Districts in Civilization VI are an enigma for many. They're one of the most ambitious and complicated additions to the franchise, and it takes playing a couple of games to fully understand the best way to implement these iconic tile improvements. Hopefully I can accelerate your learning process by sharing some tips I wish I new during my first couple of games.
1. Most early and mid-game districts get a +1 bonus if adjacent to ANY other 2 districts
Adjacency bonuses play a huge role in city planning in Civilization VI. By placing newly built districts adjacent to certain tiles, you can increase the output of that district. For example, building a Harbor adjacent to one or more coastal resources increases the gold output of the Harbor. What I failed to realize in my first playthrough is that building a Campus, Holy Site, Theater Square, Harbor, Commercial Hub, or Industrial Zone adjacent to ANY other 2 districts, regardless of their type, also grants a +1 to that district's normal resource output. Because of this, building these districts in triangular groups of 3 means every district in the group will gain a +1 to its output.
2. The number of districts a city can build is limited by its population and grows linearly
The fact that population limits the number of districts a city can build probably doesn’t come as a surprise to those that have a couple of games under their belt. However, it’s important to realize that the population limit grows linearly. New districts can be built in a city after every 3 citizens worth of growth, meaning a city with 1-3 citizens can have 1 district, a city with 4-6 citizens can have 2 districts, and so on. In my 2nd game, I was gunning for a cultural victory, but got hasty and built a Campus, Holy Site, and Harbor district very early. Unfortunately, when I reached the tech to build a Theater district, I found my capital lacking the 10 population required to build a new district. Therefore, think ahead when building districts, and don’t neglect food and housing.
3. Factories & Power Plants can benefit every city within 6 tiles
This tip is very important to understand if you want to get the most out of late-game production. Make certain to build your Industrial Zone districts away from your city and in the general direction of your expansions. If you’re careful with your placements, you can have multiple cities benefiting from each Factory and Power Plant you build. Taking it a step further, building Industrial Zones from multiple cities close to each other means your cities can feasibly benefit from 3 or more Factories and Power Plants each, vasty increasing production!
4. The cost to build districts scales dynamically
Production costs for districts are relatively high (base 60) and adjust throughout the game based on a couple of hidden factors.The first of these hidden factors is the progress of your Tech and Civic trees. Between those two, the one you’ve progressed more will increase the cost of districts based on how many techs or civics you have completed. Note that only completed techs or civics increases the district’s cost, and once you start production, that cost will not increase. So, if you’re just a few turns away from starting your next district, you may want to hold off completing that tech or civic until you’ve started building. On top of that, there’s a built in “rubber band” mechanic for district production. The cost of building a district will decrease by 25% if you have fewer of that specific district than the average player. For example, if the average player has two Theater districts and you have none, building one will be 25% cheaper.
5. Adjacency bonuses apply regardless of which city or civilization owns the tile
Upset that Peter’s newest city claimed that mountain range you wanted to place your Campus district adjacent to? Well fret not, because you can still gain +1 science by building adjacent to it, regardless of if you own the tile or not. Additionally, adjacency bonuses and prerequisites are shared between cities, meaning City A can build a campus and City B can build the Great Library adjacent to it with no issues.
If you keep these tips in mind for your next game of Civilization VI you might find yourself needing to turn up the difficulty.
Visit the Civ 6 Wiki on Gamepedia for in-depth info on all of the new mechanics.
Pairing a love of DOTA 2 with traditional sports statistics, Bryan previously worked as a statsman for internationally renowned gaming tournaments. He then joined the Beyond the Summit crew to help design and develop several features for the game, such as Teamfight Recap. Now, he lives in Alabama with his wife and works as a freelance production assistant and writer.