How To Install Civilization V Mods

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We’ll have our guide to creating Civilization V Mods soon, but to tide you over until then, we’ll fill your history belly up by showing you how to install Civilization Mods you didn’t create yourself. And hey, at least, it’s a lot easier than pursuing a PhD in history. So read on, and skip 10 tedious years of grad school.

Difficulty: Easy

Table Of Contents


Installing Civilization V Mods

Civilization V Mods You Need To Play

Additional Resources


To install Civilization V Mods, you’re going to need a copy of Civilization V. Not a problem, obviously, but there’s a catch. Even though the Mac version has been released, guess what, Macshirts: user created Mods are not supported by the Mac version of Civilization V:

“Unfortunately, user-created mods … would require us to build custom versions of the full application ourselves in order to support a limited number of specific mods and still leave others unsupported. Similarly, modding tools are implemented with Microsoft .NET, and would present a significant porting challenge involving total rewrites. Bottom line: There is no way to create a Mac experience that allows for a good end-user experience for user-created mods. Believe us—we tried.”

However, before PC fanatics started shouting Haw-HAW, Mac Users aren’t completely screwed1. If you purchase your copy of Civilization V via
steam you have access to both versions. If you have a gaming PC, no sweat. If not, just create a dual boot on virtual PC on your Mac and you’re good to go.

All this is a long winded way of saying if you want to install Civilization V Mods and more importantly, play them, you’re going to have to use the PC version, and that’s what we’ll be covering here. But hey! At least Beatles songs are available on iTunes, right?

System Requirements


* Windows XP SP3
* Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8Ghz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.0Ghz Processor
* 2 GB RAM
* 8 GB free disk space
* 256 MB ATI 2600 XT/nVidia 7900 GS video card, or Core i3 integrated graphics
* DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card


* Windows Vista SP2/Windows 7
* 1.8 GHz Quad Core Processor
* 4 GB RAM
* 8 GB free disk space
* 512 MB ATI 4800/nVidia 9800 or better video card

Installing Civilization V Mods

Mods are fully supported by Civilization V. Even so, they aren’t fully endorsed. As you’ll see below, Firaxis goes out of their way to remind you that you install them at your own risk, that they can’t guarantee mods won’t frack up your machine, etc etc etc. The point: they aren’t actually part of the official game, and quite few players have experienced some problems getting them to work. We’ll show you how to deal with that.

Step One

Open Civilzation V, and from the main screen menu, select the Mods browser:

Step Two

Remember those MODS MIGHT KILL YOU warnings we discussed above? You’re going to see it now.

That’s not scary at all, so go ahead and click “accept”.

Step Three

This one’s easy. In the next screen, select “Browse Mods” to review the Civilization V mods you’ve already installed, or look around for new goodies to play.

Step Four

Now you’ll be taken to the Civilization V Mods manager. From the Menu along the top, select “online” to review a giant list of mods available for download.

In this section, you’ll see a cascading list of Mods. Those you’ve already downloaded will be noted. The rest will show they’re available for download, like so:

Select the one you want by clicking the “download” button. You’ll be taken to another warning screen, but like above, click accept and move on with your life.

Step Five

Now, wait for the download to complete (you’ll see a giant, shiny green “Completed!” bar confirming the download. Then from the top bar menu, select the “installed” tab.

In this section, you’ll see a list of the mods you’ve downloaded. Select the one (or ones) you want, and click the “Install Mods” button.

Now all you need to do is check the circle next to the installed mod in order to enable it. Now back at the main menu, where you’ll select Single Player. Once there, select “Setup game” or “Custom Setup”, depending on the mod. Ta-Da! Dunzo! Now you’re ready to play.

FINAL NOTE: If you’re not using Steam, or for some other reason, you’ve had to download the mod manually rather than selecting it from the Mods Browser, after initial download you’ll need to manually move it over to your Civ V mods folder (most likely, My DocumentsMy GamesSid Meiers Civilization VMODS). After that, unpack it in the same folder, then go into the Mods Browser and follow the instructions above. You shouldn’t have any problems.

