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The Mayan people (or Maya) represent a civilization in Civilization VI. Their colors are light blue and green, and they are led by Lady Six Sky. They are available with the Maya & Gran Colombia Pack, which was released on May 21, 2020.

The Mayans' civilization ability is Mayab, which prevents their cities from gaining extra Housing6 Housing from being adjacent to fresh water or coast, but grants them additional Housing6 Housing and Civ6Gold Gold from Farms, as well as Amenities6 Amenities from Luxury Resources adjacent to the City Center. Their unique unit is the Hul'che (which replaces the Archer), and their unique district is the Observatory (which replaces the Campus).


Ideal Maya Cities Layout (Civ6)

The maximum number of cities surrounding the Capital within 6 tiles and their suggested tile allotment

Masters at building a clustered empire surrounding the Capital6 Capital and unlocking secrets of the universe through Civ6Science Science, the Maya returns to Civilization VI in a dominant fashion. Led by Lady Six Sky, the Maya presents an interesting new challenge on how to build a tall empire in a game that favors going wide.

Mayab Edit

For the Maya, rivers are not exactly your best friend. They do not receive any Housing6 Housing from Fresh water, so settling next to a River only brings you destruction from Floods. Of course, you do not have to run from it either, but settle just one tile away from rivers, far enough to avoid Floods but close enough to benefit from the extra Flood yields.This is incredibly helpful on Disaster setting 4, even more so in Apocalypse mode. Settling one tile away from rivers also creates a perfect spot for your Aqueduct, a district that you will want to build in every single city as the Maya, as it will always provide the maximum number of Housing6 Housing and a major adjacency bonus for your future Industrial Zone. When putting down a city, it is important to keep this in mind and always look for a spot where it is possible to construct your Aqueduct.

- When settling, pay attention to flat grassland and plains tiles for farms, as it yields triple amount of housing, and gives bonus to observatory.

- Mohenjo Daro bonus is incompatible with the Maya.

- Build at least one Encampment with an Armory even if not going conquest => Military Engineers.

- Build Dams using MEs. In the cities where Dams are built, there should be a tile that is adjacent to both the Dam and the Aqueduct, this spot is reserved for the IZ. Otherwise, only build Dams if you want protection from Floods.

- Magnus' Vertical Integration.

- Besides Obs and Aque, IZs and CHub/Harbors should be in every city. Rush for Industrialization and build Factories in all cities as fast as possible. Move Magnus with V.Inte to the capital after everything is done.

- Amenity bonus applies when you settle directly on lux res.

- If there is a spot next to multiple plantation res, don't settle there, settle close to it and save that spot for the observatory.

- Build at least 2 Spaceports in the 2 cities with Pingala and Magnus. Pingala should have Space Initiative and Magnus Vertical Integration. Magnus should always be placed in the capital when Industrial era comes and factory is unlocked. Pingala should be in capital early game to boost science and great people points.

Ix Mutal Ajaw Edit

This is the most complicated aspect of the Maya to master, considering it heavily relies on map generation. The maximum number of cities that can settle within the radius of six tiles around the Capital6 Capital is 12; however, this number should be treated as a guideline, since any of these cities can be in Tundra, Snow or Desert tiles where you cannot build Farms, or one of the cities in the inner ring is already too close to the Coast to settle another city in the outer ring in that direction. The minimum number of additional settlements you should have is 6, shaping like an equilateral hexagon whose side is 6 tile each, surrounding your Capital6 Capital. In the beginning of the game, after settling your Capital6 Capital, you should send your Warrior and Scout to survey the 6 tile radius around your Capital6 Capital, ideally 8-9 tile radius since you want to see the land you can grab for the cities in the outer ring as well, immediately put down 6 map pins marking the City Center placement for the 6 cities in the outer ring. This will establish clearly for you the area you have to work with and where the bonus/malus boundary is. Despite going tall instead of wide, your first Government Plaza building should still be the Ancestral Hall, as your goal is not to train many Settlers, but you have to pump them out quickly to claim land. Land and location are the two utmost importance and the crux in Maya gameplay, losing out on this may force you to go into unwanted conquest, which eventually will cost more than just a few Settlers.

