Game Civilization 5 comes with over 40+ different civilizations to cover in the Civ 5 tier list. All the leaders of the civilizations are unique on their own, which makes them more or less powerful than others. Each civilization in the game masters different paths to victory like culture, science, domination, and diplomacy.
If you are unknown and confused about Civilization 5, here is a small introduction. Civilization is a turn-based strategy game. Each player becomes the representative or leader of a specific nation and guides their civilization to a new era of growth and development.
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On the procedurally generated map, different civilizations walk on different paths while leading your Nation through the prehistoric to the future era. Different leaders work out strategies for their victory conditions; it places them in other tier lists of the game accordingly, from the most powerful to the least powerful.
Read the entire article below to know everything about the powers of these different civilizations and which one you should choose to have a smooth gaming experience and achieve your goals easily.
Table of Contents
Civ 5 Tier List Based on Difficulty Levels of Civilization 5
The original number of civs available in civilization 5 to play is 18. However, the number is changed when more civilizations were added to its strategic gameplay with two expansions of the game, Gods and Kings and Brave New World. So, now the total number of playable civilizations in the game is 43. The players can choose a civilization of their choice and take the role of the leader who gets a combination of two unique units, improvements, or buildings. Along with these units, the leaders also get a unique ability for their civilization.
The leaders of the civilization also get the ability to interact with the leaders of other civilizations through a diplomacy screen. You can access the diplomacy screen by directly clicking on that civilization or tapping on the diplomacy button at the top of the screen.
Diety Tier Civilizations
The Diety tier in the list contains some of the best civilizations because each has strengths that put the leaders to advantage in different situations. The civs in the diety tier will lead them to victory in difficult situations effortlessly as they are versatile and will you a lower difficulty level gaming experience.
Immortal Tier Civilizations
The Civs in the immortal tier has a slightly more narrow focus towards a situation, but they are equally solid and beneficial like the deity tier Civs. Even if they start their game with a wrong decision, they know how to turn the situation in their favor with a quick apology.
- The Inca
- The Zulu
- The Huns
Emperor Tier Civilizations
The civs in the emperor tier is slightly less advantageous than the above two. Though they have suitable military units and strong alliances to fight a fair war, that is enough to make a strong impression in the gameplay.
King Tier Civilizations
The bulkiest leaders of the game are present in the king-tier civilization. If you are looking for a science or a domination victory, then you have Russia and Spain as a great choice, but apart from that, you will be sharing an even playing field with the enemy. Though, you will be off to an excellent quick start with the rapid expansion and exploration.
- The Aztecs
- The Shoshone
Prince Tier Civilizations
With Prince tier civilization, you will have both advantages and disadvantages on the playing field. With Japan, you will have a good chance to dominate victory, whereas, with Ethiopia, you will play defensively and keep a low guard throughout the game.
- The Netherlands
- The Celts
Warlord Tier Civilizations
Now, things can either go South or extremely well at Warlord tier. The civs are pretty disadvantageous with this tier as neither technology nor production discount will help score a win-win situation.
- The Ottomans
Chieftain Tier Civilizations
On the Chieftan tier list, you need a well-focused plan to turn the gameplay in your favor, or you will go down very quickly. You can use the significant position of Merchant of Venice to help you out here, or you can get a domination victory with Enrico.
Settler Tier Civilizations
The civs in the Settler tier lay at a low level in the entire list when we talk about using them to trace a specific victory path. If you want to play a small challenge game, you can use the Carthage civ to take over a nautical game. You can also use its traversing ability to conquer the neighbors at an early stage.
43 Civilization Ranked From High to Low
Knowing More About the Powers of All 43 Civilizations
Apart from the names in the civ 5 tier list guide, it is also essential to know about the strengths and weaknesses of the different civilizations. Your overall performance in the game will always depend on the civilization you pick, so knowing about the strengths and other perks is essential.
When it comes to the most potent civilization in the game, no other nation can beat Poland. Poland beats all the other civilizations in the game, from attaining a quick Domination victory to fulfilling the requirements of any different victory paths because of their Winged Hussar units. Poland also has the unique ability to gain free social policies which benefit their society to gain quick advancement.
Babylonians are more directed towards science victory as they can build an early Academy because of their first Great scientist. Because of their unique ability that increases their Great Scientists birth rate by 50%, they can beat any other civilization easily in terms of technological advancement. Also, because of their defensive structure, the Wall of Babylon, their city is safe from attacks and destruction of the enemies.
Korea may not be made for battles and combats, but they can beat any other nation easily with their Science oriented civilization. As they have the unique ability of Scholars of the Jade Hall, they cannot be defeated in scientific advancements. They also get a technical boost each time the Nation builds a great scientific wonder.
If you are looking for a more prosperous nation in the cultural aspects, then Arabia is your answer. As they can go for trade routes, they can quickly spread their city’s culture and religion to other parts. Due to their tradings, they also get 50% more price range than other civilizations on their markets.
