Back to Civilization VI
Trade Routes are a feature in Civilization VI. Similar to Civilization V: Brave New World and Beyond Earth, Trade Routes can be established between cities. However, the role of Trade Routes in Civilization VI is greatly expanded: aside from increasing the Gold income for your empire, and providing a variety of other yields, Trade Routes now automatically construct roads (when running on land) and can provide increased Diplomatic Visibility by revealing gossip on rival civilizations.
Next, you need Trading Capacity. Developing Foreign Trade gives you a capacity of 1, meaning that your empire may support only 1 Trade Route. Further capacity may be developed by constructing Commercial Hubs and Harbors (or, in Rise and Fall, Markets and Lighthouses) - either one of these will add +1 Trading Capacity per city (but their effects aren't cumulative, so a city with both a Commercial Hub/Market and a Harbor/Lighthouse will still add only 1 Capacity). There are several additional ways, so look for them throughout the game.
Finally, you need a Trader unit. Similar to the Trade Convoy in Beyond Earth: Rising Tide, the Trader is a single unit that may establish routes over both land and sea (but for the latter it needs the Celestial Navigation technology).
Each Trader services one Trade Route, so you normally cannot have more Traders than you have Trading Capacity. You can encounter an exception to this rule if your Trading Capacity diminishes for some reason - for example, if you change governments from Merchant Republic to something else (which will immediately reduce your Trading Capacity by 2), or if you lose cities. In this situation, the next Trader (or Traders) to finish a Trade Route will be unable to start a new route until you get back to having at least as much Trading Capacity as Traders. All existing Trade Routes will run their course normally, and as soon as you manage to increase your Trading Capacity again, you will be able to assign new routes to your inactive Traders.
Establishing Trade RoutesEdit
After you meet all above requirements, you will be prompted to select your routes' destination for each Trader unit. This may be any city, be it domestic, foreign or City-State, which you have discovered already, is within range of the Trader's base, and with which you're not at war. Also, there must exist a physical way to link the two cities; this involves both having revealed enough of the map for a path between the two cities to exist, and having the necessary technology and infrastructure in place. For example, if you want to connect to a city on another continent, but you have no city with maritime access, none of your trading partners (cities in other nations) has such, or haven't even discovered Celestial Navigation, you will be unable to establish this route. This is very often the case when you establish a city inland on an isolated isle - until you manage to build a Harbor for this city, or until you establish another city with coastal access on the same isle, you will be unable to open trade routes to or from it. Also, keep in mind that Traders can't move through impassable tiles.
All valid trade targets appear individually for each Trader, according to its current location. If there is a specific city you want to trade with, and which you think is in range, but doesn't appear in the selection options, then you may need to move your Trader into another of your cities (which takes one turn regardless of distance). Note that for purposes of Trade Route ranges, all tiles count as 1, regardless of features on them. While you select your destination, possible routes will appear as lines from the destination city, allowing you to visualize your options. Routes may traverse hostile territory, although they run a great risk of being plundered if they do.
Each Trade Route runs for a set number of turns, after which it is considered finished. Note that your Trader unit will also have to physically come back to its city of origin before the route finishes. When this happens, a Trading Post for your civilization is created in both the target and the source city, if it doesn't exist already.
Traders will move physically at a speed of one tile per turn, both on land and at sea. This is important if you want to estimate when a road will be ready, and also in case of plundering, as explained below. Note that this movement is not related to the gameplay functionality of the route - any route starts functioning and contributing to yields on the turn you establish it, and continues to function until its duration runs out.
Note that in most cases, only the city from which the Trade Route originates will benefit from it. If you need to boost one of your cities, make sure you start a route from it to one of your other cities, instead of the opposite.
A Trade Route runs for a minimum of 20 turns on Standard game speed (affected by game speed), but only ends when the Trader reaches the origin city. As Traders move at a speed of one tile per turn, Trade Routes can only end after (n * 2 * route length) turns, where n is a natural number >= 1.
Examples for different route lengths on standard speed:
|Distance travelled (tiles)||Roundtrip time (turns)||Number of trips||Duration (turns)|
Trading Range Edit
This is the measure of how many tiles from its current base a Trader is able to reach, so as to establish routes. Note that, unlike Civilization V, Trade Route range cannot be enhanced via technology! The only way to do it is via infrastructure - more specifically, the new Trading Posts (see below). This makes it imperative to think strategically when establishing Trade Routes - sometimes it is worth it to establish a route which won't benefit you much, but when finished, will allow you to reach other parts of the world!
