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Knowing how to move your armies and workers through the world is essential to success in the world of Civilization. This article will explain the movement rules in Civilization VI.

Basic Rules Edit

All units in the game have a statistic called Movement Points (MPs), or just Movement. This stat determines how far, measured in number of tiles, a unit may move in a single turn. Usually 1 MP corresponds to 1 tile of movement, but this is not true in many cases - there are many features on the land which present obstacles to movement. When you mouse over any tile of the world, you will find text showing how many MPs it costs to move to this tile. When a unit exhausts its MPs it is unable to do anything else for now and will end its turn. Also, if a unit doesn't have enough MPs left to accomplish a command you've given, it will also end its turn and wait for the next one to proceed.

MPs are sometimes spent partially - this is often the case when a unit is moving on Roads in the late game. Since 1 tile will then take less than 1 MP, it is possible that moving 3 tiles will take less than 3 MPs, and the remainder, if less than 1 MP, will still be available to the unit. This becomes important when attempting to perform actions after moving, such as Upgrading or Earning a Promotion - a unit which has some fraction of MPs will still be able to perform such actions before it ends its turn.

Note that compared to previous games there is a subtle, but significant difference in movement rules: MPs are now discounted before you enter the tile, not after! This means that whereas in Civilization V you could move onto a Hill tile with only a fraction of a MP left, in Civilization VI you need to have 2 full MPs left in order to do so. This makes it significantly more difficult to move through "broken" terrain, where open tiles are mingled with rough terrain.

Other actions in the game, such as attacking or pillaging, also require MPs remaining to be performed. Most actions, other than movement, consume all MPs a unit has left for the turn. However, certain promotions and special abilities may alter that, either allowing the unit to spend less MPs to do certain actions, or granting additional overall MPs. For example, all Great Generals possess an aura which grants additional MPs to nearby units, thus allowing them to move further each turn. Also, the Logistics Policy allows all units that start the turn in friendly territory to move further.

Moving on Land Edit

As usual, moving on land is much more difficult than moving at sea. Many terrain features present obstacles to movement - Forests, Jungles, Hills and Marshes all require 2 MPs to move onto. What's more, Hills may combine their movement difficulty with Forests or Jungles, requiring 3 MPs to move onto! Because most units don't actually have 3 MPs, it will take all their movement to move onto a Hill with a Forest, for example. This makes moving through rough terrain especially difficult.

Crossing rivers is also extremely difficult: it requires 3 MPs, or all the unit's movement for the round (if its default movement is 3 or less). Note also that if the tile on the other side of the river has additional obstructing features (forests, hills, etc.) the unit will still manage to cross the river and move onto it in a single turn, even though it doesn't have enough MPs!

Mountain tiles are completely impassable, except for aerial units in the late game. Most Natural Wonders are also impassible, as well as Ice tiles in the extreme north and south of the world.

The Helicopter, a late game light cavalry class unit, is the only 'land' unit which ignores all features (including rivers) and spends 1 MP per tile (adjusted for the eventual presence of a Road).

Roads Edit

Creating a transport infrastructure is essential for aiding land movement, especially in the beginning of the game. When units move through tiles with Roads, they spend significantly less time, than moving through the wild.

In Civilization VI Roads are established by Traders as they move along their land Trade Routes. Alternatively, Military Engineer units may build roads, although this is a much more tedious process. An Engineer may only build Road on 1 tile at a time, and each tile consumes one of its Charges. Seeing that he only has 2 charges, you can see that they can't be a good alternative to road building. So, consider establishing strategic Trade routes early in the game, so that you can have a good road network around the middle game.

Roads become automatically better with the passing of Eras. Whenever you reach the Classical, Renaissance and Modern Eras, the roads inside your territory will upgrade automatically. The roads outside your territory, however, will remain the same until your Traders, or these of a nation which has reached a later Era passes along them.

Here are the types of Roads and their effects:

  • Ancient Roads - The initial type of road, which is simply well-packed dirt; it makes all tiles require 1 MP to move onto. Rivers still present obstacles.
  • Classical Roads - Engineers finally develop ways to cross rivers. All Roads now receive Bridges over Rivers, making their crossing simple.
  • Renaissance Roads - With the development of a pavement, roads become more efficient at transporting stuff. Tiles now require 0.75 MPs to move onto.
  • Modern Roads - Asphalted pavement provides the best movement possible. 0.5 MPs per tile.

