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The concept of forms of government makes a grand re-entry in Civilization VI. The government represents the current command structure of your civilization - how exactly its governing bodies are organized, and what real effects this has on its development and abilities. It is one of the main ways you steer the development of your empire.


Government is a system of bonuses similar to religion. Unlike religion, however, it doesn't have to be founded, is always active (except in the first few turns of the game), and will change completely over time. Also, the effects of government are both more powerful and more flexible: you can constantly customize your government to suit the changing circumstances of world affairs, and your own development goals. Religion, on the other hand, stays the same throughout the game.

Your government becomes active as soon as you discover the Code of Laws civic - the basis of lawful society. By necessity, this government is the very basic Chiefdom, since your people don't know any other ways to govern themselves as of yet. Progress through the civics tree will unlock other forms of government, and you will enjoy their increasingly powerful effects and possibilities. Having the right type of government that matches your overall strategy and current tactical needs is paramount for achieving victory.

Government manifests its effects in three ways:

  1. Through the number and configuration of policy card slots. For example, Chiefdom offers one Military and one Economic Card slot, while Classical Republic offers two Economic, one Diplomatic, one Wildcard, and no Military slots.
  2. Through particular gameplay bonuses. These are unique for each form of government, and distinguish it from all the others; in vanilla Civilization VI you can also earn Legacy Bonuses, which accumulate and stay with you for the whole game.
  3. Through diplomatic power. Each government generates diplomatic influence points, which serve to earn Envoy Envoys. Higher tier governments mean faster generation of Envoy Envoys. Also, in Gathering Storm, each government generates Diplomatic Favor Diplomatic Favor - the higher the tier, the faster the generation is.

To establish your government, you need to place policy cards of the appropriate type in all your government's slots, forming your current political agenda. Thus you customize your government to respond to the current challenges and future goals for your empire. Note that you must fill all policy card slots in order to finish your turn.

Different levels of government have a different total number of slots: 4 slots for Tier 1, 6 slots for Tier 2, and 8 slots for Tier 3 (and 10 slots for Tier 4 in Gathering Storm). Each distinct form distributes these slots in a different manner, as mentioned above.

There are ways to add more policy card slots to your government, for example by building wonders. Those slots will be added regardless of your current form of government, and will stay even if you lose control of the city with the particular Wonder. For more info on this, go here.

Changing Government Configuration[]

The cards that occupy your government slots, and the form of government itself, cannot be changed whenever you please. There are three main ways to do that:

  1. Whenever you finish researching a civic (or whenever you earn it in another way, for example through an Inspiration Inspiration). Your citizens get excited about the new possibilities the civic principles give them, and you may freely alter your government configuration.
  2. After the World Era changes. Your citizens feel they need a new approach to government in the dawn of a new era.
  3. After you pay a tax in Gold Gold. Good old bribing!
  4. In a very rare case when an existing policy card slotted in your current government configuration becomes obsolete (such as earning a Great Prophet with the Revelation card slotted in your government). You will then be asked to put another card in its slot, but you'll find out that you can shuffle your government as if you've just researched a civic.

Every time you change government configuration, you are able to change both the form of government (Chiefdom, Classical Republic, Autocracy, etc.), and the Policy Cards in your government slots. There are tabs in the upper end of the Government screen which allow you to either select the form of your government, or to manage your Policy Cards. Each time you develop a specific Civic which unlocks a new type of Government, the Change Government tab will be automatically selected; otherwise the other tab will be active. Of course, you do not need to change government form whenever you discover a new type.

Normally, each Policy slot must be filled by a card of the corresponding type (Military Card in a Military slot, Economic Card in an Economic slot, etc.), but Wildcard slots are exceptions: they can be filled with either a Wildcard or any of the other card types, thus allowing you to enjoy the benefits of cards for which your government does not otherwise have slots available (or for which you have already filled all available slots). Of course, you are only able to choose policy cards which you have unlocked via civic research, and which haven't become obsolete.

