Civ 6 multiplayer: new challenges in strong scenarios

Civilization 6 [official site] is a wonder in singleplayer, though we do have some complaints: the AI still struggles at times and diplomacy isn’t quite the revolution we’d hoped for. The perfect way to sidestep would be to play with nonartificial intelligences, who can conduct diplomacy using swear words and cruel deceptions. We sent our cultural ambassador Robert Zak onto the internet to test out Civ 6 multiplayer in all its forms. Here is his report.

I used to play Civilization exclusively by myself. The fantasy of empire-building was one that I enjoyed doing in my own time and on my own terms, getting swept up in whatever alternative world history the game’s systems – combined with my hunger for global domination – would generate. In the original Civ, I’d while away the minutes admiring my ramshackle palace with its medieval castle wings ostentatiously flanking an Arabic dome; in Civs 1 through 3, I loved looking at my cities from above using the dedicated aerial views; in Civ 4, I’d zoom all the way out of the world view until I was in space, appreciating the smallness of the planet relative to the cosmos, before plummeting back in through the swirling clouds all the way in on my civilization, panning across it at full zoom while listening to the ambient sounds that changed depending on whether I was hovering over cities, jungles, deserts, what have you.

You can’t do any of that wonderful stuff with a turn timer, a beeper that reminds you that everyone is waiting for you to end your turn, and that one div who can’t resist saying “faster pls” – even though in the previous turn I had enough time to tweeze an old fingernail out from the depths of my keyboard while patiently waiting for him to finish. These are some of the traits of the Civ multiplayer experience, and it’s wonderful.

My expanded knowledge of Civ’s mechanics over the years and the painful inability of the Civ V AI to cope with the new hex-based layout drew me towards the multiplayer. The workings of the game, its routes to victory and weird idiosyncrasies became too transparent in single-player. Not content with the difficulty level being based on how much of a head-start the eternally asinine AI had on me, I wanted my opponents starting on equal footing to me. I also wanted them to be just as sneaky and tactical as me, and equally capable of exploiting Civ’s systems, rather than just waiting to be exploited themselves.

And so it was that Civ V became a weekly multiplayer routine, to be enjoyed with a small circle of friends at pre-arranged times every week. It was notoriously buggy, broken, and with AI that couldn’t even approach you for a deal, let alone beat you in a war, but these flaws were drowned out by the joy of playing and dealing with real people, and the new gameplay elements that organically arose out of it. The high-interest loans, the proxy wars where you secretly provided troops to your weaker pals to take on bigger threats, the negotiations to trade back the Great Prophet you took hostage. It added a layer of distinctly human complexity.

Notwithstanding, Firaxis had a lot of fixing to do for the Civilization 6 multiplayer. I headed out to see if the old online bugbears of Civ V had been fixed, how the new multiplayer scenarios – made to be completed in a couple of hours – played out, and whether it’s possible to functionally play Civ in the company of strangers.

I started off by trying some standard-rules matches. There wouldn’t usually be more than ten pre-match lobbies to join at any one time, and of these at least half must’ve been private games where they forgot to tick the ‘Private Game’ box, because I got kicked from them the second I joined. To hell with these damn Civ cliques, I thought. I created my own game, giving it the unequivocal label, ALL WELCOME. It filled up in under a minute, making me wonder whether at any one time there were actually thousands of dejected Civvers out there – broken after being kicked from countless pre-game lobbies, but holding out hope that one day a benevolent somebody (like me) would create a game that didn’t turn them away.

If I could create a Civ game to accommodate all these players, I would (maybe I should start a Patreon to fund the necessary gargantuan bandwidth?) but for now I was happy that I saved at least five of these wandering souls…

I set the game to the new ‘Online’ speed, which squeezes the 6,000-year gamespan into a manageable 250 turns (in Civ V, the fastest game speed was 330 turns), and the turn timer to ‘Dynamic’ (a mistake in hindsight as it massively overscales the timer relative to the era you’re in – by the medieval era, turn times had bloated to a molassal 3.5 minutes, which people abused to take extended food or toilet breaks that I’m convinced they would’ve otherwise resisted).

