Strategies of deities

Conquer Civilization VI’s hardest Deity level.

Civilization® VI

Build. Conquer. Inspire.


Civilization VI is full of chieftains, princes, emperors and even mere immortals. But becoming a god is something that many players dream of – yet only a handful ever achieve.

Deity is the turn-based strategy game’s highest level of difficulty, and it’s a gruelling, occasionally soul-crushing challenge, meant for the most elite players. Even Firaxis, the development studio behind the game, admits that only a low percentage of the people in their office have ever won a Civilization VI game on the Deity level.

Dare you attempt to tread where mortals cannot? You’ve got your work cut out for you, but here are some strategies to get you moving in the right direction.

Immortal emperors first

The best way to win on Deity, is to not play on Deity. Not right away, that is. If you’re not regularly winning games on Emperor and Immortal difficulty levels (the settings just below Deity) you’re not ready yet. Hone your skills on those already intense levels, and then crank it up to the highest notch.

Don’t expect miracles

A religion win is one of the easier (relatively speaking) paths to victory at Deity level. Get your holy sites built quickly, start cranking out missionaries and apostles, then get them on the road as soon as possible. If you’re lucky enough to be connected to your opponents via traversable land routes, that’s a huge boon.

Wonders can do wonders for holy sites. The Mahabodhi Temple shown here, for example, provides a Faith bonus and grants two religious units.

But if you need to ferry your missionaries across water to other continents, you’re in for a much tougher time. Fast track your tech tree to develop the transportation you need, but don’t expect any miracles.

If you’re fortunate enough to discover a natural wonder early in the game, it’s possible to build two or three cities that back onto it and set all your holy sites against the awe-inspiring mountain. This confers a significant turbocharge to your religion output, which could be enough to put you ahead of your foes.

In addition to their specific bonuses, all natural wonders confer a religious bonus to adjacent holy sites.

Watch out for snowballs

When you do wade into the fray in Deity, the deck is stacked against you. Your artificial intelligence (A.I.) opponents are granted extra starting units, can get three cities settled right off the bat and have accelerated progress. Given that games like Civilization VI have a “compounding interest mechanic” (as Firaxis likes to put it), this is a real hurdle to overcome. You must get ahead early, or you’re sunk. Defensive play is out of the question, as your enemies will simply leapfrog and steamroll you.

The different victory conditions have specific, intricate strategies, but in general, you should be looking for any advantage that can boost the development of your first settlements. Aggressively knocking out one of your neighbours will give you a strong foothold, gaining you resources and breathing space. Because of the way actions snowball drastically in a Deity-level game, these early gains can deliver dramatic returns.

Play the long(est) game

While there are custom settings that can make winning on Deity easier, diving into the advanced options menu isn’t strictly legit. At least not if you want the bragging rights. But one genuine tweak that helps is ramping up the game’s speed to Epic, or even the 1,500-turn Marathon setting.

The longer the game lasts, the more a human player’s creativity and adaptability have a chance to shine. Civilization VI’s A.I. opponents may be clever, but robots don’t rule the world – yet.

    Civilization® VI

    Build. Conquer. Inspire.