The best Civ 6 mods

Upcoming PC games Civilization VI

Here are two of the best things about PC gaming: the Civilization series, and the ability to change your games by adding in user-created content. Modding Civ 6, then, is an expression of the very apex of PC gaming. It's peak PC.

Steam Workshop may have only been recently integrated but that didn't stop Civ's vibrant modding community from flexing its creative muscles for months before. We've picked out the cream of the current crop for you to enjoy.

All these mods were made before the Civ 6 SDK was released. We spoke to the best Civ modders - some of whose work you'll find here - about what they want to see in the Civ 6 toolkit.

Civ 6 unit mods

Unit rebalance

'Unit rebalance' is a slight misnomer - besides some tweaks to unit attributes, this mod by WaterZer0 also makes several common sense changes to the way that units actually behave that go beyond a simple rebalance. Among the changes of which we emphatically approve are:

  • All unit upgrade costs reduced by roughly 33%.
  • Anti-cavalry units get their anti-cav bonus doubled to 20. In WaterZer0's words: "most anti-cavalry units would stalemate against cavalry of their era. I don't even have words for how little sense this makes." Harsh but fair, WaterZer0. Harsh, but fair.
  • Scouts and Rangers ignore zone of control and no longer exert it.
  • Military Engineers' build charges doubled to 4.
  • War Carts now require the Wheel and replace the War Chariot. Clearly undermines Sumeria's biggest strength, but will be a welcome change for anyone who's started next to an AI Gilgamesh on higher difficulties. Hopefully humans will still be able to beeline War Carts and get some use out of them.

There are plenty more sensible tweaks, so check out WaterZer0's unit rebalance if you like what you've heard so far.

Moar Units (updated)

The work of Civ modding veteran Deliverator, this mod adds 28 new unique units (UUs) to the game’s existing civs. Many of Deliverator's choices bring back UUs from Civ 5, but some are from his own imagination and historical knowledge. Highlights include:

  • American Minutemen
  • Arabic Camel Archers
  • Chinese Chu-ko-nu
  • English Longbowmen
  • Greek Hetairoi (also known as Alexander's Companion Cavalry)
  • Norwegian Hirdmen
  • Roman Equites
  • Russian Druzhina Cavalry
  • Sumerian Phalanxes

Deliverator acknowledges the risk of imbalance since not all civs will have equal numbers of uniques, but otherwise this is a fun way to add more variety to the armies you and the AI will get to play with. You can visit the mod's page here.

Civ 6 Diplomacy mods

Diplomacy total / fewer AI tantrums

Kavis's diplomacy total spells out the exact values governing your relationship score with the AI. Clearly it's not for those of you who feel information asymmetry is an important part of the game, but even with full diplomatic access, the AI's temperamental vicissitudes can be mystifying. No longer.

If you'd like to have a more consistent experience with the AI without reading their mind, consider instead Quo's fewer AI tantrums. It requires the Aztec DLC, but will calm the AI by dialing down the numbers on their agendas and the random 'first impression' roll when you first meet them.

Here's Kavis's diplomacy total and Quo's fewer AI tantrums.

New Civs

Anno Domini

Making a new civilisation is often the first thing new modders want to learn to do, but (in Civ 5, at least) it was one of the most challenging things you could do with the toolkit. As far as we’re aware, rob8xft was the first modder to add a brand new civ to Firaxis's latest, and in his Anno Domini mod, it comes alongside 13 others(!). 

Rob8xft is a veteran of the Civ modding community, having made previous versions of Anno Domini in both Civ 3 and Civ 5. In Civ 6, as in its predecessor versions, Anno Domini is a “total conversion” mod for the Ancient through Medieval eras, replacing every Civ with someone new. Check it out on CivFanatics here.

Considering how much work is entailed in modding even one whole civ, it’s pretty impressive Rob (we’re assuming that’s his IRL name) has put all this together in less than two weeks. 

You can also check out rob8xft’s Steam Workshop here for his Civ 5 mods.

