When I turn on "Single Player Auto End Turn" in the game options I don't have to hit enter to move to the next turn. Trouble is the game can run on auto for quite a lot of turns (esp. on "marathon").

Sometimes an "exploring" unit finds something and I want to tweak the course that has been set, but I'm powerless until the next user event. Is there some way I can cut in and get control back? A keyboard shortcut? It's not "esc".

  • Have you tried Backspace? That's the key used to cancel automation, maybe it will also work in your case.
    – Oak
    Commented Apr 30, 2011 at 9:38

4 Answers 4


As a wise person (computer) once said

"The only way to win is not to play"

There isn't any way to reliably interrupt auto end turn, so I quickly learned to start playing without it. Its simple enough to end the turn manually, especially with the force end turn hotkey (Shift+Enter).

You can also leave one unit without any automated orders so that they always provide a stopping point, but you can quickly pass their turn to trigger the auto-end. This is dangerous though, if you forget and lose this unit or tell it to march to the other side of the world, you're back to not being able to interrupt turns.

  • +1 for leaving a single units without automated orders. It means that you retain control while still being able to pass uninteresting turns quickly. However, it's more or less equivalent to canceling automatic end-turn in the first place...
    – Oak
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 9:02
  • 1
    @Oak Agreed. I tried it for a while, and decided it didn't make sense, and just disabled the auto end turn. It needs to turn itself off intelligently before it will be usable in my opinion.
    – bwarner
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 11:22

I don't believe a hotkey for that is implemented. You could hit Control+O to get into the Options, and change it there. I think that's pretty much the fastest option in Civilization...


I FOUND THE PAUSE BUTTON FOR AUTO END TURN. Left-click a unit, right-click the unit. Game pauses.

This reply is years late but valuable enough for anyone who is still playing the game (like me!). The pause button is 100% reliable, instant, dead easy to use and gives you a very generous usage window. (It does require having at least one (non-caravan) unit.)

First order a unit to do something (improve a tile, fortify, etc) then, when you want Auto End Turn to pause you simply left-click the unit, right-click the unit. Done. (both clicks within the hex, not somewhere else) Left-click selects the unit, right-click cancels it’s orders, Auto End Turn pauses until the unit is given new orders. No hotkey required, just a double-click.

You can do this at any point up until the start of your next turn (if the Next Turn button appears then it’s too late), plenty of time to notice something like a new Religion being founded and what not, especially since you still have the City-State’s and Barbarian’s turns to go through.

That’s it. Double-click: Instant pause.



It ends the turn, bringing up a menu, effectively a "pause". Unfortunately, at that point, you have to dig through the menu, to unselect the option to disable the auto-turn-end.

No other menu will interrupt the process. The game will continue to run, behind the screens, including the in-game selection menus, where it honestly should be pausing the game.

I agree, this needs a readily available, simple, toggle on the UI screen. A simple three-stage RED/YELLOW/GREEN cycle, unless you only want RED/GREEN for on and off. Yellow being some custom tween phase, with a nice little delayed time-pause, at the end, where you can jump right to STOP, next. (Yes, on a fast computer, and in some actions, things fly by too fast to even figure-out what is happening at all.)

Honestly, having the option, with a little pop-up screen, would be nice. Let you pick the things you want to "skip", or things you want a "full-stop" on, for automation. (Having smart AI auto-explore would be nice. As opposed to having it be a full-stop, every time. Duh... Get the huts and avoid bandits and enemies!)

The one feature, which still has higher demand than any of the crap they added in every version, yet, they still have not added this simple feature. (This is one of those "play it my way", games. "They", being the developers, who rarely actually play the game, beyond testing. Or, they only care about how they want to play it. It's a total hacked oversight. Which is why they still don't have it working right, when it is on. Thus, everyone just surrenders and turns it off, eventually, forever.)

Actually, what we need is an "Auto-play, while key is pressed". Something like the "Space-bar", so we can just hold it, or rest something heavy on it. While it is being held down, it runs blind, in auto-end-turn. Let go, and it stops on the next possible turn, which is yours. Pure, "Keep it simple stupid", solution, by "Keeping it stupid simple".

Maybe on Civ MCXVII, we will get this feature.

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