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Delicate Arch discovery (Civ6)

The discovery of a breathtaking natural wonder

Natural wonders are unique terrain features that may be found scattered throughout the world. All natural wonders cover between 1 and 4 tiles, and provide powerful bonuses which are of great strategic importance to nearby civilizations. Though players cannot build District Districts or improvements on wonder tiles, the bonuses they provide to their surroundings make them attractive locations for founding cities.

Finding natural wonders[]

Natural wonders are relatively uncommon, and are scattered randomly around the map. As a result, natural wonders are strategically valuable, and should be played around carefully. They may generally be found in terrain that is similar to their real-life environment: stand-alone wonders are usually situated in open regions of a suitable type (e.g., Uluru is always circled by Desert tiles), and wonders that are part of larger structures tend to be placed in their appropriate surroundings (e.g., Mount Everest is always part of a range of Mountains).

Though many natural wonders have similar properties to their ordinary terrain counterparts, this is not always the case. For instance, all mountainous wonders are impassable, but they are not treated as Mountain tiles unless specified otherwise in their in-game notes. Mount Everest and Mount Kilimanjaro are considered mountains, and provide adjacency bonuses to Campus and Holy Site districts, while Eyjafjallajökull and Torres del Paine are not, despite being described as mountains in their introductory quotes.

Natural Wonder Torres del Paine closeup (Civ6)

Torres del Paine is not considered a Mountain in-game.

Discovering natural wonders is a valuable experience for recon units: they earn XP for doing so. Also, in Rise and Fall discovering a wonder is a Historic Moment worth 1 Era Score (3 if you're the first civilization in the world to discover it). If the Secret Societies game mode is enabled, finding a natural wonder has a chance to unlock the Hermetic Order Secret Society.

The number of natural wonders in a game ranges from 2 to 7 depending on map size (equal to the number of continents plus one). They will always spawn at least 8 hexes apart.

Bonuses and effects[]

Though each natural wonder is unique, all wonders have a few things in common. Natural wonder tiles cannot be improved, nor can the player construct districts or wonders on them. All natural wonders provide +2 Appeal to adjacent tiles, which makes them ideal spots for Neighborhoods and National Parks. They also net a major adjacency bonus to Holy Sites.

Natural wonders can be broadly categorized into "passable" and "impassable" wonders (depending on whether or not units can move on the wonder tiles). Generally speaking, passable wonders provide bonuses to the wonder tiles themselves, while impassable wonders provide bonuses to the surrounding landscape. And of course, passable wonder tiles can be worked by the citizens of a nearby city, while impassable ones cannot.

Natural wonder adjacency demo (Civ6)

An illustration of how adjacency bonuses stack with Mount Roraima. Wonder tiles are shown in brown.

Passable wonders are usually modified forms of ordinary terrain features that provide extra Culture Culture, Science Science, Gold Gold, or Faith Faith in addition to the normal yields from a tile of their type. Passable wonder tiles share some traits with terrain: Marsh wonders (such as Pantanal and Ubsunur Hollow) have a higher Movement Movement cost, and some Lake wonders (such as Crater Lake) provide fresh water to adjacent tiles. Most impassable wonders are modified forms of impassable terrain such as mountains and rock formations. Their bonuses affect adjacent tiles, providing all sorts of extra yields (not only Food Food and Production Production, but often Culture Culture, Science Science, or Faith Faith) to their surroundings. Bonuses act on both land and water tiles, and in the case of multi-tiled Wonder, they stack for each adjacent tile - see diagram for a visual explanation. The tiles where bonuses stack are very valuable and a prime candidate for tile improvements. Many impassable wonders also grant units a one-time bonus, such as a free Promotion Promotion.

Natural wonder picker[]

With the August 2020 Update, players can now choose to include or exclude certain natural wonders when setting up the game. The included wonders are not guaranteed to show up in the game, but rather are a part of the wonder pool that will be then randomly selected.

Since certain natural wonders have restrictions on which terrains they can spawn on, if the chosen pool of natural wonders is too small, there is a chance you will see fewer natural wonders than the expected number of wonders dictated by the map size.


Because natural wonders are relatively scarce, they should be used strategically. Each natural wonder has unique advantages and abilities (as well as disadvantages), so no single strategy is effective in all cases. Natural wonders normally provide +2 Appeal to adjacent tiles (Uluru provides +4, also the Cliffs of Dover provide +4 in Gathering Storm), and many offer additional Culture Culture, Science Science, and/or Faith Faith. Players looking for a Culture Victory may wish to look out for nearby wonders, and should compete to incorporate them into their cities whenever possible. (National Parks are one of the best sources of Tourism Tourism later in the game.)

Impassable wonders are perhaps the easiest to use effectively. Impassable wonder tiles offer no benefits, and cannot be worked by Citizen Citizens or be otherwise developed; however, they provide valuable bonuses to nearby tiles, which can be worked and improved easily. Large impassable wonders are most effective when they are on the outskirts of cities (or even slightly beyond the city's borders), since the wonder tiles are essentially dead space. If a city is strategically placed in this fashion, it receives the adjacency benefits of the wonder without sacrificing valuable development space. Note that impassable wonder tiles can also be incorporated into National Parks - you only need a single passable tile next to the wonder, and in the correct position, where the Naturalist can go and activate its ability. However, if a player seeks to create a Park as soon as possible, then placing the City Center closer to the wonder might be more helpful; otherwise the player will be forced to wait for the cultural expansion of the city borders to cover all required wonder tiles, and this might not only take a while, but sometimes prove impossible (e.g., if another city is also close enough to claim some of the required tiles).

Passable wonders are somewhat harder to use. Their bonuses almost always apply to the wonder tiles themselves, so they are most effective when incorporated within city limits. Since Culture Culture, Science Science, and Faith Faith production is slower in the early game, these yields can be game-changing if you manage to work those tiles. However, since passable wonders alter the tile yields completely, other than adding yields on top of the base terrain, the ones that do not provide Food Food (and, to a lesser extent, Production Production) are notoriously hard to make use of: you cannot work those tiles as soon as you settle your cities, and when your cities are big enough to support tiles that do not provide Food Food and Production Production, the yields tend to be less meaningful. Later in the game, natural wonders may be more of a hindrance than an asset - a natural wonder near the City Center can spoil adjacency bonuses for Farms and districts. In short, passable wonder tiles are significantly better than an unimproved tile of any kind, but are often less productive than an ordinary tile with an improvement or a district.

Preserves are a very good way to make use of all kinds of natural wonders. Since natural wonder tiles always have Breathtaking Appeal, each one adjacent to a Preserve with a Grove and a Sanctuary will provide +2 Food Food, Faith Faith, Culture Culture, Science Science, Gold Gold, and Production Production bonuses.

List of natural wonders[]

See also[]

Civilization VI Wonders [edit]
Wonders AlhambraAmundsen-Scott Research Station R&F-OnlyAngkor Wat1Apadana1Big BenBiosphère1Bolshoi TheatreBroadwayCasa de Contratación R&F-OnlyChichen ItzaColosseumColossusCristo RedentorEiffel TowerEstádio do MaracanãEtemenanki1Forbidden CityGolden Gate Bridge GS-OnlyGreat Bath GS-OnlyGreat LibraryGreat LighthouseGreat ZimbabweHagia SophiaHanging GardensHermitageHuey TeocalliJebel Barkal1Kilwa Kisiwani R&F-OnlyKotoku-in R&F-OnlyMachu Picchu GS-OnlyMahabodhi TempleMausoleum at Halicarnassus1Meenakshi Temple GS-OnlyMont St. MichelOracleOrszágház GS-OnlyOxford UniversityPanama Canal GS-OnlyPetraPotala PalacePyramidsRuhr ValleyStatue of Liberty R&F-OnlyStatue of Zeus1St. Basil's Cathedral R&F-OnlyStonehengeSydney Opera HouseTaj Mahal R&F-OnlyTemple of Artemis R&F-OnlyTerracotta ArmyTorre de Belém1University of Sankore GS-OnlyVenetian Arsenal
Natural wonders Bermuda Triangle1Chocolate Hills GS-OnlyCliffs of DoverCrater LakeDead SeaDelicate Arch R&F-OnlyEye of the Sahara R&F-OnlyEyjafjallajökull1Fountain of Youth1Galápagos IslandsGiant's Causeway1Gobustan GS-OnlyGreat Barrier ReefHạ Long Bay1Ik-Kil GS-OnlyKakadu2Lake Retba R&F-OnlyLysefjord1Mato Tipila GS-OnlyMatterhorn R&F-OnlyMount EverestMount KilimanjaroMount Roraima R&F-OnlyMount Vesuvius GS-OnlyPaïtiti1Pamukkale GS-OnlyPantanalPinnacles2PiopiotahiSahara el Beyda GS-OnlyTorres del PaineTsingy de BemarahaUbsunur Hollow R&F-OnlyUluru1Vinland2YosemiteZhangye Danxia R&F-Only
1 Requires DLC2 Specific scenarios only

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

Civilization VI [edit]
Rise and FallGathering StormNew Frontier PassLeader Pass
R&F-Only Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.