Technical Support FAQs

Not open for further replies.


Oct 5, 2001
Unofficial Civ3 Tech Support FAQs

If you have any corrections or additions, please PM a Civ3 Moderator.

What are the latest patches, and where can I find them?
Where is the 'official' support page?
What do the various expansion packs contain?
When I go to launch my spaceship, the game crashes!
What .ini File Parameters can I use?
I'm playing conquests, and the barbarians are broken... They just sit there and hardly move.
I deleted the game, but now I can't reinstall!
I get a "please insert CD" message when I try to start the game, but the correct CD IS in the drive!
When I start the game, the intro movie appears, but then the game goes blank, but I can still hear the music. What is happening?

I get a message saying "missing binkw32.dll". How do I fix it?
Save game files are taking up lots of my hard drive space. How do I delete them?
iI'm struggling to find and open save games or scenarios from withing Civ/PTW/C3C via the in-game dialog box. Is there anything I can do about this?
How do I install a scenario or mod?
The buttons on the map moved / disappeared! How do I fix this?
How can I change my Hall of Fame entries?

Patch Information:

Current Patches:

You can determine the version of the patch that you currently have by looking in the bottom-left of the title screen. The patch version is shown as 1.XX, where XX refers to the latest patch.

[civ3] The latest patch for (Vanilla) Civ3 is patch 1.29f.
You can download it from the following links:
US / UK version.
Japanese Version.
Italian Version
Spanish Version.
German Version.
French Version.

[ptw] The latest patch for Play The World is the 1.27f version. You can download it from one of the following links:

US Version.
UK Version.
German Version.
French Version.
Italian Version.
Spanish Version.

[c3c] For conquests, the latest patch is the 1.22f patch. It is available for download here:

All Language version.

Note: Patch 1.22f is NOT compatable with other Conquest patches. This means that you will not be able to load save files created before applying the patch. It is suggested you finish these games before you patch.

[civ3mac] Civ3 Mac is only available in Vanilla civ. Patches can be found from the thread in the Mac forum
Any mac users requiring tech support - go to that forum - they will give you much better help there than you will get here!

Older Patches:
There are older patches available, however it is recommended that you use the latest ones. Failure to do this may result in problems with stability, or in multiplayer games. If you really want older patches, then you can look for them at the links below:

Various Civ patches.
Various Civ patches.
Various PTW Patches.

Official Support Pages:

Atari currently provide technical support for Civ3, PTW and Conquests. You can find their support pages from these links:
Play The World.

Expansion Packs:

Civilization 3: Otherwise known as "vanilla" civ, this is the original Civ3 game. It ships with patch Version 1.00, and must be manually patched to version 1.29f.

Play The World: The first expansion pack. This adds new civilizations and units to the game, as well as multiplayer. Its ships with patch version 1.00, and should be patched to 1.27f.

Civilization 3 Gold Edition: This is Civ3 packaged with Play The World, both patched (to 1.29f and 1.27f respectively). If you want to get Play the world, I suggest you get conquests instead (it comes with Play The World for 'free') No patches required.

Conquests: This was the second main expansion pack after Play The World. It adds new civs, new terrain and new units (as well as a few new rules). It ships with PTW included (that gets installed, but doens't create a shortcut to it). You get PTW to 1.27f, and Conquests to 1.00. Be sure to patch conquests, but don't worry about patching PTW.

Civ 3 Complete: Civ, PTW and Conquests all rolled in to one, and all fully-patched.
Last edited:
Space Race Victory Movie:

Symptoms: You complete a game via space-race victory. You launch your spaceship, the game starts to try to play the space-race movie and...... the game crashes to desktop.

The Fix: You have two options.
  1. Option 1: Look in your ..\Civilization III\Art\movies\ folder for a file called "Race.BIK" (or "victory_movie.bik" in Conquests). Rename this to "Race_Old.bik" or some other name. Make a copy of "intro.BIK" (or even "security_briefing.bik") found in the same folder. Rename it to "Race.BIK". Now you won't get the space race movie, but hopefully the game won't crash....
  2. Option 2: It appears that this crash may be caused by a problem with onboard-sound drivers for the Realtek AC'97 chipset (even if you have your own soundcard you can get this problem). Try opening ..\Civilization III\Civilization3.ini with a text editor, and adding the line NoSound=1 => This should also solve the problem.

