Want to start off a game of Civilization VI well and get an advantage over the other players? On this page, we’ll give you 11 tips on what to do when first starting out to help you win at the game! There is also a page for what not to do when first starting out Civilization VI, and you can find that here. For more tips and tricks, on how to advance your civilizatation to be the most dominating in the world, be sure to check here for more.
There are multiple ways to win in Civilzation VI and if you aren’t aware of what you’ll need to be doing in order to win the game, you might only realize halfway through that you’ve been doing things all wrong! A single game can take many hours to complete and you don’t want to have to restart and lose all of your progress just because you failed to prepare, right? There are five main types of victories in the game: Domination, Science, Culture, Religious, and Score Victories. Each one of them will be described in-depth below.
- Domination Victory can be achieved by having control of all original capitals in the game. However, only the last player holding onto their capital will win, meaning if you have one last capital to go and their army takes your own capital, they would win the game.
- Science Victory can be achieved by three steps: Launching a satellite, landing a human on the Moon, and establishing a colony on Mars. Launching a satellite requires researching the Rocketry Tech, building a Spaceport, and completing the Earth Satellite project. Landing a human on the Moon requires researching the Satellites technology and completing the Moon Landing project. Establishing a colony on Mars requires researching the Robotics, Nuclear Fission, and Nanotechnology techs and completing each respective module project. Once all three module projects are built, you will have won the game.
- Culture Victory can be achieved by having a total number of tourists that exceeds the domestic tourists of every other civilization in the game. You can acheive these tourists by having multiple trade routes, shared/conflicting late game Governments, open borders, Great Works, Relics, Holy Sites, National Parks, Artifacts, and wonders.
- Religious Victory can be acheived by converting every single other civilization to your Religion, which can simply be acheived by having the majority of their cities following your Religion. This can usually be acheived by having a high number of Apostles and Missionaries.
- Score Victory is a special victory that can be obtained after the year 2050 or whichever turn the player sets. It is determined by a civilzation’s score, a score that accumulates over the course of the game from your number of civis, number of population, number of cities, number of technologies, number of future technologies, number of wonders, military accomplishments, number of Great People, and number of Beliefs.
As you now know, there are many different types of ways to win in Civilization VI. Now, when you play the game, you will have to play as a leader of your civilization. These leaders give you unique bonuses, units, and buildings that allow your civilization to thrive in a certain way. Some leaders will be more suited towards winning at a certain victory than others. For example, take Frederick Barbarossa: He has the following additional effects, units, and buildings while playing as him:
- Free Imperial Cities: Each city can build one more district than usual (exceeding the normal limit based on Population).
- Holy Roman Emperor: Additional Military policy slot. +7 Combat Strength when attacking city-states.
- U-Boat: German unique Modern era naval unit that replaces the Submarine. Cheaper to produce, +1 Sight, and +10 Combat Strength when fighting on Ocean Tiles. Able to reveal other stealthed units.
- Hansa: District unique to Germany for industrial activity. Replaces the Industrial Zone district.
As you can see, Frederick Barbarossa is very suited towards military activity and many districts, given his unique effects and unit type. This means that Frederick will be much better at attempting a Domination Victory compared to someone like Pericles, who is much more suited to a Culture Victory.
You might feel like you can rule the world with just one mega-city, right? You would not have to deal with handling multiple cities especially during times such as bankruptcy or war, you wouldn’t have to spend time putting resources into the new cities, etc etc. However, it is advised to build at least two more cities besides the Capital that you start out with. The reason for this is handling multiple cities is not very difficult. If you keep your cities close together and not too spread out, you can almost have a string of cities that feel like a single, large city. As for the resources, new cities don’t take up that many resources and they also allow you to trade between your own cities once you have multiples, giving back resources that you would have spent on creating the cities. If you are going for a Domination Victory, they allow you to spread your ruling territory and also give your Capital an extra layer of defense during times of war. There’s very little downsides to building cities and many upsides to doing so.
Be sure to also keep up your Food and Housing amounts as well so that you aren’t gaining too many people or too little, but you’ll still need ways to entertain your cities so focus on getting more Amenity quickly. For example, focus on researching towards the Games and Recreation technology for an easy way to deal with low Amenity. Another way to have Amenities is to have Luxury Resources such as Ivory or Tobacco inside of your cities. Be warned, however, as war weariness and bankruptcy will lower the Amenities in each city.