When beginning the settling process, always remember to put down the six cities in the outer ring first, as this will allow you to claim all the land that can benefit from your leader ability. If you want to cram more cities into the inner ring later, that is up to you, but in the early game, claiming all the land within six tiles of your Capital6 Capital is of utmost importance. If you stumble upon a City-state or an unwanted neighbor that block a potential location for one of your cities in the outer ring, you may want to consider a war. Early wars are often expensive but you are aided with your Civ6StrengthIcon Combat Strength bonus around your Capital6 Capital, your strong Hul'che and your Observatory as a catch-up mechanic just in case things do not go as planned. Things are a little bit more complicated when that city does not directly block your spot, but is settled just outside the 6-tile ring so that when you capture that city, you still have to raze it and build another Settler to put down a new city just to avoid the 15% yield penalty. Obviously, it is still up to you to make the call, even if you are down with a city with 15% yield penalty in order to save the Civ6Production Production on a Settler, but more often that not, it is preferable to go to war if it is a city of another civilization and let it go if it is a City-state. Nearby City-states are easier to be the Suzerain of, and they start with Ancient Walls, which make it incredibly tough to take down with just Hul'che and Warriors. Therefore, instead of putting a city in the outer ring, in the land area next to that particular City-state, move into the inner ring and put down your city there instead. Of course, now you will have a city that is a bit too close to your Capital6 Capital, but since you do not have a city in the outer ring in that direction anymore and the City-state is outside of the six tile radius, this city still has plenty of room to grow. If the city is from another civilization, go hamper their process, your Observatory will be more than enough to make up for lost time in infrastructure thanks to its Civ6Science Science output. The only other civilization in the game with as much Civ6Science Science potential as you is Korea, and if they are in your game as your next door neighbor, you should definitely take them down, as they have next to none in terms of early game defense.

The biggest downfall of any empire with little land area comes in Industrial Era, when you suddenly realize you lack plenty of important late game Strategic Resources; the two most important ones for Maya are Coal (Civ6)Coal and Aluminum (Civ6)Aluminum. This is why the Ancestral Hall is definitely the tier 1 Government building you should go for, and not the Audience Chamber just because you are building a tall empire. You need to build a few extra Settlers to claim land to secure these Strategic resources, the two most important are Coal (Civ6)Coal, for the huge Civ6Production Production power spike in Industrial Era, and to move Magnus with Vertical Integration to the Capital6 Capital as soon as possible, and Aluminum (Civ6)Aluminum for the Lagrange Laser Station later. Oil (Civ6)Oil and Uranium (Civ6)Uranium are good, too, obviously, but if you have to choose, consider the other two Resources with a little bit higher in priority. Your new settlements are most likely in subprime positions where you cannot build Farms to gain Housing6 Housing and with the 15% yield penalty, but it should not matter. The only point of these cities is to provide you with a steady source of Strategic resources, they do not need to produce anything, and they will come with a free Builder from your Ancestral Hall, which is very handy, since you do not have to spend Civ6Gold Gold on buying one.


Civilopedia entryEdit

The early Mayas rose in the Yucatán Peninsula and established city-states between 2000 BC and 250 AD. These city-states were governed and ruled by divinely-blessed rulers, and ranged from both small settlements to metropolises, such as the city-state known today as El Mirador. The city-states were never united politically in the same way as other Mesoamerican cultures, but they still shared a common language and culture. They competed with as much as they relied on each other for growth and the projection of power.

The Mayas chose a unique (and rather brave) place to settle. The Yucatán Peninsula wasn’t good for the kind of agriculture that most other civilizations practiced. Rather than settling around river valleys, the Maya built in tropical rainforests, with thin soil atop limestone foundations. A lack of a river meant that transportation was difficult, and finding drinking water problematic. But adversity can often lead to innovation. Where the water was too saline, the early Maya learned how to filter water through the limestone to make it drinkable, and where the jungle was too dense, they created raised earthen mounds on which to grow crops. One of the most important developments the Maya made was the creation of their written language, which consisted of glyphs.

Maya glyphs were designed to fit within individual blocks and read almost like comic panels, going left, right, then down below the first left one, and so on. These glyphs were a mixture of pictographic and phonetic characters, rather like modern-day Japanese. The Maya were avid record keepers, and their script remained in use up until the arrival of the Europeans in Mesoamerica.

While most of their books (codices made of tree-bark) were burned during the Spanish conquest, their monuments, or “stelae,” survive. As the Maya dated their stelae with their Long Count calendar, we can use them to identify historical dates from quite far back.

By 250 AD, the Maya began strengthening their power in major cities such as Calakmul, Palenque, Tikal, Bonampak, Kaminaljuyu, and Copán. In this era, there were over 40 Maya cities, with populations between 5,000 and 50,000 people. As these cities grew, the Maya thrived. They built ball courts for popular games, constructed massive pyramids (which grew ever more massive thanks to the Maya’s layered building methods), and educated a scholarly elite.