Note that there are no Railroads in Civilization VI. For now.

Impassable Tiles Edit

Certain tiles are considered impassable, and block all movement. This includes all Mountains, and most Natural Wonder tiles. Note that unlike Civilization V, no units at all may pass through these tiles, not even Helicopters!

Moving at Sea Edit

Moving at sea is significantly easier than moving on land - all tiles here take only 1 MP to go to. However, as usual, certain technologies are required to be able to move at sea at all. Furthermore, the seas are divided in two types of tiles: Coastal tiles, where the waters are close to land and more calm; and the treacherous Ocean tiles, which cover most of the map, and where storms and monsters rule. The Sailing tech allows you to build the first ship in the game, the Galley, but this ship may only move on Coastal tiles. The same is valid for the more advanced Quadrireme ship.

At the same time, most land units may not move on sea at all, until the Shipbuilding tech is developed. Before that, only Builders may Embark (with Sailing), and Traders may form sea trade routes (with Celestial Navigation).

None of these units, however, may enter Ocean tiles until the development of Cartography in the Renaissance Era. At this point even Galleys and Quadriremes are able to enter Ocean tiles. This represents a stark difference with Civilization V, where early game units could never enter Ocean tiles, even when your civilization had progressed enough.

Finally, all units moving at sea (including Embarked land units) receive + 1 MP after researching Mathematics. Note that this detail doesn't appear anywhere in the Civilopedia information on sea units, so you shouldn't be surprised to see 5MPs on a Frigate when its Civilopedia entry says it has only 4.

Note that maritime units (a.k.a. ships) may enter cities built on the coast.

Embarking Edit

This is the process of a land unit transforming to a transport ship to enter a sea tile (and the opposite, which is called Disembarking). As previously mentioned, all land units may do so, but only after developing certain technologies.

Under normal circumstances, Embarking is quite a slow process, requiring 3MPs or all movement of a unit (if it has less than 3 MP). If a unit has more than 3MPs available for either Embarking or Disembarking, the remaining points are transferred to the new movement mode, and that unit may manage to continue moving in this same turn; otherwise its turn will terminate. So, for example, if a cavalry unit with 4 MPs is right next to water in the beginning of a turn, it will Embark (-3 MPs), and still have 1MP left to move on the water. Conversely, if an Embarked unit with 6MPs is right next to land, it can Disembark (-3MPs), and still have 3MPs left to move on land! Note that normal movement limits still apply after the switch of movement mode - if the above-mentioned unit has a normal limit of 2MPs, it will be able to only use 2 of these 3 MPs after disembarking.

However, Embarking to and from a tile with a Harbor district, or a City Center tile (in case of a Coastal city) is much easier, and costs only 1 MP.

Developing technology allows faster movement of Embarked units, once they're at sea, which also helps Disembarking. Embarked units have 2 MPs in the Classical Era; the following techs each add more: Cartography (+1 MP), Steam Power (+2 MP) and Combustion (+1 MP). When fully developed, Embarked units move as fast as normal ships.

Cliffs Edit

Cliffs are special features fount on land tiles on the coast. Embarking to and from land tiles with Cliffs is impossible, unless a Harbor has been built on a tile bordering a Cliff. Thus founding cities on, or close to Cliffs will mean they are defended from sea invasions.

Frontline units such as the Swordsman may earn the Commando promotion, which allows them to "scale" Cliffs - that is, Embark and Disembark from them.

Ice Edit

Ice tiles are found in the far north and south of the world seas. They are considered impassable to all ships, even Submarines.

Movement-boosting effects Edit

There are certain circumstances in the game in which units will receive more MPs than they normally have:

  • Heavy cavalry class units (all but the Knight), when they start the turn in a flat tile, receive + 1MP;
  • Any land unit which is under the effect of a Supply Convoy,
  • Any land or sea unit under the effect of an age-appropriate Great General or Admiral.
  • When the Logistics Policy card is active, any land or sea unit which starts its move in friendly territory receives +1 MP.

Note that all these movement boosters only work if the boosted unit starts its turn already under the effect of the boosting factor! For example, let's imagine that we have a unit and a Supply convoy which are two tiles apart (the boosting effect of the Convoy works only in nearby tiles). If you move the Convoy next to the unit, you will notice increased MPs on the unit, but there will be a deduction for the lack of actual boost (-1 MP). If you move the unit next to the convoy, thus spending already some of its movement for the turn, you will notice the increased MPs, but there will be a deduction to account not only for the movement already made, but also for the lack of the boost itself.

