Civilization VI Guide: Diplomatic Victory Tips

Civilization VI is a mountain of an experience to behold, beautiful and mighty but hard to climb to the top. With so many leaders and countries to choose, you’d be forgiven for getting confused on who's good for you! Here’s an essential civilization IV guide for great diplomatic victory tips!

Civilization IV Guide Diplomatic Victory Tips

Civilization VI can be a vastly overwhelming experience that makes decision making harder than usual! Given so many in-game choices, and so many consequences for making the wrong ones, it’s easy to get stuck in a pit of despair when it comes to achieving each form of victory. It’s easy to take over the world with force, or through scientific might; a true master of the world knows how to do it in agreeance with everyone else! Don’t fret in the choices you make, because with a little education you’ll be a master of the diplomatic table.

What is a diplomatic victory?

Diplomatic victories occur when any nation is able to gain access to 10 or more diplomatic victory points in game. Diplomatic points are awarded from certain in-game events such as diplomatic competitions. Building special wonders within your civilization and voting in passing legislation will also help your ventures.

The world congress is where diplomatic events take place, providing several special events where you gain victory points. Some of these events include the aid Request competition, the military aid request, and emergency competitions. Diplomatic favors can be traded like resources between nations, allowing the player to stockpile them to better success in legislation. An additional means of gaining diplomatic points comes from civics and technology like Seasteads and Global Warming Migration.

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Wonders to build for victory points are essential if you want to build up a diplomatic victory early. Mahabodhi Temple (two points), Potala Palace (one point), and the Statue of Liberty (four points) proving valuable to acquire. These are great boosters to your score, and can grant bonuses outside of just the diplomatic points for your nation.

You don’t have to have all of these wonders in order to win the game per say. Having each of them sets you at a combined seven points, just using wonders alone. An additional two  victory points come from civics and technology. Altogether these additions give you a combined nine points. Trading your luxury resources for diplomatic favor, you’ll be able to secure yourself a victory quickly.

What Makes A Good Diplomatic Leader?

Diplomatic leaders are subjectively one of the easiest in terms of lists. Leaders who are strong on the diplomatic stage are those who oftentimes have strong industrial bonuses and cultural discovery. They can come from all walks of life. The strongest are those who know how to wage a defensive war, and strengthen their own people!

An aspect to keep in mind if you choose the true start, is to keep yourself aware of neighbors. Neighboring city-states are able to provide early game trade and alliances which can carry into the future! Friends are the key in these events as NPCs and other players are more inclined to vote your way.

A list To Consider When Picking A Leader:

  • Does your leader have cultural bonuses, or overall diplomatic bonuses?

  • Where are they geographically located?

  • Are there any other conditions you can exploit like faith, or military strength?

  • Can they produce a lot of resources to trade for diplomatic favors?

These ideas in mind, you can begin to look at the bonuses of each leader and their country. If you have to, don’t be afraid to look up where they geographically are located in history! Bear in mind you will have to be able to maintain yourself with players. It’s always important to maintain a strong industry and growth of your empire via building new cities.

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In Civilization IV, you can take the road of peace, or the road of war. This variation in how you play creates an endless world of possibilities! There’s no wrong answer to winning diplomatically, if you’re looking to play the game without being super aggressive.

There are a few powerful leaders who can ensure a speedy victory, but anyone can do it! Feel free to pick whoever you’d like on your adventure on the road of diplomatic ascension. Here’s a few that will help you along the road quicker than others. Just remember, the most important part of the game is to sit back, and have fun!

Abraham Lincoln – American Diplomacy

Abraham Lincoln proves to be one of the better choices for diplomatic victories for a plethora of reasons. Based in the north American continent, it’s easy for Abraham to train his forces through local barbarian camps. The neighbors you’ll find are great for trading, and city states will prove abundant in this open expanse of land!

Diplomatic Advantages – America

You’ll find Abraham Lincoln is easy to work with when it comes to other leaders, offering alliances early on. Raw resources are abundant, and the general basic bonuses of Abraham allows for the player to exploit a diplomatic victory. You’ll find yourself in lush environments as the North American continent is a staging ground for empires to grow!

