Resources are special commodities found in limited quantities on the map. When a resource is "worked" (or accessed), it provides a bonus for your empire; this is accomplished either through constructing a specific improvement with a Worker (on land) or expending a Work Boat (for sea tiles). Bonuses vary from increased yield (production, food, etc.) to a number of units of Iron, Uranium, Gold or some other strategic or luxury resources necessary for producing specific units and buildings, and for providing more happiness to your citizens.
Resources are extremely important in the game, and the main reason for expansion and territorial wars. Plan your early expansion carefully to take control of as many resources as you can!
Civilization V contains three kinds of resources: bonus resources, strategic resources and luxury resources. This article explains their differences and lists the resources of each category.
Of the three types of resources, bonus resources are the most common, providing only tile yield benefits. Strategic and luxury resources' effects, on the other hand, are much more far-reaching, and are sufficiently precious to be traded across empires (besides having tile yield benefits). For this purpose, all of them are counted in units across your empire (regardless of their source location). To gain strategic access to, and add the count of a particular strategic or luxury resource to your trade network, you need not only to have it in your territory, but also to construct a particular improvement on it. You don't need to work its tile to have access to its strategic and trading benefits! You do, however, need to work it to access its tile benefits.
Finally, strategic resources' use depends highly on technological development. While the use of resources like Spices and Wine is apparent from the dawn of ages, this is not true for the use of Uranium, for example. Because of that, Strategic resources don't even appear on the map before you research the necessary technology to make use of them! These technologies are widely spread across the eras, starting in the Ancient Era with Animal Husbandry (which reveals the use of Horses), and ending in the Atomic Era with Atomic Theory (which reveals the use of Uranium). This gradual discovery of more and more useful resources makes for a dynamic game and may force you to expand/conquer locations you never thought would be useful before.
Settling a city on top of a luxury or strategic resource tile gives the strategic benefits as soon as you have the appropriate technology for improving it. It also gives additional production, food and gold it usually provides right to your city tile, meaning that you'll always be using these benefits (since the city tile is always worked). You won't be able to use the potential benefits of Improvements built on the resource, but you WILL be able to build the bonus city buildings related to the resource and their bonus will apply (e.g. you can build a Stone Works if you settle near a Stone resource, and it will give your city tile an additional Production for resources you can access with a Quarry).
City-States allied to you give your empire free units of the resources they have. Note that these units are added to your pool for internal use, but are not available for trade with other civilizations!
These resources are the most widespread resources on the map. They aren't special in any strategic sense, and are thus not shared across your empire and neither can they be traded. However, they provide substantial additional output for the tile they are on when worked, especially when improved. Since their benefit lies only in their tile output bonus, it only makes sense to use a bonus resource by having a city sufficiently close to it (within three tiles), which can then work its tile. Also, several special buildings can be constructed in the controlling city to further increase bonus resources yields.
|Bonus resources||Output bonus|
These are the buildings which increase bonus resources' output:
- Granary - +1 Food per Wheat, Bananas and Deer resource
- Lighthouse - +1 Food per Fish resource (stacks with the general +1 Food to all ocean tiles nearby; additional +1 Production to all Sea Resources in Brave New World)
- Stone Works - +1 Production per Marble and Stone resource
- Stable - +1 Production per Horses, Sheep and Cattle resource
Strategic resources are those that are of economic and military importance for your empire. Certain military units and buildings require a strategic resource before they can be built. For example, a Horseman requires 1 Horses resource, while a Factory requires 1 Coal resource.
If these objects are removed from a civilization's control - whether by losing a unit in battle, gifting it to a City-State, or by any other means - the strategic resource consumed by the object is released for future use. Strategic resources never actually leave play.
If a civilization loses access to some of the strategic resources they are currently using, and find themselves using more than they're producing or trading, then military units depending upon the resource in question will fight with a large combat penalty until the situation is remedied.
Each improved strategic resource tile provides a certain quantity (varying from one resource to the other, and also from one source to the other) of that resource to the empire that controls it, regardless of whether it is worked by a city or not. Note that they also provide output bonuses, which are useful only if the tile IS worked. Unused strategic resources may be traded to other empires.
|Strategic resources||Output bonus|
Luxury resources are fancy goods that everyone values highly, but your wealthier citizens especially relish (and often clamour for). They are the most diverse of all resources, and are used in all sorts of human activities - cooking, weaving, and in many other crafts. Their practical effect is to provide additional Happiness - on a Standard map, +4 per each type of resource of which your empire has at least one count. Unlike strategic resources, each improved luxury resource tile provides only one count of it. If an empire possesses more than one count of the same luxury resource, the happiness effect is the same as possessing only one, so you should use the extra counts to trade with other empires.
Again, you don't need to work an improved luxury resource tile in order to gain the resource, but you DO need to work it to gain its output bonuses. Unlike other resources, Luxury resources add Gold yield to tiles, which makes them even more important strategically, allowing you to gain Gold directly from terrain (and not having to trade for it). Note that luxury resources may be traded to other empires, if they're produced by YOU. However, in the event that you've gained them via trading or from a City-State, you can't trade them away.
|Luxury resources||Output bonus|
Some buildings also increase the bonuses of luxury resources:
- Harbor (vanilla and Gods & Kings): +1 Production to all Sea Resources (This bonus is transferred to the Lighthouse in Brave New World.)
- Mint: +2 Gold per Gold and Silver resource
- Monastery: +1 Culture per Incense and Wine resource (additional +1 Faith in Gods & Kings; can only be built via a particular Religious Belief)
- Seaport: +1 Production and Gold to all Sea Resources
|Civilization V |
|Gods & Kings • Brave New World|