Trading is extremely important in Civilization VI due to the fact that it will grant all your cities free resources, like Food or Gold. You will usually have a limit on how many trade routes you can have at any given moment in your civilization, but making the most out of all of them will result in heavy resource production which can be very important to winning the game. As a tip, you can even trade between your own cities and still gain resources, meaning if you have two cities right next to each other you can just continuously trade between the two for easy resources.
Another thing that should be noted in relation to trading is that you can actually trade and bargain with other Civilizations. By clicking on their character icon n the top right, you will be sent to the diplomatic menu where you can do several things such as denounce, declare war, and other options. If you choose to trade with them, you can offer them open borders in exchange for whatever they feel is good, usually a small amount of gold per turn or open borders on their end. This is good for manuevering units around other civilizations as they will get upset at you otherwise.
Not only can you trade gold and border status, but you can even trade Great Works, although they will cost high amounts of gold or luxuries. This is very useful later on as you will have tons of gold by that point and most civilizations will have Great Works to buy from. They don’t always sell their Great Works, in which case you can use Spies to steal them from the civilizations! However, trading is always the easiest path with how much gold you are left with later on in the game, so always try that before attempting to steal it. These tips should really help out anyone trying to go for a Culture Victory.
Tribal villages can be found very early on in the game while exploring the world in Civilization VI. They look like you would expect them to, small little villages that will look somewhat lively but also blend in with the background a little bit. When you find one (by which I mean one of them enters the vision range of one of your units or cities), you’ll be notified of the discovery of a new tribal village. It is important to always pick these up as soon as you find one because they will grant gifts to the first (and ONLY the first) civilization that lands on the village tile. This gift can include survivors like Builders or Traders, technology and/or technology boosts, military units, Faith, Gold, Relics, or civic boosts. They are essentially free resources but only can be redeemed once, so if you find one be sure to immediately head there!
While playing through the game early on, you will find that much of the land is inhabited by Barbarians. These units will always be aggressive towards the player, so having a small army is extremely useful for defending your cities, scouting out nearby unexplored territory, and overtaking Barbarian camps. You don’t have to focus entirely on creating an army of Warriors and Archers, but having several units of each is recommended early on in order to deal with the Barbarians. Not only that, but it’s always possible that you could get on the bad side of another civilization and in the off chance that they declare war upon you, an army would be suited to defending yourself.
Whenever you advance into the next era, such as into the Classical Era from the Ancient Era, you will eventually be able to pick up more advanced units. For example, each civilization starts off with the Warrior unit as the basic melee military unit. However, once they advance to the Classical Era and research the Iron Working technology, they will be able to unlock and build Swordsman. These units are stronger and move faster than the Ancient Warrior units that you had used before. However, that doesn’t mean you will have to discard your Warrior units and start creating Swordsman units (although you can do the latter part anyways), instead you can simply click on the Warrior unit and pay a small gold fee to upgrade them into the Swordsman class. This will not only save you time (which can be crucial, especially later on in the game), but can also save you gold in the long run.
If you don’t, you will recieve the full penalty for declaring war against another civilization rather than just a small portion of it. You can denounce a civilization in the Diplomacy window, afterwards which will contain the option to formally declare war against them.
Great People can heavily increase your chances of winning by allowing the player to get many different bonuses through their special effects and utility. There are many different types and the player will usually want to focus on obtaining the type that most benefits the type of victory they would like (see Tip #1!). For example, for a Domination Victory you will want Great Admirals and Generals, while for a Culture Victory you would want Great Writers, Musicians, and Artists. You can earn Great People by earning points through districts and buildings towards their associated Great Person type, so if you want to get a Great Scientist quickly it would be best to have your Campus and Research Lab built as soon as possible! One last thing to note is that there are more ways to obtain Great People than just through Great People points, you can actually buy Great People using Gold or Faith while in the Great People menu! It’s not very likely you’ll have the Gold or Faith for them, but if you ever have a surplus of either and can afford the Great Person, it’s recommended that you pick them up.
Builders are extremely useful in Civilization VI. They can be used to strip forests for an increase in production (speeding up your current project), can build and remove areas on tiles such as mines on top of stone resources, they can build camps for extra housing, they can build farms for food per turn, and so much more. Don’t hestitate to pick some of these bad boys up early on, as they can be incredibly useful for getting resources.