Civilization 6's Second Expansion Focuses on the Natural World

Volcanoes, floods, droughts, and storms are just a small part of what fans can expect from the acclaimed strategy game's upcoming expansion, Gathering Storm.

Just four days after Civilization 6's release on Switch put the strategy game in the hands of a new group of players, 2K Games is back with an announcement that is sure to garner excitement from the game's long-time fans.

Gathering Storm, the game's second expansion, is set for a PC release on February 14, 2019.

As the title of the expansion suggests, the focal point of Gathering Storm is bringing a more active natural world to Civilization.

As per the developers:

Our story of human history was missing something without the impact that a changing planet has had on our settlements, and the imprints that we have left behind on Earth. This was the primary theme that we wanted to explore with Civilization 6: Gathering Storm.

In this expansion, this theme manifests as "natural events" -- floods and volcanoes that will bring a new level of risk and reward to the game. For example, while the magma from an erupting volcano will threaten damage to anything in its path, the soil left behind will be enriched, bringing higher yields to intrepid players that dare to build so close to the destructive force.

Additionally, a weather system will be implemented to make Civilization's world feel increasingly alive. Droughts, hurricanes, and blizzards are just a few new elements players can expect to encounter in Gathering Storm. As with floods and volcanoes, the weather system brings the potential for both great destruction and great reward.

However, the natural world does not act completely independently of the civilizations that inhabit it, and, in Gathering Storm, player activity has a direct impact. Burning fuels will lead to temperature increases, which, in turn, will cause topographical changes and increased floods and storms. Alternatively, wind and solar power can be utilized to avoid these environmental alterations.

If implemented correctly, there is the potential for a beautiful symbiosis between nature and mankind to emerge in Gathering Storm.

Beyond a focus on the natural world, Gathering Storm introduces a host of features to be excited about. "Civilization 6: Gathering Storm is the largest expansion Firaxis Games has ever created for a Civilization game," 2K's announcement reads, and it certainly seems like it.

Dams, canals, mountain tunnels, and railroads will introduce new options for altering and navigating Civilization's map, and "speculative technologies" will find their way into the Technology and Civic trees.

Further, Diplomatic Victory and a World Congress will ask players to proceed cautiously in their conquests, and a bevy of new leaders, civilizations, scenarios, and much more will round out the expansion.

If you would like to read a full summary of Gathering Storm's offerings, we have included them below. And if you are diving into Civilization 6 for the first time on Switch, be sure to check out our extensive guides page.


  • ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS: Volcanoes, storms (blizzards, sand storms, tornadoes, hurricanes), climate change, floods, and droughts.
  • POWER AND CONSUMABLE RESOURCES: Strategic resources play an additional role in Gathering Storm. These resources are now consumed in power plants to generate electricity for your cities. Initially you'll be powering your most advanced buildings by burning carbon-based resources like Coal and Oil, but renewable energy sources also unlock as you progress to current-day technologies. Your choices about resource usage will directly affect the world's temperature and can cause melting ice caps and rising sea levels.
  • ENGINEERING PROJECTS: Shape the world around your empire to overcome unfavorable land conditions by making improvements like canals, dams, tunnels and railroads. When settling cities, consider the flood risk to coastal lowland areas, but keep in mind that in the late-game, new technologies like Flood Barriers can be used to protect these tiles.
  • WORLD CONGRESS: Make your voice heard among the other leaders of the world. Earn Diplomatic Favor through Alliances, influencing city-states, competing in World Games, and more. Use Diplomatic Favor to extract promises from other leaders, vote on Resolutions, call a Special Session to address an emergency, and increase the weight of your votes in your quest to achieve the new Diplomatic Victory.
  • 21st CENTURY TECHNOLOGIES & CIVICS: A new era has been added to the Technology and Civics trees. Combat new environmental effects with speculative ideas such as relocating your population out to seasteads and developing technologies to recapture carbon emissions.
  • NEW LEADERS AND CIVS: Nine new leaders from eight new civilizations are introduced. Each brings unique bonuses and gameplay, as well as a total of nine unique units, four unique buildings, three unique improvements, two unique districts and one unique governor.
    • The Black Death: The Black Death ravaged Europe and western Asia in the mid-14th century, killing a greater share of the population than any other event in world history. The pandemic killed millions, ruined economies, upended political dynasties and transformed the face of the Western world. Your task is to lead your nation through the calamity: keep your population alive, your economy strong, and your faith unshaken amidst a world of terror and desperation.
    • War Machine: At the outset of WWI, the German Imperial Army had a daring plan: invade neutral Belgium and then rush the French heartland before they could mobilize to resist. If successful, the German forces would capture Paris within a month and end their resistance forever. In counter, the French command prepared Plan 17, an all-out onslaught designed to meet and stop a German offensive. When war was declared, both armies swung into motion and set up one of the most incredible and shocking military campaigns in world history. In this scenario, players take the side of one of these two great powers at this same precipice. As Germany, your task is to capture Paris. As France, your task is to prevent its capture. The clock is ticking, and the enemy is moving. Advance!
  • MORE NEW CONTENT: Seven new world wonders, seven natural wonders, 18 new units, 15 new improvements, 9 new buildings, 5 new districts, 2 new city sets, 9 new techs and 10 new civics have been added.
  • IMPROVED GAMEPLAY SYSTEMS: The Espionage system has been enhanced with new options, the Culture and Science Victories have been updated, new Historic Moments have been added, and additional improvements have been made to other existing systems.

Are you excited for this upcoming Civilization 6 expansion? Let us know in the comments below!


A stay-at-home-dad with a passion for meditation and video games.

Games Civilization 6 Genres Strategy Platforms PC
Published Dec. 19th 2019

New Cache - article_comments_article_61029