relatively low on the totem pole and this shows you why cities can flip even with huge militias garrisoned in them.
  • Your total culture points will never decrease when a city is captured, however your culture per turn will decrease. When a city is captured, the conquering civ will gain no culture from any of the buildings in that city. If that city is reclaimed by its original founders, however, culture will once again be generated, but all age bonuses are lost.
    • For example, I am Greek and my city of Athens houses the venerable Hanging Gardens, which have stood for 500 years. I might receive 50cp per turn from the Hanging Gardens due to their age. I might also receive 15 total cp per turn for all my other culture-producing buildings. If the Americans capture my city, they will receive 0 cp per turn from Athens, since all the buildings in Athens were built by the Greeks. If I later reclaim Athens, I will once again receive culture from it, but I might now only receive 20cp per turn for my Hanging Gardens because I no longer get the “age bonus” for having a 500-year old wonder. My other city buildings might also now only contribute 6 cp per turn.
  • When a city from one civilization join’s an opposing civilization’s culture, the civilization that lost the city loses cultural points.
  • You can’t obtain any cultural benefits from existing structures in conquered cities. However, if you re-capture one of your former cities, the improvements and Wonders in that city will continue to generate culture. All existing culture points in a city are lost when it’s captured.
  • If culture becomes a major part of your strategy, you can continue to build a city with structures that increase cultural points until all of the borders join, forming a true civilization bound by a single culture.


  • Every population point that gets built in Civilization III has a nationality. If you’re France, every person that’s born in one of your cities is French, and they have cultural ties to France.
  • When a city is conquered by a civ, the citizens in the conquered city will retain their nationality, even as new citizens are born with the nationality of the conquering civ. For example, if the Greeks capture Paris, a pop 5 city, all five of those existing citizens retain their French nationality, even though new citizens that appear in the city will be Greek. These “foreign nationals” may “resist” for many game turns, depending on the cultures of the conquering civ and the conquered civ. Resisters do not generate any output and can throw your cities into revolt.
  • This can have dramatic effects upon the game, especially during times of war. Say, for example, the Romans capture a Babylonian city, the Babylonian people will become resistors. Not only will they refuse to work, but they will lower the defense value of the city so that Babylonian forces can easily retake it. And in a worst-case scenario, some cities may even revolt and try to revert back to their original civilization, taking all the units in the city with them.
  • Regardless of how strong your culture is, there is always the possibility that a smaller captured city with fewer cultural points will revolt if its ties to the opposing civilization are too strong.
  • Different nationalities are represented by different citizen icons.
  • Captured cities will be negative to the conqueror until a peace treaty is signed – after that their loyalty will increase, but almost never to the level of a single-nationality city.
  • You may perform small-scale ethnic cleansing by choosing which population unit is used when building Settlers of Workers.
  • If you are in a war with another Civ, say the Romans, your Roman citizens will change from content to unhappy very quickly. Those citizens will immediately become content or happy once you sign a peace treaty with the Romans.


  • On the Civilization III map screen you can see different colored borders surrounding each civilization. These borders mark a city’s sphere of influence. Borders is a major part of Civilization III.
  • The Civ III border system is similar to what you saw in Alpha Centauri, but much more integrated with the diplomacy and culture systems.
  • How can your borders expand?
    • Border is dependent upon the number of cultural points a city has — the more cultural points, the farther its borders spread into other territories.
    • When culture reaches a certain point, the radius of your borders grows by one. The first increase comes at 10 Culture points, which will probably take 10 turns at the start of the game (your palace starts generating one culture point per turn). The amount you need to grow your borders increase by a factor of 10 each time, so they won’t expand again until you accumulate 100 culture points, and then after that 1,000, and then 10,000, etc.
  • Effects of Borders:
    • You don’t have to worry about other civs trying to create a new city within your borders; that’s now automatically considered an act of war.
    • If a non-allied civ enters your territory, you can tell them to get out (and they may choose to obey or ignore you). However, once they get close to any of your cities, you may give them an ultimatum: either withdraw their troops or war will be declared. If the opposing civ agrees, any of their troops that are within your borders will be automatically withdrawn. If they decline, war is declared.
  • Your borders never shrink due to culture. Culture represents your influence over the lands surrounding your cities and can expand your borders, but the only real way for your borders to shrink is if the borders of a nearby city with higher culture expand and “push you back” so to speak. Spy missions and other means of destroying city improvements and wonders will reduce the amount of culture generated per turn by your city, but do not affect your borders.
  • Since the culture value of your civilization directly affects your borders (among other things), even the most war-prone players are encouraged to invest in the culture of their civilization.

Resource Model

  • Civilization III has 3 types of resources:
    1. Luxury resources are goods that improve the happiness of your cities.
    2. Strategic resources are needed to make certain military units (iron, for example, is needed to make the Swordsman or Roman Legion units) .
    3. Bonus resources are resources like gold that simply produce extra food, commerce, or shields.
  • Resource Distribution:
    • Resource is not spread evenly over the map. Any given area on the map usually have two or three resources in abundance. The idea is that one player can corner the market on, say, iron and he becomes a powerbroker in the game. The same thing happens with uranium, so your diplomatic relations become really important.
    • You definitely want to have friends that have the stuff you need so that you can trade with them. If not the only way to get the stuff is to attack people.
    • Some resources are only found in certain terrain types. You can only find Rubber in forests and jungles, for example.
  • Visibility of Resources:
    • Many resources will not be visible on the world map until you have unlocked the secrets of a related technology. You will not see iron on the map, for example, until your scientists have discovered Iron Working. Likewise, uranium will not be visible until you have discovered Fission.
    • There is a chance each turn that your citizens will discover a new source of a known resource simply by allocating population points to work the tiles inside your city radius.
  • Using Resources:
    • To access any resource, you need to build a road to that resource. That resource must also be connected to your capitol in some way, be it by road, harbor, or airport.
    • If the resource in question lies outside of your borders, you will need to build a colony on that square to use it.
    • Resources and luxuries can be shared between cities via your trade network. For example, if there is an iron tile anywhere within your borders, all of your cities that are connected to that tile via road will have access to iron.
      • One resource square is enough for your whole empire, as long as the road network from the square to your capitol is intact.
  • In previous Civ games, map goods functioned as “bonus” tiles, providing extra food, shields, and trade to the city working that tile. This feature is still present in Civ III; for example, a tile with wheat provides two extra food. Luxury resources and strategic resources also gives bonus commerce or shields to the tile.
  • By the time you get to the end of the game you really need to have coal, iron, oil and rubber otherwise you can’t build anything. The way you develop a civilization, to a large extent, depends on where you start the game and what kind of resources you have available. If you start in an area that has iron you’re in good shape at the beginning, but later on in the game iron is not enough.
  • Resources and luxuries can be traded with other civs if the goods are connected to your capital via road, airport, or harbor. If you consider that the culture of your civilization directly impacts the reach of your borders (and therefore your ability to harvest resources and luxuries), you begin to see how interconnected the culture, trade, diplomacy, and combat systems are in Civilization III.
  • Resources can be depleted, forcing you to find a new source. This happens infrequently.
  • The normal goods/resources that would be harvested from a square with an enemy unit on it are no longer available (Whilst the unit is on it). This makes every single tile in your empire important, as opposed to the emphasis just on cities in Civ2.
  • List of Strategic Resources (8):
    1. Aluminum (0 food/2 shield/0 commerce, Rocketry)
    2. Coal (0/2/1, Steam Power)
    3. Horses (0/0/1 -The Wheel)
    4. Iron (0/1/0 -Iron Working)
    5. Oil (0/1/2 -Refining)
    6. Rubber (0/0/2 -Replaceable Parts)
    7. Saltpeter (0/0/1 -Gunpowder)
    8. Uranium (0/2/3 -Fission)
  • List of Luxury Resources (8):
    1. Dyes (0/0/1)
    2. Furs: (0/1/1)
    3. Gems (0/0/4)
    4. Incense (0/0/1)
    5. Ivory (0/0/2)
    6. Silks (0/0/3)
    7. Spices (0/0/2)
    8. Wine (1/0/1)
  • List of Bonus Resources (6):
    1. Gold (0/0/4)
    2. Wheat (2/0/0)
    3. Fish (2/0/1)
    4. Cattle (2/1/0)
    5. Whales (1/1/2)
    6. Game (1/0/0)
  • The Civilization III Resource Reference page has more detailed info about the resources.
  • The new river valley terrain type produces 3 food, but if you are working it there’s a chance disease will strike your city.
  • There’s a space in the editor where you can adjust how many resources there are in the game. It’s done on a per-civ basis, so if you are playing a 16-civ game there would be more of each resource than on a 3-civ map, even if the map is the same size.
  • Appearance ratio has no effect on the bonus resources.
  • Checkout this Resource Model Mini-tutorial at

