Sep 25, 2018
I've been slowly trying out mods and incorporating into my game the ones I like. A few of them I found to be so useful that they made me think "how did I ever even play without these mods?" So I thought I'd start a thread to share the mods that you found to be so useful that you'd really hate to go back to playing the game without them. Here I'm only interested in mods that improve quality-of-life (QOL). So nothing that impacts game play or visuals (unless the visuals somehow improve your experience beyond style preferences). Also, they should ideally be up to date and work with the latest update, but no harm in mentioning something that isn't. The types of changes that feel like the dev's really should've had this stuff in the game to begin with. So here goes:

1) Better Report Screen:
Spoiler :
By far the most important one for me is this mod by @Infixo. This was the most life-changing one for me. It offers many features like a GS-specific cities screen that shows city power needs/consumption, co2 emissions, and other climate related info. The regular city status screen shows an excellent summary of all basic cities and more importantly color-coded icons showing the districts built in each city. Another great one is the units tab that lists all units with their basic info and also lists your trade routes and their yields. Everything is laid out in a simple way where information can be gleaned at a glance.
Spoiler Sample report screens: Units, GS-Cities, City Status :
All this is amazing, but the biggest one for me by far, is the policies screen. This piece of beauty shows you at a glance the changes to your yields that will take place if you use any of the policy cards you have available to you. Each policy gets its own line and next to it, the change in yields coming into effect from it. This is not only a report screen, it's a calculator. Nothing compares to the power of this screen in helping you decide what are the best policy cards for your current situation. Behold:

2) Sukritact's Simple UI Adjustments:
Spoiler :
Like its title indicates, this one makes simple changes to the UI that actually end up making a big difference to the experience. They are simple enough that I forget they're not part of the original design, but when I do remember it's a mod, I'm so grateful for it.
My favorite feature is probably that it shows you at a glance where the citizens of your city have been assigned and where the next border growth will take place, without actually clicking on the city to go into its menu. All you do is hover the cursor over the city's banner and all this becomes visible. If you want to go into the citizen management screen you can simply right-click the banner to go directly there. Another nice change is it displays food yield in terms of surplus food rather than total yield, which is much more meaningful. Hovering over the religion's icon shows detailed info about the city's followers and religious pressure. Useful if you're planning a religious game:

It has some other useful features but these are my favorite things from this mod. Sometimes it really is the small things that make all the difference. Once you try this (if you don't use it already) you'll realize how much smoother it makes the experience and how fewer clicks you'll need to make while playing.

3) Sukritact's Global Relations Panel
Spoiler :
This is another at-a-glance type of UI mod. It adds a "Global Relations" button to the world tracker ribbon that when clicked shows all the leaders in the game arranged in a circle. Lines are drawn between them representing relationships or agreements. It looks confusing at first since by default everything is visible at once, but once you hover over the image of a leader only the lines between that leader and other leaders it has a relationship with will show. Icons on the lines aid the color coding to help you quickly understand what's happening (alliances, agreements, embassies, etc.)


Hmm, looks like I need to renew Open Borders with Pedro for that tourism bonus. Jadwiga too, wth! Forgot to renew relations after that last war with her.

4) Better Civilopedia
Spoiler :
This is another useful one by Infixo that improves the Civilopedia. For starters it makes it bigger, idk why the devs made it take only half the screen, this change alone is worth it. But it also adds a lot of useful information and references like lists of great people, and Historic Moments which is a great reference for when you're trying to get a few more era points (or avoid them). There's also a tab listing all possible World Congress Resolutions, Emergencies, and Scored Competitions with detailed descriptions. Another tweak that improves the experience is that it makes the civilopedia remember where you were before you closed it and it adds back/forward buttons to make it easier to switch between pages. There is much more useful information and more lists but these are the biggest ones for me. Also, if you're into modding the optional list of modifiers under each entry seems very useful too.


