[Top 10] Civ 5 Best Science Civ

Win the space race with these 10 civs!

Which Civs are the best scientific civs for winning the space race?

Want to go for a Scientific Victory but not sure which civilization to pick? Below are the top ten civilizations to use for a Scientific Victory. Each scientific civilization has a different set of strengths and weaknesses, calling for different strategies to win the space race.

10. Rome

Augustus Caesar’s Diplomacy Screen

Harness Augustus Caesar’s powerful production abilities to achieve a Scientific Victory! Focus on expanding your empire through early conquest and build as many scientific buildings and wonders as possible while taking advantage of Caesar’s unique leader trait.

What Makes Rome Scientific:

  • Caesar’s unique trait allows Rome to gain a +25% production bonus toward any buildings that already exist in the capital. Use this trait to build scientific buildings at a faster rate throughout the Roman Empire.
  • Rome’s powerful unique units, the Legion and the Ballista, allows them to conquer any scientifically advanced civilization early on in the game.
  • To achieve a Scientific Victory as Rome, focus on building a very industrious capital, prioritizing scientific buildings and wonders. This will allow the rest of the empire to build scientific buildings more quickly. Also, use their unique units for early-game conquest so that the Romans have more cities than rivaling civs to generate scientific output.

9. The Aztecs

Emperor Montezuma I's Diplomacy Screen

Repurpose the war-mongering, cultural, and agricultural advantages of Emperor Montezuma I into tools that will earn you a Scientific Victory! Early-game aggression will allow you to expand the empire as much as possible for maximum population growth and scientific output.

What Makes The Aztecs Scientific:

  • Montezuma I’s unique leader trait allows The Aztecs to gain culture each time they kill an enemy unit, including Barbarians, in battle. Their unique unit, the Jaguar, which replaces the warrior, is useful for this purpose. The extra culture can be used to beeline through the social policy trees for policies that provide scientific bonuses.
  • The Floating Gardens, which provides more food than the Water Mill it replaces, increases a city’s population at a faster rate which will result in increased science output from libraries and increase the amount of scientist specialists that can be supported.
  • To achieve a Scientific Victory as The Aztecs, engage in early-game warfare to gain as much culture as possible from Barbarians and rival civs alike. Also, take this time to eliminate some of the competition. Build Floating Gardens and other buildings and improvements that will support a large population to turn into specialists which can generate Great Scientists for free technologies or Academies.

8. Poland

Casimir III's Diplomacy Screen

Choose your social policies carefully as Casimir III, King of Poland, and lead Poland to a Scientific Victory! Achieving a Scientific Victory with the Polish involves using Casimir III’s unique trait and the bonuses provided by their unique building to your advantage. 

What Makes Poland Scientific:

  • Casimir III’s unique trait allows Poland to receive a free social policy each time they advance to the next technological era.
  • The Polish unique building, the Ducal Stable, provides +1 Production and +1 Gold to each pasture worked by the city. In addition, Poland’s unique mounted unit, the Winged Hussar, which is a beefed up version of the lancer unit, can be used to wipe out other scientifically advanced competitors during the middle of the game.
  • To achieve a Scientific Victory as Poland, use Casimir III’s unique trait to help you beeline through the Rationalism Social Policy Tree. The Ducal Stable can be used to help increase the production and gold needed to build or buy scientific buildings such as libraries as quickly as possible. The Winged Hussar, when built in cities that have a Ducal Stable, may be used to reduce the power of your scientific rivals. The Polish scientific strategy can be backed up with a secondary focus on culture for rushing through the social policy trees as well as building scientific Wonders.

7. Greece

Alexander's Diplomacy Screen

Utilize Alexander the Great’s mastery over diplomacy to your advantage to achieve a Scientific Victory! Leverage the gifts from your relationships with friendly city-states to directly and indirectly contribute to a Scientific Victory.

What Makes Greece Scientific:

  • Alexander's unique trait causes Greek city-state influence to degrade at half rate and recover at twice the normal rate. Bonuses from city-states can directly or indirectly contribute to a civ’s scientific output.
  • Their two unique early-game units, the Hoplite and the Companion Cavalry, can be used to wipe out other scientifically advanced civilizations early on.
  • To achieve a Scientific Victory as Greece, focus on building friendly relations with city-states. Beeline through the Patronage social policy tree which will allow you to acquire more bonuses, science, and Great People from all friendly city-states. Use non-science contributions from friendly city-states to indirectly support a Scientific Victory, such as using food bonuses to support more scientist specialists in your cities.

6. China

Wu Zetian's Diplomacy Screen

Wu Zetian, Empress Regnant of China, is a good choice for a versatile approach to a Scientific Victory. Alongside building Paper Makers throughout the empire, incorporate military strategy and commerce into your approach.

What Makes China Scientific:

  • China’s unique building, the Paper Maker, which replaces the library, provides +2 Gold in addition to the library’s +2 Science and costs no maintenance.
  • The Chinese unique unit, the Chu-Ko-Nu, which replaces the crossbowman, can attack twice in a single turn and thus can be used to squash rivaling scientific civilizations. Their leader’s unique trait also causes a 50% increase in the spawn rate of Great Generals who also gain a 15% combat bonus.
  • To achieve a Scientific Victory as China, conquer (or settle) a fairly large empire, and build as many Paper Makers as possible. Also, build the National College and other scientific Wonders. Since Paper Makers cost no maintenance and provide income to your treasury, you can use this additional gold to buy other scientific buildings or take care of other parts of running an empire so that your cities can focus on maximizing scientific output through specialists and constructing scientific buildings.

