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Knowing how to move your armies and workers through the world is essential to success in the world of Civilization. This article will explain the movement rules in Civilization VI.

Basic Rules Edit

All units in the game have a statistic called Movement Points (MP), or just Civ6Movement Movement. This stat determines how far, measured in number of tiles, a unit may move in a single turn. Usually 1 Civ6Movement Movement corresponds to 1 tile of movement, but this is not true in many cases - there are many features on the land which present obstacles to movement. When you mouse over any tile of the world, you will find text showing how many Civ6Movement Movement it costs to move to this tile. When a unit exhausts its Civ6Movement Movement it is unable to do anything else for now and will end its turn. Also, if a unit doesn't have enough Civ6Movement Movement left to execute a particular command you've given, it will also end its turn and wait for the next one to proceed. In this case, however, you can still change your mind and try to execute a different command with said unit, before you end your turn.

MP are sometimes spent partially - this is often the case when a unit is moving on Roads in the late game. Since 1 tile will then take less than 1 Civ6Movement Movement, it is possible that moving 3 tiles will take less than 3 Civ6Movement Movement, and the remainder, if less than 1 Civ6Movement Movement, will still be available to the unit. This becomes important when attempting to perform actions after moving, such as Upgrading or Earning a Promotion - a unit which has some fraction of Civ6Movement Movement will still be able to perform such actions before it ends its turn. Sometimes even Attacking is possible with just a fraction of a Civ6Movement Movement left, if the target is within range!

Note that compared to previous games there is a subtle, but significant difference in movement rules: MP are now spent before you enter the tile, not after! This means that whereas in Civilization V you could move onto a Hill tile with only a fraction of a Civ6Movement Movement left, in Civilization VI you need to have 2 full Civ6Movement Movement left in order to do so. This makes it significantly more difficult to move through "broken" terrain, where open tiles are mingled with rough terrain; it also affects attacking, as you will see below.

Other actions in the game, such as attacking or pillaging, also require Civ6Movement Movement remaining to be performed. Most actions, other than movement, consume all Civ6Movement Movement a unit has left for the turn. However, certain Promotion (Civ6) Promotions and special abilities may alter that, either allowing the unit to spend less Civ6Movement Movement to do certain actions, or granting additional overall Civ6Movement Movement. For example, all Great Generals possess an aura which grants additional Civ6Movement Movement to nearby units, thus allowing them to move further each turn. Also, the Logistics Policy allows all units that start the turn in friendly territory to move further.

Moving on Land Edit

As usual, moving on land is much more difficult than moving at sea. Many terrain features present obstacles to movement - Woods, Rainforests, Hills and Marshes all require 2 Civ6Movement Movement to move onto. What's more, Hills may combine their movement difficulty with Woods or Rainforests, requiring 3 Civ6Movement Movement to move onto! Units which don't actually have 3 Civ6Movement Movement, will still manage to move there exhausting their entire movement for the turn. This makes moving through rough terrain especially difficult.

  • Matterhorn - land combat units ignore hills movement penalty
  • Mount Everest - religious units ignore hills movement penalty
  • Recon units with Ranger or Alpine promotions ignore woods and rainforests or hills movement penalties respectively
  • Melee units with Amphibious promotion ignore rivers movement penalty
  • Helicopters ignore all terrain features and rivers movement penalty
  • Georgia's Khevsurs ignore hills movement penalty
  • Kongolese' Ngao Mbebas ignore woods and rainforests movement penalty
  • Missionary Zeal enhancer belief makes religious units ignore all terrain features and rivers movement penalty.

Crossing rivers is also extremely difficult: it requires 3 Civ6Movement Movement, or all the unit's movement for the round (if its default movement is 3 or less). If the tile on the other side of the river has additional obstructing features (woods, hills, etc.), same rules apply as described above - the unit will still manage to cross the river in a single turn, even though it doesn't have enough Civ6Movement Movement! That means that units with 3 or less Civ6Movement Movement won't be affected by crossing a River into tiles with additional obstacles on them; but that's not the case with faster units. Additional obstructions will apply normally for them; instead of the unit being able to cross and move another tile, for example, it will have to stop there.

Mountain tiles are completely impassable, except for aerial units in the late game. Most Natural Wonders are also impassible, as well as Ice tiles in the extreme north and south of the world.

