Civ 6 Tier List 2020 [Strongest and Weakest Civilizations Revealed]

Civ 6 Tier List, best civ in civ 6
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What Are The Most Powerful Civilizations in Civ 6?

Any sports enthusiast knows that good players win games but good teams win championships. In Civilization, no matter how good a player you are, victory can only come from good teamwork with your civ. 

A victory in Civilization VI can be achieved through either religion, culture, diplomacy, science, or domination. 

From S-tier to D-tier we rank each civs talent for achieving one of the five main victory types and show you how to connive, convert, or conquer your way to victory. 

S-Tier civs can pursue any victory type but excel in achieving 1 or 2 types of victory in particular, and have little to no weaknesses.  Whether you seek victory through guns or theology, these are the civs who can achieve it best. 

S-Tier Civs: Overall Power Ratings

  • Hungary (Matthias) 94/100
  • Korea (Seondeok) 93/100
  • Germany (Barbarossa) 93/100
  • Russia (Peter) 92/100
  • Greece (Pericles) 92/100
  • Māori (Kupe) 92/100
  • Sweden (Kristina) 91/100

A-Tier civs can be incredibly strong in the hands of a skilled player. These civs have advantages toward at least one victory type, and any weaknesses can more or less be covered. A-Tier civs are relatively well-rounded and if played well have a strong chance of securing a win.

A-Tier Civs: Overall Power Ratings

  • Persia (Cyrus) 89/100
  • Australia (John Curtin) 89/100
  • Nubia (Amanitore) 88/100
  • Ottomans (Suleiman) 88/100
  • Zulu (Shaka) 86/100
  • Mali (Mansa Musa) 86/100
  • Japan (Hojo Tokimune) 84/100
  • Inca (Pachacuti) 85/100
  • Canada (Wilfrid Laurier) 80/100

B-D Tiers (with brief explanations.)

B-Tier civs are civs who excel toward at least one victory type, but not quite as much as A-Tier civs. B-Tier civs may be good in more than one area, but whose bonuses are too different to be easily focused. These civs may also have exploitable weaknesses, or their strengths dwindle too quickly. 

B-Tier Civs: Overall Power Rating

  • Aztec 79/100- Heavy reliance on another civ being close enough to use Eagle Warriors effectively.
  • Scotland 79/100- No real military advantages/war of liberation often difficult to attain.
  • Cree 78/100- Unique unit is underwhelming, no real victory advantage/focus.
  • England (Victoria) 78/100- Heavy reliance on water, using engineers efficiently can be difficult for newer players.
  • Macedon 78/100- reliance on troop production drains gold which is needed for upgrades.
  • France (Eleanor) 78/100- wonder focus absorbs needed production for defense.
  • Kongo 78/100- No ability to win a religious victory/reliance on rainforests.
  • China 76/100- Wonder bonus production only lasts for 2 eras when it is difficult to defend.
  • Egypt 76/100- Reliance on floodplains/rivers for small bonuses; sphinx too split between.
  • Poland 76/100- Generally too scattered: war-like civ with unique building that requires peace.
  • Scythia 75/100- Extremely vulnerable to anti-cavalry units, Kurgan is underwhelming.
  • Arabia 75/100- Great Prophet earned last means less belief choices for a religious civ.
  • Indonesia 75/100- extreme reliance on water; faith must be split between boats and missionaries.
  • Mongolia 74/100- Heavy reliance on cavalry makes for heavy vulnerability to anti-cavalry.
  • Brazil 74/100- Only unique unit is a ship, little to no survivability bonuses.
  • America 74/100- Unique units can be difficult to use effectively.
  • Rome 74/100- No real bonuses toward any particular victory condition.
  • Sumeria 73/100- A war-mongering civ who also has alliance bonuses can be difficult to manage.
  • India (Gandhi) 72/100- Main faith bonus severely reliant on the availability of other religions/civs.