Terrain & Terrain Improvements

  • Civilization III utilizes the same kind of system for terrain improvements that its predecessors did.
  • List of terrain types (12):
    • Tundra is cold terrain. It doesn’t produce much in the way of raw materials and can’t be converted into more profitable terrain.
    • Jungle and Flood Plains are wet terrain. Jungles are difficult to move through, and it costs a considerable investment of time to convert either type into more profitable terrain. Units fortified and citizens laboring in Jungles have a chance of falling prey to disease. Flood Plains cannot be converted into any other type of terrain.
    • Plains and Grassland squares are open terrain. Both are easy to travel across, and when irrigated, both produce substantial amounts of food.
    • Hills and Mountains squares are both vertically challenging. They take some effort to travel across, but while you’re up there, you get quite a view-two squares instead of one in all directions (except past mountains). These types of terrain yield more raw materials when developed by mining.
    • Coast, Sea, and Ocean squares generate substantial amounts of commerce income, and cities on the coast can build seagoing units, Harbors, and other useful improvements.
    • Desert squares are dry terrain that can be developed for marginal production.
    • Forest squares are difficult to travel through, but yield decent raw materials. They can also be cleared to gain a one-time shield bonus.
  • Settlers & Workers:
    • A new worker unit has been added to the game and the settler unit is now solely responsible for founding new cities. The worker now handles all terrain improvements such as irrigation, mining, and road building. As your technological know-how grows, your Workers will be able to put some discoveries to practical use-they gain new abilities. (Engineering and Electricity grant new skills to your Workers.) When your Workers excel at self-improvement, Engineers become unnecessary.
    • Settlers and workers no longer require food support and are simply supported like normal units. Settlers captured by the enemy become two worker units to reflect the concept of nationality.
    • Settlers and workers can merge with a city, thus increasing its population. Conversely, to produce a new settler or worker, a city gives up not only the requisite number of shields, but also population points (2 population points to create a settler, 1 to create a worker). This added requirement makes settlers and workers very precious resources that you’ll want to protect.
    • Workers can be captured by enemies but their national loyalty may undermine attacking power’s position.
  • Making the settler cost 2 population points was also a conscious design consideration aimed at preventing players from winning by utilizing the ICS (“Infinite City Sprawl”) strategy.
  • As in previous Civ games, you can decide which tiles within your city border your citizens “work”.
  • Effects of rivers: Rivers now run along the edges of squares, not through them. The effects of rivers on movement and combat have been changed a bit, as follows:
    • No fast movement: Civilization II allowed ground units moving along rivers to travel faster-as if moving on a road. This game offers no movement bonus for river travel.
    • Combat bonus: If combat takes place across a river-the units are on different sides when the combat begins-the defender gets a bonus.
    • Movement cost: Until you discover Engineering, your units do not enjoy the road bonus to movement when they cross a river.
  • Irrigations:
    • Until your civilization discovers Electricity, your workers can only irrigate squares with access to fresh water: a river, a lake, or another irrigated square.
    • Once you discover electricity you can irrigate anywhere.
  • Railroads: In order to build railroads, you need to have access to Coal and Iron strategic resources.
  • Cities built next to rivers don’t need aqueduct to grow beyond a certain size.
  • Shields from clearing forests: When a worker finishes clearing a Forest square, this delivers a number of production shields to the nearest city. The forest still changes into a terrain type more suited to irrigation, too.
  • Disease: Cities near Jungle and Flood Plain terrain squares suffer a chance of being beset by disease. You lose 1 population point each time this occurs. Units in Jungles can also be killed by disease.
  • Colony:
    • A colony can be thought of as a Pop 1 city. If anyone walks into it, it just folds like a cheap suit and is essentially lost. Other civs cannot access resources in your colonies, however. So you’re going to want to put a strong defensive unit or two in a colony and maybe even build a fort there, then fortify for assault. That way if they want your resources, they’ve got to be willing to fight for it.
    • A worker creates a colony in the same way a settler creates a city. Once a colony is created, say goodbye to your worker. If the colony is swallowed up into your borders, you don’t get the worker back. This really forces you to think about where you want to put colonies: if you build a colony close to a city you know will thrive, you’re essentially wasting a pop point because you know eventually that resource will be inside your borders.
    • Why would you build a colony instead of a city? First of all, because colonies are created by workers, it costs only 1 population point to build a colony, instead of 2 population points like a city. Second, unlike cities, you don’t need to keep colonies happy; you simply build them and you get your resources. Third, you can build them in locations that are unfavorable for city-building, like jungle tiles. Finally, colonies don’t require upkeep and maintenance the way that cities do. So, colonies can be a quick and inexpensive way to stake a claim on a resource, or a temporary measure used to insure the supply of resources until your empire’s borders expand to surround them.
    • Colonies do not have any inherent defenses; while it is considered an act of war to attack any nation’s colony, if a unit is not guarding that colony, it will be destroyed.
  • You can build mines on grasslands in Civ3 to make the square produce a shield.It’s a good idea to have some irrigations and some mines within a city radius.
  • Workers now have a “plant forests” command.


  • No more caravans.
  • Trade is a much bigger deal this time around. Instead of being an abstract representation of commerce, Civ III will actually force you to trade specific goods back and forth with your neighbors.
  • The money that each city brings in, which used to be called trade, is now commerce. Your net income per turn (after support and other costs have been subtracted) is divided between science funding and your treasury. Luxuries are also derived from terrain and trade.
  • You can trade in any excess luxuries and strategic resources. Luxuries goods trade is vital to keep happiness up, and resource trade will be exceptionally important. Keeping peace will be more important than before, because you need a constant supply of resources to build your units. Complex diplomatic treaties and trade agreements can be arranged using the new, robust diplomacy system.
  • You can only trade with rival civilizations if your capital is connected to theirs by a road, harbor, or airport.
  • If you trade a resource with another country, you cannot use that resource yourself. So, if you trade horses with France you will need another horse resource square or else you will not be able to use things like Cavalry.
  • Trade advisor will let you know whether a trade is fair or not in trade negotiations.
  • “Wealth” is a project that has essentially the same effect as Capitalization – production converted into commerce income. The difference is that Wealth is available right from the start, with no technology prerequisite, but the income it generates is greatly reduced.
  • River gives extra commerce to tiles on both sides of the river, not under it.
  • Trade embargo is one of the new diplomacy options.
  • Blockade: Two cities are not connected if the only road or railroad that connects them passes thru enemy territory, or if a harbor is blockaded by enemy naval forces.
  • Technologies, world map, territory map, and cities can all be traded. Trading technologies with other Civ is a good source of income and is important to keep up with other Civs in science.
  • Slave Trade: Sometimes you can buy slave workers from other Civs relatively cheap (i.e. 20 Gold). Workers need to be in the capital city for them to be traded. Those slave workers require no support.

