It's a Brave New World for Civilization V, and a brave new world for Civ V mods. We've gone through our and tested our collection from the Steam Workshop for 2014 compatibility and freshness, while at the same time adding new mods that caught our eye or won the community's favor. As with all mods, compatibility can depend on a lot of factors. Our setup includes both major expansions of Civ V—Gods and Kings as well as Brave New World.
The best Civ mods range from total conversions—transforming historical Earth into the world of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire or Elder Scrolls' Tamriel—to tools that improve AI or tweak animations.
Here are the 15 best Civilization V mods, broken up into three helpful categories.
- Page 1: Utilities and interface tweaks
- Page 2: Graphics mods
- Page 3: Gameplay and total conversion mods
Utilities and interface tweaks
Communitas AI and Tools
With the goal of making Civ V's AI “smarter, not harder,” the Communitas AI and Tools sets a base for other mods like the Communitas Enhanced Gameplay mod outlined below, which I ran paired with the CAT mod for best results. Probably the most useful and noticeable change the AI and Tools mod brings is a new analysis of tech trees. Once enabled, new “good for” tooltips pop up to give players a way to synthesize bigger chunks of information at once, saving time in the race to out-build your opponents.
For troubleshooting on the Communitas mods, be sure to check out the CivFanatics forums.
Really Advanced Setup
For the detail-oriented world builder, the Really Advanced Setup mod includes the standard suite of options when starting a new game, plus a new group of variables that makes setting up as granular a process as you could want. These include options to tinker with starting units and gold bonuses as well as terrain features that let you control what kind of region your settler spawns in. Get the mod here at the Steam Workshop.
This mod brings an additional map option into the setup menu which features a more naturalistic appearance, altered river placement, and craggier mountains. Although it was uploaded to the Steam Workshop by a third-party instead of its original creator, the mod functions well and gives you a unique visual update to Civ V's geography.
Since all worthy empires begin with just a city or two, it's worth it to know as much as possible before founding a new settlement. City Limits, by selecting either a city or a settler, shows you the potential borders of every new urban landscape as you plot the most efficient takeover of the known world. Get it here.
Faster Aircraft Animations
A small tweak, but one that can save you time over the long haul if you want a little more sonic boom from your flight tech. Available on Steam Workshop.
Even in Civ V, sometimes all you want—or need—is just a bit more information before making your next move. InfoAddict will graph all kinds of data for you over time, with an interface that's unobtrusive but also there when you need it. It tracks things like military power, cultural development and international relations in a way that's quickly readable and informative. There's a version for the Brave New World expansion, as well as a vanilla edition and one for just Gods and Kings.