C-Tier civs don’t have enough overall power or have easily exploitable weaknesses. These civs might have strengths but are not as easy to make use of as other civs. Playing with these civs can prove more difficult to secure a victory.

C-Tier Civs: Overall Power Rating

  • Greece (Gorgo) 69/100- must be constantly at war to attain the culture bonus.
  • Spain 68/100- requires high faith and gold to use effectively; heavy reliance on religion.
  • Mapuche 68/100- abilities/bonuses are too diverse, making their playstyle somewhat awkward.
  • India (Chandragupta) 65/100- war of territorial expansion can be hard to proc and other civs can offset it by declaring war first.
  • Khmer 64/100- Unique unit is awkward and difficult to use for a peaceful/religious civ.
  • Netherlands 63/100- Bonuses are unfocused; the unique unit is underwhelming.
  • France (Catherine) 62/100- Spies in general can be unreliable making their bonus tricky to use.
  • England (Eleanor) 61/100- Eleanor cannot train redcoats, one of England's primary strengths.

D-tier civs I find to be the most difficult to play, or just the most underwhelming. These are civs which either don’t have a clear victory type, or their victory type is gained much easier by other civs. In short, if you are looking for a challenge to attain a deity victory, try it with one of these civs.

D-Tier: Overall Power Rating

  • Norway 59/100- Berserkers have tight time-frame, can be difficult to use; no clear cut victory path.
  • Georgia 58/100- Bonuses are extremely factor-dependent; generally difficult to use.
  • Phoenicia 56/100- Extremely reliant on coasts; generally difficult to use.

Hungary led by Matthias Corvinus (S-Tier: Domination)Corvinus, (Latin for raven) fought for his people and brought a golden age to Hungary 

The Raven King marches Hungary’s mighty Black Army onto the S-Tier list. As Matthias Corvinus, you control bolstered city-state forces and keep control of suzerainty with an iron fist.
With the Black Army leading your levied soldiers, you easily overwhelm your opponents.

Why Hungary Dominates at Domination

  • Levied units have +5 combat strength, +2 movement and are almost free to upgrade.
  • Matthias gains envoys when he levies city-state troops, allowing him to snowball suzerainty. 
  • The Black Army unit receives +3 combat strength per adjacent levied unit, potentially up to +15.
  • The Thermal Bath diminishes war-weariness with bonus amenities. 
  • Hungary’s Huszár upgrades from the Black Army, making Hungary strong over multiple eras.

Hungary’s Overall Power Rating: 94/100

Korea and Queen Seondeok (S-Tier: Science)
Queen Seondeok built fortifications and brought scientific advancement to her people

As Seondeok leading Korea, your knowledge of astronomy takes your science to the stars.
Korea’s Seowon is an exceptional district which gives science to adjacent mines.
With Seondeok’s Hwarang ability, she can reach for the stars and a science victory.

How Korea Blasts Off to Victory

  • Seondeok’s Hwarang ability gives up to +15% science and culture per governed city.
  • Korea can use Governor Pingala to boost a city’s science yield up to +30%. 
  • The Seowon unique science district gives a +4 base science with no adjacency bonus.  
  • Each mine adjacent to a Seowon provides +1 science in addition to production. 
  • Korea’s Seowon combined with their Hwarang ability makes them S-tier in science. 

Korea’s Overall Power Rating: 94/100

Germany led by King Barbarossa (S-Tier: Domination/Science)The Crusader King stands ready to meet his enemies in battle

Germany makes its way to the top of the list with its versatile playstyle and top-tier military stats.
As Frederick Barbarossa, the options are near boundless with extra military policy and Germany’s aptitude for efficiency.
With strategic city planning, Germany can use its Hansa to elevate in any direction it wants; into enemy lands or outward toward the stars.

How the German Empire builds a path to the S-Tier

  • The Hansa is incredibly powerful, boasting double digit production value quickly.
  • An extra military policy slot in any government gives Germany a consistent advantage.
  • Extra combat strength against city-states allows germany to expand quickly and cripple other civs’ Suzerain bonuses.
  • Germany may build one more district than normal, allowing cities to build tall and fast.
  • High production makes Germany especially apt to achieve science and domination victories.

