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Sid Meier’s Civilization VI tips and tricks

  • from PLITCH
  • 08.01.2024

The CIV series is undisputedly the top tier of global strategy and is one of the longest-lived game series ever. In our Sid Meier’s Civilization VI tips and tricks for beginners, we’ll show you how to trade, wage war, and build your empire into a world power in the latest installment. We’ll also explain how the new city development system works.

1) The best civilizations to start with

There are a total of 19 civilizations to choose from in CIV 6, and each one has its individual strengths and weaknesses. Depending on what goal or play style you’re aiming for, a different one may make sense.

The Americans are suitable if you’re aiming for a cultural victory. When it comes to science, the Arabs are at the top, and Australia, Congo, or Brazil are all-rounders with whom you can play any way you want.

For an aggressive style, we recommend the Aztecs or the Scythians, and if you want to create a trading empire, the Romans or the Russians are best. With the Egyptians or Chinese, you go hunting for world wonders and Germany is your civilization if you want to build a strong industry or a powerful army.

England, like America, is a candidate for a cultural victory in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, but the island nation is even better at conquering new continents. You should choose France if you can get over a difficult start phase and are rewarded with a strong army and a large number of wonders in the middle part of a game. Greece and India are the civilizations of diplomacy, and Japan is best for colonizing small areas. The easiest way to secure the religious victory is with Poland.

2) Explore the map and find a place to settle

As in most global strategy games, your location is crucial in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. So during the first few turns of the game, exploring the map should be at the forefront. Train a scout to send him out in search of resources. Then plan the construction of your city in such a way that you’re close to natural resources, but also have access to fresh water. The best way to do this is to have a direct connection to a river, or even to the coast if necessary.

If the water supply is secured, your empire becomes attractive to inhabitants, so it will quickly grow. You can see how good the water supply is on one of the fields via the colored overlay when you mark the settler on it. The greener, the better.

In order for people to settle in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, you must provide living space and ensure satisfaction. In addition to houses for accommodation, this includes amenities such as buildings for entertainment and access to luxury resources as the game progresses.

In order to be able to defend your city well, it shouldn’t be built more than eight fields away from your capital. However, it should not be too close either, otherwise your cities will slow each other down. Therefore, keep a minimum distance of five fields. In contrast to Civilization V, cities no longer occupy only one hex but can spread out over several.

3) Plan your cities and districts correctly

Due to the new settlement mechanics, city-building in CIV 6 is much more complex than in its predecessors. Thus, you can build districts around your city center, each of which spawns its own buildings and occupies hexagons much like terrain modernizations.

In addition to trade, science, or production buildings, special districts are also possible. You need these to build wonders. Be aware, however, that certain wonders are linked to certain conditions. For example, the aqueduct requires a water supply in order to be built.

When you start building a city in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, the first thing you should do is provide granaries and water mills, and then gradually work towards the special districts. Ensure the supply of food, keep the satisfaction level high, and pay attention to amenities.

4) Sid Meier’s Civilization VI tips: Mining resources

With craftsmen, you can mine resources partially or completely in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. For example, if you need a large amount of wood quickly, clearing a forest is a good idea. However, you will not be able to build a sawmill in the same place.

The same applies to food. If your craftsmen harvest a resource completely, you’ll receive considerable bonuses, but it will no longer be available at the location. So weigh carefully how many and how quickly you need certain materials.

Craftsmen can also be used to modernize buildings and increase production. As in the previous CIV games, they fulfill the function of construction troops, but they’re able to perform modernizations immediately. However, their limit is three uses. Once these are used up, the units disappear from the map. We recommend that you research “Craftsmanship” in the development trees and place it on a free politics slot. This will allow you to recruit successors 30% faster.

5) Keep the overview

One of our most important Sid Meier’s Civilization VI tips is to train a scout at the very beginning of a game. By sending him out, you get an overview of where you are on the map, which city-states are near you, and which barbarians or leaders could be dangerous.

If you discover a stray barbarian with the help of your scout, you can follow him and find out the location of his camp. But not only enemies can be discovered, but also useful tribal villages can be found. In addition, a scout gives you a movement bonus. And speaking of movement.

6) Efficient movement

If you don’t want your AI competitors to snatch away the best locations for founding a new city in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, your movement should be as efficient as possible. Get an overview of the terrain before you send out units. Hill, forest, and jungle areas require two movement points, while flat areas require only one. Plan your routes so that they cover flat terrain as much as possible.

