Is it possible to change the keyboard shortcuts?


5 Answers 5


Yes, it is possible. Currently you cannot change the keyboard shortcuts from within the game. However, you can change them by changing the CIV5Controls.xml file.

The file resides under <installation folder>\Assets\Gameplay\XML\Units - notice that's actually where you installed the game, not in your My Documents\My Games folder. If you installed via steam, it should be <steam installation folder>\steamapps\common\sid meier's civilization v\Assets\Gameplay\XML\Units.

Editing the file is pretty intuitive if you're used to the XML format, which is editable by any text editor. Basically, each command has its own entry (called row in that file) where it lists a keyboard shortcut and an optional alternative keyboard shortcut. The shortcut appears between <HotKey> and </HotKey>, or <HotKeyAlt> and </HotKeyAlt> for the alternative shortcut. Between those tags there should appear the actual keyboard shortcut, in a format of KB_<key>. So for example, KB_J stands for J, KB_F9 stands for F9, etc. You can also change the key modifiers: putting 0 between <CtrlDown> and </CtrlDown> means Ctrl is not used with the key, putting 1 means it will be used, and same for alt and shift.

I've done it myself and it works fine in-game, though I was careful not to cause shortcut conflicts - I don't know what happens if there are such conflicts (i.e. two different actions using the same shortcut). I still recommend backing up the file somewhere else before you change it.

  • 1
    On linux I found the controls xml file in <steam installation>/SteamApps/common/Sid Mei.../steamassets/assets/gameplay/xml/units/ and also another one at <steam installation>/SteamApps/common/Sid Mei.../steamassets/assets/dlc/expansion/gameplay/xml/units and again at the same directory as above except for expansion2 instead of expansion (I assume those are the 2 DLCs)
    – Mitch
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 5:40

If you have the DLCs installed, you have to check under they DLC folder in the assets folder and change their versions of "CIV5Controls.xml", or your controls will not work the way you've updated them.


On the Mac it is hidden under your libary folder

First you need to run the following from the Terminal app

chflags nohidden ~/Library

Then navigate to /Users//Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps/common/Sid Meier's Civilization V

Right-click the V icon and choose "Show package contents"

navigate to /Contents/Home/assets/GamePlay/XML/Units and you can then edit the CIV5Controls.xml file using the TextEdit app.


There is currently no way to remap the keybindings from within the game. See Oak's answer to modify them through configuration files.


The keyboard shortcut for Move is in a different folder -- /XML/Interface/Civ5InterfaceModes.xml. I swapped it with the V command (advisors) because I use it with the mouse to see how many turns the autopathing will take to get somewhere. Much safer than right clicking.

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