Abraham’s agenda allows him to befriend others with a government style as his, disliking those different from him. For this reason you are able to build up allies who are truly like minded with you. Populations even go as far as pressure governments to align with them! Great for making peace with those who would greatly benefit you, going hand in hand with Abraham Lincoln’s industrial capabilities. These factors alone make it so Honest Abe can far outmatch a lot of other potential rivals.

Abraham Lincoln, leader of America

Abraham Lincoln, leader of America

Industrial zones provide bonuses, including one free melee unit every time you finish one, and any buildings associated with them. Plantations prove to be a point of failure as they provide a negative two to that city’s loyalty. These complications can lead to rebellions quickly if you don’t even out them with industrial complexes. Finally, America is granted the unique building structure known as Film Studios, these cultural centers are great for gaining civics quicker, and attracting tourism to your capital.

It’s better to focus on mines and farms, pastures and fishing ventures rather than the copious plantations despite gold bonuses. Free units created by industrial zones are exempt from resource and upkeep costs. These free units mean you can very quickly swell your forces just by playing the industrialization sector. These units receive a five point bonus to their attack power as an icing on top of this amazing skill!

Military Bonuses

America has a unique ability to turn all diplomacy cards into wildcards. These new wild cards mean you can make very versatile and unique governments that better suit you. On top of all of these amazing bonuses, America is granted the unique aerial unit known as the P-51 Mustang. Powerful units that’re replacements of the standard variation of fighter.

P-51 Mustang

P-51 Mustang

Mustangs deal extra damage to fighters, as well as gain fifty percent more experience in combat. Mustangs require the aerodrome, providing the user with a powerful element of air domination to keep enemies in line! 

Overall Thoughts

America proves time and time again that you don’t need to be a military power in order to rule the world. Through the crafting of shrewd alliances, and powerful trade deals Abraham Lincoln is able to spread to weight of freedom throughout the world! Where he lacks in conventional ground force specialties, his unique fighter unit and wild card bonuses make him a force to be reckoned with!

Ambiorix – Gallic Diplomacy

Diplomatic victories aren’t always about passing policies or making sure that our allies have more than enough food. Sometimes a powerful ally in the mix who acts like a shield, or like a mace against tyranny is enough. Ambiorix is that ally, a powerful leader to a culturally rich people who offer a lot to the diplomatic table! Whether it’s the defense of his allies, or by the supply of vital trade resources, he makes a powerful support!

Diplomatic Advantages – Gaul

Ambiorix consistently proves to be one of the better leaders in Civilization IV in general, his cultural bonuses for mines allow him to build up a massive army which grants further cultural bonuses. These bonuses allow Ambiorix to expand his civics tree more consistently than for a short period of time! He is a leader that favors having a large army, using martial force as a diplomatic measure. He makes for a great ally to like minded military leaders.

On top of his ability to gain cultural bonuses from mines and military strength, Ambiorix is capable of providing his people with cheaper production on industrial zones as well as make for a great building block for powerful naval dominance. In a realistic start game, Ambiorix holds the ability to start off in a strategic location at the edge of Europe, all but ensuring that he can expand into the ocean as well as into the land eastwards.

Ambiorix leader of Gaul

Ambiorix leader of Gaul

Ambiorix finds it easy to meet other civilizations; flourishing in the vastness of Europe’s regions, as the Scourge of Rome! If you choose the sailing route with Ambiorix, it allows you to find the Americas very quickly. Granting the immediate bonuses that trade with said continents allows, as often barbarians struggle to get into deep water.

Military Advantages- Gaul

The Gallic also can provide some serious firepower in the form of his early-game unit the Gaesatae. These anti-cavalry warriors receive several bonuses to not only fighting against cavalry (Plus Five), but also against combatants of a higher power than themselves (Plus Ten). Additionally the Gaesatae gain an additional bonus to attacking city defenses (Plus Five), making them perfect for early game city-state domination. 



Barbarians and city-states provide key points of strategic wealth for the Gallic. Their powerful forces can easily topple enemies with the right skill cards. Conquered cities prove powerful new zones at a much faster rate than some other diplomatic nations. Ambiorix is a game of expansion, he doesn’t do much else, but what he can do, he does incredibly well!

