|How To Play Guide for Civ 6|
|Articles:|| • 7 Countries You Won't See... |
• The New Civ 6 Trailer...
• Why Civ 6 Leader Agendas Mean...
• Did This Civ 6 Leader Get a Redesign...
• The Biggest Civ 6 Changes You Need...
|Civ 6 Trailer|
Greetings! Whether you're a returning civ geek or it's your first time playing a 4x game, it does appear you've made the plunge and are interested in Civ 6. The world of Civilization can be a bit intimidating if you haven't yet played any of the prior releases, or quite a bit has changed if you have, so sit back relax and read up on How To Play Civ 6; your guide to the basics on Politics, Espionage, War, Technology and Culture, as well as quite a few other things.
- 1 Comparing Previous Civilization Games
- 2 Basics / Game Setup
- 3 Choosing A Civilization
- 4 The First Turn / The Dawn Of A New Era
- 5 The Next 25 Turns
- 6 Basic & Advanced Game Concepts
- 7 Keyboard Controls / Hotkeys
- 8 References
Comparing Previous Civilization Games
Back in May of 2016, 2K Games announced Sid Meier's Civilization VI, to be released on October 21, 2016 for the PC. Lead designer of the game is Ed Beach, Art Director is Brian Busatti, Anton Strenger as the Senior Gameplay Designer and Dennis Shirk as Lead Producer. There's not too much that has been taken from previous games, but a lot has been added to the gameplay.
- "Everything that Civilization players have loved in Civilization V, we’re bringing forward, in addition to putting on the new gameplay from Civilization VI," - Dennis Shirk. 
Civilization VI has been completely re-built from previous civ games from the ground up using a new engine. Unlike most previous "vanilla" iterations of Civilization, Civ VI will include a number of features in the core game that previously required multiple expansions, including Trade Routes, Religion, Espionage, City-States, Tourism and Great Works. Though all features have been rebuilt for the new engine, most are based on the gameplay of Civilization V, with some notable changes and improvements.
- "The number one thing to know is that Civilization VI is not built on the previous engine... All of the gameplay systems have been entirely rewritten and re-architected. We’ve specifically set it up to be very modifiable. And we’ve rewritten the A.I. from the ground up, learning all the lessons that we had from Civilization V, so we know how best to solve some of these problems in military combat and so forth." - Ed Beach 
Additionally, more emphasis has been placed on the Terrain and Tiles by "unstacking" city improvements or Production from the City Center and giving bonuses for placing Tile Improvements near certain terrains. Additional new features include research on the game's Civics tree based on Culture, a similar Technology tree for cultural improvements and a better Government structure for those playing on a Cultural Victory path, as well as new artificial intelligence mechanics for computer-controlled opponents which include secret Leader Agendas and randomized engagements to disrupt an otherwise stable game.
Basics / Game Setup
Alright, now that you know what to expect, let's hop into the basics and get you into your first Civ Game. You can hit play now and hop into the action, or if you want to tinker with the game setup, you'll have the options to change the following to make each game quite a unique experience.
- Choose Civilization: See Civilizations or in the next section.
- Game Difficulty: Here, you can choose the difficulty of the A.I. inside the game, ranging from Settler (the easiest) to Deity (the hardest).
- Game Speed: This modifies the speed of the game globally as Quick (33% faster) and Standard (Normal Speed).
- Map Type: Different types exist like Continents (A few large landmasses), Island Plates (Islands ranging in size from small to large) and Pangaea (One landmass with surrounding islands).
- Map Size: Tiny (perfect for 2 players), Standard (Average-sized map for 8 players) and Large (Large map for 10 players).
Choosing A Civilization
Choose between 19 (or 20 after 90 days, or with the pre-purchase Aztec civ) Leaders / Civilizations, each with their own Unique Leader Agendas, Leader Bonuses, Units, Buildings, Districts and or Tile Improvements. Each of the Leaders will have a fixed agenda as well as a "hidden" Agenda. As you trade, you can get gossip information, and from interaction gain more knowledge about other Leaders, and your relationship with them grows healthy or chaotic.
