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Civilization II: Test of Time

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

This page is for the enhanced 1999 release. For the original 1996 and expanded 1998 releases, see Sid Meier's Civilization II.

Civilization II: Test of Time
Civilization II: Test of Time cover
Retail MicroProse
Retail Hasbro Interactive
Chronicles release 2K Games
Release dates
Windows July 28, 1999
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Turn-based
Perspectives Bird's-eye view
Controls Point and select
Genres 4X, TBS
Art styles Realistic
Themes Fantasy, Historical, Sci-fi, Space
Series Civilization
Civilization II: Test of Time on HowLongToBeat
Civilization II: Test of Time on IGDB
Civilization II: Test of Time guide on StrategyWiki
Civilization II: Test of Time on MobyGames
Civilization II: Test of Time on Wikipedia
Sid Meier's Civilization 1991
Freeciv (unofficial) 1996
Sid Meier's Civilization II 1996
Civilization II: Test of Time 1999
Sid Meier's Civilization III 2001
Sid Meier's Civilization IV 2005
CivCity: Rome 2006
Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization 2008
Sid Meier's Civilization V 2010
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth 2014
Sid Meier's Civilization VI 2016
Sid Meier's Civilization VII 2025


SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see Availability for affected versions).

Civilization II: Test of Time is an expanded version of the 1996 4X turn-based strategy game Sid Meier's Civilization II and its expansions. It features a refreshed interface, a 32-bit executable, multiplayer capabilities similar to the ones in the 1998 Multiplayer Gold Edition, and various new scenarios in both realistic and fantasy/sci-fi settings.

The game received a single official patch after release. However, a bug from the Multiplayer Gold Edition persists where the AI players are in an uncooperative or worse attitude towards human players at all times.

The game requires an unofficial patch to resolve compatibility issues such as crashes when a text box appears, a problem which causes the game to reserve all CPU resources that it can, and game bugs such as the aforementioned AI attitude bug.

General information

Civilization Wiki - A detailed wiki for all Civilization games and their spin offs
Apolyton Civilization Site's Civilization I & II section - A huge forum dedicated to all Civilization games and their spin offs.
Civilization Fanatics' Civilization II section
Civilization Fanatics' Civilization II Forums
Catfish's Cave - fansite for Test of Time with installation guides and various resources


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
SafeDisc v1 DRM[Note 1].
SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).

Essential improvements


The latest official patch is 1.1, available for English and German versions. Aside from bug fixes, this patch is necessary for running fan-made scenarios.
The version of the game from the 2006 Civilization Chronicles bundle requires this repackaged patch instead.

Unofficial patches

Test of Time Patch Project (TOTPP)
Includes the 64-bit compatibility patch, a CPU usage fix, a no-CD patch, and multiple bug fixes. It can also replace the Red Book audio system with DirectShow to play local MP3 music files instead.
All of its features can be turned on and off.
v1.1 must be installed first.
May cause an alert from anti-virus software. This is a false positive.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\CIV2.DAT[Note 2]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Original\*.sav
[Note 2]


General settings
General settings
Graphics settings
Graphics settings
City report settings
City report settings


Keyboard and mouse State Notes
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Mouse acceleration
Uses OS cursor.
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support


Music track choice window
Music track choice window

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Music and effects are separate but can only be switched on/off.
Surround sound
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio
Red Book CD audio
The Test of Time Patch Project optionally switches to MP3 support via DirectShow.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Japanese release only.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
8 Hot seat
LAN play
Online play
8 The official multiplayer service was shut down.
Asynchronous multiplayer

Connection types

Issues fixed

'You must have Civ II Test of Time installed in order to install this update.'

This error message indicates indicates the currently installed version of the game is not correctly installed in the registry, so the patch cannot detect the game.
This occurs in the version of the game distributed in the 2006 Civilization Chronicles expansion.
Update game using the Chronicles version of the 1.1 patch[3]

When trying to play a video, the game crashes or goes to a blank screen

Enable Indeo codec; see Troubleshooting guide.[4]

Building a city crashes the game (64-bit OSes)

Use unofficial patch[5]

CPU runs at 100%

The game, due to being built around the limitations of then-modern CPUs, is designed to always use as much of the CPU as possible. This is now unnecessary.
Use unofficial patch[6]

Corrupted graphics when loading a save game

When saving a game, make sure to save the game in the correct sub folder. If you play Original, save in the Original folder. If you play ExtendedOriginal, save in the ExtendedOriginal folder. When playing a scenario, save in the scenario's folder. Saving in the main Test of Time folder will mean that the save game will not use the proper graphics when reloading.[7]

'Failed to load game: file is in obsolete format'

Update the game to v1.1[8]

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 6
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Test of Time Graphics Mod Pack

Replaces standard graphics with more colorful and detailed units which take advantage of the updated game engine.
Lacks animated units.

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 166 MHz
System memory (RAM) 16 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 60 MB
Video card (GPU) SVGA
2 MB of VRAM
DirectX 6.0 compatible


  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[1] or Windows 11 and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[2]
  2. 2.0 2.1 When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).