While your people are always eager to try out new forms of government, they are not so enthusiastic about going back to a type of government you have previously tried - to them this feels like going backwards to something antiquated. Every time you switch to a form of government you already had previously, your empire will enter several turns of Anarchy! How many will depend on how many times have you previously adopted that government - the formula is 2 turns + 1 per each time you adopted it before.

Legacy Bonuses[]

As stated above, each form of government (except Chiefdom) offers specific bonuses; one of them is always quantifiable, appearing as a percentage value over something. By practicing a government system, your statesmen gain particular knowledge of it, which they are able to transfer whenever you switch governments - these are known as Legacy Bonuses.

Each time you start a new government, you start earning a particular Legacy Bonus based on that government's specific quantifiable bonus. The longer you keep the government, the greater your knowledge of its particulars, and the greater this Legacy Bonus will grow. The specific effect manifests itself as x + 1% of the bonus every several turns. The number of turns is set, but is subject to bonuses from civics. So, for example, after you practice Classical Republic, you will gain a Legacy Bonus increasing Great Person Great People points generation; the longer you had practiced Classical Republic, the greater that bonus. Of course, since you're already earning a Legacy Bonus for your current government as well, this bonus will stack with the existing bonus, effectively increasing it the longer you keep this government.

Legacy Bonuses allow your empire to further distinguish itself from other ones - it is very rare that other empires follow exactly the same path as yours!

In Rise and Fall, Legacy Bonuses have been phased out - there are still 2 distinct bonuses per government, but both of them only apply while you have the respective government, and are replaced when you adopt a different one. This decision is understandable, since the 4-5% average Legacy Bonuses you usually managed to acquire didn't make a big difference anyway. However, it is possible to carry over one of the bonuses of a previously-adopted form of government with the new "Legacy" Policy Cards, which can be placed in Wildcard slots and become available after constructing a building of the corresponding tier in the Government Plaza.

Government and Diplomacy[]

As in the real world, empires which have the same forms of government will feel closer, and gain a bonus to diplomatic relations. Conversely, those with different governments will suffer a penalty, souring relations. After all, a democratic society cannot see eye-to-eye with a fascist one!

Rise and Fall takes this relationship even further come the Modern Era, when the player gains access to a brand new Casus Belli after developing Ideology: the Ideological War. It permits declaring a war on any empire with a different Tier 3 government, without any other preconditions.

Forms of government[]

As mentioned above, all civilizations start with Chiefdom, the most ancient and basic form of government. But civic development throughout the game unlocks many more advanced forms of government which not only provide more slots for policies, but also increase the diplomatic power of your civilization. All of them are organized into tiers, which have specific gameplay effects and are developed through different parts of the game.

Up to Rise and Fall there were three tiers of governments in the game:

  • Tier 1: Autocracy, Oligarchy and Classical Republic. These are the ancient forms of government, the first ones developed after Chiefdom. They have 4 policy slots each, and provide basic diplomatic power for influencing city-states or other civilizations.
  • Tier 2: Monarchy, Theocracy and Merchant Republic. These governments are developed throughout the Middle Ages; being much more advanced, they offer 6 policy slots each, and moderate diplomatic power.
  • Tier 3: Fascism, Communism and Democracy. Developed in the Modern Era, these are the most advanced forms of government, based heavily on modern ideology and providing powerful bonuses. They offer 8 policy slots each, and considerable diplomatic power to sway other entities.

Gathering Storm introduces a fourth tier of governments. These include Synthetic Technocracy, Corporate Libertarianism, and Digital Democracy, developed during the Information Era, and provide truly unique bonuses. However, these bonuses are paired with penalties (similar to the Dark Age wildcards). This produces the effect of streamlining the end-game development of a civilization towards a particular type of victory, to the detriment of other types.

