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A unit is a mobile agent of a civilization which can move around the world map and do whatever is needed to spread that civilization's influence.

Civilization VI follows most of the established traditions of the series when it comes to units, but it also offers some refreshing new features. Unit models are a little different than they were in previous games, featuring larger models with more exaggerated features, and generally fewer (but more detailed) character models per unit. Their animations are also much better than before. For example, melee units have special finishing moves which are played when they destroy enemy units.

Producing units[]

Units are produced (trained) in cities, via their Production queue. Alternatively, they can be purchased instantly with Gold Gold or Faith Faith. Purchased units appear immediately, while produced units take several turns to appear (according to the amount of Production Production points they require currently). However, while produced units are ready to move immediately after spawning, purchased units need to wait for the next turn.

There's much more to producing units, of course. For any unit except the most basic ones from the Ancient Era to become available, you will need to develop your technology, or your civics. Many military units require strategic resources in order to be trained and to function; and then, there are some units which may only be purchased with Faith Faith, or only if the city has a certain District District, or with any number of other restrictions. For more information on how exactly the production process goes, visit the this article, or refer to individual units' articles.

Unit training can be accelerated with the aid of militaristic city-states, after you develop your relations with them. The Capital Capital, the city with the Diplomatic Quarter, as well as all cities with Encampments in them will enjoy a Production Production bonus when producing units. The exact bonus depends of the level of relations with the city-state, but also of what buildings you have constructed in your Encampments and the Diplomatic Quarter. The bonuses are valid for all types of units, military or civilian.

Combining units[]

Civilization VI allows for identical land or naval units to be combined into more powerful units (sometimes called "formations"), much like the Armies of Civilization Revolution. There are two such levels of combination possible:

  • Corps (Civ6) Corps or Fleet, created by combining two units of a kind. Requires the Nationalism civic.
    • The combined unit receives a +10 bonus to Strength Combat Strength and Ranged Strength Ranged Strength, and a +7 bonus to Anti-Air Strength Anti-Air Strength above a single unit of the same type. Other statistics, such as Movement Movement, Range Range, and aircraft slots, remain unchanged.
    • The combined unit's Gold Gold maintenance cost is three-fourths as much as that of two separate units.
    • The combined unit's per-turn strategic resource cost (Coal Coal, Oil Oil, Aluminum Aluminum, or Uranium Uranium) is the same as that of a single unit.
  • Army (Civ6) Army or Armada, created by combining three units of a kind. Requires the Mobilization civic.
    • The combined unit receives a +17 bonus to Strength Combat Strength and Ranged Strength Ranged Strength above a single unit of the same type. However, the Anti-Air Strength Anti-Air Strength bonus is still only +7.
    • The combined unit's Gold Gold maintenance cost is two-thirds as much as that of three separate units.
    • The combined unit's per-turn strategic resource cost (Coal Coal, Oil Oil, Aluminum Aluminum, or Uranium Uranium) is the same as that of a single unit.

Note that the increase in Strength Combat Strength for combined land units is preserved when they embark. This benefit will only serve them for defense, since embarked units can't attack. Even then, this is a considerable advantage over "normal" embarked units, and could mean the difference between surviving a sea crossing under enemy fire and sinking to the bottom.

There are three ways to form combined units.

Combining existing units[]

Whenever you have two or more identical combat units in adjacent tiles, a special action will appear in their Action tab. Selecting this action will prompt you to choose a unit with which to combine. The act of combining the units will absorb the targeted unit from its tile, and create the new, stronger unit in the original tile. (This can be used to strategically retreat units that have already acted.)

Aside from receiving a combat bonus, when two units are combined the following happens:

  • The level and number of XP of the more experienced unit is kept.
  • The unique name of the more experienced unit is kept.
  • The separate units' HP are averaged to calculate the combined unit's HP.
  • All Promotion Promotions are combined (Gathering Storm update). This is great for combining units with separate promotion tree choices.
  • The highest combat experience modifier is kept (Gathering Storm update). This is great for improving the XP rate of older, high-level units by integrating new ones that have bonuses to XP acquisition, and also allows cities without an Encampment or Harbor to contribute to a skilled military.

