Trade Route (Civ6)

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TradeRoute6 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.

Establishing Trade RoutesEdit


Before you can establish any Trade Routes, you need to develop the Foreign Trade Civic.

Next, you need Trading Capacity. Developing Foreign Trade gives you a capacity of 1, meaning that your empire may support only 1 TradeRoute6 Trade Route. Further capacity may be developed by constructing Commercial Hubs and Harbors. There are several additional ways, so look for them throughout the game. And finally, you need a Trader unit. Similar to the Trade Convoy in Beyond Earth: Rising Tide, the Trader is a singe unit that may establish routes over both land and sea (but for the latter it needs the Celestial Navigation technology). Each Trader services 1 route, so you cannot have more Traders than you have Trading Capacity.

There is a special case, however, when you will end up having more Traders than Trading Capacity: this happens when your Capacity diminishes. This could happen, for example, as you change Government from Merchant Republic to something else (you will immediately lose 2 Trading Capacity). In this situation, the next Trader (or Traders) which finishes its Trade Route will be unable to start a new Route until you get back to having at least as much Trading Capacity as Traders. Note that all existing Trade Routes will run their course normally.

Route MechanicsEdit

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 TradeRoute6 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 come back physically to its 'home' city 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 from the turn you establish it, and continues to function until its duration runs out.

Note that in most cases, it is only the city where the trade route originates which benefits 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.

Land RoutesEdit

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. This is done on its very first round, which means that the road will be constructed one tile at a time as the unit moves along the map.

Sea RoutesEdit

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 route. Future trade 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! Sometimes it will be worth it to send a route to a city not because of the potential yields, but because it will allow you access to other parts of the world once a Trading Post is created. Trading Posts add 1 Civ6Gold Gold each to the route's yield.

Potential Destinations for TradeEdit

You can establish trade routes with your own cities, with rival civilization's 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 Civ6Food Food and Civ6Production Production, while trading with foreign cities provides mainly Civ6Gold 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.

Principles of TradingEdit

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.

There are two major types of trade routes, which determines the general type of effect they have:

  • Domestic 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

Internal trade routes can be established between your own cities, as long as they are in range of each other.

When you start an internal trade route, the city of origin will receive Civ6Food Food and Civ6Production Production, depending on the districts at the place the route is going to. Use internal trade 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 Trade Routes will provide Civ6Gold Gold, but depending on the districts at their destination, they will also provide Civ6Science Science, Civ6Culture Culture, Civ6Faith Faith, and also Civ6Production Production and Civ6Food Food on occasion.

Aside from providing gold income, these 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 trade routes enabling you to learn of developments in rival civilizations. Second, traders will talk freely about the wonders of your civilization, which boosts your Tourism6 Tourism output to the other civilization!

Trading with City-StatesEdit

You can also establish routes with City-States. They work much the same as trade routes with other civilizations (without the extra social effects, of course).

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 (Civ6) City Center 1 Civ6Food Food, 1 Civ6Production Production 3 Civ6Gold Gold
Campus (Civ6) Campus 1 Civ6Food Food 1 Civ6Science Science
Holy Site (Civ6) Holy Site 1 Civ6Food Food 1 Civ6Faith Faith
Encampment (Civ6) Encampment 1 Civ6Production Production 1 Civ6Production Production
Commercial Hub (Civ6) Commercial Hub 1 Civ6Production Production 3 Civ6Gold Gold
Theater Square (Civ6) Theater Square 1 Civ6Food Food 1 Civ6Culture Culture
Entertainment Complex (Civ6) Entertainment Complex 1 Civ6Food Food 1 Civ6Food Food
Harbor (Civ6) Harbor 1 Civ6Production Production 3 Civ6Gold Gold
Industrial Zone (Civ6) Industrial Zone 1 Civ6Production Production 1 Civ6Production Production

Trade Boosters Edit

Finally, there are several ways to boost performance of your TradeRoute6 Trade Routes.

First, every Trading Post for your civilization through which a route passes along its course adds +1 Civ6Gold 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 Civ6Gold 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:

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 trade route, which destroys the Trader and rewards the enemy unit's owner with Civ6Gold Gold.

Note that when you go to war with a civilization, all trade routes with them are cancelled, but you do not lose the Traders - instead, you get to reassign them.

Civilization VI [edit]

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


AmenitiesBarbariansCityCombatDiplomacy (GossipWarmongering) • EspionageEureka MomentGovernmentGreat PeopleGreat WorksMap (AppealBordersContinentTile) • MovementReligionTrade RoutesVictory

Civ6Culture CultureCiv6Faith FaithCiv6Food FoodCiv6Gold GoldCiv6Production ProductionCiv6Science ScienceTourism6 Tourism

DLCModdingSoundtrackStarting a new gameSteam AchievementsSteam trading cards

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