Civilization V: Social Policies

An overview of in-game information for each social policy branch. For more detailed and accurate information, users are encouraged to visit the War Academy’s individual social policy articles which are linked to in the branch headings.

Image Policy Description Prerequisites


Liberty is best for civilizations which desire rapid expansion. Adopting Liberty will provide 1 culture Culture in every city. Adopting all policies in the Liberty tree will grant a free Great Person of your choice near the capital Capital. Ancient Era
Liberty Adopting Liberty will provide 1 culture Culture in every city.
Collective Rule Speeds the training of Settlers by 50% in the capital Capital and a free Settler appears near the capital Capital.
Citizenship Tile improvement construction rate increased by 25% and a Worker appears near the capital Capital.
Republic +1 production Production in every City and +5% production Production in cities when constructing Buildings. Collective Rule
Representation Each city you found will increase the culture Culture cost of policies by 33% less than normal. Also starts a goldenage Golden Age. Citizenship
Meritocracy +1 happy Happiness for each City you own trade connected to the capital Capital and -5% unhappy Unhappiness from citizen Citizens in non-occupied Cities. Citizenship


Tradition is best for small empires. Adopting all Policies in the Tradition tree will grant +15% food Growth and +2 food in each city. Ancient Era
Tradition Adopting Tradition greatly increases the rate of border expansion in cities and also grants 3 culture Culture in the capital Capital.
Aristocracy +15% production when building Wonders and +1 happy Happiness for every 10 citizen Citizens in a City.
Oligarchy Garrisoned units cost no maintenance and cities with a garrison gain +100% rangedstrength Ranged Combat Strength.
Legalism Provides a free culture building in your first 4 cities.
Landed Elite +10% food Growth and +2 food in the capital Capital. Legalism
Monarchy +1 gold Gold and -1 unhappy Unhappiness for every 2 citizen Citizens in the capital Capital. Legalism


Honor improves the effectiveness of one’s army in a variety of ways. Adopting all policies in the Honor tree will grant gold Gold for each enemy unit killed. Ancient Era
Honor Adopting Honor gives a +25% combat bonus VS Barbarians, and notifications will be provided when new Barbarian Encampments spawn in revealed territory. Gain culture Culture for the empire from each barbarian killed.
Warrior Code +15% production Production when training Melee units and a Great General appears outside the capital Capital.
Discipline +10% strength combat strength for military Units which have another military Unit in an adjacent tile.
Military Tradition Military Units gain 50% more Experience from combat. Warrior Code
Military Caste Each City with a garrison increases empire happy Happiness by 1 and culture Culture by 2. Discipline
Professional Army gold Gold cost of upgrading Military Units reduced by 33% and +1 happy Happiness from every defensive building (Walls, Castle, Arsenal, Military Base). Military Caste


Piety increases the culture Culture of empires. Adopting all policies in the Piety tree will reduce the culture Culture cost of future Policies by 10%. This branch cannot be active at the same time as Rationalism. Classical Era
Piety Adopting Piety reduces the time to build culture Culture buildings by 15%.
Organized Religion +1 happy Happiness from every Monument, Temple and Monastery.
Mandate of Heaven 50% of excess happy Happiness added each turn to the amount of culture Culture that may be spent on Social Policies.
Theocracy Temples increase a cities gold Gold output by 10%. Organized Religion
Reformation culture Culture increased by 33% in all cities which have built a World Wonder and the empire immediately enters a goldenage Golden Age. Organized Religion
Free Religion +1 culture Culture for each Monument, Temple and Monastery. Also gives 1 free Policy. Reformation, Mandate of Heaven


