Civ 6 Tier List – Best Civ 6 Leaders Guide 2023

Here are the top of the line leaders whom you can consider playing with in Civilization 6.
civ 6 tier list

CIV 6: Guide for all the Tiers and Best Leaders


CIV 6 is a massive replayable 4X Strategy Game with over 40 different civilizations to play in. there are five different paths to victory:

  • Domination
  • Science
  • Diplomacy
  • Religion
  • And Tourism

Each leader and CIV favor at least one of the above paths. Most of them are competent enough to pursue any of the conditions. However, not all the CIVs are equal and there is a difference among all of them. This post is meant for you to decide which one out of the List of Tiers in CIV 6 you would pick up as per your convenience.

Before we start our journey through the list we would like to share that CIV 6 is a living game. It is literally a breathing game that is being constantly tweaked and updated by Firaxis. This list that we are going to delve out is just a window to the game. It just shows the look and feel of the game after the September 2019 updates. Our research on it from forums of the CIV 6. Stations like Civilization Subreddit and the Civilization Fanatics are the places for our opinion.

The general way of organizing this post has been to organize civilizations as per their categories after the difficulty level in the Game.  The best CIVs as per their category are:

  • Deity
  • Immortal
  • Emperor
  • King
  • Prince
  • Warlord
  • Chieftain
  • And lastly Settler categories.

So, let us begin our journey on CIV 6 without delay.

Tier list and the Rankings for new CIVs

As per our opinion we have listed Ethiopia in the third tier, Emperor. It is unique in fashion that it doesn’t compromise Science to pursue religion and still it can manage Cultural and Religious victories. Some of its great and unique abilities make it strong not only in the early stages, but also up to the middle ages. However, it is yet to be seen that whether or not it can stand up to the strongest civilizations in the game.

  • Ethiopia (Menelik II) – Emperor Tier

The Deity Tier Civilizations

  • Japan (Hojo Tokimune)
  • Russia (Peter I)
  • Macedonia (Alexander)
  • Germany (Frederick Barbarossa)
  • Gran Colombia (Simon Bolivar) – NEW

These are top of the line civilizations in the Deity tier. For Domination Victories, Japan and Macedonia are the top choices. The bonus for Japan is its units on the coastal lines. Thus you should look forward to settle near the coastal areas looking towards the ocean. You can always go for an early game navy for being unconquerable and unstoppable. While Alexander’s Macedonia is not the least weary of war, so, you can declare war on your opponents any time you like. You can also take over cities with wonder as this will heal your units.

If you are looking up for a civilization strong in culture and religion Peter I of Russia is the guy to go to. He has passive bonus culture for all the three civics that you have learned. That means you will gather tons of bonus culture while playing the game. If you ask which is the most rounded civilization then undoubtedly it is Russia.

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The Hansa makes Germany count in the Deity tier. If you are looking for embracing production you can then pick up Germany as your civilization and make many a Hansas for yourself. The standard industrial zones are replaced by these. The production cost are pretty low and adjacency bonuses can be responsible for absurd figures in production in the cities that you delve in.

Gran Colombia too, just like Germany, is in this tier for a single reason, Domination. This civ has mobility unparalleled by any other civilization. No other civilization comes close to it when it comes to mobility. However, Colombia is just average at other win conditions. But the strength is ample to put it over to the top.

The Immortal Tier Civilizations

  • Maya (Lady Six Sky) – NEW
  • Korea (Seondeok)
  • Australia (John Curtin)
  • Persia (Cyrus)s
  • Sumeria (Gilgamesh)
  • France (Catherine de Medici)
  • Rome (Trajan)
  • Nubia (Amanitore)
  • Hungary (Matthias Corvinus)
  • Māori (Kupe)
  • Greece (Pericles)
  • Greece (Gorgo)
  • Mongolia (Genghis Khan)
  • Arabia (Saladin)
  • Dutch (Wilhelmina)
  • Ottoman (Suleiman)
  • Aztec (Montezuma)
  • Brazil (Pedro II)
  • Canada (Wilfrid Laurier)

The defenses are robust of the immortal tier civilizations. These civilizations can be beaten. But I fin the right hands these civilizations are literally invulnerable. All the styles of play are present in this tier. From Brazil’s commendable religious strengths to Rome’s dependence on either culture or domination types of victories and to mention the scientific ways of the Dutch. Naval experience is quite realistic because of the Maori’s inclusion in the Gathering Storm Expansion.  Canada is for those who are a bit bent on isolation.

Gorgo and Pericles – both Greek leaders are in this tier. They play quite in different fashions although their strengths are in culture centric games. Pericles gains from city and state Suzerainty. Whereas, Gorgo benefits by killing enemy units.

