There’s a lot of ways you can play Civilization VI and achieve victory. Some of those strategies for victory come in the form of diplomacy, others from war. Science and culture are the easiest ways of going for victory if you prefer a passive route. If religion and war aren’t your cup of tea, cultural victories can come from nothing more than building up your personal empire! No matter how you choose to build yourself up for the crown of the world, it’s important to solidify your people’s culture so it can go down in history as the greatest nation to ever live.
What Is a Culture Victory?
Civilization VI’s ability to win via cultural dominance comes from NPC’s willingness to visit your country versus others. In this way you are given two different pools of tourists: the domestic tourist, and the foreign one. Tourist pools interact separately as domestic tourism does not change based on other countries interacting with you, while foreign pools can be.
The goal of the game is to build up both your cultural points through gaining civics. Bettering your infrastructure, as well as having more reason to visit the country in general. To this degree it’s good to build up as many wonders, governors, and religious structures as possible as all of these things attract tourism.
-Source: The Saxy Gamer
The building up of great people and their great works, as well as holy apostles and their relics create powerful tourism bonuses. These bonuses are an easy to exploit route to making sure that you have an edge along the route to success. Focusing on building up your population and city districts will greatly expand on your ability to build tourism and culture.
Civic cards and government choices make the acquisition of these cultural points surprisingly fast. You can basically see a lot of real world comforts in the victories you achieve. These victories can come from a decent amount of common sense as the decadent the culture, the more you’ll succeed. Likewise the more trade and security your nation has, the more tourism it will receive. Remember, garrisoned forces inside your cities will grant certain leaders and nations tourism bonuses as well as protect you in such a passive play through.
What Makes a Good Cultural Leader?
Cultural leaders are dependent on just how well they provide for their people. They have to be able leave their development as a mark on the map. You can build strong armies, hold vast holds of land, and keep resources in abundance. Keep in mind, if you have small populations and unhappy people you’ll never succeed in cultural domination. You have to focus on leaders that benefit the social and religious aspects of a nation. Building powerful wonders and great peoples that set an example for the rest of the world.
You’ll need strong industrialization in order to build yourself up as a crown jewel of your chosen continent. Leaders should take advantage of luxuries and amenities so they can keep their people happy and trade worthy. Finally, cultural leaders host strong diplomatic ties as you possibly can. There’s no point making enemies in a world where everyone’s trying to better humanity. In such cases you should worry mainly about barbarians, or cheap to produce armies.
What to Consider When Picking a Cultural Leader
- Does your leader have strong industrial or religious bonuses?
- Where is your nation located, is it in a position to trade, or to inspire other leaders?
- Does your leader have bonuses for great people or works/ Apostles and relics?
- Does your leader have any military bonuses like new units, or defensive buildings?
- Does your nation have any specialty bonuses?
Make sure that no matter how you play the game, you keep the peace with others. It’s extremely important in a cultural victory that you keep yourself part of the social sphere. Save military action for extremes, and try not make enemies with the world. In games like Civilization VI, you’re better off using the environment to your immediate advantage. Make the best of natural or man made wonders to win the day. The hard part of diplomatic victories is that you’re often not going to win them early.
Tables of tourism are constantly changing with every turn. The diplomatic necessity to keep friendships strong result in better tourism yields. All of these things in mind, you have to play the long game. For this reason, being able to trade great works for luxury resources. Entering alliances greatly increases your chances of victory as soon as possible.
The most important piece of advice to be given for cultural victories is to avoid war at all costs. In no circumstance, save for world congress events, will you benefit from the war domination of other nations. Instead it’s better to make alliances with other nations and city states when you’re trying to achieve a cultural victory. The use of strategic neighbors and other alliances allows players to create far reaching social spheres.
Your military forces can be used as strategic garrisons to take on barbarians and protect assets, but avoid being aggressive. In this same vein of thought try to avoid aggressive government styles such as autocracies or dictatorships. These government styles often make tourism levels diminished as many of the leading cultural nations are democratic in nature.
