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The German people represent a civilization in Civilization VI. They are led by Frederick Barbarossa, under whom their default colors are gray and black.

The Germans' civilization ability is Free Imperial Cities, which allows their cities to build one more District District beyond normal Citizen Population limits. Their unique unit is the U-Boat (which replaces the Submarine), and their unique District District is the Hansa (which replaces the Industrial Zone).


Starting bias: Tier 5 towards Rivers

Germany is an extremely versatile civilization which can pursue any victory condition it wants, but it is best suited for a Science or Domination Victory. You can simply conquer and absorb any nearby city-states to expand your empire, and you won't have to worry about barbarians or another civilization declaring war since you'll be able to raise a decent army without having to waste turns producing Settlers.

Holy Roman Emperor[]

The Holy Roman Emperor ability is very useful early in the game due to the fact that you can focus purely on military. Having an extra military policy slot in all governments, in particular, is incredibly useful in the early game, as you get to slot both Survey and Discipline, which gives you both a boost to Scout experience and Barbarian battles. Since Scouts are not really that useful to Germany, you should beeline Craftsmanship and slot Agoge. Once Agoge is up and running, start your conquest of neighboring city-states.

Even an army of Warriors, with the Holy Roman Emperor ability, should easily take over city-states in the early game. However, when absorbing city-states into your empire, you probably want to spare Toronto/Mexico City. Their Suzerain bonus makes it so your Factories' bonuses reach farther, which means your cities will get Production Production from a Hansa within 9 tiles. Note that the Factory bonuses do not stack anymore after the Fall 2017 Update.

If Pericles is in your game, you should have little trouble keeping him in check - instead of competing with him for Envoy Envoys, you can simply assimilate any city-states he befriends, which will deny him a Culture Culture bonus without angering him.

Free Imperial Cities[]

Normally, the maximum number of specialty District Districts you can build in a city ties to its Citizen Population: a city with with 1 Citizen Population can build 1 specialty District District, and for every 3 Citizen Population after that you can build 1 additional specialty District District. For Germany, you can build 1 more specialty District District in every situation, so a city with 1 Citizen Population can build 2 specialty District Districts, a city with 4 Citizen Population can build 3 specialty District Districts, and so on.

This ability is simple, but effective. The extra District District slot can be really handy for new cities or ones with low growth rates. Considering that Germany's main victory path is scientific, at just 4 Citizen Population, a city can build a Campus, a Commercial Hub and a Hansa, making it incredibly productive despite having very few citizens to work the tiles, and without causing further strain on your Amenities Amenities. When you settle cities, unless those cities are solely for the purposes of claiming strategic land location or securing strategic resources, make sure you keep them close together to maximize your Hansa output. (See below for specifics.) Little farming space can easily be compensated by high Production Production from multiple-Hansa complexes. Great Engineer Great Engineers Mimar Sinan and Leonardo da Vinci can be helpful, since you would want to build many Hansas anyway and these two Great Engineer Great Engineers provide even more bonuses for doing so.

This ability can also be slightly useful when you successfully conquer a city-state or an enemy city. Conquered cities will lose Citizen Population, and they can come with some undesirable District District choices. Having an increased number of District District slots everywhere means you do not have to wait to build District Districts you actually need.


Arguably the strongest weapon in the German arsenal, and one of the most revered pieces of unique infrastructure in the game, very similar to its counterpart in Civilization V: Brave New World, the Hansa turns Germany into a Production Production powerhouse. In vanilla and Rise and Fall, just try to look for areas rich in resources (strategy, bonus, and/or luxury), settle your cities close together so that you can have a central core of multiple Commercial Hubs and multiple Hansas, and you will be off to a good start. In this respect, the Germans are very similar to the Japanese, since they also love closely-settled cities for high adjacency bonuses, so you can apply the experience you have playing as the Japanese here to get the maximum adjacency bonus out of the Hansa. When founding new cities, be sure to make them in pairs so you can place your Hansas and Commercial Hubs in a diamond position - place two Commercial Hubs near each other with one tile in between them, then place the Hansas in between them, adjacent to each other, to get a huge Production Production bonus.

