There are some fun mods in Civilization. For instance, I do enjoy the mod that removes the xp cap for fights with barbarians. A mod I have not tried yet but probably will is the mod that increases the range for gatling gun and its successors and lower their power a bit not not make them OP.

However, I am a bit reluctant to use them. Mainly because I don't know if the AI will utilize them or not. If they don't I get an unfair advantage.

So my question is simply if the AI will take mods into account. Let's say that I create a mod that sets the swordsman's strength to 1. Would that mean that the AI would refrain from building them?

2 Answers 2


Simply put, yes. Unless if a mod author clearly states that it only affects the player, or if it affects something the AI can't use anyways (such as chat) then there is no reason why the AI wouldn't

  • Do you KNOW that this is the case, or do you just find it reasonable?
    – klutt
    Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 2:03
  • I know it from experience, I have hundreds of hours in the game and most were with mods. I can say beyond a shadow of doubt that ai can use mods Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 3:28

Your question is actually two-fold. Will the AI make use of modded capabilities such as increased range? Yes, it will. The AI has access to exactly the same units you have access to, so it will be use those modded capabilities.

Will the AI build units, which are normally good, but made completely useless with a mod? That's something no one knows, because unless you are a modder yourself, how are you going to test it? A mod like this would never be released.

The AI can operate on two different directives:

1) Evaluate unit strength and choose units based on that. In this case, the AI wouldn't build a 1 strength swordsman. This is an advanced and thus expensive method of creating an AI.

2) Have fixed unit choices after a certain technology is reached. I.e. after researching iron owrking, build swordsman. In this case, the AI would build 1-strength swordsmen, even though they are useless. This is MUCH easier and cheaper to program, so many AIs would use this method and require extensive modification for mods.

Considering the default AI makes use of range 2 archers, which have less strength than melee units, throughout the game and the AI also uses gatling guns, I see no reason why they should stop making gatling guns later in the game even with reduced strength, no matter whether it's a Method 1 or 2 AI.

However, if you go for modding, I'd recommend you choose the Vox Populi mod, instead of a poorly balanced range increase, which hasn't been updated in four years. The folks from the VP-team have spent years honing, updating and balancing Civ 5.

  • I'm a bit unsure about what you are saying. Are you saying how it is or listing possible options of how it could be?
    – klutt
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 10:12
  • @Broman It's either one or the other, depending on how the AI is programmed. Only a modder can answer this, though. But a completely nonsensical change like reducing swordsman strength to 1 is nothing anybody ever did, so it's unlikely people can tell you how the AI behaves in that situation, they can at best tell you how the AI is expected to behave. The expected behaviour wtih the speciifc mod you want to use (and which i recommend against, as it's very unbalanced, it makes ranged units way too overpowered) is that the AI should still use gatling guns.
    – Dulkan
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 10:19
  • @Broman: The core issue is that we don't know how the AI is constructed. For example, let's say the default AI favors building walls over barracks. However, a mod dramatically increases the bonus of barracks. There are two options here: (1) the AI calculates building value on the fly and thus "sees" the better barrack and chooses to build it (2) the AI was built to blindly favor walls over barracks and thus does not change its decision based on the modded barracks. This is the core of the issue, we don't know what the AI does and does not factor into its decisions.
    – Flater
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 12:31
  • @Broman: To be clear: the AI will definitely have access to your modded upgrades (their built units will have the same modded benefits that yours do). Buth whether the AI is capable of utilizing the modded benefits (and thus changing it's behavior compared to vanilla) is something only the AI's creators can answer (or possible the modders if they went through the effort of testing this in a controlled environment)
    – Flater
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 12:32
  • I clarified the answer a bit more.
    – Dulkan
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 13:41

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