Ambiorix – Gallic Culture
Ambiorix can be seen as one of the better leaders as far as Civilization VI is concerned. The Gallic get active bonuses in culture for the amount of troops and mines they have. Larger armies work well with his play style. These larger armies make Ambiorix a substantially potent member of the game early on. Ambiorix can build governments exceedingly fast using these bonuses, taking little in the way of time to achieve Political Philosophy. Twenty percent of Ambiorix’s production towards military forces is converted into cultural bonuses. These bonuses make him quite the formidable opponent when coupled with his specialty unit.
As the leader of Gallic culture, Ambiroix has access to the powerful Gaesatae, great against anti-cavalry units. Armed with the ability to culture bomb surrounding tiles when you build a mine, you’ll obtain cultural points quickly. Use these bonuses as much as possible early on, to get the maximum result. The more you expand the less mines you’ll be able to build in the future. Ambiorix will provide you with plenty of opportunities to expand your cultural victory to new heights!
As an all around nation, the Gallic are designed almost exclusively for exploiting their nation when it comes to cultural bonuses. Mining and quarries provide Ambiorix with a fair amount of bonuses to his culture as well, able to be amplified by the amount of civics he can acquire from the build up early game.
Building up military forces and gaining cultural bonuses due to this. Being paired well with their infrastructural specialty in industrial buildings, the Oppidum. Ambiorix makes it so you’ll be able to build up wonders very quickly, and get your civics quicker. Wonders are key for building up your tourism, making you more likable to the other nations in your game. Focus on creating as many of them as can be done any time there’s some free space in cities.
Coupled with their natural location, you can easily turn the Scourge of Rome into the Scourge of the Trading Unions! Being at the edge of Europe, you have a very unique opportunity presented to you. Not only are you away from the expansion issues of the rest of your neighbors, granting immediate leverage against them. Ambiorix will be able to take advantage of another type of space altogether. The ocean itself can easily take advantage of two fronts of expansion.
From the sea you can dominate trade routes and exploration. Meanwhile on land you’ll become a luxury and strategic resource hub the world over celebrates. There’s versatility when it comes to the Gallic. You’ll have an advantage from your position, to your resource management. All the while, your strong military stands by your side to prove you’re far from a push over. All of this means you’ll be able to adapt your playstyle to whatever plights or enemies come your way.
Trade/ Tourism Advantages
Cultural games when it comes to Ambiorix is a simple means of just playing Civilization VI as intended. Ambiorix is able to make greater strides by trading your luxury and strategic resources. These benefit you by offering excess trade for cultural works and relics to be acquired. Once you’ve built these works and relics up, it’ll help you further your cultural spread. The question with Ambiorix isn’t if he can win, much rather how’s he going to do it?
Having such a high resource output means that you’ll quickly come to dominate most of European trade. Through clever strategy, and using your opponents mistakes to your advantage you’ll be able to expand faster early on. Use the vast amounts of gold you acquire from these trade deals to expand and take more resources. There’s really no shame in becoming the shopping center of the world, especially if it lines your pockets.
The more you expand on the accessibility of trade the more you’ll be able to build up your tourism. Never be afraid to build wonders and cultural epicenters like museums and temples. By branching into a little bit of everything. You’ll find that the bonuses are able to stack up, and power you through into the end game.
Remember in Civilization VI, there is more to the world than just yourself. You can’t win a cultural victory by being an isolationist. In the same vein, can you do so just by having the largest military. Take advantage of diplomatic favors, and of wars going on. Stay neutral, stay well defended with your mighty Gaestatae. Between your military might, and resource empire, you’ll be on your way to a cultural victory in no time!
