Oct 24th, 2016

Civilization VI is now available on Steam and it’s gotten favorable reviews among critics compared to Civilization V, but there are some significant changes to how the game works. If you’re a newbie just getting started with the series or a veteran looking for some info on the new changes, check out our tips and tricks for getting started with the new game.

Pick a leader whose traits and bonuses match your playstyle


The leader you choose in Civilization 6 should match up to the way you want to achieve victory on the map. Certain civilizations are more warlike and military-focused than others, while some provide bonuses to science and technology. Depending on how you want to achieve victory, your leader choice could be a hindrance or a great boon.

Some leaders also have hidden characteristics that you may find out through gossip in the game. A good example of this is the American leader Teddy Roosevelt hates warmongers and loves pacifists, while Cleopatra is the exact opposite. She hates leaders with weak military and loves those who have a strong military force.

Where you place your city really matters.

Because your main city is your most important asset in the game, it’s important to pick a good starting location. While it can be tempting to move your settler to bonus resource icons you can spot, you should consider settling your city near a river or a coast. You’ll be able to support more citizens and have a stronger foundation on which to build out your city, which is new to Civilization VI.

Because you’ll be expanding the core of your city outwards as you explore, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of space for your population to grow.

Builders are not just re-named workers

Builders are an entirely new unit introduced in Civilization 6 and if you’re familiar with the game, they may seem like workers from previous entries in the series. While both workers and builders are used to improve the tiles found within your borders, the important difference is that builders can complete improvements instantly, but only with a limited number of uses.

Because of this, you’ll want to ration your early builders and save them for turns when you expand your borders and find a new resource source within your control. By using a builder on it, you’ll be able to claim the resource that turn instead of waiting however many turns for workers to complete the relevant building.

Grow your civilization faster by hitting those research boosts


Research boosts are a new part of Civilization 6 that can boost all of your research found in the technology tree. Sometimes you’ll stumble upon ‘Eureka moments’ in goody huts as you scout through the map, but there are more reliable ways to generate research boosts.

Exploring the technology tree in the game will show you what you need to do in the game in order to gain the boost. Sometimes that’s as simple as farming a nearby resource or defeating a handful of barbarians. Other times, the boosts will require you to found a new city in a specific location, or build a certain wonder. These research boosts are valuable throughout the whole game, so you should strive to hit them as often as possible.

Carefully plan the districts in your cities for maximum gains

One of the new features of Civilization 6 is districts. Instead of your city being an entirely self-contained entity on a single tile, your cities will now spread out as you advance across the map. This presents some new challenges to the game, too. There are twelve different districts in the base game and they all confer a different bonus to your city. Because there are so many, you’ll need to plan which districts you build around your play type.

If you prefer to go for a military victory, you probably won’t want to build up your city center and get those culture bonuses. Certain buildings are tied to certain districts, so if you want to unlock buildings for their bonuses to your cities, you’ll need to focus on specific districts in order to get there.

Here’s a great guide on how to plan your districts.