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Components of Score

There are four components to your score in Civ: population, land, technology, and wonders. Combined, in ways explored here, score can be a vital goal in multiplayer. At other times, however, score has little to do with how you, or your team, are fairing in any given match. Given the right evidences, score can clue you in about what your opponents might be doing or how they are approaching their match strategy.

The “scoreboard” is a quick and easy glance while you’re in a match, but is not always a good measuring stick regarding how you or your team might be doing overall. In multiplayer, it is key to fine-tune the way you read score, and apply your knowledge to where your score, and your opponents’ scores, are at any given point of the game. In the final analysis, score contains the components that ultimately make you successful in Civ, but knowing when score is important can be key to meeting any match’s victory conditions, circumstances, or long-term score goals. Knowing how to best balance score’s components, how and when to grow your score, knowing how to read other scores, and tailoring your game goals, both short- and long-term, to your score, and its components by extension, are perhaps the best combination of tasks to consider when using score to your advantage in multi-player.

When Score Is Important
Having the top score is central in any multiplayer match where the time victory is enabled and no other victory type is likely to be achieved. Usually, this occurs in matches where there is a turn limit and military efforts in the match have been stymied or stalemated. For example, score is often a key component to certain situations in OCC, CTON, and team events.

When Score Is Not Important
Broadly, your score is not important if you are not working to short-term and long-term game goals, or if Time Victory is not the likely victory to be achieved by any player or team in the match. It’s not important if, in an attempt to maximize your score, you overcompensate your way out of reasonable competition. It’s possible to farm your way out of production, to over-expand your way into economy issues, to overemphasize your tech into having “old” military units, and to “wonder” your way into poor defenses. It’s possible to have the highest score in the match and be wiped off the map by an opponent, just as it is feasible to launch your ship to Alpha or score a cultural victory before players with higher scores than you have.

Components of Score

To find the numerical components to your during-game score, simply mouse over your screen name in the scoreboard. The pop-up will show you your share of population, land, tech, and wonder components, as well as a reiteration of your total score. This pop-up is not available for your opponents. Your score, along with any teammates, or opponents for whom you have enough espionage points, will have their score graphed along with yours in the Demographics screen. Also present in the pop-up is a weighted calculation of your score if winning the match “this turn.” This factors in the kind of victory and the year in which it is achieved. Other than the Hall of Fame listing, I can find no other references to this weighted score and is often disregarded when following a match.


(Total Population)*(Map Size Pop Variable)

Your city population is grown by “working” food in the city screen until the next population threshold is met, at which point your city grows to the next population. Greater population is beneficial in that for each population, you may work population+1 tiles in your fatcross (limit pop 20). Theoretically, more worked tiles offer more production, gold, and growth, but this depends on the quality of the tiles in your fatcross, improvements you have made with your workers, and your overall expenses. In the case of gold-producing tiles, like cottages and certain mines, the quality also depends on how much you have worked them thus far.

Population points are provided by the totaled population in all of your cities in addition to a multiplier variable. The population multiplier differs according to the size of the map you are playing, but can be found by summing the population of each of your cities and dividing by your component population score. Population, as a component of score, seems to be one of the easier and more effective short-term ways to grow your score because of its weight in the score calculation.

Land (Cultural Borders)

(20-Turn Land Tiles)*( Map Size Land Variable)

Your land score is calculated similarly to population, but has a 20-turn threshold taken into account. To find your land score, divide your land score by the count of all of the land tiles in your cultural boundaries held for 20 turns or more (quick game speed). Water tiles that may be in your culture do not count.

Also similar to population, a city’s culture accumulates and grows each turn until the next threshold is met, at which point, your city’s cultural borders expand. Culture is increased with culture-producing buildings, “running” culture as production, certain uses of a Great Artist, and the CRE trait. To find the culture level, culture per turn, and next threshold for expansion, mouse over the city name and review the pop-up. To find the number of turns needed for that city’s culture to expand at the current culture rate, simply divide the difference between the culture threshold and the culture level, and then divide by the culture per turn.


5+((Technology Era)*6)

Technology points are a bit impractical to determine on the fly, but some simple math can help you make decisions regarding your score, especially if just a few turns remain in the match. The first the two technologies that are associated with your civ at turn 0 are worth 5 points. After that, all techs that you complete researching from the ancient tech path are worth 6 points each. Then, each era afterward adds six points to the previous era’s tech points awarded; classical 12, medieval 18, renaissance 24, industrial 30, modern 36, and future 42.

