Want to know the best Civ 6 Leaders of all time? We have got you covered. Civilization VI is a turn-based strategy game that allows players to develop a civilization from ancient times into the modern era and beyond. Choosing the right leader is crucial as each has unique traits, abilities, and playstyles that can greatly impact your civilization’s progress.

This article examines the top leaders in Civ 6 based on factors like military prowess, cultural influence, technological strengths, and overall versatility. While certain leaders lend themselves better to specific victory types like domination or culture, the best can adapt to multiple playstyles.

Criteria for Ranking Best Civ 6 Leaders

The top-ranking Civ 6 Leaders are evaluated by us using the following criteria:

  • Starting bias: Where their civilization is more likely to start on the map, impacting access to key resources.
  • Unique units and infrastructure: Special military units and buildings only they can produce.
  • Leader ability: Special power that sets them apart from others.
  • Unique victory objectives: Custom goals that align with their civilization’s strengths.

Depending on your preferred playstyle – whether focused on science, culture, religion or military domination – some leaders will suit you better than others. Nonetheless, the top tier stands out for its flexibility.

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Best Civ 6 Leaders Ranked

Best Civ 6 Leaders Of all time

The highest-ranked Civ 6 leaders share some common traits that make them powerful across multiple victory types; let’s take a look at them and their special skills:

LeaderCivilizationKey Strengths
Genghis KhanMongoliaGenghis Khan, the fierce Mongolian leader in Civ 6, excels in cavalry warfare. His special skill, “Mongol Horde,” enhances cavalry units, making them a formidable force on the battlefield. He is known for his aggressive playstyle, focusing on military dominance and rapid expansion through conquest.
PericlesGreecePericles, representing Greece, is a versatile leader in Civ 6. His special skill revolves around city-state influence, boosting culture for each city-state Greece is suzerain of. This makes him particularly effective in pursuing cultural victories, leveraging his diplomatic prowess and cultural influence.
TrajanRomeTrajan of Rome offers a strong start in Civ 6 with his unique ability, “Trajan’s Column.” Every new city automatically receives a free building in its city center, usually a Monument, accelerating Rome’s cultural development and territorial expansion. This makes him an excellent choice for players seeking a solid early-game advantage.
GandhiIndiaGandhi, leading India, is a symbol of peace and non-violence in Civ 6. His special skill, “Satyagraha,” grants bonuses for each civilization he meets that has founded a religion and is not at war. Gandhi’s playstyle encourages peaceful coexistence and religious dominance, making him ideal for pursuing religious victories.
AlexanderMacedonTrajan of Rome offers a strong start in Civ 6 with his unique ability, “Trajan’s Column.” Every new city automatically receives a free building in its city centre, usually a Monument, accelerating Rome’s cultural development and territorial expansion. This makes him an excellent choice for players seeking a solid early-game advantage.
Qin Shi HuangChina
Teddy Roosevelt of the United States is a dynamic leader in Civilization VI, known for his “Roosevelt Corollary” ability. This skill boosts combat strength for units on the American continent and increases the appeal of tiles in cities with National Parks. Ideal for cultural victories and strong defence, Roosevelt’s leadership promotes a balanced strategy, blending cultural growth with a formidable military presence.
Teddy RooseveltAmericaAlexander the Great of Macedon is a leader focused on military conquest in Civ 6. His special ability, “To the World’s End,” eliminates war weariness in his cities and allows units to heal upon capturing a city with a wonder. Alexander’s leadership is perfect for players who favour relentless military expansion and conquest.

These seven best Civ 6 leaders offer flexibility, strength, and unique advantages and can contend for any victory type with the right strategy.

S-Tier civ 6 Leaders

Abraham Lincoln (America)

Abraham Lincoln Civ 6 leader (America)

With the Minuteman unique unit – stronger and cheaper than the base ranged unit it replaces – America gets a military boost right from the Industrial era. Combine this with Lincoln’s Founding Fathers’ ability to grant bonus production to settlers and builders, and America can grow rapidly.

The key is balancing expansion with defence, buttressed by your enhanced ranged attack forces. Settlement growth fuels scientific gains as well, setting up America for a space race victory.