Firaxis have done a great job of the multiplayer on a technical level. Throughout the 12+ hours I played, there were only a couple of instances where players had to resync, and these lasted on more than several seconds and didn’t kick the rest of the players out to the loading screen as with Civ V. While it’s hard to say whether the many times other players disconnected – never to return – was a technical or human issue, the fact that most instances occurred after the players in question were either attacked by other players, had their cities converted to another religion, or – most petulantly of all – had their own attack on another Civ repelled, makes me sceptical that Firaxis are to blame. I did have one major crash where everyone disconnected, which was a bit of a problem as there wasn’t an option to auto-rejoin the game and I wasn’t friends with any of my fellow players, essentially killing the game.

I experienced little lag as game host, and only small delays when the game was processing AI turns. While my cabled 150 MBps broadband connection is partly to thank for that, no internet speeds could overcome the technical horrorshow of Civ V when it started playing up, so it seems that Firaxis have well and truly put their demons behind them.

But back to the turn-to-turn reality of the game. Things started off smoothly – minimal conversation except for the occasional exclamation of disbelief that no one’s met another civilisation with the first 40 turns or so made for an appropriately civilised start. The map was made up of several large islands, and I think that each player had one of their own. Once I picked up some seafaring techs, I quickly learned that Russia was on the island west of me, and took the liberty of extending the cultural borders of my westernmost city over the water onto a single-tile peninsula on their island (which happened to contain a precious iron deposit, making me suspect that the ostensibly procedural map generation might actually be a sentient AI that deviously places resources in positions that are bound to lead to conflict).

My acquisition of The Iron Peninsula was soon spotted by the scouting ships of a couple of other players, both of whom complimented my tilegrab publicly, no doubt to bring it to the attention of my Russian neighbour and foment distrust between us. Clearly it worked, because soon I got word from one of the scheming scummers, Spain, that there were was a military amassing in Russia. It was clever puppeteering on Spain’s part. I imagine the player wasn’t doing it to help me as such, but to ensure that Russia didn’t steamroll me, taking my cities and wonders, and thereby shifting the global balance of power. For Spain, the best thing was for Russia and myself to get embroiled in a drawn-out war that funnelled our resources into military, instead of culture or science. It’s this kind of Machiavellianism that I love about Civ multiplayer, even if I’m on the receiving end of it.

As Spain warned, Russian troops soon began to move over the sea, so I made sure to strike first (no warmonger penalties among real people), setting my caravels upon his sea-stranded spearmen and galleys. This also gave me a wonderful excuse to kill his apostles, as well as to send mine on a secret, roundabout route to Moscow. I swiftly sunk Russia’s half-baked plans in the channel waters, though they had occupied the pesky iron mine over which this whole kerfuffle had started.

But just as things were starting to get interesting, they began falling apart. In another part of the world, Egypt declared war on Greece, to which the Greek leader indignantly asked “Why?”. “Land” was the simple, cold answer. Now in the real world, if you use “Land” as a casus belli, people might expect you to shout “Lebensraum!” as you goose-step all the way to the territory you want, but in Civ multiplayer, expansionist logic is sound logic. Perhaps the person asking ‘Why?’, our Pericles, was too much of an optimist, believing we’d all progress together towards a cultural or science win, then together celebrate what a wonderful, aspirational game Civ is. I’ll never know, because Pericles dropped out moments after being attacked.

I hoped that this quitter was a one-off – a naive soul who couldn’t accept that in an online Civ game everyone’s assuming will last just the one session, people will be moving fast, and war, whether religious or military, will take priority over more passive victory paths. But soon after that, the next player fell. After I fended off Russia’s failed ambush, courtesy of the assistance from my ‘friend’ in Spain, I blitzed Moscow with apostles, vanquishing their religion. In response, they spawned a squad of apostles, presumably not realising that they would now be preaching the good word of my Indian Catholicism, not Russian Zoroastrianism. That was the final straw for religiously-indoctrinated Russia, and within the next half hour another two players dropped out, just about reverting the multiplayer game to a single-player one.