- "Each leader has a historical agenda that you’ll learn as you play the game repeatedly. But we also assign secret agendas to the leaders that you have to uncover through espionage. And so the diplomatic landscape is much richer. The more you mix all the different personalities into a big soup, the more you end up with a very interesting diplomatic landscape."
The Leaders / Countries
The First Turn / The Dawn Of A New Era
Once you've decided on all your setups you're going to get into the game. You'll most likely begin with a Settler and a Warrior, although some countries will have access to a Scout in place of a Warrior. Notice the Resources, and where the water is. Some of the best places to settle are next to a River, to get access to fresh water, and/or on a Coast, within range of diverse Resources like Rice, Wheat, Bananas, Cattle, Sheep or Fish if you're next to the Coast which will each give a +3 bonus to Food once you've worked them and will help your city grow Citizens quicker from the beginning.
Additionally you'll want to send your other unit to explore the world around you, but more on exploring a bit below.
Next up is choosing a Technology to research from the tech tree. Your initial decision is between Pottery, Animal Husbandry, Mining, Sailing and Astrology. If you want to explore more of the Tech Tree, the key on the left will be helpful for understanding the icons and images found in the menu, or check out the Technology page, which is a very useful resource.
Before you can end your first turn you'll need to decide your first "Production", or what permanent item (building or unit) you want to create. You'll have the option to build a Monument in the City Center (unless you play as Rome, they get this for free) which will expand your Culture, or you can choose to build a Unit. If you feel up to exploring, choose to build a Scout, which will allow you to go hunting for goodies in the form of Tribal Villages and other Civs as well as other City-States.
The Next 25 Turns
With your first unit (Warrior or Scout) you'll want to continue to explore, finding good Strategic Resources and Luxury Resources in addition to Bonus Resources in the nearby area, which you'll want to acquire by founding additional cities. Keep a look out for Tribal Villages which can give you serious bonuses ranging from Technologies to Gold to Great Works to maps of the local area if discovered with Scouts. Watch out for Barbarians, depending on the difficulty level they might be pretty easy to dispatch or could be a pain to deal with. Barbarian scouts are themselves "harmless" (good luck chasing them around the map for the Ancient Era) but they will trigger a barbarian raid if left around to report back to their camp. Basically once they get back to their camp they'll send out Military Units to attack your units or raid them.
You can't play as them, but there are various City-States in Civilization VI which are singular city nations that act independent of you the player and other rival Leaders. Each of the City-States have their own political relationships, including going to war and building Wonders and more. Being the first to discover a City State grants you an Envoy with them. You gain additional envoys directly by completing quests for them. Additionally, periodically you will naturally earn extra Envoys which can be sent to any City-State that you have met. More envoys means more influence and a larger share of rewards and potentially becoming the Suzerain.
The various City-State Types and the Bonuses:
- Religious - Faith Bonuses in the Capital and at Holy Site Districts
- Trade - Gold Bonuses in the Capital and at Commercial Hub Districts
- Scientific - Science Bonuses in the Capital and at Campus Districts
- Militaristic - Production Bonuses in the Capital and at Encampment Districts.
- Cultural - Culture Bonuses in the Capital and at Theater Square Districts
- Industrial - Production Bonuses in the Capital and at the Industrial Zone when building Wonders, Buildings or Districts
A civilization that has sent at least 3 Envoys can become "Suzerain" for that City-State, and earn a special bonus unique to that City-State. If more than one civilization has sent 3 Envoys, then whichever has the most becomes Suzerain. There can be only one Suzerain for a given City-State at a time. City-States follow their Suzerain into war and peace with other players. The Suzerain receives all Resources the city-state owns, and may also pay Gold to temporarily take control of the city-state's Units. Each city-state has a unique icon and Suzerain bonus.
