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Desert is a base terrain in Civilization VI. It is found in many parts of the world, sometimes as great expanses, sometimes as single tiles.


Without any Oases or Floodplains, Desert tiles are not suited for settlement (except for Australia and Nubia, which can build their unique tile improvements there; and Mali, which gains a great number of bonuses to Desert tiles). For any city within or near a desert, the bare Desert tiles should be reserved for districts or wonders unless a resource is found there. Thankfully, there are a few resources - such as Salt Salt, Incense Incense, and the all-important Aluminum Aluminum (without which there are no modern airplanes) - that are found mostly or only in deserts.

The Petra wonder can make deserts far more useful: it increases the base yield of Desert tiles to be comparable to Grassland Hills or Rainforest Plains, and extends the bonus to Oases (but not Floodplains). An Oasis in range of Petra will have the outstanding yield of 5 Food Food, 1 Production Production, and 3 Gold Gold!

Deserts can also turn into great Faith Faith boosters for civilizations which adopt the Desert Folklore pantheon. Build a Holy Site in the middle of a desert for a whopping adjacency bonus of +5 or more!

Maui spawns Bananas Bananas on Desert tiles if no luxury resources can be spawned.

Desert names[]

Gathering Storm introduced a new mechanic in which Deserts can have different names based on the first civilization that finds them. Below is the list of the names and civilization of origin.

Desert Civilization Notes
Accona Desert Rome
Al-Dahnā Desert Arabia
Al-Nafūd Arabia
Arabian Desert Arabia
Atacama Desert Mapuche, Inca
Barreiro da Faneca Portugal
Bayuda Desert Nubia
Błędowska Desert Poland The desert lies mainly on the Silesian Highlands in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship. The Błędów Desert is Central Europe's largest accumulation of loose sand in an area away from any sea.
Chihuahuan Desert America
Colorado Plateau Desert America
Danakil Desert Ethiopia
Dasht-e Margo
Đồi Cát Mũi Né Vietnam
El Djouf Mali
Gibson Desert Australia
Gobi Desert Mongolia, China
Great Basin Desert America
Great Sand Sea Egypt
Great Sandy Desert Australia
Great Victoria Desert Australia
Hamad Desert Babylon, Ottomans, Phoenicia
Kalahari Desert
Karakum Desert Scythia
Karapınar Desert Byzantium, Ottomans
Dasht-e Kavir Persia
Kyzylkum Desert Scythia
La Guajira Desert Gran Colombia
Lemnos Desert Greece
Libyan Desert Egypt
Dasht-e Lut Persia
Maniototo Māori
Médanos de Coro Gran Colombia
Mojave Desert America
Namib Desert
Nubian Desert Nubia
Ogaden Desert Ethiopia
Patagonian Desert Mapuche
Qattara Depression Egypt
Qoz Abu Dulu Nubia
Rangipo Desert Māori Not a true desert with regards to rainfall, but frequent strong winds, loose, poor soil and harsh winters mean that only tussock grasses can grow there.
Registan Desert
Rub' al Khali Arabia
Sahara Desert Mali
Sechura Desert Inca
Simpson Desert Australia
Sinai Desert Egypt
Sonoran Desert America
Tabernas Desert Spain
Taklamakan Desert China
Tanami Desert Australia
Tanezrouft Basin Mali
Tatacoa Desert Gran Colombia
Tengger Sand Sea Indonesia
Thal Desert
Thar Desert India

Civilopedia entry[]

In general, deserts are remarkably useless, except to those creatures and man who have learned to live there. The true deserts of the world – the Sahara, Gobi, Mojave, Great Victoria, and such – have been swallowing men and civilizations since history began.


See also[]

Civilization VI Terrains [edit]
Base CoastDesertDesert (Hills)GrasslandGrassland (Hills)HillsLakeMountainsNile River3OceanPlainsPlains (Hills)SnowSnow (Hills)TundraTundra (Hills)
Features Cataract3CliffsFloodplainsDesert FloodplainsGrassland FloodplainsPlains FloodplainsGeothermal Fissure GS-OnlyIceImpact Zone1 2MarshOasisRainforestBurning Rainforest1Burnt Rainforest1Reef R&F-OnlyRiverVolcanic Soil GS-OnlyVolcano GS-OnlyWoodsBurning Woods1Burnt Woods1
Other Barbarian OutpostMeteor Site1Tribal Village
See also ImprovementNatural WonderResource
1 Requires DLC2 Apocalypse mode only • 3 Specific Scenarios only

R&F-Only Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.