The Helicopter, a late game light cavalry class unit, is the only 'land' unit which ignores all features (including rivers) and spends 1 MP per tile (adjusted for the eventual presence of a Road). Note however that it still cannot pass Mountains.

In Gathering Storm a new special improvement, the Mountain Tunnel, allows passage underneath Mountains. It acts like a portal, which land units may use to cross from one tunnel entrance to another tunnel exit inside the same mountain range. The cost is the same as crossing a River: 2 Civ6Movement Movement.

Technological development does not aid movement on land, apart from the fact that more modern units which move inherently faster are developed. However, infrastructure (roads) does aid land movement, and it improves with technology!

Roads Edit

Main article: Roads

Creating a transport infrastructure is essential for aiding land movement, especially in the beginning of the game. When units move through tiles with Roads, they spend significantly less time, than moving through the wild.

Roads become automatically better with the passing of Eras. The roads outside your territory, however, will remain the same until your Traders, or these of a nation which has reached a later Era passes along them.

Railroads are available as of the Gathering Storm expansion.

Impassable Tiles Edit

Certain tiles are considered impassable, and block all movement. This includes all Mountains, and most Natural Wonder tiles. Note that unlike Civilization V, no units at all may pass through these tiles, not even Helicopters!

Territory also affects movement rules: while Friendly and Neutral territory can be accessed at all times by all unit types, Rival territory is blocked as soon as the civilization in question develops the Early Empire civic. Of course, your units may enter it if you declare War. Also, note that Religious units disregard territory rules and may enter freely Rival territory at all times!

Tiles of enemy cities are also impassable in all circumstances (even while at war). And, other nations' Encampments now count as City tiles and also become impassable, even from the moment the Encampment is placed, and before it is completed. There is one exception to this rule: when the Encampment gets conquered (that is, its Health and Defenses are down), your units may enter its tile freely. For more on this, check here.

Tiles occupied by enemy units (military, civilian or support) become impassable as well (check below for more details on that).

Moving at Sea Edit

Moving at sea is significantly easier than moving on land - all tiles here take only 1 Civ6Movement Movement to go to (with certain very rare exceptions). However, as usual, certain technologies are required to be able to move at sea at all. Furthermore, the seas are divided in two types of tiles: Coast tiles, where the waters are close to land and more calm; and the treacherous Ocean tiles, which cover most of the map, and where storms and monsters rule. The Sailing tech allows you to build the first ship in the game, the Galley, but this ship may only move on Coast tiles. The same is valid for the more advanced Quadrireme ship.

At the same time, most land units may not move on sea at all, until the Shipbuilding tech is developed. Before that, only Builders may Embark (with Sailing), and Traders may form sea trade routes (with Celestial Navigation).

None of these units (or even more modern ships for that matter) may enter Ocean tiles until the development of Cartography in the Renaissance Era. At this point even Galleys and Quadriremes are able to enter Ocean tiles. This represents a stark difference with Civilization V, where early game units could never enter Ocean tiles, even when your civilization had progressed enough.

Finally, all units moving at sea (including Embarked land units) receive +1 Civ6Movement Movement after researching Mathematics. Note that this detail doesn't appear anywhere in the Civilopedia information on naval units, so you shouldn't be surprised to see 5 Civ6Movement Movement on a Frigate when its Civilopedia entry says it has only 4. Later ships become even faster and may cover considerable expanse of water each turn.

Note that naval units (a.k.a. ships) may enter cities built on the coast.

In Gathering Storm Canals with limited length may be built on land to provide passage for ships between bodies of water.

Embarking Edit

This is the process of a land unit transforming to a transport ship to enter a sea tile (and the opposite, which is called Disembarking). As previously mentioned, all land units may do so, but only after developing certain technologies.

Under normal circumstances, Embarking is quite a slow process, requiring either 3 Civ6Movement Movement or all of a unit's remaining MP (if it has less than 3 Civ6Movement Movement). If a unit has more than 3 Civ6Movement Movement available for either Embarking or Disembarking, the remaining points are transferred to the new movement mode, and that unit may manage to continue moving in this same turn; otherwise its turn will terminate. So, for example, if a cavalry unit with 4 Civ6Movement Movement is right next to water in the beginning of a turn, it will Embark (-3 Civ6Movement Movement), and still have 1 Civ6Movement Movement left to move on the water. Conversely, if an Embarked unit with 6 Civ6Movement Movement is right next to land, it can Disembark (-3 Civ6Movement Movement), and still have 3 Civ6Movement Movement left to move on land! Note that normal movement limits still apply after the switch of movement mode - if the above-mentioned unit has a normal limit of 2 Civ6Movement Movement, it will be able to only use 2 of these 3 Civ6Movement Movement after disembarking.

