Civ 6 Countries Overview: How to Choose The Right Country?

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Civilization Overview

There are 20 different Civilizations in the base game of Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. Each Civilization represents a playable faction that represents current countries, ancient civilizations, or a cultural group.

Each Civilization has a unique historical leader, some civilizations even have multiple different leaders to choose from with different abilities. When a civilization is controlled by AI instead of a person it will follow a specific agenda and goal. This changes the behavior of the Civilization depending on which leader is leading it.

Each Civilization has a special ability, a unique unit, and a unique piece of infrastructure, such as a building, district, or tile improvement. The units often pertain to a piece of history or something a nation is known for. For example, Canada’s unique infrastructure is an Ice Hockey Rink because Canada is known for Hockey, while America’s is a film studio because America is known for Hollywood.

Victory Paths

There are six victory paths in Civilization VI, each with different requirements. To win with all victory paths except for a score victory you must be the first to complete all requirements for it. A score victory requires waiting out the clock and hoping another person doesn’t complete a different type of victory track first.


To achieve the science victory, you must launch a satellite, land a human on the moon, and establish a Martian colony. You will want to focus on all the science and production aspects of the game. Building multiple cities with high production and space sports is a must to make this victory achievable.


To win the cultural victory, you will need to focus on the tourism industry in your country, as well as, the cultural statistic. When you have attracted more visiting tourists from every single civilization than they have domestic tourists you will achieve victory. Domestic tourists are tourists who are vacationing within their own home country while visiting tourists are tourists from other civilizations.


To win the domination victory, you must conquer the original capital of every civilization, regardless if they are still in play or not. Focusing on a strong military and advanced technology will help make this victory easier to achieve. However, you must be aware of various penalties that happen as a result of war. These penalities affect your civilization’s relationship with other civilizations and the relationship you have with the population of your civilization.


To achieve religious victory, your religion must be the most predominant in every civilization you are playing against. When half of a civilization’s cities follow your religion it will be considered the dominant religion in that civilization. Religion is naturally spread to cities that are within 10 tiles of each other. You can also use missionaries and apostles to spread your word and convert people to your religion. Religious units can also be killed to gain a bigger following towards your religion.


Diplomacy is introduced in the Gather Storm DLC. To achieve diplomatic victory, you must reach a certain amount of diplomatic victory points. The standard amount is 20 diplomatic points. You can gain and lose points through various means, including, voting for the winning outcome of a World Congress and building various land important landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Potala Palace. You can also research seasteads, discover global warming mitigation, earn the higher score in aid requires, and winning first place in a non-emergency score competition.


A score victory happens when no players have achieved another victory condition when the turn counter runs out. The points are calculated differently depending on if DLC is installed.

  • Vanilla Point Calculations
    • 5 points for each city-owned.
    • 5 points for each wonder owned.
    • 3 points for each district-owned.
    • 3 points for each Great Person earned.
    • 2 points for each belief after founding a religion.
    • 2 points for each technology researched.
    • 1 point for each citizen in the empire.



America’s leader is the beloved Teddy Roosevelt with a perk that allows for Units on his home continent to receive +5 in combat strength. Cities that have a National Park will get a +1 appeal on all tiles making America one of the strongest nations in the game. Additionally, Roosevelt will receive the Rough Rider unique unit once Rifling has been researched. This unit earns culture from kills on the Captial’s continent and gains +10 combat strength when fighting on hills in addition to its low maintenance cost.

America’s unique ability is called Founding Fathers and allows for all diplomatic policy slots to be converted into Wildcard slots. The unique unit is a P-51 Mustang which replaces the standard Fighter in the Atomic era. This unit has a +5 attack against other fighter aircraft and has a +2 flight range, additionally, it earns 50% more experience.

The unique improvement for America is a film studio that replaces the broadcast center. This improvement is built in the Theater Square district and gives 100% bonus on tourism pressure from the city towards other civilizations in the Modern Era.