Ini File Parameters:

There are various parameters that you can use in the .ini file to fix various aspects of the game. The most useful ones (from a tech support perspective) probably relate to the video settings. Remember:
  1. .ini files can be edited with a text editor.
  2. You need to edit the one for the game you want to play (civ3, PTW or C3C).

MikeB's (of Firaxis) thread on .ini settings. (Link to 'poly thread)
Originally posted by Mike Breitkreutz FIRAXIS
OK, here's a list of all the INI settings for Conquests (some of these may not be in Civ3 or PTW). I'm not sure if these are documented anywhere or not (probably some of them are in the readme)... I just write the code. ;)

Voice Quality=0
Can be 0-7. Used for voice chat.

Can be 0 or 1. If 1, your screen resolution is used for the game instead of the default 1024x768.

Video Mode=1280
Can be 1024, 1152, 1280, 1600, 1792. Changes the game's resolution to the value specified (instead of the default 1024x768).
Only the following resolutions are supported with this command:

Changes the default refresh rate of your monitor. Do not change/add this line unless you are experiencing problems!

Can be 0, 1, or 2. This is the Map Scroll Speed preference.

Prefs Format=1
This is the prefs version number. It should always be 1 (for now).

The difficulty level used in the last game played. The numbers correspond to the difficulty levels in the editor (starting at 0).

The aggression level used in the last game played. The numbers correspond to the levels (starting at 0).

Top Menu=3
The last selected main menu item. The first menu item is 0.

Can be 0 or 1. If 1, the menu screens are bypassed and the game acts as if QuickStart was selected.


The civ selected for each of the players in the last game played. Faction0 is the human player. The values can range from -1 to 32. -1 is NONE, 32 is RANDOM, 0-31 correspond to the civs in the order they are listed in the editor.

num cities to eliminate=1
one city culture to win=20000
all cities culture to win=100000
domination pct terrain=66
domination % pop=66
building wonders=10
killing units=10
researching advances=5
capture cities=100
holding vp locations=25
capturing princess=1000
Victory Point Limit=50000
Turn Limit=540

Default victory condition settings. All of these can be changed in-game by clicking the ''Game Limits'' button.

These are bit flags corresponding to the preferences. I'm not going to detail each flag...

These are bit flags corresponding to the game rules (enabled victory conditions and so forth).

These are bit flags corresponding to the clean map preferences (accessed in game with ctrl-shift-n).

These are bit flags corresponding to the governor settings (the main page).

Gov Prod Never=00000000000000000000000000011000
These are bit flags corresponding to the items the governor should NEVER produce.

Gov Prod Often=00000000000000000000000000000000
These are bit flags corresponding to the items the governor should produce OFTEN.


These are the settings for your custom civ setting (if you rename your leader, etc.).


These are the world settings chosen for your last game played. The values range from 0 to the number of possible values. RANDOM is denoted by using the number of values (i.e., a value of 3 in WorldAridity is RANDOM; 0-2 are the actual settings).

I've never used this but apparently setting it to 1 causes a standard windows dialog to be used for loading and saving.

Max Autosaves=5
The number of autosaves the game will keep in the auto folder.

Latest Save=C:\_Projects\Conquests\Civ3\saves\current
The last saved game loaded.

Latest Scenario=Conquests\7 Sengoku - Sword of the Shogun.biq
The last scenario loaded.

Main Volume=127
Music Volume=127
Sound Volume=50

The volume settings (can range from 0 to 127).

Can be 0 or 1. If 1, no sound will be played in the game.

Can be 0 or 1. If 1, force feedback will not be enabled for force feedback mice.

Can be 0 or 1. If 0, the intro movie is not displayed.

Can be 0 or 1. Whether or not the grid was on in the last game played.

Can be 0 or 1. Whether or not the map was zoomed in the last game played.

Can be 0 or 1. If 0, the AI will use it's units to randomly patrol if it has no specific task for them.