5) Enhanced Mod Manager
Spoiler :
If you don't use mods or only have a few then this isn't that important, but as you download more mods this becomes essential for managing them and quickly checking which are enabled/disabled or for enabling/disabling many at a time. It just changes the layout of the mods menu listing enabled mods in one column, disabled ones in the other. You can also select multiple mods by holding shift while you click to enable/disable them all at once.

6) Great Works Viewer
Spoiler :
An excellent suggestion from @kaspergm, this mod is essential if you ever plan to play a cultural victory game. When viewing great works, the default view of the game is to list all great work slots sorted by cities. If you have many cities and many buildings to hold great works, it can mean that moving an item from one slot to another requires hold-click + scroll to be able to set it down. Or changing settings from drag-drop to click to hold, click again to release. Also it can just get confusing with everything there in front of you.

This mod allows you to sort and filter the according to the type works you're interested in making the experience much easier.
Spoiler sort & filter buttons :


Spoiler 1) Sorted by Type, 2) Filtered to Artifacts :


Much better :yup:

7) Suzerain At a Glance
Spoiler :
Suggested by @Eurritz, this is another neat mod that makes such a small change you won't even feel it, but it's useful to have. It adds to the banner of city-states a picture of their suzerain. It also has in small numbers, to the top right the number of envoys the suzerain has there; and to the top-left the number of suzerains you have. Useful when you're just scrolling through the map, spot a CS and want to quickly know about their envoys. Note: apparently this mod doesn't work properly in multiplayer games, based on comments left on Steam.

8) More Lenses
Spoiler :
This mod by @astog is immensely useful in more than one way. If you have CQUI, this is already included, but you can get it separately. It offers quite a few extra lenses that can make planning and getting tasks done so much easier. A resources lens will highlight tiles on the map with resources in them with filters allowing you to highlight only what you're interested in: Strategic, Luxury, Bonus, or even the specific resource(s) you're looking for. A scout lens will highlight goody huts and is triggered automatically when a scout is selected. A Barbarians lens highlights Barbarian outposts. A Wonder lens highlights wonders with different colors for natural or man-made wonders. Archaeologist lens highlights artifacts.

Below I've included screenshots for some of the lenses I've found most useful:

Builder Lens - highlights all tiles where a builder can perform an action, with different colors for different types of improvements/actions. This lens is automatically triggered when a builder is selected but can also be applied without selecting a builder by selecting the lens from the lenses list.
Spoiler Builder lens :
Naturalist Lens - highlights tiles that can be used to create a national park. This lens will also highlight tiles that could potentially become a national park even if they don't currently meet all the conditions for one. This is excellent during culture games when sometimes it's hard to find spots for these parks. The vanilla way is that the naturalist will highlight tiles ready for a park but only if all conditions are already met, making searching for potential areas that can be converted into a park a laboring task. This lens is a huge help.
Spoiler Naturalist lens :
City Overlap lens - This is another great one that's very useful for planning districts with regional effects like IZs and the Entertainment Complex. It highlights tiles according to how many city centers are within range of that particular tile. The range is set to 6 by default but this can be changed by the user. There is an option to highlight any tile, or restrict it to highlight only tiles within your borders.
Spoiler City Overlap lens - within and without borders :
Another option is to instead use this lens as a "Range mouse". This turns your cursor into a measuring tool. It will highlight tiles that are within the selected range of the tile you're pointing at. More useful for planning new cities when they're not already in place. Say I'm settling a new area and I'm planning an IZ in the new city, I want to know where this IZ's bonuses will reach, I can use the Range Mouse to help me plan where to place the IZ or other cities.
Spoiler City Overlap lens - Range Mouse :
Note: It seems that some users have experienced issues with this mod, possibly Linux and Mac users. It's been working fine for me so far.

