Winning A Civ 6 Culture Victory

The way to win a culture victory in Civ 6 is straightforward on the surface, you need more foreign tourists visiting your civilization than any other civilization has domestic tourists (one single civ, not all of them added together). Wonders, Great Writers, and even Religion can help you obtain this victory, while culture or war is the best way to defend against it.

Pick a Civilization With Culture Bonuses

Before you even start the game you can give yourself a head start on a culture victory by choosing a leader and civilization that is “Culture Victory” friendly. A “Culture Victory” civilization gets additional help when it comes to gaining culture and tourists.

Qin Shi Huang of China

Since I like a defensive and counter-attack style of play more than an offensive style I thought China with Qin Shi Huang China as the leader was the best choice for me when pursuing a Culture Victory. The strength in their cultural income is the Great Wall, which is well-suited for a defensive style of play.

This civilization has turned into one of my favorites when playing for a Culture Victory. The unique structure the Great Wall gives additional culture and tourism “as you advance through the technology tree for adjacent segments.” It must be built along the borders of your empire. China gets 60% of a civic unlock for Inspirations versus other civilizations 50%.

Wilfrid Lanier of Canada

Canada with Wilfrid Lanier as the leader is a good choice. This leader/civilization combination will generate a lot of additional Culture, making it a good choice for a player with a more defensive style of play. It has a lot of benefits relating to generating more culture, like Ice Hockey Rinks (+1 Culture for every Tundra, Tundra Hills, Snow and Snow Hills tile it is built next to, and it will provide 4 Culture if it’s built next to a Stadium).

Catherine De Medici of France

Catherine De Medici of France is a choice to consider. France has the Chateau and it gets +2 culture and +1 appeal. Appeal is good since it will help attract foreign tourists to your civilization. This will give you a more balanced approach since you get some additional Culture and Appeal as France.

Gorgo of Greece

If you have an aggressive playstyle Gorgo of Greece is a great choice. She gives her empire added culture for combat victories equal to 50% of the defeated enemy units. Greece also has access to the Acropolis which gives +1 Culture bonus to a City Center if built next to it and +1 Culture for every wonder and district its built next to. If you decide to use Pericles as your leader instead, you’ll get a 5% culture bonus for every city-state you are Suzerain of but will lose the 50% culture bonus that Gorgo provides.

Make as Many Friends as You Can

After picking your civilization start the game by being as friendly as you can with everybody since open borders gives you a 25% bonus in tourism. I tend to be more of a defensive player anyway, so this fits right in with my typical strategy, which is usually building a Scout, Slinger, and then a Settler in that order. If you’re pursuing a Culture Victory, it’s even more important to build a Scout so you can discover other civilizations. This will allow you to start attracting foreign tourists as soon as possible.

Starting the Game in the Ancient Era

The Ancient Era is where you lay the groundwork for the type of victory you want. The fortunate thing about a Culture Victory is that a lot of what you do can be used toward a Religious Victory. If you see a good opportunity that causes you to change your victory path it’s easy enough to do without losing any ground.

Settling aggressively and building a power base instead of focusing on Wonders and Religion is probably the best way to start and is a better option to follow for a Culture Victory. Building Wonders at the start probably won’t pay off at first since there is relatively little Tourism going on. The production for building these could be put to better uses instead, like for building up your economy and military.

The Drama and Poetry Civic and Theater Squares are very important for a Culture Victory also but so is technological research and economic power. Building a Campus District will give you additional Science points to speed up your technological research. A Commercial Hub gives your economy more gold and just as importantly it gives you another Trade Route and a Great Merchant Point per turn. International Trade Routes are good for helping with Foreign Tourism since traders tell everyone they see how great your civilization is. An international Trade Route gives a 25% boost in Tourism from the civilization you are trading with.

Once you have a sound military and economic base it’s time to focus on Theater Squares and Wonders. It’s okay to build a few Wonders in the early game but not at the expense of economic progress.

Using Religion As Part Of A Culture Victory

Religion can greatly influence tourist income from other civilizations (if you want to know how to effectively spread religion check out this page). Establish your religion early so you have a chance of getting the Followers Belief of Reliquaries. This belief gives 3 times the Tourism and Faith from Relics. If Reliquaries is already taken the next best thing is Choral Music since it allows Shrines and Temples to give a Culture boost equal to their Faith output, which means more domestic Tourists providing a strong defense against a Culture victory from someone else.

The Worship Belief should be “Cathedrals” since it gives an extra relic slot and 3 additional Faith. If that’s unavailable Gurdwaras would be good for the additional Faith, Food and Housing they provide (additional Housing only if you have Rise and Fall).

Sacred Places is a great consideration for the Founder Belief if you have the Gathering Storm DLC. Sacred Places generates 2 Science, Culture, Gold, and Faith for every city following your Religion that has a Wonder in it. The next best Founder Belief to consider the World Church. It provides 1 culture for every 5 followers of the religion of other civilizations. If you have Gathering Storm you get 1 Culture for every 4 followers of this Religion instead.

If you have an aggressive playstyle the Enhancer Belief should be Crusade since it gives military units +10 combat Strength when they are close to foreign cities that follow your religion. If you want to fight a defensive religious war while pursuing a Culture Victory Holy Order would be a good choice, it makes Apostles and Missionaries 30% cheaper to buy.

Tourism from Wonders

Building Wonders early and often is essential so you can start gaining the +2 in Tourism as soon as it becomes available, but not at the expense of establishing a strong economy and military.

Gaining Tourism from Wonders is simple and straightforward. Any Wonder you build contributes 2 to Tourism and for each Era after it was built it increases its Tourism output by 1. Wonders are unique so it’s always a race when trying to build one. If you lose a race your investment is returned to you in the form of production.

Theater Squares

Theater Squares are an important district since they help immensely with a Culture Victory. Great Works provide a lot of Tourism but you need a place to display them and that’s where Theater Squares come in handy. You can build things like Amphitheaters and Art Museums so Great People have places to create and display their Great Works. The Drama and Poetry civic is needed so putting priority on getting this civic as quickly as possible will pay off when you finally start attracting those great People to your society.

Tourism From Religion

If you established a religion then you will have a Holy City, which is the city in which your religion originated. That city will give you 8 in Tourism. Another Tourism income from religion is Relics. Each Relic gives 8 tourism per turn as well.

Tourism From Great Works

Great Works of Writing are an excellent source of Tourism. For each Great Work of Writing you gain 4 in Tourism. Great Works of Writing require you to recruit a Great Writer and you need to have a building available to display the work in. An Amphitheater will give you two slots to display Great Works of Writing, each worth 2 in Tourism and Culture.

Great Works of Music are created by Great Musicians and are displayed in buildings like Broadcast Centers. Coupling Great Works of Music with the Satellite Broadcast card can give a significant boost to Tourism. Great Works of Art and Archaeological Artifacts also generate Tourism.

Tourism From Tile Improvements

The Seaside Resort generates Tourism that is equal to the appeal rating of the tile. For instance, if you build a Seaside Resort on a tile with a Breathtaking appeal of 5 it will generate 5 Tourism per turn.

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National Parks can give a huge Tourism boost, but the placement requirements are very strict. National Parks cover 4 tiles and provide tourism equal to the appeal of the 4 tiles it contains. Since the minimum appeal rating of any tile that can be contained in a National Park is 2, that means it can provide anywhere from 8 to 24 Tourism per turn.

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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