Cyrus – Persian Culture
When it comes to Persian play styles, you have a few obvious ways of going about it. The facts of the matter is that you are capable of invading other nations for their cultural advantages and wonders. Paired with your own naturally built cities and expansions. You’ll find yourself rapidly expanding. Cyrus is able to win the game through violent methods quicker than others might expect. For this reason you don’t need to play nice when you have the might of the Persians on your side!
Cyrus has some of the most useful cultural bonuses in terms of exploitative opportunities. Given their unique buildings, geographical position, and unique conquest bonuses; Persia can become a cultural powerhouse! Trading, building wonders, and rapid deploying armies allow for versatile gameplay. These factors make Persia a key ally in multiplayer, or singular game experiences. Most importantly, Persia is a fun historical nation to look at, with solid specialty units, and excellent resource management opportunities!
Trade routes and the use of the specialty building Pairidaeza. These two options are made easy with builders being able to build Pairidaeza after unlocking the Early Empire civic. Trade routes are expanded after gaining the Political Philosophy civic, and trade is increased domestically. These strategies will yield lots of gold, and cultural points and can be exploited by building lots of cities. In each of these cities, place Pairidaeza wherever they can fit.
Trade routes in domestic territory gain advanced roads early on, making travel safer and quicker in the long haul. Early on, naturally compacting each city into small cultural centers. The influx of cultural points is able to cause a very quick cultural victory in the game.
Building roads, cities and trade routes may prove to be the most fruitful method of expansion for Persia. Cyrus has the unique advantage as a cultural leader of also being one suited well for domination victories. Cyrus holds rapid movement speed increases during war time and in domestic territory Persia can move his troops astonishingly fast.
This coupled with the use of the famed Immortals unit, which has a unique advantage against anti-cavalry, you’ll be unstoppable. Cyrus also holds the ability to wage surprise war with advantages against war weariness. These bonuses make him unpredictable, and ripe for conquering those who build wonders before you.
Trade/ Tourism Advantages
When it comes to trade, Cyrus is one of the most potent leaders. For him, trade routes are a source of cultural equity, but moreover they are a source of substantial income! Cyrus doesn’t really need to trade outside of his empire as Persia is financially independent for itself. This allows for the near constant buying of troops, builders, and new settlers making for rapid expansion. Persia, with its network of advanced roadways is a pumping heart of wealth, and few can trample its pulse!
When trade can be done internally, Cyrus is one of the few leaders who can keep themselves independent. Cyrus’s versatility making it somewhat hard for you to build up international tourism. Yielding more wonders with your revenue is a good way to build tourism up in attempts to stabilize this isolation. You’ll be inclined to split the money between a defense budget, and building up new shiny wonders! A good strategy is to purchase two troops, to one wonder per project if you want to maintain a military.
The best thing to remember when playing as Persia is that you’re not alone in the world. Inclined to simply but out of worldly affairs with such a domestically stable income that you forget everyone else exists. Using your expansive military and borders can be a powerful political tool, and can shield your allies from potential enemies. When you play Persia, you are the ‘Strong Man’ of the world. Size and wealth make them ideal for not only policing, but also for keeping it together!
Cyrus is an interesting choice when you’re looking for a cultural advantage. They have a lot of strong military might, decent trading potential, and excellent internal cultural bonuses. The real effort when playing Cyrus for a cultural victory is to not get caught in winning a domination victory. Cyrus is easy to dominate early on, with strength and speed few others can achieve. Cyrus really is one of the best war leaders in the game in terms of speed. Persia is easily one of the most potent names in history. Persian culture shaping many around the world today. When the world is at your table, may there always be warmth in your breath!
Frederick Barbarossa – German Culture
Developing a nation takes more than good religion, science, culture or powerful forces. Nations take the might of a strong and dominant industry. In this way, Frederick Barbarossa does so in spades. Holding some of the most potent industrial bonuses in the entire game, there’s little he can’t do. Germany’s productivity makes it a powerful builder of wonders and districts that easily set you ahead of the game! Spend your time building up your empire, and soon you’ll conquer both land and sea with your powerful armies. Between military prowess, and industrial might you’ll leave your cultural mark as the Holy Roman Empire!