Overall Thoughts

Ambiorix seems like he would purely be used for a military victory, being known as the Scourge of Rome. His bonuses to cultural points means he can very quickly grow his civic tree with effort. Cultural and industrial bonuses prove very sustainable to keep a constant flow of wonders being built. Trading resources made through pillaging and raiding for diplomatic favor makes the Gallic a powerful force to be reckoned with.

John Curtin – Australian Diplomacy

Diplomatic victories are more than just voting in the democratic events, and partaking in the situations which transpire. All you need is for your gold reserves built up on a nice faraway island you can build in peace! John Curtin’s one of the most interesting ways to play the game, being able to essentially purchase any circumstance.

Diplomatic Advantages – Australia

For a diplomatic victory he can oftentimes simply buy his votes, and friends! Bonuses Australia enjoys makes John a formidable businessman. Australia as a result can be grown completely off of sheer monetary value alone, allowing him to swell his forces. These powerful boosts for money gain make him the go-to leader for an economical playstyle!

When in peace, John Curtin is capable of amassing a great fortune from the natural resources around him. John’s also capable of using the strategic specialty building known as outback-stations. Outback-stations allow for John’s cities to expand due to food, and production; both required for the betterment of any civilization. Constantly reducing the time needed for other essential buildings such as economic centers or diplomatic centers.

John Curtin leader of Australia

John Curtin leader of Australia

Land-Down-Under an ability allowing housing on the coastline and pastures to trigger culture bombs that’re exploitable to get civics faster. Especially on a true start where you’re on the coastal locked continent of Australia this ability can prove especially potent. 

Military Advantages – Australia

John Curtin can act as the policeman of the game, this works perfectly because of his passive bonus. Utilizing his special ability Citadel of Civilization to get a production bonus that’s one hundred percent the base production value. Bonuses happen when someone declares war on Australia, exploitable if using your forces as a blockade, or to shield allies.

Bonuses last for ten turns, and allow you to exploit John Curtin’s other military advantage, his use of Diggers. These Diggers act as anti-cavalry style combatant, awarded the standard five damage bonus added against mounted units they come across.



Diggers gain plus ten strength on coastal tiles, and plus five combat strength when they are outside of Australian control. These traits alone make diggers a wonderful force to send to allies in need, and to fight wars from afar!

John Curtin holds one more bonus which is often overlooked in a true start game, that of his continental location. Isolated from most of the drama that will transpire in Asia and Europe, with all of their crowding issues. John can focus on doing what’s best for his nation. Australia finds key positions to build itself up militarily, using its continent as a factory for ground and naval assets.

Overall Thoughts

Australia is also excellent at forming coastal trading routes which could easily be enforced by their military. In a game of diplomatic affairs, John’s a world away from the common squabbles, therefore can pick their conflict wisely. When diplomacy fails, Australia can depend upon the use of its oceans as a mighty shield!

Kristina – Swedish Diplomacy

When it comes to exploiting the world congress itself, there’s not many leaders who are better at exploitation than Sweden. Kristina’s centered around diplomatic advantages, having the ability to rally herself around leaders she chooses to align with.

Diplomatic Advantages – Sweden

Kristina’s one of the most educated women in history, showing her hand in all fields of civil matters. Using soft-power strategies as one of the easiest ways to win a game without a particularly strong military.

Kristina doesn’t initially seem like she’s capable of much more than expanding the field of studies in game. Using education and diplomacy, she can gain steady alliances; which makes her very powerful. Her abilities and structures allow for great people, and works to be constructed and obtained expediently. Additionally Kristina can exploit the governor titles being gained through rapid expansion. This expansion means her cities can quickly become some of the most advanced around her population wise. 

Kristina leader of Sweden

Kristina leader of Sweden

Whenever Kristina receives a great person she will be awarded fifty diplomatic favors she can stockpile for world stage legislation. As stockpiles grow, Kristina becomes politically powerful and can easily tip the scales of any bill into her favor. When seeking a diplomatic victory, this makes it incredibly easy! Kristina is one of the few leaders in Civilization IV that has such a potent boost to receiving diplomatic favors.

Another interesting trait of hers is the ability to turn buildings with three artifacts in them into themed buildings. Themed buildings are wonderful because they give significant bonuses to culture, science, or tourism. Paired with her Bibliotheque she does not require much in the way of a military in order to achieve victory. Kristina finds herself constantly gaining more culture and tourism, almost more so than almost any other nation in the game. 