In Gathering Storm, the basic Industrial Zone gets even stronger, since it now receives major adjacency bonuses from Canals, Dams, and Aqueducts, making the Hansa even more of a beast. The basics of this District District is unchanged, as you still need to prioritize settling in resource-rich areas, but now, with new adjacency rules in place, each Hansa can grant up to 50 Production Production if planned properly. Before, you can only get a decent Hansa if your cities are in resourch-rich areas (which is not a guarantee), and close to your other cities, but now, even a standalone city in an area with few resources can turn into a bustling Production Production center with a bit of city planning.

The simplest configuration for Hansas in standalone cities

  • The easiest city configuration to achieve is the single Hansa formation, where you have to try your best to flank your Hansa with an Aqueduct, a Commercial and a Dam. In a less likely situation, the Dam can be replaced with a Canal, or in an even less likely situation, both a Dam and a Canal can be fit into this configuration. The point here is to surround the Hansa with as many District Districts that grant major adjacency bonuses as possible. Remember, each District District around your Hansa also grants 0.5 Production Production (rounded down) for being a District District, so if your Hansa is next to 2 of these 4 District Districts, it will earn at least 5 Production Production, not 4. Of course, you should try to minimize the number of standalone cities when playing as Germany, but these cities can be crucial in securing strategic land positions or resources. This is also the only configuration where a Dam or a Canal can fit into the planning, since there is not much you can change about the positioning of these two engineering District Districts, compared to the Aqueduct.

The most common configuration for Hansas in cities that are close to at least another city. This formation, if planned correctly, should allow each Hansa to touch at least 3 other major-adjacency District Districts

The strategic view of the double Hansa configuration

  • The most common configuration and also the one that you should attempt to achieve is the double Hansa formation, where a District District complex is placed between two cities and each Hansa is flanked by at least 3 major-adjacency District Districts. If you manage to build next to each Hansa one more District District, each of them will have at least 8 Production Production as the starting adjacency, and that has not taken into account possible resources nearby. This is also the most versatile configuration of the three introduced, since the locations of these District Districts can be changed slightly. However, always keep this question in mind when planning a double Hansa configuration: "Does each of my Hansa touch at least 3 other major-adjacency District Districts?" If the answer is yes, you are good to go.

The most complex yet very satisfying configuration for Hansas that, if pulled off, will reward a huge amount of Production Production to all cities involved

The strategic view of the triple Hansa configuration

A view of the Hansa adjacencies through the Empire lens

  • Last but not least, the triple Hansa is the most complex configuration for the Hansa that is not always possible to pull off. In order to build this mega industrial complex, you need a 6-tile triangular space that does not contain anything that can block the placement of District District. The most common things to watch out for are luxury resources, strategic resources, Antiquity Site Antiquity Site and certain terrain features. That's not all, the 3 tiles at the corner of the triangle needs to be able to host an Aqueduct (or a Dam or a Canal, but as mentioned before, these 2 engineering District District only complicate the matters further with their placement rules). After finding a spot that satisfies all these conditions, the rest is simple. After constructing the complex itself, add a few Commercial Hubs next to the Hansas for even more Production Production, and maybe a few more other District District if the location permits. Note that if you have to destroy bonus resources to place down these extra District District, it is not worth it, since each bonus resource gives the Hansa a standard bonus while each normal District District only gives a minor bonus. If pulled off successfully, combined with the Craftsmen policy card, Hansa buildings including the Coal Power Plant, Power Power, and Citizen Specialists, each of these 3 Hansas in this formation can reach 40 to 50 Production Production, depending how many other District Districts and resources there are.

The best thing about this is under Frederick Barbarossa, every form of government receives an extra Military Policy Military policy slot, which can always be dedicated to run Craftsmen, at least until Five-Year Plan (an Economic Policy Economic policy card) is unlocked. Note that this strategic Industrial Zone planning is not exclusive to Germany, it can be used by any other civilizations, since only the major adjacency bonus from Commercial Hubs is exclusive to the Hansa. Mastering city planning with Germany is a good start when you try to improve your gameplay, especially in a Scientific Victory where Production Production is key. Also, highly compact cities allows for efficient counterespionage, where only one Spy is capable of covering everything in a mega District District complex.