The base range for land trade routes is 15 tiles. A Trader unit sent over land will automatically construct a road between the cities along the route trajectory.
The base range for sea trade routes is 30 tiles. Remember that you need the Celestial Navigation tech in order to be able to establish sea trade routes. Also note that routes may switch between movement modes - the route may start in an inland city, then go to a coastal city (or to a city with a Harbor), move over sea to another city with a Harbor, then continue on land to its destination. As long as the destination is within the overall range of the route, switching back and forth between modalities is possible. Also, remember that there needs to be physical access to the Coast!
Trading Posts Edit
As mentioned above, Trading Posts are automatically constructed in the destination and source city of every finished Trade Route. Future routes (both land and sea) that pass through these cities will have extended reach - they will effectively reset their range at the Trading Post. You can make use of this to reach farther and farther in the world with your Traders! Trading Posts add 1 Gold each to the route's yield.
Potential Destinations for TradeEdit
You can establish Trade Routes with your own cities, with rival civilizations' cities, or with city-states. The results are slightly different, although trading with foreign cities or city-states is largely the same. Trading between your own cities provides mainly Food and Production, while trading with foreign cities provides mainly Gold, along with other yield types which depend heavily on the types of districts and resources the target city has. For more details, see below.
Trade Routes are always sent to the City Center of their destination, but they benefit from all districts that exist in that city's territory. Thus, a route to a specific city may start with a very negligible yield, but as that city develops over time, the yields of future routes sent there will also increase.
- Domestic (or internal) routes are those established between cities of your empire.
- International routes are those established with cities outside your empire.
This separation is also important when considering certain Policy Card effects (see below).
Note that at all times there may exist only one route between Cities A and B. You can establish a new route to City A starting from City B, but you won't be able to establish another route from A to B until the first one's duration runs out.
Trading with Your Own CitiesEdit
When you start an domestic trade route, the city of origin will receive Food and Production, depending on the districts at the place the route is going to. Use domestic routes to boost the basic performance of any city within your empire, especially newly established ones. Cities constructing Wonders also benefit greatly - try to connect them to your most advanced industrial city.
Trading with Other CivilizationsEdit
International Trade Routes can be established with rival civilizations whose cities are within range. The yields they provide are much more varied: all such routes will provide Gold, but depending on the districts at their destination, they will also provide Science, Culture, Faith, and also Production and Food on occasion.
Aside from providing Gold income, international Trade Routes also serve as a sort of social connection. First, trading provides the most basic form of espionage, as rumors will trickle down the routes enabling you to learn of developments in rival civilizations. Second, traders will talk freely about the wonders of your civilization, which boosts your Tourism output to the other civilization!
Trading with City-StatesEdit
Below is a table of all effects the various districts add to a Trade Route's total yield. The civilization-specific versions of the districts have the same yield as the respective generic district they replace.
|District||Domestic Destination||International Destination|
|City Center||1 Food, 1 Production||3 Gold|
|Campus||1 Food||1 Science|
|Holy Site||1 Food||1 Faith|
|Encampment||1 Production||1 Production|
|Commercial Hub||1 Production||3 Gold|
|Theater Square||1 Food||1 Culture|
|Entertainment Complex||1 Food||1 Food|
|Harbor||1 Production||3 Gold|
|Industrial Zone||1 Production||1 Production|
Trade Boosters Edit
First, every Trading Post for your civilization through which a route passes along its course adds +1 Gold to its total yield. Thus, the farther the route goes (and the more cities with Trading Posts it passes along the way), the greater its final Gold yield.
Second, the following Policy Cards expand the yields of all routes (domestic and international):
The following Policies work for domestic routes only:
The following Policies work for international routes only:
- Trade Confederation: +1 Culture, +1 Science
- Market Economy: +1 Gold, +2 Culture, +2 Science per each improved Strategic Resource at the destination
- Arsenal of Democracy: +2 Food, +2 Production (This works only if the route connects to a city of a nation you're Allied with; the bonus applied to both source and destination cities.)
- Ecommerce: +5 Production, +10 Gold
- Online Communities: +50% Tourism to the civilization owning the destination city (Obviously, this will have no effect when the route goes to a city-state.)
Plundering Trade RoutesEdit
Trade Routes are vulnerable to attack, and unguarded ones may be plundered by Barbarians and units belonging to civilizations with which you are at war. If an enemy unit enters a tile that one of your Traders currently occupies, it can plunder the route, which destroys the Trader and rewards the enemy unit's owner with Gold.
|Civilization VI |
|Rise and Fall|
Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.