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Sid Meier's 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 One-time game purchase, Expansion pack
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Turn-based
Perspectives Bird's-eye view
Controls Point and select
Genres 4X, TBS
Themes Historical
Series Civilization
Sid Meier's Civilization IV on HowLongToBeat
Sid Meier's Civilization IV on IGDB
Sid Meier's Civilization IV guide on StrategyWiki
Sid Meier's Civilization IV on MobyGames
Sid Meier's Civilization IV 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


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).

Sid Meier's Civilization IV is a singleplayer and multiplayer bird's-eye view 4X and TBS game in the Civilization series.

The game received two expansion packs: Warlords in July 2006, and Beyond the Sword in July 2007. Both expansions included a range of new units, mechanics, game modes and scenarios. Multiple patches were released for all versions.

In 2014, the Steam release was updated to replace the GameSpy multiplayer infrastructure with that of Steamworks and removed LAN, but it can be downgraded to the older version through a beta branch to re-enable compatibility with retail and releases.

The game has no notable issues with running on modern systems as of March 2024.

General information

Official Downloads page (patches, SDK, etc.)
Official support knowledgebase
Civilization Wiki - A detailed wiki for all Civilization games and their spin offs
Civilization Fanatics' Civilization IV section
Civilization Fanatics' Civilization IV Forums 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)
SafeDisc v4 DRM[Note 1]. Can be removed from Beyond the Sword and Colonization through patches. Released on 2 CDs or 1 DVD.
macOS (OS X)
Complete Edition.
macOS (OS X)
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Complete Edition also available.
macOS (OS X)
Gamesplanet logo.svg
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Complete Edition 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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Complete Edition also available. Default version uses Steamworks multiplayer, with a beta branch that restores the GameSpy/LAN version.[3] Windows and OS X builds appear separately in the library.
macOS (OS X) (unavailable)
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macOS (OS X)
Games for Windows Marketplace (unavailable)
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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]
Free demos are available from GameFront: base game (Windows), base game (OS X), Beyond the Sword "Final Frontier" scenario, Beyond the Sword "Charlemagne" scenario.


Type Notes
Expansion pack Expansion packs include multiple civilizations, mechanics, and improvements.
One-time game purchase The game requires an upfront purchase to access.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
macOS (OS X)
Beyond the Sword
macOS (OS X)

Version differences

Retail versions

  • The Game of the Year Edition contains the base game, a digital manual disc, and a bonus DVD with a documentary on the making of Civilization IV and video previews for Warlords and Sid Meier's Railroads!.
  • Civilization IV: Gold contains the base game and Warlords. Released on 3 CDs.
  • 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

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


Detailed installation steps

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

Skip intro videos

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

Game data

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

Configuration file(s) location

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) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/3900/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game data location

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) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/3900/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

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
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.


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
Controller types


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.
Royalty free audio
Uses various licensed performances of works from Beethoven, Bach, and Mozart, and artists still under copyright.


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 The official GameSpy service has been shut down; Steam version has been updated with Steamworks support.
Steamworks version has a limit of 4 human players.
Large mods and multiplayer games across different countries have many de-synchronization issues. Using LAN play can alleviate this issue.
Asynchronous multiplayer
Play via email

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Direct IP
Removed from the Steam version.[3] Install the beta to regain access.[7]


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

DirectX issues

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

Caused by discontinued support for Python 2.3 in OS X Yosemite 10.10.
Copy Python 2.3 back into OS X[8]
  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 aliases for '2.3' and '2.5' and copy in the '2.3' and '2.5' folders from the BTS Yosemite Python Fix.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9.0c
macOS/OS X only.
Shader Model support 3 [citation needed]
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)
32-bit only.[9] Colonization does not support PowerPC processors.


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

System requirements

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)
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 10.3.9
Processor (CPU) PowerPC G5 (970) 1.8 GHz
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
64 MB of VRAM
Other Intel integrated video chipsets (GMA 950) are not supported.


  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 Notes regarding Steam Play (Linux) data: