Civilization IV

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Sid Meier's Civilization IV
Sid Meier's Civilization IV cover
Firaxis Games
macOS (OS X) Aspyr Media
2K Games
OS X Aspyr Media
Release dates
Windows October 25, 2005
macOS (OS X) June 30, 2006
Metacritic 94
Monetization Expansion pack
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Turn-based
Perspectives Bird's-eye view
Controls Point and select
Genres 4X, TBS
Themes Historical
Series Civilization
Civilization IV on HowLongToBeat
Civilization IV on IGDB
Civilization IV guide on StrategyWiki
Civilization IV on MobyGames
Civilization IV on Wikipedia
Civilization 1991
Civilization II 1996
Civilization II: Test of Time 1999
Civilization III 2001
Civilization IV 2005
CivCity: Rome 2006
Civilization IV: Colonization 2008
Civilization V 2010
Civilization: Beyond Earth 2014
Civilization VI 2016


The macOS (OS X) version of this game does not work on macOS Catalina (version 10.15) or later due to the removal of support for 32-bit-only apps.
GameSpy online services have been shut down (see Network for solutions).

Key points

Mod friendly.
Active community.
If you own the retail version, you must request the multiplayer patch.[1]
Steam version online multiplayer has been transitioned to Steamworks.[2]

General information

Official Downloads page (patches, SDK, etc.) Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
The Complete Edition is DRM-free. Individual versions of the game include SafeDisc v4 DRM[Note 1], but it can be removed for Beyond the Sword and Colonization through patches.
macOS (OS X)
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macOS (OS X)
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Complete also available.
macOS (OS X)
Complete Edition. Includes Civilization IV: Colonization.
Green Man Gaming
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macOS (OS X)
Humble Store
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macOS (OS X)
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All versions available, including Complete Edition.
macOS (OS X) (unavailable)
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macOS (OS X)
Mac App Store (unavailable)
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macOS (OS X)
SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).
Civilization IV Steam key exchanging services was discontinued on June 4, 2017.[5]

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Civilization IV: Warlords
macOS (OS X)
Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword
macOS (OS X)

Version differences[edit]

Retail DVD version[edit]

  • Civilization IV: Gold contains the base game and Warlords.
  • Civilization IV: Complete contains the base game, Warlords, and Beyond the Sword, and was released before Colonization.
  • The similarly named Civilization IV: Complete Edition contains the base game, Warlords, Beyond the Sword, and Colonization on a single DVD. It contains an updated DirectX installer and contains no DRM. The individual games still require patches to the current version.

Steam version[edit]

The tutorial for the game is only available through the base game installation, and the Warlords expansion contains exclusive scenarios which are only available through its installation. All other gameplay contents and features are included in Beyond The Sword; if you do not need the base game tutorial and Warlords scenarios, you may uninstall them respectively. Colonization is a standalone game which does not overlap with Beyond The Sword.

Essential improvements[edit]


Detailed installation steps[edit]

A very thorough set of instructions on how to install Civilization IV and its expansions are available here.

Skip intro videos[edit]

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open CivilizationIV.ini.
  3. Change 'NoIntroMovie' from 0 to 1.

Game data[edit]

In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.
In-game gameplay settings.
In-game gameplay settings.

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Civilization IV
%USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Warlords
%USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Beyond the Sword
macOS (OS X) %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Civ4
Steam %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Civilization IV\
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/3900/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Civilization IV\Saves
%USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Warlords\Saves
%USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Beyond the Sword\Saves
macOS (OS X) %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Civ4\Saves
Steam %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Civilization IV\Saves
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/3900/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Requires enabling backup of the Documents folder in OneDrive on all computers.
Steam Cloud


Video settings.
Video settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See the WSGF page for a fix.
4K Ultra HD
UI does not scale with resolution and is extremely small in 4K.
Field of view (FOV)
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS and 120+ FPS


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


Audio settings.
Audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Music, Sound Effects, Speech, Ambience, Interface.
Surround sound
Up to 8.1.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
EAX 4.0.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Retail only
Retail only
Retail only


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
18 Hot seat
LAN play
18 Removed from Steam version after the Steamworks update.
Online play
18 Non-Steam versions require a GameSpy ID.
Asynchronous multiplayer
Play via email

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Direct IP
Removed from the Steam version.[2] Install the beta to regain access.[6]


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 2033, 2056, 3783, 6500, 6667, 28900, 29900, 29001
UDP 2302-2400, 6500, 6515, 13139, 27900
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

Issues fixed[edit]

DirectX issues[edit]

To ensure the original game and its expansions run properly, install the latest DirectX End-User Runtimes. This is not a problem with the Complete Edition, which installs the correct DirectX version automatically.

Failed Initializing Python[edit]

Caused by discontinued support for Python 2.3 in OS X Yosemite 10.10.
Copy Python 2.3 back into OS X[7]
  1. Download BTS YosemitePython Fix.7z.
  2. Copy the folders '2.3' and '2.5' to /Library/Python/. Enter your administrator password.
  3. Go to /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/ and delete the alises for '2.3' and '2.5' and copy in the '2.3' and '2.5' folders from the BTS Yosemite Python Fix.

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
macOS/OS X only.
Shader Model support 3 [citation needed]
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)
32-bit only.[8] Colonization does not support PowerPC processors.


Middleware Notes
Audio Miles Sound System
Interface Scaleform
Cutscenes Bink Video
Multiplayer GameSpy, Steamworks

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 2000
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 1.2 GHz
AMD Athlon 1.2 GHz
System memory (RAM) 256 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 1.7 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 2
ATI Radeon 7500
64 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
macOS (OS X)
Operating system (OS) 10.7.5
Processor (CPU) Intel 2.0 GHz
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 3.5 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce FX 5200
ATI Radeon 9600
128 MB of VRAM


  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[3] 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.[4]
  2. 2.0 2.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/3900/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (3900) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.