[Guide] Civ 6 Tips and Tricks (25 Best Tips)

Civilization 6 best tips & tricks
Everybody has to start somewhere, right?

Civilization 6 is a very complex game, with many different Eras, units, buildings and strategies. It may seem like an impossible task to learn about all of them, but with some dedication and time, you can become a master..

For this reason, we have listed some important Tips and Tricks to keep in mind when playing. This is made for all types of players, from beginner to advanced, some of them helping refresh some basic concepts that are often overlooked, others specific details and strategies you can apply to your own game


So here are 25 of the best tips and tricks for Civilization 6:


1. Prioritize a win condition and have a plan

Before even starting the game, it is important to make sure you know which win condition you are going for. Whether you want to militarily dominate the globe, make a worldwide religion, win the space race, or even become more culturally relevant than anyone else, deciding what your goal for the rest of the game will be helps you when choosing a leader and a strategy to follow.

If you are going for a Science victory it may be beneficial to have a more defensive playstyle, since most science focused leaders don’t have much of an extra arsenal to attack enemies. Or maybe for a Domination victory you might want to focus on early game wars, a time where your enemies will be unprepared and distracted. Making sure to have a sound plan in your head before even beginning can make a huge difference in your chances of winning.


2. Choosing a location for your capital

When beginning a match you will be given by default a settler and a warrior, and will have  to choose where to settle your first city. Although it may be tempting to instantly settle on the tile your settler spawned in, using a few turns to scout out a possibly better starting position is a very good idea. Since you don’t have a lot of knowledge of the surrounding areas when you first start, Civilization pros actually spend (at most) 3 to 4 turns just walking around if their spawn isn’t optimal. This could lead to finding a much better starting spot right next to you, which would have been practically wasted if not explored.

When looking for a good place to settle your first city, try to find tiles that have high yields without improvements, since it will take a few turns for you to be able to work them. A very sought after tile are plains hills, as they give the highest production and food yields and are often located next to productive tiles. Also, prioritizing luxury resources and rivers can rid you of having to deal with amenities or housing problems, which can be a headache in those really early rounds. Some may even have the luck of spawning right next to a natural wonder, which can give totally insane yields.


3. Start settling quick as possible

Early game settling is by far one of the most important decisions you have in the beginning rounds and will change the course of the rest of the game. Since having more cities means more resources, population, production and controlled area, making sure you take as much unowned land as quickly as possible is your top priority. After the first couple dozen rounds, you won’t really be able to settle cities in prime areas since others will also try to take them. Try going for at least 4 cities at round 50, settle less than that before then and your space will be very cramped and other Civs will have you completely surrounded. After around round 50, you should keep settling plenty of cities, but at a slower pace.

A good strategy is to forward settle your opponents, that means scouting their area before them and settling where their next city would be. By surrounding and locking them in place you gain the upper hand in all aspects and makes dealing with them much easier. This also comes into play when fighting for resources, since you won’t know which tiles have resources until you research the technology to unlock said resource. Settling close to enemy cities can make it lose loyalty, eventually making it go independent (like in the picture above), however this can also happen to you, so be careful.


4. Your first build order

When you settle your first city, you must make sure that the next few rounds aren’t spent on unorganized priorities. The order which building or troops get built is called your build order. Your first build order in the game is extremely important, as you need to do many things at once, and getting your priorities mixed up can ruin your chances of snowballing into the mid game. By having a standard build order that you can adapt to your specific situation, you will have a much easier time earlier in the game.

Most pros usually start with a scout, as that will give you a cheap way to explore the surrounding areas and scout out other civs, barbarians and tribal villages. Next, building a monument or a slinger are both viable options, depending on how offensive you want to play. Lastly, it is important to ditch out your first settler, and to try to keep making settlers every three or four complete items. This allows you to get at least 4 cities within the first couple dozen rounds, allowing you to properly expand and not get overwhelmed when your enemies turn out to have 8 cities in the first 50 rounds.


