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For information on religious promotions, see Apostle (Civ6).
For information on Rock Band promotions, see Rock Band (Civ6).

A Promotion Promotion is one of many special traits which military units in Civilization VI and its expansions can earn to enhance their battlefield performance in various ways. Units earn promotions by gaining enough experience (XP) and leveling up.

Earning experience[]

Every time a unit enters and survives combat (whether it attacks an enemy or itself suffers an attack), it will gain XP. The exact amount gained depends on the type of combat the unit was engaged in (melee or ranged), and may be further affected by a number of factors. For example, land units trained in a city with an Encampment with specialized buildings in it will earn XP at an increased rate.

Much of the information here is originally from a CivFanatics info page by Victoria, and has been updated and expounded upon by editors of this wiki.[1]

XP from battles between units[]

The base amount of XP a unit can receive after a battle is calculated by dividing the Strength Combat Strength of the enemy by the Strength Combat Strength of that unit. If one of the units is dead, the base XP is multiplied by 2. For example, a Warrior (20 Strength Combat Strength) attacks a Spearman (25 Strength Combat Strength):

  • The base XP the Warrior will receive is 1.25. If the Spearman dies, this will be 2.5 XP.
  • The base XP the Spearman will receive is 0.8. If the Warrior dies, this will be 1.6 XP.

Next, additional XP will be added to the base XP as following:

  • +1 XP if this is a ranged battle.
  • +2 XP if this is a non-ranged battle.
  • +1 XP for the unit that initiates the combat.

So back to the initial example:

  • The Warrior that attacks and kills the Spearman will gain 5.5 XP.
  • The Spearman that defends and kills the Warrior will gain 3.6 XP.

Lastly, this amount of XP will be further modified by other percentage-based XP modifiers, mainly from appropriate buildings, Great General Great General and Great Admiral Great Admiral retirements, or other miscellaneous special abilities. After this last step, the real acquired XP will be rounded up or down to the next closest integer (0.5 is rounded up to 1). In the previous example, if both the Warrior and the Spearman are built in a city with a Barracks:

  • The Warrior that attacks and kills the Spearman will gain 6.875 XP, rounded up to 7.
  • The Spearman that defends and kills the Warrior will gain 4.5 XP, rounded up to 5.

Note that combat XP granted in battles between units is capped at 8 XP maximum. Also, fighting Barbarians and Free City units only obeys the XP rules up until the units reach level 2 (first Promotion Promotion). Afterward, every battle against Barbarians and Free City units only grants 1 XP, regardless of situations.

XP from city combat[]

There are a few important rules to know about XP gained from city combat:

  • XP gained from city combat is not capped at 8.
  • Base XP gained from capturing cities is 10, with percentage modifiers applying afterward.
  • Base XP gained from attacking cities is 3, with percentage modifiers applying afterward.
  • Base XP gained from defending against city attacks is 2, with percentage modifiers applying afterward.
  • The attack that reduces the city's HP to 0 always grants 10 XP before modifiers. That means a siege unit shot that depletes the city's HP grants 10 XP, similar to a melee unit dealing the final blow to capture the city.
  • Extra attacks dealt to the city after its HP reaches 0 grant no XP. This means even a melee unit that captures a city when its HP is already 0 will gain 0 XP from doing so, just like other ranged shots in that situation.

Miscellaneous rules[]

  • When combining units, the newly formed Corps, Fleets, Armies, and Armadas earn XP as a new, individual unit. It will retain all previous Promotion Promotions earned by its members before the formation, which means two units with opposite promotion paths make the optimal combination for a formation. However, only the highest XP percentage modifier among the members is retained.
  • Fighter-class airplanes count as melee when attacking and defending against aircraft (dogfighting), but count as ranged when attacking cities and other units.
  • Scouts' attacks are melee, while all other upgraded recon units are ranged.
  • Captured units (by Sea Dogs, Genghis Khan, or Hunahpu & Xbalanque) will forfeit all percentage XP modifiers they had before.
  • Recon units gain 10 XP from discovering a natural wonder and 5 XP from clearing a Tribal Village.
  • Melee units' Battlecry promotion works against Anti-cavalry units despite what the description says.

List of unique experience modifiers[]

This list excludes all common modifiers, such as those from Encampment, Harbor, and Aerodrome buildings.

Civilization bonuses, leader bonuses, and unique units[]

Government and policy cards[]


Great Generals and Great Admirals[]

  • Himerios grants +25% XP gained for a naval unit when retired.
  • Laskarina Bouboulina grants +50% XP gained for a naval unit when retired.
  • Togo Heihachiro grants +75% XP gained for a naval unit when retired (vanilla only).
  • Sergei Gorshkov grants +100% XP gained for a naval unit when retired.
  • Clancy Fernando grants +200% XP gained for a naval unit when retired.
  • Timur grants +25% XP gained for a military land unit when retired.
  • John Monash grants +75% XP gained for a military land unit when retired.
  • Sudirman grants +100% XP gained for a military land unit when retired (vanilla only).
  • Vijaya Wimalaratne grants +100% XP gained for a military land unit when retired.

Leveling up[]

When a unit earns enough XP to level up, a special button will appear in its Command Tab, which will trigger the process. Note that you may delay leveling up as long as you want; however, your unit won't earn new XP until it finishes the level-up process. Also note that earning more XP than needed to reach the next level will not transfer the excess XP to the pool of the next level.

Each unit may select from a special promotion table, which is different for every unit class. Furthermore, the promotions in the table have a hierarchical organization, so you will have to progress from lower-tier ones towards the more advanced ones. In general there are two main avenues for advancement, which both lead towards a final Tier IV promotion. The paths may cross before reaching the ultimate promotion (meaning that you could start up one path, then cross to the other), but this happens at different levels for different classes of units.

Upon selecting a promotion, a unit recovers 50 HP and its turn ends (except when playing as Gran Colombia). Once a unit receives a Promotion Promotion, a small number next to its icon will appear, showcasing the number of Promotion Promotions it currently has. A level 2 unit will have 1 Promotion Promotion, a level 3 unit will have 2, and so on.

A unit will require an amount of XP equal to 15 times the level it is currently on to reach the next level (a brand new unit starts at level 1, when it doesn't have any Promotion Promotions yet). A unit reaches its maximum level at level 8 when it earns all 7 possible Promotion Promotions. The special "Promote" button still appears after that when the unit gathers enough XP, but it cannot be used, so the unit can neither promote nor heal anymore.

Level XP from 0 XP* XP from previous level*
1 0 0
2 15 15
3 45 30
4 90 45
5 150 60
6 225 75
7 315 90
8 420 105

* Applies on Standard speed.

List of promotions[]

Main article: List of promotions in Civ6


Civilization VI [edit]
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