Only if the Convoy and unit start their turn next to each other will you enjoy the full boosted movement.

In the same way works the boost for Heavy cavalry - they need to be in a flat terrain tile in the beginning of the turn to receive extra movement; if they enter the tile during their turn, they will get an increased maximum MPs, along with the relevant deduction.

Entering Other Nations' Borders Edit

Civilization VI subtly changes the way borders are handled. In the beginning of the game all units may enter freely all other civilizations' and city-states' territory. This changes only after a civ (or city-state) develops the Early Empire Civic - this nation now understands how important is to keep watch on its borders at all times, and establishes border guards, closing its borders. From there on, units of one civ may only enter the territory of another civ if they have granted them Open Borders - or, in the case of a city-state, if they become its Suzerain.

The current state of a civ's borders as related to you is also graphically represented on the map - if its borders are "unlocked" to you, they will appear unconnected, as dashes; otherwise, they will be a solid line.

Entering a civ's territory when they haven't granted you Open Borders is considered an Act of War, and will prompt a confirmation dialogue.

Unit Stacking Edit

Civilization VI largely maintains the previous games' "one unit per tile" rule. There can be only one military unit and one civilian unit occupying a particular tile at any time. However, the creation of the new support class unit flaunts this rule, as it also allows one additional support unit in the same time. Support units are specifically designed for military purposes, and although they can't attack directly, their effects are always military. So, for example, you can now have a Battering Ram together with your Swordsman, attacking the target city; in Civilization V they had to occupy different tiles.

At sea, there are no support units, so there can only be one ship per tile. Great Admirals, as civilian units, may stack with ships. Embarked units are also considered a separate class, and may stack with both a military ship and an Admiral.

Finally, the Fall 2017 Update introduces new stacking rules for Religious units (Missionaries, Apostles, Inquisitors and Gurus). They now form a separate class of units, which may coexist in the same tile with Military, Civilian and Support units. What's more, they may even enter tiles with enemy units which aren't Religious! This practically forms a second, parallel layer of movement, dedicated to Religious units only, where they can conduct their fights practically unmolested.

Escort Formations Edit

Civilization VI also introduces an interesting mechanic: the Escort Formation. Such can be created between all units of different classes, for example a Warrior and a Settler, or a Swordsman and a Battering Ram (as mentioned above). This new formation locks the two units together, allowing you to move them with a single command, without having to worry that you will forget your Great General while moving your army yet again, and have him killed (or rather, displaced now) by a lone soldier. Note that Movement Points for the new formation are leveled down; in other words, the formation will have as many MPs as the slowest unit in it. So, it's not such a good idea, for example, to lock together a Builder with a Horseman, because the Horseman will lose its greatest advantage - its speed. Unless of course the Horseman hasn't achieved its ultimate promotion, which allows it to grant all its movement to whatever unit is its pair.

Moving around Other Nations' Units Edit

As in Civilization V, you can move right through a tile occupied by a unit of a Neutral or a Friendly civ, if you have enough MPs. Remember that you'll still need enough MPs to enter the tile beyond the one occupied by the unit! Since with the new rules this could require quite a lot of MPs, many times it becomes impossible to execute such maneuvers (especially in Rough terrain), not because you don't have the right to pass the tile of the unit, but because you simply don't have enough MPs.

The novelty is that now civilian units may also move through tiles occupied by other units. This helps a lot when moving Religious units, for example.

When you are dealing with hostile units, movement becomes constrained - you cannot move through the tile taken by a hostile unit. What's more, in most cases movement becomes subject to Zone of Control rules. For more info on this, visit this article.

Special movement regimes Edit

There are a number of units in the game which move under special rules. Here follows a breakdown of these units and the rules, in order of their appearance into the game:

Traders Edit

After production, and each time they complete a Trade Route, Trader units may be based or re-based in a city in your empire (they start in the city where they were produced, of course). The rest of the time, while servicing their current Trade route, the Trader will move along the route's trajectory, one tile at a time. They will stack with all other unit types and are not subject to ZOC or similar rules; however, they can be destroyed by an enemy unit using Pillaging.

Traders ignore borders, but otherwise they need to be physically able to move through the land or the sea. Before researching Celestial Navigation, they can only move on land; after that they may also move on Coastal tiles, but they need a 'port' where to switch - either a Coastal city, or a Harbor district belonging to you. After researching Cartography Traders may also enter Ocean tiles as all other units.