Difficulty Levels

  • The AI presents a very challenging opponent in all eras and all difficulty levels.
  • Civilization III has six difficulty levels, same as in Civ2.
    Level Content Citizens AI Build Rate Barbarian Combat Bonus
    Chieftain 4 200% 800%
    Warlord 3 120% 400%
    Regent 2 100% 200%
    Monarch 2 90% 100%
    Emperor 1 80% 50%
    Deity 1 60% 0%

    **AI build rate is how quickly the AI builds stuff (on chieftain it takes twice as long to build or advance). Barbarian bonus is the advantage your troops have over barbarians.

  • FREE Units: The AIs receive FREE units as soon as they build their first city on Monarch, Emperor, and Deity levels.What units they are given depends on the techs they start with. They get all warriors if they don’t start with Bronze working (spearman) or warrior code (archers).
    • On Monarch level, the AI gets 2 free defensive land units and 1 offensive land unit.
    • On Emperor level, the AI gets 4 defensive units, 2 offensive units, and 1 worker.
    • On Deity level, the AI gets 8 defensive units, 4 offensive units, 2 workers, AND 1 settler!
  • Other effects:
    • Greater chance of getting goodies when you visit a goody hut on lower levels.
    • More units require no support on Chieftain and Warlord.
    • Corruption level is higher for higher levels.
    • Easier diplomatic opponents on lower levels.
  • Chieftain is easier than it was in Civ II and Deity is now harder. Below Regent level it cheats for the player, and above Regent level it cheats against the player. At Regent level there is no cheating.
  • Civilization III does NOT have a built-in cheat mode.



  • The New Bargaining Table:
    • Firaxis has made diplomacy much more non-linear by adding a new “bargaining table” feature. Newcomers won’t have to deal with these added diplomatic complexities – the whole ‘bargaining table’ approach is tucked away for advanced users who don’t scare easily.
  • Prerequisites:
    • To engage in diplomatic talks with another civ, you must first make contact with that civ. You can do this either by physically entering their territory or by trading another civ for contact with that civ. Other Civs may also seek you out by entering your territory.
    • To be able to enter into trade negotiations with other civs, you need a road connecting one of your cities to one of their cities.
    • To exchange world maps, you need the technology of map making. Finally, you must be at peace with a Civ to tender any proposal other than a peace treaty.
  • Embassies:
    • You need to establish an embassy (granted by the writing technology) to be able to enter into agreements more advanced than simple peace treaties.
    • You need to pay money to establish embassies. To create an embassy, double click the star next to your own capital or click the letter E in the bottom-right info window that shows unit stats and how much gold you have.
    • Once you have established an embassy with a rival, you can perform the following two diplomatic actions by double-clicking on the embassy icon of the civ you wish to target:
      1. Investigate City (see what the rival city is building and has already built )
      2. Steal Technology (attempts to steal a technology from the rival civilization)
  • Diplomatic Talks:
    • As you enter into diplomatic relations with other Civs, a leader representing that Civ will appear (like Abraham Lincoln for the Americans or Mao Tse Tung for the Chinese) who you’ll be able to interact with during your negotiations. The leaders will show a range of expressions, which will change depending on the types of deals you try to broker with them!
    • Individual leader personalities come into play as well, so a leader of one civilization will act differently in certain diplomatic situations than other leaders, which forces you to change your diplomatic strategy when encountering new civilizations.
    • You can place items and demands on a trading table and barter back and forth with the other civilizations. You begin by making a single offer and seeing what the other party is willing to trade for it. This gives you a standard bid from which to start. From here you can add to or subtract from your side of the deal in response to the deals offered by your opponent. The deal will be sweeter if the other civilization has a lower cultural value than yours.
    • Players can mix-and-match deals without any restrictions.
      • Cities
      • Gold (lump sum or per turn)
      • Technologies
      • Luxuries
      • Resources
      • World Maps
      • Contact with other civs
      • Diplomatic Agreements, which can include the following:
      • Peace treaty
      • Right of passage pact
      • Mutual protection pact
      • Military alliance against a common enemy
      • Trade embargo against a common enemy
  • Duration of Agreements:
    • All trade agreements last 20 turns before coming up for review (unless war cuts them off).
    • You can see the agreements you made with another Civ by clicking the word “Active” near the bottom of the diplomacy screen. You can re-negotiate those agreements.
  • New Options: In terms of setting your relationships with the other inhabitants of the game, there are a lot more options.
    • A basic alliance is still the same, although you can set specific right of passage agreements independently of your alliances.
    • You can also set up mutual protection pacts. With a mutual protection pact, you’ll be obligated to declare war on any civ that attacks the civ with which you’ve established the pact. You’re under no such obligation if your ally is the one who initiates the attack.
    • Trade embargoes can also be set up.
    • Right of Passage agreements can be negotiated by any civilizations as long as they are not at war. These agreements are not tied to other diplomatic agreements, so you need not enter into a mutual protection pact if all you want is safe passage through another civ’s territory.
  • Intelligence Agency: There are also five espionage missions which you can only perform once you’ve built the Intelligence Agency (small wonder), and only against Civs with whom you’ve established an embassy and planted a spy. They are:
    1. Sabotage (sabotages the current project of an enemy city)
    2. Propaganda (attempts to convince an enemy city to join your Civilization)
    3. Steal Plans (reveals all troop locations of an enemy Civ for one turn)
    4. Steal World Map (reveals what an enemy knows about the world)
    5. Expose Enemy Spy (ferrets out opposing spies)
  • Executing Espionage Actions:
    • These espionage missions can be performed against a Civ as long as you have a spy planted in that Civ’s embassy. Even if you go to war and your embassy is closed, your spy will continue to function as long as it is not caught.
    • To perform these espionage actions, click the pentagon next to the city you built the Intelligence Agency in. Once you have planted a spy use the Pentagon icon near the enemy city you infiltrated to execute missions.
  • Now you can also trade with leaders you have already met to gain communications with those you haven’t.
  • If you continually abuse your relationship with other leaders, they will be less willing to trust you during negotiations.
  • Civilizations with lower Culture values are more easily oppressed in diplomacy.
  • Though players will be able to support their cities by increasing the presence of technology and heavy industry, if they add too many factories to their cities, their neighbors may become upset or even hostile over the pollution. However, pollution may be a small price to pay for some of Civ III’s advanced technological developments, which will include space satellites, like the ones in Alpha Centauri.
  • Jeff Briggs: “Playing a straight military game in this type of environment means alliances, which means some diplomatic finesse is required. Likewise, it’s entirely possible to have another nation fight all of your wars for you. You have to be careful not to fall too far behind this kind of ally (they’re often taking and keeping cities for instance), but if you’ve got the gold or goods, you can play a fairly sophisticated “puppet master” style game.”
  • Diplomats and Spies have been eliminated in favor of an Intelligence Agency (Small Wonder) that enables spying activities.
  • Note that when you are at war with another Civ, your embassy in their capitol is automatically closed, and you will be unable to conduct either of the above missions.
  • The option for spies to spread disease (i.e. poison water supply) in enemy towns has been removed.
  • You can no longer run around buying up enemy cities. Instead you’ll have to trade with your rivals to gain control of their cities. The AIs set a pretty high price on their own cities.
  • You have a new option when trading maps with other leaders. You can still give or get the same World Map, which includes everything you’ve explored or been told about-including the locations of all your cities. The new option is the Territory Map, which gives only the outline of your borders (your cities’ cultural spheres of influence).