Maya pyramids were created differently from Egyptian ones. Rather than using only bricks, they started with a base foundation of limestone and mortar. They then covered this with plaster, which was then painted. Any time they wanted to make improvements, they simply had to throw on some more limestone, cover it again, and paint it. There was no need for lengthy, complicated renovations, and they didn’t have to worry about structural issues. These pyramids were usually places of worship. These temples, known as “k’uh nah’, had multiple rooms, each dedicated to a deity.

Maya cities were sprawling and made up of these temples, palaces, and ball courts, all of which were set around central plazas. The cities could have multiple plazas and then the other structures grew outward from them. Art frescos and sculptures adorned the wealthier areas. Art was created for the royal court, or at least, created to be about them. Art was also used to commemorate important moments in their history. Recent advances in radar technology has revealed the extent of these cities; whereas before archaeologists assumed that the Maya were a largely dispersed people, coming together only at temple complexes, new studies have revealed strikingly large settlements, sprawled out over the jungle.

Maya life wasn’t all monuments, math, sports, and science. Military campaigns were frequent, whether it be to establish rule, to take control over trade routes, or to send a message to an enemy city-state. Combat and the subsequent battles were important enough to be memorialized and glorified in art and hieroglyphic engravings. To be a good ruler, a Maya also had to be a good warrior. They were expected to lead battles and be good tacticians. The kings and societal elites who were defeated were captured and subsequently sacrificed. Such sacrifices were rare, though, and for the most part, the Maya focused on other kinds of sacrifices: drops of blood on paper burned as an offering, for instance.

By the 900s, the Maya declined in both power and population, and some cities were entirely abandoned. But this decline turned out to be just another revolution in the cycle of rise and fall, and, by the 1100s, new cities were forming, particularly along the Caribbean and Gulf coast.

One of the most powerful of these cities, Mayapan, was, when the Spanish arrived by accident (literally – they were shipwrecked) in 1511, in yet another state of collapse. Following the first contact, the Spanish sent three more expeditions to the Yucatán and took over the Aztec capital in Tenochtitlan in 1521. From there, they turned south to modern-day Guatemala and began their conquest of Central America. By 1697, the Spanish defeated the last Maya city, Nojpeté.

Although the Maya cities were gone and the Spanish tried to erase elements of the Maya culture, the Maya continued to persist in small villages, where they maintained their traditional life. Even after the conquest, some of these practices continued, especially food culture and crafts. Today, the Maya are still around, and the language, tzolk’in ritual calendar, and other elements of Maya society thrive.


Main article: Mayan cities (Civ6)



  • Bound-stone Jaguar
  • Smoking Squirrel
  • Scroll Serpent
  • Moon Jaguar
  • Shield Skull
  • Turtle Tooth
  • Lord Chocolate
  • Bird Claw
  • Storm Sky
  • White Hilly Gopher


  • Twelve Baby Macaws
  • Star House
  • Lady White Quetzal
  • Baby Jaguar
  • Lady Skull
  • Scroll-in-hand
  • Waterlily Hand
  • Eveningstar
  • Shell Star
  • Lady Crocodile

Modern males:

  • Spearthrower Owl
  • Stokes-the-Sky
  • Eighteen Rabbit
  • Cauac Head
  • Jaguar Smoke
  • Tree Branch Rain God
  • Moon Centipede
  • Smoking Frog
  • Moon Zero Bird
  • Monkey Star

Modern females:

  • Batzek
  • Great Flower
  • Lady Green Quetzal
  • Lady Shield
  • Earth Shark
  • Binding-K’inich
  • Heart of Wind Place
  • Yohl Ik'nal
  • Bird Jaguar
  • Full Flower


  • The Maya civilization's symbol is the head of the Feathered Serpent, a prominent supernatural entity found in many Mesoamerican myths.
  • The Mayan civilization ability is the Mayan name for the Yucatán Península, the native homeland of the Mayan people.



Civilization VI - First Look- Maya - Civilization VI - New Frontier Pass

Civilization VI - First Look- Maya - Civilization VI - New Frontier Pass

First Look: Maya

Related achievementsEdit

Steam achievement The stars are right (Civ6)
The stars are right
Win a regular game as Lady Six Sky
Probably a reference to a famous exchange from the 2000 movies w:The Road to El Dorado
Steam achievement Court of Itzamna (Civ6)
Court of Itzamna
As the Maya found a settlement adjacent to 4 luxury resources
Itzanma is a Mayan creator deity. He is said to reside in the sky and owns many treasures of Earth.

External linksEdit

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