Civ 6 map mods

Yet (not) Another Maps Pack for Civ 6

The promise of Civ is to live through humanity's history, and something everyone wants to do is actually do this by playing on a map of Earth, with a true-to-life start location for their chosen civ. This continues to elude Firaxis, it seems, as the latest Civ game has once again launched without such a map. Thank goodness for Gedemon, then, who created Earth maps among many others for Civ 5. We've already written about this one, so check out Kirk's story for a full preview and installation instructions.

Civ 6 Religion mods

Religion overhaul

Several members of the modding community have decided that the religion system in Civ 6 could use a few tweaks. For a little more historical flavour, Tomatekh does what he did in Civ 5 and adds icons for dozens of new religions, from Zoroastrianism and Tengriism to Micronesian Itang.

Both RushSecond and anansethespider have had a go at rebalancing the competitiveness of religion overall, agreeing that it's underpowered in multiplayer and could use a tune-up. Both their mods are listed below for your consideration (don't install both, as they'll conflict). Rush goes much further, adding several new beliefs and drastically improving old beliefs and religious buildings, while anansethespider's tweaks are more subtle.

Here are Tomatekh's historical religionsAnansethespider's better religions and RushSecond's religion rebalance at CivFanatics.

Rule with Faith

Rule with Faith (RwF) is the work of veteran Civ modder JFD, who sees it as a continuation of his Rise to Power mod for Civ 5. That mod aimed to bring greater political and religious depth to the game, and RwF does the same, adding a new religious policy slot, 16 new policies and three new governments.

RwF will be continually updated, and JFD hopes it "will come to parallel Rise to Power" in its scale. Download it here.

Civ 6 tweaks

Production queue

Thank you, Lozenged. Much like Counting Crows, who now have to individually order the paving of Paradise and then the construction of a parking lot, we didn't realise what we had in city production queues until they were gone. Restore this crucial quality-of-life function to Civ 6 with Lozenged's production queue.

Restart button

According to Remgrandt, "the restart button [is] already in the game files," but doesn't have any functionality attached to it. His mod simply enables it until Firaxis adds it properly in a patch, so with one click you can exit and restart your current game. Perfect for those who enjoy whiffing their early exploration/construction moves.

Get Remgrandt's restart button at CivFanatics. 

Smoother difficulty

Making a challenging AI is tricky in strategy games, perhaps more so than in any other genre. Designers usually have to resort to giving the AI artificial bumps to resource production, and even free units, to give a savvy player a run for their money. Unfortunately, the way Civ 6 does this can mean certain death for the player before there's anything they can physically do to stop it, as the AI swamps you with its five free Warriors (we’re not kidding - to see how much cheese drips from the AI on Deity difficulty, see our article on Civ 6 difficulties).

Fortunately, here’s RushSecond with a solution. This mod removes most of the AI’s extra starting units, and instead dials up its resource generation bonuses. The result should be a smoother challenge on higher difficulties, with the AI keeping pace with you throughout the game despite its technical ineptitude, yet unable to stuff you in the first two dozen turns through an unfair unit advantage.

Grab RushSecond's smoother difficulty mod here.

PhotoKinetik Westeros

For those of you who didn’t take to Civ 6’s vibrant aesthetic, here’s [email protected]!n (no idea if that's trying to spell a real word) with a reshade mod. Inspired by the Game of Thrones opening sequence, it mutes Civ 6’s colours to give a cooler, more mature, washed-out look, as you see above.

You can download PhotoKinetik Westeros here. Note that it has some more complicated installation instructions than most other mods on this list as it relies on ReShade, a separate post-processing application, to achieve its effects. You can download ReShade here.

These are just a few of our current favourites - feel free to browse for yourself at CivFanatics and Nexus Mods. Having been spoiled with terrific content since Civ 5's launch in 2010, we know that the modding community is capable of so much more. Once the Steam workshop support for Civ 6 multiplayer modding is patched in, we're hoping they'll get around to some more complex additions.