Amanitore (Nubia)

Amanitore (Nubia) Civ 6 leader

A top domination leader, Amanitore’s Nubian Pyramid improvement offers bonus yield to mines and quarries, while her powerful Pítati Archer unique unit gains combat experience faster. Play aggressively from early eras by producing many Pítati units, leveraging Nubia’s production and experiencing positives to conquer neighbours before they reach parity in military tech.

Continue expanding across the map and assimilating defeated armies into your own.
With discipline and skilful positioning around Nubian Pyramids, you can snowball to conquest.

Basil II (Byzantium)

Basil II (Byzantium) Civ 6 leader

As Byzantium, Basil has heavy cavalry bonuses, an empire-spanning religion-powered ability, and extra city combat strength from walls. Build holy sites and shrines rapidly to spread your faith with Religious Zeal. Then, train cavalry units like the Tagma to leverage Basil’s horse-mounted combat boosts. Wage early wars against nearby cities with your religiously fanatic army and siege-capable horsemen.

Seondeok (Korea)

Seondeok (Korea) Civ 6 leader

Korea’s focus lies in science victories under Seondeok, with district adjacency bonuses and automatic eureka moments through city planning. Centralize production around key campuses with lots of bonuses stacked onto each. Rush the Education civic for Seowons to enhance this further. Accelerate down the tech/civic trees leveraging eureka while buildings also boost great person points.

A-Tier Civ 6 Leaders

Slightly below the elite ranks are these stalwart contenders:

Jayavarman VII (Khmer)

Jayavarman VII (Khmer) Civ 6 leader

Jayavarman has a religious focus with the unique Domrey promotion for missionaries and apostles, Prasat temple replacement providing faith, and the leader bonus Monasteries granting food from holy sites. Spread your enhanced religious units quickly to plant the foundations.

Defend the faith, as Khmer excels in theological combat, then grow huge cities with surrounding Prasats – transitioning that faith engine into culture/science victories in later eras.

Victoria (England)

Victoria (England) Civ 6 Leader

Victoria is highly versatile, with her leadership ability granting extra movement for her founded cities’ Royal Navy Dockyard on another continent and extra loyalty under her governance, too. The dockyard also enables faster naval unit production. Her Sea Dog, naval raider replacement, is a solid early game.

Exploit England’s naval and ranged domination to explore/conquer coastal foreign lands and new continents, absorbing them into a sprawling trans-global empire. Alternatively, adopt isolationism – building tall behind your wooden walls to compete scientifically.

Pedro II (Brazil)

Pedro II (Brazil) Civ 6 Leader

Pedro fares well culturally with Brazil by theming bonuses for Holy Sites and Rainforest preservation. His Minas Gerais’ unique unit also gains combat strength near the Rainforest. Settle cities to maximize surrounding Rainforest, synergizing Theater Square adjacency for great work slots, too.

Defend borders with enhanced infantry while generating Great Artists and Writers amidst plentiful jungles, turning those works into Tourism via buildings and National Parks.

Gorgo (Greece)

Gorgo (Greece) Civ 6 Leader

As Greece’s Gorgo, benefits arise from killing enemies rather than befriending city-states like Pericles. Her Hoplite replacement gains combat strength upon enemy defeats while levying bonus culture from vanquished foes, fueling civic progress.

Play aggressively, leveraging Greece’s early-game military technology advantage by churning out groups of Hoplites and immediately waging war on neighbours for bonuses upon killing their units. Eliminate them before they technologically catch up.

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Underestimated Civ 6 Leaders Worth Considering

Some leaders fly under the radar but can achieve greatness by utilizing niche bonuses:

  • Pachacuti (Inca): Infrastructure bonuses on hills make mountains formidable strongholds.
  • Mvemba a Nzinga (Kongo): Thrives culturally/religiously due to not exerting early military pressure.
  • Lautaro (Mapuche): Guerilla combat bonuses help overwhelm neighbouring civilizations early.


Civilization VI offers remarkable diversity through varied leaders, each catering to different playstyles and victory pursuits. Mastering even one fully opens multiple paths to glory, backed by unique units and powers. Leaders like Pericles, Trajan and Alexander excel across categories, while Amanitore and Jayavarman double down on conquest and faith, respectively, to great effect. With smart play, however, both A and S-tier leaders can turn certain victories into resounding triumphs in their own ways.

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