Getting Started with Civilization Beyond Earth (very basic)

Something that really bothered me when I started playing the game Civilization Beyond Earth was there were not really any basic instruction like do this then do this that would let you learn the mechanics of the game. What was available were reviews of the game written in October 2014, offers of where to buy the game, or more advance strategies on how to win. These latter are nice if you already know Civilization games but to a novice they are just confusing. Often these are videos that apparently are really on YouTube just to show off how cool the author is. I just wanted to get started and playing around and trying things out but not following some optimum strategy to win. That will come later when I know what I’m doing.

Once the game starts it will show you a credit screen of the company that sells the game. I just let this run since it only takes a few seconds. Next is a video showing some background of one of the colonist. Watch this the first time you start the game the next time you start the game (you will do this often as you are learning) press the space key once it starts and skip it. Next a still picture showing space craft landing is displayed. Let this stay on your computer until you see a new screen and get the message click to continue. The game software needed is loading on your computer so just it do its thing and click when told.

This will seem strange but after the incoming message select multiplayer NOT single player. You will be setting up two players on your one computer but you will play both of them making it easier to try thing out. This will also keep things simple because you will know what “the other player “is doing.

One of the good features of “Civilization Beyond Earth” is your computer can use an AI to run other players. But since you are just learning the game let’s keep things simple for now and not have any of them.

Next select the “Hot Seat” option. What you are really telling the game is you want to run both players on your own computer.

Next is a screen with lots of options. Just let the default options take effect and click “Host Game” at the bottom right of the screen.

Next you will see a screen wanting information on how to start six players. Don’t worry we are just going to set up two and disable four.

Next on the left of the top player line that says Gemini click the down arrowhead and select “Sputnik”. That tells the game to run the beginner option. Why try making it harder when you just want to learn the mechanics of the game.

Next click the single person icon and select “African Union”.

Next click the multiple people’s icon and select “Refugees”.

Next click the outline of the “Enterprise” icon and select “Continental Survey”.

Next click the barrel icon and select “Hydroponics”.

Next on the left of the 2nd player line click the arrowhead beside where it says Gemini and select “Sputnik”. That tells the game to run the beginner option.

Next on the player 2 line chose the small arrow head in the “AI” button and select “Human”. This is the second player but it is really also you.

The next for steps are the same as for person 1.

1.     Next click the single person icon and select “African Union”.(Yes the game will let you select the same sponsor as above and keep track of it.)

2.     Next click the multiple people’s icon and select “Refugees”.

3.     Next click the outline of the “Enterprise” icon and select “Continental Survey”.

4.     Next click the barrel icon and select “Hydroponics”.

Next click the “AI tab on the right of each of the four remaining players and choose “closed”. This will stop the computer from adding AI “players”. Later on you may want to set up some of these AI “players” but at first it is good not to add the complication. Try not to skip any of these four persons or at some point later in the game you will suddenly find there is an AI colony appearing.

Next left click the check mark on the right of the first person and after some processing the game will start.

Next an informational window will appear so click “continue”. (Step start set up)

Next left click somewhere in the red outlined hexes. You will see a space ship lander come down and your first city will be founded there. Don’t really worry about which hex you select inside the red outlined area you click it won’t make that much difference.

·        Step A Next left click the laboratory flask icon on the bottom right side of the game map. This will bring up what is called the “Tech Web” left click on the icon that says “Ecology” that will be the first technology you will learn over the next several turns.

·        Step B Next press the escape key and you will go back to the game map.

·        Step C Nextleft click the orange nut icon on the right bottom side of the screen and select “Worker” near the top of the new window that appears. This will tell the game to start training a worker over the next several turns. When that worker has learned their task they will be ready to start working for you.

·        Step D Next you will see “A Unit Needs Orders” in the bottom right corner of the screen. Left click the gear icon in the bottom left side of the screen. This will send your explorer unit off to explore the map automatically.

·        Step E Next left click the “Next Turn” in the bottom right corner of the screen.

·        Step F Next you will see and informational window similar to the one you saw earlier. Click “continue”.


Now you are into the game and setting up the first city of the second person (You actually the computer just thinks it is person #2 but it’s you.). Follow the same procedure as mentioned above to set up that first city. The computer will automatically name it differently from that of what it thinks as player #1.

Generally you will loop through steps A through F for the rest of the game. At times one of the steps will not be there to do so just go on to the next step. Have fun learning “Civilization Beyond Earth”

After a few turns a “Develop a virtue” purple icon will probably appear in the bottom right side of the screen. Left click on it and a screen showing the virtues will appear left click on the top icon in one of the four columns of virtues. The choice is up to you and will shape your game future. Since I am a non-aggressive person I generally choose the apple to get more food but like many choices in “Civilization Beyond Earth” that is up to you.

Often all you can do is left click the “Next Turn” icon in the bottom right of the screen for several turns. After your colonies start growing more will happen but early on thing need to just grow.

After several turns you first worker will be trained click on the orange nut icon in the lower right of the screen and train another worker. The new worker unit will need orders. Just click the gear icon on the bottom left of the screen to start it working automatically.

Hint- Something that happened to me in the first three games I tried was my explorer unit found a satellite solar collector. I searched the internet to find out what to do with it. It turns out you have to click on the launch looking icon in the giving orders to that unit. The map will change to what is called the orbital view then you click in the center of your first city and the satellite will launch. Whether or not this is the best thing to do I am not sure but it does work.

Hint- Early on especially if the two colonies are close together it is good idea to click the globe icon in the lower right of the screen and set up open borders.

Hint- If your explorer is getting into a bunch of aliens take control and move it out of the area. Sometimes the automatic controller is not too smart. This is also known as chicken-run away strategy but why get the unit killed while you are learning.

Hint- Some hexes will have a green mist floating above them. Sometimes it is hard to see. That is Miasma. If you hold your mouse cursor over the area you will see a tool tip saying “Miasma”. Avoid stopping any of your unit on those places. It will damage the health of the unit.

Hint- These are not the best strategies but they will get you learning “Civilization Beyond Earth”. That is one of the strengths of the Civilization games. You can play them so the game fits your style. But trying that before you learn the mechanics of the game is frustrating and often just leads to aggravation and the person giving up on what can be an enjoyable learning experience.

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