While I never quite believed that a full match with strangers would reach a satisfying conclusion, I’d hoped that Civ players would be a bit more, well, civilised. It was a similar experience in the other couple of ‘Standard Rules’ games I tried. While no insults were thrown outside of good-natured fighting talk, people showed a frustrating tendency to quit at the first sign of adversity. I guess there’s little need for sportsmanship and self-discipline when you can just disappear without having to sheepishly re-enter the room half an hour later and apologise to everyone for throwing a strop.

On the other hand, it was interesting to see the level of acceptance among the more composed players that online games with strangers are pretty much doomed to fail. People were genuinely surprised that we’d reach turn 60, 70, 100 without anyone dropping out, though those same people would be gone by turn 120. Even I reached a point in my third game where I no longer felt guilty about dropping out – simply because I don’t have eleven non-stop hours to commit to a single Civ session.

At the very least, these ill-fated online sessions felt like good practice for when I’d have proper, organised sessions with my friends. On the other hand, maybe there’s something to be said about the fact that people are willing to play the first 100-120 turns of an online Civ game over and over again – knowing full well they won’t see the game through; could it be that those intrepid, exciting early turns are just much better than what comes later, and that many people just don’t find the increasing amount of time spent waiting for other people worth it?

That’s where the scenarios come in. Clearly added to address the issues of slog and shitty sportsmanship, they offer bite-sized experiences with unique victory conditions that can be compared to the Missions variant of Risk (y’know, the faster version where your dad might actually be able to sit through the whole game during a family session at Christmas instead of slipping into an eggnog-assisted snooze). Oddly, I couldn’t find a single existing lobby for any of the scenarios, so again I had to take matters into my own hands.

There are three multiplayer scenarios in the base game (made using the same tools that will eventually be available to the community) – Ancient Rivals, Global Thermonuclear War and Hallowed Ground. Failing to attract a lobby’s worth of players to Thermonuclear War, I tried Ancient Rivals, again with the lobby name, ‘ALL WELCOME,’ again attracting a full house. In 50 turns, the civ that meets the most of several victory conditions – builds the most wonders, explores the most hexes, pillages the most tiles, researches the most civics – is the winner. I set a stable 120-second turn timer this time, meaning that the game would last an absolute maximum of 1 hour and 40 minutes. Doable.

The first game went swimmingly, with only one person of the six dropping out. I coasted to victory thanks to an aggressive deforestation policy that fuelled production of wonders and cultural districts. Even in those 50 short turns, new little strategies crop up – like hunting down enemy scouts so they can’t chase that ‘most hexes’ victory condition, or having a warrior loitering around enemy cities, ready to pillage their tiles the moment they’re built. It’s uncharacteristically twitchy for Civ, but it works very well. My second match of Ancient Rivals was sadly marred by dropouts, with the initially six-player game ending with just three of us.

In contrast, Global Thermonuclear War was chaotic. It’s set in the Atomic era with the aim being to either invade the most City-States, build the most tanks or – if one person drops an atomic bomb on anyone else – nuke the most cities. You’ll need a big turn time limit on this one – if only because the first turn takes a good several minutes as you set up your government, policies, and a substantial starting force.

It plays out like a kind of inverse Cold War – you can go for the two non-nuclear options, but your awareness that one of the other players will inevitably press the red button means that you’re preparing for the worst – building nukes and setting them up to be in range of enemy cities, knowing full well that the nuclear deterrent here is actually a nuclear incentive.

Unfortunately, I never managed to attract enough players to the religion-focused scenario, Hallowed Ground, but my sentiment would remain the same; these scenarios are showcasing the new ways you can play Civ multiplayer. Once players adapt to the idea that you can have a satisfying game in 50 turns, and once the community starts creating Steam Workshop-integrated multiplayer mods, then the online aspect might finally become as crucial to the game as the single-player. The scenarios enable it to take the form of an evening boardgame (you could even complete a game in Hot Seat), instead of an 18+ hour commitment.

As well as being a more satisfying and in some ways ‘truer’ form of Civ than the single-player (thanks largely to the replacement of silly AI with people), multiplayer also highlights one of the most longstanding problems with the series. Tactically and immersively, those first 100 turns continue to define the game; unless you’re playing with friends, that initial rush inevitably makes way for the slowdown of the mid-game, exacerbated by having to wait longer and longer for your fellow players to end their turns. In its current state, a standard multiplayer game of Civ 6 with strangers remains unfinishable without some serious dedication and organisation.

