Civ6 Favorite Map Types

Civilization 6 Difficulty, Civ 6 Difficulty, Civ 6 Difficulty Explained
Civ Earth maps are like digital Risk, but directed by Michael Bay

"From where do you hail?" to "Where you from?" Repping through the ages.

What is a brilliant painter without his canvas? An eloquent writer without her pen? You may not be writing the next Anna Karenina or giving the Sistine Chapel a touch-up, but in Civ, the land is the canvas and your empire, the masterpiece. What will you create? 

Here's what the Civ communities preferred, along with a couple of my favs. What are your favorites?

Community picks

10. Fractal
Fractal is known for it's odd and intricate map designs.

Named for the geometric phenomena seen from snowflakes to flowers to spiraling galaxies, Fractal is one for the intrepid explorer. 
The random number generator (RNG), which is used to create the maps, is really let loose on Fractal, making it possible to have anywhere from 1 landmass to dozens.
One of the original map types, Fractal remains a popular choice amongst the civ communities, and for good reason.

Math aint so bad:

  • Because of its unpredictable nature, it can even the playing field against civs who might otherwise be overwhelming.
  • Fractal is one of the most truly random map types, so if you’re a fan of surprises this one is full of them.
  • Tuning the sea levels higher or lower can make Fractal more or less “island-y.”

Fractal Details:

  • Takes away restrictions from the RNG, making the map truly randomly generated.

9. Pangea
Hope you like close quarters.

If any of the maps are the equivalent of a free-for-all, battle-royale, or cage-fight in the octagon, it’s Pangea. Named after the supercontinent all current continents have shaped from,  Pangea is an all-land map surrounded by ocean.
With no aquatic barrier to separate the different civilizations, you’ll quickly find yourself forced to defend your homeland, or take someone else’s.

The landlubber’s paradise: 

  • All but guarantees you’ll be landlocked with other civs, making for a great land domination game.
  • Effectively removes the need for a navy, great for players who don’t like naval warfare.

Pangea details:

  • Creates a map with one large landmass and few, if any, small islands.

8. Island Plates
A perfect map for the Jongs of Indonesia and other naval civs.

Naval warfare is a bit of an acquired taste in the civ community, if not occasionally polarizing. Even if you’re not a big fan of ships, this map offers tons of amphibious warfare, so don’t miss the boat. (pun intended)  
If you enjoy civs who have a naval advantage like Spain or England, it can be quite satisfying wishing “bon voyage!” to enemy ships as you send them to Davy Jones’ Locker. 

Serving up some Civ on Island Plates!

  • Perfect for amphibious/naval warfare.
  • A great map type for civs bent on colonization, like Spain.

Island Plates details:

  • Patches of small to medium-sized landmasses scattered across a vast ocean.

7. Primordial

Primordial+Apocolypse mode= what killed the dinosaurs. 

Forget “getting medieval”, it’s time to get Primordial. Set in a hostile and volatile time long before the existence of humans, this map is dotted with lowland tiles and volcanoes. If apocalyptic fires and floods of biblical proportion aren’t enough, try adding a couple of extra civs for the map size, and turning the disaster intensity up to 4 for an extra-good time. 

There’s nothing “prim” about Primordial

  • Primordial is a great map for your inner anarchist; there’s plenty of chaos to go around.
  • Playing a civ with environmental immunity is more likely to pay off.
  • “Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

Primordial Details:

  • Continents and islands are often unpredictable
  • Environmental disasters are more likely
  • Volcanoes and coastal lowlands are much more common

6. Shuffle

Yo dawg, I heard you like to pick random...

Shuffle lives up to its name by randomizing the map's core settings like rainfall, sea level, etc.
With shuffle, you can have maps that are broken up or strung together tons of volcanoes or no mountains at all, or unforgiving terrains like tundra and desert side by side.

Roll the dice!

  • Shuffle is one of if not the most unpredictable map types; great to try if you’re feeling adventurous!
  • Can’t pick a map due to paralyzing indecision? Let Shuffle choose so you don’t have to!

Shuffle Details:

  • Randomizes the settings of the game as well as the map type, so you never know what you’re gonna get.