Germany's overall power rating: 94/100

Russia and Tsar Peter (S-Tier: Religion/Culture)​
Statuesque Peter II stands proud as he makes it onto yet another list

Russia is one of the top civs in the game, and their religious game is god-tier. (pun intended) 
The Lavra is available early, nets a quick pantheon and follows up with a religion.
Extra land plus bonus faith throughout the empire makes them an S-tier religious civ.

Why Russia’s Religious Game is so Righteous

  • The Lavra can be built quickly and can secure a religion twice as fast as other civs.
  • Tundra yields +1 faith and +1 production, making faith gain strong from the jump.
  • The Dance of the Aurora pantheon stacks Lavras with another +1 faith for adjacent tundra. 
  • By spamming Lavras, Russia can quickly and easily snowball into a religious victory.

Russia’s Overall Power Rating: 93/100

Pericles leading Greece (S-Tier: Culture)
Realizing his mistake, Pericles heroically points to the next size up at the helmet store

Greece is a great civ regardless of the leader, and Pericles’ culture game is unrivaled.
Greece’s Acropolis practically hands city-state suzerainty over on a silver platter. 
Coupled with Pericles’ culture bonus per suzerainty, Greece will quickly have you wearing the latest in Athenian fashion.

Why Greece led by Pericles is a Culture Colossus

  • Getting a straight 5% bonus to culture for every city-state ally is simply unprecedented.
  • Greece gets a new envoy for every acropolis, virtually guaranteeing suzerainty. 
  • The Acropolis gives bonus culture for wonders, districts, and city-centers. 
  • Greece’s extra wildcard slot can be used to gain more suzerainty 
  • Pericles’ Greece is a cultural powerhouse and not easily rivaled by any other civ.

Pericles’ Greece Cultural Power Rating: 93/100

Māori led by Kupe (S-Tier: Culture)
Kupe leads the legendary Māori warriors in defending their island paradise

The Māori have excellent potential for S or A tier culture or religious victories. Like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, finding land is the first step; after settling, yield bonuses are effectively free.  Huge culture, faith, and tourism bonuses from terrain make the Maori S-Tier for a cultural victory. Just don’t lose Wilson. 

Why the Māori Culture Crushes

  • The Marae unique amphitheater gives potential double-digit faith and culture bonuses per city.
  • With the discovery of flight, the Marae gives +1 tourism to all tiles with a feature.
  • Bonus faith also makes them a strong contender for a religious victory.
  • If you find a good place to settle (and it’s not near Sumeria), the Māori yield enough culture, tourism, and faith to net easy cultural victory.

Māori Cultural Power Rating: 93/100

Sweden led by Kristina (S-Tier: Diplomacy)
Sweden proves that the pen is mightier than the sword

Kristina sweet talks her way into the S-Tier for Diplomacy. Home of the Nobel Prize, Sweden earns more great engineers, scientists, and diplomatic favor with each one earned.
The Open-Air Museum and the Queen’s Bibliotheque both help to gain diplomatic favor.

How Sweden Gets Voted into Victory

  • Every time a great person is earned, you gain 50 Diplomatic Favor, which can be used to vote yourself world leader.
  • Kristina automatically themes buildings and wonders which grant large culture yields.
  • The Queen’s Bibliotheque offers +2 great person points and 2 slots for art and music.
  • High culture gains diplomatic favor quicker, which paves a path to Sweden’s diplomatic victory. 

Sweden’s Diplomatic Power Rating: 92/100

Cyrus of Persia (A-Tier: Domination/Culture)The King of Kings wants YOU!

Cyrus the Great of Persia makes the A-list by living up to his magnanimous moniker. 
Persia’s Pairidaeza is central to their culture game, providing huge bonuses to culture and tourism.
The “Satrapies” unique ability produces culture between domestic trade routes.

