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Civ 4 Colonization - New Features

Many new features have been reported in various previews of Civilization IV: Colonization. Of course we will branch these topics out and add further details as they become available, but for now, here is an overview of what we have learned thus far.

Note: Sid Meier has stated in interviews that the normal course of game development includes a lot of testing, by playing the game over and over again to find features that can be improved upon. As a consequence, bonuses for leaders, buildings, founding fathers etc, may change during development to make the game as well-balanced as possible, and the final version may differ from what we've learned in previews of the game.

Last Update: 25-Sep-2008

Technical Info
Difficulty Levels
Founding Fathers
Great Generals

Technical Info

We can expect an enhanced interface, accessible and easy to use for both old fans and new players. The interface includes new city- and main screens, with improved functionality.

Code from the original Civ IV engine which was not being used for Colonization has been removed to improve performance.

Greatly enhanced graphics, such as crystal clear water, new unit shadows, new terrain and buildings, and a higher resolution in general. The graphics enhancements will require a video card with pixel shader 1.1.

The game ships with mod tools and a map editor.


Operating System: Windows(r) 2000/XP/Vista
Processor: 1.2 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon processor or equivalent
Memory: 512 MB RAM
Hard Disk Space: 900 Megs Free
CD-ROM Drive: 4X Speed
Video: DirectX 9.0c-compatible 64 MB video card with Shader 1.1 Support
or better
Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card
DirectX(r): Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization DirectX(r) version
(included on game disc)


Operating System: Windows(r) 2000/XP/Vista
Processor: 1.8 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon processor or equivalent
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Hard Disk Space: 900 Megs Free
CD-ROM Drive: 4X Speed
Video: 128 MB Video Card w/ DirectX 9 support (pixel & vertex shaders)
Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card

(System requirements source: 2kGames)


There are some notable changes to the colony screen. You will still be able to drag colonists to and from buildings etc. The education feature has changed, you now drag the person you want to be taught to the learning facility and after a while he will attain the skill most commonly found within that colony. You do, however, get the chance to change the skill if you pay a little gold for it.

You no longer need founding fathers to be able to build factory level buildings, although some founding fathers speed up the production of these buildings (see new founding fathers).

New buildings:

Ranch - Allows the production of additional horses. The Ranch is a 2nd tier building, following Stable.

The custom house is gone in Civ IV: Col. This is a major change from the original version, and will require players to come up with new ways of dealing with tax increases vs. trade boycotts. The 3rd tier warehouse will automatically sell any surplus goods for 1/2 the price in Europe, but only if that goods is not boycotted.

Docks: Docks are no longer required to work ocean squares, but it adds an additional output of +2 food.

The original buildings can be found here.


One new colonists is the Rancher, who, surprise surprise... works at the ranch, producing horses.

Pioneers now spend gold and not tools when performing tasks. Land improvements now include farms (food, sugar, cotton, tobacco), mines (iron ore, silver) and lodges (fur and lumber).

Here are the colonists and units from the original Sid Meier's Colonization.


Diplomacy seems to be greatly improved, providing more options when dealing with foreign and native relations.

The king will ask you for gold, and failing to meet his demands will cause him to impose higher taxes or expand the expeditionary force.

Players can make defensive pacts and treaties, trade land and gold.

Difficulty Levels

There are seven difficulty levels:

Pilgrim (Easy)
Revolutionary (Hard)

Founding Fathers

There will be a total of 52 Founding Fathers in the categories Exploration, Religion, Trade, Military, and Politics. Each of them will join one, and only one, nation when that nation meets certain criteria. Confirmed Founding Fathers by category, each category alphabetically by first name:

Alexander von Humboldt | 50% faster production of College, University.
Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada | Reveals all tiles with burial grounds and ancient ruins.
Giovanni da Verrazzano | Provides 1 Caravel.
Jacques Marquette | +1 movement for scout.
John Smith | -50% cost of native land purchasing.
Juan Ponce de Leon | 2 times as likely to get treasure from ancient treasure.
Juan de Bermudez | +1 movement for Caravel, Merchantman, and Galleon.
Lewis and Clark | -50% pioneer equipment needed, +1 movement for wagon train.
Pedro Alvarez Cabral | 50% less travel time to Europe.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa | +25% defense in all settlements.