The seed used to generate the last map played. If 0, the last game played was not a SP random map game. This is provided for players who like a map that was generated and would like to make a map in the editor that looks the same.

Can be 0 or 1. The last ''location'' used for MP games. 0 == Local, 1 == GameSpy.

Net Name=Mike
The name used in the last MP game played.

These are all the current settings used in conquests.ini. Their functionality and usage may change in future versions (if any) and it's always possible more will be added (or that some will be removed).

Edit: There may also be a line for SFX Volume. This is a bug :rolleyes: -- sometimes the sound volume is mistakenly referenced as SFX Volume (which causes the sound volume bug some people may have experienced).

Edit: Added a few more that I forgot about because they weren't in my INI file...
Conquest Barbarians:

Symptom: Barbarians in Conquests only appear to move if a unit come directly NW or SE of them.

Fix: watorrey and Justus II did some testing, and found that the cause was due to the way that the default "NoAIPatrol" had been set-up in conquests was different than in PTW and Civ.

You can fix it by adding NoAIPatrol=0 to your conquests.ini file. REad more about this (and barbarian behavior in general)here.

Reinstalling the game:

When uninstalling the game, you should always try to do this via "add/remove programs" in the control panel. Failure to do this can leave entries in the registry that make it a pain to reinstall.

Symptoms: You are tyring to reinstall the game, but when you insert the game CD, you don't get an 'install' option.

Fix: You need to clean-out the registry entries.
The 'official' web-support entries for this are as follows:
Civ 3.
Play The World.

Please Insert CD:

Well, this one is difficult. It appears to be most prevelant immediately following patching of the game, and is most likely related to CD Copy protection used in the patches. Whilst unfortunately there is no definitive solution, we offer the following suggestions:

Firstly, the "official" line from Atari can be found here.

In a nut-shell, they suggest:
  1. Disabling 3rd-party applications.
  2. Making sure the CD is in the "correct" drive (if you have more than one).
  3. Cleaning the CD.
  4. Resintalling the program.
  5. Modify the registry to point to the correct CD Drive letter.

Other suggestions that we have are as follows:
  1. Only patch when you need to! If you get any of the compilation releases of the games (Complete, Gold edition, Game Of The Year, and even the PTW version released with conquests (although not C3C itself)), these come fully patched. Check the patch versions noted here, and if you already have the latest, then don't try to patch it!
  2. Make sure you have the correct localised patch version: For PTW in particular, there are both US and UK patches for versions 1.21f and 1.27f. Some people have noted that they get this error following installation of the UK version, but not if they use the US version (and vice-versa).
  3. Try updating your CDROM drivers: May help, may not. There is a list of possible drivers here, but you might want to search the net yourself. Also consider updating the ATAPI drivers.
  4. Try changing the DMA settings: DarthS1d suggested this here:Hey, I just found a solution to the CD not found error when starting Conquests - I was running ot from a normal DVD-ROM drive, and didn't have any virtual imaging software. I went to Control Panel->System->Hardware->Device Manager->IDE controller properties->Primary or Secondary channel, depending on where your optical drive is installed, and the drive access mode was "Multi Word DMA 2". I just changed it to "Ultra DMA 2 - Ultra33" and the game detected the CD! Not sure if this is a general solution or not, but hope it helps at least some people. It was driving me crazy not being able to play!

This is an ongoing issue. Please feedback any info you have on what works and what doesn't, as well as any new ideas so that I can keep this updated.
Manually Setting the refresh rate:

Sometimes, it may be necessary to manually set the refresh rate for Civ3 in order to get the graphics to display.

Symptoms: When you start the game, the intro movie appears, but then the game goes blank. The music can still be heard.

Fix: You might need to change the refresh rate for the game. Find the refresh rate of your monitor (Right click on the desktop, select Properties, then the Settings tab, the Advanced button, and monitor tab. You'll see a number (for example, 72 Hertz). Add the line "Refresh=72" (without the quotation marks) to your .ini file. The .ini file can be found in the root directory for each version of the game.

Thanks to Ginger_Ale for sharing this problem & solution.