In a team setting, each member of the team receives points a given technology, for instance, if in a 5v5 match, you research an ancient tech with your team, you will receive six points in your score, and your team will receive an overall point gain of 5×6=30 points. Likewise, if in a 5v5, your team has all starting six techs, each player gets (5) + (5×6) = 35 points for technology.


Total Wonders*16

Wonders, as a component of score, are the easiest to figure. Simply count the number of wonders you have built and multiply it by the wonder variable.

Applying Score and Demographics to Your Opponents’ Scores

Turning what you can see about an opponent’s score and demographics into “useful” information for your strategy can be done in a myriad of ways, some with more conjecture involved than others. I will try to cover a few basics so you can make your own leaps of faith in this regard. :p

All of the different ways to have a view into your opponents’ components of score seem purposefully vague, presumably so not to give too much advantageous information away. Used together, however, knowing what to look for in your opponents can help clue you in to what your opponents’ strategies might be and what he or she might have in store for you.

Of the six demographics graphs (Score, GNP, Manufacturing Goods, Crop Yield, Power, Culture, and Espionage), trends and sudden spikes or dips in the line may be most telling as it relates to score. Military aside, GNP is often a relatively solid indicator of the overall health of an opponent, as it is a measure of a civ’s (plus or minus) commerce, research, culture, and expenses. Crop yield tends to be a good indicator of an opponent’s potential for short-term population growth and/or slaving unit potential.

The culture graph shows a civ’s overall culture production, but applying a few things you know about culture in respect to score, you may be able to infer a few key pieces of information. Knowing that wonders represent a small percentage of one’s score in relation to the other three, you may combine what you know about an opponent’s culture with the benefits of the wonders which have been produced to ascertain a better understanding of strategy. On the other hand, culture doesn’t have to be derived from wonders, and can instead be compared with the land scores to determine the relative size (expanded breadth) of a civ. Combined with power, this may clue you in to an opponent’s ability to appropriately defend his or her whole civ. This is especially effective in multi games with a city elimination setting. Of course, this kind of guessing can get you into a lot of trouble, but does add a slight level of “improved guessing” to your decisions.

If you happen to be looking at the scoreboard while an opponent is slaving or drafting for hurried production, you will see his or her score be reduced as the population component is diminished. What’s he working on over there? I know of no better way to tell from score or demographics what might be coming on over than to maintain a nice mix of spies and sentry units to answer that question.

Score: It’s a Give and Take
Sometimes, the best way to better your score in relation is to ding your opponents’. In the same way that you improve your score, you can whack your opponents’ in opposite fashion. For instance, finishing a key wonder before your opponent, gives you wonder points, the benefits of the wonder, usually great people, or possibly technology of choice, population, or improved benefit or efficiencies of other buildings. But, in the context of score, importantly, it keeps your opponent from those benefits. Likewise, being the first to tech certain technologies, like liberalism, physics, music, monotheism, etc, gives the first player rewards, like religion, technologies of choice, or great people. You get the benefits and keep your opponent from them. It you take a city from your opponent, he loses the population and land score (culture) associated with that city. You gain some gold from taking or razing a city, but really, you are denying your opponent from these apportionments to his score and to normally make room to plant up the land with your own cities.

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  1. Mike
    March 16, 2010 at 19:16

    The score was designed with 10000 being the “every wonder, every land tile, every tech, and 2/3 pop for every land tile” score. For each individual component of score, the game rounds down.

    The multipliers for Population and Land vary from game to game.
    For Land, each land tile is worth 2000/(Land Tiles On The Map).
    For Population, each pop point is worth 5000/(Land Tiles on the Map *2/3). So, each pop point is worth as much as 3.75 land tiles (plus or minus rounding artifacts).

    For technology, the first tech is worth 5 points, all other techs are as you mentioned: It’s because the formula is 2000/334*Era of tech, or 5.99*Era of tech, and the game rounds down. (For Era, it’s 1 if ancient, 2 if classical, etc. through 7 for Future). Until you get ~100 tech points (Late Ren?), where the score will increase by one point less than the simple 6*Era rule would imply.

    For wonders, it’s both world and national wonders, and each one is worth 16.15 points (1000/# of wonders in the game). (the palace counts! For ancient games, that’s why scores jump from 11 –> 27-30+ on T0, depending on the value of the pop point. If someone’s score doesn’t increase on T0, then they’ve moved their settler). It’s counting 62 wonders total.

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