Each of the Futuristic governments offers 10 policy slots, 5 of which are Wildcard slots. This makes them truly powerful, because of the incredible versatility the Wildcard slot offers (5 slots for whatever card you fancy, including Legacy bonus cards). Besides, these governments offer even more diplomatic power than Tier 3 governments, allowing for true end-game gambits.

Here are the known forms of government and their specifics:

Government Required Civic Details
Ancient (2 slots)
Code of Laws
Code of Laws
1 1 0 0
Classical (4 slots)
Political Philosophy
Political Philosophy
1 1 1 1
Effects: Capital Capital receives +1 boost to all yields.

10% Bonus to wonder Production Production.

R&F-Only.png +1 to all yields for each government building and Palace in a city.

+10% Production Production toward Wonders.

Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% Bonus to wonder Production Production every 20 turns.
Classical Republic
Classical Republic
Political Philosophy
Political Philosophy
0 2 1 1
Effects: All cities with a district receive +1 Amenity Amenity.

15% Bonus to Great Person Great People point generation.

R&F-Only.png All cities with a district receive +1 Housing Housing and +1 Amenity Amenity.

+15% Great Person Great Person points.

Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% Bonus to Great Person Great People point generation every 15 turns.
Political Philosophy
Political Philosophy
2 1 0 1
Effects: All land melee units gain +4 Strength Combat Strength.

20% Bonus experience for units.

R&F-Only.png All land melee, anti-cavalry, and naval melee class units gain +4 Strength Combat Strength.

+20% Unit Experience.

Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% Bonus experience for units every 5 turns.
Medieval/Renaissance (6 slots)
Merchant Republic
Merchant Republic
1 2 2 1
Effects: +2 Trade Route Trade Routes.

15% Discount on Gold Gold purchases.

R&F-Only.png +10% Gold Gold in all cities with an established Governor.

+15% Production Production toward Districts.

Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% Discount on Gold Gold purchases every 15 turns.
Divine Right
Divine Right
2 1 1 2
Effects: +2 Housing Housing in any city with medieval walls.

20% Bonus influence points.

R&F-Only.png +1 Housing Housing per level of Walls. +50% Influence Points.

GS-Only.png +1 Housing Housing per level of Walls. +2 Diplomatic Favor Diplomatic Favor for every Renaissance Walls. +50% Influence Points.

Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% Bonus influence points every 10 turns.
Reformed Church
Reformed Church
2 2 1 1
Effects: Can buy land combat units with Faith Faith. All units gain +5 Religious Strength Religious Strength in theological combat.

15% Discount on Faith Faith purchases.

R&F-Only.png +5 Religious Strength Religious Strength in Theological Combat. +0.5 Faith Faith per Citizen Citizen in cities with Governors.

15% Discount on Purchases with Faith Faith.

Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% Discount on Faith Faith purchases every 15 turns.
Modern (8 slots)
Class Struggle
Class Struggle
3 3 1 1
Effects: Land units gain +4 Strength Defense Strength. Industrial Zone districts can defend.

10% bonus on all Production Production.

R&F-Only.png +0.6 Production Production per Citizen Citizen in cities with Governors.

+15% Production Production.

GS-Only.png +0.6 Production Production per Citizen Citizen in cities with Governors.

+10% Science Science.

Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% bonus on all Production Production every 20 turns.
1 3 2 2
Effects: Patronage of Great People costs 50% less Gold Gold.

30% bonus yields from district projects.

R&F-Only.png +1 Production Production, +1 Housing Housing per District.

25% Discount on Purchases with Gold Gold.

GS-Only.png Your Trade Route Trade Routes to an Ally's city provide +4 Food Food and +4 Production Production for both cities. Alliance Points with all allies increase by an additional .25 per turn.

15% Discount on Purchases with Gold Gold.

Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% bonus yields from district projects every 10 turns.
4 1 1 2
Effects: All combat units gain +4 Strength Combat Strength.

