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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 Civ6Movement 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 Housing6 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 Manchuria and eastern Russia, ending at the Strait of Tartary in the Pacific Ocean.
Apurimaq Mayu Inca


India The fifteenth longest river in the world. It flows from Tibet and through northeastern India and Bangladesh, joining the Ganges in the latter, with which it creates the largest river delta in the world.
Columbia River Canada
Dal River Sweden
Danube River Hungary Second longest river in Europe. Although it runs through multiple countries in Europe, starting in the Black Forest of Germany, in Hungary, it runs through the capital, Budapest.
Delaware River America American river that goes through 5 states. Most known for being the river traveled by 1st President, George Washington, to begin the Battle of Trenton during the American Revolution.
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 A short river in modern day Tianjin formed by the confluence of the Southern Canal, Ziya River, Daqing River, Yongding River, and the Northern Canal. It connects the Chinese capital of Beijing to Tianjin and further to the Bohai Sea, a small gulf of the western Pacific Ocean.
Halicamon River Macedon
Indus River India The longest river in Pakistan flowing from the Tibetan plateau southwest to the Indian Ocean. The Indus is the namesake of India itself, and was the cradle for the Indus River Valley Civilization (represented in Civilization VI as Mohenjo Daro).
Jordan River Phoenicia
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 The longest river in Africa and the world, fed by numerous sources from Ethiopia and the Great African Lakes region, which flows north to the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile was the cradle of Egyptian civilization, particularly around its wide and productive delta.
Okavango River Kongo A river in southwest Africa that begins in Angola where it has the Portuguese name Rio Cubango and flows into Botswana.
Orontes River Phoenicia
Potomac River America The river that Washington D.C., the capital of the United States, is situated on.
Powinogow Sipi Cree
Rubicon River Rome A small and shallow river south of Ravenna, modern day Italy, which flows into the Adriatic Sea. While not conclusively proven, it is likely that this is the Rubicon which Julius Caesar, the first Roman Emperor, crossed in 49 BC to reach Rome. Crossing the Rubicon has since come to mean "the die is cast", or "to go past the point of no return".
Saint Lawrence River Canada
Sao Francisco River Brazil
Shinano River Japan The longest and widest river in Japan, flowing north from the Japanese Alps in central Honshu into the Sea of Japan.
Struma River Macedon
Syr Darya River Scythia
Tarim River China An endorheic river in the Tarim Basin of Xinjiang.
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
Vardar River Macedon
Vistula River Poland
Volga River Russia The longest river in Russia and Europe, as well as being a national symbol of Russia. Eleven of Russia's twenty largest cities are located in the Volga's drainage basin. It flows south into the Caspian Sea from its origin in the Valdai Hills.
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 The longest river in Asia and the third longest in the world, running through central China from its origin in eastern Tibet to its mouth at the East China Sea. It is the longest river to flow through only one modern-day country.
Yellow River China The second longest river in Asia and the sixth longest in the world. It was the cradle of Chinese civilization, flowing from its origin in Qinghai Province's Bayan Har Mountains to the Shandong Peninsula. It is called yellow due to the persistent amounts of loess being carried downstream.
Yukon River Canada
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