A game of Civilization 6 is a personal, unique experience that plays out differently every time you load up a match. An avalanche of variables—things like map layout, included leaders, resource abundance, and starting locations—ensure limitless replayability. A side effect of all these variables, though, is that Civ 6 games have the potential to snowball into a mass of statistics and spreadsheets, diplomatic relationships, and resource management. It can be downright bonkers.
Luckily, there exists a dedicated community of Civ fans who are constantly working to make the game easier to consume and digest. Since Firaxis released the modding tools in 2017, thousands of mods have been made available on the Steam Workshop. They run the gamut from altering UI elements to adding entirely new civilizations. It’s not just gameplay that’s covered, either. There are hundreds of cosmetic mods that exist just to add flavor to your games.
As a hopeless Civ 6 addict, I have experience with quite a few mods. Below, I’ve chosen five of my favorite and explained why they’re important to my personal Civ experience.
Civilization and Leader Mods by JFD
One of the most prolific Civilization VI modders (and my personal favorite) is JFD. Their list of created mods is a mile long, but the shining star of the collection is the “Civilization and Leader” series. JFD has built an enormous stable of new civilizations, as well as alternate leaders for civs already in the game. They have also added content to mods from other creators, further enhancing some of the most beloved stuff available on the Workshop. Each new civ and leader comes with its own special advantages, just as you might expect from any Firaxis-developed ones. Here are some of the more creative of JFD’s civs and leaders:
- Soviet Union
- Isabella I for Spain
- Calvin Coolidge for America
- Nero for Rome
- Hitler for Germany
- Mussolini for Italy
View JFD’s Civilization and Leaders mods here.
Unique District Icons by Leugi
This is a purely cosmetic mod that fixed one of my biggest pet peeves with Civilization 6. While many of the civilizations in the game include districts unique to them, the icons for them in the UI are exactly the same as the basic districts they replace. For example, the icon for Frederick Barbarossa’s Hansa is the same one that represents the Industrial Zone. It’s not a game-breaking feature by any stretch, just something that’s always bummed me out. With the Unique District Icons mod, I don’t have to suffer this eyesore any longer.
Simple UI Adjustments by Sukritact
There’s a lot of information crammed into the user interface of Civilization 6, and it can be frustrating to find exactly what you’re searching for. This mod aims to simplify some of the more basic functions of the UI, such as being able to see which tiles are being worked by hovering over the city banner. It also presents final food yields without forcing the player to do the math. Throw in some new building and district tooltips and you’ve got a well-rounded suite of features that makes it easier to find the info you’re after.
Religion Expanded by p0kiehl
For players who favor the religious route to victory, Religion Expanded is an absolute must-download. It eliminates the early-game anxieties of rushing for faith by raising the cap for religions to a maximum of 16, depending on the map size. It also adds a bunch of new pantheons and more than 40 new beliefs that let you further customize your religion. The addition of eight new buildings further enhances the religious game by adding more ways to generate faith. If you pair this with a mod that adds new great prophets to the game, religion becomes a truly powerful victory condition.
Mappa Mundi by thecrazyscotsman
One of my favorite features that came with the Gathering Storm expansion for Civilization 6 how the game generates randomized names for geographical landmarks on the world map. It’s only cosmetic, but it makes the world feel genuinely alive. The Mappa Mundi mod goes a step further by adding more than 15,000 new names and the ability to toggle colonial names for European civs. I feel like I shouldn’t love this mod as much as I do, but after dozens of hours of seeing the same names pop up over and over, Mappa Mundi is surprisingly refreshing. It’s amazing how such a simple mod can make Civ feel new again.
And those are five of my favorite Civilization VI mods. What are yours? Let us know in the comments section!