Civilization 6: District Guide

The new district system is the backbone of the economy in Civilization 6. If you want to succeed on Deity it is important to understand how your district choices shape your strategy and propel you toward victory. This guide will go over how each district should be evaluated when working toward different victory conditions. It will also describe how districts should be combined and placed on the map.

Categorizing the Districts

Victory Districts:

  1. Campus District
  2. Theater District
  3. Holy Site

Support Districts:

  1. Industrial Zone
  2. Commerce Hub
  3. Harbor
  4. Encampment

Population Districts:

  1. Entertainment District
  2. Aqueduct
  3. Neighborhood

This list does not include the Aerodrome or Spaceport. The Aerodrome will be explained as part of the Encampment and the Spaceport role in the final sprint toward a Space Victory is relative self explanatory. A more nuanced look at Spaceport timings will be in a forthcoming guide that is dedicated to the Space victory condition.

Victory Districts

If you are pursuing a Space, Tourism or Religious Victory than you want to build the Campus, Theater District or Holy Site (respectively) in every city without question. Any district in this category that isn’t part of your victory condition should be considered a Support District. Multiple factors push toward monopolizing a single district type: 1) Maximizing critical yield, 2) Government Policies, 3) City States and 4) Great People.

In order to win a Space Victory you need to generate a large amount of Science. Failure to build a Campus District in favor of any other district means sacrificing Science. It is never worth it do give up the critical yield you need. When going for a Science Victory other yields — like Gold and Faith — are useful only to the degree that they help you get more Science.

Government Policies provide +100% adjacency bonuses and later +100% yield from buildings of a specific district type. Policy slots are limited so it is not possible to boost many different types of districts. The policy bonuses dwarf the differences between a non-boosted district with perfect adjacency verse a boosted district with marginal adjacency.

City States provide another reward for monopolizing a specific district type. In the first half of the game you won’t have enough envoys to get the district yield from every City State. Prioritizing a single district and focusing on City States that boost that district will provide more yield than spreading your envoys across multiple district types.

Last, but most important is Great People. Winning the race for Great People requires getting as many Great Person points as possible. The main way to get the points is districts and district buildings. Great People points are more valuable the more of them you generate. As they let you get the Great Person faster and potentially let you get multiple Great People in a row, denying them to your rivals.

Support Districts

Support Districts provide secondary benefits not directly related to the Science, Tourism or Faith needed to win. While you will always build your Victory District in every city, the question of what support districts to build will depend on the terrain around the city and the city’s district budget.

A city’s district budget is not really determined by food but by its housing. Over the course of the game you will gain access to tools that will let you increase your cities’ district budgets. At the start of the game cities on rivers will be able to reach a population of 4 without much trouble but will struggle to reach population 7. Once Feudalism comes online cities will be able to grow to 7 or 10 population. Once Neighborhoods are available cities will be able to easily grow past 10 or 14 population.

Once you have a sense for what a city’s district budget is you can identify which support districts would have the most value.

Population Districts

Population is not really gated by food but by housing and amenities. These districts exist to help you grow. The Entertainment District is the only one that impacts your district budgeting but all of these districts can be used to support adjacency bonuses.

Evaluating Support Districts

When looking at the various support districts when and what should you build? This section lists in rough order what you should be considering. Campus, Industrial Zone and Commercial Hub are the first ones you should be considering.

  • Campus: Even if you aren’t going Space Science is needed to keep your military effective and unlock more buildings.
  • Industrial Zone: It is much easier to get large adjacency bonuses with this district than other districts. Its production will allow you to fill out other districts and their buildings faster.
  • Commercial Hub: This is a deceptively strong support district. The advantage of it is that you don’t need to build any of its buildings (at least right away). You should consider the Trader, not the Market, its first building. This Trader can even be built in an already developed city, easing the burden on young cities. Gold is also critical to executing upgrade based timing attacks (Slingers->Archers, Warriors->Swordsmen, Chariots->Knights). In the late game Democracies can use their large stockpiles of Gold to rush buy all the Great People.
  • Harbor: This district should only really be considered in cities that already have (or will soon get) a Commercial Hub. Cities founded on the coast and a river can have a triangle formation with the city center, Commercial Hub and Harbor. This will gives the Commercial Hub an adjacency of 5. Like the Commercial Hub consider the Trader not the Lighthouse as this district’s first building.
  • Theater: This district is marginal. You can generally get enough Culture with Monuments and the Meritocracy Policy (+1 Culture from every district). Its adjacency bonuses are low and its buildings don’t really provide much Culture unless you can get Great People, which you probably won’t unless you are monopolizing the district.
  • Holy Site: If you want to found a religion but not necessarily pursue a Religious Victory than you will need the Holy Site as your first district in your capital and second city. If you aren’t founding a religion don’t both with Holy Sites at all. It is better to get a Commercial Hub and buy Great People with Gold than to try to do it with Faith.
  • Encampment: With no adjacency this district is usually not worth it. But if you have only one copy of a resource it may save your life. That said, most early game attacks revolve around upgrade timings, which only need one copy of the resource.
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