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. You start with Chiefdom, the most basic and ancient form of government, but will unlock other forms of government as you progress through the Civics tree.
Your government becomes active as soon as you discover the Code of Laws civic - the very 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; nevertheless, it already has all the properties of a real government, manifested thus:
- 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!
- 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!
- Through diplomatic power. Each government generates diplomatic influence points, which serve to earn Envoys. Higher tier governments mean faster generation of Envoys. Also, in Gathering Storm, each government generates 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.
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.
Changing Government Configuration
The cards that occupy your government slots, and the form of government itself, cannot be changed whenever you please. There are two main ways to do that:
- Whenever you finish researching a Civic (or whenever you earn it in another way, for example through an Inspiration). Your citizens get excited about the new possibilities the civic principles give them, and you may freely alter your government configuration.
- After you pay a tax in Gold.
- In a very rare case when an existing Policy card slotted in your current government configuration becomes obsolete. 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. Normally, each 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. Of course, you are only able to choose Policy Cards which you have unlocked via Civic research.
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.
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 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, nations 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 after developing the Ideology Civic the player gains access to a brand new Casus Belli: Ideological War. It permits declaring a war on any nation with a different Tier 3 government, without any other preconditions.
- 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, as well as a number of other gameplay systems, and thus won't be discussed here. To know more about them, head to the main article.
Forms of government
As mentioned above, all civilizations start with the most ancient and basic form of government - Chiefdom. 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 in 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 more advanced 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: Futuristic governments. These include Synthetic Technocracy, Corporate Libertarianism and Digital Democracy, developed during the Information Era, and provide truly unique bonuses. For the first time, however, 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:
|Ancient (2 slots)|
|Chiefdom||Code of Laws||1||1||0||0|
|Classical (4 slots)|
| Effects: Capital Capital receives +1 boost to all yields.
10% Bonus to wonder production.
+1 to all yields for each government building and Palace in a city.
+10% Production toward Wonders.
|Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% Bonus to wonder production every 20 turns.|
|Classical Republic||Political Philosophy||0||2||1||1|
| Effects: All cities with a district receive +1 Amenity.
15% Bonus to Great People point generation.
All cities with a district receive +1 Housing and +1 Amenity.
+15% Great Person points.
|Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% Bonus to Great People point generation every 15 turns.|
| Effects: All land melee units gain +4 Combat Strength.
20% Bonus experience for units.
+20% Unit Experience.
|Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% Bonus experience for units every 5 turns.|
|Medieval/Renaissance (6 slots)|
| Effects: +2 Trade Routes.
15% Discount on Gold purchases.
+15% Production toward Districts.
|Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% Discount on Gold purchases every 15 turns.|
| Effects: +2 Housing in any city with medieval walls.
20% Bonus influence points.
+1 Housing per level of Walls.
+50% Influence Points.
|Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% Bonus influence points every 10 turns.|
| Effects: Can buy land combat units with Faith. All units gain +5 Religious Strength in theological combat.
15% Discount on faith purchases.
15% Discount on Purchases with Faith.
|Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% Discount on Faith purchases every 15 turns.|
|Modern (8 slots)|
| Effects: Land units gain +4 Defense Strength. Industrial Zone districts can defend.
10% bonus on all Production.
|Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% bonus on all Production every 20 turns.|
| Effects: Patronage of Great People costs 50% less Gold.
30% bonus yields from district projects.
25% Discount on Purchases with Gold.
15% Discount on Purchases with Gold.
|Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% bonus yields from district projects every 10 turns.|
| Effects: All combat units gain +4 Combat Strength.
20% bonus on unit production.
+50% Production toward Units.
|Legacy Bonus: Additional +1% bonus on unit production every 10 turns.|
|Futuristic (9 slots)|
|Digital Democracy||Distributed Sovereignty||1||1||3||5|
| Effects: +2 Amenities in all cities, and +2 Culture per Specialty District.
-3 Combat Strength for all units.
|Synthetic Technocracy||Optimization Imperative||1||3||1||5|
| Effects: +3 Power in all cities, and +30% Production towards all city projects.
|Corporate Libertarianism||Venture Politics||3||1||1||5|
| Effects: Commercial Hubs and Encampments provide cities with +10% Production, and accumulating resources with improvements provide +1 per turn.
A Revolution Without Dancing
Change your government
|Civilization VI |
|Rise and Fall • Gathering Storm • New Frontier Pass|