Military Advantages – Sweden

Though Sweden can do a lot with its political power, it does gain the military advantage of the Carolean. These units replace the pike-and-shot and are an anti-cavalry unit giving them a plus ten combat strength against mounted troops.

Additionally, these troops are capable of gaining an additional 3 combat strength per unused movement point they have. These bonuses make them excellent defensive units that can blockade, or shield your allies in a pinch! Caroleans are low maintenance with a greater movement speed; coming in handy when trying to get to an engagement expediently. 



Kristina’s the epitome of a leader who can win via pacifistic means, choosing the diplomatic path. In fact, Kristina very rarely requires an offensive army outside of units to garrison in all your cities. For this reason, she makes a good trading ally. Kristina’s oftentimes on the neutral side of any major conflict, choosing to stay out of them.

Overall Thoughts

Kristina can consolidate resources in her cities instead of a military ensures that she can have a large population. Coupled with the ability to gain loyalty bonuses from each city she owns, she becomes a powerful diplomatic leader. If fighting isn’t your intention in a game, or you’re looking to play a decent support nation, Kristina’s for you! Sweden is a very good choice for beginners and advanced players alike! 

Trajan – Roman Diplomacy

If you like having the advantage of early cultural bonuses, and strong military forces then Trajan is definitely for you. Trajan’s one of those leaders that has immediate out of the box bonuses not easily rivaled by many.

Diplomatic Advantages – Rome

Starting off with the ability to produce cities with a free building inside the city center, starting with a monument. Rome gets an immediate head start on gaining civics because of this cultural bonus, trailblazing other nations. The ability to gain government policies faster, and generally being a great ally for any military minded individuals. Trajan has the luxury of being able to quickly sweep people diplomatically using his industrial speed and cultural bonuses.

You could easily see Trajan as just another military leader, especially where Rome was such a famous militaristic power. His time and assets tied up in the constant creation of more legions in order to supplement the new cities. In a lot of ways this is a true statement, being a really great character for domination victories. Trajan also holds the ability to become a powerful trading partner, as well as a staunch cultural keystone.

Trajan leader of Rome

Trajan leader of Rome

There’s not much that Rome is not capable of if played properly; the ability to create lots of industrialization. You could run a very successful science empire or be capable of even running a large faith build. However the one pitfall that can befall many players who choose them is to go into every conflict guns blazing. Romans are an effective defensive nation, winning battles by expanding their borders over time, exploiting diplomatic favor easily!

Military Advantages – Rome

Trajan is great at managing a lot of cities, and expanding them into sprawling kingdoms. These cities are good trading hubs, easily protected by his specialized units, legions. Legions are powerful specialty units that replace swordsmen, getting a plus five attack bonus to anti-cavalry units! Additionally these units are capable of building Roman Forts which are good smaller defensive structures to better protect your empire.



When Trajan conquers or settles a city, it gets trade roads to Rome. These abilities, and Trajan’s sheer tenacity makes Rome one of the most efficient nations for building up your diplomatic strength. Cities can be further made better by the inclusion of Roman Baths, creating huge bonuses to housing and amenities. Additionally these provide wonderful industrial bonuses!

Overall Thoughts

An under-appreciated aspect starting off as Rome is that in true start games, you are in the Mediterranean. Romans have an advantage in naval trading, expansion, and being staying clear of European affairs until their armies grow. If fighting won’t work, you’ll be able to retreat down into the African continent if need be.

As a diplomatic leader you can also stage cities on multiple continents for better assistance with allies. Trajan, considered a leader very well suited for warfare, having a large amount of military prowess historically. Trajan is excellent in war, however on diplomatic angles, he proves himself time and again by showcasing Rome’s political prowess. 

Make your own Diplomatic Decisions!

At the end of the day, you should just make your own choices! It’s easy for someone to tell you what the best leader is, or what bonuses will help you get where. You should play who you enjoy, because that’s what the game is all about, playing who you like to play! There’s no right or wrong answer who you choose at the beginning of matches. There’s no absolute best, or absolute worst. Everyone Is capable of winning, everyone is capable of losing, make your own strategies, and use creative judgment to rule!

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