However, Embarking to and from a tile with a Harbor district, or a City Center tile (in case of a Coastal city) is much easier, and costs only 1 Civ6Movement Movement.

Developing technology vastly improves movement of Embarked units once they're at sea, which also helps Disembarking. Embarked units have 2 Civ6Movement Movement in the Classical Era; the following techs each add more: Square Rigging (+1 Civ6Movement Movement), Steam Power (+2 Civ6Movement Movement) and Combustion (+1 Civ6Movement Movement). When fully developed, Embarked units move as fast as normal ships, and considerably faster than units on land!

In Gathering Storm Embarked units' base speed becomes 4 Civ6Movement Movement, which makes them faster than normal ships even then! The above technological upgrades remain valid, and a fully upgraded Embarked unit receives an impressive 8 Civ6Movement Movement base speed.

  • Melee unit's Amphibious promotion allows it to embark/disembark with 1 movement point.
  • Norway's civilization ability, Knarr, allows units to embark and disembark without using MP, making the Norwegians especially quick at moving land units by sea.
  • Gitarja's leader ability allows religious units to embark/disembark without movement cost
  • Phoenician's civ ability allows Settlers to embark/disembark without movement cost.

Cliffs Edit

Cliffs are special features found on land tiles on the coast. Embarking to and from land tiles with Cliffs is impossible, unless a Harbor has been built on a tile bordering a Cliff. Thus founding cities on, or close to Cliffs will mean they are defended from sea invasions.

Melee units such as the Swordsman may earn the Commando promotion, which allows them to "scale" Cliffs - that is, Embark and Disembark from them.

Ice Edit

Ice tiles are found in the far north and south of the world seas. They are considered impassable to all ships, even Submarines.

Movement-boosting effects Edit

There are certain circumstances in the game in which units will receive more Civ6Movement Movement than they normally have:

  • Heavy Chariot, War-Cart, Tank and Modern Armor receive +1 Civ6Movement Movement when starting their turn on open terrain.
  • Maryannu Chariot Archer receives +2 Civ6Movement Movement when starting its turn on open terrain.
  • Any land unit which is under the effect of a Supply Convoy.
  • Any land or sea unit under the effect of an age-appropriate Great General or Admiral.
  • Some unit classes have a promotion that grant a movement boost (Melee, Anti-Cavalry, Light Cavalry, Naval Melee, Naval Raider, Naval Carrier, Warrior Monk, Nihang)
  • Units in a formation with a Light Cavalry unit with Escort Mobility promotion inherit that unit's movement.
  • When the Logistics Policy Card is active, any land or sea unit which starts its move in friendly territory receives +1 Civ6Movement Movement.
  • Great Lighthouse wonder grants a movement bonus to naval units
  • Meenakshi Temple wonder grants a movement bonus to religious units adjacent to a Guru.
  • Cyrus' leader ability during a Surprise War
  • Chandragupta's leader ability during a War of Teritorial Expansion
  • Gran Colombian's civ ability for all units
  • Mongolian's Ordu building grants a movement bonus to cavalry units
  • Units in a formation with Mongolian's Keshig unit inherit that unit's movement.
  • Norway's Berserker unit on enemy territory
  • Units in a formation with Indonesia's Jong unit inherit that unit's movement.
  • Phoenician's civ ability. Embarked settlers have bonus movement.
  • Maori's civ ability. Embarked units have bonus movement.
  • English' Royal Navy Dockyard district grants a movement bonus to naval units.
  • Bermuda Triangle natural wonder on naval units

Note that all these movement boosters only work if the boosted unit starts its turn already under the effect of the boosting factor! For example, let's imagine that we have a unit and a Supply Convoy which are two tiles apart (the boosting effect of the Convoy works only in nearby tiles). If you move the Convoy next to the unit, you will notice increased Civ6Movement Movement on the unit, but there will be a deduction for the lack of actual boost (-1 Civ6Movement Movement). If you move the unit next to the convoy, thus spending already some of its movement for the turn, you will notice the increased Civ6Movement Movement, but there will be a deduction to account not only for the movement already made, but also for the lack of the boost itself.

