Civilian Structures vary in architecture and design, but all have the primary function of providing shelter or storage for their creators.
Being on earth, the majority of civilian structures seen in the game are human designs. These structures range from European cottages, American apartments, to Asian huts, to big red barns. There are also many industrial buildings, such as warehouses or water storage tanks.
When Orlok the Eternal invades the Atlantia, it is revealed that the Masari also have many civilian structures in their city ship as well. These Masari buildings can also be found on occasion in more remote areas of the planet, such as the jungles of South America or the wilds of Africa.
In the Xbox360 version of the game, the tutorial is located on Novus's homeworld and reveals many futuristic skyscrapers that had been rebuilt by the sapient machines.
Civilian Structures can be found on every map in Universe at War and serve to replace "resource fields" found in other RTS games. The structures each have varying amounts of raw materials that may be harvested by Novus Collectors or Hierarchy Reaper Drones. Also, human structures sometimes release a human civilian that can be harvested for 100 RM by a Reaper Drone or Mutated by a Defiler.
- According to in-game files, some civilian structures may have once been able to be garrisoned with troops, but for some unknown reason this was cut.
- The faction owner "Civilian" allows nearly anything to be harvested, making for interesting effects on custom maps.
- Comically, human automobiles will set off a car alarm when crushed or destroyed by harvesting.