Alexander the Great looked upon the breadth of his dominion and wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer… so I started a new campaign of Civilization VI to play as Gandhi.
There’s a lot to love about the newest installation of Sid Meier’s legendary turn-based strategy series. There are dozens of new playable world leaders, cities grow with districts that the player must account for when sending out their settlers, and religion now has its own victory condition. Well done, 2K — you’ve once again got me staring wide-eyed at a world map, muttering “just one more turn” to myself for ten hours straight.
But even with all the new bells and whistles, there’s always room for improvement. And the modding community is happy to oblige. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best mods for Civ 6.
How to Install Mods
Before we get into the best Civ 6 mods, we just need to squeeze in a quick word about installing them. It’s not overly complicated. Steam knows you want to mod your games, and they’re not going to get in the way.
In fact, Steam Workshop support makes it incredibly easy:
2. Select Community Hub on the top right of the screen
3. From there, navigate to the Workshop tab
4. Scroll through the options and subscribe to your favorite mods
After you’ve selected your favorite mods, Steam will automatically download the files. You can enable or disable them in the additional content menu anytime you like after that.
What About DLC?
Wait a minute. Civ 6 already has two major DLC expansions available. How do those affect mods?
Well, that depends on the mod. Some don’t require any DLC, while others can only be installed if you have the appropriate expansion. Luckily, Steam Workshop tells you what the prerequisite software for each mod is right on the page. Just look along the right side for anything labeled: “Required DLC.”
We’ll mention the required DLC for each of the mods on our list just to make things even easier. That way, you can be sure to get the best Civ 6 mods for Gathering Storm and Rise and Fall.
The Best Civilization VI Mods
Ready to check out the best Civ 6 mods? We’ve broken them down into five primary categories: UI mods, environmental mods, asset mods, game mode mods, and themed mods.
Best Civ 6 UI Mods
We’re going to start simple with some user interface, or UI, mods. These guys won’t change the way the game looks or plays. They just clean up the menus a bit to give you a sleeker and more efficient gaming experience.
Concise UI makes dozens of adjustments to the games’ various interfaces. It modifies everything from the espionage panel to the options menu. There’s even a built-in Civ Assistant that provides victory tracking! UI mods might not seem like the most exciting things on this list, but there’s a night and day difference between playing with Concise UI and playing without it.
Concise UI works with any combination of DLC.
Sukritact’s Simple UI Adjustments
According to Sukritact’s Steam Workshop page, Simple UI Adjustments “makes simple QoL changes to the UI. It does not aim to be a complete UI overhaul a la CQUI, but rather to make basic adjustments based on what is there.”
This mod cleans up city banners, the city panel, and the city overview panel. That might not seem like much, but users who try Sukriract’s work swear by it. You know what they say: once you go Sukritact, you never go back.
This mod doesn’t have any prerequisites other than the base game.
Best Civ 6 Environmental Mods
Not a fan of Civ 6’s aesthetic? Played it too many times, and now all the hills and rivers look the same? We’ve got a few mod recommendations that will give your game a fresh coat of paint and get it looking the way you want.
Environment Skin: Sid Meier’s Civilization V
Civilization VI has a much more vibrant color palette than previous iterations in the series. Some players who enjoy the mechanics of Civ 6 have criticized it for having a more cartoonish design, wishing they could go back to the more color muted realism of its predecessor.
Environmental Skin: Sid Meier’s Civilization V isn’t a perfect replication of Civ 5, but it does capture its neutral color pallet and adds some model assets that are much more natural-looking. This is an excellent addition for those who want to feel more like we’re playing a real-world simulation rather than an “all ages” game.
This mod only requires the base game to use, but it works with Gathering Storm and Rise and Fall.
The default minis in Civ 6 aren’t all that mini. Think more Clash of Clans than traditional Civ titles. A lot of gamers would rather lead an empire of human beings than cartoon titans. The R.E.D. Modpack shrinks them down, so the workers, soldiers, and traders are more proportionate with their surroundings. This one pairs well with the Environmental Skin: Sid Meier’s Civilization V mod if you’re going for a more realistic experience than the one offered in the vanilla version of the game.
Like the previous mod on this list, this one also only requires the base game to use, but it works with Gathering Storm and Rise and Fall.
One of the exciting new features in Civ 6 is the way the game labels major geographic locations. But wouldn’t it be great if there were even more names of real landmarks in the rotation? That’s what Mappa Mundi is for!
It adds just under 15,000 unique names of real rivers, mountains, deserts, lakes, and plains. Learn a little geography while scouting out the continent, searching for the perfect location to build your next city! It’s one of the more subtle mods on this list, but sometimes a little goes a long way.
Mappa Mundi requires Gathering Storm.
Yet (not) Another Maps Pack
Don’t believe the name, folks. Yet (not) Another Maps Pack is, in fact, another map pack. It contains several Earth-based maps, but the best thing about it is that it gives each civilization genuine, culturally-linked starting locations. That means your in-game London or Tokyo will be right where the real one is on an actual map. You can start conquering Asia from the same place Genghis Khan did!