Civilization V Mods You Need To Play


We cannot recommend Legions highly enough. Just how dramatic an update Civilization V is to the venerable series is open to debate, but no one disagrees that the one-unit-per-tile rule represents a gigantic break with the series’ conventions. Commentary on this change have been largely positive, but if you’re like me, you’re probably more interested in the non-military aspects of empire maintenance, and rather miss the Stacks of Doom style combat of past Civ games.

Legions brings them back to Civilization V by removing the one-unit-per-tile restriction. Overall modifications to Civ V include:

Removes the 1UPT (one unit per tile) limit.
Legions mod is completely modular and can be run concurrently with other mods.
Attack I promotion- +15% when attacking.
Attack II promotion- +15% when attacking.
Attack III promotion- +15% when attacking.
City Defense promotion- +25% when defending a city.
Defense I promotion- +15% when defending.
Defense II promotion- +15% when defending.
Defense III promotion- +15% when defending.
Shock promotions now give a standard +10% to combat instead of +20% on open terrain.
Unit maintenance is reduced by 25%.
Units in cities no longer get additional hit points, to adjust for the ability to stack defenders in cities.

Yay for Stacks Of Doooom! Legions is available right now from the Mod Browser in Civilization V.

True Start Location

Not quite as packed-to-bursting as the classic Rhye’s And Fall of Civilization mod for Civ IV, True Start Location is still pretty cool. It provides you with map that approximates Earth really accurately, and starts all cultures in their real life locations. There’s even a version for all map sizes (in case you feel like selecting a HUGE map.)

This one’s a manual download. Get it here.

Queen of the Iceni

The Celtic Empire was added to Civilization IV via the Warlords expansion pack, and players quickly discovered they were one of the single best things about the game. So What The Hell were they thinking, leaving them out of Civilization V? Queen of the Iceni corrects this tremendous injustice by adding the Celtic Civilization to Civ V. Boudica, based on her art from Civ IV, returns as leader of this empire. In addition, new unique units, traits, and functionality have been added. It’s an impressive mod, and should tide you over until Firaxis finally gets around to adding them in an upcoming expansion pack.

You can find it in the Mod Browser in Civilization V

R.E.D. Modpack

Among the biggest gripes about Civ V (and let’s be frank – there are many, well deserved gripes), one of the most frequent is the ridiculously uneven scale of combat units. Spearmen tower over tanks, and Renaissance ships dwarf modern battleships. The R.E.D. modpack aims to rectify this by bring units into something resembling a more realistic scale. They don’t make them true scale – you want to actually be able to see your units – but they no longer look as appallingly lazy as they once did.

Get your copy here.

Additional Resources:

The forums at Civ Fanatics are, full stop, the place to go for any questions you might have.

The Civilization Wikia is also full of useful information.

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7 Comments on How To Install Civilization V Mods


On June 18, 2011 at 11:36 pm

awesome guide for those just looking at installing mods. covers the basics very well.


Ace Rimmer

On July 26, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Well that doesn’t work. Mods never turn up on any list so you can play them


On July 28, 2011 at 1:50 am

I have problem in 5th step.I check to install mod but after this mod does not appear in mod list so i can enable it.

ps: i checked in C:/…/MyDocuments/My games/Sid Meier’s Civ 5/ MODS the *.modinfo file is normaly there but still when i browse mods in game no mod appear in list


On October 12, 2011 at 11:18 am

done all that, game show that they are installed, nothing shows up when making game. C:/…/MyDocuments/My games/Sid Meier’s Civ 5/ MODS is in D drive


On November 21, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Hey there!

When i installed the mod i wanted and it says “download complete”, i went to the “installed”, it was there but i could nok mark it or anything. So im pretty lost here, someone please help.

But anyway thank you for the guide. – Cya guys


On March 5, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Thanks, this is exactly what I needed! And the must-play mods at the end were an added bonus.


On March 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm

It seems as though all mods you have are all used at the same time, effecting the game over all, as oppossed to CIVs of the past where you can choose with mod you want to play. Those mods created a “different game” depending on which mod you played.
In CIV V, all mods you choose are all used together to change the game as a whole. The same way TORCHLIGHT does, where you can “stack” mods all together, rather then choosing mods individually.