Erected: Civilization VI System Requirements Finalised

The Iain Banks novel Complicity dedicates a fair few words to the system requirements of Despot, a fictional game which is basically Civilization (Banks had a bit of a Civ problem). If even Iain Banks didn’t shy away from such responsibility, I hardly can.

With Civilization VI [official site] now less than a month away from launch, the system requirements are now finalised. As you’d expect, they’re not too strict, running on most PCs from the past four years or so.

Here are the specs from publishers 2K:

OS: Windows 7 64bit / 8.1 64bit / 10 64bit
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i3 2.5 Ghz or AMD Phenom II 2.6 Ghz or greater
HARD DRIVE: 12 GB or more
DVD-ROM: Required for disc-based installation
VIDEO CARD: 1 GB DirectX 11 Video Card (AMD 5570 or nVidia 450)

OS: Windows 7 64bit / 8.1 64bit / 10 64bit
PROCESSOR: Fourth generation Intel Core i5 2.5 Ghz or AMD FX8350 4.0 Ghz or greater
HARD DRIVE: 12 GB or more
DVD-ROM: Required for disc-based installation
VIDEO CARD: 2 GB DirectX 11 Video Card (AMD 7970 or nVidia 770 or greater)

“But what about Despot’s specs?” you ask. For that, I’ll turn you over to Complicity:

“the HeadCrash team designed Despot so that it takes advantage of whatever configuration of system it’s being played on, with the maximum on a PC being a 386SX running at 25MHz with at least 2Mb of RAM and 8Mb of hard-disk space free plus an S3-based graphics card fitted. The game will run on anything down to an Atari 520ST and still work (but it won’t look remotely as good, run so fat or have all the interactive features) and obviously it’ll look just as good and do everything on a better-than-maximum machine, but it just so happens that the above spec is exactly what I’ve got on my machine.

“This is purely a coincidence, of course; it’s not fate, not karma, not anything except a fortuitous accident, but dammit, it’s just so neat! No waste! No fat! Just exactly the right, most elegancy eco-optimum system – as near to state-of-the-art as I could afford at the time, barely a year ago and I’m still paying the now quite superseded bastard off – to run this stunningly Machiavellian turbo-scream of a game; an instant classic, easily a year ahead of its time and just possibly better than sex.”

Yeah, you are meant to think the protagonist is a bit of a knobhead. I won’t even tell you how excited he is about the prospect of a laptop able to run Despot.

Civilization VI is out on October 21st. But how does it compare to sex? Adam has played Civ 6 several times but somehow never compared it to intercourse nor even a little tug. The best we get is hearing it is “exciting, complex & aggressive” (Civ, not sex). Come on, Adam. You’re letting us down.


  1. Sue de Nimes says:


  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    I was sitting on despot this morning, but my bowels aren’t what they used to be. It was more like a utility bill- water and gas.

  3. DailyFrankPeter says:

    Oh, I thought you meant in-game systems…

  4. Maxheadroom says:

    Still think Civ peaked with Civ4. Civ5 just didn’t grab me as much and although I was super hyped when 6 was announced, having seen gameplay footage I’m kinda feeling a bit ‘meh’. Is that just me?

    The series really needs a reinvention. Something as big as the move from square tiles to hexagons. Lately it just feels like they’re just tweaking the mechanics and throwing in a couple of new features.

    I’ll probably still buy it mind (just expressing concern at this point), unless they start shitting a new one out every year like CoD anyway..

    • ilitarist says:

      You say it needs a reinvention but you say that the best game in the series is the last one that didn’t change much, didn’t have a revolution. Civ4 is an iterative update over Civ3 which was updated Civ2 which was updated Civ1. Civ4 added Religion (but as a much more simple system than Civ5), Great People and National Wonders. It was still recognizably same game as previous ones, unlike Civ5 which was the revolution (Tactical Battles, Hexes, City-States, Unique Civ Abilities – only Social Policies of Civ4 had the same impact on game as those systems).

      Civ6 has a very good chance to be the best Civ title ever.

      • Paj says:

        Another massive change came in Civ 3 with the introduction of strategic resources. It made the game a lot more… strategic, with key parts of the map becoming closely contested. For me this was one of the highlights of previous games, and I’m glad they haven’t altered it fundamentally.

        The things I’m most excited amount with Civ 6 is the addition of districts. That’s a pretty fundamental change to the way the game works and again it ties into the map heavily.

        • BlackeyeVuk says:

          Districts a borrowed idea from Endless Legends, while not bad thing per se, I do hope they improve upon it. Endless really made some brilliant ideas with cities and regions. You could create metropolises that way and really look awesome, shame tho, twas never meant for the game to be like that, doing that had impact on city. But it was plausible and looked epic.