But with expansions no doubt forthcoming, as well as tools for the community to build their own modes, Firaxis will continue to address these long-term niggles. What’s crucial at this point is that it works smoothly, and has laid the groundwork for both the devs and the community to make the online aspect less intimidating and more intriguing for that majority of people who still see Civ as a dish best served solo – just as I once did.

Civilization VI is out now for Windows and is available through several digital retailers for £50/$60/€60.


  1. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Is there a play-by-email sort of function in Civ 6? A nice, asynchronous variant?

    I know it was missing in Civ 5 at least at first. I think I used Giant Multiplayer Robot to fake it for a while with some friends.

    It’d be fun to have another go at that, but we can’t possibly match up schedules for hours-long games.

    • Retne says:

      My friends and I would like this too. I don’t know how well that would fair for stranger-multiplayer games, but even with playing a game over the course of two Tuesday’s it’s tricky to finish just my or four player games with mostly the same group of friends.

  2. mtomto says:

    Civilization 6 is quantity > quality… lots of features… few of them interesting… all of it bugged…

    I couldn’t be more disappointed if I tried.

    • Nauallis says:

      You’re trying pretty hard, having made it to the comments section of an article about multiplayer games in Civ 6.

      • mtomto says:

        Well, it’s still the same bugs and the exploits are even worse in a multiplayer setting because some people know about them and others dont. You can buy armies and sell them for more… that is the most broken exploit ever in a multiplayer game – free gold… yay…

        It’s broken in singleplayer and multiplayer… but whatever makes you happy I guess…

  3. klops says:

    “AI still struggles at times” At times?

    • WombatDeath says:

      I’m waiting for a 4X developer to farm the AI processing off to the cloud. Should enable better AI with reasonable processing times, though presumably at the cost of a subscription.

      • klops says:

        I don’t think that the problem with AI that declares war at me and attacks my modern infantry with slingers is there because it would be too hard to process. Although AI is hard to process, by what I’ve understood.

        It’s mostly because they don’t have to concentrate on that aspect. The game sells huge amounts and gets huge praise despite it.

        • Superpat says:

          While budget concern are always of importance, I assure you, game ai is one hell of a tough nut to crack.

          I mean we only just cracked Go, and that game only has what 362 possible opening moves? Imagine the countless number of possible opening moves in a civ game. Thats without even mentioning how the complexity evolves as the game progresses.

          • Don Reba says:

            The problem with Go lies in the difficulty of evaluating board positions. There is just no simple progress indicator like: “I have more pieces on the board, so I’m probably doing ok.” With Civ, you do have those progress indicators, and it would be great if the AI at least followed them; no need for advanced strategies demanding large losses to obtain a victory.

          • Everblue says:

            Google’s AI company Deepmind have just announced a partnership with Blizzard to develop AI techniques to teach a computer to play StarCraft 2 to professional standard. It’s possible some very exciting game AI developments will be coming in the next few years.

          • klops says:

            I don’t need the AI to be able to play on that level – that’s scary :D I’m also fine with the AI cheating.

            I’d just want the davs to put more effort in the AI:
            Like the example Don Reba said. Or if there’s a city to defend, they’d actually defend it. Some sort of sense of a front line wouldn’t be anything compared to Go: if Cairo is 10 hexes away from the enemy city/cities and Alexandria is 35 hexes away and inland, please send more troops to Cairo, dear AI.

            Then again, were I Firaxis or Creative Assembly or whatever, of course I’d ignore the AI. Why bother when people love the games despite it?

      • syndrome says:

        They should make a CAPTCHA where people need to appropriately identify a threat or opportunity in a Civ game, therefore making a map legible for the much more mundane AI that could execute on that newly found meaning.

        tldr “Wasted cycles” in people’s lifetimes should be harnessed optimally.