Bortolome de la Casas | +50% conversion rate from missions.
Gabrielle Lellemant | 50% faster production of Church, Cathedral.
Gregorio de Mattos e Guerra | +2 bells per Church, +3 bells per Cathedral.
John Harvard | Free Schoolhouse in every Settlement.
Juan de Sepulveda | Provides 2 converted natives.
Nathaniel Hawthorne | Provides 3 elder statesmen.
Roger Williams | +25% conversion rate from missions, strengthens relations with natives.
Sor Juana | +3 crosses per Church and Cathedral.
Thomas Hooker | Provides 3 Jesuit Missionaries.
William Brewster | -25% cost of native land purchasing.
William Penn | +3 crosses for every Town Hall. Strengthens relations with natives.

Adam Smith | 50% faster production of Textile Mill, Coats/Rum/Cigar Factories.
Alexander Hamilton | +3 hammers per Town Hall.
Cyrus McCormick | +1 wheat on plots with 2 wheat, +50% sugar per settlement.
Eli Whitney | +50% cotton production in all settlements.
Jan de Witt | -50% tools required for buildings.
John Jacob Astor | +50% fur in every settlement.
John Rolfe | +25% tobacco production in all settlements.
Lord Baltimore | Increases cross production by the tax rate.
Peter Minuit | -25% cost of recruiting units in Europe.

Chief Powhatan | +50% strength for converted natives.
Diego Velasquez de Cuellar | Provides 3 Indentured Servants.
Dom Pedro | +50% Great General emergence, Free promotion (Veteran 1, Minuteman 1).
Ethan Allen | Free promotion (Ranger 1, Mountaineer 1).
Francisco Pizarro | Free promotion (Looter).
Francisco de Coronado | +1 movement for Dragoon.
Hernan Cortez | Free Stockade in every settlement.
Hernando de Soto | Free promotion (grenadier 1).
John Paul Jones | Provides 1 Frigate.
Marquis de la Fayette | Increases gun production by the tax rate.
Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve | Free promotion (formation). +1 mov for converts.

Alexis de Tocqueville | +50% education, +3 bells per University.
Benjamin Franklin | +3 liberty bells per printing press, newspaper.
Betsy Ross | +3 cloth per weaver's house, weaver's shop, textile mill.
James Madison | +3 guns per armory, magazine, arsenal.
John Jay | +25% bells in every settlement.
John Winthrop | +1 cross per town hall.
Patrick Henry | +3 bells per town hall.
Pocahontas | Strengthens relations with the natives.
Samuel Adams | Increases liberty bells production by the tax rate.
Thomas Paine | Increases hammer production by tax rate.
Washington Irving | +1 bell per schoolhouse, +2 bells per college, +3 bells per university.

(Founding Fathers count: 52/52)

The Founding Fathers from the original can be found here.

Great Generals

Great Generals will be present in the game. They can be attached to a military unit, giving that unit (or more units) a boost in experience points. Some promotions are only available to units with a great general attached.



The four nations setting out for distant shores will be the same as in the original version, but this time the player can pick from a total of eight leaders:

National advantages:

English Colonies: Tolerant: -25% crosses needed for immigration.
French Colonies: Cooperative: Natives more tolerant to territory encroachment and 50% less time needed to learn native skills.
Dutch Colonies: Mercantile : Market prices are less sensitive. Starts with Merchantman.
Spanish Colonies: Conquistador: 25% conquest bonus when attacking natives.

England George Washington
-25% crosses needed for immigration.
-50% unit equipping cost.
  John Adams Tolerant
-25% crosses needed for immigration.
+25% liberty bells in all settlements.
France Samuel de Champlain

Natives more tolerant & -50% time to learn from natives.
+100% conversion rate from missions.
  Louis de Buade de Frontenac Cooperative
Natives more tolerant & -50% time to learn from natives.
Free promotion (Mounted units)
Netherlands Peter Stuyvesant
Market prices are less sensitive.
+25% prod. in all settlements.
  Adriaen van der Donck Mercantile
Market prices are less sensitive.
100% time between tax increase
Spain Simon Bolivar
+25% vs. natives.
+100% effect of liberty bells on rebel strength.
  Jose de San Martin Conquistador
+25% vs. natives.
50% XP needed for promotions.


