Promotions are 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 experience points (XP) and leveling up.
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 differs from 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. Check the individual building descriptions for more info on this.
Fighting Barbarians has limited uses: any unit that does so will earn its first level normally, after which for every military encounter it will earn only 1 XP, regardless of type or bonuses! Note that Rebel units and Free City units are also considered Barbarians for the purposes of earning XP.
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 promotions table, which is different for every unit class. Furthermore, the promotions in the table have 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 an "uber-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.
Of course, all promotions carry over when the unit is upgraded to a more advanced unit. Also, if the unit joins with others into a Corps/Fleet or Army/Armada, the promotions are combined in the new formation. However, the highest level of the combined units is used. This means two units with opposite promotion paths make the optimal combination for a formation.
|Level||XP from 0 XP*||XP from previous level*|
* Applies on Standard speed.
List of promotions
- Main article: List of promotions in Civ6