When America is played by AI it will follow the big stick policy which builds as many spies as possible and dislikes civilizations who ignore espionage activities. When you play America the country is best suited for a cultural victory over other victories. If you stick to the Classical Republic as a form of government through the early games you will gain a bonus towards the Great Person generation. In addition to the Great People, you can easily use National Parks and Film studios to overrun tourism.


Arabia’s leader is Saladin and he comes with the perk of righteousness of the faith. This perk allows for the worship building for Saladin’s religion to be purchased by any player for one-tenth of the usual cost. Arabian cities will get a +10% science, faith, and culture bonus output.

The civilization perk is called the last prophet and lets players automatically receive the final Great Prophet once the next tot last once has been claimed as long as you have not already earned one. Arabia will also receive a +1 science bonus for each foreign city that follows its religion.

Arabia’s unique unit is the Mamluk which replaces the knight during the medieval era. The Mamluk will heal at the end of every turn even when moving or attacking. The unique improvement is called Madrasa and replaces the university in the campus district. It will give a faith bonus that is equal to the adjacency bonus of the campus district.

When played by AI, Arabia’s agenda is called the Ayyubid Dynasty. Saladin will want his worship building to be in as many cities as possible. He will dislike civilizations that follow other religions or fight against those with his religion as dominant. Overall Arabia is most suited for either a Religious or Domination Victory. Saladin is very focused on religion which means the civilization comes with a significant religious bonus. While the Mamluk makes the civilization a strong contender for a Domination Victory thanks to their healing bonus.


The leader of the Aztec civilization is Montezuma and his perk is the Gifts for the Tlatoani which gives luxury resources in his territory provide for two extra cities. Military units will also get +1 combat strength when attack for each improved luxury resource on Aztec land.

The civilization perk is called Legend of Five Suns and allows the Aztec to spend builder charges to complete 20% of its district’s cost. The unique unit is called the Eagle Warrior and replaces the warrior during the Ancient era. The Eagle Warrior has a chance at capturing other military units by turning them into builders.

The unique improvement for the Aztecs is the Tlachtli which replaces the arena improvement in the entertainment complex. This will provide one amenity a +2 faith and a great general point.

When the civ is playing as AI it will follow the Tlatoani agenda which means that Montezuma will like the civilizations that have the same luxury resources and dislikes those that have the ones he doesn’t. His goal will be to collect all of them. When playing as the Aztecs going for a domination victory will be the easiest path. A science victory using builders is also within grasp.


Brazil’s leader is Pedro II and his perk is called Magnanimous which allows for 20% of the cost of a Great Person to be refunded. The civ perk is the Amazon rainforest tile which provides +1 adjacency bonuses for the campus, commercial hubs, holy sites, and theater square districts. It also provides a +1 house for neighborhoods adjacent to those districts.

The unique unit is called the Minas Geraes and they replace the battleship during the industrial era. The unique improvement is a street carnival that replaces the entertainment district. It will provide +2 amenities, is cheaper to build, and unlocks the carnival project. This grants a +1 amenity and several great people points.

Brazil has another unique improvement called the Copacabana which replaces the water district and will provide +2 amenities. You must choose between the street carnival or the Copacabana.

When played by AI, Brazil will try to recruit as many great people as possible. When another civ recruits a great person Pedro will no longer like them. Brazil is a very versatile civ and is capable of any victory strategy but it’s most suited for the cultural victory thanks to the carnival project.


China’s leader is Qun Shi Huang and his perk is called the First Emperor. This perk allows for builder charges to complete 10% of ancient and classical wonder costs. China’s perk is called the dynastic cycle and allows eurekas and inspirations to provide 50% of civics and technologies instead of the usual 40%.

Their unique unit is the crouching tiger, which is a medieval era unit and has a range of 1, as well as, high combat strength. The unique improvement is the Great Wall and increases defense, wall pieces will also provide extra gold when adjacent to other walls segments. They also provide culture and tourism bonuses when you advance through the technology tree.

When played by AI China will follow the Wall of 10,000 Li agenda. Quin Shi Huang will build wonders whenever possible and likes civilizations that don’t have wonders. The science and cultural victories are the easiest victory paths for China. A cultural victory is easily within grasp thanks to the leader’s focus on wonders.


The Egyptian civilization leader is Cleopatra and her perk is called the Mediterranean’s Bride. This perk will provide +4 bonus Gold from trade routes to other civilizations. While trade routes from Egypt will provide +2 food to the civilizations and +2 gold to Egypt. Additionally, you will earn twice as many bonus alliance points when you trade with an allie.

The civilizations special perk is the Iteru which provides +15% production bonus for districts and wonders that are place next to a river and allows for districts and wonders to be placed on floodplains.

Egypt’s special unit is the Maryannu Chariot Archer which replaces the heavy chariot during the ancient era and it has a +4 movement when its starting in open terrain. Their unique improvement is the Sphinx which is constructed by builders and provides +1 faith, +1 culture, and +1 appeal. If the sphinx is built next to a wonder it will provide an additional +2 faith bonus.

When played by AI the leader will follow the Queen of the Nile agenda. This agenda prefers other civilizations that have powerful militaries. Egypt is a versatile civilization and can win through religious, cultural, or diplomatic victories.


England’s leader in the base game is the lovely Queen Victoria who comes with the Pax Britannica perk. This perk allows all cities founded on a non-home continent to receive a free melee unit. Once the city is founded and a Royal Navy Dockyard is constructed another free melee unit will be awarded. Additionally, you will receive the redcoat unique unit once military science has been researched.

England’s perk is the British Museum which is an archaeological museum that will hold 6 artifacts instead of the usual three and will support archaeologists at once. Their two unique unites are the Redcoat and the Sea Dog. The redcoat will give a +10 combat strength when fighting on continents that are not your capital and has no disembark cost. The Sea Dog replaces the privateer in the Renaissance Era and can capture enemy ships. Additionally, the Sea Dog cannot be seen unless the enemy is next to it.

The unique improvement for England is the Royal Navy Dockyard which replaces the Harbor District and removes the movement penalty for embarking and disembarking. Naval units built in the dockyard will receive +1 movement. Those built-in a foreign country the player will receive a +2 gold and +4 loyalty bonus.

When played by AI, England will follow the Sun Never Sets agenda. Victoria will like civilizations that have a city on her home continent and will attempt to expand across the map. England is one of the most versatile civilizations and can win through nearly any route. The only route that England doesn’t have near domination over is Religious. This makes this civ one of the most replayable in the game.


France’s base game leader is Catherine de Medici and she comes with the Catherin’s Flying Squadron perk. This gives a +1 diplomatic visibility at all times, as well as, a free spy and spy capacity bonus when castles are researched. Additionally, all spies will start with a free upgrade as agents.

France’s perk is called Grand Tour and provides a +20% production bonus towards Medieval, Renaissance, and Industrial era wonders. It also doubles tourism for all wonders in the empire. Their unique unit is a Garde Imperiale which is a french industrial melee unit and has a +10 combat strength when fighting on your capital’s home content. You will also earn great general points for killing units.

The unique improvement for France is a Chateau that provides +2 culture and +1 appeal bonuses. If the Chateau is placed next to a wonder it will provide +2 culture and if next to a luxury resource it will provide +1 gold.

When playing as AI France will follow the Black Queen agenda. This means Catherine will build as many spies as possible and enjoys espionage. France is most suited for a cultural victory but other victory paths are possible with careful planning.


Germany’s leader is Frederick Barbarossa and he comes with the Holy Roman Emperor perk. This perk gives an additional military policy slot and +7 combat strength when attacking city-states. Germany’s perk is free imperial cities which allows for each city to build more than one district than usual.

Their unique unit is the u-boat which replaces the submarine in the modern era. It’s also cheaper to produce and comes with +1 sight and +10 combat strength when fighting on ocean tiles. Their unique improvement is the Hansa which replaces the industrial zone district and is cheaper to build. Additionally, it will give a +2 production bonus when built next to a commercial hub district. It will also give +1 production for adjacent resources and +1 for every two adjacent district tiles.

When played by AI Barbarossa will follow the Iron crown agenda and try to conquer as many city-states as possible. Germany is best suited for either a science or domination victory due to its production potential and support of extra districts.


Greece has two leaders to choose from in the base game, Gorgo or Pericles. Each comes with its perk and AI agenda. Gorgo’s perk is Thermopylae which allows combat victories to provide a culture that is equal to 50% of the combat strength of the drafted unit. Pericles perk is Surrounded by Glory and increases culture by 5% for each state you are the leader of.

Greece’s perk is Plat’s Republic which provides an extra wildcard policy for all governments. Their unique unite is the hoplite which replaces the spearman during the ancient era and receives +10 combat strength if there is an adjacent hoplite unit.

Greece’s unique improvement is the acropolis and it replaces the theater square district. It provides 1 envoy and is cheaper to build. If next to the city center you will receive a +1 cultural bonus, as well as, another +1 culture bonus for each wonder or district that is adjacent to it.

Gorgo’s agenda is called WIth your shield on it and makes Gorgo into a warmonger who has zero interest in creating peaceful deals. Pericles agenda is called Delian League and he tries to become friendly with all city-states.

Regardless of leader, a cultural victory is the most reliable path, however, Gorgo can also be used for a domination victory thanks to her warmongering spirit. Pericles can also achieve a Diplomatic victory through allying with city-states.


The leader of India is Gandhi whose Satyagraha perk gives +5 faith for each civilization that has founded a religion and is at peace. While civs that are fighting against Gandhi will receive an increase in war-weariness.

India’s perk is called Dharma and gives followers belief bonuses from all religions that have followers in their cities. Their unique unit is the Varus which is heavy cavalry unit available during the classical era and gives nearby enemies -5 combat strength. Their unique improvement is a stepwell that provides +1 food and housing. When built next to a holy site it will give +faith. When built next to a farm it will give +1 food.

Gandhi’s agenda is Peacekeeper and he likes civs that follow the same religion he does. India’s victory path is very much suited for a religious victory thanks to bonuses from Stepwells and Satyagraha. A cultural victory can also be achieved by leverage faith points for great people.


Japan’s leader Hojo Tokimune perk is Divine Wind and it grants land units +5 combat strength when they are on land tiles that are adjacent to the coast. Naval units receive +5 combat strength in shallow waters. Additionally, holy sites, encampments, and theater square district will be built in half the time.

Japan’s perk is Meiji Restoration which allows all districts to receive an additional bonus from being next to another district. Their unique unit is the samurai which is a medieval era melee unit that doesn’t suffer combat penalties. Their unique improvement is an electronic factory that replaces the normal factory. It will provide +prduciton to all city center that is within six tiles. Once electricity is researched +4 culture will also be awarded.

The leader agenda is called bushido and makes Tokimune prefer strong militaries, faith, and culture outputs from other civilizations. Japan is overall is a very versatile civilization and able to win at any victory path thanks to a combination of its perks, units, and improvements.


The Kongos leader is Mvemba A Nzinga and their perk is religious convert. This allows Nzinga to gain all beliefs of any religion that is dominant in his cities. When he finishes a M’banza or Theater Square district he will receive an Apostle. This is in place of building holy sites, earning great prophets, or founding a religion.

Kong’s perk is called Nkisi which allows a +2 food and production bonus, +4 gold bonus for each relic, artifact or great sculpture created. Additionally, a +50% bonus for each great writer, artist, musician, or merchant is awarded.

Their unique unit is the Ngao Mbeba which replaces the swordsman during the classical era and receives +10 combat strength against ranged attacks and can move easily through woods and rainforest. Their unique improvement is the Mbanza which is a unique district that can only be construed in the rainforest or woods. It will replace the neighborhood district and is available earlier in the game. It provides +5 housing, +2 food, and +4 gold.