Note that GDRs in Gathering Storm are the only units which cannot be combined, and that it is not possible to combine city-state units (either with your own units or other city-state units, even if they were levied from the same city-state).

Training combined units[]

The second way to create combined units is to train them directly in a city with a specialty district and a Military Academy or Seaport. This will take more Production Production and resources:

  • Corps or Fleet: 150% unit Production Production/Gold Gold cost, double strategic resource cost
  • Army or Armada: 225% unit Production Production/Gold Gold cost, triple strategic resource cost

However, it is still faster than creating two or three separate units and then combining them (unless, of course, you create them in two or three different cities).

Using Great People to form combined units[]

The following Great Generals and Great Admirals can transform a single unit into a combined unit:

Characteristics of combined units[]

The Gold Gold maintenance for combined units is less than the combined value of two or three units:

  • 100% base unit
  • 150% Corps/Fleet
  • 200% Army/Armada

In Gathering Storm the resource maintenance cost for a combined unit remains 1, regardless of its being a Corps or Army. This allows civilizations with less access to strategic resources to still field a strong army, because they can keep producing units and combining them without exceeding their resource cap.

Shaka and the Zulus have special benefits to Corps and Armies: not only can they be created faster, earlier, and more cheaply, but they also have some significant advantages in combat.

Unit maintenance[]

Units need to be maintained with Gold Gold. Each unit beyond the most basic ones (Warriors and Slingers) requires a certain amount of Gold Gold to maintain. The Gold Gold needed is automatically deducted from your treasury each turn; you don't need to do anything in this respect. However, make sure to keep an eye on your Gold Gold income, as to make sure your Gold Gold income doesn't turn negative. If your Gold Gold income is negative you risk your treasury becoming empty. If this ever happens, your units will disband (get permanently removed from the game) automatically until the Gold Gold balance for your civilization is restored again.

Unit maintenance prices are different for each unit, but in general go up the more advanced the unit is. Note that maintenance prices for Corps or Armies (and respectively Fleets and Armadas) are not much higher than for normal units of the same type. This makes it worthwhile to combine units from a purely economical standpoint: you spend less Gold Gold for maintaining an army which consists of fewer units of greater individual strength.

In Gathering Storm most late-game units also "consume" strategic resources each turn (Coal Coal, Oil Oil, Aluminum Aluminum, or Uranium Uranium), which amounts to a specific type of maintenance. Note that Corps/Armies and Fleets/Armadas still consume the same amount of resources as an individual unit of the type, which makes it even more advantageous to maintain a lesser number of these combined units than a greater number of individual units of the same type.

Expending units[]

Once created, most units will remain in the game forever, unless something destroys them. This is the case for all military units (including those that have action charges), as well as all support units. Of course, you can always command such units to disband, and save yourself their maintenance fee. However, some units have limited action charges, and are meant to be used for some time, after which they will disband on their own. Most civilian units belong to this category (starting with the Settler), as well as all religious units. Such units have a set number of charges available, and certain actions they take expend a charge each. When the last charge is used, the unit vanishes. This mechanic has greatly expanded in Civilization VI and forces the player to plan strategically where and when to use special units.

Note that some units with charges also have actions which may be performed and consume no charge. The most important of these units is the Builder, which is able to perform many non-essential tasks which consume no charges. For it, and all other similar units, it is important to plan whether you want to expand all unit charges as soon as the unit is produced, or you would like to 'save' the last charge, so that the unit may remain in the game to perform non-charged actions. For example, an Apostle has limited charges as all Religious units, and will disband upon using its last charge; however, it can participate in theological combat at all times without spending charges. It is thus a good idea to keep some Apostles around with 1 remaining charge, so that you can repel enemy religious attacks, or initiate attacks of your own.

