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Civilization 5 will be four years old this September. Since it launched in 2010, it has enjoyed widespread critical acclaim, seen two big game changing expansions, and offered numerous faction and map packs. According to Steam’s statistics 8 Steam Features You Didn't Know You Had 8 Steam Features You Didn't Know You Had You probably think you know how to use Steam pretty well. As with any piece of software, there are features you use everyday, and those you don't know you have until you look. Read More , the game still fields over 50,000 concurrent players on most days, and rarely leaves the list of the 10 most played games. If you’ve never played it, you owe yourself the pleasure of picking up the latest entry in one of the most addictive franchises in PC gaming.

On the other hand, if you’ve already poured hundreds of hours of rapt attention into this legendary strategy game, you might think you’ve seen all there is to see. Perhaps you’ve even tried out some of the coolest mods on the Steam Workshop 6 Game-Changing Mods to Reinvigorate Civilization V For Free! 6 Game-Changing Mods to Reinvigorate Civilization V For Free! You need something fresh and exciting to breathe new life into the game? These mods have you covered. Read More , and you’re still ready to set it aside.

At a time like this, you need fresh ideas to keep the game interesting. From community brainstorms to existing but under explored options, check out five ways to squeeze every last drop of fun out of this timeless classic.

Embrace Advanced Setup

Civ5-Standard-Setup
People are creatures of habit. When offered lots of options, most tend toward the known and comfortable over the untested and strange. Civ 5’s game setup menu was designed with this in mind. The first setup screen the game shows gives you just five options with which to tinker. It’s not much to consider, and that’s a good thing for new players.

Civ5-Advanced-Setup
Once you dive into advanced setup though, you can craft some very wild starting conditions to test your skills. Imagine battling it out to conquer a dry frigid wasteland instead of an Earth-like world. Have a bad habit of defaulting to the science victory in the late game? Deactivate it to force yourself to try new things. Start in the Modern Era and explore some late game strategies. You can even turn on enforcement for the classic one city challenge. Don’t just pick one of these. Try all of the above, or some other bizarre and polarized collection of changes!

Join A Multiplayer Community

Civ5-Multiplayer-Community
Civilization 5’s multiplayer Why You're Playing Civilization V Wrong: Time For Multiplayer! Why You're Playing Civilization V Wrong: Time For Multiplayer! Basically, if you've never played Civilization against one or more real people, then you haven't enjoyed the game to its full capacity. Read More is a big time commitment. Even on quick game speed, matches can last well over six hours. It can be hard to find a big enough group of people to make multiplayer matches interesting, that also has the time and discipline to play them to completion.

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To get your multiplayer fix, you may need to join a community of dedicated Civ players. NQCiv is one such community on Steam that gained more attention this summer when one of its top playera, Anzleon on Twitch, began streaming many of his matches. Their front page hosts a long list of rules that encourage good sportsmanship and playing through to the finish. After all, if you had a fairly certain victory ahead, you wouldn’t want players dropping out of your game and robbing you of your moment of glory, would you?

If you only have a few minutes each day to spend with Civ, you might instead try to find a match at Giant Multiplayer Robot. It’s a service that shuttles save files back and forth between players so each one can take a turn or two per day as time permits. You’ll be much more inclined to think over your every move when you have to set your game aside for a few hours after each turn.

Play A Succession Game

Crowns-Succession-Game
What’s a succession game? It’s Civilization 5 played cooperatively! In a game of this type, a group of players pass a single save file around, each one taking an agreed upon number of turns (often 10 at a time) before passing the save along to the next player in succession. Each time the crown is passed, the most recent player is tasked with filling in the others with the current state of the game. You can join succession games on the CivFanatics Succession Game Forum, where many players add an extra measure of fun to the activity by presenting their news as a narrative. Even the simple act of dispersing a barbarian camp can be funny or triumphant with a bit of storytelling behind it.

Try A Challenge Of The Month

Challenge-of-the-Month-Civ5
Both CivFanatics and r/civ on Reddit host monthly competitions. On each site, a moderator proposes a scenario with specific (sometimes infuriatingly specific) rules. You might have to recreate a historical incident in broad strokes, or perhaps play as though you don’t know a certain subsystem in the game exists. CivFanatics takes their challenges more seriously, distributing a starter save file from which all players begin, and collecting finished saves to rank players. The Reddit community offers a more casual friendly experience, preferring to receive your tale as a thread of photos and blurbs on imgur. Pick the community that sounds the most fun to you, and enjoy a shared tale (or frustration) with your fellow Civ fans.