  4. melnificent says:

    The biggest problem we’ve found with the mid game is the lack of build queues. It’s clear this is the “stop mid-game boredom” that firaxis promised, but in a multiplayer game it feels like a step back. Especially when one person is frantically trying to sort their empire while everyone else waits.

  5. Commander Gun says:

    “the AI still struggles at times”

    I am sorry, but the AI is the worst disappointment i have had with a game in years (i did not play “No Man’s Sky”).
    And to be honest, i was put off by all major reviewers being a bit (actually a lot) too hyped and positive on this game.
    It has the dubious honor of having only been played 23 hours and i haven’t played the game for almost 2 weeks.

    Shame really, i count myself as a true Civ fan. But Civ V with the community mod is so much better, i would rather play that.

    • BluePencil says:

      Yeah, I have to say I’m pretty p*ssed off with RPShotgun with its Civ6 coverage. The single player is awful and RPShotgun and many other outlets are failing consumers by giving the game such praise. Yes, RPS always points out some problems but fails to inform readers just how bad those problems make the game overall.

      I want to play against an intelligent machine not an idiotic machine that is constantly making bad choices. And setting a higher difficulty to give the AI cheat-bonuses is not a solution that has any appeal for me.

      Quill18 is a YouTuber who plays a lot of Civ. He spoke at length about the inadequacies of the AI but still said “it’s definitely a 9 out of 10 game”. How!? When the computer can’t play against you? I despair of games coverage sometimes.

      I saw a streamer play Civ6. He played on Prince. He has never played *any* iteration of Civ before. He put a few units together and simply swept the pangea map rolling across from East to West, easily killing all the other civs for a domination victory. His first ever game of Civ of any kind and he just murdered all the AI with ease.

      • hatworthy says:

        I totally agree with you both. I was weighing up whether to invest in another Civ and it was the coverage that swung it for me. Pretty annoyed to discover it’s a stripped down version of the game with the worst AI of any Civ in recent memory.

        It’s the first time I’ve ever genuinely struggled to see the reviewers’ point of view. Unquestionably the biggest disappointment of the series for me.

        • BluePencil says:

          This reminds me of Rome 2. Rome 2, like all Total War games, got 9 out of 10 across the gaming press on release too and that was as broken as it’s possible to be without simply crashing to desktop on launch. Admittedly in R2’s case the problem was a huge amount of bugs, whereas Civ6 isn’t too buggy but it fails hard where single player is concerned.

          These are the two games I will always have to bear in mind whenever I see games getting high praise from a broad spectrum of outlets. But then what do you do? You see that a game looks really cool, then you see great reviews everywhere, what do you do next, knowing they can all get it so wrong? Watch 20 hours of let’s plays? Well, you could, but then you lose all that joy of discovery when you play a new game. Difficult to see how you can win.

          • klops says:

            Total Wars are my number one WTF public reception games. I’d seen 90+ reviews of Medieval 2 and had never played the games before. Sure, they were pretty and zooming to see the colour of your soldier’s eye was cool.

            On the strategy map the AI couldn’t use ships.

          • hatworthy says:

            Is the patched version of Rome 2 worth downloading? Reviews on Steam remain very mixed…

          • BluePencil says:

            I haven’t played it since it got all the patches but I have seen many comments that it is OK now.

      • iucounu says:

        It’s my favourite in the series so far and I think I’ve been playing Civs since II at least.

        I suspect that whether you enjoy VI or not is bound up in what kind of Civ game you actually want to play. Me, I tend to boot it up on big maps with an easy difficulty setting and enjoy an only very gently challenging amble through history.

        IV is generally considered the best in the series by people who care about Civ, and it is terrific, but it’s more of a game than I actually want. I liked V better in some ways. The design tweaks they’ve introduced in VI are, universally, improvements, I think. DIstricts, splitting the tech trees, the civics cards, the theological combat… it’s all smart and interesting.

        The problem probably arises when there’s some kind of imbalance in all these systems, breaking it as a game. The AI is a mess, yes. I don’t really care. Last game I had an Apostle sitting in a mountain pass that was a choke point between me and India, and pretty much every turn an Indian Apostle or Missionary would attack him and get killed. Because I was Scythia, the Apostle would heal up with every fight, and because India had a couple of cities nearby, every kill was promoting my cult in his towns, until they were both converted from afar by my entirely passive dude.