Unit types[]

Units in the game may be divided into many classes, but there are only four main types:

  • Military units - Units which may attack the enemy military and cities. They are used exclusively in combat, and for reconnaissance. Military units are able to defend the tile they occupy, and also any Civilian or Support unit which shares their tile, preventing their capturing or destruction. Military units can be divided into 3 sub-classes:
    • Land military units - Units that can initiate battles on land. They can embark onto water tiles but cannot initiate battles there.
    • Naval military units - Units whose native element is water. They can never move through land tiles unless they contain either a City Center or a Canal.
    • Aircraft - Units that need a base, such as an Aircraft Carrier or Aerodrome. They cannot act freely outside their bases; however, they can move freely between bases up to hexes away, where equals the unit's Movement Movement. If a hostile military unit enters a base, any aircraft in it will be instantly destroyed.
  • Civilian units - Units which perform a variety of economic actions for your civilization, and cannot attack. Great Person Great People are also Civilians. Civilians cannot defend themselves, and cannot initiate battles. This class of unit is the one with the most differences among units within class:
    • Settlers and Builders can be captured. Their affiliation will switch if a hostile military unit enters their tile (unless another civilian unit enters their tile at the same time, in which case they will be instantly killed).
    • Great Person Great People cannot be captured. They will retreat to the nearest City Center instead.
    • Traders cannot be captured, either. Hostile military units on their tiles will have an action of "Plundering Trade Route Trade Routes" to instantly kill the Trader and earn Gold Gold.
    • Spies can be captured and killed if they fail their missions, but will never change their affiliations.
    • Naturalists, Archaeologists, and Rock Bands will be instantly killed if a hostile military unit enters their tiles.
    • Traders and Spies can enter foreign territory without Open Borders. Archaeologists can also do so if the owner has the Terracotta Army wonder. Every other civilian unit cannot enter foreign borders without Open Borders.
  • Support units - A brand new class in Civilization VI, Support units can be described as part Military, part Civilian units. Their main purpose is to aid military operations, so far as they are used in combat; however, they themselves cannot attack, and are instantly destroyed if a hostile military unit enters their tile.
  • Religious units - Units with religious functions, used mainly to spread or defend against religion. Religion is very important in Civilization VI, as it is one of the ways to achieve victory. Religious units move independently and can occupy the same tile as all other classes of units, except Religious units belonging to other civilizations. That is to say, Religious units form a completely independent layer on the map. However, military units which are in the same tile as they and belong to a civ with which you are at war may use a special action and instantly destroy the Religious unit.

As per the "one unit per tile" rule, each tile may only contain one of the above units per type. So, a single tile may contain one land military, one naval military, one support, one civilian and one religious unit. The only unit class that is not bound by this rule is aircraft. Since an aircraft base can host more than one air unit, they technically can stack on the same tile with other units of the same class. This is also valid for District tiles and for City Centers. For example, you cannot have both an Archer and a Warrior in the city tile, but you may have an Archer and a Battering Ram (which is a support unit), as well as a Great General (which is a civilian unit). This rule also affects purchasing: you cannot purchase a unit which will appear in a tile already occupied by another unit of the same type. So, for example, if you have a Warrior in your City Center tile, and you wish to purchase an Archer from that same city, you will be unable to do so: you will need to move the Warrior from the City Center first. This rule may be circumvented if the city has an Encampment or a similar production District where the relevant units may also appear.

Unit actions[]

All units in the game may perform some kind of action, even be it only moving. Thus, Movement Movement is the first major statistic of a unit, and the only one that is shared by all units in the game, regardless of their type (with the exception of the Trader and the Spy, whose movement rules are special). As usual, a unit may only perform an action if it has Movement Points left for this turn. Some actions may also require more than one Movement Point, or the entire turn to be performed, so a unit that has already spend some, but not all of its MPs may not be able to perform a set action on the same turn. Also, there are many actions (for example, the Attack action) which exhaust all remaining MPs - after performing such actions, a unit will not be able to do anything else on that turn.

Automatic actions may be scheduled (as is the case of a multiple-turn Move order), and they will get executed in subsequent turns by the AI, unless you change the order, or an obstacle appears which makes the execution of the action impossible. For more details on movement, view this article.

Traders and Spies are always based in cities, and perform missions during several turns. They can receive new commands only when their missions finish.

Finally, some units - including most Great Person Great People - have special Abilities which can only be activated in certain locations. When you have the unit in question selected, look for white-framed tiles on the map (if this unit has only one possible special action), or look for special icons in tiles, which suggest where you can use specific actions. For more information on this, check the individual units' articles, where you will see all Actions they are capable of; also check the Combat article for common combat actions.