If you want to progress in the game as a part of the Zulu civilization, you need to focus more on the Domination victory. Due to the Nation’s unique ability of aggressive play, they get to spend 50% less on maintaining their Melee units than any other nation. You can also train your unit forces quickly than others because of 25% less promotion gain experience.
The Golden Ages is the most beneficial time period for Persia as it lasts 50% longer than any other nation for Persia. Persian civilization takes full advantage of this period as they receive bonus production, gold, and culture for the Nation. The unique Satrap court allows Persia to have Golden Ages more often; they get to stock up the benefits in a large quantity.
Inca is a beneficial civilization that can avoid melee attacks from other nations with their ability to withdraw. Inca can also draw vast amounts of strength from the hills, which costs them no extra maintenance. When they move into the hills, they d=also save the terrain costs by turning the hills into small unique variants called Terrace farms.
Psh, this is laughable. Who even are you?
You can either make or break your game with Venice; there is no in-between. The city lacks settlers and new cities, so you either have to attack enemy settlements or purchase city-states to get them. The better option here is to purchase the states because attacking can destroy the buildings and the units.
Maya civilization can be tricky to understand, but you get into many benefits once you know the drill. You need to be patient with this civilization to get to the Theology stage; Once you get there, things will start to smoothen up with the beginning of the Mayan Long Count calendar cycle. At the end of each cycle, your Nation will gain a Great bonus person, which you can use with the unique Pyramid building.
The Greece civilization will pave a new way for victory with its vision of Diplomatic victory. As they have the unique ability of the Hellenic league on their side, they can degrade their influence slowly and recover it more quickly that maintains their Allied status with the states easily.
If you are looking for a quick way to victory, there is no greater option than Songhai for you. The most significant benefit of Songhai civilization is that they get three times as much gold as any other nation by destroying the barbarian encampments in the game.
Unlike reality, America doesn’t possess any groundbreaking, unique ability in the game, but they still manage valuable resources. The military units are beneficial to them as they get +1 sight for scouting to a greater height than their opponents, making the discovery of Natural wonders and Ancient Ruins easy.
England can be relatively weaker than other civilizations at the start of the game, but they become stronger as you start to make progress in the game. This civilization can explore foreign shores more quickly than other nations because of their naval units and move them faster.
Huns are the best civilization when it comes to ending the war before it has even begun. It is one of the most powerful civilizations with two powerful units, The Battering Ram and The Horse Archer, in the entire game. With such units, you can destroy any other Nation easily before they can even begin to plan their attack.
The Mongolian civilization comes packed with one of the most experienced units in the game, The Keshiks. These units have the ability to attack the enemy who is two spaces away, and cal also moves up to five spaces. Apart from this, they also have a 50% bonus experience than other civilizations, which helps them gain promotion easily.
Germany is another great civilization for those of you who like to walk on the path of the Domination route. Since Germany has the unique ability to turn the barbarian unit into their army, you can start by attacking a bunch of different barbarian units scattered over the map in the beginning.
With Chinese civilization, you can go for both Science and Domination victory routes. As you get a 50% increase in the birth rates of the Great Generals, thus increases your combat skills by a significant value of +30%. Another upside to the Chines civilization is that you can increase the gold generation by +2 with the construction of the unique Paper Maker building.
Since Sweden focuses more on building a great relationship with other states, it cannot keep up with the path of diplomacy. However, friendship also comes with a great benefit for this civilization because you get a +10% boost on the Great person generation. The other two unique abilities of Sweden are Carolean and the Hakkapeliitta, which will help you attain a perfect combat bonus amount.
If you are new to the game, it is highly recommended that you pick this civilization. It gets hard to play with Russia because of its bias nature in the game that gives players a tough time to fulfill all the necessities. However, strategic resources provide a little relief with +1 Production and Horses, which helps acquire new land tiles.
Ethiopian Civilization will encourage you to go against the game’s rules of core expansion by fighting against a nation with more cities than you. This will help you gain a +20% combat during the fight. You also get access to the units of the unique Mehal Safari that will help you defend your small civilization.
If you are looking for an easy Cultural victory, the best civilization to pick is Morocco. Choosing this civilization will benefit both you and your rival Nation as they will get a +2 gold each time they trade with you. Morocco also gets +3 gold and +1 culture for making trading routes with different civilizations.
Spain is one of the best civilizations in the game when exploring new wonders on the map. Every time your Nation discovers a Natural Wonder, you get a massive bonus in the game along with 100 gold for the discovery. The best thing is that if you are the first Nation to discover the natural wonder, you will get 500 gold in place of 100.
At the beginning of the game, you will face many struggles with Brazilian civilization, but later on, you will get a stable boost because of tourism. Like Persia, Brazil also flourishes a lot from the Golden Ages. This is because Brazil’s tourism increases by 1000% during the time of the Golden Ages.