Explore Scenarios

Civ5-Scenarios
Though no scenarios were included with the Civilization V base game, if you have Gods & Kings, and Brave New World, you’ll have access to several historical (and not so historical) challenges that use alternate rules and custom civilizations. Enjoy exploring and treasure hunting in Conquest of the New World, or try Empires of the Smoky Skies, an imaginative steampunk scenario complete with airships! Many of these let you play as one of several factions involved, so you can choose to make history repeat itself by claiming a victory accurate to what we know, or send the world on a new course by turning the tables.

What’s Old Is New Again

Armed with these ideas, you’ll find hundreds of extra hours of fun in Civilization 5 Amazing Games You Can Play on the Raspberry Pi without Emulation Amazing Games You Can Play on the Raspberry Pi without Emulation You can probably see where I’m going with this, but I’ll spell it out just in case. A few nights ago I decided that rather than play Civilization V on my PC, I would look... Read More . And perhaps when you’ve finished, you’ll have truly seen it all. Luckily for you, Civilization Beyond Earth is right around the corner, and your autumn is sure to be filled with a whole new planet of adventures.

Have more ideas or communities that help you get the most out of Civ? Share them with our community, and show us just how deep the game can be!

Need more strategy gaming in your life? Try these great online strategy games 3 Excellent Turn Based Strategy Games Online 3 Excellent Turn Based Strategy Games Online So, if you're into fast-paced racing games, heart-pounding first person shooters, or edge-of-your-seat tower defense games, then you can click the back button now and find another article. This isn't that kind of article. Here,... Read More now, and look forward to these later 5 Upcoming Strategy Games To Keep An Eye On 5 Upcoming Strategy Games To Keep An Eye On Strategy isn't the most popular genre, but it’s a common choice among players who want a cerebral experience. Here are 5 upcoming games sure to keep your brain busy. Read More !

Image Credit: Denmark_0238 – Treasury by Dennis Jarvis

  1. Ko'ofe
    August 2, 2014 at 4:02 am

    I am playing very seriously this game now and will be forever.
    More than 12 hr per day....... }-]

  2. Hugh
    July 31, 2014 at 2:50 am

    Haven't tried Gods n Kings, but Brave New World is the shiite! Right now I'm playing as Tokugawa (samurais), but usually I'm England cos of the naval dominance. Not getting even close to bored yet, but looking forward to Beyond Earth as Alpha Centauri is still one of my favourite games of all time, of ALL TIME. Some of the mod games in Steam look interesting, but haven't tried yet. I think there is one where you are a manga character and your have a pack of wolves instead of cavalry.

  3. M. Adams
    July 18, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    ***Way #1 to keep Civilization 5 interesting***: get and install "Brave New World." Seriously. I pre-purchased Civ 5, played it for a week or so after it was first released, and chalked it up to the biggest disappointment of my entire year. I *abhorred* the game, and couldn't believe what a remarkable screwup Firaxis had somehow made. Didn't play until just a few months ago, when I decided to give "Brave New World" a try. I now place Civ 5 ahead of Civ 4: BTS, which remained for several years one of my top two favorite games of all time. "Brave New World" is absolutely incredible, and gave just enough incentive for me to keep playing and learn what a remarkably deep game Civ 5 is. Much deeper than Civ 4. Longer games; more interesting combat; richer politics; you start to *really* get the sense that you're making important executive decisions with global level repercussions in Civ 5, a feeling I've never gotten from a game before. TL;DR: If you've tried Civ 5 vanilla and, like me, wrote it off as a catastrophe, do yourself an immense favor and pick up "Brave New World."

    • Robert W
      July 20, 2014 at 2:18 am

      I'll echo your advice, M. Adams. Though I thought Civ 5 was still alright on its own, Gods & Kings and Brave New World really take it over the top. The more complex cultural and diplomatic victory conditions are more rewarding to achieve, and trade units, religion, and espionage, all add welcome depth. Good call!

  4. Peter F
    July 18, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I bought a copy of Civ5 only a few months ago and have not yet got to the end of one game yet. I loved Civ2 and played it to death.

    Will be checking some of these ideas in due course.

    I am falling in love with this game and becoming quiet addicted to it!

    Thanks for this!

    • Robert W
      July 20, 2014 at 2:15 am

      Glad you're enjoying it, Peter. Your adventure is just beginning!

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