All unit actions may only activate contextually, depending on what tile the unit is on or next to. For example, a Missionary's Spread Religion action will only activate when it is next to or in a City Center, and a Builder's Construct Quarry action will only activate when it is on a tile containing a valid resource, such as Marble Marble. All other actions the unit may otherwise perform will appear grayed out.

Unit command tab[]

The command tab, found at the bottom right part of the UI, is the information center for both units and structures in the game. Here, all vital statistics of a unit, such as its current Health and Combat Strength, are displayed. All actions the unit may perform are displayed on top of, or to the left of, the tab. Common actions, such as Move or Attack, are displayed above the tab. So are Special actions, if they are the only other action a unit may perform. For example, the Activate button of any Great Person is found above the command tab, although this action is far from common (it activates this Great Person's special Ability).

In case the unit has many different actions possible (the Builder, for example, has many actions possible), there is a special extension which is found to the left of the command tab. Note that sometimes there are yet other actions of the same unit (Harvest, for example), which may be considered special, but are displayed above the tab. So, if you don't find an action where you expect it, look carefully in both possible locations.

Hovering over the unit's portrait will bring out a tab listing all special effects affecting this unit at the moment. This includes innate bonuses (such as the Swordsman's bonus vs. anti-cavalry units), bonuses acquired via training and Promotion Promotions, and temporary effects acquired from wonders or Great Person Great People.

Exploration and sight rules[]

As in most strategy games, the world is hidden until you survey it. And even then, all parts of the world which aren't under direct observation by you or your allies are hidden by the fog of war, which only shows terrain features and known immobile structures, such as cities. In Civilization VI, the fog of war takes the very stylish form of an ancient hand-made map.

Visibility of the world is provided by all your cities (for up to 1 tile away from their current borders), and all your units - be it normal units or Trader and Spy units. city-states of which you are Suzerain provide visibility for three tiles (counted from their City Center tile), besides the visibility of all their units. The same is valid for Allied civilizations when your Alliance Alliance reaches the necessary level.

Note that many terrain features act as obstacles which limit the visibility, or "line of sight," of a unit.

Recon units such as the Scout and Ranger (and, in the expansions, the Skirmisher and Spec Ops) are specialists in exploration. They can earn the Sentry Promotion Promotion, which allows them to see through Rainforests and Woods.

Stealth units[]

Some units, which are called "stealth units," are invisible to non-adjacent units. Even when adjacent to a City Center or defensible district (i.e., an Encampment or Oppidum), they will remain hidden as long as they don't attack and there's no unit in the district.[1] If a stealth unit attacks, it will become visible for a turn before becoming invisible again.[2]

The following is a complete list of stealth units:

These units, along with Scouts and Destroyers, also have the "Reveal Stealth" unit ability, which allows them to see other stealth units within their Sight Sight range.

Unit obsolescence and upgrades[]

With technological development, units from earlier eras gradually become obsolete, and are replaced by a newer, stronger version. As before, if you are in the middle of producing a military unit when you discover the tech which makes it obsolete, the production process automatically switches to the newer unit. In some cases, some specific units aren't replaced at all - they just disappear, as the passing of eras eliminates the need for them. This is the case, for example, with the Battering Ram, when city defenses become so advanced that the Ram cannot circumvent them anymore.

Those units which become obsolete, but are replaced by a newer version, may be upgraded. For this to be possible, they have to be in friendly territory, need to have at least a fraction of a MP left, and you need to have a certain amount of Gold Gold. If producing the next-level unit also requires a Strategic resource, you will also need that in order to upgrade to it. The resource amount required is 1 count prior to Gathering Storm; after that you will need the same amount you would normally need to produce the next-level unit, unless the unit you're upgrading also requires the same resource (in which case you don't need any). A special Upgrade button will appear on top of the unit's command tab, and become active whenever all conditions for upgrading are met.

The Gold Gold price for Upgrading a unit is set and usually reflects how much its strength will increase, but in general upgrading tends to get more expensive in later eras. However, if a unit has been combined with others to form a Corps/Army (or Fleet/Armada for seafaring units), then its Upgrade price will also go up - double for a Corps or Fleet, triple for an Army or Armada. This also applies to resource upgrade costs in Gathering Storm.

