Civilization 6: All Difficulty Levels [Explained]

Learn about all the Civilization 6 difficulty levels, from the easiest to the hardest, and find tips on how to beat them.

There are 8 Civilization 6 difficulty levels, and the game provides a unique gaming experience requiring strategic planning and decision-making skills. One of the game’s defining features is the difficulty levels, which range from Settler, the easiest level, to Deity, the most challenging level. 

Key Takeaways
  • There are 8 difficulty settings in Civ 6, and they’re listed here:
    • Settler is the easiest level of Civilization 6, which leads to faster victory.
    • Chieftain is similar to settler mode but with reduced XP and Combat
    • Warlord is the next level up of Chieftain Mode but with slightly challenging gameplay.
    • Prince is the baseline difficulty level, with no bonuses or combat buffs for players and AI.
    • King is a tougher challenge than Prince mode, with all advantages transferred to AI opponents.
    • Emperor is a significant step up in difficulty from King mode, with even more buffs and bonuses for the AI.
    • Immortal is a nightmare for unprepared players, with every new city fortified with ancient walls.
    • Deity is the most difficult and challenging level of Civilization 6, one that will definitely give tough luck.

All Difficulty Levels In Civ 6

Here’s a brief summary of every difficulty level in Civ 6, along with their bonuses and rewards:

Difficulty LevelAl Production and Gold BonusesAl Science/ Culture/ Faith BonusesPlayer Combat BonusPlayer Combat XPBarbarian Camp GoldReward
Setller+0%+0%+3%+45%45.0Game, Settler, Match Achievement
Cheiftain+0%+0%+2%+30%40.0Irish Heartbeat Achievement
Warlord+0%+0%+1%+15%35.0Warlording over others Achievement
Prince+20%+8%+0%+0%30.0The Prince Achievement
King+40%+16%+0%+0%30.0Divine Right of Kings Achievement
Emperor+60%+24%+0%+0%30.0Emperor’s New Groove Achievement
Immortal+80%+32%+0%+0%30.012 Labors of Hercules Achievement
Deity+100%+40%+0%+0%30.0God-Like Achievement

Settler

Settler is the easiest level in the civilization 6 difficulty levels. This level has some advantages, like resource abundance, and it also leads to faster victory than other difficulty levels. The settler’s lower aggression helps players develop their civilizations rather than their AI opponents attacking them.

Settler Mode Key Features

  • In Settler mode, the AI receives a combat debuff of -1, while players receive a combat buff of +3.
  • Players on the Settler difficulty level receive a 45% increase in XP.
  • Settler mode also provides a bonus of +15 gold for every barbarian camp cleared by the player.
  • Finally, beating the AI on the Settler difficulty level unlocks the “Game, Settler, Match” achievement.

Chieftain

Chieftain Mode in Civ 6 is quite similar to Settler Mode. But the downside of Chieftain mode is that XP and Combat bonus will be reduced. Overall, Chieftain mode provides a good balance of challenge and accessibility for players who are looking for a more challenging gameplay experience than Settler mode but who are not yet ready to take on the more difficult levels.

Chieftain Difficulty Level
Chieftain Mode Difficulty Level in Civ 6

Chieftain Mode Key Features

  • In Chieftain mode, the AI receives a combat debuff of -1, while players receive a combat buff of +2.
  • Players on the Chieftain difficulty level receive a 30% increase in XP.
  • Chieftain Mode provides +10 gold for destroying barbarian camps.
  • The achievement called “Irish Heartbeat” is unlocked when you defeat the AI at the Chieftain difficulty level.

Warlord

Warlord difficulty is the next level up from Chieftain mode in Civilization 6 and provides a more challenging gameplay experience. The increased difficulty in combat, longer victory conditions, and slightly reduced XP and gold bonuses make it a more strategic and thoughtful gameplay experience. This mode is great for challenging your abilities after you have won a few games in Chieftain mode.

Warlord Difficulty Level
Warlord Mode Difficulty Level in Civ 6

Warlord Mode Key Features

  • In Warlord Mode, the players receive a combat buff of -1, while AI receives a combat debuff of -1.
  • Warlord mode provides a 15% increase in XP.
  • +5 gold for destroying the barbarian camp.
  • If you can defeat the AI on the Warlord difficulty level, you will earn the achievement called “Warlording over others.”

Prince

Prince difficulty is considered the baseline difficulty level and is the mode recommended for most players who are familiar with the game. There will be no bonuses; therefore, you will be fighting for equality with your AI opponents. If you can successfully win at the Prince difficulty in Civ 6, it indicates that you have acquired enough skills to take on the more difficult modes.

