I think my main problem in Civilization V is that I'm not very disciplined with my city specialization and tend to want to build unnecessary buildings in "specialized" cities.

There are several types of specialized cities: Capitol, Science, Military/Production, Financial, Great People, Cultural and Hybrids. I would like to know what buildings are considered ideal, nice-to-have and counterproductive in each type of specialization.


  • A lot of the buildings in civ 5 require that you have a certain building in every city. It kind of kills the specialized city strategy. – Phil Feb 24 '11 at 10:38
  • Yeah. If you want to snag those national wonders, you have to adjust your strategy to get them early before you have a TON of cities. You definitely don't want to have certain building in EVERY city. – Paul Fox Mar 2 '11 at 0:23

Regular Buildings

With most regular buildings it's pretty obvious what their role is, and building a more advanced building requires the less advanced one, so you don't have much choice anyway. For example, it's obvious a Stock Exchange is important for a money-specializing city, but you can't have a Stock Exchange without a Bank and you can't have a Bank without a Market, etc. So as far as regular buildings are concerned, you just need to build the buildings in the chain you are specializing in.

However, some location- and resource-dependent buildings - like Windmill or Mint - can be of great help. It's a bit hard to recommend them, though, because they depend on the location of the city and what's around it. If you are able to, it's usually good to build them as soon as possible. In addition, it's important to take them into consideration when you choose where to build the city.

World Wonders

Most wonders have a global effect so it doesn't matter where you build them. The exceptions are the Colossus, of course, as well as wonders that do give a lot of something to the containing city (e.g. Himeji Castle with its +4 culture). There aren't a lot of these, though, and the effects aren't huge.

National Wonders

Unlike world wonders, national wonders do have city-specific effects, and they can be a real boon for specialized cities. After the latest patch national wonders like the National Treasury, National College and Ironworks provide a significant bonus to their respective attribute, so choosing carefully where to build them can have a significant result.

  • Thanks for the answer. I guess that's why this is a hard question because many of the buildings are no brainers (i.e. Bank or Stock Exchange in a Gold City.) The more important aspect of this question is what buildings you really shouldn't build no matter how much your "Build Every Building In Every City" sense kicks in (i.e. The gold and hammers spent building Public Schools in a more Military city to ultimately gain +2 science is probably bad idea.) If you had more input on that side of the spectrum, I'd be interested. – Paul Fox Jan 26 '11 at 16:42
  • @Paul OK, I think I see what you mean now. My bad. This is indeed more complicated, and I haven't really thought about it in the past, so I'm afraid I don't have an answer for that :( – Oak Jan 26 '11 at 17:04
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    Thanks again. Hopefully my comment above generates a few more responses. If nothing else, maybe I'll spend some time in excel and post an answer myself. – Paul Fox Jan 27 '11 at 0:06
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    Science is the most valuable resource in the game because it's (in)directly required for every win condition. I always put at least two points into the Rationalism tree regardless of what civilization I am playing. +10% science and +2 science per specialist can account for at least a third of my global science production. What I'm getting it is that building specialist buildings is never a bad idea. – Kyle Baran Oct 29 '14 at 16:16

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