20% bonus on unit Production Production.

R&F-Only.png All units gain +5 Strength Combat Strength. War Weariness reduced by 15%.

+50% Production Production toward Units.

Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% bonus on unit Production Production every 10 turns.
Information (10 slots) GS-Only.png
Digital Democracy
Digital Democracy
Distributed Sovereignty
Distributed Sovereignty
1 1 3 5
Effects: +2 Amenities Amenities in all cities, and +2 Culture Culture per Specialty District.

-3 Strength Combat Strength for all units.

Synthetic Technocracy
Synthetic Technocracy
Optimization Imperative
Optimization Imperative
1 3 1 5
Effects: +3 Power Power in all cities, and +30% Production Production towards all city projects.

-10% Tourism Tourism.

Corporate Libertarianism
Corporate Libertarianism
Venture Politics
Venture Politics
3 1 1 5
Effects: Commercial Hubs and Encampments provide cities with +10% Production Production, and accumulating resources with improvements provide +1 per turn.

-10% Science Science.

Scenario-specific governments[]

Gifts of the Nile[]

Outback Tycoon[]

Path to Nirvana[]

The Black Death[]

Additional government attributes[]


Main article: Governor (Civ6)

Rise and Fall adds a new gameplay element, which conceptually is an integral part of government: special agents known as "Governors" which can be assigned to cities in the world to extend your influence there. However, Governors aren't actually related to the game mechanics of government, but rather to Loyalty and a number of other gameplay systems, and thus won't be discussed here.

Government Plaza[]

Main article: Government Plaza (Civ6)

This unique District District was also added in the Rise and Fall expansion. Similarly to Governors, the district is conceptually a part of your government, while its actual effects aren't directly related to the government system, but are rather diverse. In fact, the only direct link is that the district's buildings are unlocked only after the corresponding tier of government is adopted (Tier 1 for the first building, Tier 2 for the second, etc.). Use the Government Plaza as a tool of ensuring Loyalty in a particular border city, of acquiring additional Governor Governor Titles, and most importantly, to boost your chosen gameplay style (aggressive, expansionist, etc.).

Government Lens[]

Main article: Lens (Civ6)


Related achievements[]

A Revolution Without Dancing
A Revolution Without Dancing
Change your government
A reference to the quote, 'If I can't dance, I don't want to be a part of your revolution!', often attributed to Emma Goldman.
Civilization VI [edit]
Rise and FallGathering StormNew Frontier Pass

AgendasBeliefsBuildings (Unique buildings) • City-statesCivicsCivilizationsCompetitions GS-Only.pngDistrictsImprovementsLeadersNatural wondersPantheonsPolicy cardsProjectsPromotionsReligionsResourcesTechnologiesTerrainsUnits (Unique units) • Wonders

AgendaAge R&F-Only.png (Historic Moment R&F-Only.pngTimeline R&F-Only.png) • BarbariansBoostsBuildingCity (AmenitiesCapitalGovernor R&F-Only.pngHousingLoyalty R&F-Only.pngPopulation) • City-state (EnvoySuzerain) • CivicClimate GS-Only.png (Disaster) • Combat (Air combatCity combatFlanking and SupportZone of control) • Competition GS-Only.pngDifficulty levelDiplomacy (AllianceDiplomatic Visibility and GossipEmergency R&F-Only.pngEspionageGrievances GS-Only.pngWarmongeringWorld Congress GS-Only.png) • DistrictEraGovernmentGreat PeopleGreat WorkImprovementMap (AppealBordersContinentTile) • Natural wonderPolicy cardProjectPromotionReligion (Pantheon) • ResourceSpeedTechnologyTerrainTrade RouteUnit (MovementRangeSightStrength) • VictoryWar wearinessWonder

DLCGame modeModdingPersona PacksScenariosSoundtrackStarting a new gameSteam AchievementsSteam trading cardsUpdates

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