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TradeRoute6 Trade Routes represent the trade activities of civilizations, either between their own cities or with foreign civilizations. They are an essential activity which provides multiple benefits: they boost Civ6Gold Gold, Civ6Food Food and Civ6Production Production, among other yields, create roads when running on land, and provide increased DiplomaticVisibility6 Diplomatic Visibility with other civilizations.

Trading routes and capacity are always displayed in the stats ribbon in the upper left part of the screen.

Route MechanicsEdit


In order to establish a TradeRoute6 Trade Route you need free Trading Capacity of at least 1 (that is, the number of currently active TradeRoute6 Trade Routes must be less than your total Trading Capacity), a Trader unit and at least 1 valid destination city.

Traders may establish routes over land and sea, but sea routes require the Celestial Navigation technology.

Trading CapacityEdit

Trading Capacity is the maximum number of TradeRoute6 Trade Routes you can have at the same time. The Foreign Trade Civic (one of the earliest of the Ancient Era) grants a Trading Capacity of one, meaning that your empire can have one TradeRoute6 Trade Route at a time. Each city with a Commercial Hub or a Harbor (or, from Rise and Fall onwards, a Market or a Lighthouse) increases a civilization's Trading Capacity by one. These bonuses are not cumulative: a city with both a Commercial Hub/Market and a Harbor/Lighthouse adds only one Trading Capacity, not two.

Other sources of Trading Capacity include the following:

Each Trader services one TradeRoute6 Trade Route. For this reason, when the number of Traders equals the Trading Capacity you can't build more Traders. Still, there are exceptional situations in which the number of Traders (and active TradeRoute6 Trade Routes) can exceed the Trading Capacity. This happens when your Trading Capacity suddenly decreases below the number of Traders/routes you have. Trading Capacity may decrease, for example, in vanilla Civilization VI when you change governments from Merchant Republic to something else (which reduces your Trading Capacity by 2); when your commercial infrastructure is pillaged by enemy units or disasters, or when you lose cities with commercial infrastructure. All the TradeRoute6 Trade Routes that were active when the decrease in Trading Capacity happened remain active. This means that the number of TradeRoute6 Trade Routes can actually exceed the Trading Capacity for a few turns. However, the next Trader(s) to finish a TradeRoute6 Trade Route will be unable to start a new route and will be forced to stay inactive. They will recover their ability to create TradeRoute6 Trade Routes once you increase your Trading Capacity again.

Establishing Trade RoutesEdit

You create TradeRoute6 Trade Routes by selecting a Trader which is currently 'free' (isn't servicing a TradeRoute6 Trade Route), an origin city and a destination city. To start, you need an origin city: this can be any city in your civilization which is physically able to connect to your intended destination city. If the current city the Trader is in doesn't suit you, move the Trader using the Transfer to another city button in its Command tab. (This will take one turn.) Next, choose a destination city from the list in the left part of the screen. Valid destinations can be foreign cities, city-states, or your own cities, but must meet the following requirements:

  • You have discovered it already.
  • You're not at war with the civilization to which it belongs.
  • It is within trading range of the origin city. Note that default trading ranges can be extended via Trading Post (Civ6) Trading Posts!
  • A route that connects the origin and the destination cities is available. A route is available if you have explored enough tiles to create a path between the two cities, and none of those tiles is impassable. Note that this doesn't necessarily mean that the chosen path will be the most direct possible - sometimes you'll find out you haven't revealed the tiles which will make this possible.

Sea routes have additional technology and infrastructure requirements:

  • The Celestial Navigation technology is required to move on Coast tiles.
  • The Cartography technology is required to move on Ocean tiles.
  • Both the origin and the destination cities must have maritime access. Cities with maritime access are those that are adjacent to a body of water connected to the sea, or that have a Harbor on such a body of water.
  • In Gathering Storm, Canals may allow additional cities to use sea routes if they connect in the proper manner.