  • Combat has become a much more significant part of the game.
  • FIRAXIS: “We have put a lot of time and effort into developing a game that does not penalize players for being warmongers. The new culture system and greatly improved diplomacy make it perfectly feasible to win a game without ever declaring war on another Civ. You can’t really “change” the effects of culture per se, but you certainly can choose to adopt a “cultural” strategy which really plays differently than the traditional militaristic strategies. For example, you can build culture-producing buildings in a city that borders a weaker enemy city, and if the cultural influence of your city is high enough, the enemy city may actually “defect” and join you. This is a great way to gain access to crucial resources and strategic locations without going to war. “
  • Unit Hit Points: The concept of firepower has been eliminated and replaced with a simple system based on attack, defense, and hit points.
    • Regular units: 3 hit points
    • Veteran units: 4 hit points
    • Elite units: 5 hit points
    • Conscripted units: 2 hit points
      • Conscript units can be received when exploring goody huts and are also produced when you use the draft to produce soldiers.
  • Drafting: Once your Civ has discovered Nationalism, the draft becomes available. Drafting citizens effectively converts a population point into a military unit.
    • Depending on your level of scientific development, that unit will range from a Spearman to an Infantryman.
    • Drafting is very unpopular with your citizens, and each use of the draft will make one citizen in your city unhappy for twenty turns.
    • Government types directly affect how many citizens from each city can be drafted per turn:
      • Republic and Democracy can draft 1 citizen per turn.
      • Despotism and Monarchy can draft 2 citizens per turn. Communism can draft 3 citizens per turn.
      • Civilizations in Anarchy cannot draft citizens.
  • Mobilization: Another benefit of Nationalism is the ability to mobilize your civilization for war.
    • When a Civ is mobilized for war, all cities building a military unit produce one extra shield in every square that is already producing at least one.
    • However, a mobilized Civ may only build military units and military city improvements, and may not build peacetime improvements.
    • Mobilization can be changed from the domestic advisor screen.
    • You need to end all your wars to get out of mobilization. If you enabled it during peace time you will have to start a war to get out of it.
  • Combat:
    • Each combat round has a chance of inflicting a single hit-point loss on a unit, which is simply a probability based on the relative attack and defense strengths of the combatants. If a unit has an attack factor of nine and attacks a unit with a defense factor of one, it has a 90 percent chance of inflicting a hit-point loss on it during that round.
  • Zones of control have been eliminated, so movement is much more fluid.
  • Certain units and units in fortresses can take opportunity fire on passing enemy units.
  • Armies: Like a transport, you can place different units in an army and move them around together. Say you have a tank and an infantry guy in an Army, and someone attacks. The unit with the best defense will stand up and do the defending until he gets worn down by the battle, then he will stop and the other will stand up and defend. The same thing happens in attack. So big armies are really, really powerful. In order to combat somebody who’s got armies you pretty much have to build your own. It’s an escalating thing which has a big impact on the game.
    • Armies can be built in cities that have the Military Academy (Small Wonder) or with a Great Leader unit.
    • You can have 3 units in an army and those units will pool their hit points during an attack. If you build the Pentagon (Small Wonder) you can load an additional unit into an army.
    • You can only have one army per 4 cities and militaristic civs have a greater chance of producing Great Leaders.
    • Losing a city won’t force you to disband an army.
    • Only ground, non-artillery combat units may join an army.
    • You can’t upload, change, or upgrade units in an army once it’s formed.
  • Great Leaders: Any time an elite unit wins a battle, there’s a small chance a Leader will be spawned. When this happens, get the Leader back to a city without being captured.
    • You can use Great Leaders for three tasks.
      1. Build an army. In order to build an army, GL has to go back one of your cities, then transforms itself to an army unit.
      2. Form a Military Academy which allows you to build army without a Great Leader. In order to do that, your GL has to form an army, then the army has to win a battle.
      3. Rush build a city’s construction project – very nice when you’re building a wonder.
    • Great Leaders aren’t designed to be combat units — they have attack and defense of 0, but movement of 3. Hint: use those 3 movement points to get the leader out of battle quick and into a city, otherwise he’s a sitting duck.
    • There is a limit on the number of great leaders you can have in the game, to keep the game balanced.
      • Each unit can produce at most one great leader. Each time a unit is upgraded, however, it can once again produce a great leader. You can have more than one great leader per game but only one at a time.
    • Each race has a stable of great leaders that are drawn from when you create one. They live until used for either rush building an improvement or building an army. It’s clear that leader units will play a significant part in the game as prized possessions that can alter the course of the game, swinging major events one way or the other.
    • A small wonder called “Heroic Epic” raises the chance to spawn a Great Leader from 1/16 to 1/12.
  • Bombardment:
    • In Civ III, ranged weapons such as catapults, artillery and battleships can bombard enemy fortifications such as city walls and fortresses.
    • This allows for a general “softening” of defenses, which provides a substantial bonus to direct-fire units.
    • All bombardment involves the use of a range overlay, which you can use to determine what you can hit. You then select the target that’s within the grid..
  • If you build a coastal fortress and a ship goes by it will immediately open fire.
  • Mountains and jungles are off limits to wheeled units unless they are traveling on a road.
  • Since you need raw materials to support your military, you have to defend your territory, not just your cities. It’s now no longer just about protecting the city square itself. Now you’ve got to keep your enemies off of your resources squares and off of the roads connecting the trading cities.
  • There are two types of nuclear weapons. ICBMs can hit anything on the map and tactical nukes that can be put on submarines and launched as cruise missiles. If you think you can have a war and launch tactical nukes you can try it, but it’s a challenge in the game just to survive the whole era.
    • ICBMs have a 50% chance of killing every unit in their target square and 8 surrounding squares immediately, and cause a reduction in city population if a city is targeted. They also cause a big increase in global warming.
  • The nuclear war part of the game should be something that you come to and pass through. In Civ2, it’s sort of the end point. When you get nukes, everybody gets nukes and the game is pretty much over. In this game, if you’re the first person to get them you will have an opportunity to benefit, but once everybody else gets them it’s unlikely that you can use them and have a successful game.”
  • Units that have a speed advantage over their opponent will be able to retreat from combat, but you will also be able to launch an “assault”, where your units will essentially attack until they win or are killed.
  • There are defense bonuses depending on the terrain you occupy when you attack or defend.
  • City walls only provide a defense bonus of 50%, and disappear once your city reaches size 7. Size 7-12 cities have an inherent defense bonus of 50%, and cities larger than 12 have an inherent bonus of 100%.
  • Pillaging:
    • Pillaging is an important part of Civ III. Because resources are now so much more important (for producing certain units and for keeping your people happy), pillaging can be an effective way to throw an enemy city into disorder or cripple an enemy’s military production.
    • Pillaging inside the borders of another Civ is considered an act of war, so neither you nor your opponents can destroy each other’s infrastructure without serious consequences.
  • Air Missions: Air units now operate out of base of operations (which in Civ III is either a friendly city or an aircraft carrier) and now perform missions on any square or target within the operational range of the unit. The primary bonus of this is that air units no longer function like super fast ground units.
  • List of possible actions by air units:
    1. Bombing mission (bombards the selected square, damaging units, city improvements, and population)
    2. Precision Bombing mission (targets a specific improvement in a city for destruction)
    3. Recon mission (investigates the selected square)
    4. Air Superiority mission (attacks enemy air units that enter the unit’s defensive range)
    5. Airdrop mission (Airlifts a single ground unit to another location)
    6. Re-Base mission (Selects a new base of operations and relocates the unit to that base)
  • You can identify a defended city, because when you approach, the best defending unit is plainly visible.
  • Razing Cities: When you capture a city, you are given the choice to either occupy that city, or raze it if you don’t want it — no matter what size the city is!
  • Smart Weapons: Allows you to pick an improvement to destroy when attacking. Allows you to pick an improvement to destroy when attacking.
  • The details on respawning AI civs:
    • AI civs can only be respawned once.
    • For an AI civ to respawn, there must be an unclaimed, unoccupied tile on the same continent as the one where it was eliminated (by killing it’s last settler or last city) and no other civs can have territory or units within a 5-tile radius of this tile. The tile must also allow cities to be built upon it (i.e., no mountains/water using default rules).
    • The respawned civ loses the following:
      • All embassies/spies
      • All units
      • – All colonies
    • The respawned civ gets the following:
      • 1 city
      • 3 defensive units
      • 1 offensive unit
      • 1 settler/start unit 1
      • 1 worker/start unit 2
      • All bonus starting units based on difficulty level
      • Their gold is increased by starting_gold X 10 (i.e., 100 gold using default rules).
    • Everything else (culture, at war, techs, etc.) remains unchanged.