The U-Boat is a slightly cheaper version of the Submarine with a situational Strength Combat Strength bonus and the ability to reveal invisible units coming slightly earlier than a Destroyer. It is the weakest piece in the German arsenal - not because there's anything inherently wrong with it, but because it replaces a unit that doesn't come into play very often for a number of reasons and fixes none of the problems with this unit. (Read more here.) The U-Boat is a rather underwhelming unit overall, and in the expansions, German players will most likely build it just for the Era Score bonus: Germany doesn't excel at coastal raids like Norway or the Ottomans, and while the U-Boat is strong against other naval units, it is much less effective against cities than the Battleship. However, Letters of Marque helps players produce this unit a bit faster and makes it slightly more potent by giving it a +2 Movement Movement bonus, and it doesn't consume Oil Oil like a standard Submarine, which helps its owner save a bit for other units or to use on Power Power.

Victory Types[]

As detailed above, Science and Domination Victories are the best choices for Germany. Their Production Production potential, ability to support extra District Districts in their cities, and additional Military Policy Military policy card slot in all governments allow them to build and develop Campuses, Industrial Zones, and Spaceports and complete the Science Victory projects quickly, or else raise an army, navy, and air force filled with well-trained, cutting-edge units.

Civilopedia entry[]

There was no “Germany” – not until 1870 AD when Bismarck convinced the various bits that the good of the one outweighed the good of the many. Julius Caesar is the first known to have used the term Germania to refer to those barbaric lands across the Rhine from “peaceful” Gaul. Geographically, Germany stretched from the Rhine to the Vistula, from the Baltic to the Danube. As Caesar noted, the Gauls were warlike but could be civilized; the Teutoni, on the other hand, were just too savage and uncouth for anything but conquest. Perhaps he was right; with the collapse of the Roman Empire, all those uncouth tribes became “separate and independent gentes [peoples] and regna [kingdoms].” Nothing unified these save a common language (even though, given the dialects, some were virtually unintelligible to other Germans), common customs, and a common heritage of killing each other.

It was left to Charlemagne, who had been crowned Emperor in the West by Pope Leo III in December 800, to (briefly) unite them. But it was the coronation of Duke Otto I in 936 as Rex Teutonicorum (“King of the Germans”) and later, under the principle of translatio imperii, proclaimed by Pope John XII as Holy Roman Emperor that sealed the deal. This after the two, following much haggling, signed the Diploma Ottonianum, whereby the pope was acknowledged as the spiritual head of the Catholic Church – so prelates couldn’t just interpret the Scriptures as they pleased – with the German King-Emperor as its secular protector. Otto spent the rest of his life trying to placate the “stamm duchies” (the five powerful, autonomous, constituent duchies of Germany: Franconia, Bavaria, Lotharingia, Saxony and Swabia), fighting the French and the Magyars and the Italians and the Slavs, putting down various rebellions, and generally not enjoying life much.

The succession of emperors after Otto was a royal mess, a complicated stew of ever-changing factors. The kings of Germany were elected by “seven princely electors” (three archbishops and four secular German princes) as established by the Golden Bull of 1356; indeed, it took 400 years just to get the Germans to agree to this. Before that, the elections for Rex Teutonicorum resembled polite anarchy. Thanks to the Thirty Years' War, another elector was added to maintain a balance between Protestants and Catholics; in 1692 another was added so those unfortunate deadlocks wouldn’t occur. Then, just before Napoleon put paid to the whole thing, the constitutional structure of the electorate was revised in 1803. Once elected Rex, coronation as Holy Roman Emperor was just a formality conducted by whoever happened to be sitting on the Chair of Peter at the time.

A long line of king-emperors followed Otto the Great: Saxon, Salian, Hohenstaufen, Welf, Luxembourg, Wittelsbach and many Hapsburgs, who just didn’t want to give it up. Some were great and glorious, such as Henry IV and Frederick Barbarossa; some were venal and vainglorious, such as Otto IV and Louis IV. Whatever their abilities and policies, each had to deal with all those hundreds of little kingdoms, each jealous of its own “power” and privilege.