        This was *enormous fun* and also completely ridiculous AI and/or game balance. But it’s probably something that will get tweaked in various ways until it won’t happen, and it’ll be a bit of a shame. I’m mostly in it for the quirky alternate history.

    • teije says:

      Xplorimate had a pretty balanced review that talked about some of the flaws and overall thought it needed more “time in the oven”.

      But yeah, because of the reputedly less than stellar AI I’m holding off on this for now. Speaking as a Civ player all the way since the beginning.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      I’m looking forward to when Civ VII comes out and we hear exactly the same things said about the new game by the same people who are now holding up V as the pinnacle of Civ.
      In much the same way as the exact same things were said when V came out, but people still bought it, complained until it got patched, and then proceeded to put thousands of hours in.

      Everything new is old again!

      • hatworthy says:

        Well, look, if it’s significantly patched to the point of being worthy of hours of playtime: great. I won’t feel as if I’ve wasted time and money.

        In fairness, Civ V did end up being pretty darn good. True the AI was stupid, but it was eventually capable of competing militarily at least. The final version of V might be my favourite of the series (although I still miss the ability to turn an enemy city using culture alone).

        My fear is that some aspects of Civ VI, including interface, AI and diplomacy, actually seem like a pretty significant step backwards, and I can’t quite understand how that’s possible or how reviewers can simply ignore it.

        Anyway, let’s hope that improvements are on the horizon.

  6. hatworthy says:

    I’m really disappointed with this game and can’t understand the super-positive reviews.

    The AI is laughably stupid, even on deity level. The worst I can ever remember it being.

    Other Civs go to war with each other and stay that way for dozens of turns without either gaining any advantage. Practically without fail. What the hell?

    Gaining nuclear weapons is basically game over. The ease of building them and the fact that you no longer have to manually deploy them to cities or subs takes a lot of the thought out of the late game. If any of my rival civs could ever build some before me it might make it more interesting, but I suspect that day will never come.

    Granular control over your cities is gone.

    You can’t discuss much with the other civs anymore, which makes the diplomacy less interesting.

    I just don’t get the positivity. It’s been stripped down so much it’s barely worth playing. I already have a much better Civ sitting in my steam account. I really feel a bit cheated.

  7. Haplo says:

    I really love Civ 6.

    Vis a vis the article: I’ve only played a few multiplayer games of Civ, a few of 4 and 1 of 5. I feel like yeah, they’d really shine if done as a regular sort of weekly thing with mates… Having read this, I’m now kinda compelled to ask around and see about organising such a thing.

  8. Premium User Badge

    It's not me it's you says:

    I played a bit of multi but was disappointed to find that at launch there’s no shared victory. Playing competitive Civ sounds incredibly unappealing to me but taking on the world as a team has always been fun.

    I’m sure they’ll add it in patches and then I’ll get back to it.

  9. EwokThisWay says:

    I don’t get it. I.. I just don’t, really.

    Every new strategy game it’s the same thing. EVERY. TIME.

    People say “the AI is awful, the game’s buggy and it has a lot of options but most of them are meaningless”.

    And then people say “but i’m having fun ! I love it !”.

    It doesn’t make any sense to me.

    Why do you like it ? If the AI is awful… how can you even have strategies ? What’s the whole point of strategy video game if the player is the only one playing it properly ? The AI should be the most important thing in this kind of game. It should be the basis of the game, the thing on what everything else is built.

    Is this some sort of grand delusion ?

    • klops says:

      That’s what I’ve been wondering for at least ten years now, although I disagree that the AI should be basis of, for example, Civilization games. Different tastes sounds like the best guess. Or perhaps multiplayer that this article concentrates on?

    • iucounu says:

      I love Civ but – as I describe above – I am not really in it for the same things as you might be in it for. It’s a casual game for me, not a strategy game. Or a casual strategy game, or something. (I am that guy who likes Civ Revolution.)

    • Tridus says:

      There’s a difference between “the AI is awful” and “the AI is random”. You can have strategies against a bad AI. In fact, figuring out how to game the AI is part of the game.

