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What changes have been made from Civilization 4 to 5?

What are the main differences between the two latest versions of the Sid's Meier Cilivization series?

Is this only an improvement of the graphical interface (more 3D and highly detailed views) or is this more than that?

  • 1
    There are quite a few differences between Civ 5 and Civ 4. A lot of long-time fans of the series prefer the previous installment. But... it's really a matter of personal taste and so subjective. I'm thinking this is too close to a game recomendation question.
    – TZHX
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 12:06
  • According to you, the difference is more than a UI revamp : the game is diffrent too, isn't it?
    – Rabskatran
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 12:21
  • There's quite a few changes in mechanics. For example, in Civ 5 you can only have one unit per tile. This restriction doesn't exist in Civ 4, so you can create massive forces and move them about as one.
    – TZHX
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 12:30
  • Civ4 also uses squares, instead of hexagons; and many other changes. There are extensive lists on sites like civfanatics. But ultimately, whether you should buy Civ 4 is up to you. Personally, I haven't found much cause to go back to Civ 4 after Civ 5 came out, and I have around 150 hours on Civ 5 since launch, and probably double that amount on civ 4.
    – TZHX
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 12:33
  • game recommendation questions are off-topic as per our FAQ.
    – Wipqozn
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 13:19

1 Answer 1


There are many differences between Civilization 4 and 5. Besides the obvious graphic changes Some of the most significant game play changes are:

  • 1 Military Unit per location, instead of infinite stacks
  • Global happiness instead of local happiness
  • Embarking troops instead of troop transport units.

An extensive list can be found on the civfanatics forum.

Upcoming expansions might add or remove some of the differences. For example an announced expansion will add religion to Civilization 5, something which was already present in Civilization 4 but absent in the Civilization 5 base game.

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