Inexperienced gamers may be put off by Civilization 6’s many interesting and intricate additions. Victory requires that you grasp what makes them tick. There are so many new features and mechanisms in Civilization 6 that they might be overwhelming for beginner players. With two expansions released since launch and the most recent New Frontier Pass, gamers have a lot to keep track of.
There seems to be too many choices to be made and not enough time to implement them all, beginning with where to settle and what improvements to make initially. In order to achieve victory in Civilization VI, you must make prudent decisions. The mechanisms and storylines in certain strategy games may be daunting behemoths. Newly launched by Firaxis, Civilization VI is a barrier-breaker because of its methodology that makes complexity inviting rather than scary. Although there have been significant modifications, longtime fans will instantly feel at home.
If you’ve ever considered trying out the long-running strategy series, this entry is a great place to start. But don’t worry, we’ve got you prepared with some first-game advice just in case you need it.
Creating Food and Products
Food and manufacturing are the two most important resources in Civilization 6 that will always be required. First and foremost, food is necessary for raising the population in any city. Each resident eats two foods every turn, and the city will develop as long as the production exceeds the number of people x2 (e.g. a city with 10 food per turn can quickly gain up to 5 citizens).
Everything can be built quicker thanks to production. The more a city’s output, the quicker each structure, unit, or project will be completed. It is critical to maintain track of each city’s food and output at all times.
Turn On Yield Icons
The first thing you should probably do in Civilization 6 is activate the yield icons from the UI. To activate them, click the second icon from the left, titled “map options,” at the bottom left of the screen, immediately above the minimap, and then enable the yield icons. The player may now examine the production and food given by each tile (which can be increased with improvements) and so understand why their towns are prospering or not.
Locations for Relocation
One of the most crucial components in Civilization 6 is establishing new cities, which should be done as soon as feasible. It is critical, at least for the first four cities, to choose excellent sites that will aid in their development. Some common techniques include establishing a city on or near high yield icons, on top of a luxury resource (people begin collecting it instantly even if it vanishes), or on a hill as a more strategic location that makes invading the city much more difficult.
Building broad, or as many cities as possible, is one of the strongest tactics in Civilization 6. After the first few cities, the settlement site is unimportant; it’s all about gaining an additional city. More cities mean quicker development, while having too many of them has no negative consequences. One thing to keep in mind is that this is the norm, but there are always exceptions, such as the Japanese and the Mayans, who like to play tall, with just a few major cities.
Districts, maybe the most essential sort of structure in Civilization 6, should be constructed whenever possible. Each city has a certain number of districts that it may have. When they have one person, they may establish one district and get one more district space for every three residents (so on four citizens, the city can build two; on seven, it can build three, and so on). It is suggested to establish a district whenever the city’s population permits it, since they provide large advantages.
Select Wonders With Caution.
World wonder structures are one of the most game-changing building kinds. Each marvel may only be created once throughout the match (by whomever is the first to complete it) and delivers a major boost to their empire.
However, there are far too many marvels in the game, and most of them are too costly to construct. It is critical for the player to construct just the ones that they will need depending on their victory condition, rather than wasting production on less vital ones.
Select the win condition.
A major error that novice players make is not deciding which victory condition to pursue and then becoming lost amid all of the available alternatives. It is critical to victory to pick which win condition to pursue (domination, science, culture, religion, diplomacy, or scoring) at the end of the first round of the game, dependent on the leader chosen and starting position.
For example, playing with Russia and discovering a natural marvel nearby (which improves Astrology) is a good beginning position for a religious win, but starting with a lot of mountains (which buffs campuses) encourages science-focused strategy.
Units should not always be rushed.
Building units should be kept to a minimum unless the player intends to achieve dominance. The optimal plan would be to have just a few forces that will be garrisoned in the player’s cities and will be improved during the game. If the neighbor becomes hostile, the player can always construct more, but utilizing production on troops might be a waste of time and resources in any other circumstance.
Prioritize research and civic engagement.
In Civilization 6, the two primary upgrade trees are research and civics. Both enable the player to get access to more troops, structures, global marvels, and acts that will lead them to triumph. It is always critical to enhance these trees fast in order to avoid falling behind. This is also why the Campus and Theater Square areas should be created in the majority of the cities of the players. Before playing, it is critical to examine these trees and pick which improvements to prioritize depending on the victory condition.