Golden Ages

  • Another new concept introduced in Civilization III is the concept of a “Golden Age“, which is meant to represent the period in history when your civilization is at its apex.
  • During a “golden age”, all worked tiles in your empire contribute one additional trade and shield per turn.
  • Golden ages only occur once, last twenty game turns, and are triggered when any one of your civ-specific units wins its first combat against another civ OR building Great Wonders that match the strengths of your civilization. For example, the Chinese are “Militaristic” and “Industrious”. If they build The Art of War and Hoover Dam, this satisfies both strengths and a Golden Age would begin. A far better tact for the Chinese would be to build the Great Wall, which satisfies both strengths at once and would immediately trigger a Chinese Golden Age upon completion.
  • An interesting byproduct of the inclusion of these “civ-specific units” is that scenario and mod developers will now easily be able to create an entire roster of units that can only be built by certain Civilizations. This will give Civ III content creators a lot more freedom to create interesting scenarios and mods.
  • Editing Golden Age Triggers:
    • If you want to disable Civ-specific units (CSU)’s triggering of Golden Ages, you can use the editor to turn the “Triggers Golden Age” flag off for all the CSU’s.
    • If you wanted a non-Civ-specific unit such as warrior to trigger a Golden Age, you could set that using the editor.
    • Each wonder can be set to correspond to none, any or all of the six Civ-specific characteristics. If you went in and unchecked all of these for each wonder, it should effectively remove peaceful Golden Age triggers for wonder-building.


  • The long-standing tradition of random barbarian attacks has been tweaked with the notion of fun and adventure in mind. The unwashed hordes now have encampments on the map. Destroy one and they will reappear where the fog of war is in place.
    • You can actively hunt down the sources of barbarians by hitting these camps. This allows the player to be proactive in dealing with barbarians, rather than simply weathering their assaults..
  • Barbs villages on the coast can spawn seagoing vessels.
  • Barbarians do not capture undefended cities. Now, they just pillage the place, take some of your gold, and move on. They don’t give you that polite warning, either.
  • There are no barbarian leaders. To get their gold, seek out and invade the barbarian encampments.
  • Sometimes building roads can be really hard because there are barbarians out there that constantly attack. What you have to try to do is set up a situation where you can see as much of the map as possible so that you can keep pushing them back.
  • New Hut Possibility: The minor tribe hands over a map of the surrounding area.
  • Barbarian uprisings are triggered the second time a civ enters a new age.
    (once for the middle ages, once for the industrial age, once for the
    modern age…) The intention was to basically simulate the barbarian
    hordes that knocked out Rome and (to a lesser degree) the Mongols. This
    made a little more sense back when barbarians were more destructive, buthaving half your civ knocked out for seemingly random reasons was deemed
    not much fun. Instead, we flipped the concept around and gave a temporal
    bonus (the Golden Age) instead of a temporal penalty.

Wonders of the World

  • Wonders of the World are as important as ever. Civ3 has most of the Wonders in Civ2, plus a couple of new ones. Some old wonders function in new ways.
  • There are 10 Small Wonders, and 24 Great Wonders.
  • Once a wonder is built somewhere in the world you must change the production orders of any other city that’s building that same wonder. (i.e. Can’t have four cities still building Bach’s Cathedral after it’s been completed). You also can no longer have several cities building the same Wonder.
  • Small Wonders: There is a brand new set of “Small Wonders”. While you can only construct one of each Wonder of the World, small wonders can be built by every civilization.
    • Small Wonders are not enabled simply by researching technologies. Most of the Small Wonders become available after certain gameplay conditions have been met by a player.
    • Small Wonders in a city are destroyed when that city is captured, whereas Great Wonders can be captured.
  • Great Wonders:
    • Great Wonders can be made obsolete by new technologies, Small Wonders cannot.
    • Great Wonders can now be “rushed” to completion only under the direction of a Great Leader.
    • Great Wonders are also now associated with one or more of the Civilization strengths. If the attributes of the Wonders you’ve completed match your Civ’s strengths, you will trigger a Golden Age.
    • By building Great Wonders that match the strengths of your civilization, you can trigger a Golden Age.
  • All Great and Small Wonders produce culture, from 1 to 5 points per turn depending on how cultural it is (i.e. 1 for Military academy, 5 for Bach’s Cathedral.)
  • List of Great Wonders (24):Some of the Civ2 Wonders have been renamed. For example, SunTzu’s War Academy is renamed to Sun Tzu’s Art of War, Michelangelo’s Chapel is renamed to Sistine Chapel, Darwin’s Voyage is now called Theory of Evolution, etc.
    Great Wonder Attributes Benefits
    Great WallCost: 200
    Culture: 2
    Requires: Construction

    Expires: Metallurgy

    Militaristic & Industrious Doubles effects of city walls and attack strength vs. barbarians.
    SETI ProgramCost: 1000
    Culture: 3
    Requires: Computers
    Expires: Never
    Expansionist Doubles science output of city
    LighthouseCost: 400

    Culture: 2
    Requires: Map Making
    Expires: Magnetism

    Expansionist & Commercial +1 ship movement. Galleys can travel safely at sea.
    ColossusCost: 200
    Culture: 3

    Requires: Bronze Woking
    Expire: Flight

    Expansionist & Religious +1 commerce in any square already producing commerce in that city.
    Great LibraryCost: 400
    Culture: 6
    Requires: Literature

    Expire: Education

    Scientific Civilization receives any civilization advance already discovered by 2 other known civs for free.
    Hanging GardensCost: 300
    Culture: 4
    Requires: Monarchy

    Expire: Steam Power

    Industrious Makes 3 unhappy citizens content in its city and one unhappy citizen content in your other cities.
    OracleCost: 300
    Culture: 4
    Requires: Mysticism
    Expire: Theology
    Religious Doubles the effect of all temples.
    PyramidCost: 400

    Culture: 4
    Requires: Masonry
    Expire: Never

    Industrious & Religious Acts as a granary in all your cities on the same continent.
    United NationsCost: 1000
    Culture: 4

    Requires: Fission
    Expire: Never

    Commercial Enables diplomatic victory.
    Hoover DamCost: 800
    Culture: 3
    Requires: Electronics

    Expires: Never

    Industrious Acts as a Hydro Plant in all your cities on that continent.
    Sistine ChapelCost: 600
    Culture: 6
    Requires: Theology
    Expire: Never
    Religious Doubles the effect of Cathedrals.
    Leonardo’s WorkshopCost: 600

    Culture: 2
    Requires: Invention
    Expire: Never

    Militaristic Halves the upgrade cost of units.
    Theory of EvolutionCost: 600
    Culture: 3