Catherine de Medici is a favorite of many. This leader is from France. The Gathering Storm update she has become an important diplomatic figure. It is interesting to know that she has an extra spy slot. And it is quite relevant that her spies come along free promotion. France’s chateau tile improvement and the focus of its on tourism de Medici is the chosen for culture-oriented gameplay.

And yes! Gilgamesh is in this tier for friendly approach of his.

Maya rules in the science victory part and is the ideal nation for that. But the beautiful part is that they can pivot well to other victory types as well. They are however, not meant for religious alone victory. The strategy of building tall is ideal for resource generation. That applies particularly for science but may not be suitable for other types. It is a cool upgrade from Korea.

The Emperor Tier Civilizations

  • America (Teddy Roosevelt)
  • Zulu (Shaka)
  • Egypt (Cleopatra)
  • Phoenicia (Dido)
  • France (Eleanor of Aquitaine)

This tier of Emperor Civilizations is relatively small. However, it offers quite some good options for looking up to secure a cultural victory. America, Egypt, Phoenicia, and Elanor of Aquitaine France are all good options for a culture game. But Zulu are strongest in domination victory. Options such as American diplomacy and Phoenicia ‘s strong science also remain. Religious victory although is a bit underrepresented by Emperor tier.

The King Tier Civilizations

  • England (Victoria)
  • Sweden (Kristina)
  • Inca (Pachacuti)
  • Poland (Jadwiga)
  • China (Qin Shi Huang)
  • Mali (Mansa Musa)
  • Indonesia (Gitarja)

Queen Victoria for England benefits from possibility of expanding beyond her homeland. If you see the gathering Storm update the trade routes capacity is greatly increased by Victoria for cities that forms in each continent.

For a religious victory, you can lay your hands on the Inca. The leader Pachacuti has special abilities that can make your mountains in the empire even more valuable. Even a scientific victory is possible as well because it is a bonus that the cities get a bonus from the mountains. That means you should go to your cities near the mountains.

Poland is based on religion as well.

Giterja from Indonesia has the ability to purchase naval units with faith. Also, extra faith is generated for cities which are situated near lakes and coasts.

The Prince Tier Civilizations

  • India (Chandragupta)
  • Khmer (Jayavarman VII)

We have only two civilizations in this tier of Prince Tier. One is Chandraguta from India and another is Jayaverman VII from Khmer. Khmer is a good combination of culture and religion. You can see the reason for that is bombing nearby tiles when finishing a holy site. Also the units of Chandragupta gain extra movement when he declares war. But these special abilities could only place them in the Prince tier only.

The Warlord Tier Civilizations

  • Kongo (Mvemba a Nzinga)
  • Spain (Phillip II)
  • Scythia (Tomyris)
  • Scotland (Robert the Bruce)

While we approach the bottom of the tier list, we see civilizations which do not offer anything in particular. The four leaders that we see come with bonuses already available with other civilizations. Only those other covered civilizations have them better with them.

However, there is still something good about it. For example, Tomyris’ ability of producing two Saka Horse Archer units in one go. Plus, Scythia can easily overtake units those are wounded accredited to the killer of Cyrus leader bonus. With these powers they can deal bonus damage to the opponent’s units which are already wounded.

The Chieftain Tier Civilizations

  • England (Eleanor of Aquitaine)
  • Cree (Poundmaker)
  • Mapuche (Lautaro)

There is a second possible leader for England – Eleanor of Aquitaine. Her leader bonus provides incentives settling near enemy cities. However, doing so in light of lack of Domination bonus is quite a dangerous prospect. There are even chances of rebellion with the loyalty system introduced in the Rise and Fall expansion.

The Cree has bonuses focused on trade which may seem look nice on the surface. But thety aren’t that much of a use practically.

Besides that, Mapuche has a heavy head towards loyalty system.

The Settler Tier Civilizations

  • India (Ghandi)
  • Norway (Harald Hardrada)
  • Georgia (Tamar)

Lastly, we have the Settler Tier. By now you would have already guessed that this tier doesn’t have too much to offer. But as an opponent to you can always be aware of their properties. Norway’s navy is made useless by other better leaders. Tamar is too reliant on achieving Golden Ages. The leader bonus of Ghandi is far more situational and inconsistent. They form the lowest rung in the ladder.


We have done a bit from our side now the gates are open for you to choose your civ and game on. Hope you enjoyed this post. Please share your thoughts on it.

Further reading…

Tyler Adams
Tyler Wilson is the Editor-in Chief on CultofGamer. He spends most of his time playing Destiny 2 along with his homies. His powerful rig doesn't let him left his Gamestation.