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A River is a type of terrain feature in Civilization VI. It exists almost everywhere in the world, and runs between tiles. It always ends in a body of Water.

  • Yields: Nothing
  • Movement needed: 3 Movement Movement MPs to cross
  • Defense provided: +5 bonus against melee attacks coming from across the river (Ranged attacks are unaffected)
  • Additional traits:


Rivers are invaluable for city settlement, as they supply fresh water and enable the Water Mill (and various wonders) to be built. With it, any city may get a good start at growing and producing as early as the Ancient Era! An Aqueduct built next to it will also supply a nearby city with Fresh Water for Housing Housing Housing purposes.

But rivers do more than that. They provide a bulwark against invasions for any commander that knows how to use them; they turn Deserts into paradise by enabling the Floodplains feature; elsewhere they allow improved farming with the Civil Engineering Civic; they improve commerce thanks to the additional transport opportunities they provide for merchants.

Finally, you may use a River as means of finding the nearest sea in your early exploration. Every river flows from its source to either another river, or to a large body of water - just follow the flow direction.

River Names

Gathering Storm introduced a new mechanic in which Rivers can have different names based on the first civilization that finds them. Below is the list of the names and civilization of origin.

River Civilization Notes
Amur River Russia The tenth longest river in the world. It flows through China and Russia.
Apurimaq Mayu Inca


Columbia River Canada
Dal River Sweden
Danube River Hungary
Delaware River America
Don River Russia
Douro River Spain Third longest river in Iberia. It springs in Soria, northeastern Castilla y León, and its outlet is in Porto, northern Portugal. Douro is the Portuguese spelling, the Spanish spelling would be Duero.
Glomma River Norway
Hai River China
Indus River India
Kawarau River Maori A fast-flowing river draining Lake Wakatipu in the South Island, and ending at Lake Dunstan. Maori followed the river to collect pounamu (greenstone), and European settlers sifted the waters for gold. Today it is famous for adventure tourism, as the setting for bungy jumping and kayaking.
Kawatiri River Maori A river flowing west from the Southern Alps to the Tasman Sea. Known today as the Buller River.
Limpopo River Zulu
Litani River Phoenicia
Loire River France
Mackenzie River Canada
Mata-Au River Maori The second-longest river in New Zealand, flowing southeast from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean. Once a focus of Otago's gold rush era, it is better known today as the Clutha River.
Mixteco River Aztec
Niger River Mali
Nile River Egypt
Okavango River Kongo A river in southwest Africa that begins in Angola where it has the Portuguese name Rio Cubango and flows into Botswana.
Potomac River America
Powinogow Sipi Cree
Rubicon River Rome
Saint Lawrence River Canada
Sao Francisco River Brazil
Shinano River Japan
Syr Darya River Scythia ?
Tarim River China
Thames River England Thames is a river that flows through the south of England. It is the second longest river in the UK.
Ucayali River Inca
Vistula River Poland
Volga River Russia
Waikato River Maori The longest river in New Zealand, flowing north from Mt Ruapehu to Port Waikato into the Tasman Sea. The Waikato Region is named after this river, translating as "flowing water".
Waitaki River Maori A braided river flowing from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean, and traditionally used as a border between the provinces of Canterbury and Otago.
Willkamayu Inca
Yangtze River China
Yellow River China
Yukon River Canada