[Top 7] Civ 6 Best Districts To Get First

Civilization 6 Districts, Civ 6 Districts order, Civ 6 Districts Explained
Get district placement down, and soon you'll be killing it in god-mode

Districts are the "make it or break it" of your empire: which will you do?

Whether you're a newcomer or a Civilization vet, the introduction of districts in Civ6 can have you asking “what do I build first??” 

With this list I hope to provide some basic pointers for district build order. I also include the required tech or civic boost (eureka or inspiration, respectively) for each district prerequisite. 

While build order varies based upon each game, hopefully, this guide can get you started in the right direction.

First or second: Holy Site (Eureka: Discover a natural wonder)In the beginning there was nothing, and then, God created Civilization 6… well, sort of. 

Our ancient ancestors learned long ago that we can’t get anything done if we don’t work together, a task which often requires a higher calling. 

Enter the Holy Site, necessary for faith, religion, and the worship of any/all deities which you see fit. I recommend building the Holy Site either first or second, first especially for religious pursuits.

All you need is a little faith...

  • Religion is first come first serve so if you don’t get one quick you’re SOL on that ticket to heaven.
  • Even if you aren’t pursuing a religious victory, founding one grants many bonuses.
  • Faith can eventually be used to buy units, buildings, districts, and even great people; the sooner you start accruing faith, the better.
  • Using the Theocracy Gov’t combined with the Grand Master’s Chapel, you can use faith to wage holy.

Holy Site Details:

  • +2 faith for Natural Wonder Adjacency, +1 for mountains and +½ for districts and woods.
  • +1 great prophet points per turn; provides a site for founding a religion.
  • Allows the purchasing of religious units, as well as a healing ground for them. 
  • Gives +1 appeal to adjacent tiles.
  • +2 Faith per specialist

First or second:  Campus (Eureka: Meet another civ)

Try to place your campus around mountains, volcanoes, and geothermic fissures

The Campus is another solid choice for a first district since you only need the writing technology to unlock it, and science is one of the most important yields. 

Pulling in early gpp (great person points) is great especially for early great scientists like Hypatia, who provides bonus science to all libraries. 

So if you decide to make like R.E.M. and lose your religion, you can start putting your efforts into science instead... like the godless heathen you are!


  • Since technology is such a key element, the Campus is the gift that will keep on giving.
  • The Campus has some amazing early game potential if you have access to mountains, geothermal fissures, and/or reefs.
  • Great Scientists have some great abilities that will boost your civilization “on toward the stars…”

Campus Details:

  • Adjacency bonuses: +2 Science for Geothermal Fissure and Reef, +1 for mountains, and +½ for rainforests.
  • Gives +1 Great Scientist points per turn
  • +2 science per specialist

3rd or 4th: Government Plaza (Inspiration: Build any district)This is one government building you won't mind spending time at.

The Government Plaza can only be built once in the empire and holds some of the most powerful buildings. It has a massive loyalty bonus that protects cities against rival loyalty pressure; plus its construction gives a bonus governor title. 

One of it’s best features is an adjacency bonus to districts, increasing its worth as you build around it; it’s definitely worth getting soon after your base districts. Try to build this one in a centralized place for your other districts to take advantage of.

Bureaucracy: The art of making the possible impossible

  • The Early building choices make a huge difference in early expansion, especially Warlord’s Throne and Ancestral Hall.
  • The buildings of the GP give you incredible flexibility in the customization of your empire; every good warmonger has a Warlord’s Throne.
  • Placing this in a city that is vulnerable to loyalty pressure will most likely solve the issue.

Government Plaza Details:

  • Grants a governor’s title upon completion. 
  • +1 adjacency bonus to all adjacent districts.
  • Gives a massive +8 Loyalty to the home city, equivalent to the loyalty of a Governor.

Build ASAP- around the 4th): Industrial Zone (Eureka: Build three mines) Production is always going to be your most essential resource especially early on.

Not available as quickly as other districts, an Industrial Zone is the beating heart of any city and should always be prioritized. 

This district provides many production bonuses as well as electricity at later eras. The adjacency bonuses of the IZ are usually immediately accessible, and at later stages it can even share yields with other city centers. 

Try to make a beeline to the Apprenticeship tech if you don’t really need a Commercial Hub or Encampment.

Hammers, hammers, hammers!

  • Production is probably the single most important yield in the game, so getting this district quickly is essential. 
  • Grants great engineers, which are some of the strongest great people in the game.
  • Starting with the factory, the IZ buildings will provide production and power to other City Centers in range.