Modify Policy Cards
When a new civic is unlocked, the player gains access to new policy cards and may freely switch between them throughout that round. These policy cards may provide large situational benefits, which the player should constantly aim to exploit. For example, the player should begin constructing settlers when they acquire the policy card that increases settlers’ productivity, and then build builders when their corresponding card is loaded. The same may be said for marvels, units, and most structures. Policy cards are necessary for maintaining efficiency throughout the game.
Identify the four winning criteria.
Firaxis changes the methods you conquer the planet with each civilization game. In Civilization VI, there are four primary win conditions: dominance, science, culture, and religion. There is also a silent fifth score-based option that only activates if you reach the year 2050 (500 turns) without a victor. Military force is required for dominance to win. The game is yours after you control every other nation’s capital as well as your own. A scientific victory requires you to do late-game research, launch a satellite into space, land a man on the moon, and create a colony on Mars.
Each of them necessitates unique building projects, with the ultimate phase necessitating the construction of three components that can only be erected in cities with a spaceport. Cultural triumphs are dependent on increasing tourism cache and attracting international visitors. This is achieved via open border treaties, archaeological discoveries, magnificent works of art, holy places, one-of-a-kind marvels, and national parks. The longer the game goes on, the more difficult this becomes since you need more visitors than all the domestic tourists combined in each of the other civs.
Finally, for the first time in Civilization VI, a religious victory is included. Your way to triumph is through holy places and religious agents such as apostles, missionaries, and inquisitors. To earn this sort of victory, you must convert at least half of every rival civilization’s cities to your religion. Creating a religion in Civilization VI is a lot of fun since you can name it anything you want.
Choose a leader who complements your playing style.
Once you grasp the many strategies to win, you must choose one of the 20 leaders who best matches your play style. If you’re new to the Civilization series, we suggest starting with a science triumph. Culture is tough, religion will almost certainly lead to conflict, and dominance is more difficult than it seems, since large armies need solid infrastructure. As a result, you could think of Russia. Peter I (also known as Peter the Great) is a leech on science and culture. Trade channels (discussed further below) may bring in extra technology from any civilization more evolved than Russia. Just be sure Peter’s quick land acquisitions don’t enrage your neighbors. Arabia and Saladin (combining religion and technology) and Sumeria and Gilgamesh are other viable alternatives for science success (whose ziggurats produce additional science along rivers). Science triumphs, enabling you to protect your borders with a small force while concentrating on technologies and district upgrades that benefit your end game.
This is also an excellent opportunity to practice diplomacy, since making friends with other leaders can help keep you safe. You may use negotiations to trade for technologies that you would rather not spend time developing yourself. You’ll also want to ensure that your alliances with other civilizations provide you with access to critical commodities that you can’t get on your own. If you need oil or steel but do not have it inside your boundaries, you will have to trade for it with other leaders. A scientific success allows you to get your feet wet. Next time you go out, you may be the neighborhood bully, preach the gospel to the rest of the globe, or welcome travelers from all over the world with open arms.
Choose your initial city location wisely (but quickly).
Every Civilization game begins with a settler and a soldier. When you plant your roots, you’ll want to be near water, whether it’s a river or the ocean (definitely the latter if your leader and civ focus on sailing, like Norway and Harald Hadrada or Victoria and England). Don’t wait too long to discover the ideal location for your empire. If you don’t finish it in the first two turns, you’ll be placed in a desolate wasteland. Setting a shop near water is critical for any civilization looking to expand its people.
Each new citizen grants you the ability to “work” one more tile within your boundaries. You may either micromanage the tiles on which your city is concentrated or let the game do it (we recommend leaving that alone until you get comfortable). It’s critical to have a good food supply nearby, which you can subsequently grow into farms using building units. Turning on the yield overlay is the easiest way to find out (and leave it on). The minimap on the bottom left has four icons; choose the second one from the left to activate all three checkmarks (you might later wish to turn off resource icons and grid lines, but the yield icons remain helpful). Food is represented by corn, manufacturing by gears, and culture by music notes. For the time being, concentrate on food and manufacturing, which will allow you to fulfill construction missions more quickly.
You know when to send pioneers into the wilderness.
You will eventually need additional cities. Your population will reach a point where growth will cease. Before you reach that point, build a settler and send them out to find a new home. When you reach four or five people, it’s time to start thinking about growth, but don’t break your development queue if your present project is almost finished. Make sure your vulnerable settlers get a military escort.
You don’t want barbarians or enemies to capture or kill it. When searching for a decent location, attempt to find important resources and set up camp near rivers, hills, or mountains.
Make your city more diverse.
