I bought Civilization IV and all 3 expansion packs from the Steam Sale. I've heard numerous things about the packs - new units, civilizations, etc. I have no idea what that means since I'm new to the series. :)

I have 4 games listed on my Steam, excluding duplicates: Civ IV, Civ IV: Beyond the Sword, Civ IV: Colonization, and Civ IV: Warlords.

Can I just play Civ IV and access all the content from there? Or will I jsut be able to play the vanilla game without any of the expansions?

And I've heard that Colonization is a totally separate game..so would this need to be run separately? After a tiny bit of searching, I have found that Colonization is a standalone, separate game. However, my main question stands.

EDIT: It seems that Warlords scenarios are not included in BtS.

  • 4
    It's worth pointing out for future reference that launching the base Civilization IV is the only way to access the tutorial, which is useful when you're just starting out with the series. And the tutorial is still useful for those who are familiar with other Civilization games.
    – thedaian
    Commented Aug 12, 2011 at 15:24
  • 2
    Skip 'em all and load up Fall From Heaven 2. forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=171398
    – Fambida
    Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword is the latest expansion, this is what you want to play if you're starting out. This contains the main game plus all the changes and additions from the two expansions.

You can play the vanilla game or just with the Warlords expansion, but then you'll miss out on the improvements made in Beyond the Sword. This option is more for players who prefer the old rules, as a new player I would ignore this option.

The Warlords expansion also contains some scenarios. You can't access those if you start Beyond the Sword. If you want to play the Warlords scenarios you have to launch Warlords instead.

Colonization is a completely different game, just using the Civ 4 engine, as you already said, this one you have to start separately.

Just start Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword to begin.

  • Great, thanks! Do you know for certain if BtS has the Warlords expansions? If not, is there something I should look out for on the BtS menu that might tell me if it does? Commented Jun 11, 2011 at 11:28
  • @TheCommunistDuck The gameplay changes and additions of Warlords are in BtS, I'm just not sure about the scenarios. Commented Jun 11, 2011 at 11:29

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