The Professional Army Military Policy will halve all upgrade prices prior to Gathering Storm. After the Late Antarctic Summer Update, upgrade-related policies have been split up: Professional Army now offers a Gold Gold discount only, while the new policy Retinues offers a resource discount only. The latter Force Modernization combines the effects of the earlier two.

Upgraded units retain all their Promotion Promotions and experience. Except in some special cases, they also inherit all special abilities previous units had - for example, a Knight will inherit the Heavy Chariot's ability to ignore enemy zone of control. Unlike in Civilization V, however, special abilities of unique units (such as the Cossack's Strength Combat Strength bonus in or near its home territory and ability to move after attacking) are not passed on.

Units do not Heal upon upgrading.

Earning experience and promotions[]

As usual, military units may acquire Experience and rise in levels. Most units only get Experience Points (XP) when entering combat - whether by attacking, or by being attacked. Eventually, they reach thresholds which allow them to rise to the next level and earn a Promotion Promotion.

Naming units[]

Civ6 name warriors

A Warrior being named

After a unit earns enough experience to earn 2 Promotion Promotions (that is, to achieve level 3), it also earns the right to receive a unique name. Look for a quill icon in the unit's command tab and click it to type the new name of the unit, or to select a randomly generated "special" name.

Civilian units[]

Civilization VI introduces an unparalleled variety of Civilian units, with many different uses. Some of them, like the Settler and the Builder are essential to your development, and available right from the start of the game. Others, like the Religious units or the Archaeologist, have more specific uses, and can be Purchased and used only under special circumstances - look up the tooltips, or the in-game Civilopedia.

Finally, the Great Person Great People have become more specialized than ever, every single one of them having unique abilities and their own biography. All civilizations now compete with each other to attract these unique Great Person Great People, introducing a very different dynamic in this aspect of the gameplay.

Civilian units cannot defend themselves against enemies. If an enemy military unit manages to enter their tile, they are either captured and start serving another civilization, or they are instantly destroyed (excepting Great Person Great People, who automatically retreat to their owner's nearest city). This is why the game introduces the new Escort mechanics, whose specifics you can find here.

Finally, after the Fall 2017 Update, religious units now move in their own layer; that means that they don't mix with military, civilian, or support units in the same tile. This makes it possible for them to move even more freely in the world. Note that enemy military units may still destroy them instantly, but this doesn't happen automatically upon entering the tile anymore - military units need to use the special action "Condemn Heretic".

Using civilian units' abilities[]

Civilization VI offers an unparalleled variety of tools for the statesman to use. This is largely thanks to multiple individual abilities of Great Person Great People, which differ wildly one from another. For example, some abilities instantly create units, while others give permanent bonuses to some units, cities, or individual districts.

But even the most basic civilian unit, the Builder, now has many abilities, including the possibility to Harvest Resources, as well as being able to plant Woods.

The game also makes a change in how civilian units are used. Namely, most can now be used only for several actions, after which they disappear. This notion is even represented graphically - each civilian unit now has as many members as there are charges left in it. So, for example, a Builder with three charges will have three characters displayed, while one with a single charge left will only have one character.

Although this system is hardly new, the fact that it is now used for the most basic things in the game radically changes how you think about civilian units' use - in most cases you won't care about them until you move them to the right place where you want to use their abilities.


Unit abilities are missing from the recon, ranged cavalry, naval carrier, and Warrior Monk unit classes. It seems that the developers weren't as thorough with these unit classes as the others.


  • Unit portrait icons and models have different looks (skin color, hair, beard) based on the ethnic group to which their civilization belongs. There are five ethnic groups: North American/European, South American, Mediterranean, African, and Asian.

Related achievements[]

Naming Rights
Naming Rights
Name a unit.
This is probably a reference to the right to name something either by virtue of having discovered it or by paying the owners for the privilege. For instance, many stadiums and the like.


See also[]

Civilization VI [edit]
Rise and FallGathering StormNew Frontier PassLeader Pass
R&F-Only Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.