Civilization V Customisation Wiki

The Caravel is a Naval melee unit available in the Renaissance Era. It is the first naval unit able to cross deep ocean.


The caravel was a small, seagoing vessel used in the 15th century to explore the world. Originally created at the order of Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal, other nations were quick to spot the caravel's qualities and created their own copies of the useful craft. Usually of some 20 to 30 yards in length and sporting two or three lateen-rigged masts, caravels were light and shallow-drafted, making them perfect for exploration of unknown coasts and rivers, boldly going where bigger craft feared to sail. They were also remarkably seaworthy ships and could survive the worst that the Atlantic could throw at them. Two of Christopher Columbus's three vessels - the Pinta and the Niña - were caravels (the larger Santa María was a carrack).


In the early Renaissance Era naval and orientation technology finally develop enough to allow vessels to enter open ocean. The Caravel is the first naval unit in the game capable of doing that. Depending entirely on sails, this vessel is much more stable and compact and is ideal for exploration, thanks to its larger sight radius (which, unfortunately, doesn't carry over when the unit is upgraded). The Caravel ushers in the era of geographic discoveries, allowing you to finally explore and make contact with the rest of the world.

Caravels are primarily meant for exploration, not battle; they're armed with short-range cannons which make them a melee naval unit, slightly more powerful than a Galleass. Their maneuverability allows them to retreat before enemies attacking in melee. With its large sight radius, its relatively high strength, and a special promotion that allows it to evade enemy melee attacks, the Caravel is perfectly suited for exploring and revealing as much of the map as possible while staying out of danger.

Finally, you can use Caravels to attack and take cities (although there is another Renaissance Era unit - the Privateer - that is better suited for those purposes). Still, remember that its combat strength is usually not enough for major battles, especially against later Renaissance Era ships.

Unique Unit Replacements[]

Icon Unit Civilization Abilities
Unitflag baghlah
Oman (Saif bin Sultan)
  • Begins with 1 Experience for every 3 Gold produced by the empire (up to 30)
  • Has additional Movement and Sight
Unitflag dhow
Kilwa (Ali ibn al-Hassan)
  • Unlocked at Compass
  • +1 Moves Movement
  • Heals 15 HP per turn outside friendly territory
  • -16% Production production cost
  • -4 Strength Combat Strength
Arilasqueto Pinnace Icon
Full-Rigged Pinnace Plymouth (John Carver)
  • Gains additional Moves Movement from Religious Pressure in the city it starts its turn in.
  • May spend FaithIcon Faith to spawn a Settler when adjacent to a new landmass.
MC Ghali
Ghali Aceh (Iskandar Muda)
  • -2 base Strength Combat Strength, but +2 Strength Combat Strength for each unique resource improved in the city of origin.
  • +2 Moves Movement when on Coastal tiles.
  • May cross Deep Ocean.
Glung Kbbang[1][2] Pegu (Shin Sawbu)
  • Unlocked at Compass
  • +25% Defence against ranged attacks.
  • +50% Strength Combat Strength when defending from melee attacks, will not retreat if attacked.
Goelette Acadia (Beausoleil)
  • Costs less to produce
  • Combat bonus against weakend units
  • Can construct Fishing Boats
Jahazi Zanzibar (Barghash bin Said)
  • -10% Strength Combat Strength (18 vs 20)
  • +1 Moves Movement
  • No maintenance cost
  • Provides Gold Gold for each unimproved, unclaimed Luxury Resource within a one-tile radius.
Unitflag kadatpadai
The Chola (Raja Raja I)
  • +3 Strength Combat Strength when adjacent to Barbarians
Poland (Casimir IV)
  • +25% Strength Combat Strength in the Coast
  • +25% Strength Combat Strength vs. embarked Land Units
  • Chance of producing an additional Kaper upon defeating an embarked Land Unit
Lulaato Kaato Buganda (Muteesa I)
  • Unlocked at Physics.
  • Claims unclaimed tiles it first moves into after being trained or promoted.
  • Increased Strength strength attacking cities when stacked with a Greatperson Great Admiral or General.
  • During a Goldenage Golden Age, may be bought with FaithIcon Faith.
Murakami Kobaya Icon
Flag Murakami
Murakami Kobaya
Mori (Mori Motonari)
  • Heals 10 HP on a trade route or 20 HP on a Tile Improvement
  • +10% Strength Combat Strength for each adjacent land tile at the start of its turn
  • Slower that the Caravel, but extra movement in Coast
Nanban-sen Date (Date Masamune)
  • Meeting a new Civilization will generate a sum of Science Science from each owned Nanban-sen.
  • Meeting a new City-State will generate a sum of Gold Gold from each owned Nanban-sen.
Portugal (Maria I) Portugal (João II)
  • Can perform a one-time Trade Mission to earn Gold and Experience
  • +1 Movement
Noleggiatore Venice (Enrico Dandolo)

(with Domenico Selvo's Venice installed)

  • Receives +2 Movement and +1 Sight when it starts its turn on the same tile as a friendly Cargo Ship
  • Generates Gold when stationed in a Puppeted or Occupied city
Padewakang Gowa (Hasanuddin)
  • May Moves Move twice as fast along sea Traderoute Trade Routes, and three times as fast along sea Traderoute Trade Routes near different continents.
Sloop Rio Grande (Bento Gonçalves)
  • Can be trained inland, but loses 10 Strength Combat Strength until embarked.
  • When embarking, gains additional Strength Combat Strength and Goldenage Golden Age points based on how it is from its origin city.
  • Trained with +1 Moves Movement for each Cattle resource being worked by the city (Up to +3).
Turtle Ship
Korea (Sejong) Korea (Seonjo)
  • Sejong version:
    • +80% Strength
    • Cannot enter deep ocean
    • No extra sight or melee withdrawl
  • Seonjo version:
    • +60% Strength Combat Strength (32 vs 20)
    • -1 Moves Movement (3 vs 4)
    • No extra sight or melee withdrawal
Uwassiye Mogadishu (Abu Bakr ibn Umar)
  • +5 Strength Combat Strength.
  • Provides +2 Gold Gold for each active Traderoute trade route to the city it is stationed next to.
  • If the city is Mogadishawi, it also provides +1 Food Food per route.
  • If the city is foreign, it provides +2 CultureIcon Culture per route.
EW Junk
War Junk Zheng (Koxinga)
  • Generates Experience each turn while the Capital Capital is in a We Love the King Day.
  • Upon promotion, grants a burst of Great Admiral points.
  1. Halliday, Mon-English dictionary
  2. Guillon, The Mons
Unit Types
Ancient Era
ArcherChariot ArcherScoutSpearmanTriremeWarrior
Classical Era
Composite BowmanCatapultHorsemanSwordsman
Medieval Era
Renaissance Era
Industrial Era
ArtilleryCavalryGatling GunIroncladRifleman
Modern Era
Anti-Aircraft GunBattleshipCarrierDestroyerGreat War BomberGreat War InfantryInfantryLandshipMachine GunSubmarineTriplane
Atomic Era
Anti-Tank GunAtomic BombBazookaBomberFighterHelicopter GunshipMarineMobile SAMParatrooperRocket ArtilleryTank
Information Era
Giant Death RobotGuided MissileJet FighterMechanized InfantryMissile CruiserModern ArmorNuclear MissileNuclear SubmarineStealth BomberXCOM Squad
Civilian Units
ArchaeologistCaravanCargo ShipInquisitorMissionarySettlerWork BoatWorker
Great People
Great AdmiralGreat ArtistGreat EngineerGreat GeneralGreat MerchantGreat MusicianGreat ProphetGreat ScientistGreat Writer