Patronage enhances the benefits of City-State friendship. Adopting all policies in the Patronage tree will make other players’ influence Influence with City-States decrease 33% more per turn than usual. Medieval Era
Patronage influence Influence with City-States degrades 25% slower than normal.
Philanthropy gold Gold gifts to City-States produce 25% more influence Influence.
Aesthetics Minimum influence Influence level with all City-States is 20.
Scholasticism All City-States which are Allies provide a science Science bonus equal to 25% of what they produce for themselves. Philanthropy
Cultural Diplomacy Quantity of Resources gifted by City-States increased by 100%. happy Happiness from gifted Luxuries increased by 50%. Scholasticism
Educated Elite Allied City-States will occasionally gift you greatperson Great People. Scholasticism, Aesthetics


Commerce provides bonuses to naval empires, and those focused on gold Gold. Adopting all Policies in the Commerce tree will grant +1 gold Gold from every Specialist. Medieval Era
Commerce Adopting Commerce will boost gold Gold output in capital Capital City by 25%.
Trade Unions gold Maintenance paid on Roads and Railroads reduced by 33%. Harbors and Seaports gain +1 gold Gold.
Naval Tradition +1 moves Movement for Naval units and +1 Sight for Naval combat units.
Mercantilism Purchasing items in Cities requires 25% less gold Gold. Trade Unions
Merchant Navy +3 production Production in all coastal Cities. Naval Tradition
Protectionism +1 happy Happiness from each Luxury resource. Mercantilism


Rationalism improves the ability to use and generate science Science. Adopting all Policies in the Rationalism tree will grant +1 gold Gold from science Science buildings. This branch cannot be active at the same time as Piety. Renaissance Era
Rationalism Adopting Rationalism boosts science Science gained from research agreements by 50%.
Secularism +2 science Science from every Specialist.
Humanism +1 happy Happiness from every University, Observatory and Public School.
Free Thought +1 science Science from every Trading Post and +17% science Science from Universities. Secularism
Sovereignty +15% science Science while the empire is happy Happy. Humanism
Scientific Revolution 2 free Technologies. Free Thought


Freedom is best for small, focused empires. In particular, it provides bonuses for greatperson Great People and Specialists. Adopting all Policies in the Freedom tree will increase the base yield from Great Tile Improvements by 100% and length of goldenage Golden Ages increased by 50%. This branch cannot be active at the same time as Autocracy or Order. Renaissance Era
Freedom Upon adopting Freedom, the rate at which greatperson Great People are born is increased by 25%.
Constitution +2 culture Culture from each World Wonder.
Universal Suffrage strength Combat Strength of Cities increased by 33%.
Civil Society Specialists consume only half the normal amount of food Food.
Free Speech 8 units are maintenance free. Constitution
Democracy Specialist Population in Cities produce half the normal amount of unhappy Unhappiness. Civil Society


Autocracy is for militaristic civilizations, dreaming of world conquest. Adopting all Policies in the Autocracy tree will grant a 20% attack bonus to all Military Units for 30 turns. This branch cannot be active at the same time as Freedom or Order. Industrial Era
Autocracy Adopting Autocracy reduces Unit gold Gold Maintenance costs by 33%, allowing an empire to field a larger military.
Populism Wounded Military Units inflict 25% more damage than normal.
Militarism gold Gold cost of purchasing units reduced by 33%.
Fascism Quantity of Strategic Resources produced by the empire increased by 100%. Populism, Militarism
Police State +3 happy Happiness from every Courthouse. Build Courthouses in half the usual time. Militarism
Total War +15% production Production when building Military Units and new Military Units start with 15 Experience. Fascism, Police State


Order is best for large, sprawling empires, increasing the strength of the empire based on the number of Cities it contains. Adopting all Policies in the Order tree will grant +1 food Food, production Production, science Science, gold Gold, and culture Culture per city. This branch cannot be active at the same time as Freedom or Autocracy. Industrial Era
Order Adopting Order will increase happy Happiness by 1 per City.
United Front Militaristic city states grant units twice as often when you are at war with a common foe.
Socialism gold Gold maintenance costs of Buildings reduced by 15%. Planned Economy
Nationalism 25% attack bonus when fighting in friendly territory.
Planned Economy Factories increase a cities science Science output by 25%.
Communism +2 production Production per City and +10% production Production when constructing Buildings. Socialism