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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:

Strategy

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
Brahmaputra

River

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 The fifty-second longest river in the world and sixth in Canada. It flows from British Columbia into the U.S. state of Washington, draining into the Pacific Ocean.
Dal River Sweden
Danube River Hungary Second longest river in Europe and thirtieth in the world. Although it runs through multiple countries in Europe (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine) in Hungary, it runs through the capital, Budapest, and is its second longest river.
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 The fifth longest river in Europe and sixty-seventh in the world. It was historically considered to be the border between Europe and Asia, flowing from Tula Oblast in modern Russia to the Sea of Azov, a part of the Black Sea. Its primary city is Rostov-on-Don.
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 Norway's longest river. Its source is the lake of Aursund in Røros, Trøndelag, and it runs for 621km (386 mi) before reaching its mouth in Fredrikstad, where it flows into the Oslofjord. Its Old Norse name was Glaumr, from raumr, meaning "noise" or "racket." The southern part of it was also known as Raumelfr.
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 nineteenth longest river in the world and longest in modern 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 A river linking the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. Although short, it has major religious significance in Judaism and Christianity, since many believe that the Israelites crossed it into the Promised Land (modern day Israel) and that Jesus of Nazareth was baptized by John the Baptist in it.
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 The seventy-first longest river in the world and eighth in Africa flowing from the Botswana-South Africa border to the Indian Ocean.
Litani River Phoenicia
Loire River France The longest river in France and 180th in the world.
Mackenzie River Canada The longest river in Canada and thirteenth longest in the world. It flows throughout northern Canada into the Beaufort Sea, a part of the Arctic Ocean. For most of its length, it is uninhabited, and its drainage basin only services 1% of Canada's population, mostly in its southernmost tributaries.
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.
Mississippi River America The fourth longest river in the world and first in North America and the United States. It almost flows entirely within the United States, with Canada sharing only 1% of its drainage basin. It has historically served as a natural boundary between European colonies and later as a pathway for American expansion.
Mixteco River Aztec
Niger River Mali The third longest river in Africa and fourteenth longest in the world. It is the main river in West Africa, flowing through five countries, including modern day Mali. It flows from the Guinean Highlands in Guinea a mere 150 miles from the Atlantic Ocean towards the Sahara Desert before arcing around to turn southeast into the Gulf of Guinea in modern day Nigeria (Nigeria and neighbouring Niger are both named for the Niger River).
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 The twenty-seventh longest river in the world and third longest river in Canada, which links the Great Lakes of North America to the Atlantic Ocean. It forms part of the modern boundary between Canada and the United States and was a pivotal part of the development of both of the Canadian provinces of which it runs through, Ontario and Quebec.
Sao Francisco River Brazil The fourth longest river in South America and Brazil while also being the longest to flow only in Brazil. Also known as the Opara before colonization and affectionately called Velho Chico (Old Frank), it is known for linking the northeastern and southeastern parts of Brazil. It flows northeast from the Canastra mountains in Minas Gerais state to the Atlantic Ocean.
Seine River France The fifth longest river in France, most well known for flowing through the capital Paris.
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 An endorheic river in Central Asia which is the twenty-fifth longest in the world, flowing from the Tien Shan mountains in modern day Kyrgyzstan to the rapidly vanishing Aral Sea.
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 and is most known for flowing through its capital, London.
Tisza River Hungary The longest river in Hungary. It forms from the confluence of the White Tisa and Black Tisa in western modern Ukraine. It flows through Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Serbia (where it joins the Danube), and into Romania again, draining into the Black Sea.
Ucayali River Inca
Vardar River Macedon
Vistula River Poland The ninth longest river in Europe and 134th in the world, as well as the longest in Poland itself. Its drainage basin services numerous famous Polish cities, including Kraków, Sandomierz, Warsaw, Płock, Włocławek, Toruń, Bydgoszcz, Świecie, Grudziądz, Tczew and Gdańsk.
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 The twenty-third longest river in the world and second in Canada. It flows from British Columbia through the Yukon Territory (itself named for the river) and Alaska before reaching the Bering Sea.
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