5. Dealing with barbarians

Never underestimate Barbarians, as they can and will overrun your defenses if you do not take care of their outpost. Not only can they spawn units infinitely, but the moment one of their scouts finds your cities and manages to report back, they will ceaselessly target you. The best way to deal with this is by quickly eliminating the scout, following up by exploring from the direction it came from. This will usually lead you back to their outpost, which will be guarded by fewer numbers (usually a single spearman in the early game) if they haven’t found any city to attack.

Whenever you eliminate their outpost you get a reward, much like Tribal villages, so it is very much worth it to go after them before others find it. Try using the early game barbarians to get Eurekas such as Archery, by killing an unit with a Slinger, and don’t forget to use Civics which give you Strength bonuses against them, as it makes the whole thing much easier.


6. Early game war


One of the best ways for you to get stronger quickly in the game is to start really early wars. By focusing on building an army just big enough to capture cities that don’t have walls yet, you can surprise your enemies by rushing their cities, so you won’t have to worry as much about training settlers. This also gives you the upper hand later in the game, since if you only capture one or two cities, instead of totally wiping them out, they will be weaker than you for the rest of the game.

Do keep in mind that doing this, especially declaring surprise wars, will turn you into a warmonger with tons of grievances against you. This can be a hassle later in the game when you will have to deal with diplomacy, since most non warmongering nations will start to despise you, and with a good reason. It is also extremely risky, as you can be overwhelmed by enemies when you least 


7. Builders

Builders are some of the most important troops in the game, as they allow you to improve tiles with the right tech. Improving tiles makes their yield much higher, so it may seem tempting to just make a lot of builders and improve all the tiles in your cities. However, it may be a better idea to find out exactly what are the demands you currently have and upgrade tiles according to that. Since you need to make every turn count, making a bunch of builders just to get some boosts to random yields isn’t useful at all.

What you need to do is plan out which yields you most need, and if you can wait out on upgrading them. By doing this, you give yourself much more space and time for whatever comes before you, as you don’t want to get into a war only to realize you have all builders and no troops. By not wasting your builders you can also take advantage of tile chopping, which we’ll go over in the next tip.


8. Tile choping


A famous feature used and abused by pros is tile chopping. After unlocking the right tech, you are able to use a builder’s charge to remove a certain feature from a tile, and get immediate bonuses instead of increasing its yield. For example, by chopping Woods tiles, you get an instant production bonus that can potentially complete an order. This can be exploited by using one builder to chop a tile, which in turn finishes the production of another builder, which you can use to chop more tiles. This can go on for as many choppable tiles you have and can get you huge amounts of instant production in a fraction of the amount of turns it would normally. This way you can get way more potential builder charges, which can make it worth it to improve most of your tiles.

Get to chopping!


9. Tall vs Wide playstyles 

When getting to the end of the early game, you should have at the very least 6 cities. If you are finishing the Classical Era and have less than that, you should try focusing more on ditching out settlers instead of working on your districts and army size.

The number of cities you have will affect how you manage them. A Tall playstyle involves having 8 to 10 cities, and heavily investing and specializing all of them. On the other hand, a Wide playstyle focuses on numbers, with some games going upward of 25 cities. This may take a while to achieve, but that will depend a lot on how you handled your early game, as well as how invested you are in wars.

With a Tall playstyle, it is important to understand that, although your cities will be improved and provide much higher yields, the amount of things you can do at a time is dependent on their production yield. Even if all of your cities have high production, you are still limited in resources and how many things you can produce at one time.

With a Wide playstyle, the numbers are what matters, and having one more city, even if it is poorly developed, is the main strategy. Since your territory will be larger, your resource yields will be higher, and problems with Luxury and Strategic Resources should worry you less. However, because your strength comes in numbers, you are more likely to lose them in wars, especially as you won’t be able to protect all of them at the same time.