When it comes to the cultural advantages of Germany, you don’t really have many out right options. Instead, getting creative often values the player with advantages in the sheer growth of your empire. Germany is strong when looking at its ability to build additional districts quicker than other nations. Extra districts in a frame work to effect culture means you can generally make the HRE work for you.
It’s important to maintain your building structure on point as these wild card building advantages can lead to unorganized playthroughs. Your districts should match how you want to win. Even if you’re not going to play for a cultural victory, you should make sure to maximize your potential. No matter how you want to win, make sure you keep track of districts. Always keep the building tasks going!
Building advantages are also wonderful when you’re looking to work on projects such as wonders. Frederick’s ability to expand and grow makes him ideal for putting a vast amount of districts and wonders. Keeping track of wonders and great people will make it easy for you to take the lead in cultural victories. At most points, you’ll have the industrial advantage on other nations, though it won’t always seem that way.
Playing as Frederick, you have to keep track of the world markets, save your cash flow, and purchase tiles. Additionally, you’ll have the ability to purchase great people, and build wonders whenever it’s most opportunistic. Remember it’s important to build yourself up, but always keep steady reserves of resources for trading.
Germany’s growth and geographical location makes it ideal for absorbing other city states, and nations into your own. Germany can easily make its own borders grow rapidly simply by being the better city to live in. Especially important when you keep in mind that Germany is located in Europe. This staging ground is where you could have a lot of potential leaders with strong resource advantages. This reality makes you prime for trading with other nations. Building you up socially, as you can potentially establish an early foothold between Europe and Asia.
Trading/ Tourism Advantages
Quintessentially, Frederick Barbarossa is a leader who is very suitable for exploration for both land and sea. Uboats and cavalry provide Germany with powerful rapid action units that can easily establish ties with other nations. These naval reinforcements make Germany a wonderful policeman to the sea, giving you monumental advantages at naval warfare.
Building trade routes between them with these units yields potent advantages and the ability to spread your influence farther. Production bonuses and use of extra districts ensure that you build formidable armies and cities. Forces can easily be used to defend your city walls, but also trade routes that will keep your nation healthy! It’s never a bad idea to keep yourself strong militarily no matter what victory you’re looking to accomplish!
Due to his specialty building the Hansa, your districts no matter what they’re designed for help with production bonuses. Frederick can easily work on your tourism and trading hubs while also benefiting your military. In this way, Frederick is able to stand tall to other leaders of more potent standing. Exploiting your cities and districts with Hansas means that you’ll be more inclined to have rapid growth in population. This growth of population allows you to trailblaze through civics and sciences with campuses and diplomatic centers.
Garrisoning forces around your cities and along roads is a good way to assist cities, building up good tourism bonuses. Germany can use these forces to attack city states rather than other players, starving them of their bonuses. You have to be wary of where you place your envoys; as you don’t want to lose them foolishly. Instead, envoys are better for being used in far away places to keep a foothold on other continent’s business.
There are a multitude of civics which can be exploited on Frederick which makes him completely unstoppable early on. These civics will make wonders and builders an unstoppable army of domestic building. Later in the game, you’ll also receive a great deal of advantages when it comes to naval warfare. When he is able to acquire u boats; he holds naval dominance in most games. Play the part of the industrial explorer, familiarizing yourself with far away places, becoming the jewel of your own lands!
Frederick is a good leader for those who want to explore the game as a whole. He’s wonderful for people who haven’t played before or want to practice strategies. Frederick’s got lot of wiggle room when it comes to how he wants to win the game. There’s really no right or wrong way to play as him, so don’t be afraid to try different things. No matter what playstyle you bring to the table, with Germany, you’ll consistently have fun!