Industrial Zone Details:

  • Adjacency bonuses: +½ per district/mine/lumber mill; +1 per strategic resource/Government Plaza/quarry, +2 for Aqueduct/Dam/Canal/Bath.
  • +1 Great Engineer point per turn
  • Lowers Appeal of nearby tiles
  • Later buildings provide power/production to other cities.
  • +2 production per specialist

Build 4th or 5th: Theatre Square (Inspiration: Build a Wonder)

If not for the Greeks, how would we have Shakespear in the park?

While probably not going to be one of your first few districts, it may be built sooner for civs like Greece. An early theatre square will give you a jump start on great works as well as new civics, governments, policy cards, envoys, and governor promotions. 

The biggest drawback is the accompanying civic boost can be difficult to attain as it requires the sometimes impractical building of an early game wonder.

Take pride in your Culture!

  • The Theatre Square will often be the primary source of culture, keeping you from falling behind in the Civics Tree.
  • Surrounding the Theatre Square with wonders makes it a cultural powerhouse. 
  • Its ability to house Great Works makes it a must-have for a cultural victory.
  • With the costly inspiration, this district can be held off on a little longer, when building a wonder is more convenient. 

Theatre Square Details:

  • Adjacency bonuses +2 for each Wonder, +½ for each district.
  • +1 GPP (Great person point) for writers, artists, and musicians
  • Provides slots for great works
  • +2 culture per specialist

4th or 5th. Commercial hub (Eureka: Make a trade route)

Money may not buy happiness, but it sure as hell can buy comfort in misery. 

The Commercial Hub helps your economy by giving you bonus gold per turn and +1 trade route capacity. 

Just as trade thrives near water, this district is especially potent around water tiles, making its placement largely dependent on your terrain.

Though this district is not necessarily vital, if civ/life has taught me anything about problems it’s this: If all else fails, throw money at it. 

Why greed can be good

  • Great merchants can grant unique luxuries only available to you.
  • Trade routes not only make money, but they create roads, allowing units to move quickly through your empire.
  • If you’re a bad planner (like me) you’ll appreciate the ability to buy yourself out of sticky situations.

Commercial Hub Details:

  • Adjacency bonuses: +2 for rivers/Harbors and +½ per district.
  • +1 Great Merchant point per turn
  • +1 trade route for first market in a district
  • +4 gold per specialist

Situational: Encampment (Eureka: Kill three barbarians)

If you want peace, prepare for war.

The encampment is great to get early if either you or your neighbors are particularly aggressive; if not, this district can be put off indefinitely. With walls, the encampment is a bulwark against oncoming attacks, allowing a faster response in offense or defense. The tech boost only requires killing 3 barbarians, which, if you haven’t done by this point.... do you even Civ?

“Cry ‘Havoc!’...”

  • Acquires great general points, and acts as a spawn point for new recruits.
  • Acts as a defensible district when walls are built, giving city-centers added protection.
  • Every building provides bonuses like increased unit XP, production speed, strategic resource capacity, and more.

Encampment Details:

  • Grants +1 Great General ppt
  • Acts as a defensible district (like the City Center) once walls have been built.
  • All land military units spawn here, and is required to train cops and armies
  • Encampment buildings increase strategic resource maximum stockpile by 10, as well as bonus XP to units trained. 
  • +1 production and +2 gold per specialist

Special mention: Harbor (Eureka: Improve two sea resources)

The harbor is an especially valuable district for its adjacency bonuses.

The Harbor is a bit of an oddball as it is completely dependent on water, which is not guaranteed to be available especially in the early game. 

IF you happen to be close to the coast I would recommend building the Harbor adjacent to both the City Center and a Commercial Hub, to take advantage of the adjacency bonuses. 

If you are playing a strong navel civ like Norway or Phoenicia, and are not being terrestrially threatened, it should be built as soon as possible. 

Anchors aweigh! 

  • Provides easy embarking/disembarking, and gives cities the ability to build ships from a landlocked city.
  • Harbor buildings provide many bonuses toward trade, production, housing, food, naval units, and much more; making it a highly versatile and valuable district.

Harbor Details:

  • Adjacency bonuses (gold): +2 for City Center, +1 for sea resources, and +½ per district
  • +1 Great Admiral ppt
  • +1 Trade route after the construction of a lighthouse in a city with no market.
  • Allows inland cities to produce ships; removes embarking/disembarking penalties for units.
  • Buildings will great XP bonuses to ships, plus other factor-dependent bonuses
  • +2 Gold and +1 Food per specialist


If you liked this guide you might like:

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