The difficulty level is a game setting in Civilization VI that allows players to compete against AI opponents matched to their skills and desire for challenge. In order from lowest to highest, the difficulty levels are as follows:

  • Difficulty Settler (Civ6) Settler
  • Difficulty Chieftain (Civ6) Chieftain
  • Difficulty Warlord (Civ6) Warlord
  • Difficulty Prince (Civ6) Prince
  • Difficulty King (Civ6) King
  • Difficulty Emperor (Civ6) Emperor
  • Difficulty Immortal (Civ6) Immortal
  • Difficulty Deity (Civ6) Deity

Since the computer players are not controlled by advanced AI (i.e. cannot learn from and react to the player's strategies by changing their own accordingly), but instead behave based on a very long list of if-then statements, the game makes the AI leaders more challenging opponents by giving them advantages on higher difficulty levels. The bonuses conferred to both human and AI players on each difficulty level are listed in the table below.

All of the information presented here comes from the articles cited below and the game's XML files.[1][2]

Element Settler Difficulty Settler (Civ6) Chieftain Difficulty Chieftain (Civ6) Warlord Difficulty Warlord (Civ6) Prince Difficulty Prince (Civ6) King Difficulty King (Civ6) Emperor Difficulty Emperor (Civ6) Immortal Difficulty Immortal (Civ6) Deity Difficulty Deity (Civ6)
AI Civ6Science Science/Civ6Culture Culture/Civ6Faith Faith Bonuses +0% +0% +0% +0% +8% +16% +24% +32%
AI Civ6Production Production/Civ6Gold Gold Bonuses +0% +0% +0% +0% +20% +40% +60% +80%
AI Combat Bonus -1 -1 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4
Player Combat Bonus +3 +2 +1 0 0 0 0 0
AI Combat XP +0% +0% +0% +0% +10% +20% +30% +40%
Player Combat XP +45% +30% +15% +0% +0% +0% +0% +0%
AI Free Tech/Civics Boosts 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 4
AI Starting Settlers 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3
AI Starting Warriors 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5
AI Starting Builders 0 0 0 0 1* 1 2 2
Barbarian Camp Civ6Gold Gold 45 40 35 30 30 30 30 30

* The AI receives this Builder after completing its first district.

Finally, it is worth noting that in Gathering Storm, city-states will begin the game with Ancient Walls on Immortal and Deity difficulty.

Related achievementsEdit

Steam achievement Game, Settler, Match (Civ6)
Game, Settler, Match
Win a regular game at Settler difficulty or harder
A reference to the final call in a tennis match.
Steam achievement Irish Heartbeat (Civ6)
Irish Heartbeat
Win a regular game at Chieftain difficulty or harder
Irish Heartbeat is the name of an album by Van Morrison in collaboration with The Chieftains.
Steam achievement Warlording Over Others (Civ6)
Warlording Over Others
Win a regular game at Warlord difficulty or harder
The phrase 'lording over others' refers to being in a dominant position over others.
Steam achievement Machiavelli's Great Work (Civ6)
Machiavelli's Great Work
Win a regular game at Prince difficulty or harder
The Prince is the name of Machiavelli's most famous work of writing.
Steam achievement The Divine Right of Kings (Civ6)
The Divine Right of Kings
Win a regular game at King difficulty or harder
The divine right of kings is the idea that kings are not subject to earthly authority because they rule by the will of God.
Steam achievement Emperor's New Groove (Civ6)
Emperor's New Groove
Win a regular game at Emperor difficulty or harder
A reference to The Emperor's New Groove, a 2000 Disney animated film.
Steam achievement 12 Labors of Hercules (Civ6)
12 Labors of Hercules
Win a regular game at Immortal difficulty or harder
Hercules notoriously had to accomplish 12 seemingly impossible feats to regain his immortality, such as slaying the Hydra and capturing Cerberus alive.
Steam achievement God-Like (Civ6)
Win a regular game at Deity difficulty
In the FPS game Unreal Tournament, 'God-like' was one of the largest killstreak ranks. The ranking names were popular, and set a precedent for many multiplayer video games to follow.


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