There are 8 Amerindian nations:

Aztecs - Montezuma - Prosperous/Gracious
Iroquois - Logan - Indulgent/Mentor
Sioux - Sitting Bull - Impressionable/Mentor
Cherokee - Oconostata - Impressionable/Gracious
Inca - Huayna Capac - Prosperous/Mentor
Tupi - Cunhambebe - Prosperous/Indulgent
Apache - Mangas Coloradas - Impressionable/Indulgent
Arawaks - Agueybana - Impressionable/Gracious

Another new feature is that the natives may now ask for your assistance in wars against other tribes or rival nations. Assisting them will improve relations, declining their request will hurt relations and may even cause them to attack you as well.


Combat was one of the weaker areas in the original version, with a lot of bugs where you would some times win or lose ten times in a row. The new version brings in the great combat system found in Civ IV and improves further upon that. Bonuses for natives on their land is still present, as is the bonus colonial forces get when fighting the king's army.

Specific units gain bonuses when attacking other specific units, as in Civ IV.

Unit promotions are now implemented.

During the revolutionary war, it becomes imperative to make use of the native land to beat the royal expeditionary force. Fortifying inside your colonies won't work this time.

It will be possible to attack the king's forces while still at sea, although you should be prepared to lose lots of ships if you do.

New units: Cannon, Ship-of-the-line, Great General.


Continents: Random maps with two large continents, north and south.

Islands: Random maps with lots of smaller islands.

Original Americas: Just as in the original version, there will be a map of the Americas.

There will be borders in the new version of Colonization, a feature not present in the original version. In the 1994 version, you only had claim on used land surrounding your colonies and squares with fortified units. (Fortifying outside a rival colony would be claiming that land and thus an act of war)

Production of Liberty Bells (By colonists working at the Town Hall, in particular Elder Statesmen) will expand your borders. Borders may eventually come to surround native settlements, at which point the natives may offer their settlements as gifts and move to another location.


The goal is to declare independence from the motherland, and resisting the king's armies in the revolutionary war that follows.

As in the 1994 version, your rebel sentiment must be up to at least 50% before declaring independence.

Upon declaring independence, the player must answer a series of questions which their Constitution will be based on:

Where do you stand on slavery?
Separation of church and state?
Model after European monarchy or Representative Democracy?
What about Native rights?
Right to bear arms or not?

The choices you make will affect your colonies in the last part of the game. For example, if you are against slavery, you'll get an increased population of +2 in all settlements. If you are for it, you get a production bonus. Modeling your government after European monarchies will allow you to continue trade with Europe, but if you choose to form a representative democracy, more founding fathers will join you.

A new feature of the revolutionary war is that you will be able to attack the king's forces while still at sea. However, expect to lose 3-4 of your own ships for every ship you are able to sink. Ships are reported to be very expensive to obtain. If attacking at sea will prove to be a good strategy, as opposed to meeting the king's armies on land, remains to be seen.


There will be many multiplayer options for Civ IV: Colonization.

- LAN and online modes.
- Direct IP connection play.
- Hot-Seat Mode (Play each other on the same computer).
- Play by e-mail.

At quick game speed , a multiplayer game is reported to take about four hours of play.

Up to eight players can participate in a multiplayer game when two players jointly control one nation.


The ALT+s function from Civ IV will work in Civ IV: Colonization, allowing players to place a named sign on tiles. Neat for naming mountains, rivers and such.

Units can be given a custom name. (reported in the Fidgit Game Diaries)


This article is continually updated as details become available. If you feel we have missed something, send us a tip.


Firaxis Games, Gamespot, Gamespy, BigDownload, GamesRadar, Apolyton, Civfanatics, Worthplaying, also see these Civilization IV: Colonization Previews.