Also, you can assign a military unit to each civilian unit, which will follow it step by step. With settlers, this is a good way to protect them from stray barbarians. Besides entering a new terrain field, attacks and looting also consume movement points. The same is true for naval units. In the first hours of the game, these are limited to coastal regions. Later, however, you can also travel to deep-sea fields and explore the oceans.

7) Keep an eye on your rivals

The AI’s actions in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI are determined by two factors. First, it tries to achieve random goals, and second, it lives up to the nature of its ruler. This corresponds to the actual political beliefs of the historical figure. Thus, Roosevelt, as your neighbor, will avoid war at all costs, while Genghis Khan is more bellicose.

Besides the political agenda, you should also keep an eye on the construction projects of your competitors. Each wonder may only exist once in the world. So if the AI beats you to it and builds a wonder first, you won’t be able to choose it. If you build a wonder that the AI has just completed, your construction will be canceled and your investment will have been in vain.

8) How to trade and prepare for wars

Even if your main goal in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is war, trading will be an important mechanic in your game. So try to explore the trade option as early as possible to get food, culture, science, and also production. First, create trade routes to the cities closest to yours. The routes will be faster to travel and your expansion will be faster.

As the routes get longer over the ages, you’ll make more profit if they pass through existing trading posts. And the routes will also be useful for the war. Because the routes that are created through them remain with you even after a declaration of war and can be used by your military.

But you should not only connect foreign cities with routes in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. The exchange of production and food between your own cities is also important to compensate for bottlenecks and to strengthen a weaker city with a more powerful one. Trade routes with a range of up to 30 fields are also possible over water.

9) How do you wage war and besiege cities?

Before you declare war in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, it’s advisable to look at the relations of your intended victim in the diplomacy window. Allied nations may rush to the country’s aid and interfere in the war. This can quickly create an enemy superiority. It’s also important to avoid a two-front war.

To enlarge your army in the short term, send envoys to neighboring city-states that have a camp district. This will give you a +2 bonus on military and you can use the army of the city-state. Together with your own, you can prepare a two-front attack.

It’s best to bring your soldiers to the border of the enemy empire in times of peace and only then declare war on them. This way the enemy doesn’t have many possibilities to react.

If an enemy city is fortified with a wall in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, you need artillery units for the siege. Unprotected cities can also be brought down with infantry and ranged fighters only. After you destroy a city, you annex it by sending an infantry unit into it.

However, war should always be well thought out. Because even the people you live in peace with take notice of your actions, and if you become known as a warmonger, it will negatively affect your diplomatic opportunities.

10) Win wars without violence

If your opponent in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is already further developed than you, you would most likely lose a war. So the goal is to resolve conflicts without violence. Either you catch up so that your research is at the same level as theirs and only then declare war, or you use religion as a weapon.

To do this, train missionaries and send them to rival cities. With a little luck, it’s possible to convert them and thus bring them into your empire. If you succeed in converting all the cities of an AI rival, you’ll have defeated them even without a battle. However, it’s important to note that your ambitions may be noticed and you’ll be declared war or denounced. So it’s best to proceed carefully and not send too many missionaries at once.

11) Civ VI: Types of victories

Score Victory

After the inevitable end of the game after (usually) 500 turns, the one with the highest score wins. Points are gained through cities, for example. The best leader for a score victory in Civilization VI is Frederick Barbarossa (Germany).

Science victory

If you complete different projects in your spaceport, you have a chance to win the science victory in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI.

Culture victory

For a cultural victory, you need a certain number of foreign tourists. This depends on how much culture you have and what age the game is in. The best leader for a cultural victory is Qin Shi Huang (China).

Domination victory

This is achieved when you own or control all the capitals at the same time in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI.

Religion victory

You must convert all civilizations to your own religion if you want to win the religious victory. To do this, you must first convert at least half a city’s population, and then convert at least half the cities of a civilization.

To convert citizens, you need an apostle. They can only be bought with faith and can initiate an inquisition. An apostle ignores borders and can start battles. The best leader for a religious victory is Mansa Musa (Mali).

Diplomacy victory

This is only available in the Civ VI DLC Gathering Storm. For this, you have to collect 20 diplomacy victory points. You can get them at the World Congress, when you build wonders, when you do certain research, and when you request help. In the World Congress, you get points by winning votes. The best leader for a diplomatic victory is Wilfrid Laurier (Canada).

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Happy Gaming!