Only if the Convoy and unit start their turn next to each other will you enjoy the full boosted movement.

In the same way works the boost for Heavy cavalry - they need to be in a flat terrain tile in the beginning of the turn to receive extra movement; if they enter the tile during their turn, they will get an increased maximum Civ6Movement Movement, along with the relevant deduction.

Entering Other Nations' Borders Edit

Civilization VI subtly changes the way borders are handled. In the beginning of the game all units may enter freely all other civilizations' and city-states' territory. This changes only after a civ (or city-state) develops the Early Empire Civic - this nation now understands how important is to keep watch on its borders at all times, and establishes border guards, closing its borders. From there on, units of one civ may only enter the territory of another civ if they have granted them Open Borders - or, in the case of a city-state, if they become its Suzerain.

The current state of a civ's borders as related to you is also graphically represented on the map - if its borders are "unlocked" to you, they will appear unconnected, as dashes; otherwise, they will be a solid line.

Entering a civ's territory when they haven't granted you Open Borders is considered an Act of War, and will prompt a confirmation dialogue.

Unit Stacking Edit

Civilization VI largely maintains the previous games' "one unit per tile" rule. There can be only one military unit and one civilian unit occupying a particular tile at any time. However, the creation of the new support class unit flouts this rule, as it also allows one additional support unit in the same time. Support units are specifically designed for military purposes, and although they can't attack directly, their effects are always military. So, for example, you can now have a Battering Ram together with your Swordsman, attacking the target city; in Civilization V they had to occupy different tiles.

At sea, there are no support units, so there can only be one ship per tile. Great Admirals, as civilian units, may stack with ships. Embarked units are also considered a separate class, and may stack with both a military ship and an Admiral.

Finally, the Fall 2017 Update introduces new stacking rules for Religious units (Missionaries, Apostles, Inquisitors and Gurus). They now form a separate class of units, which may coexist in the same tile with Military, Civilian and Support units. What's more, they may even enter tiles with enemy units which aren't Religious! This practically forms a second, parallel layer of movement, dedicated to Religious units only, where they can conduct their fights practically unmolested.

Escort Formations Edit

In many cases it is advantageous to keep two (or more) units moving together in the same tile as they move around the field. For example, a Warrior that moves together with a Settler protects him from barbarians. A General that moves with an army gives it a boost to its combat capabilities, while the soldiers protect him from harm. The new stacking rules allow this; what's more, there is a special function which allows you to bind units of different classes together: Escort Formations. They allow the player to lock together up to three units that are located in the same tile and move together automatically as a formation. Of course, all of them will have to belong to different classes. For example, a Swordsman, Battering Ram and a Great General make a valid formation, but a Swordsman, and an Archer do not.

To create a Formation, place the units you want to lock in the same tile - you will notice a chain button appearing in their Command tabs (there will be a separate button for each unit in the tile). Press it to lock the units you want to move together, and from now on any Move command will apply to the entire formation. Movement Points for the new formation are leveled down: The formation will have as many Movement Points as the slowest unit in it. For example, in a formation made of a Builder with a Horseman the Horseman loses its greatest advantage - its speed. Some promotions, however, allow a fast unit to grant its movement to whatever unit it's in formation with.

Moving around Other Nations' Units Edit

As in Civilization V, you can move right through a tile occupied by a unit of a Neutral or a Friendly civ, if you have enough Civ6Movement Movement, and if you can see the tile onto which you want to move. Remember that you'll still need enough Civ6Movement Movement to enter the tile beyond the one occupied by the unit! Since with the new rules this could require quite a lot of Civ6Movement Movement, many times it becomes impossible to execute such maneuvers (especially in Rough terrain) - not because you don't have the right to pass the tile of the unit, but because you simply don't have enough Civ6Movement Movement.

The novelty is that now civilian units may also move through tiles occupied by other units. This helps a lot when moving Settlers, for example.

When you are dealing with hostile units, movement becomes constrained - you cannot move through the tile taken by a hostile unit. What's more, in most cases movement becomes subject to Zone of Control rules, which further restrict your freedom. For more info on this, visit this article.