Each play style has its weaknesses and strengths, and you should focus on what will work for you. Trying to go for a high science/production yield? Make as many campuses as you possibly can, and don’t worry too much about each individual yield. Want to be an impenetrable fortress of a nation? Make sure to have less, but heavily protected cities.


10. Specializing cities


After getting your main cities set up, you need to start looking at specializing your cities. Although it may seem tempting to build every single district in every single city, by focusing on improving the yield of a single resource, you can get the maximum output from a single city. This is relevant in both Tall and Wide play styles, since trying to be a jack of all trades will result in a scattered and disorganized nation.

If a city was settled near a high yield Harbor spot, specialize that city for gold production, and pair it with a Commercial District. Another example would be a city that borders an enemy nation, where it would be beneficial to fully upgrade an encampment, as well as having a high production yield with the Industrial Zones.

By making sure your cities have a set goal for them, you set yourself up for having a stronger and more organized game, a guaranteed victory in some cases.


11. Wonders


An important aspect of the game that newer players tend to dismiss are wonders. These are special, very high production cost buildings that can only be built once in the whole game. This means that if another player builds one before you, they get exclusive ownership of it, unless someone captures the city that it's in. These wonders come with strong buffs, some stronger than others, that can alter the way you play the game depending on it.

A classical example of this is the Petra, a Renaissance Era wonder that provides +2 Food, +2 Gold and +1 Production for all desert tiles in the city it was built. This is especially strong for Civs like Egypt, who is a desert focused and wonder building nation.

Some of the strongest wonders in the game include:

  • Pyramids - +2 Culture, 1 Free builder. All builders earn +1 Charge permanently.
  • Kilwa - Three envoys, 15% boost to yields from City States you are a Suzerain, stacks with how many City States you are Suzerain of.
  • Colosseum - +2 Culture, +3 Amenities in a six tile radius.


12. Keeping up

When focusing your strategy on a winning condition, it is easy to let go of the other aspects you are not using much. If you do not pay attention to these less important factors, you can find yourself behind in something you thought you wouldn’t use and be trampled by an advantage others have been building up for many turns.

Let’s say you are focusing on a Science Victory, by solely building campuses and paying no attention to your Culture and the Civics tree. Eventually you will find yourself in a feudal society with access to guns, while your enemies have the same tech but a more advanced society. This means they have more and better policy cards, different wonders, buildings and even troops.By paying attention to your overall yields, instead of just the ones that will win you the game, you won’t risk being out matched in a much later stage of the game. Another example, if you are going for a Religious victory always make sure you have enough gold and production to train an army in case you are invaded. This goes for all victory conditions, so remember no resource is less important. Every one of them has a function that you can exploit for an easy win.


13. Have settlers on standby

Once there seems to be no more space for you to settle more cities, try keeping one or two settlers on standby in a safe place well within your borders. Since resources are only revealed once you research their tech, you won’t know where they are until pretty much everyone does as well. By keeping spare settlers, you skip the time to produce them if, for example, a tiny island no one cared to settle happens to have Uranium or Petrol. By doing this you will have an edge on your opponents, and will guarantee newer resources without having to go to war.


14. Industry zones


A very important district in the mid game are the Industry Zones. Instead of producing a resource like science for campuses, or culture for theaters, Industry Zones provide additional production to the city they belong to. This makes them one of the most versatile districts in the game, as production is necessary for building/training anything in the game. Keep in mind they do take a district slot, so do not spam them since they don’t directly provide any game winning resource.

Industry Zones are especially useful for Science and Domination victories, since the former requires you to make extremely high production projects, and the former need a steady and reliable output of military units. By placing your Industries in strategic places, you can use them for the majority of your bigger builds or as your main army production. 


15. Do not forget about policies

Later in the game, when many wars are happening at once and your priorities are all over the place, it is easy to forget about managing your policy cards. This is a big mistake, as policies make for some of the best bonuses in the whole game. Make sure you are always changing them based on what you currently need, since you will have the opportunity to change them every couple dozen turns. By using policies as more immediate bonuses, rather than choosing them and forgetting about them, you are able to maximize amazing game changing boosts to every aspect of your nation.