For each potential destination, you will see projected income and benefits, as well as the number of turns the route will run. While the menu with the available destinations is open, each potential route trajectory is shown as a white line on the map. TradeRoute6 Trade Routes may traverse hostile territory, although they run a great risk of being plundered if they do.

Finally, you may choose to Repeat the last route (if there was any). This will automatically select the destination city of the last route this Trader performed and activate the route.

Each TradeRoute6 Trade Route runs for a set number of turns, after which it is considered finished. Traders move to the destination city and then return to its city of origin. When they complete this round journey Trading Post (Civ6) Trading Posts for your civilization are created both in the destination and in the origin city, if they didn't exist already.

Traders move at a speed of one tile per turn, both on land and at sea. This is the rate at which they create roads. Even though it quite a few turns for a Trader to reach its destination and return, the route itself provides its benefits (Civ6Gold Gold, Civ6Production Production, etc.) from the turn you establish it, and continues to do so until its duration runs out.

Most TradeRoute6 Trade Routes only benefit the origin city. If you want to boost one of your cities, make it the origin of your TradeRoute6 Trade Routes. 


How long TradeRoute6 Trade Routes run is dependent on game speed. On Standard game speed, a route runs for a minimum of 21 turns and ends only when the Trader returns to its origin city, completing a round trip. For short TradeRoute6 Trade Routes, this means a Trader will have to complete multiple round trips. (Note that the in-game UI shows only the absolute distance between the cities, not the real TradeRoute6 Trade Route duration.)

In Gathering Storm, the current World Era retroactively adds additional turns to the TradeRoute6 Trade Route's minimum duration (TradeRouteMinimumEndTurnChange parameter), as shown in the table below. This makes it much harder to establish Trading Post (Civ6) Trading Posts in the mid- to end game.

World Era Turns added
Ancient, Classical 0
Medieval, Renaissance 10 (50% longer)
Industrial, Modern, Atomic 20 (100% longer)
Information, Future 30 (150% longer)

The following table gives examples of different route lengths (on Standard speed) for the Ancient and Classical Era. Breakpoints are bolded.

Distance travelled (tiles) Roundtrip time (turns) Number of trips Duration (turns)
4 8 3 24
5 10 3 30
6 12 2 24
7 14 2 28
8 16 2 32
9 18 2 36
10 20 2 40
11 22 1 22
12 24 1 24
13 26 1 26
14 28 1 28
15 30 1 30

Trading RangeEdit

This is the measure of how many tiles from its current base a Trader is able to reach, so as to establish routes. Note that, unlike Civilization V, TradeRoute6 Trade Route range cannot be enhanced via technology! The only way to do it is via infrastructure - more specifically, the new Trading Post (Civ6) Trading Posts (see below). This makes it imperative to think strategically when establishing TradeRoute6 Trade Routes - sometimes it is worth it to establish a route which won't benefit you much, but when finished, will allow you to reach other parts of the world!

The base range for land trade routes is 15 tiles. A Trader unit sent over land will automatically construct a road (or upgrade an existing road, if your technology is more advanced) between the cities along the route trajectory.

The base range for sea trade routes is 30 tiles. Remember that you need the Celestial Navigation tech in order to be able to establish sea trade routes. Also note that routes may switch between movement modes - the route may start in an inland city, then go to a coastal city (or to a city with a Harbor), move over sea to another city with a Harbor, then continue on land to its destination. As long as the destination is within the overall range of the route, switching back and forth between modalities is possible. Also, remember that there needs to be physical access to the coast!

Trading PostsEdit

As mentioned above, Trading Post (Civ6) Trading Posts are automatically constructed in the destination and source city of every finished TradeRoute6 Trade Route. Future routes (both land and sea) that pass through these cities will have extended reach - they will effectively reset their range at the Trading Post (Civ6) Trading Post. You can make use of this to reach farther and farther in the world with your Traders! Trading Post (Civ6) Trading Posts add 1 Civ6Gold Gold each to the route's yield.