    Requires: Scientific Method
    Expire: Never

    Scientific Gives 2 free techs.Known as Darwin’s Voyage in Civ2.
    Art of WarCost: 600
    Culture: 2
    Requires: Feudalism

    Expire: Never

    Militaristic Provides benefits of a Barracks in all your cities on that continent.
    Copernicus’ ObservatoryCost: 400
    Culture: 4
    Requires: Astronomy
    Expire: Never
    Expansionist Doubles science output in that city.
    Magellan’s VoyageCost: 400

    Culture: 3
    Requires: Navigation
    Expire: Never

    Expansionist & Commercial Movement of all naval units is increased by 1.
    Shakespeare’s TheatreCost: 400
    Culture: 6

    Requires: Free Artistry
    Expire: Never

    Makes 8 unhappy citizens in that city content.
    Smith’s Trading Co.Cost: 600
    Culture: 3
    Requires: Economics

    Expire: Never

    Commercial Free maintenance for Marketplaces, Banks, Harbors, and Airports.
    LongevityCost: 1000
    Culture: 3
    Requires: Genetics
    Expire: Never
    Scientific Population increases by 2 instead of 1 when the food box is filled.
    Manhattan ProjectCost: 800

    Culture: 2
    Requires: Fission
    Expire: Never

    Militaristic & Industrious Allows construction of nuclear weapons by all civilizations.
    Bach’s CathedralCost: 600
    Culture: 5

    Requires: Music Theory
    Expire: Never

    Religious Decreases the number of unhappy people by 2 in each city on the same continent.
    Cure for CancerCost: 1000
    Culture: 4
    Requires: Genetics

    Expire: Never

    Scientific Makes one unhappy citizen content in all your cities.
    Universal SuffrageCost: 800
    Culture: 4
    Requires: Industrialization
    Expire: Never
    Militaristic Reduces war weariness in all your cities.
    Newton’s UniversityCost: 400

    Culture: 6
    Requires: Theory of Gravity
    Expire: Metallurgy

    Scientific Doubles science output of city
  • List of Small Wonders (10):
    Small Wonder Cost Culture Prerequistes Benefits
    Heroic Epic 200 4 A victorious army Increases the likelihood of leaders appearing
    Iron Works 300 2 Coal and iron in city radius Doubles shield output of city
    Forbidden Palace 300 3 8 cities on a standard map Lowers corruptions as if it were a second capital
    Military Academy 400 1 A victorious army Can build armies in city without a leader
    Pentagon 400 1 3 armies in the field Armies can contain an extra unit
    Wall Street 400 2 5 Banks Earns 5% interest on treasury each turn (maximum of 50)
    Intelligence Agency 400 1 Espionage Allows espionage missions
    Apollo Program 500 3 Space Flight Allows spaceship construction
    SDI Defense 500 1 5 SAM Batteries 75% chance of intercepting ICBM attacks
    Battlefield Medicine 500 1 5 Hospitals Units can heal in enemy territory
  • Marco Polo’s Embassy is not in Civ3.
  • Wonders will not be visible or placed on the map.
    • Jeff Morris: “We experimented with this, but ultimately found the scale was too much of an issue. When you build a wonder a gorgeous “wonder portrait” pops up over the main map. The wonders are then visible on the city aerial view screen. “
  • Civilization III will NOT have Wonder movies.
    • FIRAXIS: We have created a beautiful and fun world in Civ III and felt that the wonder movies of the past would take you out of that world and interrupt the gameplay experience. So, we decided to create some very cool wonder animations that appear within the game, on your city view screen, without disrupting the flow of your game.

Winning the Game

  • There are 6 ways of winning in the game:
    1. Victory by Domination
      • The domination victory occurs if you control a majority (66%) of the world’s land surface within your borders and 2/3 of Civilian population. This can be achieved through various means, either by cultural tactics or military ones, or a combination of both.
    2. Diplomatic Victory
      • The diplomatic victory condition is enabled after the United Nations wonder has been built. Once built, the UN will meet periodically to vote on a leader. Any civ that receives a majority of votes from the U.N. council wins the game. The catch here is that in order to even be on the U.N. council (and thus eligible to be elected U.N. leader), you must either control 25% of the world’s territory or population. The civilization who builds the United Nations wonder automatically gains a permanent council position. There are always at least 2 candidates — the civilization with the next largest population is used if there would only be one candidate.
    3. Cultural Victory
      • A new cultural victory can occur if one of your cities amasses 20,000 culture points, or if your entire empire amasses at least 100,000 culture points and no rival civ has more than half of your cultural value.
      • When culture reaches a certain point, the radius of your borders grows by one. The first increase comes at 10 Culture points, which will probably take 10 turns at the start of the game (your palace starts generating one culture point per turn). The amount you need to grow your borders increase by a factor of 10 each time, so they won’t expand again until you accumulate 100 culture points, and then after that 1,000, etc.
      • Get a city with a size 6 territory radius [size of you culture influenced borders, I’m assuming] and you’ve done it- this is actually much MUCH harder than it sounds.
      City Radius Cultural Points Expansion
      1 0 Initial State
      2 10 1st Expansion
      3 100 2nd Expansion
      4 1,000 3rd Expansion
      5 10,000 4th Expansion
      6 20,000 Cultural Victory!
    4. Space Victory: The first Civ to *launch* the ship wins the game.
      • In order to accomplish a Space Race victory, you need to focus on securing the advances needed to acquire the ten components for building the spaceship, as well as Aluminum and Uranium, the two strategic resources that are required to construct the spaceship parts. The Spaceship is a massive undertaking.
      • All spaceship parts require Aluminum except for SS Fuel Cells, which require Uranium. Exterior Casing requires both Aluminum and Rubber
        Technology Allows
        Space Flight Cockpit, Docking Bar, Engine
        Synthetic Fiber Exterior Casing, Stasis Chamber, Storage
        Superconductor Fuel Cells, Life Support
        The Laser Planetary Party Lounge
        The Satellite Thrusters
        Rocketry Aluminum (Strategic Resource)
        Fission Uranium (Strategic Resource)
        Replacement Parts Rubber (Strategic Resource)
        Total: 8 Techs 10 Components & 3 Strategic Resources
    5. Conquest Victory: Eliminate all the other Civs and victory is yours.
    6. Histographic Victory: The civilization with most impact to world history wins in the endgame.
      • If the game ends and no one is victorious by any of these, the game uses a “histograph” to determine the winner. The histograph victory takes into account the “score” of all the remaining civilizations, averaging their score across the entire game. The civ with the best average “score” wins. Thus, your performance in ancient times is every bit as important as in the modern era.
      • You can view the histograph by score (an overall computed average, factoring in pretty much everything in the game), power (essentially military strength), or culture (self-explanatory).
  • When you start a new game, you can disallow any or all of the first 5 ways of winning. Histographic victory cannot be disabled.
  • Economic victory is not in the game.
  • Though players can in fact win a game of Civ III by taking control of 66% or more of the world’s landmass, they can also achieve victory through two new means: either through diplomacy, by building the United Nations and garnering enough support from neighboring countries to be voted into power, or through culture, by encouraging their country’s own culture to flourish by improving education and encouraging the arts.
  • The New Scoring System:
    • Your rating is constantly evaluated so you no longer can clean up pollution 10 years before landing on AC since the 100 years of pollution already messed up your rating
    • Being bigger late in the game” does not necessarily get you a higher score. Score is calculated as an average of your relative power throughout the entire game. Thus, if you were a small isolationist civ for the first half of the game, you can’t just put on a good show for the last 50 turns and expect that will make up for it.
    • Games will always stop recording score at 2050, no matter what type of game you are playing, but you can still continue playing after that. If no one has won by the year 2050 then the winner is determined by the sum of your score at the end of each time period. So, if you ended the game with 200 points at the end of the first time period, 300 the next then 400 then 1000 you’d have a final score of 200+300+400+1000/4 = 475.
  • Years Per Turn Figures (Total # of Turns = 540):If you’ve wondered how the years/turns equation works here are the figures. They can be handy to know if you’re trying to work out how many turns you have left in a quest for a culture victory, how many turns you need before a particular Temple (or whatever) gets its 1000 year bonus, or just to see how many turns you have left to achieve your objectives. It seems the Year/Turn figures don’t vary with difficulty level.
    Period Years Per Turn Turns
    4000 BC – 2750 BC 50 25
    2750 BC – 1750 BC 40 25
    1750 BC – 750 BC 25 40
    750 BC – 250 AD 20 50
    250 AD – 1250 AD 10 100
    1250 AD – 1750 AD 5 100
    1750 AD – 1950 AD 2 100
    1950 AD – 2050 AD 1 100