You don’t want cities that look the same. Each new city should play a function in your expanding empire. Culture and commerce might be prioritized in one, and production in another. Your coastal towns can produce naval forces, whilst a well-defended, centrally positioned city can produce military troops and send them to distant parts of your empire.
You’ll gain a natural sense of how to specialize in cities as you play more. To begin with, understand that certain cities do not need specific districts. There’s no need to concentrate on production-boosting enhancements if you’re producing gold. Take a non-cookie-cutter approach. Trying to accomplish everything in every place is the most inefficient way to spend time and money. It’s a distraction from achieving your goal.
Do not disregard your armed forces.
Even if you are the world’s most docile leader, you cannot ignore armed forces. You may eventually find yourself in a scenario that necessitates the use of a sword or pistol, and it may be through no fault of your own. The AI may sometimes settle close to you and get irritated by your naturally growing boundaries. Other times, you’ll send an ambassador to a city-state and enrage a leader who is feuding with that settlement. You never know how leaders will respond to your maneuvers, and they may surprise you with a declaration of war.
You do not need the most powerful military to compel your attacker to sue for peace. You only need enough soldiers to patrol the borders, rattle their sabers, and frighten away anybody who thinks you are a pushover. If you encounter a circumstance like this and successfully negotiate it, you may find your coffers brimming with your opponent’s gold as they rush to escape a losing war.
City-states may be useful friends.
The AI-driven city-states are likely to be the first non-barbarians you face early on. You can be the local bully and force them. If you want a peaceful partnership, you can develop trade channels, send ambassadors, and cultivate a friendship.
Every envoy you send helps to fund city-state incentives. This allows you to focus on the factors that are most crucial to your win condition. Moreover, if you have the greatest power, you may temporarily command the armed forces of the city-state. If you find yourself in a jam, this may be an effective strategy to deter opponents from crossing your border.
Utilize trade channels to your advantage.
Your trade channels are your allies. This is worth repeating. Routes of commerce Are they your friends? In prior Civilization games, players had to laboriously assign employees to construct roadways. It wasn’t fun, and it didn’t always operate well. In Civ VI, highways linking cities are built automatically following trade routes.
These enable faster travel, eliminating terrain penalties, and, in the event of conflict, delivering critical military forces to their target before it’s too late. Food, gold, manufacturing, and culture are also delivered through trade routes, either providing a lifeline between your people and allies or just allowing you to move your domestic items about the globe more readily. You’ll want to send your caravans to as many places as possible, especially if you’re striving for a cultural win.
Make friends because you will undoubtedly make enemies.
Unless you set out to control the planet with an iron hand, you’re probably spending the early game establishing the groundwork for a game that’s more like a race than a boxing match. It’s possible to go the whole game without fighting, although it’s uncommon. You’re going to irritate someone and have to quickly prepare for battle as a consequence. At that moment, your job is to make the situation unbearable for your adversary as quickly as possible.
What is the best approach to doing this? Make new friends. Spend some time looking over the diplomacy menu. Negotiate open borders with leaders that aren’t prone to conflict, make trade deals, and boost your rapport to “friendship” status. Once you’ve done that, any AI that declares war on you will be fighting you on two fronts. If you wind yourself in a fight at that moment, your combined strength will almost certainly provide you with a way to finish the battle quickly.
You do not need every technological advancement.
We previously advised you to specialize in your cities. In our last recommendation, we recommend that you apply the same mentality to your whole empire. It takes time to investigate new technologies. Every time you choose a tech that does not unlock a building, district, or unit that is necessary for the victory you want, you are wasting important rounds (sometimes 40 or 50 of them).
Once you’ve mastered the game, you may choose your next tech from a list on the left side of the screen. When you’re gaining your Civ legs, always open the tech tree. Find out what your alternatives are and what they make accessible for investigation. It is not only acceptable but also recommended to plan out your next three or four options. In fact, if you have a certain goal in mind, you may choose it from the tree, and the game will investigate the criteria in the correct sequence.
Later on, you may discover that you need an older technology to attain the one you want. This is an excellent opportunity for diplomacy. You may request that other leaders share their expertise in addition to troops, magnificent pieces of art, money, and resources. This is sometimes the quickest method to transform your gold excess into science. It’s not a sin to pay for it. This is an excellent opportunity for diplomacy.
Lead developer at Lost Rabbit Digital. Writer for Good2Games. Boden began freelancing for Good2Game in 2021. He got his start making games and is still interested in the inner workings of games via the modding and speedrunning communities. He is addicted to co-op crafting games, lengthy novels, and multiplayer cryptid hunts.