Some provide higher production for certain types of units, others massively boost your specialized districts output. Some even make it ideal for a rather pacifistic, trade focused playthrough.

Always stay on top of your policies, and change them to whatever you see will benefit you for the next 50 turns or so.


16. Save your units

It may be tempting to sacrifice one of your units in exchange for an enemy unit, but this is usually a bad idea. Because every troop gains XP with activities such as fighting, destroying barb outposts, or finding tribal villages, they get stronger the longer they live. When you get enough XP that unit will be promoted, and you will be prompted to choose between a few paths/options of upgrades. For example, scouts are immune to penalty movements from hills or forests, and later gain extra movements. On the other hand, siege units in high levels can get bonuses to Strength against walls, a major impediment for city capturing in the late game.

Make sure you keep those units safe, and as you do, they will get stronger and stronger, eventually getting to the max level and becoming better than any other unit one on one.


17. Always pay attention to yields


Paying attention to your yields is probably the most basic, yet important advice for any new Civ 6 player. It may feel overwhelming having to take into account every tile and every adjacency bonus, but this is a turn based game, so take your time. Analyze which tiles you can improve, which are best suited for districts, and what you can do to maximize their yields.

A simple example of this are farms. Once you get to the Feudal civic, farms gain an ability: For every two adjacent farms, a big boost to food production is given. By making triangles of adjacent farms you can maxime this bonus, potentially getting high enough food yields to maximize your population. Paying attention to simple details like this adds up, and if taken into account for all your cities, your yields will be as good as they can be.


18. Prioritize your tech

Sometimes you may see pros rushing specific technologies, just to get them and steamroll the rest of the players with a specific strategy. This is usually a really bad idea and done with a very specific play style, as well as being quite risky. 

Instead, make sure you have a reason for getting each technology and plan ahead for them. You should know why you are researching something, not use the tech tree as a slow crawl through every single tech without purpose. Don’t rush any specific tech either, analyze your current situation and adapt your research to cover your weaknesses.

Remember, always plan ahead so you don’t fall behind.


19. Using trade routes


A slightly overlooked aspect of the game, even by the developers, are the trade routes. These give you bonuses to resource yields while they are being completed and, once finished, add a trading post on the receiving city. Each trading post gives you gold bonuses to that trade route, and also provides you with some Diplomatic Visibility. Although the yields from trade routes may not be amazing at first, with the right combination of policies and districts, they can make whole games turn around.

Another very exploitable feature of trade routes are roads. Every tile that a trader walks through on their way to another city gains a road improvement. Roads provide an easier time walking through terrain, building bridges over rivers, and decreasing the movement costs in the tiles they are on. For every era, the roads are slowly upgraded making their movement buff better. 

You can use this knowledge to more easily attack your enemies. By sending a trade route to your future target, not only do you gain Diplomatic Visibility on them, you also pave a way for your troops to move quickly. This is great for surprising your enemies with quick moving forces that ignore movement penalties from natural barriers, as well as bringing in new troops to the front lines.


20. Don’t be afraid to loose

Civilization is a very complex game, with dozens of different mechanics, each with their own playstyles and caveats. At first, it seems completely overstimulating and makes it look like you will never get the hang of all the different mechanics. But if you enter a state of mind that everything must be maximized, or that you must pay attention to every nook and cranny, you won’t have fun, which is the reason for playing in the first place. Once you get rid of that fear of losing and making mistakes, the game becomes a learning experience much like any other.

You might win on your first match, and catastrophically lose in another, but what matters is the experience you got from them. Even after losing, try analyzing what could have gone better, what aspects you neglected, or what mechanic you haven’t got a hold of. This way, you will be able to learn while having fun, and in no time will turn into a pro able to achieve anything with ease. 


Have fun, and Civ on!


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