Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is the strategy game that may confuse you with so many different options in terms of civilizations, leaders and the wealth of extra options. There are plenty of ways to win a game, but what’s most important in Civ 6 is the choices you make from the very beginning.
Although at launch you could choose from 18 different leaders. Thanks to several expansions since launch, as of Gathering Storm, there are now 51 leaders, and their number will increase to 54 by March 2021 (Pack #5 and Pack #6). The leaders have been ranked based on this Civ 6 Tier List from ProClockers, and you can read the full article here.
So before starting a new game, let’s check out the best civilizations and the victories they can easily achieve. We’ll talk about all the top civilizations that can secure a victory either through domination, diplomacy, culture, religion, or science. Bear in mind that for every civilization, there’s a certain leader that excels at a specific victory type.
Top Civilizations for Domination Victory
Domination victory can be achieved by conquering other civilizations through feats of strength. You must conquer all the capitals to achieve this victory. However, you must make sure that there’s a balance between economy and scientific progress for this type of victory to work.
The best civilizations for domination victory are Scythia (leader – Tomyris), America (leader – Teddy Roosevelt), Zulu (leader – Shaka), and Byzantium (Basil II).
Teddy Roosevelt of America will also help you shine mid-game when you get +5 combat strength in the home continent. Lay low in the beginning and wait for the modern era to begin and defeat your enemies with the Rough Rider land unit that has +10 combat strength when they fight on hills. Investing in Science and Technology is a must.
Tomyris of Scythia is a leader that can help you win in early to mid-game thanks to the special Saka Horse Archer unit. However, make sure the map has a ton of land because you can’t use these horses on the sea.
Basil II of Byzantium gets combatbonuses from converting other civs to his religion. Whether you go for a religion or domination victory, Byzantium is a great civilization to pick. Try spreading religion early and as often as possible.
Shaka of Zulu is great thanks to the Impi, an anti-cavalry unit that is better than the Pikeman. Get early access to armies by using the Ikanda Encampments and the Mercenaries/Nationalism civics. The Zulu is both great at attacking but also at defending their cities.
Top Civilizations for Culture Victory
It may be challenging to win through culture, but it’s not impossible! You’ll need a lot of great people – such as artists, but also many buildings, districts and wonders that can house all their artworks. What will really help is a good policy and trade. Choose between civilizations like China (leader – Qin Shi Huang), Netherlands (leader – Wilhelmina), and Māori (leader – Kupe).
Qin Shi Huang of China andThe Great Wall of China will help you secure a culture victory. Every adjacent segment to the Great Wall will add +1 to gold, culture and tourism. Build that wall to protect yourself from your enemies, and you’ll also get many resources. If you’re comfortable laying low, this is the best gameplay.
Kupe of Māori hasthe advantage of starting in the middle of the ocean, and every turn you spend without colonizing the first city will reward you with +2 science and culture. But it is when you start getting cities that you will get extra bonuses such as +20 bonus culture per turn when your city has 10 tiles spread around Woods, Rainforests, Marshes, Oases, Reefs, Floodplains, or Geothermal Fissures.
Wilhelmina of the Netherlands is excellent in mid-game, has a self-sustaining economy that helps you trade with other civs. Make sure you build a Harbor and gather Culture from foreign cities, but also build the unique naval units to protect yourself.
Top Civilizations for Science Victory
Ah, there’s nothing sweeter than a space race victory! You can choose between civilizations like Arabia (leader – Saladin), Russia (leader – Peter the Great), Korea (leader – Seondeok), and Maya (leader – Lady Six Sky).
Peter the Great of Russia can turn Russia into a powerful civ thanks to that +1 Science or Culture from trade routes with more advanced civs. Make sure you settle and expand your territory on tundra to get those extra bonuses.
Lady Six Sky of Maya will allow you to be stronger in early game thanks to the military potential, letting you take out civs that will choose the same path as you – Korea, for instance. Lady Six Sky has a great unique ability that has to be played right – build a compact empire.
Saladin of Arabia mixes technology with religion and can help you either win through a religious victory or scientific victory. Their religious buildings increase science, faith and culture by 10%.
Seondeok of Korea canhelp you beat others in the space race by using the mines adjacent to Seowon Campus districts to get extra science. Don’t forget to take advantage of the Hwacha ranged unit.
Top Civilizations for Religion Victory
To win this type of victory, you must have all the civilization’s followers of the same belief. You can choose between civilizations like Ethiopia (leader – Menelik II), India (leader – Gandhi), Spain (leader – Philip II), and Georgia (leader – Tamar).
Gandhi of India – it’s never a good idea to attack Gandhi! Winning a religious victory with Gandhi is easy, as he gains bonus faith every turn for each civ he has met and he’s not at war with. Also, he gains follower bonus from every religion. India will thrive on faith and will punish those looking for war.
Philip II of Spain is the opposite of Gandhi’s peaceful tactics. When he fights civilizations that have other faiths, he gets +4 combat strength, so it lets you easily conquer others and spread your religion. We knew it! Nobody expected the Spanish Inquisition!
Menelik II of Ethiopia will help you secure this type of victory since his bonuses come from Faith production. Make sure you place the Rock-Hewn Church between hills or mountain tiles. Defend yourself with the unique units that also take advantage of hills.
Tamar of Georgia excels at religious victory since everything you do will generate faith every turn. You’ll be able to easily chain Golden Ages and boost your capability of spreading religion around. Make sure you engage factions in hill terrain so that your Khevsur melee unit can take advantage of that extra strength.
Top Civilizations for Diplomacy Victory
Diplomatic victories can be achieved by choosing Canada and its leader Wilfried Lautier. There are no other alternatives out there viable for this type of victory.
Wilfried Lautier of Canada. That +1 diplomatic favor for every 100 tourism and 100% more rewards from competitions and emergencies in the World Congress will help double your score. There’s also the Ice Hockey Rink that will generate +2 appeal and help increase tourism. You can’t lose with Canada if you want to get a Diplomacy victory.