Prince Mode Key Features

  • On Prince difficulty, both the player and AI receive no combat buffs or debuffs.
  • No gold bonuses
  • Beating the AI on the Prince’s difficulty level unlocks the “The Prince” achievement.

King

King difficulty is one step above Prince mode in Civilization 6 and provides a tougher challenge for experienced players who are looking for a more difficult gameplay experience. It requires players to put in more effort because all the advantages that were at their side in previous levels are now transferred to AI opponents.

King Mode Difficulty Level
King Mode Difficulty Level in Civ 6

 King Mode Key Features

  • The AI in King mode receives a bonus of +1 warrior and +1 strength for all units.
  • In King mode, the AI gets an additional 8% bonus for culture, science, and faith.
  • The AI in King mode experiences a 20% boost in gold production.
  • On the construction of their first district, they get one extra builder—furthermore, +10% in XP.
  • Beating the AI on the King difficulty level unlocks the “Divine Right of Kings” achievement.

Emperor

Emperor mode is a challenging difficulty level that provides a significant step up in difficulty from the previous King mode. In Emperor mode, players will face several buffs and bonuses given to the AI, which make it even more challenging to achieve victory. This level makes you feel that everything is going against you. Players who love to take challenges can survive in this mode.

Emperor Mode Key Features

  • The AI receives a substantial boost of 20% bonus experience and 2 additional warriors, and all of their units gain a 2-strength bonus.
  • AI gets a significant increase of 16% for culture, science, and faith.
  • They also receive a massive 40% increase in gold production.
  • After constructing their first district, the AI is granted two additional builders and two settlers. Moreover, they receive 2 free points in either tech or civic boosts.
  • Players who manage to defeat the AI in Emperor mode will receive the “Emperor’s New Groove” achievement as a reward.

Immortal

Succeeding in Immortal mode requires exceptional skills and expertise, as the AI receives tremendous benefits that can turn the gameplay into a nightmare for unprepared players. Every new city established by AI is automatically fortified with ancient walls.

Additionally, a 24% boost in faith, culture, and science is granted, enabling AI to advance through the skill tree at lightning speed. Furthermore, a 60% increase in gold production is bestowed, facilitating the construction of more units.

Immortal Mode Difficulty Level
Immortal Mode Difficulty Level in Civ 6

Immortal Mode Key Features

  • The AI gets 30% bonus experience, 3 additional warriors, and all of their units gain a 3-strength bonus.
  • AI gains a significant 24% increase in culture, science, and faith in this difficulty level.
  • AI gets a massive 60% increase in gold production.
  • The AI gains an additional 2 builders and 2 settlers once they construct their first district, as well as 3 free tech or civic boosts.
  • Players who manage to defeat the AI in Emperor mode will receive the “12 Labors of Hercules” achievement as a reward.

Deity

The AI is given an extra unit compared to the Immortal mode, except for builders. The AI’s gold production has increased to a staggering 80%, which allows them to build more and outpace your settlements.

Additionally, AI receives a 32% boost in culture, science, and faith, making it more challenging to catch up as you progress. Only a small fraction of Civilization 6 players have managed to overcome this difficulty, making it a noteworthy accomplishment.

Deity Mode Key Features

  • The AI gets an impressive 40% increase in bonus experience and receives 5 warriors.
  • All units of the AI players have a formidable +3 strength, making it very difficult to win battles.
  • AI players receive a substantial 32% increase in culture, science, and faith and an astonishing 80% increase in gold production.
  • The AI receives an additional 2 builders and 3 settlers, as well as 4 free points in tech or civic boosts.
  • Defeating the AI in this difficulty level rewards you with “God-Like” achievement.

Wrap Up

The difficulty levels range from Settler, which offers a relatively easy experience, to Deity, which is considered one of the most challenging difficulties in any strategy game. Every difficulty mode in Civilization 6 comes with its own specific challenges, advantages, and benefits, and players need to adjust their gameplay tactics accordingly in order to triumph.

Players can improve their chances of success at the highest difficulty levels by following tips such as prioritizing archers, maximizing trade opportunities, and protecting capital. Whether you’re a casual player or a seasoned veteran, the Civilization 6 difficulty levels offer a challenging and rewarding experience that keeps you engaged for hours.

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Sameer is a Senior Writer & Editor for all sorts of guides on eXputer. He has dove deep into many gaming genres and ended up investing 8,000+ hours on COD titles, Pokemon games, Witcher 3, Minecraft, and Bloodborne. Sameer has a degree in Writing and Editing from the University of Michigan. Additionally, he has several years of writing experience and has worked for Mashable previously. Get familiar with Sameer's gaming library on his PSN and Steam profiles.

Experience: 5+ Years || Previously Worked for Mashable || Education: ACCA

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