Potential Destinations for TradeEdit

You can establish TradeRoute6 Trade Routes with your own cities (they are called 'Domestic routes'), with rival civilizations' cities, or with city-states (both of these are called 'International routes'). The results are slightly different, although trading with foreign cities or city-states is largely the same. Trading between your own cities provides mainly Civ6Food Food and Civ6Production Production, while trading with foreign cities provides mainly Civ6Gold Gold, along with other yield types which depend heavily on the types of District (Civ6) Districts and resources the target city has. For more details, see below. Also, opening a TradeRoute6 Trade Route to the city is often requested by city-states as a Quest.

Trading BenefitsEdit

TradeRoute6 Trade Routes are always sent from the City Center of their origin to that one of their destination, but they benefit from all districts that exist in the destination city's territory. Thus, a route to a specific city may start with a very negligible yield, but as that city develops over time, the yields of future routes sent there will also increase.

There are two major types of TradeRoute6 Trade Routes, which determines the general type of effect they have:

  • Domestic (or internal) routes are those established between cities of your empire.
  • International routes are those established with cities outside your empire.

This separation is also important when considering certain Policy Card effects (see below).

Note that at all times there may exist only one route between Cities A and B. You can establish a new route to City A starting from City B, but you won't be able to establish another route from A to B until the first one's duration runs out.

Domestic TradeEdit

Domestic TradeRoute6 Trade Routes can be established between your own cities, as long as they are in range of each other.

When you start a domestic TradeRoute6 Trade Route, the city of origin will receive Civ6Food Food and Civ6Production Production, depending on the districts at the place the route is going. Use domestic routes to boost the basic performance of any city within your empire, especially newly established ones. Cities constructing Wonders also benefit greatly - try to connect them to your most advanced industrial city.

International TradeEdit

International TradeRoute6 Trade Routes can be established with rival civilizations whose cities are within range. The yields they provide are much more varied: all such routes will provide Civ6Gold Gold, but depending on the districts at their destination, they will also provide Civ6Science Science, Civ6Culture Culture, Civ6Faith Faith, and also Civ6Production Production and Civ6Food Food on occasion.

Aside from providing Civ6Gold Gold income, international TradeRoute6 Trade Routes also serve as a sort of social connection. First, trading provides the most basic form of espionage, as rumors will trickle down the routes enabling you to learn of developments in rival civilizations. Second, traders will talk freely about the wonders of your civilization, which boosts your Tourism6 Tourism output to the other civilization!

You can also establish TradeRoute6 Trade Routes with City-States. They work much the same as routes with other civilizations (without the extra social effects, of course).

Trade Yields Based on Districts Edit

Below is a table of all effects the various districts add to a TradeRoute6 Trade Route's total yield. The civilization-specific versions of the districts have the same yield as the respective generic district they replace.

District Domestic Destination International Destination
City Center (Civ6) City Center 1 Civ6Food Food, 1 Civ6Production Production 3 Civ6Gold Gold
Campus (Civ6) Campus 1 Civ6Food Food 1 Civ6Science Science
Holy Site (Civ6) Holy Site 1 Civ6Food Food 1 Civ6Faith Faith
Encampment (Civ6) Encampment 1 Civ6Production Production 1 Civ6Production Production
Commercial Hub (Civ6) Commercial Hub 1 Civ6Production Production 3 Civ6Gold Gold
Theater Square (Civ6) Theater Square 1 Civ6Food Food 1 Civ6Culture Culture
Entertainment Complex (Civ6) Entertainment Complex 1 Civ6Food Food 1 Civ6Food Food
Water Park (Civ6) Water Park 1 Civ6Food Food 1 Civ6Food Food
Harbor (Civ6) Harbor 1 Civ6Production Production 3 Civ6Gold Gold
Industrial Zone (Civ6) Industrial Zone 1 Civ6Production Production 1 Civ6Production Production
Government Plaza (Civ6) Government Plaza 1 Civ6Food Food, 1 Civ6Production Production 2 Civ6Gold Gold

Trade Yields BoostersEdit

Finally, there are several ways to boost performance of your TradeRoute6 Trade Routes.