      Making an AI that plays perfectly every time would cripple the game in most of the market, as the majority just aren’t interested in a game where you have to play perfectly or else the AI crushes you. It’s just more fun for them to play around, building up an empire, and having an opponent that provides problems to overcome rather than an unstoppable enemy.

      Besides, the AI will get better. It usually does, especially in a case like this where there are some obvious things (like not upgrading units) that should be relatively easily fixed. On top of that, some of the biggest complaints are about diplomacy not making any sense, and that’s as much an issue of the UI not explaining what is going on as much as it is actual game problems… although the “hey, want to join this war with me?” thing the AI does where the same AI player then denounces you as a warmonger is just stupid. I think the patch fixed that, though.

      • BluePencil says:

        Raising the prospect of “perfect AI” is a complete straw man. Nobody is expecting perfection. They simply ask that it play such that it presents a challenge.

  10. Ny24 says:

    While I am a big fan of civilisation and also of playing civ multiplayer matches, I don’t think they did a great job with it. The same problems as in the 5th part appear with not much improvement overall.

    The worst part in my multiplayer experience was the AI still, with one of my cities sieged and overwhelmed but never actually attacked, war and peace behavior that can only be described as “totally random” and absolutely no bigger picture at all. Some AI hates you when you give them gifts, they don’t want to accept friendship after centuries of being allied, but then offer it to you in the next round again. I was declared war after 20 turns by 2 AI without doing anything to provoke it. AI offers you stuff and when you want less, they don’t accept. Crazy.

    But AI aside, the worst part is the constant reloading. In one match where we were only 2 humans, the other needed to reload every turn until we quit the game after 10 reloads. Our connections are both splendid though. In dynamic war it doesn’t work at all, constantly crashes and when someone needs to reload, suddenly the AI is taking a turn for you, changing all your spy missions, sells all your units etc.. This leads to constant paranoia after reload and constant saving, leaving you to not enjoy the game at all. The only improvement from Civ V on this part was, that they didn’t also change the construction in cities. yay.

    For me it just had the exact same issues as Civ 5, maybe all other players don’t need to go into loading screen, but they need to wait anyhow until all players return and finish their turns.

  11. SureValla says:

    The NoQuitter steam group might be for you. link to

    There’s a defined set of do’s and don’ts, among them not leaving without being voted “irrelevant” to the game’s outcome. Go check it out, you’ll find many great Civ players there as well.

  12. Robert The Rebuilder says:

    “Molassal” – what a great word!

  13. Tridus says:

    The lack of team play is a serious, glaring omission. The weird thing is that there’s options hidden for it, suggesting it wasn’t fully implemented yet. There’s also a place in the lobby UI where the team selector would be if it was enabled.

    Hopefully it comes back soon. Civ just isn’t a game I have any interest in playing as a free for all deathmatch type thing, but in team play? Played tons of Civ IV and V that way.

  14. Propbuddha says:

    I really enjoy this mode but more players are needed.

    I imagine most players that try a 4X multiplayer game join or start a game with similar settings as a single player game. They quickly discover that folks quit because the prospect of playing a game for 6 more hours when you think you going to lose is not fun. There’s simply no way you’re going to play a 10 hour game to satisfying conclusion unless you prearrange a game with friends.

    These 50 turn scenarios are really the only way to play.

  15. A.J Maggot says:

    I was looking forward to Civ 6 thinking they would actually have a proper multiplayer game mode implemented, only to be thoroughly disappointed.

    Things haven’t really improved at all since Civ 5. Sure, technically we have fever synchronization issues, but the core problem, which is people quitting whenever the game doesn’t go their way, is still there. This makes multiplayer gaming completely useless, unless you play with a selected group of players, like I did in Civ 5 (No Quitters group).

    I just can’t understand why they didn’t make a proper competitive gaming mode, like in games such as CS:GO. Make people to accept pre-game that if they quit, they will be automatically banned from multiplayer gaming for a period of time. Have a built-in ranking system to motivate players, etc.

    • Propbuddha says:

      The problem is the game length. A CS:Go game takes a few minutes, a 4X game takes hours.