The Biggest Civ 6 Changes You Need to Know Before Playing

The next installment of Sid Meier’s Civilization series, Civilization VI, comes out next week, and Civ fans everywhere are freaking out. The release is going to be huge. The game brings a myriad of big changes, from an updated art style to completely new game mechanics, and we’re excited. Check out the some of the biggest changes coming to Civilization VI below, and learn more about the upcoming title on the Civ 6 Wiki.

 Civ 6 Art Style, Map, and UI Changes

1. The art style, map, and UI have changed. A lot.

If you’ve been following Civilization VI news at all, you’ve likely already spotted the most obvious change - the art style. While opinions have been mixed, many players now feel that this bold, exaggerated direction has grown on them. It’s clean, it’s fresh, and it is definitely eye-catching.


In addition to the bold new design, the map has changed as well. For example, wonders are now visible within your borders. This emphasizes one of the more ridiculously awesome aspects of Civ - the fact that your capital city can include both the Pyramids and Big Ben right next to each other.


The UI has changed as well, but it still boasts an organized design that’s very easy to navigate. Overall, the game looks different, but it’s a good thing.



Civ 6 New Victory Condition - Religion

2. There’s a new victory condition - Religion.

The Diplomatic victory has been removed, and it’s being replaced by a Religious victory. While some might have considered the Diplomatic victory “easy mode," it was definitely my go-to path for winning. I’m a little bummed it’s gone. That being said, I recognize the flaws it had; it was just too easy to buy off city-states. It’s a change, but I think I’ll be okay. Converting the entire world to your religion sounds pretty fun, anyway.


Oh, and speaking of buying off city-states, that’s not a thing anymore. You’ll need to improve relationships with city-states via envoys now.




Civ 6 - City Planning, Wonder Placement, and Districts

3. City planning is going to be very important.

Cities are getting a big overhaul in Civilization VI. For one, let me introduce you to districts. These districts will house buildings that support a specific role, whether that be to improve science, production, growth, or even culture. For example, the campus district focuses on science and includes buildings such as the library, university, and research lab.


So where does the planning come in? Well, districts get special bonuses when built next to other certain districts or specific features. For instance, the campus district gets a bonus when it’s built near a mountain or rainforest. Think wisely when laying out your empire.


Additionally, wonders now require their own tile for placement, and they may have certain requirements for where they can be constructed. Those pyramids we were just discussing? They’ll need to go on a desert tile or floodplain. Again, plan your cities wisely.


The way you connect your cities in Civilization is changing, too. Roads are no longer something you can build yourself with workers. They’ll be constructed by caravans when you establish trade routes. You’ll need to keep this in mind when swapping resources with other civilizations in the game. If the relationship turns sour, do you really want a road leading from their army to your doorstep?


Lastly, while we’re discussing workers - they’re no more. They’re being replaced by builders. Builders are consumed after completing a set number of tasks, so you won’t have them prancing around your cities on auto-construct. The bright side? Your tile improvements are now built immediately.



Civ 6 Now Has Two Research Trees, Civics

4. There are now two research trees.

Don’t worry - the science tech tree still exists. Now, there’s just a civic tree that’s powered by your culture, which replaces the social policies system introduced in Civ 5.


Additionally, there are now ways for you to actively boost your research - Eureka and Inspiration moments. Have a city on the coast? You’ll get a boost in your sailing research. Want to research Writing faster? Just meet another civilization. This new element to research makes complete sense, and it’s a welcome addition to the game. I'm excited for it.



Civ 6 Leaders Have Historical and Hidden Agendas

5. Leaders now have agendas.

In Civilization VI, leaders have both historical and random agendas. With historical agendas, a leaders’ behavior will be shaped by their real-world history. This means that if you’re in a game with Catherine de Medici, you can count on her having a nice amount of spies. And Cleopatra? She likes civilizations with powerful militaries.  


Not every aspect of their gameplay will be predictable, though. They’ll also have a random agenda that will differ game to game. Maybe they’ll want to focus on building their culture this time around, or perhaps they’ll want a prosperous trade network? That’s something you’ll have to figure out on your own.

Civilization VI comes out next Friday, October 21. To prepare yourself for the big launch, stop by our Civ 6 Wiki to learn about leaders, wonders, and more.


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Brianna Reed 


Brianna engages with the Gamepedia community through editorial content and social media. When she’s not busy tweeting about gaming news, she enjoys playing tabletop games, spending time outdoors, and binge-watching sci-fi.




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