Pericles – Greek Culture
Greece stands as a nation known throughout history for its cultural vestiges, making it natural for cultural victories in game. Pericles holds a vast amount of mechanics you’ll be able to utilize in order to win. Be it from land battles, to naval trade, Pericles can offer something to every table. Hoplites are powerful garrisons; good troops for defending your allies. These cost effective armies make Greece a powerful nation over a lot of territories.
With an additional wild card in every government, you gain the versatility of any play style you want. Down to having bonuses from being the suzerain of a city state you’ll have opportunities to build culture up. Greece is great for building up new cities, as well as districts with its ability to research civics quickly. Early game, Greeks are especially powerful in any form of victory. Despite this, cultural victories are what they excel at!
Greece has a strong advantage of five percent on all culture points coming from city states you’re suzerain of. The more envoys you’re able to produce, the more political power you’re able to swing around as Pericles. It’s essential when using Pericles to take as many city states as you can for this reason. City states give you decent bonuses as is, not including Pericles unique ability. It’s good to offer trade routes to the city states you are in control of. These will provide you with extra income as well as levying their militaries in times of war.
Pericles gains access to powerful bonuses to cultural centers in the form of the Acropolis. This powerful specialty district is amazing for great people, as well as cultural point bonuses. You’ll find that as you begin to build more cities, you gain rapid access to more civics quicker than normal. Your cultural points will grow dramatically alongside you astonishingly quicker than most other civilizations you could choose.
Using Greece, you’ve got unique opportunities. Building your empire from one of the most coveted spots in the world, the Mediterranean. If you keep yourself to a historically accurate standard, you hold a key position in cultural history. Being a strong cultural society, as well as a strategic point to protect yourself and your allies from hostiles. Focusing on powerful hoplite forces, you’ll easily defend your lands, becoming the shining jewel of the Mediterranean sea!
Trade/ Tourism Advantages
While Pericles is an excellent general, and a brilliant diplomatic leader; he is also a money man! Using his wild card slots and expansive cultural bonuses you can easily boost global trade in the area. Using Hoplite units as garrisoned forces, you can easily protect yourself at a cheap cost. These cheap militaries prove effective, while focusing these saved funds into additional money making districts and resources. There’s really a level of versatility in trade that can’t be overlooked for Greece. Finding itself in a good fishing hub, and a great source of marble and other luxury materials.
Tourism is easily acquired by the Greeks in the form of their Acropolis. Pericles is able to make up for a lack of industrial might with sheer production of great people. These great people which can produce great works in their place provide key cultural victory opportunities. Great works, and relics in case of religious victories allows Pericles to build up strong tourism hubs within their empire. It’s important to keep aware of turns when great people become available. This allows you to start potentially turning some of your resources towards buying them outright for quicker advancement!
To provide yourself with the best bonuses for tourism, Greece is keen for its beautiful landscapes and coastal regions. Coastal regions allow for the player to have a multitude of tools at their disposal. No matter what it is, be it luxury resources, or scenic landscapes, you’ll find it easily in the Mediterranean. Strategizing these locations, build your cultural centers around them as Greece gains bonuses as potent as the landscape itself. Using every aspect of the beauty of the sea and land, Greece is capable of shining as a cultural beacon. Pericles’ in a position unique compared to some nations which while resource rich, may not have many natural attractions.
The might of the Greeks come in their ability to dominate both land and sea as a force of diplomacy. No matter what government you choose, or how you conquer the world; Greece will work hard for victory. You’ll have the comfort of knowing Greece can explore the world quickly, excelling in war and arts. All the factors of their culture heavy playstyle make Greece ideal for dealing with the whole world’s opposition in stride! As an ally to freedom, Pericles will make many friends, conquer many lands; and leave Greece in the history books!