Why Cyrus of Persia Crushes in Culture

  • Culture gains come early with the Pairidaeza being available in the first era.
  • The Pairidaeza starts with a +1 culture and gains more over time. 
  • The Pairidaeza also gives +2 tourism, crucial to end-game tourist traps.
  • The Immortals rain arrows upon their foes for the glory of Persia.
  • For a cultural victory, tourism is key, and the Pairidaeza makes Cyrus’ advantage is clear.

Persia’s Culture Power Rating: 89/100

Australia led by John Curtin (A-Tier: Versatile)Humble but capable PM John Curtain defended Australia from Japanese bombing raids during WWII  

An amazing civ deserving of the A-Tier ranking with their huge production and food outputs. Their Outback Station improvement gives tons of extra production toward a science victory.
With bonus yields for science districts and holy sites, the Land Down Under is well equipped for a science or religious victory.

Why Australia Earns A-Tier Status

  • The Outback Station can easily gain +3s +4s and +5s in production, plus bonus food and housing. 
  • Australia's science, holy, culture, and commercial districts can receive +3 bonus yields.
  • Receiving a war declaration or liberating a city-state grants Australia +100% production in all cities for 10 turns.
  • Australia’s Diggers are good for defense or to liberate city-states.
  • High yields in production, science, faith, and culture make Australia a triple threat for science, religious and culture victories.

Australia Overall Power Level: 89

Nubia and Amanitore (A-Tier: Versatile)
Gone but not forgotten: Amanitore's legacy  is chiseled into her Nubian Pyramid which still stands today

In Civilization VI, districts are the key to victory, and Amanitore holds the keyring. 
With Nubia’s ability to quickly construct districts they can focus on multiple yields at a time.
With quicker ranged unit production and gold bonuses, Amanitore can hold her own or conquer her way into many types of victory.

Why Nubia is an All-Around Great Civ

  • Up to 40% bonus build speed to all districts means Nubia can gain any yields quickly.
  • Nubia gets bonus production and gold for mines over strategic, bonus and luxury resources.
  • The Nubian Pyramid provides a +1 respective adjacency yield to most districts.
  • +50% bonus production and experience gain to ranged units gives strong offense and defense. 

Nubia Overall Power Rating: 88/100

The Ottomans led by Suleiman (A-Tier: Domination)
"The Ottoman Empire, full of furniture for some reason..."   -Eddie Izzard

A superior domination civ, the Ottomans gain significant bonuses to siege unit power and training time. Suleiman’s unique governor has powerful combat buffs and can be used to achieve domination as the Ottomans. 

Why Suleiman is Superb for Domination

  • Siege units are produced faster and have bonus combat strength. 
  • Conquered cities get bonus loyalty and amenities, making them easier to hold.
  • Ibrahim, the Grand Vizier has many offensive bonuses and can offer up to a +15 combat strength to units.
  • The Janissary unique unit is stronger and cheaper than the default musketman.
  • The Barbary Corsair uses free coastal raids to pillage their way into an A-Tier Domination civ.

The Ottomans Military Power Rating: 88/100

Shaka Leads the Zulu (A-Tier: Domination)
Whether originator or imitator, Shaka revolutionized tribal battle tactics to combat the superior arms of Europeans

Swarming their way into the A-Tier are the Zulu. Shaka leads the Zulu in a simple yet effective playstyle that can overwhelm all but the most seasoned players. 
Combining their Ikanda unique encampment with corps of Impi spearmen, the Zulu can zerg-rush other civs into submission quickly and use loyalty bonuses to secure captured cities.

What Makes the Zulu a Strong Contender for Domination

  • The Zulu can combine units into corps and armies faster than most other civs, and units which conquer a city automatically become a corps.
  • The Ikanda military district costs 50% less and builds units, corps, and armies faster.
  • Corps and armies are stronger than average, and the Impi spearman has increased XP gain and flanking bonus.
  • The Impi can be mass-produced to make up for their disadvantage to melee units. 