Which of these are you going to install? Have you found any that we missed? Tell us all about them in the comments.

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Diadras avatarTekiewolf avatarPirate Putin avatarBardic Knowledge avatarIriscal avatarSuprentus avatar+9
Tekiewolf Avatar
7
1 Year ago

All I want out of a Civ6 mod is Fall From Heaven 2 but for Civ6. That was still one the best and most interesting mods for Civ4.

5
7heBored Avatar
2
7heBored(6 days 2 hours played)
12 Months ago

This, I want to see how my Calabim and Elohim would fair in this new system

2
Boltaway Avatar
2
Boltaway(4 days 14 hours played)
11 Months ago

I went through the trouble of logging in and getting the stupid steam access code just to upvote this

2
Mattakar Avatar
2
Mattakar(6 days 15 hours played)
10 Months ago

Best Civ mod ever. Crap, just saying Fall From Heaven makes me want to reload Civ IV.

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Iriscal Avatar
3
12 Months ago

>daniel radcliffe

>not Saber Arturia

Do you EVEN Fate/Stay Night?

2
Shriven Avatar
3453
Shriven(26 days 18 hours played)
12 Months ago

I think Rocky would make a great US leader. The way he defeated communism single handed in Rocky 4 was amazing.

2
mgagnon Avatar
2
11 Months ago

I strongly agree FFH for Civ 6 would be awesome. Are there any public notes/docs on modding Civ6?

2
Diadras Avatar
1
1 Year ago

I like this list!

1
Pirate Putin Avatar
1
Pirate Putin(17 hours played)
1 Year ago

In Game Editor to make making mods easier :)

1
Bardic Knowledge Avatar
1
1 Year ago

I've got a list full of mod civs I wanted to have made in Civ V (but completely lacked the capability to do so).

There'll need to be some tweaks to fit the new structure of VI, but I hope I can actually get them working!

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Suprentus Avatar
1
Suprentus(9 days 11 hours played)
12 Months ago

I want to see someone do the science victory justice like in the earlier civs. I want to be able to assemble my ship piece by piece and actually look at it in orbit before I decide to launch it. I want to be able to launch the ship before it's completed with a lower chance that it'll make it, and I want the voyage itself to actually take several turns.

1
Shriven Avatar
3453
Shriven(26 days 18 hours played)
10 Months ago

Has anyone done a mod to get actual images of the Great People in the portrait sections that are clearly desinged for it? If they try to sell us that as DLC ill riot.

1
Dartmor Avatar
1
Dartmor(9 days 20 hours played)
9 Months ago

I represent Civilization League, the oldest and most experienced multiplayer community. We are focusing on Civ 6 now, and making mods for online sessions. Currently we are working on improving One-City Challenge mod and more mods will be made in future. Check out our forums and see current list of mods available: http://www.civplayers.com/index.php?section=smf&topic=10522.0;prev_next=next#new

1
TsunamiWombat Avatar
637
TsunamiWombat(9 days 9 hours played)
7 Months ago

For Mods, may I suggest the following

Take your Time (Science) and Take your time (Civic), which are multi type mods that alter and increase the research time for technologies. Why the hell would you want this? It makes each era more meaningful and longer, and allows for multiturn wars. Play on quick speed with science and civic time double for a much, much smoother and better game pace, IMO.

CQUI: Weekly updated mod, complete UI overhaul that combines the utility of a lot of other mods. Very good.

1
rayden1 Avatar
1
rayden1(1 day 21 hours played)
5 Months ago

Yet (not) Another Maps Pack for Civ 6. I downloaded this but the instructions don't make sense as they say one should go to "additional content" but I can find no such folder. Can anyone help, please?

1
Essence of Adventure Avatar
1
12 Months ago

I disagree with you on so many levels. The Civ series is DEFINITELY not the best game series on PC. Not even close. And GOT mods, such as the AGOT mod in CK2, are usually improve the game so much. So stop forcing your opinions on us, and learn to write a good, unbiased article.

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