Civilization V Customisation Wiki

The Frigate is a Naval Ranged unit available in the Renaissance Era.


During the "Age of Sail," a frigate was a warship that was smaller than the three-decked "ships of the line" which formed the core of a navy's fighting vessels, but was still large enough to pack a considerable amount of firepower. Frigates were three-masted ships with their guns mounted on a single deck (a ship of the line might have two or even three decks of guns). Depending upon its size, a frigate might carry 25-50 guns. Frigates generally served as escort and patrol vessels, as well as pirate-hunters. During the War of 1812 the United States deployed so-called "super frigates" which carried up to 90 guns. One such vessel, the USS Constitution still survives; she is the oldest commissioned frigate still afloat.


The Frigate is the dominant vessel of the Renaissance Era, the pinnacle of sail-based military technology. Its long-range cannon batteries can lay waste to both sea and land forces (if the latter are in range, of course), and are also very effective against coastal cities. Its iron-shod corpus is strong and at the same time allows even faster movement than the Caravel. With its ability to cross the ocean, the Frigate starts in earnest the naval contest in the game.

The Frigate is also the first vessel to require a resource. Fortunately, it appears right when your front-line units are being upgraded to gunpowder units and stop requiring Iron, so usually this is no problem.

Finally, in vanilla Civilization V, Frigates can upgrade to Destroyers if they are not upgraded to Ironclads or if Combustion is discovered before Telegraph.

Unique Unit Replacements[]

Icon Unit Civilization Abilities
East Indiaman Dutch East India Company (Jan Pieterszoon Coen)
  • Stronger than the unit it replaces.
  • Gains a War Combat Bonus while situated on a Traderoute Trade Route.
Flagship United Kingdom (Pitt the Younger)
  • Receives an increasing War Attack Bonus against Units and Cities as it moves further away from the Capital Capital, and a stronger Strength Defence bonus the closer it is to the Capital.
  • Has a chance to capture neutral Units that it begins its turn adjacent to.
  • +2 Moves Movement to Admirals starting turn with it.
Cetbang icon
Kapal Cetbang Indonesia (Gajah Mada)

(When DuskJockey's Majapahit or Sultan Agung's Mataram is installed)

  • Does not require fresh water.
  • Provides +5 XP to newly-trained Units for each Religion Religion present in the City.
Océan-class France (Louis XVI)
  • +50% resistance to City Attacks
  • Moves immediately if purchased.
  • Begins with doubled Moves Movement if purchased.
  • Requires 1 Iron Iron instead of Coal Coal (Pouakai's Enlightenment Era Only).
JFD SwedenKarlAtlas 256 - Copy (2) - Copy
Unitflag regalship
Regal Ship
Sweden (Gustavus Adolphus)

(When Karl XII's Sweden is installed)

  • Heals nearby Land units by 10 HP per turn
  • +20% Combat bonus in coastal waters
England (Elizabeth)

Great Britain (Victoria)

  • +20% Combat Strength (30 vs 25)
  • +25% Ranged Strength (35 vs 28)
  • +1 Sight
  • -8% Production cost (Victoria)
Steam Frigate Two Sicilies (Ferdinand I)
  • Double Moves Movement in Coast
  • +1 Moves Movement (carries on upgrade)
Unitflag twodecker
Russia (Peter I)
  • Starts with +5 Experience per Declaration of Friendship (max 20)
  • +25% Combat bonus vs Land units
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