Zulu Military Power Rating: 86/100

Mali led by Mansa Musa (A-Tier: Religion)
With money like Mansa, you can double-down on Pascal's Wager.

Mansa Musa opens the gilded gates of heaven with his unique mix of gold and faith bonuses. Mali’s ability Songs of the Jeli provides bonus faith and food to desert cities.
The Suguba district gives discounts to faith purchases and works in conjunction with holy sites.

Why Mali is Ripe for Religious Victory

  • Mali’s start bias puts them in the desert, effectively giving up to +6 bonus faith with every expansion. 
  • The Sugubagains bonuses for adjacent holy sites, and grants discounts to gold and faith purchases.
  • The Pantheon belief “Desert Folklore” pretty much doubles up your faith yields.
  • Mali’s gold bonuses effectively add to the faith yield and secure a path to a religious victory.

Mali’s Religious Power Rating: 86/100

Japan and Hojo Tokimune (A-Tier: Versatile)
Don't mess with a guy who has a katana and the triforce.

While not the most newb-friendly civ, the Japanese Empire is a worthy addition to the A-list tier.
Japan gets significant adjacency and production bonuses to several districts making them extremely versatile. 
Japan gets combat bonuses to coastal battles, and the powerful Samurai can be used offensively or defensively to secure Japan’s stability.

Why Japan is a Triple-threat

  • Japan receives a +100% production bonus to faith, culture, and military districts.
  • The Samurai is strong enough to fight from the medieval era through the Renaissance.
  • Each district gets an additional district adjacency bonus so Japan can focus on any/all yields.
  • Japan’s unique Electronics Factory provides huge culture and production boosts. 
  • Though not for the faint of heart, Japan is a solid A-Tier civ with tons of potential.

Japan Overall Power Level: 85/100

Inca led by Pachacuti (A-Tier: Science)
Pachacuti, the "Reverser of the World" overthrew the powerful Chanca people to expand the Incan Empire

The mountain-dwelling Inca use the mountains as both their walls and way to victory. Because of the heavy mountain start bias, the Inca have an easy time getting campus adjacency bonuses. 
Tactically placing each new campus around mountains and city centers quickly helps the Inca rise above their mountain kingdom.

Why The Incan Empire is Spectacular in Science

  • Mountains make it easy to get +5 or even +6 science to campus districts.
  • Using the Natural Philosophy policy card doubles the campus adjacency bonus.
  • The Rationalism policy card adds bonus science to civs which grow empires tall, which the Inca excel at.
  • Mountains give the Inca protection and time to focus on infrastructure.
  • While the Inca receive no direct bonuses to science, their playstyle and start bias make them a natural choice for a science victory.

The Incas Science Power Rating: 84/100

Wilfrid Laurier of Canada (A-Tier: Diplomacy)
Wilfrid Laurier playing a very convincing Count Olaf

Canada makes the A-list and lives up to its stereotype as a peace-loving political player.
Using tourism to curry diplomatic favor, Canada can build enough National Parks to quickly become a diplomatic and cultural threat.
With Wilfrid Laurie at the helm, Canada uses its Mounties to beautify and defend peaceful Canada.

Why Canada is Superb at Diplomacy

  • Since Canada is partially shielded from being attacked, culture and tourism can flourish.
  • Diplomatic favor is gained at 1% of tourism output, which is easier to attain as Canada.
  • Canada gets bonus diplomatic favor points for emergencies and other scored competitions.
  • Mounties can build national parks, pushing Wilfrid Laurier into the A-tier for culture and diplomacy.

Canada’s Diplomatic Power Rating: 81/100

*Note: This list was written before the Frontier Pack. While it should be noted that Gran Columbia is now the undisputed champion of domination, they are still very new and will probably need some nerfing due to their massively overpowered abilites.
As such, I am trying to not include new civs until they have been rebalanced.

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