How to make your Civilization VI game more interesting

So, I first heard about Civilization VI in one of my university lectures last year. Well, technically two years ago because it was 2019 but it was my second year so yeah. But the whole topic of video games has become somewhat relevant to my course again, so I did a little bit of reflection.

I really struggled to play Civ VI. It is the type of game that I naturally struggle with. By no means is this a type of guide. It is, however, me sharing some things that I did to make the game a little more interesting for me as a history nerd. For reference, since I got this game around May 2020, I’ve had two culture victories. That’s it. One with China and one with England (because I’m already a disappointment to my parents so why not play as England, am I right?).

When I started playing as China, it was around the time that I was doing some work on the Opium Wars. Something I immediately decided to try was limiting my trade because that’s what the Opium Wars were all about. This did make the game difficult as I was going for a cultural victory and something that is vital for a cultural victory is open borders. After a while of building culture up where I could (monuments, theatre squares, wonders etc), I did start trading open borders. Now, it’s important to note that I held back for a really long time. I was at least in the modern era before I started trading. From there, my tourism shot up dramatically. Despite the urge to keep trading in hopes of increasing tourism, I kept it simple and kept people out. It was pretty evident that I was going to win at this point (to the point where the other leaders started to hate me because I was winning), and I had to give the others something as well as open borders. I was hesitant at this point, but I pushed forward and traded. I knew how important open borders were. Eventually, I won the game.

So, how can you make your Civ VI game a little more interesting? Here are some suggestions based on historical accuracy:

  1. Check Wikipedia
    Now, as an academic person, I hate suggesting Wikipedia. However, it’s not as bad as people like to let on. So what you are going to want to do is check out the Wikipedia for the leader you are playing as. You can just read the section about their reign or about their attitudes and that should be enough to give you something to go on.
  2. Google is your friend
    Do a google search on the leader that you’re playing as. Although not all the information is going to be accurate, it will probably give you a better idea about your leader, what they did, and the affect that they had on their subjects.
  3. Pick up a book
    There are tons of books about all sorts of different things. Just keep in mind that there is a huge difference between historical books and journalistic books. I know this one is not going to be for everyone, but it might help the way that you play.
  4. Watch a documentary
    There are so, so many documentaries out there today. The odds that there’s going to be one on your ruler is pretty high. You can have it on in the background and you’ll learn something cool!

So, I hope these suggestions are helpful to you guys. Let me know if you have any tips and tricks for this game (we all know I need them)! Don’t forget to follow my socials (I’m a tad more active on Twitter now), follow my blog for more content and if you’re looking for a stream to watch, head over to 2nerds_1game on Twitch, where me and my fiancé stream most days now!

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