Civilization VI’s civic tree enables players to research a wide variety of civic advancements that provide new policy cards, governments, Wonders, buildings, and units. The civic tree is a cultural alternative to the science one that’s based on culture output. So, it’s a more important tree for players pursuing cultural victories.
The best civics can be invaluable to civilizations. So, even players who aren’t pursuing the Culture Victory condition shouldn’t neglect culture and the civic tree too much. These are some of the best Civilization VI civics that players should give priority to unlocking sooner rather than later.
Read also: 7 of the Best Civilization VI Policy Cards
1. Early Empire
Early Empire is one of the best Civilization VI civics to unlock during the early game primarily because of the Colonization Economic Policy Card it gives you. Colonization is one of the best early game policies as it cuts Settler production by 50 percent. Therefore, you can recruit Settler units twice as quickly with Early Empire’s Colonization policy. So, that policy effectively enables you to establish cities twice as fast to expand your civilization more quickly during the early game.
2. Drama and Poetry
Drama and Poetry is the first key civic for the Cultural Victory condition you’ll need to unlock to build Theater Squares. Then you can build cultural buildings at Theater Squares that will eventually attract tourists with great persons assigned to them. With Drama and Poetry unlocked, you can build the Amphitheater.
Even if you’re not aiming for a Culture Victory, however, it’s still important to unlock Drama and Poetry pretty sharpish. Each Theater Square district you build will provide a +2 culture boost for each citizen assigned to it. Each amphitheater building also boosts cultural output by two. So, unlocking Drama and Poetry will enable you to unlock new civics faster by increasing your civilization’s cultural output with Theater Square districts.
3. Political Philosophy
This is one of the best Civilization VI civics as it unlocks three Classical era governments during the early game. When you’ve unlocked Political Philosophy, you can change government to a Classical Republic, Oligarchy, or Autocracy. Whatever one you choose, the most important thing is that they all provide four Policy card slots, which is two more than the Chiefdom starter government. So, unlock Political Philosophy ASAP to expand your policy slots without delay.
The Mercenaries civic unlocks the Professional Army and Trade Confederation policies. The Professional Army policy is an especially good one that reduces unit upgrade costs by 50 percent. That policy is invaluable for players going for the Domination Victory as it considerably reduces upgrade costs for military units.
Trade Confederation is also a Policy card worth noting. That provides a +1 culture and +1 science bonus for every one of your civilization’s international trade routes. For example, five international trade routes will receive an overall +5 culture and +5 science bonus with the Trade Confederation Policy card selected. So, you can unlock both civics and technologies quicker with that policy selected.
5. Civil Service
Civil Service is one of the best Civilization VI civics primarily because of the Meritocracy Economic Policy Card it unlocks. That policy gives cities a +1 culture bonus for each and every one of their districts. For example, the culture yield for a city with four districts will increase by four when you’ve added Meritocracy to one of your card slots. That policy can potentially considerably increase your civilization’s overall cultural output. So, you’ll be able to unlock other civics somewhat faster when you’ve unlocked Civil Service and selected Meritocracy.
The Humanism civic is one of the most important ones for the Culture Victory condition. It enables you to build both art and archaeological museums at your Theater Square districts. Both museums have a +2 culture effect, provide an extra citizen slot for their districts, and give you extra great person points per turn. The only notable difference between them is that the archaeological museum is for artifact collections instead of art. Your tourist industry will really start to take off after you’ve unlocked this one.
7. Natural History
Natural History unlocks a new unit, Wonder, and building. This civic is an important tourist one as it reveals archaeological sites and unlocks the archaeologist unit. So, you can start extracting artifacts with archaeologists to establish archaeology collections once you’ve unlocked Natural History.
Natural History also enables you to build zoos at Entertainment Complex districts. The zoo is a great entertainment building that provides a +1 amenity boost to all cities within six tiles of it. That additional amenity bonus can potentially increase growth in nearby cities by 10 percent and food yields by five percent. So, it’s worth unlocking Natural History for the zoo even if you’re not trying to win a Culture Victory.
8. The Enlightenment
The Enlightenment is a Renaissance civic that unlocks two of the best Policy cards in Civilization VI. That civic’s Rationalism Economic Policy Card has a +100 percent science increase effect for all Campus district buildings. That means it effectively doubles the science output yields from all Campus buildings, which can provide a huge science boost for players. Therefore, Rationalism is indispensable for players pursuing scientific or domination win conditions.
Free Market is another great policy that becomes available when you unlock The Enlightenment. That Policy card increases gold yields from Commercial Hub buildings by 100 percent. So, Free Market has a similar effect to Rationalism, but it doubles Commercial Hub buildings’ yields instead of Campus ones. The 100 percent gold increase from commerce buildings is a very substantial one that will give your civilization’s economy a significant boost.
9. Cultural Heritage
This Atomic era civic is one of the best for players seeking a Culture Victory. It enables the Heritage Tourism Economic Policy Card that doubles the general tourism from your Theater Square districts’ archaeological and art collections. So, that policy can give your civilization’s tourist industry a considerable boost to seal a Culture Victory in the latter stages of a game.
Another good thing about Cultural Heritage is that it reveals shipwrecks. Shipwrecks are archaeological sites in the seas. Therefore, this civic provides more archaeological sites for players to expand their artifact collections from.
Those are nine of the best Civilization VI civics to unlock on the civic tree. The above civics give you some excellent Policy cards, buildings, and other additional bonuses that can considerably boost your civilizations’ tourist industries, economies, culture output, and scientific research.