Special movement regimes Edit

There are a number of units in the game which move under special rules. Here follows a breakdown of these units and the rules, in order of their appearance into the game:

Traders Edit

After production, and each time they complete a Trade Route, Trader units may be based or re-based in a city in your empire (they start in the city where they were produced, of course). The rest of the time, while servicing their current Trade route, the Trader will move along the route's trajectory, one tile at a time. They will stack with all other unit types and are not subject to ZOC or similar rules; however, they can be destroyed by an enemy unit using Pillaging.

Traders ignore borders, but otherwise they need to be physically able to move through the land or the sea. Before researching Celestial Navigation, they can only move on land; after that they may also move on Coastal tiles, but they need a 'port' where to switch - either a Coastal city, or a Harbor district belonging to you. After researching Cartography Traders may also enter Ocean tiles as all other units.

You cannot fully control Traders' movements beyond selecting their base city and their current trading target city; but the trajectory they follow is usually the straightest path possible between the two cities. You can see the projected path of the Trade Route while you're choosing the Trader's next target - use it to gauge whether there will be danger (for example if the route passes dangerously close to a Barbarian outpost).

Religious units Edit

All Religious units (Missionaries, Apostles, Inquisitors, Gurus) move on their own 'layer', which is not shared with other types of units. That means that they are not hindered by any Military or Civilian units whatsoever; but they are still subject to normal physical rules otherwise. Religious units also ignore borders, but they may not enter foreign cities or districts.

Finally, Religious units are subject to ZOC exercised by enemy Religious units. Since they are always considered 'at war' with all other civilizations (except in the case of a Religious Alliance), they will always be under ZOC rules for all practices. Also, be mindful of the fact that Military units of a nation you're at war with may use a special action to destroy instantly your Religious unit, if they enter its tile!

Great People Edit

Great people are considered Civilians for unit class purposes; each has 4 Civ6Movement Movement and may move normally across the map, respecting all normal rules. However, they also have a special ability which allows them to 'hop' to other City Centers of your empire! The only special case here is the Great Admiral, which may also hop from a City Center to a Harbor District (but cannot use a Harbor district as a starting point!).

Spies Edit

Spies don't move normally on the map; they may only move from city to city between their missions. They appear initially in the city which produced them, and can then select their next destination from the list of all cities (both belonging to civilizations and city-states) which you have currently discovered. The travel takes a few turns.

When a Spy gets discovered during a mission and manages to escape, he or she will appear in your Capital6 Capital after a few turns. Also, A Spy that is imprisoned and later freed through trade will appear in your Capital6 Capital instantly.

Air units Edit

As in previous games, air units have a special movement regime. Since they require a lot of fuel to stay in the air, they usually cannot spend prolonged periods of time outside their base, the way other units may stay in the middle of nowhere. So, air units only stay in their bases, from where they may Attack any tile inside their Range.They may Rebase to valid bases inside certain range - this action takes a full turn and moves the unit from one base to another.

The only exception is for Fighter-class units, when they engage in their Patrol regime. For more information on that, visit this article.

Helicopters are a special type of unit, a land-air hybrid. Although they fly, technically, their movement regime is more similar to a land unit, with the difference that they may move through Rough terrain as if it were open, and cross Rivers without losing Civ6Movement Movement. Also, as all other Cavalry-class units, they ignore ZOC.

Airlifting Edit

Towards the end of the game technological and civic development enables the most powerful movement option, Airlifting: the use of cargo planes to move instantly between cities anywhere in the world! After researching the Rapid Deployment Civic, the Airlift option will be turned on provided there is the necessary infrastructure in at least two of your cities, in the form of an Aerodrome district with an Airport building.

To Airlift a land unit (be it military, civilian, support or religious), you need to move the unit within one tile of either the Aerodrome or the City Center of the city containing the Aerodrome; you also need at least a fraction of Civ6Movement Movement left. The Airlift action moves the unit instantly to a tile within 1 tile of the Aerodrome of the remote city, consuming all Civ6Movement Movement that are left.

Bugs Edit

In at least the vanilla iOS version of Civilization VI, you may tap on a valid base that is outside the rebasement range and the aerial unit will still rebase to that base.

Civilization VI [edit]
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