In this article, we decided to put together the ultimate Civ 6 Tier List. We will be ranking everything from leaders and civilizations, to pantheons, to wonders and natural wonders for the complete game (vanilla plus Rise and Fall, Gathering Storm, and New Frontier).
Last Updated: May 1st, 2021. This update includes the major April 22, 2021 update that re-balances many of the Civs.
- Civ 6 Tier List: Primary List
- Civ 6 Tier List: All Civs and Leaders Ranked by Victory Condition
- Civ 6 Tier List: Civ Abilities Ranked
- Civ 6 Tier Lists: Pantheons and Religion
- Civ 6 Tier Lists: Government and Wonders
- Conclusion and Background Information
With so many expansions added, Civilization 6 players can now pick from a long list of civilizations and leaders before starting the game. As of Gathering Storm (and New Frontier Pass), there are 58 leaders / civs in the game if you take into account all of the expansions. Clearly, different leaders have different strengths and weaknesses, and when you compound other elements of this gameplay (such as which victory condition you are pursuing, or which pantheon you should select), this game becomes all the more complex.. which prompted us to prepare this Civ 6 Tier List. This, of course, is not a bad thing: Civilization is notoriously addictive and the re-playability is excellent because you are able to continually experiment with different strategic approaches. Throw in some randomness with each time you start on a new map, and you have a compelling experience every time you hit “Start Game”.
Without further ado, see below for the ultimate Civ 6 Tier List where we have ranked 58 leaders and civs in order to see who is the best and worst. Scroll down further to see a breakdown by victory type.
- Japan (Hojo Tokimune)
- Russia (Peter)
- Portugal (João III)
- Australia (John Curtin)
- Maori (Kupe)
- America (Bullmoose Teddy)
- Greece (Gorgo)
- Hungary (Matthias Corvinus)
- Egypt (Cleopatra)
- Gran Columbia (Simon Bolivar)
- Brazil (Pedro II)
- Persia (Cyrus)
- Arabia (Saladin)
- America (Rough Rider Teddy)
- Korea (Seondeok)
- Greece (Pericles)
- Ethiopia (Menelik II)
- Maya (Lady Six Sky)
- Phoenician (Dido)
- Sumeria (Gilgamesh)
- Babylon (Hammurabi)
- Khmer (Jayavarman VII)
- Mali (Mansa Musa)
- China (Qin Shi Huang)
- China (Kublai Khan)
- Spain (Phillip II)
- Inca (Pachacuti)
- Dutch (Wilhelmina)
- Nubia (Amanitore)
- Aztec (Montezuma)
- Byzantium (Basil II)
- Polish (Jadwiga)
- Georgia (Tamar)
- Vietnam (Bà Triệu)
- Indonesia (Gitarja)
- Germany (Frederick Barbarossa)
- Rome (Trajan)
- Sweden (Kristina)
- Canada (Wilfrid Laurier)
- France (Catherine de Medici)
- Ottoman (Suleiman)
- England (Victoria)
- France (Magnificence Catherine)
- Mongolia (Genghis Khan)
- Mongolia (Kublai Khan)
- Zulu (Shaka)
- Macedon (Alexander)
- Gaul (Ambiorix)
- Mapuche (Lautaro)
- England (Eleanor of Aquitaine)
- Scythia (Tomyris)
- Kongo (Mvemba a Nzinga)
- France (Eleanor Aquitaine)
- Scotland (Robert the Bruce)
- Cree (Poundmaker)
- India (Ghandi)
- Norway (Harald Hardrada)
- India (Chandragupta)
Once you decide which type of victory you want to pursue, you need to choose a proper civilization and a good leader. Some civilizations excel in certain victory types, so be careful what you choose. For example, according to our Civ 6 Tier List, if you choose an S-Tier leader that specializes in science and religion like Arabia, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best Civ if you are going for global domination. So, be sure to consider how you intend to play: what is your ultimate goal?