As you grow you'll want to increase your standing with City-States, but also with your neighbors; other Civilizations. (See above for a list of the Leaders, their traits, bonuses and Special Abilities as well as Unique Units or other stuff). Understanding your neighbor's Agendas can take you a long way between aggressive or peaceful interactions. There will always be a hidden one, so you'll need to wait till you get to understand that before you can fully comprehend your future allies or enemies. For example, if you run into Egypt (Cleopatra - Queen Of The Nile), she loves Leaders who are more aggressive or have a strong military. If you're planning on playing a passive peaceful game, she'll get upset at you for not having enough units, or being what she would consider "weak". She could even go on to Denounce you which will give her a Casus Belli for beginning a war with you after 5 turns.
Each of the different Leaders will have various styles of play, so you'll need to take that into consideration when meeting them for the first time.
Natural Wonders can span multiple Tiles and the discovery of a natural wonder can trigger City-State's Quest actions, they also give your Unit which discovered it bonus experience. Additionally, Natural Wonders give an adjacency bonus to Holy Site Districts in which all adjacent tiles receive +2 Appeal which can greatly increase your Tourism output. Finding Natural Wonders can be a large boon to your civilization, especially if you can put a city next to them quickly before anyone else can and reap the rewards.
The majority of the Natural Wonders are impassable, but a few can be moved through or even worked like the Pantanal which provides +2 Food and +2 Culture to your civilization.
Basic & Advanced Game Concepts
As you continue to play Civ 6 you'll run into some unique gameplay concepts, namely the idea of Housing in your cities, or how Food works for your Citizens. For example: Each of your cities has a "housing limit" that can be understood as a cap for your population. When a city's population reaches the number below the housing limit, the city starts to change, growing 50% slower, and once the housing limit is reached, it will grow even slower and stopping or declining soon after.
To increase your Housing, you'll need to have access to fresh water by building your city next to Rivers, Mountains, Lakes, Oasis or by building an Aqueduct. Whenever a Settler is selected, the non water tiles in the map will be marked as one of the 4 colors: Red, Grey, Light Green or Dark Green, showing you the best options for water in which to place a new City Center.
If you're still having Housing issues, you're best off to build the Neighborhood District which will increase your housing based on the Appeal of the Tile, regardless if it's Breathtaking or Disgusting.
Amenities is another one of the basic Game Concepts which contributes to what make cities grow. Amenities work similar to happiness in previous Civilization games. Since Global happiness has been removed and replaced with Amenities, it is now one of the things that make the people "happy", but more at a local level.
So now for each 2 Citizens in a city you are required to have 1 Amenity (excluding the first 2 Citizens). A Civilization's Capital starts with a single Amenity by default from entertainment, but additional cities will each start with 0 amenities and require 1 when the 3rd Citizen has been reached.
There are 6 ways to get positive amenities: Access to Luxury Resources, Civics, Entertainment (with an Entertainment Complex), Great People, Religion and through the building of National Parks. Conversely, there are 2 known ways to get negative amenities: War weariness and Bankruptcy. Each Luxury Resource gives +1 Amenity for up to 4 cities. Amenities from luxuries are automatically distributed to the cities that need them most, and each city can only receive +1 Amenity from each luxury, even if you have less than 4 cities.
Note that though Amenities from Entertainment are not global, they can still be used to increase your Amenities in other cities. If you have more than 4 cities, each Luxury Resource will not be able to provide Amenities for your entire empire. The Amenities will be given to the 4 cities that need them most. In this case, each city that provides for itself with Entertainment will not require Amenities from Luxuries, allowing those Amenities to be sent elsewhere. Use this information to your advantage by keeping your large cities happy with Entertainment, freeing up Luxury Amenities to be distributed to smaller cities that cannot afford to build an Entertainment Complex.
Science And Culture
Science: Science is accumulated per turn, and dependent on all sorts of things throughout the game: Buildings, Wonders, Great People, as well as Tile Improvements, Natural Wonders and a few other things. Various Technology is researched when enough science is accumulated, depending on the Era you are in, or the Tech you are researching.
