How To Win a Civ 6 Culture Victory

Winning a Culture Victory in Civilization 6 is not an easy task, nor is it easily understood. Through a lot of gameplay, research at various websites and watching numerous videos I developed an approach that works well for me. It will, hopefully, work well for you too.

Getting more foreign tourists than any other single empire has in domestic tourists is the way to win. Selecting a civilization with Culture bonuses, building Wonders, attracting Great Artists and establishing a Religion are the best ways to bring those foreign tourists to your empire.

The Best Leaders And Nations For A Culture Victory

The best start is having a civilization and leader that gets more culture bonuses than other empires.

LeaderCountryCulture Bonus
AmbrioxGaulWhenever a non-civilian unit is trained you get 20% of the unit’s cost in Culture. Mines also provide 1 Culture.
Ba TrieuVietnamIf a specialty district is built in Woods you get 1 Culture. Ba Trieu can build the Thanh district which provides 2 culture for every district it is next to. Once flight is researched this empire gets Tourism equal to the Culture output of the district.
Catherine De Medici (Black Queen)France2 Culture for a Chateau. 1 Culture for every Wonder next to it. Provides Tourism from Culture after Flight is researched. France also has the Grand Tour which increases tourism from Wonders by 100%.
Catherine De Medici (Magnificence)FranceIn addition to what is listed above for the Black Queen’s bonuses, Catherine De Medici adds 2 Culture for improved Luxury resources next to Theater Square districts or Chateaus.
CleopatraEgyptThe Sphinx is unique to Egypt. It Gives 1 Culture and 2 appeal if next to a Wonder. Gives 1 Culture if built on a floodplain and the Culture gain increases once Natural History is discovered. Also provides Tourism after Flight is discovered.
CyrusPersiaHas the unique building of Pairidaeza. It provides 1 Culture and 1 Appeal. It gives 1 Culture for every Holy Site and Theater it is next to. More Culture and Tourism is gained as you work your way through the Technology and Civics trees. Cyrus also adds 1 Culture for trade routes between his own cities.
Eleanor of AquitaineFranceCan build the Chateau. Provides 2 Culture and 1 appeal. 1 additional Culture for every Wonder that is next to it. Generates Tourism from Culture after researching Flight.
GorgoGreeceCombat victories give a culture bonus equal to half the combat strength of the defeated unit. Gorgo gets one extra wildcard policy slot that can be used for culture friendly bonuses. Can build the Acropolis, which gives 1 culture for each adjacent district and City Square. 2 Culture for each Wonder, Entertainment Complex and Water Park it is next to.
Hojo TokimuneJapanJapan can build the Electronics Factory. It provides 4 Culture after Electricity is researched.
KristinaSwedenCan build the Open-Air Museum. It gives 2 Culture and Tourism for each Snow, Tundra, Desert, Plains or Grassland that a city owns.
Kublai KhanChinaCulture and Tourism bonuses are gained as you build the Great Wall and advance through the ages.
KupeMaoriKupe gives his civilization 2 Culture per turn prior to settling his first city.
LautaroMapuche5% Culture bonus for cities having an established governor. Can build the Chenamull which gives a 75% bonus to the tile’s appeal.
Menelik IIEthopiaProvides Culture equal to 15% of the Faith generated if a city is built on a Hill.
MontezumaAztecCan build the Tlachtli, giving 2 Culture per turn. Gives 1 Tourism after improving to the Conservation civic.
PericlesGreecePericles gets 5% Culture for each city-state he is Suzerain of. Greece can also build the Acropolis, which gives 1 Culture for each district and city center it is built next to. It also provides 2 Culture bonus for each Wonder, Entertainment Complex and Water Park it is next to.
PeterRussiaGets Culture from trade routes with civilizations more advanced than him.
Qin Shi HuangChinaCulture and Tourism bonuses are gained as you build the Great Wall and advance through the ages.
Robert the BruceScotland1 Culture if a Golf Course is built next to a City Center district or an Entertainment district. As this civilization advances through the technology and civics tree it gains more Tourism.
SaladinArabiaThe worship building of their faith, the Righteousness of Faith, adds 10% Culture to all Arabian cities when it is purchased by other civilizations.
SeonseokKoreaGovernors, when established in a city, give a 3% boost in Culture from that city. They get an additional 3% boost for each promotion they earn.
Teddy Roosevelt (Bull Moose)AmericaThe Bull Moose version of Teddy Roosevelt provides America with 2 Culture if Breathtaking tiles are next to Wonders or Woods. Any tiles in a city with a National Park get 1 appeal.
Teddy Roosevelt (Rough Rider)AmericaEarns Culture from kills on the home continent.
Wilfred LanierCanada1 Culture for each Hockey Rink next to a Tundra, Tundra Hills, Snow, and Snow Hills tile. 4 Culture if next to a Stadium building.
WilhelminaNetherlands2 Culture for trade routes to and from foreign cities.