  • Civilization III did not ship with multiplayer feature. Multiplayer will be added later in the Civilization III: Play the World via an expansion disk in Fall 2002.
  • For more info on the multiplayer modes, please see the Play the World expansion pack section of the Info Center.
  • Jeff Morris: Timed turns and simultaneous moves will be a part of multiplayer, but in reality it doesn’t significantly reduce play time (at best ~15%). Often MP games take longer anyways because of having to coordinate multiple play sessions with multiple people, not to mention disconnects and restarts. For the average customer winning a solo civ3 game by space race, on default settings, can’t really happen in one sitting. MP is the same way. We’ve got a pretty different approach to simul-move, and features like alliance simultaneous moves will reduce game time even more. The SMAC favorite of dynamically increasing turn timers will be present as well. While these areas of MP aren’t being ignored, most new stuff will be in turn based. Civ3 is a turn based game at it’s heart, and we believe it can be a great internet game without ignoring or sidestepping that fact.

Replay Features

  • There is a “VCR style” replay that shows the world map and a graphical representation of the map and its territories as time passes. You are also able to toggle on an event popup that shows when and where important events occured (cities founded, conquered or destroyed, wonders built, Civs eliminated).
    • It could take a while for the game to process the game data before it start playing the replay. Have patience…
  • The “Dan Quayle” screen of the original Civilization is back. After winning, losing, or retiring from a game, you will be ranked and given an appropriate title that suits your accomplishments.

Map Generator and Editing Tools

  • A new continent generation routine should generate continents that are much more natural looking than the long ribbons that the previous game generated.
  • The map editor allows for maps up to 256×256.
  • The current map editor doesn’t have a mini-map! It also can’t fix a Civ’s starting location.
  • Scenario Support: The 1.29f editor released in July 2002 contains scenario support. Some of the new features added include:
    • Minimap
    • Zoom in/Zoom out. Zoom levels include 25, 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 500 percent. Zooming in the game remains the same.
    • Ability to place of cities, units, colonies, civ-specific starting locations
    • Ability to add units and civs
    • Ability to import maps or rules (or even players) from other bic files
    • The editor allows up to 31 to play, though how enjoyable that is is debatable.
    • You’ll be able to start in any era, but the year count isn’t configurable.
    • Ability to designate which terrain types will support cities as well as colonies. This makes mountain and water cities possible, although not directly supported.
  • Features such as events, diplomacy editing, and date/time editing are on the wishlist.
  • Making Custom Units:
    • Civ3’s unit animations are saved in a non-standard FLC format. Consequently, programs such as JASC’s Animation Shop can read the FLC file but can’t save the file to a format Civ3 can use.
    • The good news is that a third party program made by a Civ fan has the ability to convert Civ3 Unit FLC files into STANDARD FLCs that can be edited with tools like Jasc Animation Shop, and then converts them back. We finally can make custom Civ3 units!
  • The Civ3 Creation Community: Civ3 players have created an amazing array of modpacks, maps, utility programs, and scenarios for Civilization III. These files can be downloaded in the Creation & Customization forum.
  • Firaxis on Customization (before Civ3 was released):
    • There has also been some concern that because we are showing animated units on the website, scenario creators will be forced to learn 3D animation programs in order to create units; we can safely say that’s not the case. Scenario authors who want to create and use animated units will certainly be able to, but those who wish to use Civ II style single-frame units will be able to do so.
    • Yes, you will absolutely be able to create your own units! With regards to unit customization, we’re committed to the scenario/mod community, and we realize that the ability to create diverse, interesting scenarios is one of the major reasons for Civilization II’s enduring popularity. To that end, we’ll be developing extensive tools for scenario and mod creators to use which will allow them to create whatever they can think of. Flexibility is the order of the day.
    • You will be able to create your own custom civilization using our editing tools. We want to encourage players to create and share interesting and unique civs, so you will certainly be able to do this.
    • Creating and adding your own custom advisors to the game should not be a problem. Advisors are comprised of a single graphics file and a single text file. Both are relatively easy to edit, so we’ll see quite a few custom advisors available for download.
    • All civ-specific powers and units are fully editable. Thus, the anti-civ-specific crowd should have no problem taking them out of the game, and mod writers will also have the flexibility to construct highly civ-specific scenarios.
    • We are hard at work on an editor which will allow you to customize the rules to your liking, in very much the same way as the rules.txt file did, though we think the new editor is a lot more user-friendly! We do plan on shipping with a premade “world” map, and you will find that maps in Civ III can be much larger than those found in Civ II. Our random map generator is also much improved over Civ II’s, so you should get challenging and enjoyable maps every time.
    • You can alter any terrain type to determine which resources can be found in that terrain type, and you can also manually place resources on your maps.

Play the World Expansion Pack

  • Infogrames announced Civilization III: Play the World expansion pack on May 1st, 2002. The expansion was first shown at E3 2002 in Los Angeles.
  • Scheduled Release Date: Late October 2002
  • Estimated retail price: US$29.99 – US$34.99
  • The expansion pack will include:
    • Multiplayer: Three different Internet and LAN game modes, including turn-based, simultaneous, and a turnless mode. In addition the expansion will support “Play by Email” and Hotseat games and will include multiplayer scenario support. Gamespy Arcade will also be supported.
      • The turnless mode results in a much faster game by eliminating the A.I. phase and setting a very short time limit on turns. An individual turn runs on a real time clock and each individual unit moved must not be moved again until the length of a turn has passed. The length of each turn is proportional to the number of cities and units present in the world. As you advance through time and have more units to manage, you have more time between turns.
      • Play-by-email games have player passwords and admin passwords. If someone quits halfway through a long game, the admin can replace them with an AI or another player. Players will not need have matching default bics in PBEM games. Host rules will be used.
      • Balanced Multiplayer Scenarios: You can specify detailed things like “everyone gets six grasslands, all irrigated and with roads.”
      • Play the World will use the popular Gamespy Arcade for internet games and will also contain an in-game match-making feature.
      • PTW will have full support for DirectVoice (voice transmission in MP games).
      • Victory Points in MP: Whenever you perform a certain type of action in the game, such as control a certain part of the map for a particular time period or some other similar action, you’ll be allotted victory points. If you set the multiplayer match to a one-hour time limit, then the player with most victory points at the end of that period is declared the winner.
    • New Game Modes: Civ fans around the world can now face off in short, fast-paced games like Elimination, Regicide and Capture the Flag or play a more traditional Civilization-style game;. These game modes can be played in both multiplayer and single player.
      • Elimination is the Civ equivalent of one-shot-one-kill. A player is eliminated if they ever lose a city.
      • Regicide is a bit like chess. Your ruler is represented as a unit on the map. The objective is to capture the other king, thereby eliminating that player from the game. The leader is movable on the map and each leader will have separate artwork..
      • For the Capture the Flag mode, the “flag” could be a flag, a relic or an artifact. You need to take it from their city and take it to your own.
    • Eight New Civilizations:Mongols
      Civilization Leader Capital Unique Unit (A/D/M) Replaces Abilities
      Spanish Isabella Madrid Conquistador (3/2/2) Explorers Religious & Commercial
      Genghis Khan Karakorum Keshik (4/2/2) Knights Militaristic & Expansionist
      Vikings Ragnar Lodbrok Trondheim Berserk* (6/2/1) Longbowman Militaristic & Expansionist
      Celts Brennus Entremont Gallic Swordsman (3/2/2) Swordsman Religious & Militaristic
      Carthaginians Hannibal Carthage Numidian Mercenary (2/3/1) Spearman Commercial & Industrious
      Ottomans Osman Istanbul Sipahi (8/3/3) Cavalry Industrious & Scientific
      Arabs Abu Bakr Mecca Ansar Warrior (4/2/3) Knight Expansionist & Religious
      Koreans Wang Kon Seoul Hwacha (12/1/1) Cannon Commercial & Scientific

