Similar to previous installments, the goal for the player is to develop a civilization from an early settlement through many in-game millennia to become a world power and achieve one of several victory conditions, such as through military domination, technological superiority, or cultural influence, over the other human and computer-controlled opponents. Players do this by exploring the world, founding new cities, building city improvements, deploying military troops to attack and defend themselves from others, researching new technologies and civics advancements, developing an influential culture, and engaging in trade and negotiations with other world leaders.
The game features several civilizations not featured in previous incarnations of Civilization, while many returning civilizations have new capitals or new leaders. A critical design focus was to avoid having the player follow a pre-set path of improvements towards their civilization which they had observed from earlier games. New to Civilization VI is the use of districts outside the city center to house most of the buildings. For example, a campus district must be built in order to house science-based buildings. Other new features include research on the game's technology tree based on nearby terrain, a similar technology tree for cultural improvements, and a better government civics structure for those playing on a cultural victory path. There is also new artificial intelligence mechanics for computer-controlled opponents, which includes secret goals and randomized engagements to disrupt an otherwise stable game.
Civilization VI is a turn-based strategy video game in which one or more players compete alongside computer-controlled AI opponents to grow their individual civilization from a small tribe to control of the entire planet across several periods of development. This can be accomplished by achieving one of several victory conditions, all based on the 4X gameplay elements, \"eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate\". Players manage a civilization of their choice and develop their technology, culture, and government structure between ancient times and the near future. They found cities and grow them through the creation of mines, farms, and other improvements, while simultaneously exploring the randomly-generated world and encountering other civilizations and barbarians. Players have the ability to trade and manage peaceful diplomatic relations with other civilizations or alternatively go to war through the use of military force. The standard edition introduced nineteen civilizations and twenty leaders:
Similar to previous Civilization games, each civilization comes with at least one unique unit (often one associated closely with the civilization in a historical sense, though not always with the leader), as well as another unique benefit such as an improvement, building, or a second unique unit. One major change between Civilization V and Civilization VI is that both leaders and civilizations have a benefit. The Greeks, regardless of leader, can produce the Hoplite (as a spearman replacement), and Acropolis (as a theater square replacement), and receive Plato's Republic for an extra policy slot. Gorgo receives a bonus towards defeating military units however that Pericles does not, and vice-versa.
Past iterations of the game were considered difficult to win if the player decided to pursue a Cultural victory. To balance the game toward Cultural victories, a new Civics tree is introduced. The Civics tree has transferred cultural improvements that were previously part of the Technology tree in earlier Civilization games into a separate mechanic. Culture gained from cities is used to build on the Civics tree in the same manner Science from cities builds up the Technology tree. Completing certain Civics will then unlock policies, or policy cards, for the player's government. In Civilization VI, the government is defined by placing appropriate and available policies into a number of slots divided among the Military, Economic, Diplomatic, and Wildcard categories. The policies define boosts or limitations for the civilization (e.g. improved attack bonuses for military units against certain types of enemies such as Barbarians). Policies can be changed for free upon completing a single Civic, or for a small cost at any other time, allowing the player to adapt to a new situation as needed, according to lead producer Dennis Shirk.
The game uses a more cartoonish look than those of Civilization V, as according to Firaxis, with much deeper gameplay, they wanted to keep the visuals simple to avoid interfering with the complexity of gameplay. The graphics of individual units and buildings are being developed to be both readily-detailed when viewed in a tight zoom, while still being recognizable from other similar units when viewed from a distance. This necessitated the simpler art style to allow players to quickly recognize units and buildings while looking over a city without having to resort to user interface tooltips or similar distractions, according to Shirk. Individual units were designed to include flair associated with the given civilization, such as applying different helmet styles to the same class of footsoldier units.
Composer Christopher Tin, who wrote \"Baba Yetu\", the Grammy-winning theme song for Civilization IV, returned to write Civilization VI's main theme, \"Sogno di Volare\" (translated as \"The Dream of Flight\"). The theme was written to capture the spirit of exploration not only in \"seeking new lands, but also the mental exploration of expanding the frontiers of science and philosophy\". Tin premiered the song at a London concert in July 2016. The game's original score was written and orchestrated primarily by Geoff Knorr, who was assisted by Roland Rizzo, Griffin Cohen, and Phill Boucher. Each civilization features a musical theme or \"core melody\" with four variations that follow the era that the civilization is currently in.
In 2017, Six individual civilization and scenario packs were added to the game. The Poland Civilization and Scenario Pack adds the Poland civilization led by Jadwiga and the \"Jadwiga's Legacy\" scenario. The Vikings Scenario Pack added the \"Vikings, Traders, and Raiders!\" scenario. The Australia Civilization and Scenario Pack adds the Australia civilization led by John Curtin and the \"Outback Tycoon\" scenario. The Persia and Macedon Civilization and Scenario Pack added the Persia civilization led by Cyrus, the Macedon civilization led by Alexander, and the \"Conquests of Alexander\" scenario. The Nubia Civilization and Scenario Pack adds the Nubia civilization led by Amanitore and the \"Gifts of the Nile\" scenario. The Khmer and Indonesia Civilization and Scenario Pack adds the Khmer civilization led by Jayavarman VII, the Indonesian civilization led by Dyah Gitarja, and the \"Path to Nirvana\" scenario.
The first expansion, Rise and Fall, was released on February 8, 2018, and brought the concepts of the rising and falling of civilizations. The cities have loyalty; if the loyalty level falls too low, the city becomes a free city and may join other civilizations. A civilization has the potential to enter into a Golden Age by completing certain milestones, and can choose a special bonus in that age, but if the player does not maintain certain milestones afterwards, the civilization could fall into a Dark Age, affecting loyalty. In a Dark Age, the player can choose to implement powerful Dark Age policies, but they have a cost. If the player gets a Dark Age followed by a golden age, instead of getting a golden age, it gets a Heroic Age, with the right to choose three bonuses. The expansion also adds governors, who increase the loyalty of cities and award a special bonus to that city. By promoting governors, players add another bonus.
The game's second major expansion, Gathering Storm, was announced in November 2018 and was released on February 14, 2019. The expansion added, among other features, impacts from natural disasters like floods, volcanoes, and droughts that affect gameplay. Additionally, a new climate system was added to track climate change throughout the player's game, with the potential for additional environmental effects to result from this. Existing civilizations and leaders were rebalanced to reflect these new gameplay additions respective to each civilization's historical past, such as Egypt being able to take advantage of river flooding for improved food production. The game also re-introduced the Diplomatic victory type, which last appeared in Civilization V.
Firaxis announced in May 2020 a \"New Frontier Pass\" season pass for the game, consisting of six downloadable content packs, each to be released every two months from May until March 2021. A total of nine new leaders and eight new civilizations were added through the six packs, as well as new gameplay modes and additional features such as new wonders and buildings. There were also additional free updates to the game for all players along with these content packs.
The first pack featured the Maya and Gran Colombian civilizations, led by Lady Six Sky and Simón Bolívar respectively. The expansion also introduced a new game mode titled \"Apocalypse\". In the Apocalypse game mode, natural disasters happen much more frequently. Once the world's climate change level reaches a maximum, the world enters an apocalypse state, causing an even further increase to severe natural disasters and meteor strikes.
The second pack featured the Ethiopian civilization, led by Menelik II, along with alternative costumes for Catherine de Medici and Teddy Roosevelt with different abilities; a new district called the Diplomatic Quarter, which gives improvements on diplomacy and espionage; and the \"Secret Societies\" mode, which allows players to join one of four available secret societies, each with a different hidden agenda, including exclusive traits. 59ce067264