5. YnAMP- Terra

Start terra'n it up with this Earth "look-alike" map.

Similar to the Earth maps, the Terra map creates a version of a “new world” and an “old world” in a similar format of eastern and western hemispheres. 
Kind of like playing an alternate version of Earth's geologic history, where the continents didn’t quite mesh out the way we’re used to, the TSL (true start location) is also available to really make you feel like you’re playing in a different world. 

This is one of the more popular picks for both the community and myself, as playing a Terra map feels natural, while also unfamiliar.

Why Terra is Terra-ific! (I’m not sorry.)

  • Unlike Continents, where the landmasses are roughly equal size, Terra’s continents mimic the unequal sizes of the eastern and western hemispheres on earth.
  • Great for players who want an earth-like feel, but still want new geography to explore.

Terra Details:

  • Creates 2 distinct landmasses, one always larger/smaller than the other.
  • Landmass number does not increase with map size.

4. Continents

Keepin' it simple with the Contintents map.

These map types are some of my personal favorites; two continents of near equal size battling it out. I love this map for its simplicity and straightforward design.
This map creates 2 continents and a couple of tiny islands. It’s pretty simple but I enjoy seeing the effect physical geography has on how civilizations politically develop.

Feeling confident about Continents:

  • Offers long unbroken stretches of coast for large scale naval and amphibious warfare.
  • Simple design; sometimes less is more.

Continents details:

  • Creates 2 continents of roughly equal size.
  • Virtually no islands means no civ will remain hidden for long.

3. Small Continents

What is this, a continent for ants?

While the “Continents” map limits you on how many landmasses can exist on the same map, Small Continents gives you quite a few continental landmasses, adjusted per the map size.
Choosing one of the larger map sizes will give you around 6 small continents and a few very small islands. This feels like one of the more balanced naval vs land maps.

Sometimes less is more:

  • Offers up to 6 continents on “Huge” map size, giving you lots of options for colonization.
  • Number of landmasses can be adjusted with map size.
  • One drawback is that a smaller map size feels more like an island map.

Small Continents Details:

  • A continents map that also focuses on islands.
  • First Continents then small continents, What’s next? Continents with islands?

2. Continents with Islands
Just in case you wanna get away, this map comes full stocked.

If you’re one of the players who enjoy both land and naval warfare, this variant of the “Continents” map type could be the perfect split. While the standard Continent maps focus on the larger landmasses, Continents with Islands also offers a few smaller continents with island chains dotting the map, sometimes acting as coastal bridges between landmasses. With a good balance of land and water, this map is great for naval, terrestrial, or aerial combat.

An island paradise:

  • Great balance of every terrain type, making it a great map for almost any type of game.
  • Especially fun for Normandy-esque coastal invasions. 


  • A continents map which also has plenty of islands to keep your missile silos, or your beach resorts.
  • Offers plenty of places to maroon those pesky, rum-addled pirates!

1. YNAMP- Greatest Earth Map
Call me a closet cartographer, but I can't help but love this all-too-familiar map.

Call me old-fashioned, but sometimes I just like to play on a stage that I already know. The wonderful contributors to YNAMP (Yet not another map pack) have created a full-sized earth map for players who want a more realistic geographic experience.
While it can get a bit unstable at larger sizes, this map functions well with good system specs, and being able to reshape how history might have played out is one of my favorite features of this map.

"Pale Blue Dot"

  • The sheer scale and detail put into the map make it worth playing at least once.
  • This earth map is huge so founding empires like Rome or China feel more realistic. 
  • The size of the map allows for all the civs to play at once, just set those graphics on low and put some dry ice on your gpu. (sarcasm heavily implied.)

Giant Earth Details:

  • Creates a (near) scale map of continental Earth.
  • Map size cannot be reduced; map size set to 150x94
  • There are 31 natural wonders to discover, like a worldwide easter egg hunt!
  • Can (technically) hold all the civs in a single game. (Fine print found on Steam)

If you liked this article, you might also like these:

Civ 6 Best Allies

Civ 6 Best Science Civs

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