Civilization 5 Tier List

Civilization 5 Tier List

At first glance, Civilization 5 can be an intimidating and even difficult game, but it is very satisfying and rewards players for their creativity and strategy. If you are looking to get ahead, this Civilization 5 tier list will give you all the tools you need to start winning games from the very beginning.

There are several factors that contribute to a player being successful in Civ 5, but the main foundation is the civilization a player chooses. There are over 40 civilizations available for players to select from, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. This tier list breaks down and ranks each civilization, helping you to understand what each has to offer. This will be helpful when you are matched with others with unique play styles .

You will find the civilizations separated into five different tiers. These tiers include S, A, B, C, and D tiers. The letters represent a different tier, with S being the top tier and D being the lowest. Each Civilization also comes with its own unique playing style or bonus. The unique playing styles are unique leader ability (ULA), unique unit (UU), unique buildings (UB), and unique improvement (UI). Each bonus is specific to that civilization, and at times reflects the era or historical content of the civilization. For example, unique leader abilities represent a historical figure and their accomplishments. Understanding these unique playing styles will aid in deciding which tier a civilization belongs to.

S Tier

The best civilizations to play in the game are Poland, Babylon, Korea, Maya, Arabia, and Persia. Each of these civilizations is in the top tier because of their sheer ability to dominate. Beginners will have to worry less about their strategy or enemies because their bonuses are so good.

This Civilization 5 tier list has to mention Poland as it has the potential to attain a domination victory quickly. What sets Poland apart is its UU, the Winged Hussar. This unique ability allows them to grow and establish themselves faster than other starting armies. Other important unique abilities to point out are Poland UB, the Ducal Stable because it costs them nothing to upkeep and provides them with a significant amount of resources. Poland’s ULA, Casimir III, also gives them a leg up with its free social policy throughout the whole game in each new era. Overall, Poland has the best bonuses for anyone needing a boost in their gaming.

A Tier

Civilizations in tier A may not be as dominant as those in tier S, but they are still effective in several aspects of the game. Some of the Civilizations in this tier include the Inca, China, Greece, Songhai, England, Huns, Zulu, and America. While each civilization has its own unique abilities that give them an advantage, they only work under specific conditions. This becomes more relevant in later eras, but these civilizations can still help both beginners and experienced players get ahead.

B Tier

Although the B tier is in the middle, the civilizations placed in this category can pack a punch when used by experienced players. The civs in this tier include Mongolia, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Spain, Brazil, Aztec, Shoshone, Polynesia, Egypt, Denmark, and France. These civs often have great advantages or bonuses, but they hinge on the right time or condition. Ultimately, these civilizations are neutral as they don’t have a lot of disadvantages but also lack a lot of particularly great bonuses.

C Tier

C-tier civilizations tend to be more limited than the previously mentioned tiers. While they do still have the potential to win, they have little or no advantage over the AI. Some of the civs that fall into this category are Siam, Ottoman, Japan, Austria, Assyrian, Morocco, Denmark, India, Rome, Ethiopia, Netherlands, Venice, and Celts. These civilizations are also difficult as their play styles tend to be more complex than most civs. Some of their added bonuses can be difficult to manage and are a drawback for new players. To use one of these civilizations, players have to focus on the victory path for their civ or play under very specific conditions.

D Tier

The civilizations in this tier are perfect for someone looking for an extra challenge. Their bonuses are especially situational and lack the early game power to compete without the finesse of a seasoned veteran of the game. Many have a hard time creating their own victory path because of the tricky and situational bonuses that make overall game strategy challenging. The civs that sadly fall into this category are Indonesia, Byzantium, Carthage, India, Portugal, and Iroquois. These civilizations may be fine on lower difficulties but will most likely fall in a match with more than two civs.


A civilization can set the foundation of how one chooses to play, their strategy, the complexity, and so much more. With this Civilization 5 tier list, players know exactly what to expect with each civilization. Knowing what factors can elevate their game and set them apart gives those who are new to Civ 5 a much-needed boost.

Written by: Jessica Pagel

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