Single Unit Graphics


Mar 9, 2011
Orange County, California, U.S.A.
Single Unit Graphics
Reduced Unit Graphics
for Civilization V

by Nutty

Units are represented by one (or a few) large models instead of many small ones (like Civilization III and earlier).

As a bonus, this can increase game performance.

DOWNLOAD HERE [or Subscribe on Steam]

For those that don't like quadruped settlers, I've attached the "Human Settlers" modmod below (and put it up on Steam at the link above). If you have R.E.D. Modpack activated, there will be additional ethnic variation of settlers.

HIGHLY recommended mods to use with Single Unit Graphics:
  • Simple Unit Icon Raiser/Lowerer is a set of 2 mods that prevent unit heads from being obscured by their icons by either (1) moving city banners and unit icons slightly up, or (2) moving unit icons below the unit. See below (or on Steam).

NEW beta! As an alternative, "Reduced Unit Graphics" uses up to 3 models to represent units. See standalone mod below or the Steam subscribe link above.


  • Reduced Unit Graphics (v 9).zip
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  • Simple Unit Icon Raiser-Lowerer (v 2 beta).zip
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  • Single Unit Graphics - Human Settlers (v 10).zip
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Nice. I'm going to be trying this out when I finish my current game.

FWIW, it actually works with saved games.

[EDIT 5/17/2011: Well, sort of. The new "LITE" version should be is safe [EDIT: as are all subsequent versions]].

But if you're switching from R.E.D. to the "full" Ethnic Units version, you may have issues. In my testing, I had opponents' warriors and spearmen change into infantry and tanks. But I'm not sure to what extent that occurred because of my tweaking the mod between test builds.

So your mileage may vary. I'm curious to know if anyone else has seen this behavior, but now that I've (temporarily) [EDIT: permanently] removed the Ethnic Units version, I suppose I'll have to wait 'til I release the next version to get a good sampling.

Obviously, you should make sure you have a good save first. My wife was pissed since she had gotten invested in a game post-upgrade, and then had to go back a bunch of turns when she suddenly realized a strong army became very weak indeed.]

THanks for this, gonna give it a try.

I wish there was also a mod to get rid of the stupid UI Communist style art. Look how stupid the giant biblical settler icon looks in the industrial era:p
I wish there was also a mod to get rid of the stupid UI Communist style art. Look how stupid the giant biblical settler icon looks in the industrial era:p

I'm not sure if you're talking about one thing or two. I assume you're talking about the unit portraits that appear in the bottom left. Those can be changed pretty easily (though to change all of them would obviously take quite a bit of work).

And are you also suggesting the unit art (and portrait) for the settler unit should change per era (or maybe every couple of eras)?
will you update this mod for R.E.D. Modpack v.9 ?

I did the work of adding R.E.D. v0.9.1 to the mod (I had actually made most of the changes to the mod before Gedemon came out with v 9, and then had to go back and make them mesh again). Regardless, that part's relatively easy.

But I'm trying to finish a few new units that I've been working on. <rant>The straight retextures are fine, but I'm having problems with Blender. It looks like the conversion is good, and Nexus shows the unit just fine, but the unit is invisible in-game. Argh!</rant>

I'm uploading a "LITE" version that includes NO ethnic units, but includes all of the compatibility changes from the latest version. In short, you can enable R.E.D. v0.9.1, and then enable this. [EDIT: See first post.]

But hopefully, I'll get the new one out soon with all the goodness I can offer.
I saw the screenshots of units that you are working on,i think you are doing great,i hope you will make it work properly,good luck on your project and thank you for your compatibility solution.
Less clutter on maps, much better gameplay animations, efficient use of runtime resources.
My low-end Video Card is thanking you as well.
Denmark DLC - next, asap please.

I hadn't even thought of resource usage as a selling point. That's good to hear.

I'll be uploading Denmark tonight.

Would it be too much to ask...

No, suggestions are always welcome.

Would it be too much to ask for smaller scales?

I find some of these Units that simply overlap their Hexes.
Siam Elephant & Catapult are waaaayyyy too big, for example.

I haven't done much CiV playing lately (and therefore not enough testing), but I forgot that I had discovered that the Indian elephant was scary big. Sure, I'll take a look at those units.

It's a tough thing to maintain a relatively consistent scale when you've got to cope with aircraft carriers and at the same time infantry units that you'd still like to be able to see. Thank God for the Have Fun mod [EDIT: I use In-Game Editor now], but it's still a pain quitting and tweaking and relaunching (Gawd, this game takes ages to load) to get those right.

If you want to play with the scales yourself, the entries are in the XML\Civ5ArtDefines_UnitMembers.xml (or the DLC equivalents) as the <fScale> tag [EDIT: SQL\SingleUnitGraphics.sql after SET Scale =]. Currently most infantry are 0.24 [EDIT: 0.25] and most mounted are 0.22 [EDIT: 0.20].

