Does anyone know if there is a mod or anything to play Civilization 4 over email? Like if my friend makes a turn, I get sent an email that its my turn and I can log on make my turn or couple of turns and then next player goes.

I know there is a hot seat option which is very useful, but my friends and I want to play games but its hard for us to meet at the same time online.

  • 2
    I don't have Civ 4, but there is supposedly a "PBEM" (Play By E-Mail) option under multiplayer. For Civ V, see this question.
    – Nick T
    Jul 15, 2011 at 4:03
  • Play Hotseat, enter in SMTP settings iirc. It can be done, but I forgot the procedure. I'll check and write an answer later today.
    – Macha
    Jul 15, 2011 at 9:40

1 Answer 1


This question was answered quite well on the CivFanatics Forum by DogBoy:

  1. Start game. Click multiplayer, click PBEM, click New game.

  2. Type in a game name at the top left corner. Call it whatever you like. The game will automatically use this name for all saved games. Type in an admin password in the top right corner. Let's pretend you called the game "friend".

  3. The first line of players should be called "administrator". Click on the little computer to the left of that name. Now you can fill in all your information. Give yourself a name, blah blah blah, type in your e-mail, your password, and your SMTP information. The e-mail is there because the game knows to send you the game when his turn is over with. It's a neat little feature. The SMTP is there so when you hit end turn, the game will automatically send the game to your friend through your e-mail without you having to e-mail it to him manually. I personally don't use this feature but some people do.

  4. The next line should be called "player". Click on the little computer to the left of that name. Now fill in all your friend's information. If you don't know his SMTP and his password then no problem, he can fill that out on his turn by hitting the escape key, then clicking on "your information". Let's call your friend Dave.

  5. The next line should be called "player". This is where you can either put some AI players in the game or close them all to make it a two player game.

  6. To the right of both your names is the word "random". This is where you choose your civ and leader, as well as your friend's civ and leader. You can also go random.

  7. At the bottom of the page is where you customize the game. I'm sure you know what settings you want.

  8. Now you click the bottom right button called "launch". The game is now started!

  9. When you are done with your turn hit the little flashing red light near your minimap to signify you are done with the turn. If you entered your SMTP information and your friend's e-mail, then game will ask you if you want to e-mail it to him. If you do, then hit yes. Your friend now has the e-mail in his inbox. If you hit no, then exit to desktop.

  10. Go to your civ4 folder. Mine is called: c:/programfiles/Firaxis Games/Sid Meir's Civilization 4/_civ4saves/pbem. In there you will find a brand new folder called "friend". Remember, that's what we called this game. In that folder is a file called friend_BC_4000_to_Dave. Simply e-mail him that game.

  11. The first time your friend gets the save he will not have a a folder is his save folder called "friend". He will want to double click the file from his e-mail and the game will launch. After he is done with his turn and he hits end turn, the game will generate the "friend" folder in his save folder. He entered his SMTP info then he can send the file to you from the game. If he didn't enter his SMTP info, he can find the save in his new folder. He can e-mail the save to you from there.

  12. It helps to make a shortcut to the friend folder and put it on your desktop. That's what I do.

  • Your post is very useful, but no sure what SMTP means, and how you get the info?
    – user29418
    Jul 16, 2012 at 15:16
  • @lizawiza Depends on your email provider. You need to get the SMTP server address. Contact them for help.
    – kapa
    Jul 16, 2012 at 15:20

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