Civilization 5 is probably the most anticipated strategy game of this year. Judging by comments on various gaming forums, latest installment of this popular franchise is already a hit among the gamer community. Civ 5 features a brand new game engine, challenging multi tiered artificial intelligence (AI) and of course, the same addictive gameplay. Needless to say the game has a lot of depth to it and you can pretty much waste hours and hours going at it. Anyway, this article isn’t another game review. This is our routine troubleshooting article for Civilization 5 – here you will find fixes, workarounds and solutions for the most common problems associated with the PC version of Civ 5. Of course, we can’t guarantee this’ll fix all of your problems, but some of the fixes mentioned might actually work :p
How to manually tweak Civilization 5 settings by editing configuration files
Before we move onto other fixes, I think it’s best to know how to edit Civilization 5 configuration files manually – most of the other fixes involve changing values in these files.
- Navigate to the Civilization 5 game settings location. This is usually Documents\My Games\Sid Meier’s Civilization 5\
- In this folder you will see various files ending with .ini extension. Open any one of these files with a text editor such as Notepad and you are good to go. Some of the files you may find inside include:
Usersettings.ini – holds user preferences
GraphicsSettingsDX9.ini – graphics settings for DirectX 9 mode
GraphicsSettingsDX11.ini – graphics settings for DirectX 10/11 modes
Config.ini – general game preferences
It’s always recommended that you backup the original file before making modifications, in case anything goes wrong.
Civilization 5 crashes to desktop (CTD) after or before the intro movie
On certain video hardware configurations and resolutions, the game might crash to desktop just after or before the intro movie is played. You can try disabling the intro movie and see if this fixes the problem.
- Open the usersettings.ini file with a text editor.
- Look for the string SkipIntroVideo – the current value should be 0.
- Change the SkipIntroVideo value to 1. This will disable the intro movie.
The game crashes when trying to run in full screen mode
Civilization 5 might crash upon launch if the game is configured to run in full screen mode – I haven’t found why this happens but I’ve got a hunch it’s related to default resolution. Anyways you can try running the game in windowed mode as a workaround:
- Open the GraphicsSettingsDX9.ini file (or GraphicsSettingsDX11.ini file, based on whatever DirectX version of the game you are running) with a text editor.
- Look for the string fullscreen. The current value should be 1. Change this to 0.
- Navigate to the cache folder. Delete all *.db files inside the folder.
- Run the game – it should now start in windowed mode and hopefully the startup crash should be gone.
Civilization 5 black screen upon launch or out of range error
Black screen errors that don’t give any sort of feedback are some of the most annoying issues you can have with a game. If you are having such problems with Civ 5, it could very well be because your monitor or video card is incompatible with the screen resolution autodetected by the game. To see if this really is the case, you can try running the game in a lower, widely supported resolution and try increasing it if the fix works:
- Open the corresponding GraphicsSettingsDX9/DX11.ini file with a text editor. Look for the strings WindowResX and WindowResY.
- If you want the game to run in 1024x768 resolution, change these values so that they read
WindowResX = 1024
WindowResY = 768
Crashes due to DirectX incompatibilities
Before you try anything, run the following two installers to ensure that your installed DirectX version and Visual C++ runtime libraries are up to date.
- Navigate to your Civ 5 installation directory – default is C:\Program files\Steam\Steamapps\Common\sid meier's civilization v\
- Run \Steamapps\Common\sid meier's civilization v\VCRedist\vcredist_x86.exe to update VC++ libraries.
- Run \Steamapps\Common\sid meier's civilization v\DirectX\DXSetup.exe to update DirectX
You may also download the latest DirectX monthly runtime from here.
Civilization 5 supports multiple DirectX versions including DX9, DX10 and DX11. You can run the game even in DX11 provided that your operating system and video hardware supports this newer DX version. Windows XP supports DX9, Windows Vista supports DX9, DX10 and Windows 7 supports all three. However, just because your current operating system supports DX11 does not mean you can run the game on the this mode – your video hardware needs to be compatible too. For example, you might run into issues if you try to run the game on DX11 and on a non fully DX11 compatible hardware such as Geforce 8800, Geforce 8600 etc. The game might start up but corrupted textures, sudden stuttering, freezes, random lags might be clues to DirectX incompatibilities. If you encounter any crashes or any other odd behavior, be sure to check if the problem exists in a different DirectX mode.
How to enable Anti Aliasing in Civilisation 5 DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 modes
- Open GraphicsSettingsDX11.ini with a text editor
- Look for the string AllowLeaderAA string.
- Change the value to 0.
Unable to save game progress to hard drive
If you are having trouble saving your progress in Civilization 5, it could be due to a improperly set save folder location.
- Open Config.ini file with a text editor.
- Look for the FileName string in [Game] section.
- If this appears blank, set a proper saved games directory – default is C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\My Games\Sid Meier’s Civilization 5\Saves\
- Save and close the file. Run the game.
Update your graphics drivers
This is pretty basic stuff buy many people seem to ignore this – always update your video card drivers to the latest build before running the game. Update your video card’s drivers – if latest drivers do not work, try downloading and installing latest beta drivers (do this at your own risk).
- ATI Drivers: Download the latest ATI Catalyst drivers from this link: http://game.amd.com/us-en/drivers_catalyst.aspx
- NVIDIA Drivers: Download latest official NVIDIA drivers from this link: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us
- Beta Drivers: Check here http://downloads.guru3d.com/
This article is a work in progress. It will be updated as new fixes are discovered – feel free to share your experience in comments. If you liked this article: