Civ 6 Difficulty Levels

Civ 6 Difficulty Levels Guide

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Civilization 6 marks a new era in the franchise that has been going strong for the past 29 years. The game introduces several new concepts, sharpened leaders, and more action-packed content. Overall, Civ 6 is much better than its predecessors were by showcasing new features and game mechanics.

During a new game, you’ll take your civilization from the beginning of its life in 4000 BC and evolve them until 2050 AD. It may seem a little overwhelming with the new evolutions, unique units, and different leaders. There are many details to learn about Civ 6 that make it exceptionally difficult for players who are new to the series.

However, once you get to grips with the basics of Civ 6, you’ll begin to claim victories for your empire. Once you start consistently winning, perhaps you’d like to increase the difficulty and take on the challenge? We’ve created this in-depth guide on Civ 6 difficulties, informing players of everything they need to know before playing.

Civilization 6 Difficulty Tiers

Civ 6 is notorious for being a challenging game. The turn-based game features 8 difficulty settings that offer unique experiences each time. In addition, every option has special advantages or negatives applied to your leader. Moreover, the AI will get buffs to make the game significantly tougher. Civilization 6 will require having deep knowledge and mechanics if you want to stand a chance at victory.

During the first few playthroughs, you’re more than likely to fail. However, you’ll begin to form a strategy and become the strongest leader through trial and error. Once you start winning consecutively, the game can become somewhat stale. Therefore, you can experiment with the difficulty options and explore Civ 6 in a new light. We’ll begin with the easiest difficulties and transition to the hardest.



This is the easiest setting, and the game will give you advantages to claim the victory faster. Buffs will be added to your civilization, which makes it a stress-free experience. The most important benefit is the damage buff to your units and DPS reduction to AI enemies. Players can experiment with characters and see what style they like to play. Furthermore, the reward for destroying a barbarian settlement is 45 gold, significantly more compared to enemy leaders.

Settler is recommended for those new to Civ 6 and wants to get a feel for the game. The most important aspect of this difficulty is to test out various skill trees, leaders, units, and attack strategies.

Settler Details:

  • -1 combat AI debuff, while players receive +3 combat.
  • +45% XP increase.
  • +15 gold from barbarian camps.
  • Beating the AI will reward the “Game, Settler, Match” achievement.



Chieftain is almost identical to Settler, except the combat bonus and experience gain are reduced. Also, the gold received for destroying barbarian settlements is 40 gold. It’s a brilliant difficulty for those with a general understanding of Civ 6, but are not ready for the highly challenging modes.

Chieftain Details:

  • -1 combat AI debuff, while player receives +2 combat.
  • +30% XP increase.
  • +10 gold from barbarian camps.
  • Beating the AI will reward the “Irish Heartbeat” achievement.



Warlord mode offers combat and bonus experience. However, the benefits of the AI are noticeably reduced compared to the other difficulties. It provides unique challenges and less gold per barbarian settlement. This mode is excellent to test your skills once you beat Chieftain a few times.

Warlord Details:

  • -1 combat AI debuff, while player receives +1 combat.
  • +15% XP increase.
  • +5 gold from barbarian camps.
  • Beating the AI will reward the “Warlording Over Others” achievement.



Prince is the normal difficulty in Civilization 6. Players will receive no advantages over the AI and will have to use game knowledge to win. Also, the AI gains no benefits against players, making it a fair environment. Beating Prince difficulty means that you are ready to begin the challenging modes in Civ 6. Make sure that you win with multiple leaders, as it will provide a good foundation when trying to beat harder levels. This is because some leaders are better at coping with the many debuffs later on.

Prince Details

  • AI and players have no damage and XP buffs.
  • Barbarian camps will give the default 30 gold.
  • AI and players will begin with the same number of units, 1 settler, and 1 warrior.
  • Beating the AI will reward the “The Prince” achievement.



This is where the challenging moments in Civ 6 come to fruition. The AI gets favorable conditions that will make it significantly harder to beat. The AI’s major buffs are an 8% bonus in science, culture, and faith, with a 20% increase to gold production. Also, the computer gets  10% more experience, combat XP bonus, civics boost, free tech, and more starting warriors.

King is the real challenge as now you’ll experience Civ 6 at a disadvantage from the start. Only the most determined players will take on the battle and win. Most gamers will lose on the first few tries, so don’t let this demoralize you into not playing. Defeating this mode will award you with “Divine Right of Kings” achievement.

King Details:

  • AI gets +10% bonus experience, +1 warrior, and all units have +1 strength.
  • AI receives an 8% bonus to culture, science, and faith. Plus, a 20% increase in the production of gold.
  • AI receives +1 builder in their first district. Also, 1 free point in tech or civic boosts.
  • Beating the AI will reward the “Divine Right of Kings” achievement.



This challenging mode will give the most experienced gamers a hard time. The AI’s advantage is doubled from King’s difficulty. Also, the computer will receive an extra settler, building unit, and warrior at the start. The early game is the most difficult part of this challenge. You’ll have to face the fast-growing enemy leaders and try to catch up. The most important aspect of the challenge is to form alliances quickly to give yourself time to create an army.

If you barely got through King mode, you’ll definitely have a hard time with Emperor as it’s roughly 2 times harder.

Emperor Details:

  • AI gets +20% bonus experience, +2 warrior, and all units have +2 strength.
  • AI receives a 16% bonus to culture, science, and faith. Plus, a 40% increase in the production of gold.
  • AI receives +2 builders and 2 settlers after their first district are built. Also, 2 free points in tech or civic boosts.
  • Beating the AI will reward the “Emperor’s New Groove” achievement.



Beating Immortal will take a lot of skill for any chance at victory. The AI will get huge benefits that will make the whole experience terrible for unprepared players. All new cities by the AI will automatically receive ancient walls. The bots will get a 24% boost in faith, culture, and science. This makes it extremely challenging since the AI can spec the skill tree very fast. Also, a 60% increase in gold production is given, which means more units can be built.

Add all these extra benefits to the AI, and you have a  huge challenge on your hands. Accomplishing the mode is a significant achievement in Civ 6. Also, this means that you are ready to face the final challenge and take on the hardest difficulty.

Immortal Details:

  • AI gets +30% bonus experience, +3 warrior, and all units have +3 strength.
  • AI receives a 24% bonus to culture, science, and faith. Plus, a 60% increase in the production of gold.
  • AI receives +2 builders and 2 settlers after their first district are built. Also, 3 free points in tech or civic boosts.
  • Beating the AI will reward the “12 Labors of Hercules” achievement.



The difficulty’s name fits exceptionally well because you either need to be an AI yourself or a god to beat the game. Surviving the first 10-20 turns is near impossible due to the many extra warriors and buffs enemies get. The AI receives +1 unit more than in Immortal mode expect for builders. The production of gold increases to 80%, which means opposing leaders will gain almost 2x your gold. This allows them to build more and overwhelm your settlements.

Furthermore, the 32% increase in culture, science, and faith to the AI players puts you further behind as the game progresses. Beating this difficulty is an accomplishment as only a fraction of Civilization 6 players have successfully done this.

Deity Details:

  • AI gets +40% bonus experience, +5 warrior, and all units have +3 strength.
  • AI receives a 32% bonus to culture, science, and faith. Plus, an 80% increase in the production of gold.
  • AI receives +2 builders and 3 settlers after their first districts are built. Also, 4 free points in tech or civic boosts.
  • Beating the AI will reward the “God-Like” achievement.

Civ 6 Tips To Beat Deity Difficulty

Defeating Civ 6 in any difficulty is very complex and requires an in-depth understanding of the game. This makes conquering Deity difficulty such an impossible task because it adds significant advantages to the AI. The strategy to beating the game will largely depend on the map, your leader, and enemy goals. However, there are some tips that you can implement, which will help defeat the insane game mode.

Tip 1 – Form Alliances Quickly


The opposing AI is persistent and delivers constant threats in Deity mode. War declarations come often, and the enemy will band together to defeat you. It’s easy to be overwhelmed in this mode by the sheer number of incoming attacks.

The best method of defending your capital is by turning the enemies against each other. Forming temporary peace with a nation and declaring war on another is a brilliant strategy. It’s an effective method of eliminating threats while making your army stronger. The benefit is that friendly AI players will be more powerful than you initially and are better at handling other AIs.

Tip 2 – Don’t Give Away Your Capital

When encountering new nations, they will often want to exchange information. While this is great for forming alliances and gaining important information, it can be a huge disadvantage. Under no circumstances accept exchanges that will expose where your capital is located. Once a nation is aware of your location, it will eventually target you. Denying their request to look at your capital will keep them in the dark longer and give you more time to prepare.

Tip 3 – Archers Are Important!

While playing, you’ll want to utilize almost all units at your disposal. Perhaps the most important unit in your army is the archers. These ranged attackers can change the outcome of a fight with their presents. Upgrade them from slingers so that they do more damage and take out opposing fighters more effectively. Archers are cheap, efficient, and fast, making them a great asset in your army.

Tip 4 – Trade With Losing Leaders


Utilizing your resources as efficiently as possible is the best method of winning in Civ 6. Most trades are mutually beneficial, but some can lead to your enemy gaining a tactical edge. An excellent option to receive useful trades is to talk with losing AIs. Trading with them won’t give a huge benefit as they are already losing. However, you’ll gain more advantages that will help you win.

Tip 5 – Focus On Defense

The first order of business when creating a new game in Deity difficulty is to establish a defense. Nearby civilizations and barbarian settlements are major threats at the start. Therefore, you need to have a few units in place to fend off early rushes. Most likely, you’ll need to overcome multiple declarations of war. Defense is the best offense in this case. Once they lose critical units by going on the offensive, you can retaliate with your army and claim the victory.

The best combination of units is to have a mix of warriors, slingers, and archers to hold off incoming attacks. While it’s tempting to focus on producing, having extra security around your settlement is worth it.

Tip 6 – Be Aggressive Early

Once you’ve built your early defensive and are satisfied that nothing will breach your walls, it’s time to go on the offensive. Take a small army and attack all vulnerable nations nearby. Often you’ll secure a strong position for yourself while taking out a potential threat. However, if the plan doesn’t work out, you’ll provide your soldiers with experience that will come in handy in future battles.

Tip 7 – Focus On The Early Game

Early game

The early game is the most dangerous part because the AI will declare wars and attack ferociously. The most important factor of getting through the early game is to go on the defensive and execute intelligent attacks. Build a solid foundation and survive the first few onslaughts. Afterward, it will get much easier as you gain stronger units and spec.

Civ 6 Strongest Leaders

Civ 6 is designed differently compared to previous games. Civilizations no longer have highly specific attributes and skill trees. Most nations still favor a particular playstyle, but now the game offers more versatility with builds. However, some nation leaders perform much better compared to others. They will help guide you on an easier path to victory. Also, learning these top-tier leaders will provide better winning conditions when playing PVP.

Tomyris of Scythia

Tomyris of Scythia

Scythia is part of the military faction capable of crushing other teams in the early game. The special saka horse archer is the best unit in this army. It doesn’t require any horses to produce and has 4 movements with +1 attack range. Furthermore, training a light cavalry unit will spawn another one. Therefore, your light cavalry production is doubled from the start.

The power of this leader comes at the beginning of the game. Scythia can quickly create an unstoppable army of cavalry archers, which move fast and hit hard. Furthermore, her army gains +5 combat strength when engaging with hurt enemies. Also, they will heal up to 50 points after defeating an enemy unit. Scythia’s weakness is water maps as she needs ground to establish the cavalry army.

Summary: Excellent early game and powerful cavalry archer units.

Teddy Roosevelt Of America

Teddy Roosevelt Of America

Teddy Roosevelt shines as a mid to late-game leader. However, to get there, players must turtle from the start and play defensively. His kit accomplishes this well by giving a home defense ability that increases combat strength by +5. Also, the diplomatic policy cards become wildcard policy cards. This lets gamers create a policy structure that won’t rely heavily on diplomacy.

The strength of Teddy Roosevelt comes when the modern area is reached. America’s military units can annihilate opposing enemies with their huge buffs. Rough rider land units receive +10 combat strength on hilly terrain. Furthermore, the P-51 Mustang aircraft gains 50% more experience and has +5 damage against opponents.

The nation doesn’t have many counters in the late game because it does well in all terrains. Therefore, there are no restrictions for battle, and they can quickly adapt to make the situation advantageous in fights.

Summary: Brilliant in the late game, but players must turtle till the modern era. Also, highly adaptable and gains buffs in multiple terrains.

Shaka Of Zulu

Shaka Of Zulu

Shaka of Zulu is a powerhouse in Civ 6. His natural bonus in combat strength and training speed buffs gives huge advantages during full-scale wars. Shaka mainly focuses on building his army and going on the offensive. The impi is a strong anti-cavalry unit and replaces the pikeman. Battles are preferred on flat terrains as the number of units will overwhelm opponents.

Moreover, +3 loyalty is given to cities with a garrison, making them resistant to cultural and military attacks. Also, for every building in Ikanda, a +2 gold and +1 science buff will occur.

Summary: Great at mid-game battles as he can produce more units. Shaka focuses on scaling his army to huge numbers and overwhelming opponents.

Basil II Of Byzantium

Basil II Of Byzantium

Basil II of Byzantium focuses on the power of religion to tear down his foes. He gains combat bonuses by converting holy cities to his faith. Basil II is brilliant at winning by domination or religious victory. A good aspect of this is that both winning conditions are intertwined, which means you can simultaneously go for both win types.

Spreading religion is the best option for the early game. The Hippodrome district is what makes the leader great. The district delivers 1 free heavy calvary unit when first constructing the building. Afterward, every new building constructed will grant another heavy unit.

Summary: Religious-focused leader that uses buffs to defeat opponents. He is ultra-powerful in mid-game due to the unique units.

Frederick Barbarossa Of Germany

Frederick Barbarossa Of Germany

As history has shown, Germany is a powerhouse when it comes to production. Barbarossa starts strong with an extra military policy card that he can keep throughout the playthrough. All of his units have +7 combat strength versus city-states. Therefore, giving players incentives to go capture city-states in the early game. This will block other players from earning benefits and let Frederick Barbarossa grow his army.

This leader is impressive because he can build Germany’s Hansa, which replaces the industrial zone district. This will provide various bonuses to the army and production. For example, production units will gain a buff of +2. The leader requires a lot of planning to get significant results. However, he is fun to play once you get the hand of his strategy.

Summary: His cities gain a lot of production benefits. He is best at capturing city-states due to the +7 combat strength.

Games Like Civ 6

If you’re a fan of turn-based strategy games like civ 6, you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of other options. Civ 6 can become repetitive after playing for days, and a new game can provide a unique experience. The games on this list offer different takes on the turn-based stratergy genre.

Warlock: Masters Of The Arcane

Warlock Masters of Arcane

Take Civ 5, add magical aspects like monsters, portals, dimensions, spells, and you’ll get Warlock: Masters of the Arcane. The maps are massive and provide an immersive experience. However, it won’t take dozens of turns to scale through to the other side. Instead, you can guide your army to portals that will take units across the terrain. Also, you can colonize near these areas and gain an advantage by having secured locations at different parts of the map.

The characters are well thought out, and the campaign is enjoyable to play. Also, the artwork is aesthetically pleasing.

Old World

Old World

Old World attempts to construct all the aspects players love about Civ 6 and add more innovative features. The team of Old World is very experienced and has some developers that worked on the Civ series. Therefore, players will experience some familiarities between the games. Furthermore, the age of the world is locked to the ancient era. Old World features civilizations such as Rome, Assyria, and Carthage.

Empire management and unit movement is perfected. However, the fundamental differences are the character elements, events, and order systems. This lets players act on real-time events within the game, which can change the outcome of matches.

Age Of Wonders 3

Age Of Wonders 3

Another brilliant game that takes inspiration from Civ 6 is Age of Wonders 3. It has a fantasy twist that makes battles more exciting. It features everything you’d expect in a turn-based game: armies, tech trees, empire management, hero units, and spells. A huge separator between the franchises is that Age of Wonders 3 has a tactical battle mode where armies fight it out in more detail. This immerses players more as they can see the action instead of viewing it in birds-eye view.

The map has dangerous NPCs, enemy nations, and side missions. Also, you can explore dungeons and abandoned mines that will give rewards once captured. All factions have different attributes and styles of fighting. For example, dwarves prefer living underground and will gain buffs in mountain terrains.


Question: What Are The Easiest Civilisations To Learn?

Answer: Civilization 6 has many leaders that offer unique playstyles. Therefore, all gamers will find a nation that they can connect with. However, new Civ 6 players can get overwhelmed with the complex mechanics. Consequently, it would be best to learn these leaders since they are easy to play and great for familiarizing yourself with the game.

Sumeria: The first civilization you should pick is Sumeria. They excel at dominating the early game and giving players a monumental head start in the ancient era. Ziggurats can be built straight away and provide culture with sciences bonuses when placed next to a river. The playstyle is based on achieving lots of bonuses and gaining significant advantages over opposing players.
Greece: The nation gets a permanent wildcard slot that will grant essential bonuses. This makes Greece very flexible as you can change the card to whatever your empire needs. The 2 leaders of Greece offer different playstyles. Pericles gains 5% more culture for every city obtained. On the other hand, Gorgo is a Spartan that benefits by taking the enemy’s bonus strength and converting half into culture.
Rome: “All roads lead to Rome” is a brilliant saying and a buff acquired by Trajan. Roads are automatically built between your cities, which grant movement speed buffs. This lets builders move around much faster. Therefore, beating opponents is a lot easier since you can have more buildings and units produced.
Russia: Other nations will fight for territories to establish cities. However, Russia can sustain an army without the need to battle. This is because the nation thrives in the Tundra terrain where no other civilizations can. Furthermore, Russian leaders will start with an extra territory, letting them expand much faster.

Question: What Does The Game Setup Look Like In Civ 6?

Answer: Before venturing into the battlefield of Civ 6, the first order of business is to set up the game rules. These options will change the dynamics of the game and can make the experience either difficult or easy. The most important part of the game setup is to prepare an environment where you’ll have fun.

Choose Civilizations: This lets you select what nations and leaders will be present on the map.
Difficulty: There are 8 difficulty settings to choose. They can either provide benefits to you or the AI. Selecting Prince or higher will deliver a challenging experience.
Game Speed: This will modify the global speed of the game. “Quick” will make the time go 33% faster. Most players will choose standard, which is the normal speed for Civ 6.
Map Type: Civ 6 features different types of map environments. Currently, you can choose between continents, islands, plates, and Pangaea.
Map Size: The size of the map should depend on the number of players. Tiny is great for 2 players. Standard is ideal for 8 players. Large is the massive maps that can host 10 players.

Question: Can I Play Multiplayer In Civilization 6?

Answer: Civilization 6 features immersive multiplier modes to test your ability against real players. Playing against the AI can become dull and repetitive. Therefore, you should turn to multiplayer and play against people with different skill ranges. Civ 6 has 2 multiplayer options. The first let everybody take their turn simultaneously, which makes the game go by faster.

On the other hand, you can play the traditional style and take turns individually. This will make the games last significantly longer. Furthermore, players can save the games that take longer to complete and come back later.


In conclusion, we recommend starting from Settler difficulty if you’re new to the Civilization series and working your way up. However, experienced players can begin with Prince mode that provides no benefits to the AI or player. We’ve covered all the difficulties to familiarize yourself with what to expect when moving up the ranks. All modes are great challenges that will provide unique problems for players to solve.

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