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Why do some tiles have red “chips” on them in Civilization 5?

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After playing many games of Civ 5, I have noticed the occurrence of strange red marks which appear on tiles occasionally. Upon closer inspection it seems to have a devil or bug-like aspect. I have conjectured that it could be:

1) Blood that has been shed in a skirmish

2) A developer's eccentric idea of an Easter Egg

3) A graphics card, driver or graphics rendering issue

4) A dark ritual performed my some primeval cult

Is there any significance to this feature or can we only speculate?


It's a screwy graphics glitch. Supposedly it was fixed in a patch, although their fix never quite worked for me. I've never seen a fix for it that works for everybody, but the suggestions usually are:

  • Try it in DX9 mode if you're playing in DX10/11, or vice versa.
  • Change the graphics options, especially those that impact texture quality
  • Update your graphics card drivers, if you can
  • Growl in frustration and deal with it :(

I saw these all the time with my 8800GT, although I don't see them ever when I'm playing on my ATI-graphics-based notebook.


I've only seen them on rock/ice tiles so I just figured they were lava, even if they looked a bit strange at first. My Source.

  • Lava - lol. There is another theory. – GoofyBall Jan 29 '13 at 20:31

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