And it wasn’t as if the mix was stable. Around 1040, Franconia fragmented into smaller entities: the city-state of Frankfurt, the prince-bishoprics of Mainz, Speyer and Worms, and the landgraviate of Hesse as well as other bits. In the 1200s, the Teutonic Knights carved out Prussia in the east to add to the lot; Bohemia, Silesia and Pomerania were grabbed from the Slavs by ambitious German nobles. And so forth.

Nevertheless, Germany was relatively peaceful and, more importantly, prosperous. This due, in part, to the rise of the Hanseatic League, a “business alliance” of ports and banking guilds that dominated trade in the Baltic and along the North Sea coast. Timber, fur, grain, ore and fish flowed west and finished goods flowed east. Centered in the “Imperial Free City” (as decreed by Emperor Frederick II in 1226) of Lubeck, the League, firmly established in cities such as Cologne, Bremen and Hamburg, had warehouses and offices in ports as far apart as London and Novgorod. It flourished from the 1200s into the 1500s. Throughout the Germanys, common folk had the highest standard of living in Europe during this period. And there were a growing number of them; despite wars and plagues, by 1500 some five to six million lived there, many of them become craftsmen and tradesmen, now organized into guilds (a few of these allowed women to join).

Meanwhile, with the growth of the cities and ready money at hand, the arts flourished. In the 12th Century, the abbess Hildegard von Bingen penned influential theological and medical texts, as well as liturgical poems, songs and the oldest European morality play. A century later, von der Vogelweide set the gold standard for European lyric poetry of the age. Then a tinkerer named Johannes Gutenberg of Mainz developed moveable metal type, and thus the printing press. Once those common folk could read, and ponder what their betters were declaring, everything changed. (It did take a couple centuries for universal literacy to catch on in Germany, but it led to such things as the Reformation, the Northern Renaissance, and the Scientific Revolution.)

Everything was progressing nicely in Germany, until Martin Luther translated the Bible into the vernacular (now anyone could buy one thanks to the printing press) and then nailed his “Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” to the door of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg in October 1517. His “Protestant” theology soon enough set off the Peasant’s War (Europe’s largest popular uprising until the French Revolution) and then the even bloodier Thirty Years' War after the Peace of Augsburg of 1555 – whereby the Lutheran faith was recognized as legitimate, and that the faith of a region would be that of its ruler – collapsed. From 1618 to 1648, the armies and mercenaries of the Catholic League and the Protestant Union slaughtered “non-believers” with wild abandon. It has been estimated that the population of Germany dropped between 20% and 38% before the religious fever burned itself out.

The towering figure of Martin Luther is, ironically, numbered in the annals of the German Renaissance, along with artists such as Albrecht Durer and scholars such as Johann Reuchlin and musicians such as Pachelbel. This includes lots of famous architects, like Elias Holl and Hans Krumpper. But even more influential on civilization were the German scientists of the 1600s and 1700s, who laid a foundation of discovery, understanding and misuse of the sciences unmatched elsewhere (there’s a reason one of the most famous, albeit fictional, scientists known is Dr. Frankenstein who studies at the University of Ingolstadt). Johannes Kepler of Stuttgart revolutionized cosmology; the polymath von Liebniz developed calculus and founded the Prussian Academy of Sciences in 1700; the philosopher Immanuel Kant sought a scientific basis for ethics. The work of astronomer Maria Winkelmann of Saxony and naturalist Maria Merian of Frankfurt opened the door for other German women to also make a name for themselves as mad scientists. And with the growth of printing, there were plenty of opportunities to confuse impressionable minds.

Even as German artists and scientists enlightened civilization, the Holy Roman Empire stumbled on. By this point in history, European feudalism was being legislated out of existence and a rising bourgeoisie was finding its voice. New, more energetic dynasties were emerging in a number of the German kingdoms: the House of Hohenzollern in Brandenburg-Prussia, the House of Wittelsbach in Bavaria, the House of Welf in Saxony, the House of Hesse-Kassel in (where else) Hesse, and so forth. All these began to chafe under the rule of the Hapsburgs, who since around 1500 had been the kings of Germany and hence Holy Roman Emperors, despite being Austrian. Even when the main line died out and Charles VII of Bavaria was briefly Emperor (1742-1745), soon enough the House of Hapsburg-Lorraine fastened on the throne. The notion of reform was in the air, however, and the Emperor responded, if tardily.