The mod has been patched and now works with Gathering Storm, though it no longer works with map sizes larger than “enormous.”
Best Civ 6 Asset Mods
Who ever complained about having too many toys in their toybox? Games like Civ 6 need assets to keep them from getting stale. How many times can you be expected to play with the same set of world leaders? How many times do you want to build the same armies? Diversity is the spice of life, after all.
Warfare Expanded: Reloaded
Sure, you could go for a cultural victory or a science victory, but let’s be honest. Most of us are going to rally our armies and attempt to conquer every city on the map. So, wouldn’t it be nice to have more combat units?
Warfare Expanded: Reloaded brings a whole slew of extra land, sea, and air units for you to use to crush your enemies. The mod even provides cultural variations of each mini, ensuring they match whatever civilization you choose to play.
This mod only works if you have downloaded Gathering Storm and Rise and Fall.
Steel and Thunder
As long as you’re adding combat units, why not check out Steel and Thunder: Unique Units? This mod adds a new unique unit to every civilization in the game! You can also grab Steel and Thunder: Unit Expansion while you’re at it, for eleven new global units. Diplomacy is for suckers, anyway.
Although Rise and Fall and Gathering Storm aren’t required, Unique Units does contain assets for every DLC pack in the game.
JFD’s Civilizations and Leaders
This isn’t so much a mod as it is a list of them. JFD is a renowned modder who has amassed a collection of seventy-three additional civilizations and leaders to add to your game free of charge. Bummed the Netherlands didn’t make the game this time around? Now it is! Wish you could play as Queen Elizabeth instead of Queen Victoria? Done! There’s even a Donald Trump mod!
More civilizations to build and more leaders to play — what’s not to love about that?
JFD’s mods only require the purchase of Rise and Fall.
That’s right. Sukritact doesn’t just make UI mods. They also make an array of additional natural wonders for your leaders to discover! Sukritact’s Terraformery is where to look if you want to add Mt. Fuji, The Grand Canyon, and other impressive landmarks to your next playthrough.
None of the natural wonders mods require any additional DLC.
Best Civ 6 Game Mode Mods
New game modes mean more ways to play. What’s not to like about that?
Anno Domini: Gathering Storm Edition
Space shuttles, airplanes, and nuclear power plants can be fun, yes. But a lot of people enjoy the more straightforward mechanics and wide-open spaces of the early eras in the game. As the Steam Workshop page describes it, Anno Domini “plays much like the “epic” game of Civilization VI, except everything is from the Ancient and Classical world — from the Dawn of Time to the fall of Rome. There’s about as many techs and civics as the “epic” game, except they’re all from that timeframe – as are the many buildings, units, wonders and resources.”
Keeping your citizens trapped in the stone age has never been so fun (too bad about them never getting penicillin, though)!
The only downside is that Anno Domini has several prerequisites to play. You have to own the Persia and Macedon Civilization & Scenario Pack, The Nubia Civilization and Scenario Pack, Rise and Fall, and Gathering Storm. On top of that, it also requires you to download the Warfare Expanded: Reloaded mod.
It sure would be nice to have more religions to choose from now that Civ 6 includes religious victories. Well, that’s where Religion Expanded comes in.
According to their Steam Workshop page, this mod “raises the founded-religions-per-game cap to a maximum of 16, introduces more than 40 new beliefs, and adds new, fully-customized religious buildings. In short, religion becomes more dynamic and personalized.”
Religion Expanded works with all DLC.
Best Civ 6 Themed Mods
Fantasy opens the door to any number of fictional worlds, each with their own histories, leaders, and famous battles. Reality is overrated anyway.
A Civ of Ice and Fire Gathering Storm
Winter is coming now that A Civ of Ice and Fire supports Gathering Storm!
George RR Martin fans can rejoice, as the world of Game of Thrones comes to Civ 6. This mod adds the leaders and map from the world of Westeros, including new units like white walkers and dragons! It also has a built-in scenario where you can reenact the War of the Five Kings.
Don’t listen to those who criticize playing Civ 6 in a fantasy setting. Lions do not concern themselves with the opinions of sheep.
A Civ of Ice and Fire doesn’t list any required software on the Steam Workshop page, but Gathering Storm is required for the mod to use natural disaster settings.
JT: Elder Scrolls Mod
So Dovakin, are you itching to get back to the world of Tamriel? JT: Elder Scrolls Mod can take you there.
With JT: ESM, You can play one of thirty-three different playable leaders, from Tiber Septim to Ulfric Stormcloak, all recreated from Bethesda’s beloved RPG series. This mod pack also comes with a Tamriel map, twenty-seven units, five buildings, two districts, ten improvements, forty-one city-states, five natural wonders, and twenty-one religions.
JT: Elder Scrolls Mod doesn’t have any DLC restrictions.