You cannot fully control Traders' movements beyond selecting their base city and their current trading target city; but the trajectory they follow is usually the straightest path possible between the two cities. You can see the projected path of the Trade Route while you're choosing the Trader's next target - use it to gauge whether there will be danger (for example if the route passes dangerously close to a Barbarian outpost).

Religious units Edit

All Religious units (Missionaries, Apostles, Inquisitors, Gurus) move on their own 'layer', which is not shared with other types of units. That means that they are not hindered by any Military or Civilian units whatsoever; but they are still subject to normal physical rules otherwise. Religious units also ignore borders, but they may not enter foreign cities or districts.

Finally, Religious units are subject to ZOC exercised by enemy Religious units. Since they are always considered 'at war' with all other civilizations (except in the case of a Religious alliance), they will always be under ZOC rules for all practices. Also, be mindful of the fact that Military units of a nation you;'re at war with may use a special action to destroy instantly your Religious unit, if they enter its tile!

Great People Edit

Great people are considered Civilians for unit class purposes; each has 4 MPs and may move normally across the map, respecting all normal rules. However, they also have a special ability which allows them to 'hop' to other City Centers of your empire! The only special case here is the Great Admiral, which may also hop from a City Center to a Harbor District (but cannot use a Harbor district as a starting point!).

Spies Edit

Spies don't move normally on the map, they may only move from city to city between their missions. They appear initially in the city which produced them, and can then select their next destination from the list of all cities (both belonging to civilizations and City-states) which you have currently discovered. The travel takes some turns.

When a Spy gets discovered during a mission, and manages to escape, he will appear straight into your Capital after some turns. Also, when he is imprisoned and you free him later through trade, he will appear in your Capital instantly.

Air units Edit

As in previous games, air units have a special movement regime. Since they require a lot of fuel to stay in the air, they usually cannot spend prolonged periods of time outside their base, the way other units may stay in the middle of nowhere. So, air units only stay in their bases, from where they may Attack any tile inside their Range.They may Rebase to valid bases inside certain range - this action takes a full turn and moves the unit from one base to another.

The only exception is for Fighter-class units, when they engage in their Patrol regime. For more information on that, visit this article.

Helicopters are a special type of unit, a land-air hybrid. Although they fly, technically, their movement regime is more similar to a land unit, with the difference that they may move through Rough terrain as if it were open, and cross Rivers without losing MPs. Also, as all other Cavalry-class units, they ignore ZOC.

Airlifting Edit

Towards the end of the game technological and civic development enables the most powerful movement option - Airlifting. After researching the Rapid Deployment Civic, Airlift option will be turned on provided there is the necessary infrastructure in at least two of your cities, in the form of an Aerodrome district with an Airport building.

To Airlift a land unit (be it military, civilian, support or religious) you need to move the unit within one tile of either the Aerodrome, or the City Center of the city containing the Aerodrome; you also need at least a fraction of MP left. The Airlift action moves the unit instantly to a tile within 1 tile of the Aerodrome of the remote city, consuming all MPs that are left.

Civilization VI [edit]
Rise and FallGathering Storm

Lists
AgendasBeliefsBuildingsCity-StatesCivicsCivilizationsDistrictsImprovementsLeadersPantheonsPolicy CardsPromotionsResourcesScenariosTechnologiesTerrainUnits (Unique Units) • Wonders (Natural)

Eras
AncientClassicalMedievalRenaissanceIndustrialModernAtomicInformationFutureGS-Only

Concepts
AgesR&F-OnlyAmenitiesBarbariansCity (CapitalGovernorsR&F-OnlyHousingLoyaltyR&F-OnlyPopulation) • CombatDisastersGS-OnlyDiplomacy (EmergenciesR&F-OnlyGossipGrievancesGS-Only WarmongeringWorld CongressGS-Only) Eureka MomentGovernmentGreat PeopleGreat WorksMap (AppealBordersContinentTile) • MovementReligionTimelinesR&F-OnlyTrade RoutesVictory

Statistics
Civ6Culture CultureCiv6Faith FaithTemplate:Favour6GS-OnlyCiv6Food FoodCiv6Gold GoldCiv6Production ProductionCiv6Science ScienceTourism6 Tourism

Miscellaneous
DLCModdingSoundtrackStarting a new gameSteam AchievementsSteam trading cardsUpdates

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