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 theCaravel. 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
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)
Unitflag twodecker
Russia (Peter I)
  • Starts with +5 Experience per Declaration of Friendship (max 20)
  • +25% Combat bonus vs Land units

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.