9) Better Espionage Screen
Spoiler :
Another mod by @astog, this makes it much easier to find the districts you're looking for while sending your spies on a mission. It adds filtering options so the list will only show cities with the type of district you're interested in. Multiple districts can be chosen if you want a city that has more than one type of district you want to hit. You can also filter by civilization.
full size

10) Better Trade Screen (currently buggy?)
Spoiler :
A third mod by @astog, this one by its description seems essential to me. However, it currently seems to have a major bug.
This mod promises excellent improvements to trading management, with sort and filter options to the trade screen. It is also part of CQUI but can be installed independently. It also promises to give you the correct # of turns for a trade route to complete among other things. Most importantly it offers an option to set routes so they automatically renew upon completion!

However, according to the comments on steam it currently has a bug since the September update where turns to complete calculator leads to negative values and can cause trade routes to never expire. This sounds like a gameplay affecting bug, not simply a UI issue, which is unacceptable to me unless it is fixed. Also, Why is the gameplay being affected at all? Unless I misunderstood the issue, this is worrying even if the mod gets fixed. UI mods should be coded in a way that they can't affect gameplay even if they malfunction.
@Laurana Kanan I saw your comment on Steam, any experience with how this mod is performing currently and whether the bug affects the actual trade routes or not?


So there you have it. These are the mods I'm using that I found have vastly improved my QOL while playing. They're popular enough that most of you probably are already aware of them and maybe use them, but thought I'd list them anyway for anyone who doesn't know them. Are there other mods you think are great that I haven't mentioned? Do you prefer another mod over one the ones I've mentioned that do the same job but differently?
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The only one I've used is better report screen, and I agree it's amazing. I think they should just incorporate it in the game if possible - heck, having the AI just pick policies based on the yields in it might improve it's performance.
I have to put in the GREAT WORKS VIEWER which is an essential mod I cannot live without. What it does it it groups your great work buildings by their type - so first all your libraries, then all your art museums, the all your archeological museums, etc. Anyone who's tried to theme their museums in a large empire will understand why this is a real life-saver.
I have to put in the GREAT WORKS VIEWER which is an essential mod I cannot live without. What it does it it groups your great work buildings by their type - so first all your libraries, then all your art museums, the all your archeological museums, etc. Anyone who's tried to theme their museums in a large empire will understand why this is a real life-saver.
Oh, that sounds amazing. I'm currently playing a culture game and was wondering if something like this existed. Thanks.
Have they fixed the Enhanced Mod Manager? It was not working after the last patch... Otherwise one of my fav mods.

The Global Relations Panel I just to look at the lines, I really like that.

There's an UI mod that shows who's the suzerain in city-states without having to open the CS menu. It's called Suzerain At A Glance.
Have they fixed the Enhanced Mod Manager? It was not working after the last patch... Otherwise one of my fav mods.

The Global Relations Panel I just to look at the lines, I really like that.

There's an UI mod that shows who's the suzerain in city-states without having to open the CS menu. It's called Suzerain At A Glance.
Enhanced Mod Manager is working fine for me. I just checked and it was updated Oct. 1st. Suzerain At A Glance sounds like another neat improvement, I'll check it out, thanks.
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I use the Better Trade Screen and can confirm the negative number bug, but these appear so late in the game I can't really confirm if it makes never expire the trade routes. I still use the mod because even buggy it's better than the default screen.
Oh, thanks for collecting these! I already use most of them, but #6 and 7 on your list are new to me (or if I'd heard of them, I forgot), will definitely try them out. :thumbsup:
@Ownsya decoiff = astog.

As far as BTS goes, in my experience I haven't really had any issues with it functioning correctly except, as you stated, the occasional negative value for turns to completion. The routes that were negative did eventually complete, so I'm not sure why that individual stated that they don't. I don't see how anything in BTS could affect the database (i.e. gameplay) anyway as it's all UI based. I believe it's strictly a calculating/display error. Considering the base game trade route panel doesn't really calculate turns, but rather distance (which isn't terribly helpful), I can live with the occasional UI quirk until @astog can correct BTS.
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