Victory Type Legend:
- Dom: Domination
- Sci: Science
- Cul: Culture
- Reli: Religion
- Dipl: Diplomacy
- Gol: Gold
- Tot: Total
|Japan (Hojo Tokimune)||7||7||7||7||4||6||38||S|
|Portugal (João III)||5||8||7||4||5||8||37||S|
|Australia (John Curtin)||5||8||7||6||5||6||37||S|
|America (Bullmoose Teddy)||5||7||8||5||8||4||37||S|
|Hungary (Matthias Corvinus)||8||7||4||4||7||6||36||A|
|Gran Columbia (Simon Bolivar)||8||6||6||6||4||6||36||A|
|Brazil (Pedro II)||4||7||8||7||4||6||36||A|
|America (Rough Rider Teddy)||6||6||7||4||8||5||36||A|
|Ethiopia (Menelik II)||6||6||6||8||5||4||35||B|
|Maya (Lady Six Sky)||6||8||5||5||5||6||35||B|
|Khmer (Jayavarman VII)||6||6||7||8||4||4||35||B|
|Mali (Mansa Musa)||3||5||6||8||5||8||35||B|
|China (Qin Shi Huang)||4||7||8||5||5||6||35||B|
|China (Kublai Khan||4||7||7||5||5||7||35||B|
|Spain (Phillip II)||7||7||4||6||4||7||35||B|
|Byzantium (Basil II)||8||5||5||8||3||5||34||C|
|Vietnam (Bà Triệu)||7||6||8||4||4||4||33||D|
|Germany (Frederick Barbarossa)||8||7||6||4||2||6||33||D|
|Canada (Wilfrid Laurier)||4||5||8||4||8||4||33||D|
|France (Catherine de Medici)||6||5||8||4||4||5||32||D|
|France (Magnificence Catherine)||5||5||8||4||4||5||31||F|
|Mongolia (Genghis Khan)||8||6||6||5||2||4||31||F|
|Mongolia (Kublai Khan)||6||6||6||5||3||5||31||F|
|England (Eleanor of Aquitaine)||5||6||6||3||3||7||30||F|
|Kongo (Mvemba a Nzinga)||5||6||7||1||4||7||30||F|
|France (Eleanor Aquitaine)||5||4||8||4||4||4||29||LOL|
|Scotland (Robert the Bruce)||5||8||4||3||4||5||29||LOL|
|Norway (Harald Hardrada)||6||4||4||6||1||7||28||LOL|
Firstly, it’s important to emphasize that this is a subjective selection. Depending on your playstyle, and the typical strategies you employ, you could get more utility out of an F-Tier Civ than someone who misuses an S-Tier Civ. In our editorial opinion, of the S-Tier Civs, we would choose Hojo of Japan as the single best leader in Civ 6.
Our selection for Japan as the top Civilization in this game would be on the basis of their well-roundedness. Japan’s varying abilities appear throughout early, mid, and late game. Japan’s abilities are also wide-ranging and can be useful regardless of the Victory condition that you are pursuing. This allows for an additional degree of flexibility for players who need to pivot into another direction should the game go into an unexpected direction.
Our choice for second best Civ would be Russia. Russia is also relatively well-rounded (a bit weaker on Science), but has an important advantage when it comes to start bias. Since Russia starts near (or on) Tundra, this means that you will start on the edge of your continent and there won’t be anyone to your North (or South). Often, you can expand your early Civs in one direction and then also cover your West (or East). This means that during early game, Russia is less likely to have issues where they are facing opposition from every direction. Of course, this issue fades during later game when Naval warfare enters into the game. Nevertheless, this gives players confidence that they have fewer fronts to worry about when they get started.
While the definitions below primarily apply to Civs and Leaders, you will notice that there are Civ Tier Lists further down in this article which address other elements of the game. To keep things simple, S is considered the best, followed by A, B, C, D, F and finally LOL (A ProClockers special).
Another very important consideration is that sometimes civilizations and leaders have bonuses that do not fit under any victory condition. For example, Kublai Khan of Mongolia has a benefit of having an additional economic card slot. This is a great ability, but does not fit under any of the victory conditions. So, we recommend that you check out the abilities on the next page to see which ones the official tier list above might be missing.
These are the best Civs in the game. They are always highly proficient in more than one way, allowing the player to approach the game in a more flexible manner. If, for example, you play as the very well-rounded Japan, you are not going to have many disadvantages in pursuing Domination, Science, Culture, or Religion. S-Tier is great for new players and casual players.
Similar to S-Tier, these Civs are also flexible. However, they are more notably disadvantaged in certain spaces. While they may still be great for certain game-play strategies, they may have notable disadvantages as well. As an example, Pedro II of Brazil is great for Culture and Religion, but it’s best to avoid domination gameplay with this Civ unless you are looking for a challenge. B-Tier is a continuation of A-Tier; these civs are slightly less well-rounded, and also have notable disadvantages. They are still suitable for most players.
C-Tier is where it gets interesting, because this is where pre-planning becomes important. When selecting one of these leaders, it is ideal to know what you are pursuing from the get-go, and to carefully consider each turn, because if your options are limited, you can’t afford to fall behind. D-Tier and F-Tier are similar, but are more challenging.
Alright, we admit it, we invented “LOL-Tier”. However, there’s nothing funny about them. These are the most challenging Civs to play as in the game, because they do not have any significant advantages. These civs are great if you are looking to test your overall ability, because well-roundedness is critical.
In short, yes. This tier list is equally applicable to both multiplayer and single player games. It ultimately depends on your competitiveness. For a casual single player game, if you are just relaxing and not trying to execute a perfect game plan, then don’t sweat it. The differences between the Civs are not dramatic enough to flip the game in your favor if you aren’t meticulously taking advantage of all of your Civ’s bonuses. On the flip side, against a strong opponent, you need to utilize as many of the bonuses associated with your Civ as possible. Study up!
On the next page, we will give you even more detailed data. We will score every single special ability so you will see where we are coming from with our overall tier rankings. Alternatively, jump back to the Table of Contents to go to a different section.