It’s possible to have to spent hundreds of hours playing Civilization 6 without ever having reached a victory in a single playthrough. Some players get bored and want to start anew, some simply get out-strategized by the other players and/or AI, and yet others want that perfect game.
Each playable civ in Civilization 6 has its own strengths and weaknesses that make them best suited to certain victory types. Some, such as Korea, are obviously geared towards particular playstyles; but others, such as Russia, are a little more difficult to pin down.
Here we’ll be going over the best civ choices for each victory type, and you may be surprised by some of them. Keep in mind that each playthrough is different, and that you do need to consider your opponents in some regard when choosing your civ.
Feel free to post your own opinions in the comments.
Note: These apply to the changes implemented in the Gathering Storm expansion. These may not be applicable in the base game.
Best Civ: Zulu
If you choose the Zulu as your civ, you’re immediately tipping your hand that you’ll be focusing on military. They offer no particular cultural, civic, or religious benefit, but they are really good at dominating on the battlefield.
Even if you can’t completely secure your Domination victory when you start firing on all cylinders, the Zulu should be able to secure you enough advantage through the midgame to coast to victory however you see fit.
There are a few major factors that allow the Zulu to be militarily dominant, but the big one is their ability to gain Corps and Armies much earlier than other civs.
Nearly all the Zulu’s unique traits revolve around building up powerful medieval armies and stomping everyone else.
Their unique unit, the Impi, is a monster against Knights, which are usually the dominant forces of the medieval era. Their Armies and Corps gain a strength bonus, can be trained earlier than other civs get similar units, and can be trained directly.
Finally, capturing cities upgrades a unit to a Corps and a Corps to an Army if you have the proper civics researched.
Many military civs are bogged down when they start trying to capture cities, but the Zulu can actually strengthen their army if they strategically capture. The Zulu military might can get out of control in a hurry if their opponents don’t disrupt it.
Other good Domination options: Scythia, Greece
Best Civ: Korea
Like the Zulu and domination, Korea will almost always be shooting for a science victory. Their ability to outpace the other civs on the tech tree make them formidable in other victory types if they can get far enough ahead, but it is tougher to pivot from the science path if it doesn’t look like it will work.
The biggest boon to Korea’s scientific success is their unique district, the Seowon. It provides a lot of science on its own, especially early on, and also grants a science bonus to adjacent mines. If you can find lots of hilly areas to abuse Seowons, you will be tough to catch.
In addition, Governors add even more science to your already massive output. The general plan for Korean victory involves getting so far ahead early on that you can basically turtle up and defend your cities against inferior units as you rush to build the spaceship.
Other good Science options: Arabia, Scotland
Best Civ: Sweden
This is one of the trickier ones, as lots of civs utilize culture in a variety of strong ways. However, Kristina’s cultural abilities overall seem like the strongest, mainly because they can come online much faster than many other civs.
If you get out to a strong cultural jump, it can discourage other players and snowball into enough of an advantage that it doesn’t matter who tries to catch you.
The first boon towards a culture victory comes from your leader ability. Kristina herself makes it much easier to theme your great works, granting you massive bonuses if you’re able to find the right sets.
The Open Air Museum is where Sweden really shines, however. It can generate a massive amount of tourism for every city in your empire, and they can be built much earlier than tourism producers in other civs. Once you start getting them up and running, it might be too late to stop you.
Other good Culture options: Canada, China, America
Best Civ: Russia
Religion is another tricky one to judge, as there are a few different routes you can find success with when aiming for a religion victory. However, few civs can overpower others with prayer like Russia, as they can utilize multiple methods to spread their faith.
Russia’s religious prowess begins with their unique district: the Lavra. They come online earlier than Holy Sites, and they provide a better boost.
The Lavra allows you to get the pick of your pantheons – considering Russia typically starts in colder climates, “Dance of the Aurora” is usually your best bet. You’ll soon be generating more faith than you’ll know what to do with, and can go about converting the world.
Peter the Great also grants bonuses to international trade routes, which can be another effective way to spread your religion to far away civs.
Other good Religion options: India, Spain, Georgia
Best Civ: Canada
Ah, the black sheep of Civilization 6 victory conditions. In general, if you could win a diplomacy victory, you probably could have already won another way. That’s neither here nor there, however: if you want to shoot for that diplomacy victory, Canada is your best bet.
Canada is all about sitting back and being friendly with everyone. They can’t declare surprise wars or be the target of them, which goes a long way to keeping Canada on everyone’s good side.
They also get massive boosts to their diplomatic favor by doing things you would otherwise be doing: generating culture and working against emergencies. Basically, if you can stay on everyone’s good side, you will probably eke out a victory as Canada.
This passive, friendly playstyle also pivots very well into a culture victory, should you need to change your tactics. If you need to switch to a domination victory with Canada, you might be in trouble.
Other good Diplomacy civs: Sweden, Hungary
Every time you generate a map, adjust the difficulty, or add in new civs, you’re going to change your path to victory in Civilization 6. That’s part of the reason why the series has endured as one of the deepest and most replayable strategy games around.
Check out our other Civilization 6 guides here on GameSkinny.