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For the faction in Red Death, see Zombies (Civ6).
For the unit in Red Death, see Zombie Horde (Civ6).

The Zombie is a melee unit from the Zombie Defense game mode in Civilization VI.

  • Attributes:
    • Cannot be trained or purchased with Gold Gold or Faith Faith.
    • Cannot earn XP or Promotion Promotions.
    • Each Zombie that is killed adds to the Mutation Strength modifier, increasing the Strength Combat Strength of other Zombies.
    • If it kills another unit, a new Zombie spawns in that unit's tile next turn.
    • Always targets the closest available unit.


The undead can rise up out of the ground with the new Zombie Defense game mode, and this time, as a ravenous zombie that's hungry for the brains of the closest living unit in the area! Zombies can make more of themselves when they kill another unit, and get stronger when a Zombie is killed. Don't worry - the living aren't entirely defenseless. You can use projects like Turn Undead and Dark Signal to take control of your brainless foes, or fight back with Traps and Barricades built by Builders and Military Engineers.

Since Zombies count as Barbarians, a player with Boudica or an Apostle with Heathen Conversion can easily gain control of a large horde of Zombies.

Zombies do not attack civilian units, only military units and city defenses. Therefore, if there are only Zombies but no other Barbarian units around, players can try to use civilian units to block their way, protect District Districts and resources, or form a barrier around ranged units to attack them. Likewise, Zombies cannot enter water, so Harbors and Water Parks are safe from them and naval ranged units can attack them with impunity.

In the Apocalypse game mode, you can use a Soothsayer to sacrifice Zombies you control to an active Volcano during an Appease the Gods competition. Each Zombie sacrificed in this way awards 20 points (since they have a base Strength Combat Strength of 20).

Civilopedia entry[]

Zombies have become one of the most recognizable horror tropes. But the image of ravenous, shambling corpses, and especially the idea of a global pandemic of the undead is something that has only come about in recent years. In many Caribbean folklore traditions, a zombi or jumbee is a general category for a malevolent spirit, itself deriving from West African traditions. But in Haiti the zombie became something else – a stand-in for all the horrors of slavery. For enslaved Africans in the then-French colony of Saint-Domingue, life was nearly unbearable. Death, at least, promised a release and a return back to, so the tradition went, a paradise in Africa where at last they could be free. But suicide would close this door and cause the unfortunate spirit to remain forever in the Caribbean, forever enslaved – a zombie.

In the wake of the Haitian Revolution, the zombie entered into local folklore as the servant of a malevolent sorcerer, or, in some tellings, a priest of voudun (voodoo). The zombie, entranced or re-animated, continued to labor for their master, thus recalling a horrific return of slavery to a people that had fought hard to become and remain free. Indeed, it is in this first sense that the zombie made its first emergence into global pop culture. American films used the zombie as a symbol of exotic magic in what were often racist depictions of Caribbean or simply “other” religions. Elsewhere, zombies emerged as the fears of having one’s labor stolen away, whether by a return of outright slavery, or as a metaphor for the confusing and exploitative way that new forms of capitalism manifested in areas such as South Africa.

But most people might be familiar with the hordes made famous by George Romero in his film, “Night of the Living Dead.” Here, Romero presents a world turned upside down, as the unburied dead return to life. Notably, Romero never uses the term “zombie,” instead calling them “ghouls” – itself a reference to an Arabic cannibal spirit. Zombies in the late 20th century became a new metaphor, appearing as the manifestations of mindless, soulless consumerism; fears over nuclear fallout; or the threat of massive societal upheaval. In the 21st century, zombies became closely associated with a fear of disease and a collapse of society. The locus of horror had changed from a fear of losing control over oneself to a fantasy of surviving after everything else seemed to have died. Here, zombies are this utterly destructive force – destruction that you can, possibly, turn to your advantage.


Related achievements[]

Control at least 20 Zombie units at the start of your turn.
Reanimation is the act of bringing the dead back to life. May also be a reference to Re-Animator, a 1985 comedy horror film based on a short story by H. P. Lovecraft.
Well Hello Mr. Fancypants
Well Hello Mr. Fancypants
Destroy a Zombie unit that has +50 or more Mutation Strength
A quote from the 1992 film Army of Darkness.
Civilization VI Units [edit]
Civilian SettlerBuilderTraderArchaeologistSpyNaturalistRock Band GS-Only.png
Land military AT CrewArcher (Hul'che1Pítati Archer1) • ArtilleryBarbarian Horse ArcherBombardCatapultCavalry (CossackHuszár GS-Only.pngLlanero1) • Courser GS-Only.png (Black Army GS-Only.pngOromo Cavalry1) • Crossbowman (Voi Chiến1) • Crouching TigerCuirassier GS-Only.png (Rough RiderWinged Hussar1) • Field Cannon (Hwacha R&F-Only.png) • Giant Death Robot GS-Only.pngHeavy ChariotHelicopterHorseman (Barbarian HorsemanHetairoi1) • Infantry (Digger1) • Keshig R&F-Only.pngKnight (Mandekalu Cavalry GS-Only.pngMamlukTagma1) • Line Infantry (Garde ImpérialeRedcoat) • Machine GunMalón Raider R&F-Only.pngMan-At-Arms (Khevsur R&F-Only.pngBerserkerSamurai) • Maryannu Chariot ArcherMechanized InfantryModern ATModern ArmorMountie GS-Only.pngMusketman (ConquistadorJanissary GS-Only.png) • Nihang1Pike and Shot (Carolean GS-Only.png) • Pikeman (Impi R&F-Only.png) • Questing Knight4Ranger (Highlander R&F-Only.png) • Rocket ArtillerySabum Kibittum1Saka Horse ArcherScout (Okihtcitaw R&F-Only.png) • Skirmisher GS-Only.png (Warak'aq GS-Only.png) • SlingerSpearman (Hoplite) • Spec Ops R&F-Only.pngSwordsman (Hypaspist1Immortal1LegionNgao MbebaToa GS-Only.png) • TankTrebuchet (Domrey1) • Vampire3VaruWar-CartWarrior MonkWarrior (Eagle WarriorGaesatae1) • Zombie5
Naval military Aircraft CarrierBattleship (Minas Geraes) • Caravel (Nau1) • DestroyerFrigate (De Zeven Provinciën R&F-Only.pngJong1) • Galley (Bireme GS-Only.pngViking Longship) • IroncladMissile CruiserNuclear SubmarinePrivateer (Barbary Corsair GS-Only.pngSea Dog) • Quadrireme (Dromon1) • Submarine (U-Boat)
Aircraft BiplaneBomberFighter (P-51 Mustang) • Jet BomberJet Fighter
Support Anti-Air GunBattering RamCultist3Drone R&F-Only.pngMedicMilitary EngineerMobile SAMObservation BalloonSiege TowerSoothsayer2Supply Convoy R&F-Only.png
Religious ApostleGuruInquisitorMissionary
See also Great PeopleHeroes
1 Requires a DLC2 Apocalypse mode only • 3 Secret Societies mode only • 4 Heroes & Legends mode only • 5 Zombie Defense mode only

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