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Mods have extended my play time in Civilization V by two years and counting. I was effectively ‘done’ with the game shortly after the release of the Brave New World expansion. It was after then that I discovered mods and how they could transform the game.
Integration with the Steam Workshop made mods easy to acquire, and from the outside it looks as though many mod authors have learned from one another, and also taken the effort to make mods that interact with one another when combined. From new features, maps, and factions to play, mods can add a new dimension to the game. Also several (or many more!) mods can be run together for a unique experience.
What followed are my top 5 mods of those I have so far experienced.
1. More Luxuries. Credit: Barathor
I never load a civ game without this mod installed. It adds nine new luxuries into the game. Clockwise from the top these are perfume, olives, lapis lazuli, coffee, coral, jade, amber, tea, and tobacco. Highly recommended/
2. Yet (not) anther Earth map pack. Credit: Gedemon
This map pack gives you a large earth map to play on, larger than the one that comes with the base game. It also allows for up to 22 factions to play. This mod uses true start locations, so factions are city states start where you would expect them to. This map has proved popular with other mod makers, and many new factions support this map pack in terms of their starting location.
3. Barbarian Lands. Credit: Charsi
I’ve based a number of games around this mod and never lacked for enjoyment on any of them. The author has also included an extension that changes your normal barbarians to White Walkers, if you like that sort of thing (which I do!). This is another mod that words well with the earth map pack, with far off lands holding a number of barbarian cities.
4. Caral. Credit: Tomatekh
What would a mod list be without new civilizations? The Caral are an early mesoamerican people, and therefore this mod tends to affect the early eras, which are my favourite part of the game anyway. The Shicra Pyramid replaces the Monument and offers a production bonus. The Caral worker replacement can work in sea tiles too, obviating the need for separate fishing boats. Also whenever you build a plantation all coastal cities get a one-off production boost.
This mod also supports the earth map pack, giving you a true start location in the Andes.
5. Sumer. Credit: Tomatekh
What better faction for a civilization game than the first known civilization? Sumer have an early game military unit, and early unique building, and a bonus to population whenever they settle a new city. This encourages some early expansion by you need to be careful where you settle. New cities start at population 2, or population 3 if you settle on a river tile. Make sure your new city isn’t going to starve away its bonus!
As with the Caral and many other new factions, Sumer also supports a true start location where the Tigris meets the Euphrates rivers. With Babylon, Assyria, and Persia, it can get crowded in that region.
Change your game!
All the above mods and many more can be accessed using the Steam Workshop. I recommend if you have Civ V, even if you haven’t played in a while, download these or other mods to improve your experience with the game. My thanks to the authors of all the above mods for making my games so much more enjoyable.