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The Machine Gun is an Atomic Era ranged unit in Civilization VI. It upgrades from the Field Cannon (or its replacements).


Despite being the most advanced ranged unit, the Machine Gun most commonly finds use as a city garrison because of the military landscape at the time it appears. Unlike the Artillery and the Rocket Artillery that come into play around this time, the Machine Gun doesn't receive extra Range Range from Observation Balloons and Drones and is thus unable to attack cities without exposing itself to retaliatory strikes. Players also unlock Fighters and Bombers in this era, which they can build in any city that has an Aerodrome. A Fighter costs 20 less Production Production than a Machine Gun yet has 6 more Movement Movement, 3 more Range Range, and 15 more Ranged Strength Ranged Strength and can attack land units and cities with impunity (unless an opponent has Anti-Air Guns or Mobile SAMs), whereas a Bomber costs 20 more Production Production than a Machine Gun but has even greater Movement Movement and Range Range than a Fighter and greater Bombard Strength Bombard Strength than a Rocket Artillery. Fighters are much better against units and Bombers much better against cities than Machine Guns, so civilizations with access to Aluminum Aluminum have good incentives to start building an air force rather than relying on ranged units that are comparatively slow and weak.

The one advantage the Machine Gun has over the siege and air units of its time is its lack of a strategic resource requirement. Players who don't have Oil Oil or Aluminum Aluminum and need to defend against an incoming enemy force may benefit from training or purchasing some Machine Guns to give their cities an extra attack and higher Ranged Strength Ranged Strength - they can create quite a strong defense network, especially when combined with Machine Guns that have earned some high-tier Promotion Promotions to form Corps and Armies. Players who've built Aerodromes and aircraft, however, will have little use for Machine Guns and can hold off on upgrading their Field Cannons until they have a large surplus of Gold Gold.

Civilopedia entry[]

Since the days of the arquebus innovative gunsmiths had sought for a rapid-fire firearm that required little training or skill to use. Stoper’s revolving arquebus in 1597 Nuremberg, the “Puckle Gun” in 1718 in London, Belton’s multi-shot flintlock in 1777 all had their proponents; but it was left to Richard Jordan Gatling to perfect an infantry weapon with controlled rapid fire, automatic loading, portability, speedy reloading of ammunition canisters, and operated by a simple hand-crank. The Gatling gun was immensely popular among military types of all nations, and it laid the foundation for the development of the machinegun, which stalemated WW1 and dominated WW2 infantry combat. In time, the weight was reduced without loss of rate of fire, machineguns becoming submachineguns (such as the Thompson so beloved of Prohibition-era gangsters) capable of being fired from the hip.


  • The Machine Gun unit is modelled after U.S. soldiers from World War II. However, they are armed with the MG 42, a World War II German machine gun.
  • Interestingly, when a German player trains Machine Guns, they wear World War II German M35 helmets and feldgrau uniforms, like all other German trained Infantry and AT Crews.


See also[]

Civilization VI Units [edit]
Civilian SettlerBuilderTraderArchaeologistSpyNaturalistRock Band GS-Only.png
Land military AT CrewArcher (Hul'che1Pítati Archer1) • ArtilleryBarbarian Horse ArcherBombardCatapultCavalry (CossackHuszár GS-Only.pngLlanero1) • Courser GS-Only.png (Black Army GS-Only.pngOromo Cavalry1) • Crossbowman (Voi Chiến1) • Crouching TigerCuirassier GS-Only.png (Rough RiderWinged Hussar1) • Field Cannon (Hwacha R&F-Only.png) • Giant Death Robot GS-Only.pngHeavy ChariotHelicopterHorseman (Barbarian HorsemanHetairoi1) • Infantry (Digger1) • Keshig R&F-Only.pngKnight (Mandekalu Cavalry GS-Only.pngMamlukTagma1) • Line Infantry (Garde ImpérialeRedcoat) • Machine GunMalón Raider R&F-Only.pngMan-At-Arms (Khevsur R&F-Only.pngBerserkerSamurai) • Maryannu Chariot ArcherMechanized InfantryModern ATModern ArmorMountie GS-Only.pngMusketman (ConquistadorJanissary GS-Only.png) • Nihang1Pike and Shot (Carolean GS-Only.png) • Pikeman (Impi R&F-Only.png) • Questing Knight4Ranger (Highlander R&F-Only.png) • Rocket ArtillerySabum Kibittum1Saka Horse ArcherScout (Okihtcitaw R&F-Only.png) • Skirmisher GS-Only.png (Warak'aq GS-Only.png) • SlingerSpearman (Hoplite) • Spec Ops R&F-Only.pngSwordsman (Hypaspist1Immortal1LegionNgao MbebaToa GS-Only.png) • TankTrebuchet (Domrey1) • Vampire3VaruWar-CartWarrior MonkWarrior (Eagle WarriorGaesatae1) • Zombie5
Naval military Aircraft CarrierBattleship (Minas Geraes) • Caravel (Nau1) • DestroyerFrigate (De Zeven Provinciën R&F-Only.pngJong1) • Galley (Bireme GS-Only.pngViking Longship) • IroncladMissile CruiserNuclear SubmarinePrivateer (Barbary Corsair GS-Only.pngSea Dog) • Quadrireme (Dromon1) • Submarine (U-Boat)
Aircraft BiplaneBomberFighter (P-51 Mustang) • Jet BomberJet Fighter
Support Anti-Air GunBattering RamCultist3Drone R&F-Only.pngMedicMilitary EngineerMobile SAMObservation BalloonSiege TowerSoothsayer2Supply Convoy R&F-Only.png
Religious ApostleGuruInquisitorMissionary
See also Great PeopleHeroes
1 Requires a DLC2 Apocalypse mode only • 3 Secret Societies mode only • 4 Heroes & Legends mode only • 5 Zombie Defense mode only

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