      * Spanish Conquistador unit doesn’t need gunpowder resource and treat all terrain as roads.Berserk can launch amphibious attacks.

    • There will not be any new civilization attributes in PTW.
    • New Map Features, such as airfields, outposts and radar towers.
      • Airfield expands air operations beyond what is possible through cities alone. You will not be able to build airbase in other Civs’ territory or upgrade air units in airbase.
      • Outpost can be built outside of city boundaries in order to dispel the fog of war for a certain distance that varies according to the surrounding terrain and elevation of the outpost.
      • Radar tower adds a combat bonus to units within range.
      • Ruins represent destroyed cities on the map.
    • New Terrain Graphics Sets:
      • New Winter and European terrain sets allow players to customize their maps.
    • New Unit Packs, including feudal Japan and World War II unit packs, that will allow players to create scenarios from any time period. The unit pack will feature 17 units each. A dinosaur-themed unit set is also included.
      • Hwacha is not part of the Japanese unit pack.
      • The dino unit set will have around 10 units. The dinos in the E3 PTW video is an allosaur.
    • Interface Enhancements such as better unit stacking and auto-bombard.
      • Improved stacked unit movement for both land- and sea-based units, making it easier for players to keep units with different movement speeds together during journeys across the map.
      • Auto-bombard effectively orders a cannon or bomber to auto-bombard a square or city. You can do that with a stack of units, effectively ordering a stack of bombers to keep attacking the same square every turn.
      • An improved cycle feature that gives players more options when searching for units or cities. For instance, players can cycle through specific types of units, or easily find the cities that are currently in civil disorder.
      • PTW will include a rally points feature (the ability to automatically vector newly built units from their production city to another city/location)
      • Espionage works very similarly to the way it did in civ3. All the popups are compressed into a single screen in PTW, but the options remain the same.
    • Modification Manager that lets players easily add and remove custom content. The manager will have a preview mode that lets players see exactly what effects a mod will have before they use it.
    • New Wonder & City Improvements: In an effort to add some depth to the tail-end of the single player game, the developers are considering a number of changes. There are a few new wonders, such as the The Internet. New city improvements are also under consideration. A “Civil Defense” type structure might be added to improve the defense of large, modern cities. A “commercial dock” of some sort might be added. Also, while research institutions have three levels (Library, University and Research Lab), economic improvements only have two (Marketplace and Bank). A “Mega-Bank” type improvement would add a third level of economic activity to modern cities.
    • Best of the Net: The expansion pack will include 10 scenarios and a Best of the Net disk that will include some popular player-created contents such as maps and scenarios.
    • Play the World has a new opening cinematic.
  • Miscellaneous PTW info:
    • Two units in the same character is now possible. This opened the door to adding units to existing character like catapults. Now you’ll see guys falling down when the catapult is destroyed. Your cannons will actually have little troops working beside them.
    • New non-unique units: guerilla and Medieval Infantry (4/2/1).
      • “Guerilla is a cheaper, weaker, resourceless infantry. We’re testing hidden nationality for them, though how the AI handles that will be the big determining factor. “
    • AI: Not a great deal of new AI, except for them using the new things like airfields and autobombard.
    • Events and unit trading are on the wishlist.
    • Firaxis is entertaining the idea of part of Conquistadors’ unique ability is that they don’t replace the unit they replace. Conquistadors are light cavalry, so it seems weird to block regular cavalry…
    • The graphics file format in remains the same (PCX) in PTW. Adding new terrain (such as animations) beyond modifying whats there isn’t going to be possible in PTW.
    • You will be able to view existing deals in the foreign advisor screen. Basically all the info from the ‘active’ page in the diplowin will be available out side.
    • You will not be able to create an “army” of ships, but stack movement works for ships as well as aircraft and land units.
    • There are no plans to change corruptions further.
    • The PTW content currently has a size of about 200 MB.
    • PTW will have its own exe, Civ3.exe will still be available and playable.
    • There are new animations that indicate when you’ve missed a target–these are especially apparent in naval battles, which show ammunition splashing into the water as opposed to hitting its target.
    • The swordsman can now transform into the guerilla fighter, which was done to correct the problem of having swordsmen running around on the map during the late 1800s.
    • Smooth scrolling has been added to the game.
    • Players will be able to enable or disable City Flipping in the scenario editor.
  • Expansion pack info page @
  • Screenshots:
  • Videos:

Other Features

  • The “Go To” command is back! Not only can you select which square you’d like a unit to go to, but as you drag the cursor, the game will also show you the path it plans to take to get there, and how many turns it will take that unit to arrive, calculating movement rate, plus road bonuses, and so on.
  • Firaxis on Shortcut Keys: “In most cases they should be the same. We’re still tweaking them and making sure they make sense with the increased functionality of Civ III, so some of them may change.”
  • The new pathfinding system always find the shortest path, so you won’t have warriors running back and forth all over the map.
  • There are only two zoom levels: standard zoom and zoom out.
  • Jeff Morris explains why Natural Disasters are not included in Civ3:
    • “While these could possibly add some new challenges, we felt that since you couldn’t really play a certain way and prevent them from occurring, they were a little too random (and always destructive). Global Warming is an example of what we’re talking about. While you can’t solely prevent this from occurring (the AIs have a role as well), you can ‘do your part’ by moderating city growth and building improvements that directly combat the phenomenon. No such mechanism existed for, say, an earthquake.”
    • 5/25/03: The second Civ3 expansion Civ3: Conquest will add disasters!
  • Science and entertainment limits: No matter what your form of government, the only limitation on your level of funding is what you can afford.


Game Arts


  • Civ III don’t have Wonder movies. The designers know that cut scenes get old because they all played Civilization.
  • Visit the Civilization III Videos section for complete list of Civ3 movies.

Beta Testing & Demo

  • There was no public beta testing for Civ3.
  • Infogrames and Firaxis don’t plan to release a Civ3 demo.
  • Jeff Morris talks about Beta Testing (July 29, 2001): There were a lot of plans, but time and resources constricted the options. Public betas serve as valuable sounding boards for a game, but their true value is in compatibility testing. It basically allows us to skip a patch. The trick with public betas is that you release something late enough that allows the player to get a good idea of what the final game will play like, but early enough to incorporate the fixes. An open public beta was originally planned, but that window I was describing never really opened. A closed public beta wasn’t an option since don’t they involve a large enough ‘sample’ for compatibility testing and requires immense manpower to manage.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


  • Feel free to post your feedback in our Civilization III forum.If you see anything missing or incorrect, email us and we’ll make the changes in the next update.

Update History