Wilhelmina – Dutch Culture
When running an empire, few are capable of saying they can do it all. Wilhelmina of the Dutch is incredibly capable of such an accomplishment. Her ability to run a trade empire is rivaled by very few, excelling at naval bonuses on rivers and coasts. The ability to maximize growth through the use of Polders, an incredibly powerful windmill based specialty building. You’ll be able to not only increase in size but also in cultural bonuses! Wilhelmina’s potent in all forms of empire building, making them not only powerful to play as, but also valuable allies!
One of the most exploitable aspects of Wilhelmina continues to be her use of rivers and Polders. These powerful assets provide the Dutch with potent bonuses to theater, industrial, and campus districts! When mixed with Polders which provides food and industrial bonuses on coast tiles make rapid expansion hauntingly effective. Each city built should exploit this expansion. With strategic planning; long coastal nations can over power other leaders with more potent bonuses.
The sheer amount of income that the Dutch are able to acquire makes them an economic powerhouse. Cultural works and great people become easy liquidation of assets for the Dutch to invest in. Capable of making strong alliances, and trades that will go hand and hand with the domestic bonuses you gain. These bonuses will further your goals of achieving a cultural victory quicker than most can hope to catch up from!
Utilizing civic cards that boost your playstyle, eventually easily finding yourself expanding on the European continent. When you have enough gold to fund an army, there’s few who can stand against you. Along with this, you have enough gold to make yourself the cultural epicenter of the world. As the Dutch economic domination is exactly what you can accomplish!
The best cultural advantage that the Dutch gain however is their extensive use of culture bombing districts with their Harbors. Culture bombs not only boost your point significantly, allowing Wilhelmina to take swathes of land in each city you affect. The result ends up that the more cultural points you gain, the more territory you are systematically taking as well.
Trade/ Tourism Advantages
Wilhelmina proves to be one of the most potent leaders when it comes to victories regarding culture, science or diplomacy. Wilhelmina’s strongest points come from trading, having a plus two culture point bonus for all trade routes to another civilization. The Dutch are effective with these trading routes; domestic trade offers loyalty bonuses that prove monumental. Importantly, when creating these trade routes, keep troops guarded along the roads for long term investments that come protected.
An advantage that the Dutch receive that can go rather unnoticed is their use of Dams and Flood Barriers. Both of these improvements prove inherently useful for protecting your assets from natural disasters. These fortifications also provide support against incoming naval forces which makes them ideal for keeping your trade and tourism going. With vast riches of the Dutch at your side, you’ll find it difficult to not find enemies. Coupled with their special unit, De Zeven Provincien, you’ll have prime military dominance to protect your lands and trade routes!
The primary bonus to trade and tourism for the Dutch inevitably is their geographical location with Wilhelmina’s excellent bonuses. You’re not only able to buy the luxuries and requirements to have a wonderful nation. Empower your people with a powerful military, using wealth to produce naval and land units alike to protect our assets. The Dutch’s vast wealth and trade networks can ensure the peace for its people so it may never use its military! The Dutch have the power through trade and alliances to achieve a Cultural Victory through pure olive branches, and political awareness!
Wilhelmina’s a fun inclusion to cultural victories for a lot of the reasons why it’s fun playing as John Curtin. She’s able to dominate any victory type economically, while also being one of the more neutral experiences in the game. Wilhelmina has down sides, i.e. being in the jumbled mess of potential combatants that is Europe and Asia. However she brings with her a very important sentiment. Playing Civilization VI, it’s good to have a little of everything. The Dutch bring exactly that to the table for a fun, and ultimately rewarding experience when you want a cultural victory!
The Cultural High Road
With cultural victories, there’s a lot more freedom in how it’s accomplished as opposed to diplomatically or religiously. There’s freedom to build empires in almost any shape or size; and its creativity alone that binds gameplay. It’s fun to get creative, and to try new options, so never be afraid to get whacky with it! There’s no best choice out there, no end result that will ensure you a victory. In the end, you have to focus on what nations make you happy, and who you play best with! Every nation is just as capable as any other in the grand scheme; so enjoy making history, friends!