On the black terrain issue

Walter Hawkwood

RI Curator
Nov 18, 2003
London, UK
The issue where the terrain shows all black except for rivers and stuff is somehow linked to Civ 4 engine video memory management. Since the actual mechanistic reasons for its appearance are unknown, there are several steps you can try to make it go away, but ultimately there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
  1. Ensure you're running the latest version of them mod. In particular, when talking about 3.57, for many people the 2021-12-15 installer fixed the issue for them (that still occurred with 2021-12-06 installer).
  2. If you are running from a laptop or any other dual-GPU setup, ensure Civ 4 is run with the dedicated GPU.
  3. Goes without saying, but make sure your video drivers are up to date.
  4. Try running Civ 4 in various compatibility modes - there have been anecdotal reports that things like Windows XP compatibility helped some people.
  5. If running Steam version, try triggering shader caching on/off
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Zombie Horde

Sep 16, 2022
I've tried everything possible and nothing works, it's a steam issue im guessing


May 20, 2023
Had not played RI for years. Got the issue after installing 3.6.
Tried a bunch of stuff suggested in different threads.
What worked in the end was to uninstall the mod and reinstall it. Turns out the installer does not do version update properly, so having an old version installed and installing 3.6 on top of it caused the problem.
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