Nzinga’s agenda is called enthusiastic disciple and he will favor civs that bring religion to Kongo. Kongo is most suited for a cultural victory but a science victory is also possible with production bonuses.


Norway’s leader is Harald Hardrada and his perk is thunderbolt of the north. This allows him to raid naval melee units and provides a 50% production bonus towards all naval melee units. Norway’s perk is Knarr and allows for units to enter ocean tiles once shipbuilding has been researched. It also allows naval melee units to heal in neutral territory, as well as, embark and disembark without cost.

Norway has two unique units, the first is the berserker which is a medieval era unit that gets +4 movement when it’s in enemy territory and +7 combat strength while attacking. They have -7 combat strength when defending. The second unique unite is the Viking longship which replaces the galley. It’s an ancient-era naval unit that can pillage enemy coastal lands and capture civilians. It receives a +4 movement when in coastal waters.

Their unique improvement is the stave church which replaces the temple improvement for holy sites. It provides a +1 production bonus for each coastal resource and an adjacency bonus when next to woods.

Hardrada’s agenda is


Rome’s leader is Trajan and his perk is Trajan’s column, where all cities receive an additional city center building, during the ancient era this is a monument. Rome’s perk is all read lead to Rome and allows cities you found or conquer to have a trading post. Additionally, a road is built when the city is in trade route distance to the capital. Trade routes earring +1 gold.

Rome’s unique unit is the legion which replaces the swordsman during the classical era and can build a fort. Their unique improvement is Bath and it replaces the aqueduct district while also being cheaper to build. It will provide fresh water from a nearby water source. The cities that do not have fresh water will receive +6 housing while the ones that do will receive +2 housing. The district must be built next to the city center and it will provide +2 hours and +1 amenities in addition to the other benefits.

Trajan’s agenda is Optimus Princeps and he will try to grow his territory to be as large as possible. Rome is a versatile city capable of winning at any victory track thanks to its ability to minimize potential problems within their empire, as well as, their bonuses and freebies.


Russia’s leader is Peter the Great and his perk is the grand embassy which receives +1 science or culture from trade routes to other civilizations that are for every 3 technologies or civics they are ahead of Russia. Russia’s perk is Mother Russia which gives founded cities an extra territory and +1 faith and production from tundra tiles.

Their unique unit is the cossack which replaces a cavalry in the industrial era. It is stronger than the calvary with +5 combat strength when fighting near its home territory while also allowing you to move even after you have attacked. The unique improvement is the Lavra which replaces the holy site and is cheaper to build. When you spend a great person your city border will grow by one tile.

Peter’s agenda is Westernizer and he likes civilizations that are ahead in civics and technologies. Russia’s special bonuses help it achieve a cultural victory easily, however, a religious victory is also within reach with faith bonuses from tundra tiles.


Scythia’s leader is Tomyris and his perk is the killer of Cyrus. All his units get a +5 combat strength bonus when they are attacking a wounded unit, they also automatically heal up to 30 hit points once they’ve defeated a unit. Scythia’s perk is the people of the steppe and grants a second light cavalry, unit, or saka horse archer each time you train one unit.

Their unique unit is the Saka Horse archer which is available during the classical era and has a movement of 4 with a range of 1. Their unique improvement is the Kurgan and provides +1 faith and gold. Additionally, it will provide +1 faith for each adjacent pasture.

Tomyris’s agenda is called backstab averse and he likes civilizations that establish long-term alliances, he dislikes back-stabbing and surprise wars. Scythia is very good at the domination victory track thanks to his cavalry units and the ability to create them quickly. A religious victory is also within grasp thanks to the ability to ammas faith and strength of Scythian apostles.


Spain’s leader is Philip II and his perk is el escorial which allows inquisitors to remove heresy one extra time. Combat units will also receive +4 combat strength against players that follow other religions.

