Home of the Civ V Unofficial Patch, G&K Enhanced, and Vanilla Enhanced Mod


If you’re wondering what this project is about, check out quill18‘s video below!
Or click here to watch the overview.

This page last updated April 28, 2012.

I recommend playing VEM on a standard size, normal speed, Continents-Plus map with default advanced-game options. Continents Plus comes with the Explorer’s Map Pack and is by far the best map to play Civ 5 on. I recommend dropping down a difficulty from what you’re used to on vanilla.

The settings below are also tested with VEM. Games with different settings might not be as balanced:

  • Continents or Pangaea (and their “Plus” versions)
  • Small or Standard maps on Normal speed.
  • Large maps on Epic speed.
  • Default advanced game options.

Important but non-obvious features in the list below are highlighted. Also please check out the Vanilla Bugs list in the Reporting Bugs post. In particular, the only way to detect combat is when the combat animation plays. Avoid things that hide combat animations, like quick combat and strategic view.


CiVUP – Civilization V Unofficial Patch

Click Here for a picture showing some features of CiVUP.

Civup focuses on fixing bugs, improving the interface, and expanding modding tools with minimal gameplay impact. It follows the tradition of unofficial patches like Civ 4 BTS Unaltered Gameplay and the Skyrim Unofficial Patch. Civup is a collaboration of work from 26 mod authors and an incredible community of forumgoers on CivFanatics.com (see credits).


  • Small promotion icons display over units to show what promotions they have.
  • Attila’s enhanced information on the top bar. Everything on the top bar is clickable.
  • Copasetic’s enhanced city banner information.
  • Whoward69’s Trade and Citystate tabs on the diplomacy screen.
  • CsebMod and Adam Watkins’ Hover Info display extra information on the terrain mouseover tooltip.
  • Improved citystate windows, showing information like exports and who’s protecting a citystate.
  • Sneaks’ improvements to the City View display.

Modding Support

  • Building tooltips automatically created by reading the game data files, removing the need to manually write each one by hand. This is extendible for building attributes added in mods.
  • Yields combined into a cohesive set of functions (including culture), with the capability to add, remove, and change most sources of yields in the game.
  • Production lists sorted by category, so things added in mods won’t always be at the bottom.
  • A lua message logger based on Java’s JUnit for easier debugging.
  • Lua events to check players, units, cities or plots at the start or end of each turn. This loops through each 1 time to improve efficiency, removing the need for multiple loops in multiple files.
  • Lua events detecting when policies are acquired, buildings constructed or destroyed, and other important events.
  • Save & load functions for players, units, and cities.
  • Alpaca’s DiploCorner and CustomMission addins.
  • Other miscellaneous modding tools.


VEM – Vanilla Enhanced Mod

Very close to vanilla while providing more challenging gameplay decisions, where everything has a useful and interesting purpose. Most balance adjustments in Firaxis patches originated here.


  • Opportunities happen throughout history to enhance or reform your empire.
  • Better strategic resource placement and unit usage.
  • More challenging combat with rewards for combined-arms forces.
  • Ships are more important.
  • Harder and more rewarding barbarian attacks.
  • Balanced the various wonders, specialists, buildings, and units.
  • AIs spend gold more intelligently and compete for citystates.
  • AIs conduct diplomacy and war more intelligently.
  • AIs start with fewer early economic bonuses, and get stronger in the late game.


  • A.I. leaders have more distinct personalities.
  • Capturing city-states gives an instant bonus equal to 50 turns of alliance.
  • Citystates provide a finite supply of food/culture split among the empire’s cities, instead of an unlimited amount.
  • Automatic difficulty adjustment built into Open Borders and Research Agreements.


  • Each policy tree has multiple paths for different circumstances, instead of a “best path.”
  • Commerce and Autocracy trees are much more valuable.
  • 6 policy trees required for Utopia, and policy costs lowered slightly to compensate. Everyone can get a few more policies.
  • Combat with the Honor tree is more challenging, but more economically rewarding.


  • Coastal cities are more valuable.
  • Villages (trading posts) are more useful, especially with the Sailing tech.
  • Natural wonders are more useful and placed more intelligently.
  • Rivers yield gold only when improved.
  • Units move slower in Desert and Snow. Several promotions offset this.
  • Technological buffs to improvements are more spread out.
  • Some citystates appear on mainland on the Continents Plus and Pangaea Plus maps.

11 responses

  1. Ebrahim

    i cant see the mod in the mods list .. i cant see any mods .. i saw on youtube .. i have to have the folder of the mod .. where is it ??

    May 1, 2012 at 1:46 am

    • You can install the mod by opening the ingame Civ mod browser (main menu -> mods -> browse -> online). Search for “vanilla enhanced”, download it, and click the install button as shown in the youtube video.

      If you still have any questions, post on the forum and someone will assist you:

      May 1, 2012 at 5:35 am

  2. Tyfighter77

    Hi, I was reading in a thread (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=421342&page=5) that back in January there was a plan for someone’s random events mod to be included in the next VEM release, but reading the features here I can’t tell if that ended up happening. Can you comment on the status of that? Thanks!

    May 19, 2012 at 10:27 am

    • That is this feature:

      “Opportunities happen throughout history to enhance or reform your empire.”

      May 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm

  3. Chip

    Big fan of the mod; definitely makes the game more challenging and reflexive. Kind of boring to play pure vanilla now. I also like the random events.

    What’s the plan after Gods and Kings releases?

    June 13, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    • I’m working on civup compatibility with the expansion right now, and should have a beta versions available when G&K releases. Vem compatibility will come later.

      June 14, 2012 at 5:55 am

  4. Hello thalassicus,

    When do you think, we could look forward to a VEM compatible with G&K? 🙂

    July 20, 2012 at 11:10 am

    • I’m working on G&K compatibility in stages. The beta test of the first two stages (terrain+research) can be found here:

      July 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm

  5. Tweedie

    I played this mod several times and I love it good job.
    I do have two little issues though.

    First – the game starts to lag considerably around turn 50 or so (and takes forever to load it to begin with. Its especially noticeable when I enter city view or once the map has been revealed and I have a few cities and units running around. Once I am around turn 100+ it lags so bad I cant play anymore. This is on a duel map with one opponent and two city states.
    Without this mod I can play huge map (all maxed options and all) without any problems. is there something I am doing wrong? The video options remain the same and my computer is more than enough to run without the mod, but something with this mods just makes it lag badly.

    *note- I don’t have internet on my computer so the debugging and other internet stuff in the mod cant help.

    Which brings me to my second problem, well not a problem per say but more like a idea. I like some aspects of this mod but not others (like having to right click the choose tech button, which I left click every time and bring up the tech tree lol) is there a way enable some of the things? I did see the options file but it doesn’t let me choose what I want. Can I tear the mod apart and install just certain pieces? or is the whole thing dependent on everything else?

    Thank you in advance.

    July 25, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    • Tweedie

      Oh I forgot to mention I use G&K. Did I post this in the right place? lol sorry in advance

      July 25, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    • Click here for the thread about the lag problem. Post any requests you have for things to add to the Options file in the main forum. 🙂

      July 27, 2012 at 8:22 pm

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