In regards to Science, the Technology tree is similar to previous Civ games with a major addition: The Eureka! bonus, which can be seen as a sort of quest. Once you meet the requirements, the Technology becomes 50% easier to research. Note that if a tech is already under research and you fulfill the requirements and get a Eureka! bonus in the middle of it, depending on how far along you are, you push it an additional 50%, and if you're more than 50% already, tech gets pushed to completion.
Culture: Like Science, Culture is also accumulated per turn, and there is a new "Civics tree". Advancing throughout the Civics tree allows you to unlock new forms of Government and opens new Policy Cards, which you can slot in and out of your Government "deck" for specialization purposes and the layout changes based on the government type you pick. Policies come in four variations: Military Policies, Economy Policies, Diplomacy Policies, and Wildcard Policies. You can change your policy cards for free every time you unlock a Civic, or with Gold whenever you want.
Like Technology, each individual Civic has their own unique in-game "side-quest" called Inspiration! moments, and like Eureka! moments, some of these you'll get through playing the game regularly, and some will require some extra effort.
Districts: Each of the Cities is now composed of Districts, (total of twelve district types, not including the city center) each with its own different role and bonuses based on its type. Districts can be unlocked through Technology and are limited by population, requiring 3 Citizens per district. Certain Buildings can only be built in some Districts, and at most can fit up to 3. Districts gain bonuses based on what Terrain they are built on or surrounded by and can greatly boost your city's output.
Buildings are no longer trapped in your City Center, but may sprawl across your territory as part of Districts. The map is more important than ever as you are faced with important strategic placement decisions. Campuses and Holy Sites alike receive special yield boosts from placement near Mountains ( Science for the Campus, and Faith for the Holy Site), but only the former also benefits from a nearby source of Rainforests.
Faith: Like Culture and Science, Faith is accumulated per turn, and once a Civilization reaches a certain amount of faith, it gains access to a Pantheon, which gives bonuses for their entire empire. Faith is used like an alternate currency like Gold and can be used to purchase religious units like an Apostle, Great People, special buildings and in Theocracy Government can purchase land combat Units. To achieve a Religious Victory your Religion must become the Predominant Religion for every Civilization in the game. A Religion is Predominant if it is followed by more than 50% of the cities in a civilization.
When a City is first created in Civilization VI, all of its Citizens (population) will work the Tiles around the city, generating Food, Production, Gold, etc. Later on, you can construct Districts and Buildings which allow you to reassign some of the citizens to work in the districts as Specialists. For example, the Campus can hold 3 Buildings, and you can assign one Scientist specialist for each building you have constructed in the Campus. So if you’ve constructed a Library and a University, you can assign 2 Scientist specialists.
Keyboard Controls / Hotkeys
Key bindings can be set in the Game Options menu. For each key there is a primary binding and an alternative binding, however the escape, left mouse button, and right mouse button are reserved and cannot be bound to any hotkey.
|A||Attack||F9||Open the Civilopedia||1||Religion Lens|
|E||Automate Exploration||F2||Toggle City-States Screen||2||Continent Lens|
|Delete||Delete Unit||C||Toggle Civics Tree||3||Appeal Lens|
|F||Fortify||F3||Toggle Espionage Screen||4||Settler Lens|
|B||Found City||F7||Toggle Government Screen||5||Government Lens|
|M||Move To||O||Toggle Great People Screen||6||Political Lens|
|R||Ranged Attack||W||Toggle Great Works Screen||Home||In-Game Menu|
|Space||Skip Turn||F1||Toggle Rankings Screen||Return||Next Action|
|Z||Sleep||L||Toggle Religion Screen||F5||QuickSave|
|Alt + Click/Drag||Rotate The Map||T||Toggle Tech Tree||F6||QuickLoad|
|F4||Toggle Trade Routes Screen||G||Toggle Grid|