Difficulty Level

This allows you to set the difficulty level of the game, from “Settler,” the easiest, to “Deity,” which is insanely difficult. Difficulty controls a variety of things, from the smartness of your artificial intelligence opponents to the goodies you may discover in Ancient Ruins. 

Game Pace

This determines the length of time for various game tasks, like constructing buildings, researching technologies, and so forth. The “Quick” level is just that, and it makes for an extremely rapid and frenetic game. “Standard” is the default game, and we encourage it for new players. “Epic” and “Marathon” extend the times it takes to do almost anything.  Check these out after you’ve played a few “Standard” Games.

Randomize Button 

The “Randomize” button on the bottom edge of the Set Up Game screen will reset the leader/civilization and Map Type of the game to Random. 

Difficulty Level and Game Pace are never randomized.

The Advanced Settings

The Advanced Setup Screen gives you more customization options when setting up your game. Click the “Advanced Setup” button on the Setup Game Screen to access the screen.

From here you can add the exact amount of AI and City-State players you wish to play with, set the game pace, map size, and many other more minute details. Click “Start Game” when you’re finished, or “Back” to return to the main Setup Game Screen.

Start Game

Press this button to begin a game with the settings you’ve chosen.


This button takes you back to the previous “Single Player” screen.

Saving and Loading a Game

You can save or load a Civilization V game at any time.

Saving a Game

To save a game, go to the Main Screen and get rid of any popups that might be waiting for a response. Click on the “Menu” button on the Main Screen and then on “Save Game” to create a new saved game file.

The Save Game Screen

Click on “Save” to save the game with the default name. Or you can give the save a new name: simply type it over the default and then click “Save.” The game will be saved and you’ll be returned to your game in progress.

Saved Game Location

The games are saved in your Window’s My Documents\My Games folder. For example, if your user name on your computer were johnDoe, your saved games could be found in: johnDoe\My Documents\My Games\Sid Meier’s Civilization 5\Saves\single.

You cannot by default save your games into other directories.

Loading a Game

At the Start of a Game 

On the Main Menu, click on “Single Player,” then on “Load Game.” This will take you to the Load Game screen.

During Play

Go to the Main Screen and press [CTRL-L]. Or click on the “Menu” button, then on “Load Game.”

The Load Game Screen

Once on this screen, click on the name of the game you wish to load, then click on “Load Game.” The game will load and you will resume play at the point you saved it.

Special Saves


The program automatically saves the game every turn. (You can alter the frequency of these auto-saves in the Options screen.) To load an auto-save, bring up the Load Game screen, then click on the “Auto-Save” button, then on the auto-saved game you want to play, then on “Load Game.” 

The auto-saved game will load and you’ll resume play at the point of the

Quick Save

One other save/load option is available to you: “Quick Save,” which is especially useful when you’re in a hurry. Press F11 to “Quick Save” your game. 

The game is then saved without requiring any further input from you. Only one game can be quick-saved at a time: any future quick save will overwrite the current one.

Press F12 to load the current quick-saved game.

Game Difficulty

The game difficulty determines a number of things, including the starting power of your AI opponents, the speed at which your civilization grows, and so forth.

Difficulty Levels

The Difficulty Levels are, in order from easiest to hardest:

  • Settler
  • Chieftain
  • Warlord
  • Prince
  • King
  • Emperor
  • Immortal
  • Deity

Effects of Difficulty

“Prince” is the middle level. On that level neither you nor your AI opponents get any particular bonuses. On levels below Prince you get bonuses in happiness and maintenance costs, and you get better results from Ancient Ruins. 

Barbarians are less aggressive and less smart on lower levels, as well.
On levels higher than Prince, the AIs receive increasing bonuses in city growth, production, and technology. They may also get additional starting units and free techs to boot.