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Red Death is a multiplayer scenario in Civilization VI that was released as part of the September 2019 Update.

Originally conceived as an April Fools' joke from multiplayer engineering lead Bradley Olson, the game took on a life of its own. The scenario is a battle royale type of game that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where each faction competes to be the last one to survive.


Our leaders have failed us. The Red Death comes for us all. Our old civilization could not stand the test of time.

Our only hope lies in a single colony ship waiting in orbit for the last survivors of this world. We can remotely pilot the lander, but the other factions are jamming our signal. The only way we will survive is for us to eliminate the other factions.

Welcome to the last civilization of this world.

Tactical Intel

  • We lose if our Civilians are dead.
  • Search City Ruins, Raider Outposts, and Supply Drops for additional units and supplies.
  • Raider Outposts and Supply Drops have better supplies.
  • The Red Death is advancing in stages and getting progressively stronger.
  • The Red Death's progress and intensity is tracked on the top bar.
  • All water sources are toxic to our units.
  • You know what to do.



In an irradiated wasteland inspired by Fallout and similar franchises, players assume control of one of eight civilizations ("factions") and fight to secure a spaceship and escape the planet. The radioactive mass enveloping the planet is known as the "Red Death," and any units that end their turn in it sustain damage and are unable to heal. The amount of damage inflicted by the Red Death increases as the game progresses, but units can avoid taking damage by remaining inside the "Safe Zone," which shrinks every few turns as the Red Death spreads.

Players are eliminated when they have no remaining Civilians. The last player with a surviving Civilian wins.


Civilians and six kinds of military units - Infantry, Machine Guns, AT Crews, Helicopters, Rocket Artillery, and Tanks - are available in Red Death, all with modified promotion trees. All units are also modified to have faster HP regen (+20 per turn) and gain full XP from Raiders until they reach level 6.

Each player starts with one Infantry and one Machine Gun. New units are then available randomly in city ruins and Raider's Camps, and you can gain new units and supplies in the following ways:

  • Finding and walking in a Ruined City can grant an Infantry, a Machine Gunner, an AT Crew, a Civilian or 20 experience points.
  • Clearing a Raider Camp grants a Helicopter, an AT Crew, or a Thermonuclear Device Thermonuclear Device.
  • Supply Drops can appear near the Red Death ring edge after it has started to advance. These lucrative drops can grant a Tank, a Mobile Artillery, or a Thermonuclear Device Thermonuclear Device.


You should always escort your Civilian unit with a combat unit, because otherwise it's game over. If you meet another faction, try not to engage in combat too early, and instead scout around for Ruined Cities. But if the other person goes after you, then definitely fight! Recommended factions are the Cultists, because their extra Sight Sight will aid in finding other people before they find you, and the Mutants because they can worry less about being stuck in the Red Death.


  • Cultists (Deeply Invested Cultists)
    • Civilization Ability: Observing The End (All units have +3 sight.)
    • Civilization Ability: The Undying Eye (Cultists start the game with a crippled GDR (that they worship). The GDR starts heavily damaged and does not heal or gain experience normally. The GDR earns promotions by the willing sacrifice of adjacent Cultist units.)
  • Borderlords (Very Goth Borderlords)
    • Civilization Ability: Living on the Edge (+10 Strength Combat Strength when 3 hexes or closer to the Safe Zone border.)
    • Civilization Ability: Grieving Gift (As a free action, any Borderlord unit can designate a hex for a booby trapped Grieving Gift on the next turn. The Grieving Gift will look like a normal Supply Drop to all other players. The Borderlords can store up to two Grieving Gifts and they take 5 turns to recharge.)
  • Jocks (Meanest Jocks)
    • Civilization Ability: Witness Perfection (+5 Strength Combat Strength.)
    • Civilization Ability: Hail Mary Pass (Lob a "Hail Mary" small tactical nuke from any combat unit every 6 turns.)
  • Mutants (Horribly Scarred Mutants)
    • Civilization Ability: Radiant Personalities (-50% Red Death damage.)
    • Civilization Ability: Radioactive Movement (+3 Movement Movement for all units in the Red Death.)
    • Civilization Ability: Radiant Personalities (Mutant units absorb 10 Radiation Charges per turn starting in the Red Death or WMD fallout. Mutant units spread Red Death to non-contaminated hexes once per Radiation Charge. Mutant units do not take damage from Red Death hexes they've created.)
  • Doomsday Preppers (Insane Doomsday Preppers)
    • Civilization Ability: Always Prepare for the Worst (All units have +100% experience bonus.)
    • Civilization Ability: Improvised Traps (All Prepper units can build a limited number of Improvised Trap improvements. Improvised Traps explode and deal 25 damage if any unit moves onto the hex. Preppers find more Improvised Traps by exploring City Ruins, Raider Camps, or Supply Drops. Improvised Traps are invisible to all non-Prepper factions.)
  • Pirates (Irradiated Pirates)
    • Civilization Ability: Water Logged (All units take 50% less water damage and ignore additional movement cost from embarking and disembarking.)
    • Civilization Ability: Buried Treasure (Pirates start the game with a buried treasure map represented by an additional supply drop on the map. Pirates get a special reward and a new buried treasure map by visiting that location. As a free action, Pirates can burn their treasure map and get a new one every 6 turns.)
  • Mad Scientists (Ethically Challenged Scientists)
    • Civilization Ability: This Will Only Hurt a Bit (All units heal 2x faster.)
    • Civilization Ability: Defensive Inertial Shielding (All units can deploy Defensive Inertial Shielding that provides a +10 Strength Combat Strength while defending. Shielding also provides full immunity to water, Red Death, and WMD blast damage. Defensive Inertial Shielding lasts for 4 turns and takes 6 turns to recharge.)
  • Wanderers (Free Willed Wanderers)
    • Civilization Ability: See You Later (Infantry and Machine Gunners, as well as Civilians in formation with them, have faster Movement Movement on Woods, Rainforest, and Hill terrain.)
    • Civilization Ability: Road Vision (As a free action, any unit can reveal all previously explored hexes for 1 turn. Recharging takes 3 turns.)
  • Aliens (Undercover Aliens)
    • Civilization Ability: Xenological Camouflage (All units can use Xenological Camouflage to become invisible to most units. Adjacent enemy units can see Camouflaged units. Attacking deactivates Xenological Camouflage. Xenological Camouflage lasts for 6 turns and takes 6 turns to recharge.)
    • Civilization Ability: Xenological Regeneration (All units heal every turn outside of water, Red Death, or WMD fallout regardless of movement or actions. Aliens heal 50% slower.)
  • Zombies (Zombie Beastmasters)
    • Civilization Ability: Barely Weaponized Zombies (Zombie Beastmasters have replaced all combat units with barely controlled Zombie Hordes. City Ruins, Raider Camps, and Supply Drops grant additional Zombie Hordes instead of traditional units. Zombie Hordes create a new Zombie Horde when they combat kill a non-zombie enemy unit. Zombie Hordes do not suffer combat penalties when damaged.)
    • Civilization Ability: Brains! (Zombie Hordes do not heal normally and take damage slowly over time. Zombie Hordes heal when they kill units or get promoted. City Ruins, Raider Camps, and Supply Drops also heal Zombie Hordes. Zombie Hordes can sense the closest unseen enemy unit up to 8 hexes away. Zombie Hordes have +5 Strength Combat Strength when defending against ranged attacks.)

Special features[]


Unit actions[]

See List of unit actions in Civ6


  • Wasteland
  • Wasteland (Hills)
  • Wasteland (Mountain)
  • Poisoned Ocean
  • Poisoned Lake
  • Poisoned Coast
  • Bog
  • The Great Rot
  • City Ruins
  • Explored City Ruins
  • Grieving Gift
  • Improvised Trap
  • Supply Drop


External links[]

Related achievements[]

Ashes of Time
Ashes of Time
Wanderers - Explore 30 city ruins across multiple games.
A reference to the 1980 David Bowie song from Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps).
Do Unto Others
Do Unto Others
Nuclear Strike another faction in the Red Death scenario.
The first half of Jesus' Golden Rule in his Sermon at the Mount.
Experience Is Everything
Experience Is Everything
Preppers - Have 5 units earn 5 promotions across multiple games.
A popular phrase attributing to experience being the best way for one to succeed.
From the Outer Darkness
From the Outer Darkness
Mutants - Attack a unit outside the Red Death while inside the Red Death 20 times.
A reference to a place mentioned 3 times in the Book of Matthew. The Outer Darkness is a place which a person may be cast out.
Getting Pruney
Getting Pruney
Pirates - Spend 50 turns in the water across multiple games.
A reference to 'pruney fingers' that happen after prolonged exposure to water.
Have Them Do Unto You
Have Them Do Unto You
Get nuked by another faction in the Red Death scenario.
The second half of Jesus' Golden Rule in his Sermon at the Mount.
Hope Springs Eternal
Hope Springs Eternal
Be defeated 5 times in the Red Death scenario.
A phrase attributed to the poem An Essay on Man by Alexander Pope.
It Hungers
It Hungers
Cultists - Kill 10 units with the Undying Eye.
(Is this a reference to something in popular culture? Please add the information here!)
It's Alive!
It's Alive!
Mad Scientists - Heal 1000 health points across multiple games.
The famous exclamation of Dr. Frankenstein in Mary Shelley's novel when his creature rises from its bed.
Jocks - Use Hail Marys to wound, but not kill, 5 Civilians across multiple games.
A reference to the jocks' cry from Revenge of the Nerds and the stereotype that athletically gifted students (jocks) bully academically gifted students (nerds).
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Aliens - Attack while cloaked 20 times.
An English proverb, reinterpreted towards camouflage.
Reinforcements Have Arrived
Reinforcements Have Arrived
Claim a Supply Drop in the Red Death scenario.
A common EVA quote from Command & Conquer, a series of real-time strategy games.
The Good Die Young
The Good Die Young
Lose your last Civilian within the first ten turns in the Red Death scenario.
A phrase whose original version was coined by Greek historian Herodotus, meaning 'well-regarded people who are morally upright, kind, beneficent tend to die at a younger age than do most people'.
The Test of Royale
The Test of Royale
Win the Red Death scenario.
Probably a combination of the Test of Time and the game type of Red Death (i.e. Battle Royale).
They're coming to get you, Barbara
They're coming to get you, Barbara
Zombie Beastmasters - Spawn 30 Zombie Hordes through combat kills.
A quote from the zombie film Night of the Living Dead.
U mad, bro?
U mad, bro?
Borderlords - Trick enemy factions into triggering Grieving Gifts 5 times across multiple games.
A reference to a popular meme, associated with a grin that says it all.
Civilization VI Scenarios [edit]
Ancient RivalsCavalry and CannonadesConquests of Alexander1Gifts of the Nile1Global Thermonuclear WarHallowed GroundJadwiga's Legacy1Outback Tycoon1Path to Nirvana1PiratesRed DeathThe Black Death GS-Only.pngVikings, Traders, and Raiders!1War Machine GS-Only.png
1 Requires a DLC

GS-Only.png Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.