When Frederick III needed the support of the German dukes to finance his wars and to elect his son, Maximilian I, as King of Germany, he was faced with a united front demanding to participate in decision-making. They “requested” an assembly of the electors and other dukes to advise and oversee the king in an imperial diet (the Reichstag) be established. Although Frederick avoided convening the first Reichstag, his son – more conciliatory or less intelligent – finally convened the Diet of Worms. There the king and the dukes agreed upon the first four bills, together referred to as the Reichsreform, a set of acts that gave the disintegrating empire some much needed structure, including the “Eternal Peace” (a ban on feuding among the German nobility) and the “Common Penny” (an imperial tax to support the new infrastructure). Later diets added more laws and reforms … and taxes.

But by the mid-1700s, events had outpaced any belated effort to hold the Kingdom of Germany or the Holy Roman Empire together. The various rulers maintained their own armies and diplomatic corps as always, and now they used these independent of whatever the “king” wished or did. In the Silesian Wars and the Seven-Years War, Prussia won recognition across Europe as a “great power” under the guidance of “enlightened absolutism.” In Bavaria and Wurttemberg, the rulers lavished funds on palaces, mistresses, and the arts. The landgraves of Hesse-Kassel and Hanover made money by renting their elite soldiers out as mercenaries. And, eventually the dukes of Hanover became kings of England, and lost interest in doings back home (George III, born in London and king of England during the American Revolution, never once visited Hanover.)

The end of any pretense of unity and a German kingdom finally came with the French Revolution and the subsequent Napoleonic Wars. German mediatization and secularization was accelerated by the specter of the bloody French Revolution. Mediatization was the process of annexing the lands of one monarchy to those of an adjacent neighbor, leaving the annexed with negotiated rights. Secularization was the process of absorbing all those remaining tidbits of ecclesiastical land lying about by the nearby nobles. And from 1792 onward, revolutionary France was at war with most of the German states, but never all together. The Kingdom of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire was formally dissolved by Napoleon when Francis II (of Austria) abdicated in early 1806 following the French victory at Austerlitz. Napoleon reorganized much of what had been the Kingdom of Germany into the Confederation of the Rhine, eventually replaced by the German Confederation in 1815.


Main article: German cities (Civ6)


Males Females Modern males Modern females
Abelard Binga Dieter Dagmar
Giomar Herta Egon Etta
Hunfried Johanna Ernst Frieda
Konrad Lorelei Falken Gretchen
Odbart Porsche Hanz Heidi
Rupert Ruomhildi Jurgen Isolde
Tibalt Sigfriede Kiefer Nixie
Vermados Trude Klaus Tresa
Wilhelm Winifred Maximilian Verina
Wolfric Yseult Ulrich Wanda





CIVILIZATION VI - First Look Germany - International Version (With Subtitles)

First Look: Germany

Related achievements[]

Third Crusade
Third Crusade
Playing as Frederick Barbarossa, conquer the city-state of Jerusalem
The main goal of the Third Crusade was to capture Jerusalem, which it failed to do, and was largely commanded by Frederick Barbarossa, who died during the Crusade.
Crusader King
Crusader King
Win a regular game as Frederick Barbarossa
Barbarossa died en route to the Third Crusade. Could also refer to the game series Crusader Kings.
Civilization VI Civilizations [edit]
AmericanArabianAustralian1AztecBabylonian1BrazilianByzantine1Canadian GS-Only.pngChineseCree R&F-Only.pngDutch R&F-Only.pngEgyptianEnglishEthiopian1FrenchGallic1Georgian R&F-Only.pngGermanGran Colombian1GreekHungarian GS-Only.pngIncan GS-Only.pngIndianIndonesian1JapaneseKhmer1KongoleseKorean R&F-Only.pngMacedonian1Malian GS-Only.pngMāori GS-Only.pngMapuche R&F-Only.pngMayan1Mongolian R&F-Only.pngNorwegianNubian1Ottoman GS-Only.pngPersian1Phoenician GS-Only.pngPolish1Portuguese1RomanRussianScottish R&F-Only.pngScythianSpanishSumerianSwedish GS-Only.pngVietnamese1Zulu R&F-Only.png
1 Requires a DLC

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