[Top 7] Civ 5 Best Science Civs

Top 7, best civs for a science victory, Civilization V
Which Civs will help you win a Science victory?

Do you want to win a science victory in Civ V? 

Science is the most important variable in any Civ game. Being ahead in the tech tree gets you better units, access to buildings, wonders, and extra trades routes. Getting these advantages before your opponents is essential for any victory type not just a science victory. Technology is the main form of progress in Civ V, governing what you can build and do. So, if you’re having trouble generating those precious beakers, check out these top seven science civs in Civilization V.

7. The Aztecs

The Aztecs are very efficient at wiping out local barbarians. 

Don’t be fooled by their intimidating leader. The Aztecs are good for more than just slaughtering and pillaging, although they are very good at that as well. With the right start, the Aztecs are more than capable of staying ahead in the tech tree thanks to their floating gardens.

Why the Aztecs are Great for Science.

  • The Aztec’s unique building is a cheaper and more effective version of the water mill.
  • The floating garden boosts a cities food by 15% and grants an extra two food for lake tiles.
  • With the right start, this adds up to a lot of food for your cities. More food equals higher population, higher population equals more science output from your libraries
  • Montezuma’s unique leader ability grants culture per enemy unit you kill, which helps you fill out social policy trees faster. In the renaissance era you can get more tech this way by filling out rationalism. 

6. China

China's Cho-Ko-Nu are perfect for both agressive and defensive playstyles. 

China are a great civ for getting an early lead in the tech tree and keeping it throughout the whole game. Their unique library gives you money as well as science, making you rich in both gold and knowledge. Another strong military civ, China’s unique unit is strong enough to stand a chance of wiping out technologically advanced AIs. So, at least if you aren’t in the lead you can kill whoever is.

Why China is Great for Science

  • China’s replacement for the library, the paper maker, gives you two gold per turn as well as the usual science bonuses.
  • Unlike regular libraries, that cost one gold per turn, there is no downside to building paper makers in all your cities as quickly as you can..
  • Once you have one in each city, you can build your national college and receive a substantial science boost for the classical and medieval era.
  • China also get the fearsome Chu-Ko-Nu, a crossbowman capable of firing twice per turn. With these units you can easily collapse city defences and wipe out any AIs who are threatening to eclipse you in science.


Siam's unique unit the Naresuan's Elephant.

Lets get away from warmongers for a second. Siam are great civ for getting technology through diplomacy. This civ reaps double the benefits from allied city states, so the more friends you make the stronger your civilization will be.

Why Siam are Great for Science.

  • Ramkhamhaeng’s unique leader ability grants a 50% bonus to all food, culture and faith from allied city states.
  • This extra food will help increase your population faster and get more science from your libraries.  
  • Patronage is a great choice for this civ, as the scholasticism policy grants 25% of a city state’s science output on top of the above bonus.
  • Siam’s unique building is a university that gives you +3 culture. This extra culture is great for filling out rationalism later in the game, and it encourages you to build your universities faster.

4.The Maya

The Mayan apocalypse bears down upon the city of Moscow

Another Mesoamerican civ that can stay eras ahead of the other factions. The Mayans get a science boost from their unique shrines and collect free great people throughout the game. These bonuses make this civ capable of snowballing ahead of the AI technologically.

Why the Mayan’s are Great for Science

  • The Mayan pyramid is a shrine that confers +2 science as well as the usual +2 faith. This encourages a player to set up a religion faster.
  • Once you pick a religion, choosing bonuses that offer extra food or science will maximise your beaker output.
  • Pacal’s unique ability gives you a free great person of your choice every 394 years, upon discovering theology.
  • Because of the way turns work, you can make the most of this bonus by rushing theology as early as possible. This will grant three to four great people at reasonably short intervals throughout the medieval era.
  • You can only pick each great person once, but picking a great scientist first can get you an academy or a free technology.

3. The Inca

Terrace farms can turn unusable terrain into a bountiful paradise. 

If you don’t pick a civ with a direct science bonus, choose a civ that gives you extra food. As I said earlier, food is directly related to science as your libraries give you more beakers for every two citizens born in a city. The Incans have special farms that can be built on hills, meaning you’ll have an abundance of food and production.

Why the Incans are Great for Science

  • Their unique terraced farms can be built on hills, with bonus food for adjacent mountains.
  • The surplus food and production provided by this improvement, helps you build libraries faster and to get more science out of them. Once you have a library in each city you can rush your national college.
  • The Incan’s mountain start bias is ideal for building observatories, these buildings increase a city’s beaker output by fifty percent.
  • You can further boost your technological lead by using your excess production to build science wonders, like the porcelain tower or the great library.

2. Korea

Korea's science boost incentivises building great tile improvments. 

Korea are the most science orientated civ in the game. Their unique leader ability is game breaking, ensuring you’ll always be ahead of the AI in tech. Play this civ right and you are certain to dominate your opponents with your advanced technology.

Why Korea is Great for Science

  • Sejong’s unique leader ability grants you +2 science for every specialist and great tile improvement.
  • Most other civs get this bonus in the renaissance era with rationalism. Korea get it at the beginning of the game, with the possibility of stacking it with rationalism later on.
  • Korea also get a science boost, equal to that of a research agreement, whenever they build a science building in their capital.
  • In the early game this can allow them to speed ahead of the other factions. If you rush your national college at the beginning of the game, few AIs will be able to catch up to you except maybe…


Thanks to its bowmen and walls, Babylon is a very difficult city to capture in the ancient era. 

Choosing between Babylon and Korea was tough. Personally, I think Babylon is the best science civ because they get extra great scientists as their bonus. If used correctly, these great scientists will rocket you towards your first rocket, ensuring even immortal and deity AIs will struggle to catch up with you.

Why Babylon is Great for Science

  • Nebuchadnezzar II gets a free great scientist upon discovering writing and earns subsequent great scientists 50% faster.
  • A great scientist this early in the game is incredibly useful for getting a head start in the tech tree. Building an academy, for instance, can triple your early beaker output.
  • This bonus stacks with the rationalism policy that gives you twenty five percent more great scientists. This allows Babylon to build numerous academies and speed up vital techs with their abundance of great scientists.

Science is essential for any victory type. It gets you: the necessary buildings and wonders, for a culture victory; better troops for a domination victory and, of course, it gets you all the rocket parts you need for a science victory. All the civilizations in this list are great at generating extra beakers. So, if your struggling to stay ahead in the tech tree, give one of them a try and see if you can win your first space race.

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