5. Siam

Ramkhamhaeng's Diplomacy Screen

Master the technological tree with a multi-pronged yet peaceful strategy as Ramkhamhaeng, King of Siam! Focus on building friendly relationships with city-states around the world and they shall reward you with bonuses that can be used to acquire a Scientific Victory.

What Makes Siam Scientific:

  • Their unique leader trait provides a 50% increase in the amount of food, culture, and faith obtained from friendly city-states.These increases can indirectly be used to support more scientist specialists and help unlock scientific social policies and religious beliefs.
  • The Wat, Siam’s unique building, provides +3 Culture in addition to a university’s provision of +2 Science from Jungle tiles and a 33% scientific output boost to the city. Building Wats throughout Siam’s cities will help them acquire more social policies.
  • To achieve a Scientific Victory as Siam, focus on cultivating friendly relations with city-states. Food bonuses can be used to support a higher population, which increases the scientific output of scientific buildings and allows the support of more scientist specialists. Cultural bonuses can be used to unlock more social policies faster. In particular, the Patronage and Rationalism set of social policies should be unlocked as quickly as possible. Faith bonuses can be used to support a religion with scientific beliefs such as Monument to the Gods, Interfaith Dialogue, and Jesuit Education.

4. The Maya

Pacal's Diplomacy Screen

Take a two-pronged approach to a Scientific Victory as Pacal, King of the Mayans! The Mayans’ unique leader trait and unique building makes them perfect for achieving a Scientific Victory with the aid of their religious beliefs.

What Makes The Maya Scientific:

  • Due to Pacal’s unique leader trait, the Mayans can acquire a free Great Scientist (as well as other free Great People) after the discovery of Theology.
  • The Mayan’s unique building, the Pyramid, which replaces the Shrine, provides +2 Science in addition to the shrine’s +2 Faith to the city in which it is built.
  • To achieve a Scientific Victory as The Mayans, build a fairly large empire early on in the game with as many Pyramids, Libraries, and other scientific buildings as possible. Since the Pyramids provide Faith, incorporate religion into your strategy and select beliefs that increase a civ’s scientific output such as Monument to the Gods, Interfaith Dialogue, and Jesuit Education. Use all Great Scientists to obtain free techs or build Academies.

3. Assyria

Ashubanipal's Diplomacy Screen

Steal technologies from your rivals as Ashubanipal, King of Assyria! Their leader’s unique trait, unique unit, and unique building all combine to encourage kicking off the path to your Scientific Victory through early game conquest. 

What Makes Assyria Scientific:

  • Ashurbanipal’s unique leader trait allows them to gain a free technology already discovered by the enemy civ each time they capture an enemy city.
  • Their unique unit, the Siege Tower, gives nearby Assyrian units an attack bonus when attacking an enemy city, allowing for rapid early game expansion and acquisition of free tech from nearby more advanced civilizations. This may make Assyria a better choice at the higher difficulty levels due to the AI’s bonuses and rapid acquisition of technology.
  • The Royal Library, which replaces the regular library building, not only grants the library’s +1 Science per every 2 citizens, but also has a Great Work of Writing slot. When this slot is filled, the Royal Library grants units built in the city extra experience points, making Assyria’s armies stronger for scientific advancement through conquest.
  • To achieve a Scientific Victory as Assyria, focus on conquering scientifically advanced civilizations from the outset of the game. Build Royal Libraries and other scientific buildings throughout your large empire. This solid scientific foundation can be aided by building scientific wonders and/or supporting scientist specialists.

2. Korea

Background Image from Sejong the Great's Diplomacy Screen

Cultivate the many talents of your Korean specialists and soar through the technology tree as Sejong the Great, King of the Choson Dynasty of Korea! Sejong the Great’s unique leader traits promote the use of specialists to obtain a Scientific Victory.

What Makes Korea Scientific:

  • Receives +2 Science for all specialists and Great Person tile improvements.
  • Receives a tech boost each time a scientific building or Wonder is built in the capital.
  • To achieve a Scientific Victory as Korea, focus on your cities’ growth to maximize the number of specialists your cities can support so that you can obtain as many science beakers as possible from those specialists. Build scientific buildings in all of your cities and try to nab as many scientific wonders as possible in your capital.

1. Babylon

Nebuchadnezzar II's Diplomacy Screen

Race through the technology tree with the aid of your numerous Great Scientists as Nebuchadnezzar II, King of Babylon! Babylon’s unique traits make them a great choice for a straightforward Scientific Victory via focusing on the production of Great Scientists. 

What Makes Babylon Scientific:

  • Babylon receives a free Great Scientist when they discover Writing.
  • They earn Great Scientists 50% faster than other civs.
  • To achieve a Scientific Victory as Babylon, focus on the production of Great Scientists and use them to obtain free technology and build Academy improvements.

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