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Loyalty is a feature added to Civilization VI in the Rise and Fall expansion pack. It introduces a new way in the game to change borders without military conquest.

Mechanics Edit

Loyalty applies to each city of each nation individually. It is expressed by a score from 0 to 100, which changes each turn according to a number of factors:

  • Citizen6 Citizen Loyalty pressure from within the city. Each citizen exerts some positive pressure, with the exact amount changing according to the Age the empire is currently in.
  • Positive Loyalty pressure from other national cities within 9 tiles.
  • Negative Loyalty pressure from external cities within 9 tiles.
  • Amenities6 Amenities (Happiness level) in the city.
  • A Governor being present in the city vastly increases Loyalty.
  • Additional factors, such as Policy Cards or City Projects, may also affect Loyalty temporarily.

Each turn, all the above factors are combined to raise or lower the Loyalty score of the city.

Loyalty Pressure Edit

Low Loyalty City (Civ6)

Valladolid has low Loyalty and is about to revolt against Scotland.

The Loyalty score of each city exerts pressure on all other non-City-State cities within 9 tiles, similarly to religious pressure. However, the amount of pressure from Loyalty diminishes by 10% per tile, so its strength will be only 10% at the edge of the influence zone. In other words:

The farther you go from the core of your empire, the less Loyalty pressure will be exerted, both on your own and on foreign cities.

That makes it increasingly difficult to hold the Loyalty of cities which are far from the relative center of your nation. Conversely, it will make it easier for you to "flip" cities of other nations which have been founded in "your" lands.

Free Cities Edit

Free City under Pressure (Civ6)

Rotterdam has become a Free City and is about to join the Cree, to whom it has the most Loyalty.

Once a city's Loyalty score goes down to 0, it will declare independence, ripping itself away from its mother nation and becoming a Free City. Free Cities always have Open Borders with and are hostile toward other civilizations, and their colors are black and dark red.

Free Cities are like city-states in that they don't compete to win the game, but they cannot be attracted as Allies for wars or provide any other benefits which real city-states grant to nations with enough Envoy6 Envoys in them. Instead, Free Cities are still subject to Loyalty pressures, and will eventually join another empire which manages to exert sufficient pressure on them. This mechanic makes it possible to conquer enemy cities without firing a single shot!

Of course, if their original owner takes measures to increase Loyalty pressure, Free Cities will eventually rejoin their previous owner. All of a Free City's units are immediately disbanded when it (re)joins a civilization.

Trivia Edit

Here's the lead designer Anton Strenger on the subject:[1]

The stakes of the new Loyalty system are huge because, at the extremes, it can flip control of entire cities to different players without military force. Low Loyalty in a city puts it at risk of rebelling and becoming a Free City. That, in turn, makes it a juicy target for other players looking to expand their own empire. Keeping your cities loyal not only keeps it on your side, but also emanates its Loyalty as a kind of “peer pressure” to other cities nearby. You could even sway cities from other civilizations to join you.

In previous Civilization games, there were ways to “Culture Flip” another player’s city without military intervention. We felt it was time to reexamine this non-militaristic way to change borders, and expand territory.

Loyalty also changes the landscape and strategy around the map as the game continues. What could have been an unchanging border between two civilizations in the base game becomes a contentious battleground of loyalties in the expansion, especially when Golden Ages or Dark Ages are involved.

Golden Ages and Dark Ages are a kind of loyalty bomb. In the best-case scenarios, triggering a Golden Age makes all of your citizens a little bit more loyal. Also, other cities nearby see the appeal of that civilization and may waver in their Loyalty to their current owner. The quickest and most direct way to boost Loyalty, though, is to send a Governor to the city.


Civilization VI- Rise and Fall - Devs Play the Mapuche (Loyalty Deep Dive)

Civilization VI- Rise and Fall - Devs Play the Mapuche (Loyalty Deep Dive)

Sarah Darney and Anton Strenger demonstrate the Loyalty system.


  1. The original text of the page was found here [1]
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