10/24/2014: 10 Leader Guides are undone, but the rest of the guide is 95%+ complete. I will work on this eventually but have my hands full playing Civilization: Beyond Earth and writing for The Sims 4. There is a possibiliy I will try to cover at least some of the gameplay elements from Beyond Earth, but can't make any promises. If you'd like to say thanks, you can use the donate button or use EA Origin, Gamestop, or Walmart to make a game purchase.

Civilization 5 Resources

Bonus Food, Strategic, and Luxury Resources List

The Civ 5 Resource Icons - Luxury and Strategic

These three types of Resources all require a building, constructed by a Worker, to enable the bonuses they provide. The listed Yields are in addition to the regular bonuses of that tile. Players should note that roads don't increase gold in Civ 5, aside from connecting cities to the Trade network. You do not need to connect any of these by road to give the bonuses to your empire. The requirement is that the tiles be worked by a city.

Your starting resources will greatly influence the first technologies you'll research. If there are multiple food tiles nearby, get out a worker and research the required technology fast to improve them.

Note that farms and Mines will always give their bonus in addition to anything they unlock. For Wheat, this just means an additional food. For Gems, Gold, Silver, Uranium, and Iron, it means +1 extra production.

Tech for Gathering Resources:
You'll note that some of these technologies are very versatile and can unlock a wide variety of resources for you. Get a view of the surrounding land and look to unlocking tile improvements for resources you have in abundance.

  • Farm:
    +1 Food. You'll usually start with the required technology for this. Farms are important on every river tile you come across. They'll allow more Specialists in your cities. Later, these will give +1 Food when next to Fresh Water with Civil Service research. Fertilizer technology will extend the bonus to all Farm plots.
  • Pasture:
    Requires Animal Husbandry. Get this early if you spawned near Sheep or Cattle. Horses can wait a little while. Horseback Riding will reveal the locations of any Horses on the map, good for an early production boost. Gives +1 Food Production with Fertilizer research.
  • Camp:
    Requires Trapping. This will get your Deer and Ivory. These tiles are also common. Will grant +1 Gold with Economics research.
  • Mine:
    +1 Production. Requires Mining tech. Necessary to get your Metals, Gold, and the ever-coveted Gems. Various technologies will unlock the visibility superior metals.
  • Fishing Boats:
    Requires Sailing Tech. You'll build a Fishing Boat in a city's unit section, then send it off to transform (lose) the boat for the Fishing Boats tile improvement.
  • Quarry:
    Always adds +1 Production in addition to the Marble it improves. The Quarry improvement is unlocked by researching Masonry. Gives +1 Production bonus with the Chemistry research project complete.
  • Plantation:
    Calendar research allows Plantations. This unlocks a lot of food and luxury resources, which don't get unlocked at any point -- you can always see them. With Fertilizer research, they'll give +1 Food.
  • Oil Well/Offshore Platform:
    Oil Well takes Biology Tech, and reveals oil, while Offshore Platform needs Refrigeration. Protect those Oil tiles!
  • Trading Post:
    Initially, Trading Posts will give you +1 Gold. This is good to place on Grassland. It'll then give 2 Food and 1 Gold, and during Golden Ages gives +2 Gold. When you get Economics resarch, this will give an additional gold. Buildings like the Market and Bank will convert that into even more gold for your Civilization to spend.

Bonus (Food) Resources

These types of Resources are only there to give the nearby city extra food, and aren't traded from city to city nor exported. In order to snag the yield bonus, you'll need to build the required Tile improvement.

Civilization 5 Bananas Bonus (Food) ResourceBananas
Requires: Plantation - Yield when Improved: +1 Food
Bananas only come on Jungle tiles. Later, upon researching Education, you can build Universities near these and they'll give +2 beakers along with the usual 50% boost to Research the University provides.

Civilization 5 Cattle Bonus (Food) ResourceCattle
Requires: Pasture - Yield when Improved: +1 Food

Civilization 5 Deer Bonus (Food) ResourceDeer
Requires: Camp - Yield when Improved: +1 Food

Civilization 5 Fish Bonus (Food) ResourceFish
Requires: Fishing Boats - Yield when Improved: +1 Food

Civilization 5 Sheep Bonus (Food) ResourceSheep
Requires: Pasture - Yield when Improved: +1 Food

Civilization 5 Wheat Bonus (Food) ResourceWheat
Requires: Farm - Yield when Improved: +1 Food

Strategic Resources

Strategic Resources are metals and substances that fuel the weapons of war and sometimes allow for special buildings. Having more of one type allows you to make more units at once that require it. So don't trade off all your excess right away! Two iron would let you make two swordsmen. Once you had those two, you couldn't build another until you secure more Iron. The resource amount is essentially your unit cap. Thankfully, there are many units which require no resource (ex. Mechanized Infantry) which can get you by. In their times, units that take resources are more powerful than those that do not.

Civilization 5 Aluminum Strategic ResourceAluminum
Requires: Mine - Yield when Improved: +1 Production
Aluminum is an important resource. It isn't revealed until Electricity and can appear practically anywhere. This stuff is used for some of the best units, and modern aircraft like the Jet Fighter, Stealth Bomber, and Modern Armor. This one can be worth fighting for under certain circumstances. It's also worth investing a lot of resources into obtaining as you'll be stuck with Mechanized Infantry for your army otherwise.