First, every Trading Post (Civ6) Trading Post for your civilization through which a route passes along its course adds +1 Civ6Gold Gold to its total yield. Thus, the farther the route goes (and the more cities with Trading Post (Civ6) Trading Posts it passes along the way), the greater its final Civ6Gold Gold yield.

Second, in Gathering Storm all TradeRoute6 Trade Routes passing through water tiles gain bonus Civ6Gold Gold. Also, routes passing through advanced engineering features (such as a Railroad, Canal or Mountain Tunnel) gain additional Civ6Gold Gold bonuses. This makes it possible for a single TradeRoute6 Trade Route to yield 30+ Civ6Gold Gold, if established the right way!

Third, Governor Magnus' Surplus Logistics title will give +2 Civ6Food Food to the city in which a domestic TradeRoute6 Trade Route starts if it ends in the city in which he is established.

Finally, a number of Policy Cards enhance your routes in various ways. The following increase the yields of all routes (domestic and international):

The following Policies work for domestic routes only:

The following Policies work for international routes only:

In Gathering Storm, the effects of Arsenal of Democracy are transferred to Democracy, and Collectivization is available only after adopting Communism.

Other Effects of Trade Routes Edit

Besides yield boosts for your cities, TradeRoute6 Trade Routes also have other important effects:

  • As mentioned before, they create Roads along their trajectory on land. Also, if it so happens that your civilization has unlocked a higher level road than the existing one along the route's trajectory, the Trader will upgrade it during its first passage.
  • They exert a bit of Religious pressure: 0.5 for the origin city's Majority religion (if any) to the destination city, and vice-versa. This is valid for all routes (International and Domestic).
  • They increase the DiplomaticVisibility6 Diplomatic Visibility with the destination city's owner by 1 level. This is valid only for International routes to other civilizations.
  • They boost Tourism6 Tourism output to this civilization by 25%. Again, only valid for International routes to other civilizations.
  • In Rise and Fall, routes existing between Allied civilizations will boost the accumulation of Alliance points and speed up the Upgrade of their Alliance levels.

Plundering Trade RoutesEdit

TradeRoute6 Trade Routes are vulnerable to attack, and unguarded ones may be plundered by Barbarians and units belonging to civilizations with which you are at war. If an enemy unit enters a tile that one of your Traders currently occupies, it can plunder the route, which destroys the Trader and rewards the enemy unit's owner with Civ6Gold Gold. This action costs all of the unit's remaining Civ6Movement Movement points, meaning the unit can move and plunder in the same turn. A fast unit (with at least 4 MP) might be able to pillage a district or improvement (3 MP) and plunder a TradeRoute6 Trade Route in the same turn. Try to protect your water based TradeRoute6 Trade Routes with some strong Naval units.

Note that when you go to war with a civilization, all TradeRoute6 Trade Routes with them are cancelled, but you do not lose the Traders - instead, you get to reassign them.

Comparison with Other GamesEdit

TradeRoute6 Trade Routes in Civilization VI are similar to their counterparts in Civilization V: Brave New World and Beyond Earth. However, the role of TradeRoute6 Trade Routes in Civilization VI is greatly expanded.

The Trader is similar to the Trade Convoy in Beyond Earth: Rising Tide.

Related achievementsEdit

Steam achievement Hajj (Civ6)
As Mansa Musa, send a Trade Route to Mecca that gives the sending player at least 30 gold
The Hajj is one of the many pillars of Islam, involving one to take a pilgrimage to Mecca. Mansa Musa did this during his reign, and almost crashed the economy of Egypt during a rest in Cairo.
Steam achievement Trans-Siberian Railroad (Civ6)
Trans-Siberian Railroad
Playing as Russia, have a city that is at least 60 tiles away from your capital, connected by a Trade Route and road at the start of the turn.
The Trans-Siberian Railway is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East, and the longest railway line in the world.
Civilization VI [edit]
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