Civilization 6 Culture

Culture itself is not what wins a Cultural Victory. In the game culture is simply an indicator of how far a nation has advanced in the arts and crafts. Each citizen produces some amount of Culture for your civilization.

Culture is important for a Culture Victory since it opens the door to Tourism, plus it attracts high numbers of domestic Tourists, your best defense against another empire obtaining a culture victory. Buildings and Policy Cards are some of the best ways to boost Culture output.

Civilization 6 Appeal

It pays to know what the terms mean for a Culture Victory. Appeal is simply a measure of how beautiful a tile is to your empire’s citizens and Tourists, and it almost always applies only to land tiles. The higher the appeal of a tile the more likely it is to gain Tourism and its Appeal mostly depends to the type of terrain it is. A tile’s Appeal can also be improved by building Wonders and tile improvements next to it. If pursuing a Culture Victory Appeal is important, especially in the late game due to its high positive impact on Tourism. National Parks and Seaside resorts are some of the best buildings to improve appeal and gain foreign tourists.

Civilization 6 Tourism

Tourism is how you achieve a Culture Victory in Civ 6. Tourism has two aspects to it, foreign and domestic. Foreign Tourism is your offense during a culture victory and Domestic Tourism is your defensive tactic to prevent someone from gaining a Culture Victory.

Domestic Tourists are those “stay-at-home-people” who are content with the Wonders and sites in their own nation and have no desire to go elsewhere to see foreign attractions. Foreign Tourists are those restless and inquisitive souls from other lands who want to see what the rest of the world has to offer, including your civilization’s. There is an equation for figuring out how many Foreign Tourists will visit your civilization per turn but to me it’s a little too complicated to really make much sense. To sum it up, the more Great Works of Art, Wonders and Culture producing buildings you have the better.

You can also get a 25% boost in Tourism from a civilization you have open borders with and from International Trade Routes. One of the best international modifiers is the Film Studio, available only to America. It gives a 100% boost from another civilization in Tourism if it has researched one Modern era technology or civic.

Gorgo or Teddy Roosevelt?

A lot of your strategy depends on how you want to play the game. For this session I wanted a more warlike stance so I could pursue a Domination victory in case my Culture Victory goal became unachievable. Two civilizations jumped to the top of my consideration list, Gorgo and Teddy Roosevelt (Rough Rider). Gorgo is awesome since she gets such a big Culture bonus for destroying enemy units (50% of enemy unit’s combat strength), perfect for an aggressive playstyle, plus she has the Acropolis. Teddy the Rough Rider is better suited for a more defensive style of play since his culture bonuses come from destroyed enemy units when they are on his continent.