Civilization 5 Coal Strategic ResourceCoal
Requires: Mine - Yield when Improved: +1 Production
Coal is revealed by Scientific Theory. This stuff is great to have your hands on. Trade for it or improve tiles to enable construction of the Factory building. Coal also allows Ironclads to be made, which are very powerful naval vessels at the time they're available.

Civilization 5 Horses Strategic ResourceHorses
Requires: Pasture - Yield when Improved: +1 Production
Important to early-game military combat, and goes into the Medieval and Industrial era as well. Horsemen of all kinds are incredibly powerful in their proper times.

Civilization 5 Iron Strategic ResourceIron
Requires: Mine - Yield when Improved: +1 Production
Not as vital as some other resources, but key for a certain time period. If you can field Swordsmen first, you'll have a powerful advantage. Try to get this but cope without it if you must, it's not a major loss.

Civilization 5 Oil Strategic ResourceOil
Requires: Oil Well - Yield when Improved: +1 Production
Oil is required for the Battleship and Carrier. Without it, you'll have to make Destroyers. Oil's also used to make the first Tanks. Having this stuff on hand at the right time can let you seriously dominate the battlefield.

Civilization 5 Uranium Strategic ResourceUranium
Requires: Mine, Yield when Improved: +1 Production
Required for Nukes, Nuclear Reactor Plants, and the Giant Death robot. This stuff can be quite rare, for good reason.

Luxury Resources

Luxury Resources grant +5 Happiness so long as your Civilization has at least one of them. More than one don't help. So, the idea is to take those two extra dyes you have and trade them for a fur and a gem, giving you one of each and a total of +15 happiness instead of just +5. Look to the Diplomacy Overview (F4) to see what resources other nations have for trade. You can also get these by befriending City-States, depending on what resources are available on their land.

Some of the Luxuries below can really boost your economy. +2 isn't much, but when you add a bank, market, and stock exchange to the town you're putting hefty percent bonuses on top of those numbers. The sooner you start stockpiling money, the faster you can start buying buildings in a single turn. It will also let you support a larger military and afford to upgrade your units.

Civilization 5 Cotton Luxury ResourceCotton
Requires: Plantation - Yield when Improved: +2 Gold

Civilization 5 Dyes Luxury ResourceDyes
Requires: Plantation - Yield when Improved: +2 Gold

Civilization 5 Furs Luxury ResourceFurs
Requires: Camp - Yield when Improved: +2 Gold

Civilization 5 Gems Luxury ResourceGems
Requires: Mine - Yield when Improved: +3 Gold

Civilization 5 Gold Luxury ResourceGold
Requires: Mine - Yield when Improved: +2 Gold

Civilization 5 Incense Luxury ResourceIncense
Requires: Plantation - Yield when Improved: +2 Gold

Civilization 5 Ivory Luxury ResourceIvory
Requires: Camp - Yield when Improved: +2 Gold

Civilization 5 Marble Luxury ResourceMarble
Requires: Quarry - Yield when Improved: +2 Gold

Civilization 5 Pearls Luxury ResourcePearls
Requires: Fishing Boats - Yield when Improved: +2 Gold

Civilization 5 Silk Luxury ResourceSilk
Requires: Plantation - Yield when Improved: +2 Gold

Civilization 5 Silver Luxury ResourceSilver
Requires: Mine - Yield when Improved: +2 Gold

Civilization 5 Spices Luxury ResourceSpices
Requires: Plantation - Yield when Improved: +2 Gold

Civilization 5 Sugar Luxury ResourceSugar
Requires: Plantation - Yield when Improved: +2 Gold

Civilization 5 Whales Luxury ResourceWhales
Requires: Fishing Boat - Yield when Improved: +1 Food, +1 Gold

Civilization 5 Wine Luxury ResourceWine
Requires: Plantation - Yield when Improved: +2 Gold

Comments (5)

Nats says...
I'm newbie for CIV , ur information is useful!
But I have some question too.
Does Strategic Resources is limited? If my territory have 2 oil well that mean I can't get more oil without trade or annex city?
You'd need to trade or get a CS Ally that also has access to oil. Sometimes they have it in their borders but haven't improved the tile - you can pay 200G to get the oil. This mainly happens when a resource is first discovered. But yes, wars are fought over resources like Oil... and you don't want to be the only one without Uranium if it gets really bad in the game, though I often play the diplomacy game and try to avoid that.
28th August 2014 11:59am
Fallox says...
How do you get these icons
FRAPS. it lets you take pictures in any game with a hotkey. Since I'm commenting on the page, I'll note I'm aware it's out of date and that a lot has been added since G&K and BNW but this page has not been high priority - I'll get them all fixed, eventually!
5th October 2013 11:42am
Taner says...
I think he meant wheat or ivory etc. icons. You can enable them by clicking paper icon next to the mini map and ticking the Right circle ( sorry forgot the exact sentence).
17th August 2014 10:27am
Sivfan says...
Any chance you will include natural wonders?
I'd like to eventually do so, but it will take time to get to that - it's lower priority than some other pages, given that you may never see a certain natural wonder in a given game and there are mechanics that I have not yet covered that are relevant in every game.

Actually, this page needs updated soon enough!
2nd January 2014 11:16pm
josh says...
Not yet updated for BNW. This was written around Vanilla. I'll get to it soon enough :)
16th February 2014 11:48pm
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This site and all original strategy guides created by and © Carl Ratcliff. This is an unofficial Civilization V fansite and I am in no way affiliated with Firaxis Games, Developer of Civ 5 Brave New World and Gods and Kings.