Civilization: Beyond Earth has only been out for a week, but there are already some amazing mods on the game’s Steam Workshop page. As of writing this, there are about 100 mods to choose from, some of which only make small changes and some that aim to do a whole lot more. We went through all the mods currently available and sorted out which ones are already impressive and which ones have the potential to be truly great as they are developed further.
From a simple recoloring to a complete rebalancing, here is our list of the best Civilization: Beyond Earth mods broken down into two categories: mods to get right now and mods to keep your eye on for later. We'll update this list in the future.
Mods to get right now
Colorful Tech Web
By Glidergun | Steam Workshop page
Everyone who's played Beyond Earth knows that overwhelming feeling the first time you open the tech web and see its branching paths loom over you. Glidergun’s Colorful Tech Web mod looks to ease that pain in the simplest way possible. The mod assigns a different color to each kind of symbol in the tech web, letting you see at a glance if a tech will unlock new units, buildings, wonders, satellites, or what have you. It also adds an icon to units and buildings that will still be locked behind a minimum affinity level after being researched. There are a few other mods that try to organize the tech web, but their color coding systems are overly complex and cause as much confusion as they alleviate.
By Kleinzach | Steam Workshop page
A few sponsor mods have added custom colonist, cargo, and spaceship choices, but no other mod adds so many options at once. EnhancedLoadout nearly doubles your options at the start of a game. It currently has few balance issues here and there, like an immediate free affinity level, but creator Kleinzach has been patching and updating it regularly. This is a great mod to install and forget about, adding variety to the start of every new game without imposing itself any further.
By 3ntf4k3d | Steam Workshop page
One thing you might notice is that wonders, being easier to pick and choose between, don’t have the oomph they used to. The Empowered Wonders mod aims to change that, giving every wonder a significant boost in power. Now those planet exclusive buildings are strong enough that choosing which ones to pursue can be an influential part of your strategy. This mod might not be for everybody, but it is a well executed response to a common criticism of Beyond Earth without feeling heavy handed.
Tiny tweaks: Simple Clock and Previous Route In Red
These two mods are incredibly small but currently have no compatibility issues with other mods, so there is absolutely no reason to leave them out of your game if you like them. Simple Clock just adds the real world time to the center of the top UI bar. If you are like me and suffer from “one more turn” syndrome, then it can be a much needed reminder that reality isn’t slowing down. Previous Route in Red highlights the “Previous Route” text when a trade route completes, maybe not a change needed for some people but one that is unobtrusive and helps speed up your play if you don't plan on switching trade routes often.
Original by robk, updated for Beyond Earth by Unknownone | Steam Workshop page
A classic mod for Civilization V updated for the newest game in the series. Info Addict adds a bunch of time-based infographics showing Civ details like score, military power, energy, affinity level, and much more. A utility tool, Info Addict is more for people curious about the behind-the-scenes of their civ game than those looking to make gameplay changes.
Mods to keep your eye on
Player Colour For Units
By SaintDaveUK | Steam Workshop page
All units in Beyond Earth have the same model and textures regardless of your sponsor, meaning a large amount of the base units have red stripes even if your civ isn't red. Modder SaintDaveUK has set out to correct that, dynamically recoloring the red spots to match the primary color of the sponsor you’ve chosen. The mod already works well, but unfortunately only changes four units right now. This will be a great graphics mod when it reaches completion, but currently doesn’t feature enough to make it a must have.
BeBa - Beyond Balance
Beyond Balance is a monumental, community-driven undertaking that aims to rework the balance of the entire game and make sure no single strategy is dominant over the rest. What seems like an almost insurmountable task is already well under way, as BeBa has taken on explorer weakness, trade routes being overpowered, slow affinity leveling, and many other commonly raised concerns with the base game. Unfortunately, BeBa still has a long way to go and might be erratic until more unified and agreed upon balance decisions are established. It may one day turn into an essential mod for the Beyond Earth experience, but currently comes with a few issues of its own.
Pictured sponsor is The Holy See by JFD
Finally, an honorable mention to all the new sponsor mods, which you can check out here. These are great for adding flavor, but now that choosing a specific sponsor means so much less than choosing a Civ in Civilization V—specifically the lack of unique units and buildings—most of these mods are light on content or change. A lot of them are still very cool and work well, with some modders even going as far as to add a colonist, cargo, and spaceship option themed with their added sponsor. However, until I see a breakout, large scale change-making sponsor mod, what might be considered the best new sponsor is up to personal preference.