A few things I'd like to look at if I find the time:
  • Move the unit icons that end up blocking the heads of mounted units [done]
  • Change the animations of attacking units (especially spearmen/pikemen) so they don't walk on top of the defender before thrusting their spear into the hex behind the defender
  • Remove the people from artillery unit models
Superb... i've already fiddled a bit with some <fscale> slots on my installed (LITE) version.
You'll be happy to know HotSeat is due for June_July which will make your testing phases a lot easier -- if paired with Debug-Mode(' or " or ~, depending on your keyboard) and some quick reveal_all_map.
Might as well use Firetuner and deploy all or any Units at once! :)
I'll be uploading Denmark tonight.

Well, that didn't happen, but I plead real life. Plus, resizing a couple of units turned into resizing lots of units. Anyway, it's up now. The general feel of the relative sizes shouldn't have changed too much. Let me know if anything is out of whack.

See the first post.
Hi. I'm trying to build my own mod with unique units but at CIV5 I don't get it to change the Artwork at all. So to get behind that I just kopied this mod piece by piece (1:1 copy) in modbuddy (file structure), made "reload unit system" at properties and "update database" for all files recommended. And... doesn't work! :cry: At a guide I saw that ArtDefinesUnits and ArtDefinesUnitMembers don't get the defined action at modbuddy to "update database". Is this right? Took theese actions out, just ordered to load the sql file. But nothing, to...
Please help me out, could freak out if I don't get it soon... :hammer2:
I don't want to flat copy your mod but want to use it as basis for a hole mod using unique units, so the single units make it easier because of less writing work.
But can't realize my dreams because of the problems I can't solve.
What actions did you order in modbuddy??? What is going wrong at my work???
Thanks for helping me (I hope so)
Please help me out, could freak out if I don't get it soon... :hammer2:
It's OK. Calm down, we'll get through this. ;)

Just to make sure we're on the same page:

This mod doesn't add any new art, although it will resize the new unique units from a few other mods as long as they're activated prior to this one. True, I do add some "unique units" that are copies of 4 of the early vanilla units to differentiate them by civilization, but I'm using the vanilla art resources.

I assume you've included your new unique unit art with your revision of this mod, and that these files are being imported (or alternatively that they are included in another mod and have been activated there).

You're right that the only files that should need an UpdateDatabase call are the SQL or XML files that actually add the new units to the game.

So, you need to include:
1. the art files you want to use, if you're not using vanilla or another mod's art resources
2. a revised Civ5ArtDefines_UnitMembers.xml and Civ5ArtDefines_Units.xml that make reference to your new units
3. a SQL or XML file that adds the units to the database (note that this should not be imported)

And make sure to activate your mod LAST.

If you're using custom art, check to see if the problem is with your mod or your art resources. Try using vanilla art as a placeholder to make sure that it's not your mod that's broken. When I do that kind of testing, I like to use boats as land units. :crazyeye:

If you send me your mod, I can try to take a look at it.
No, no. I first have stopped trying to add own grahics to find the error. The Mod is at the moment only an exact copy of your "single unit graphics (v4)"mod, exact the same filestructur, just loaded piece by peace your existing files to see where I made a mistake (see screenshots).
I know from the guide that I need to set "reload unit system" in info and there has to be a complete new "ArtDefinesUnits" and "ArtDefinesUnitMembers" file, no modular added one (wich I took from your mod how you can see, there I could be sure that there ist a new ArtDefines working with no extra units). And copied also the .sql-file, don't know what this one makes.
From the paratroopers from WWII there is nothing jet in the mod (no "ArtDefinesUnits" or "ArtDefinesUnitMembers" tag in the files and no UnitInfos or something)
So without the name of the Mod folder and the .mod-file-name it should be an 1:1 copy of your mod. Your Mod is working, my mod not. :crazyeye:
After this test I think there has to be an order in modbuddy befor building the mod (exporting it to mod folder) wich I forgot at all the many tries to add any kind of graphics into mods I wanted to make in the past.
Cleared also the cache befor testing, so I get confused by finding the trick how to give the order to really reload the ArtDefines in ModBuddy.
When I have solved this, there should be no problem by going my way, had now problems doing own graphics into CIV4 BTS... A little bit different with the granny file and the ArtDefUnitMembers are new, but know what the mean...

Thanks at the moment for your help...


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  • Mod Info.jpg
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Got help from rhettogun, he told me that I have to set the properties of each ArtDefine on import to VFS on "true" ... :woohoo:

Problem solved!!!
Now a question: wich files have to be set this import to VFS on "true"?
Only those who are not set on "OnModActivated" in "Actions" or any XML/sql in my mod? Mods without ArtDefines allways worked...
And what the **** is the VFS?!?

Big thanks!
VFS means Virtual File System. You need to set it to true for files that replace the original files, which means things like XML files that affect different things than GameData, and interface LUA files.
Problem solved!!!

Oh, good!

Now a question: wich files have to be set this import to VFS on "true"?
You need to set it to true for files that replace the original files, which means things like XML files that affect different things than GameData, and interface LUA files.

Right. So, in this case of a unit mod like this one or R.E.D. modpack, that will include everything, like the art files and the Civ5ArtDefines XMLs, EXCEPT:
  1. files that aren't strictly part of CiV (e.g., your readme.txt and any .blend or .max files that have been included for the sake of artists to play with your 3D models), and
  2. the files you're going to bring in through an OnModActivated command (here, that's vanillaunits.sql).
Also you don't need to set VFS to true for files that you put in "Content", like LUA "addins".
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