Spain’s perk is the treasure fleet and it allows for Spain to form fleets and armadas, as soon as Mercantilism has been discovered. Trade routes that are between multip,e continents will get bonus gold, and trade routes between your cities will receive bonus food and production. Cities with mission improvement that is adjacent to the city center but not your capital’s content will receive +2 loyalty per turn.

The unique unit is the conquistador and it replaces the musket men during the renaissance era. It also comes with +10 combat strength and a religious unit is on the same hex. Lastly, a city that is captured or adjacent to a captured city will automatically adopt the player’s religion.

The unique improvement for Spain is missions that provide +2 faith. If the mission is on a different continent then you will also receive an addition +2 faith. IF built next to a campus you will gain an additional +2 science.

Philip’s agenda is counter reformer, he likes civilizations that follow the same religion and wants his city to follow his religion. Spain is best suited for either a religious or domination victory, thankfully one path helps the other path grow regardless of which you choose. This makes it easy to choose one path but easily has a backup that is just as attainable.


Sumeria’s leader is Gilgamesh and his perk adventures of Enkidu which allows you to declare war on anyone at war with an ally without incurring penalties. When Sumeria is fighting against a common enemy both he and his allies will share pillage rewards and combat experience within five tiles, as well as, receive alliance points. Sumerians perk is epic quests that allow Sumeria to get a tribal village reward for capturing a barbarian outpost in addition to gold. The cost levy city-state units are also half the cost.

Their unique int is the war-cart and is available during the ancient era. The units are stronger than other starting units and suffer no penalties against anti-calvary units. It has 4 movement when its starts in open terrain. The unique improvement is the ziggurat which provides +2 science, when built next to a river it will provide an additional +1 culture.

Gilgamesh’s agenda is ally of Enkidu and makes him easy to befriend. He is protective of his friends and does not like it when they are attacked.


Civilization VI has been steadily adding new civilizations since it was released, along with a host of updates and changes to make the game even more replayable.

  • Rise and Fall added eight new civilizations to the game.
  • Gathering Storm added ten new civilizations to the game.
  • New Frontier Pass added eight new civilizations to the game.
  • Smaller DLC packs were released that added 7 new civilizations to the game. They can be purchased separately.


Question: What Civilization should I play?

Answer: That is entirely up to you and what you have in mind for your gameplay style. I’d recommend taking a look at our tier list to understand how the civilizations rank in addition to their perks! I personally enjoy playing England for their strength.

Question: Can I run Civilization VI?

Minimum Requirements:
OS: Windows 7 64bit / 8.1 64bit / 10 64bit
Processor: Intel Core i3 2.5 GHz or AMD Phenom II 2.6 GHz or greater
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Hard drive: 12 GB or more
DVD-Rom: Required for disc-based installation
Video card: 1 GB DirectX 11 Video Card (AMD 5570 or Nvidia 450)
Recommended Requirements:
OS: Windows 7 64bit / 8.1 64bit / 10 64bit
Processor: Fourth-generation Intel Core i5 2.5 GHz or AMD FX8350 4.0 GHz or greater
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Hard drive: 12 GB or more
DVD-Rom: Required for disc-based installation
Video card: 2 GB DirectX 11 Video Card (AMD 7970 or Nvidia 770 or greater)

Question: Is Civilization VI multiplayer?

Answer: Yes! Civ VI has two multiplayer options. The first is to play so that everyone takes their tun simultaneously. You can also play so that everyone takes their turn individually, this does make the game last longer. Additionally, you can save the game and players can return to it later in the same spot. Hosts can kick players if they want to as well. The game is also single-player so if you just want to play against AI you can!

Final Thoughts

Civilization VI’s starting civilizations are unique and diverse, each with its own history, unique leader, and unit. With different perks that can help them along on specific victory paths. Some of these Civs are very versatile and strong, making them great for beginners who are just starting to learn the mechanics of the game. Those that are less versatile make for a great challenge for players that want to win in unconventional ways.

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