Aztec is one of the few civilizations in the game that will help you conquer both Domination and Cultural victory at the same time. You can use the mighty Jaguar unit to attack your rivals and barbarians in the early stages of the game. The unique feature of Aztec Civilization is that you can acquire culture by killing your enemies.
Shoshone civilization establishes eight new cities on the game with eight additional tiles that help gain access to the resources that are not available to the other civilizations. It allows you to place the new cities easily without having to worry about the resources. Apart from this, Shoshone civilization also gains combat bonuses every time they attack within their territory.
With Polynesian civilization, you can allow some of the best territories for yourself because of the civilization’s ability to travel across oceans from the beginning of the game. Due to their embarking journey, Polynesian civilization gets +1 to sight and +10% for Combat strength.
Celts are the first civilization in the game that puts significant emphasis on establishing a religion. The unique ability of Celts is the Druidic Lore that helps them gain +1 faith for every city they conquer that has an adjacent forest (unimproved). This number will increase to +2 and +3, respectively, if the number of woods adjacent to the city is more than one.
The Netherlands may or may not be everyone’s first choice, but it is an exciting civilization. The civilization has a unique naval unit on its side called the Sea Beggar. This ship benefits the Nation by turning the defeated ships into their own territory and healing in the enemy territory.
As Egyptian civilization is famous for its pyramids and other monuments, you can acquire +20% production on building a new wonder with this Nation. You can set up plenty of different wonders in the game and benefit from its rewards quickly. Due to Egypt’s unique War Chariot unit, you also don’t need to train your horses, unlike other nations.
If you choose Denmark, you get the option of chasing the Domination Victory. The Danish do this with little help from their coastal combat abilities. Apart from this, the civilization also researches for Optics that helps them raid across the coast.
# 30 Siam
Siamese units don’t have powerful units and buildings of their own, but they can easily gain these units because of their diplomacy. Siamese civilization acquires resources like Faith and Culture when they become friends with a city or a state. Siamese possesses a unique ability that increases this resource strength by 50%.
Ottoman is another empowered naval civilization that gains most of its powers when they are on the water. Once you defeat the barbarian ships with Ottoman civilization, you acquire gold and also get a chance to turn the barbarians to your side.
Japanese civilization is known for its aggressive approach to both cultural and technical victories. The Japanese civilization is blessed with a robust combat system in the entire game that helps them to engage in brutal fights and recover from the damage quickly.
Austria comes in the game with quite a unique ability that helps them acquire new cities and states into their territory. As the Austrian civilization has a unique Diplomatic Marriage ability, they can easily spend gold to turn different city-states into their side. However, taking the acquisition of states can cost you a lot of gold.
If you choose to play with the Assyrian civilization, you get a 200% damage bonus against cities that try to attack you. If you defeat a civilization, you will also get an accessible random technology that its owner already unlocks. This is the main benefit of being a part of the Assyrians as they don’t have anything else to offer.
Rome is one of the greatest nations in the world, and if you think you will find the same on this digital cover, then you are wrong. Rome’s unique ability is the +25% production bonus it gets when it constructs a building in another city already present within the capital state.
You may think that you can easily expand your territory with the Indonesian civilization, but that’s not the case here. Even if you expand your civilization to other cities, you have to do it over a vast distance, making the defense systems weak.
Byzantium civilization falls in the lower tier list because they also don’t have any other powerful resources except the beliefs. The only benefit Byzantium civilization has, they can pick one more belief than other civilizations in the game.
Carthage civilization has a strong beginning in the game, but they fall weak soon after the trading routes. You need to connect with the coastal cities in the territory, and it is difficult to do so with a lack of water.
France is an excellent choice to pick when you are looking for a win over cultural victory. Due to the Nation’s unique ability of the Chateau improvement, the civilization gets a +1 gold and +2 culture for each turn.
India lies low in the tier list because it is hard to understand its strengths. If you choose India, you can add a good number of cities to your territory, but with each addition, your citizens will start to get unhappy.
Portugal’s civilization is best known for its way to a diplomatic victory by adopting the trade route. This happens because each time the Portuguese make a trade, they earn double the gold for it.
Iroquois civilization can gain some strength from mobility, but apart from that, there is nothing else they have to offer you. You can do well in jungles and forests that lie in your territory, but when you move to an unclaimed region, your strengths will disappear.
Overall, Poland is an excellent choice if you are looking for a powerful civilization if you are looking to establish a strong foothold in the game. However, depending on your gaming style, plenty of other civs will benefit your class.
With this Civ 5 tier list guide, we hope that you will quickly understand all the civilizations’ pros and cons and pick a civ that will benefit you the most. Whatever you choose, make sure to avoid the low-lying civs as they are hard to understand and will not offer much strength to you.