Fixing Binkw32.dll errors

Binkw32.dll is a library used by the game to play movies. For some reason, it occasionally gets corrupted, or not installed or 'goes missing'.

  1. If you get this error when trying to run the editor from the CD, then the problem is that you are trying to run the editor from the CD! The editor is located in the game directory for Civ/PTW/Conquests - run it from there instead.
  2. Otherwise, try a reinstall. If that fails, then download a new version of the DLL and install it. You can get the installer HERE.

Freeing-Up disk space

If save game files are taking up lots of your hard drive space, you can delete them.

Go to your Civilization III saves folder (C:/Program Files/Infogrames Interactive/Civilization III/Saves/) (if you have PTW or Conquests, navigate to that folder after Civilization III, and go to your /Conquests/Saves/ or /PTW/Saves/ folder instead). There you will see all your save games. You can right click and delete the saves files one at a time, or you can click and drag and delete all or lots of them at a time. You can also create folders for organization.

Easier navigating and opening save files in-game

Navigating around your HDD to open save games can be a pain in Civ/PTW/C3C if the save files aren't in the standard save directories.

If you are used to a windows save box like the one in Microsoft Word, you can do that too! Just add the line WindowsFileBox=1 to your Civilization3, PTW, or C3C .ini file. For more information, click here.

Thanks to Ginger_Ale for these two suggestions as well! :hatsoff:
Tips to posting in this forum:
(I.E. - help us help you!)

Please include your system specs. (i.e. - 2.4ghz P4 WinXPPro 512mb Ram 120gb hd)

Please include your Game and Version (i.e. - Civ3:Conquest, 1.22)

And when possible, include a save! The best way to attach a save is to do a Ctrl-S in game. This automatically compresses the save. Upload it to the current Uploads Directory (currently Uploads9) and post a link to the save file, or attach it directly to your post.
Thanks to Ginger_Ale for these additions - even down to the layout & formatting!

Installing a scenario or mod:

Once you have downloaded the scenario or mod from its thread in the Creation and Customization forum, unzip it and place the following files in their locations:
  • The .bic (Civ3), .bix (PTW), or .biq (C3C) file (the editor file) should go in your ../Scenarios/ folder (Civilization 3: C:/Program Files/Infogrames Interactive/Civilization III/Scenarios -- PTW: add /Civ3PTW/ -- C3C: add /Conquests/).
  • The folder containing unit art, resource art, wonder art, and text files should also go in the ../Scenarios/ folder.
Do not put the .bic/.bix/.biq file in the scenario folder!

When you load your game, click on the "Scenarios" button on the main splash screen (it's called "Civ-Content" for Conquests) and you will find your scenario there. If these steps don't work, post in the scenario/mod thread for help from the creators.

Shifting and Disappearing Buttons

Symptoms: The buttons at the bottom of the screen disappeared or shifted to the right.

Fix: You must've accidentally hit a key. If they went to the right, you hit the "Backspace" key by accident. Hitting it again should move the buttons back to normal. If the buttons disappeared all together, hit the "Delete" key and they will return once again.

Editing the Hall of Fame

To edit the Hall of Fame screen, navigate to your Civilization 3 folder (C:/Program Files/Infogrames Interactive/Civilization III/ -- if you have PTW, go to your /Civ3PTW/ folder, and if you have Conquests, go to your /Conquests/ folder). Open the HighScores.cv3 file in Notepad.

You'll see a screen with a jumble of numbers. Here's what they mean:

Example: Gilgamesh 25 2513 3 4 1

Gilgamesh -- leader's name
25 -- civilization's "number" as seen on the Player Setup Screen when you load the game
2513 -- final score
3 -- level (0 is Chieftain, 1 is Warlord, 2 is Regent, etc.)
4 -- victory condition (0 is Domination, 1 is Conquest, 2 is Cultural, 3 is Diplomatic, 4 is Space Race, 5 is Retired, 6 is Histographic)
1 -- win or loss (0 is loss, 1 is win)

You can edit / delete / add any lines you want and then save your file. When you load Civilization 3, your game will be updated accordingly.
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom