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The term terrain encompasses the geographical features of the map in Civilization VI. As in recent Civilization titles, it consists of hexagonal tiles, each of which possesses certain properties and gameplay effects. At the most basic level, terrain is divided into land, which forms the inhabitable parts of the map, where most of the gameplay happens; and water, which envelops the land and completes the map.

Geographical organization[edit | edit source]

In Civilization VI all landmass is separated into continents, but continents are not necessarily always separated by water. As per game rules, when each map is initially formed, even if it joins all land into a single continuous landmass, the engine will still separate it logically into several continents. This means that it is possible to see two land tiles next to each other which belong to different continents. On the other hand, it is possible for an island to belong to a nearby continent, even being fully separated by water.

The reason for this is because some gameplay effects involve different continents. So, for these to remain possible, on every map there is need for different continents, even if the land was created as a single, continuous landmass.

Map generation in Civilization VI is ever closer to real life! For example, Mountains are often surrounded by Hills, or Hills often form massives mimicking Highlands. Gathering Storm makes another step forward - Mountain chains are now often found at 'tectonic faults', where two continents join; and it is also there where the new Volcanoes are found, showing earth's tectonic activity with their eruptions! Rivers are now surrounded by Floodplains when enough lowland tiles are close to each other.

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

As in previous titles, all terrain in the game consists of a combination of three elements:

  1. Base terrain, which denotes the basic soil type of the tile and comes with pre-determined qualities and yields;
  2. Terrain features, which are special formations of some sort (vegetation, relief, etc.) that build upon the qualities (and yields) of the base terrain and add new gameplay elements to it;
  3. Resources, which are special minerals or vegetation, important for your civilization in some way. They add the final touch to a tile's yields.

Unlike in Civilization V, terrain features do not completely overwrite the base terrain yield, but rather add some bonus to it; resources stack on top of both base terrain and features. Another major change is that tile improvements now do not remove terrain features, and their bonuses simply stack on top of these of base terrain + features + resources! So, for example, Woods on a Grassland (Hills) tile will have a total yield of 2 Food Food and 2 Production Production, while on a Plains (Hills) tile it will be 1 Food Food and 3 Production Production. If you build a Lumber Mill on it, the total yield (after all applicable technologies have been researched) will be 2 Food Food, 4 Production Production on Grassland, and 1 Food Food, 5 Production Production on Plains (with 1 additional Production Production in both cases if that Lumber Mill is next to a River).

Regarding classifications of Hills in Civilization VI, it is no longer a terrain feature, the Hills variants of different terrains are now counted as terrains in their own rights. Therefore:

  • Unless clearly stated, a Wonder that can be built on one terrain should not be assumed it can be also built on the Hills variant of that terrain. Same goes for abilities that interact with certain aspects of terrains. Examples:
  • Since Hills are no longer a feature, they do not interact with bonuses granted by Reyna's Forestry Management or the Māori's Marae or prevent Droughts.
  • Exceptions:
    • Bonuses of Petra and St. Basil's Cathedral: Despite the fact that these two wonders have explicit tooltips explaining whether or not they can be built on Hills variants, their bonuses do apply to Hills variants without mentioning so.
    • Russian civilization ability, Mother Russia, does apply to Tundra (Hills) without mentioning so.
    • The Open-Air Museum counts terrains and their respective Hills variant as one for the purpose of providing Culture Culture and Tourism Tourism bonuses.

In vanilla Civilization VI and Rise and Fall base terrain yields were 'set in stone' - they could only be changed via certain Wonders. That's not the case, however, in Gathering Storm! The new disaster system unleashes the forces of nature upon the world, which are capable of altering significantly base yields. Every time a disaster strikes the land, soil and minerals are carried by it, enriching the soil of even the most arid areas of the world. This means that there is a chance the disaster will add further yields to some or all affected tiles and they will remain for the rest of the game! Check individual Disaster descriptions for further info.

List of terrains and terrain features[edit | edit source]

Main article: List of terrains in Civ6

Appeal[edit | edit source]

Main article: Appeal (Civ6)

In Civilization VI, there is a brand new attribute associated with terrain: Appeal. Each tile receives an Appeal rating based on a combination of factors, including the tile's base terrain and the features on and adjacent to it. Wonders and some Great People also increase the Appeal rating of tiles.

The Appeal of a tile has some important gameplay effects, mainly related to Tourism Tourism and Housing Housing. For example, building Tourism Tourism-related buildings and improvements on or next to tiles with high Appeal will increase their effect! The Housing Housing bonus of Neighborhood districts also depends on the Appeal of the tile.

Natural Wonders[edit | edit source]

Main article: Natural Wonder (Civ6)

Natural Wonders are unique terrain features that may be found scattered throughout the map, typically in an environment resembling the real-life surroundings of the wonder. Natural wonders cover between 1 and 4 tiles, and provide powerful bonuses which are of great strategic importance to nearby civilizations. Though players cannot build districts or improvements on wonder tiles, the bonuses they provide to their surroundings make them attractive locations for constructing cities.

It is important to note that while some natural wonders behave as modified versions of basic terrain features, this is not always the case. For instance, Mount Everest and Mount Kilimanjaro are considered Mountains, while Eyjafjallajökull and Torres del Paine are not.

Bonuses and Effects[edit | edit source]

An illustration of how adjacency bonuses stack with Mount Roraima. Wonder tiles are shown in brown.

Though the bonuses provided by wonders differ in nature, all natural wonders have a few things in common. Players cannot build districts, found cities, construct wonders, or make tile improvements on natural wonder tiles. All natural wonders provide +2 Appeal to adjacent tiles, which makes them ideal spots for Neighborhoods and National Parks.

Natural wonders can be broadly categorized into "passable" and "impassable" wonders (depending on whether or not units can move on the wonder tiles). As a rule, passable wonders provide bonuses on the wonder tiles themselves, while impassable wonders provide bonuses to the surrounding landscape.

Passable wonders are usually modified forms of ordinary terrain features that provide extra Culture Culture, Science Science, Gold Gold, or Faith Faith in addition to the normal yields from a tile of their type. Passable wonder tiles share some traits with terrain: Marsh wonders (such as Pantanal and Ubsunur Hollow) have a higher Moves Movement cost, and Lake wonders (such as Crater Lake and the Dead Sea) provide fresh water to adjacent tiles. Passable wonders are most effective when incorporated into a city, as their tiles do not provide an adjacency bonus. Passable wonder tiles are significantly better than an unimproved tile of any kind, but are often less productive than an ordinary tile with an improvement or a district.

Most impassable wonders are modified forms of impassable terrain such as mountains and rock formations. Their bonuses extend to adjacent tiles, often providing extra Culture Culture, Science Science, or Faith Faith to their surroundings. (Note that these bonuses stack for each adjacent tile - see diagram for a visual explanation.) Many impassable wonders also grant units a one-time bonus, such as a free Promotion Promotion. Impassable wonders are most effective when near the borders of a city, such that their adjacency bonus extends onto city tiles without wasting valuable space.

In Rise and Fall, each natural wonder grants +1 Era Score when it is discovered, or +3 Era Score if the player is the first to do so.

List of Natural wonders[edit | edit source]

Main article: List of natural wonders in Civ6
Civilization VI [edit]
Rise and FallGathering StormNew Frontier Pass

Lists
AgendasBeliefsBuildings (Unique buildings) • City-statesCivicsCivilizationsCompetitions GS-Only.pngDistrictsImprovementsLeadersNatural wondersPantheonsPolicy cardsProjectsPromotionsReligionsResourcesTechnologiesTerrainsUnits (Unique units) • Wonders

Concepts
AgendaAge R&F-Only.png (Historic Moment R&F-Only.pngTimeline R&F-Only.png) • BarbariansBoostsBuildingCity (AmenitiesCapitalGovernor R&F-Only.pngHousingLoyalty R&F-Only.pngPopulation) • City-state (EnvoySuzerain) • CivicClimate GS-Only.png (Disaster) • Combat (Air combatCity combatFlanking and SupportZone of control) • Competition GS-Only.pngDifficulty levelDiplomacy (Emergency R&F-Only.pngEspionageGossipGrievances GS-Only.pngWarmongeringWorld Congress GS-Only.png) • DistrictEraGovernmentGreat PeopleGreat WorkImprovementMap (AppealBordersContinentTile) • Natural wonderPolicy cardProjectPromotionReligion (Pantheon) • ResourceSpeedTechnologyTerrainTrade RouteUnit (MovementRangeSightStrength) • VictoryWar wearinessWonder

Miscellaneous
DLCGame ModeModdingPersona PacksScenariosSoundtrackStarting a new gameSteam AchievementsSteam trading cardsUpdates

R&F-Only.png Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only.png Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.

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