If you make a Declaration of Friendship, there are many bad points:

  1. Your friend will regularly ask you for money or Resources.
  2. It will negatively affect your relationship with your friend's enemies
  3. You cannot Denounce your friend or Declare War on him or her without incurring diplomatic penalties with all other Civilizations.
  4. If you do anything to annoy your friend, e.g. not agreeing to his/her regular demands for money, then he/she will usually Denounce you and this will negatively affect your relationship with all other Civilizations ("Your Friends found reason to Denounce you!")

There don't seem to be many good points: 1) it will positively affect your relationship with your friend's friends

So, is it worth publicly Declaring Friendship at all?

  • This is an accurate assessment, therefore it is not worth it. – Knights David Apr 22 '13 at 2:59

Friends can be useful in two situations:

(1) If your friend is powerful, it may deter one of your close neighbours from attacking you, both if they're your friend's friend, and if your friend is stronger than them. In a similar vein, if you made an enemy, and can DOF with someone who lives more closely to said enemy, the enemy is more likely to butcher your new-found friend first (and the demanded resources allow you to somewhat fight a proxy war).

(2) If you want others to declare war on you so that they may bleed themselves dry on that citadel you built on a choke point, or because you don't want to look like a warmonger to everyone, a DOF with their sworn enemy helps pushing them over the edge.

  • Very interesting. So, perhaps the number 2 I was talking about could be used for a good purpose after all. Excellent. Soon every nation in the world shall tremble at my might. It seems that maybe DOF are more useful in a game with few civs, because the more civs there are, the more enemies each civ will have, so the more likely it is that a DOF will upset someone you want to get along with??? – DanD man Jan 18 '11 at 7:55
  • @DanD man: It depends. With more civs, I have experienced the formation of multiple blocks, so your DOF may associate you with one of the 'in-crowds'. – Jonas Jan 18 '11 at 13:12
  • "Friends can be useful in two situations:" Although true it is very situational and almost trivial hardly offsetting the negatives. – Knights David Apr 22 '13 at 3:05

A declaration of friendship is needed to make a research agreement with a civ, so if you are pursuing a tech victory, they can be worth it, too.

The Gods and Kings expansion, if you have it, added positive modifiers when you befriend two civs that are friends with each other, which of course also is a welcome extra bonus.

  • 2
    What kind of positive modifiers? – user19220 Apr 13 '14 at 14:48
  • 2
    Regrettably, the shoddy manual does not say. – ecmanaut Apr 13 '14 at 20:31

Being a good friend helps when you need to call in favors or when popularity is essential.

Namely, improving relations via declarations of friendship will help you secure a diplomatic victory, as friends vote for friends.

If you're not interested in a diplomatic victory, feel free to keep your alliances on the down-low.

  • 4
    Except, diplomatic victories are easy via citystates alone. – Raven Dreamer Jan 18 '11 at 2:38
  • 1
    ok interesting point. I am not sure that anyone ever votes for me though. (Maybe it's just me :p) I'll check.Apart from that though, can you really "call in favours"? I mean I have tried demanding stuff and that just annoys them. And if they are Friendly (or maybe even Neutral) but I haven't Declared Friendship then I can trade with them ok. – DanD man Jan 18 '11 at 2:59
  • @Raven and you can complete a conquest victory without ever hitting the modern age. Civilization is marked by the depth it provides and the multiple paths to achieve victory. – user3389 Jan 18 '11 at 8:59
  • @DanD When I say "call in favors" I mean that in a general sense: publicly declaring friendship can open up more equitable trade deals (your friends might offer more stuff) or requests. And like in real life, demanding things of friends rarely goes over well. – user3389 Jan 18 '11 at 9:03
  • 3
    I entirely think it is possible that you are right, however I think we would benefit if you could back up your view with more evidence. It seems definite that being "Friendly" has trade advantages. However it is not so clear that the DoF has trade advantages. It may be the DoF has a positive modifier like +10 per turn which gradually moves you into Friendly status, however you have to ask why then, doesn't the DoF appear in green (when you press the Diplomacy button at the top-right of the screen) as one of the reasons for the other Civ's current Status. – DanD man Feb 5 '11 at 10:34

No. Diplomacy as a whole is 100% worthless in Civ V. Everything you do will piss off the AI (whether you realize it or not; there are "hidden" modifiers that you don't see), and going out of your way to become allies will only result in you crippling yourself prior to a backstab. Here's the only way to play the diplomacy game:

  • At the start of the game, simply try to reamin neutral with everyone. You'll get a few friendly AI out of this regardless, and you can manipulate them in trade deals.
  • Once you build up your army enough to withstand the AI's pitiful excuse for war (Firaxis really didn't think this whole one unit per tile thing out and the AI sucks at war worse than all the previous games), just ignore the AI completely.
  • Once you have the tech lead, start to kill them. They will hate you regardless (it's programed into the game that when you get close to winning, they will all dogpile you), so might as well start removing them one by one.

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