Teddy Roosevelt (Rough Rider)

But when I dug into the details of each leader and country Teddy Roosevelt the Rough Rider became the obvious choice for me. One thing I really liked about him was that his Diplomatic Policy slots are converted to wildcards slots, meaning I can add a few more polices that are favorable to Culture production. Teddy will also be a late bloomer in the game, America’s Film Studio will give a whopping 100% increase in Tourism pressure on other civilizations. This made him the obvious choice for me since he has a real good chance of gaining air superiority during the late game, making pursuit of a Domination victory possible should my Cultural efforts fall short.

Should Religion Be Used As Part Of A Culture Victory?

According to the games I’ve played while pursuing a Culture Victory I would say yes. These two victory types are very closely related at the start of the game and this gives you one more option to pursue if you want to change your victory focus.

I used Qin Shi Huang on Prince difficulty and pursued a Culture Victory to the best of my ability by both ignoring Religion and using Religion. I played both scenarios until the end of the Ancient Era. Hardly scientific but it does give an idea of how effective religion is for a Culture Victory at the start of the game.

CategoryWithout ReligionWith Religion
Culture8.3 per turn4.7 per turn
Religion14, +0 per turn141, +5 per turn

By using Religion I was also in first place for a Religion Victory as well.

Culture Victory Tips

  • When espionage becomes available use spies to steal Great Works. It has the double advantage of slowing your opponent down and speeding your progress up.
  • Try to keep plenty of woods around, or plant some. That helps with your civilization’s appeal.
  • Build Theatre Squares to help attract Great People and to produce culture.
  • Remember to get as many open borders agreements as you can. Open borders increases Tourism by 25% from another civilization.
  • Pantheons are a way to increase Culture income. There are two Pantheons that provide Culture, God of the Open Sky gives 1 Culture from Pastures and Goddess of Festivals provides 1 Culture from Plantations.

Planning A Long-Term Culture Victory Strategy

One approach to try is to let the game help you plan out your best paths in Technology and Civics research for a Culture Victory. Start with the end in mind. Since you’re working for a Culture Victory in this game a good place to end up at is Computers in the Atomic Era of Technology. This technology offers several benefits but the 25% boost in Tourism, empire wide, is worth taking notice of. By choosing that technology the game will number all the preceding technologies you need to research to get there in order, plus it will give you the number of turns needed to achieve each one. A good estimate to have in your mind as other empire’s close in on their victory goals.

By scrolling backwards, you can see what technologies and civics you’ll pick up on the way and what you’ll be missing out on. This will also enable you to better plan out those Eureka events. Of course, game circumstances, like a hostile AI empire or a necessary ability for your civilization, will force you to deviate from your path occasionally but at least you will have a clear path forward for both Technology and Civic research with a turn estimate in mind that can be revised as needed.

While pursuing your optimal Civics and Technology paths you need to keep an eye on the other civilization’s progress toward victory. If someone is close to winning you may need to deviate from your path for a while to stop an upcoming victory by another civilization.

Monitoring Victory Progress

Monitoring any victory progress is easy, click on World Rankings to see an overall list of all the victory conditions and who is leading in each one. Clicking on one of the victory names at the top of the screen will give you more details about that victory condition.

When you view the Culture Victory information screen, you’ll get a description of just exactly what it is you’re trying to accomplish, which is having more visiting (foreign) tourists than any other civilization has in domestic tourists. For example, if Egypt has the most domestic tourists at 45 your civilization needs 46 foreign tourists to win a Cultural Victory.

The number of domestic tourists you have, and other civilizations have, is the number underneath the leader’s name next to the colored suitcase. The highest number, excluding yours, is the number of foreign tourists you need to surpass by 1 to win.

The number of visitors from each civilization is in the “Our Visitors From” column and is next to the brown suitcase and the total number of foreign visitors is in the right-hand column labeled “Visiting Tourists.” The first number before the slash is how many you have while the number after the slash represents the number of foreign visitors you need to win.

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Rich Gallien

I've always liked board games like chess and PC games, especially space based strategy games, which lead to the creation of this site. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it and updating it with new games!

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