The newest installment in Sid Meier's Civilization series, Civilization 6 has been released and has brought quite a bit of changes to the franchise.
One aspect of the franchise that hasn't changed, however, is that the higher difficulties can be insanely hard. Like other games, playing Civilization 6 on the highest difficulty means that your opponents are given advantages to income and production which help them stay ahead of you. This can be frustrating for less experienced players who are trying the higher difficulties for the first time.
However, even the games highest difficulty, Deity, can be beaten once you get a hang of things. This article gives six easy tips that will help make playing on Deity not only enjoyable, but also winnable.
6. Defense First
After talking to some players new to the Civilization franchise, I realized that investing is something that many people overlook. This is understandable. After all, isn't it a bit more exciting to build buildings that grow your cities rather than spending the first 20 or so turns building a defensive army?
On lower difficulties you can get away with flimsy defense in the early parts of the game. However, this is not the case on Deity. It is not a question of if you will be attacked, but a question of when you will be attacked. Barbarians are a nuisance on every difficulty. But on Deity they have a serious chance of overrunning you.
Furthermore, any neighbors you meet will have a much larger army and thus will be more inclined to declare war on you. Because of this, it is vital that the first couple turns be spent building units for defense. At a bare minimum you should build a scout and two slingers to go with the warrior you start the game with. Obviously if you are attacked by a neighbor you will want more, but this is a good starting number to help keep you safe in the early portion of the game.
5. Expand Early
Expanding early seems like a pretty obvious tip. The sooner you expand your empire the sooner you can start improving your cities. It is especially important, however, when you are playing on Deity. With the bonuses that your opponents have, they will be able to expand much quicker than lower difficulties.
If you are too slow to expand you may find that all of the desirable areas nearby have been taken by someone else. Furthermore, Civilization 6 relies heavily on success in the early game. If you are unable to secure a strong foundation early on in the game than it will be incredibly difficult to catch up later on.
Expanding does not only mean creating settlers to found new cities. If you have the ability to take over a nearby city-state, thanks to the units which you invested in for early defense, than you definitely should. However, tread carefully. As mentioned earlier, Civilization 6 relies heavily on early game success. While an early conquest of a weaker neighbor can help you get ahead, a failed conquest will be catastrophic.
4. Avoid Religion
Having the ability to pursue a Religious Victory is something new added to Civilization 6. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to achieve on the highest difficulties.
First of all, thanks to the huge bonuses that your opponents receive, you will most likely never get the chance to find a religion, even if you focus on nothing else. Even if you get to find a religion, it will be incredibly difficult to spread it. Your opponents land will be flooded with units, making it hard to send Missionaries into their land. Furthermore, as soon as you convert one of their cities, they will have enough faith stored up to reconvert it back to their own faith.
Simply put, avoid religion completely. Though it is always tempting to build a Holy Site, since it is typically the first District that becomes available, it will most likely not be worth it. Any time spent on building a Holy Site or any faith-based buildings would be better spent doing basically anything else.
3. Follow Eurekas and Inspirations
Another new feature added to Civilization 6 is the Eurekas, which gives you a boost on certain technologies, and the inspirations, which do the same for civics. These boosts will help you not fall too far behind your opponents in the early parts of the game, which is a major concern when playing on Deity.
This means more than just blindly picking whichever technologies and civics you have unlocked a boost for. You also want to be looking at which potential boosts you can earn in the upcoming turns. When you are planning out which route to take in the technology and civics trees try to plan a few moves ahead. If you have an idea of the technologies you want in the future, you'll have a few turns to pursue the boosts for that technology before you begin researching it.
Obviously, there are some technologies and civics, such as the ones that unlock new forms of government, which you want to get even if you do not have the boosts for them. However, using more boosts means your science and producing will be spent more efficiently, allowing you to keep up with your opponents on Deity.
2. Pick Strong Leaders
Perhaps more so than any installment of the franchise, Civilization 6 leaders greatly impact how you will play the game -- However, not all leaders are created equally.
While pretty much any leader can be used on lower difficulties, it is recommended to pick the strongest ones when playing on Deity. You will already be behind because of the difficulty, so you might as well give yourself as much of an advantage when selecting your leader.
This brings us to the million dollar question; who are the strongest leaders? While tier lists will always be subjective, there a few aspects you want to look for. The first is having a strong early game. As I've mentioned before, the early game is incredibly important so picking a strong early game leader will help immensely. This includes leaders like Gilgamesh and Montezuma, whose early game unique units will help take control of the game.
Another question to ask when selecting a leader is; are their bonuses relevant all game long? A good example of this type of leader is Qin Shi Huang. The bonus that he gives to workers, as well as his bonus to eurekas and inspirations are something that will be relevant all game long making them strong choices.
The best leaders, however, do both of these things. A good example of this is Fredrick Barbarossa. His bonus for attacking city-states gives him the potential to easily conquer weaker neighbors, thus giving him a boost to the early game.
However, his ability to build the unique Hansa district, to boost production, as well as having the ability to build an additional district in each of his cities makes --Fredrick Barbarossa one of the strongest leaders in the game.
1. Production is King
This is something that is often overlooked, but it is probably the most important aspect of Civilization 6. How much production do you want? The answer is always more. It is the backbone of your civilization.
Regardless of the victory condition that you are pursuing, production is going to make everything better. It helps you build wonders for culture victories, complete the different space exploration projects needed for a science victory, or simply build more units for a domination victory. Regardless of how you want to win, production is what will get you there.
This means more than building an industrial zone in each city. It means building your cities close enough to each other so that your industrial zones increase the production in all nearby cities.
It also means focusing on internal trade routes. Unless you are on the verge of bankruptcy, the extra gold that you receive from international trade routes is not as useful as the extra production you receive from internal trade. This is something that I found very hard to wrap my head around, but once I understood the true value of production, it helped make playing on Deity much more manageable.
As with anything, playing on Deity will take time. The balancing of this difficulty is very fickle and it can be incredibly frustrating. However, following the tips mentioned in this article will help improve your game play and potentially be able to win games on the hardest difficulty of Civilization 6.
Where there any tips we missed? Let us know in the comments section below.