      • Napalm Sushi says:

        I think one of their most important moves has been taking enough time to make Civ 6 an enhancement of the previous game’s fully upgraded form rather than its vanilla one. Only the World Congress and diplomatic victory are missing, which were probably the weakest part of Civ 5, and the plan is most likely to overhaul them for an expansion.

        And yeah, between city unstacking, support units, corps, theological combat, the religious victory, the government system, the civics tree, expendable builders, casus belli, great person bidding, great work heists, unique city-state bonuses, city-state levying, and the leader agendas, I’m unsure how Civ 6 can be seen as anything but a reinvention.

        • ilitarist says:

          Everything you’ve listed already existed in Civ5 or Civ5 expansions. They’ve forced many civilization-specific buildings as well as Great People buildings out of cities – here’s the beginning of your city unstacking. Social policy is now a linear tree instead of set of trees – yes, and I don’t see how this simplification may be considered revolution. Agendas, religious competition, religious victory, competition for great people – all of this existed in the series before. Artifact heists and unique city bonuses are new ideas but I wouldn’t call them a revolution.

    • Sizeable Dirk says:

      I’d say Alpha Centauri was the iterative Civ peak.
      Civ V went back to the series board game roots.

      I like both directions, especially the more strategic battle system vs Stacks Of Doom but I lean more toward the old empire simulation with more randomness and flavour than just stacking digital cardboard markers and choosing spec routes.

    • corinoco says:

      Two words: Penrose Tiles

    • badmothergamer says:

      Civ IV is still my personal favorite and the one I’ve invested the most time in but I still thoroughly enjoyed V and will gladly throw $60 at VI. The great thing about Civ is I know I’ll get my moneys worth. It’s simply a matter of whether I end up playing it for 200 hours or 500+ hours.

  5. ilitarist says:

    Despot is a reference to Ian Banks. He writes about it and it sounds like a Civ game.

  6. BadCatWillum says:

    So, are we going to be treated to a Cameron Colley-style gonzo review of Civ 6, fuelled by whisky, Marlborough Lights, and amphetamines? It would be different.

    • Premium User Badge

      zinzan says:

      Errrmmmmmmm whiklst i would read THIS review, I’m wondering how that would be much different from some of the articles already on RPS? :) OTOH these are some of my favourite bits of RPS

  7. Someoldguy says:

    I’d be amazed if any TBS game released with specs so high that most PCs of 4 years old or better.

    Banks did love his games. Now, when is someone going to work on making Azad on the PC?

  8. Anti-Skub says:

    Please don’t mention Iain Banks…every time someone brings him up I remember that he died and I die a little inside. I’d swear to never read another book if I could just have a couple more Culture novels.

    • Ericusson says:

      This is the worst news EVER read in those comments.
      I did not know and was looking for an extra book also.

      Sad Panda, great books, thank you Mr Banks.

  9. Ericusson says:

    Minimum specs are never enough when you reach end games and turns take forever to compute.

    Curious if they learned from the fiasco of their civilization beyond earth thing.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      That’s a good point. Much like Dwarf Fortress minimum specs are quite relative.

    • Arathorn says:

      Those extremely slow late turns are mostly because Civ 5 renders all AI movements animated, even if they are under the fog of war (which is, of course, an incredibly stupid design decision). There is a mod somewhere to disable animated AI movements which makes those turns a lot faster.

      • Anti-Skub says:

        Or, more simply, you could just click the button that turns them off in the options menu.

  10. Niente says:

    Complicity is my favourite Banks novel. I read it in Edinburgh when I was there for the Festival many years ago.

    I remember wishing there was a real game as complex and byzantine as Despot by the HeadCrash Brothers. I still have that same wish, really.

  11. Frank V. says:

    Alice, I really appreciate your writing. :-)

    • April March says:

      As do I! It’s important to remember these things every so often!

  12. Captain Joyless says:

    I didn’t realize Banks wrote in more detail about games, beyond Azad in Player of Games. Have to check out Complicity. Thanks Alice.

  13. Zenicetus says:

    Ugh… every time I see a screenshot of this game, I’m reminded how much I hate this new art style. This might be the first Civ game I take a pass on, just because I’m not sure I can stare at that design for hours at a time.

    • pelwl says:

      I think that a lot of people who hate the art style may not be too bothered by it when actually playing it. Most of the screenshots and videos that have been uploaded have the action zoomed in at a high level to show off the animations. When you view the game at a more normal distance it doesn’t look that much different to Civ V, only more detailed so that it’s easier to quickly recognise different terrain, buildings, etc.

      I’m kind of hoping there’ll be an option to turn off the leader animations though as they’re going to get tiresome pretty quickly.