Civilization: Beyond Earth's Most Useful Mods: Upgrade The Lackluster UI And Add In Some New Sponsors

By Connor Sears , Updated Nov 24, 2014 11:39 AM EST

The Mac version of Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth should launch this week if all goes to plan. Mac developer Aspyr has confirmed mod and Steam Workshop support for their port, something that was lacking in Civ V for Mac. So if you're a PC player who's looking to reinvigorate their game or a Mac player who'll want to take advantage of the best mods from the get-go, here's a collection of the most useful mods you'll find for Civilization: Beyond Earth.

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Colorful Tech Web:

This was one of the first Beyond Earth mods to really hit the spotlight, probably because it fixed such an obvious oversight in the user interface of the game's Technology Web. In the basic Tech Web, everything shares the same blue color palette, making it so that seeing the benefits of a given technology at a glance was almost impossible. With Colorful Tech Web, everything that a technology unlocks is color coded for easy identification. Wonders are purple, buildings are green, satellites are yellow and units are red. With this mod, you can see at a glance whether a given tech will help you shore up your military or give you more infrastructure to build. Plus, it makes the Tech Web much more engaging to look at.

As an added bonus, the mod's creator added in a function that shows you when a technology's building or unit is restricted to a single Affinity, so you can identify quickly and easily if a certain technology would help you reach your end goal or is better to just pass over.

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Visually Distinctive Terrains:

The terrain graphics were a sizable point of contention upon release, especially among color blind players. The default textures of the game can be hard to distinguish, with tiles that offer different yields often looking very similar. One modder tried to help more visually impaired players (or just players with low-resolution displays) with the Visually Distinctive Terrains pack. In it are three separate mods for the three different terrain types: lush, arid and fungal. The mods are basically texture packs that make certain types of tiles pop out to allow players to differentiate them more easily. The community has really taken to these mods, as well. The three VDT mods make up three out of the five most popular mods for Beyond Earth.


The original InfoAddict is one of the most subscribed to mods in the Civilization V Steam Workshop. It allows players to see all kinds of stats about every player in the game (city number, population, income, military, number of techs discovered) and adds in a handy visualization that shows the status of global politics. With just one chart, players can see who is allied with whom and which players are universally hated. One user, then, ported this mod to Beyond Earth, bringing what many consider to be an essential Civ resource to this newest iteration.

New Sponsors:

As the name of the series suggests, playing as a distinctive civilization has always been one of the most enjoyable aspects of a game of Civilization. Many fans were disappointed, then, to find that Beyond Earth launched with only eight factions. Thanks to mods, though, you can get your number of available sponsors back up to Civ V levels in no time. Many creative, futuristic factions have been designed by the mod community, allowing players to go into space as any number of cultures.

Worried about the lack of Arab representation in Beyond Earth? Take to the skies as the Crescent Company and their science-minded bonuses. Try your hand at playing as Space Canada, or relive the glory days of futuristic Civ with sponsors taken from Alpha Centauri. There are even more options for those just looking to goof off. Play as Blackbeard as you lead Abstergo Industries in a weird mod based (very) loosely off Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Finally, if you miss the unrestrained economic dominance of playing as Civ V's Venice, look no further than Space Venice, a mod that comes complete with Enrico Dandolo in a space helmet.

For more helpful Beyond Earth mods, check out the game's Steam Workshop page and watch out for the Mac version to drop sometime this week. Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is now available for PC.

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