Money makes the world go round, this we know. However, it also makes life in Civilization 6 a great deal easier and a lot more interesting.
So, whether you're looking to get rich quick or dig yourself out of a financial hole, take a look at our top tips for getting Civilization 6 gold and making it work for you.
A quick note: we've refreshed out Civ 6 guides for the game's launch on Nintendo Switch, but just be aware that they contain information regarding the Rise and Fall DLC as well as the base game, which means some things only apply if you have that DLC! Otherwise... crack on!
How to get gold in Civilzation 6
Gold gives you a lot of options in Civilzation 6, so it's only fitting that there are an awful lot ways to earn it right from the get go.
- Honest toil: The ground is filled with gold. Sort of. Many of the tiles in your territory will yield gold when worked so to find out which are the most profitable you can opt to Show Yield Icons, from the map options menu located above the mini-map. As a rule of thumb, coastal tiles give out gold, with additional earned from resources such as fish, crabs and whales. On land, luxury resources such as truffles, cotton and, of course, diamonds can be prioritised to earn gold.
- Make your citizens work for you: For each unit of population in your cities, one tile surrounding that city will be worked. Typically, your population does a decent job of choosing the tiles it should be working on but if you find yourself strapped for cash or want to prioritise wealth generation above all else, you can force your population to work specific tiles. To do so, click on a city and then the Manage Citizens icon from the city menu that appears in the bottom right of the screen. From here, you can reallocate citizens to work on the tiles that offer the highest gold yield, if they aren't already. Be aware that this will likely have a knock on effect in reducing the yield of other resources, such as food, science or production. Also, the citizens that you allocate in this way will be locked to these tiles until you tell them otherwise.
- Trade routes: Pretty simple this one. Researching the early Foreign Trade civic will grant your civilization a trade route and then building a trader in a city will allow that trade route to be worked. Send your trader out to a nearby city-state or rival civilization and reap the benefits. As an additional bonus, any cities of your own that the trade route passes through en route to its destination will gain a trading post that will boost income and serve to increase the active range of your future trade routes.
- Plunder barbarian outposts: In addition to be a nuisance, barbarians are a good source of gold farming. Clearing a barbarian encampment will offer a handful of gold and may also curry favour with a local city-state or leader making them more likely to trade with you. It's win/win (except for the barbarians, but it's either them or you, right?).
- Fire sale your assets: While bonus resources, such as fish and deer, provide non-tradeable goods that boost to your gold reserves the big trade money is earned through luxury goods like whales, spices and dyes. Luxury resources provide happiness boosts to your empire but these bonuses do not stack for multiple goods of the same type. If you've got so much incense it's coming out of your ears, keep one and trade the rest off for cold hard cash to rival leaders. You might be surprised by how much some of them will be willing to pay to earn the happiness boost they provide, with the extra income being provided either as a lump sum or on a gold per turn basis.
- Make smart research choices: If you want to maximise your gold income, take a moment to search out the civics and technologies that boost your yield and be aware of the secondary benefits of some of the less obvious research choices. As well as standout picks such as the Foreign Trade and Guilds civics, and the Currency and Banking technologies, there are many research options that offer less well-advertised bonuses to your gold income. This is particularly true of early-game technologies such as Animal Husbandry and Irrigation, which allow a great many luxury and bonus resources to be worked, as well as civics like Medieval Faires and The Enlightenment. This last provides a tremendous economic policy that can be slotted into your chosen government type to provide a 100 per cent boost to the gold yield from buildings in the Commercial Hub district.
How best to spend gold in Civilzation 6
Easier than earning gold, is spending it. Standing costs such as unit and building maintenance are a constant drain on your finances, so beware having too many idle units sapping your gold resources. Outside of that, gold can be proactively spent in any number of ways in Civilization 6 to bring about any number of favourable results for your empire. Most of these include getting what you want, faster. Others can dig you out of a hole. The most effective of these strategies include:
- Purchasing tiles: Maybe you have a builder cooling his heels waiting for that resource to fall within your city boundaries so he can rush out and nab it. Maybe you're just a completionist who really wants to join one city's territory to another to form an unbroken boundary line. Whatever the case, purchasing tiles will achieve these goals. If you're likely to be doing this often, consider the Early Empire civic in order to reduce tile purchasing costs by 20 per cent.
- Purchasing units: Whether for rapid expansion or to fill the gaps in your military left by focusing on scientific endeavours and building world wonders, purchasing units is a quick and easy (but expensive) way to gain a fighting force. This is particularly useful when you need to get a unit quick in order to defend an unguarded city from encroaching barbarian threat. You can also consider the Mercenaries civic to provide a hefty discount to the cost of upgrading your units through cold, hard cash. Alternatively, if you have the majority influence over a city-state you can levy its military units by paying gold to take control of them for 30 turns; useful in a pinch. Or a war.
- Purchasing buildings: By now, you're beginning to sense a theme. The construction of most buildings can be rushed using gold. It's a very expensive option but works if you're feeling flush and want to finish a building to solve a problem, such as an imminent housing crisis.
- Purchasing favour: A little different this one. Unlike in Civilization V, city-states no longer require gifts of gold to get them onside, instead preferring you to complete quests to impress them or send traders and envoys to butter them up. However, it's still possible to make rival leaders that little bit more receptive to you by proposing trade agreements that are blatantly in their favour by paying over the odds for something that you want from them. Alternatively, you can pay small amounts of gold to send a delegation to visit a rival leader or to pay to establish a fully fledged embassy in their capital, thus earning both favour and useful information from your officials there.
If your lust for Civilization 6 knowledge is still going strong, expansion owners should take a look at our Civ 6 Rise and Fall guide hub which takes you through the basics of everything new, whilst we have dedicated pages on Governors and Loyalty, along with how to earn Golden Ages, Era Points and Era Score through Historic Moments, and a full list of new Civs in Civ 6 Rise and Fall and other DLC. Otherwise, our Civilization 6 guide, tips and tricks covers the essentials before you master early game, mid-game and late-game strategies. We also have tips on the new Districts feature, a Leaders list with their Traits and Agendas, plus the best ways to get Gold, Science, and Faith, how to win by Religious Victory, and how to earn the elusive Science Victory and Military domination victory. Finally, here's the Culture Victory, Foreign Tourism, and Domestic Tourism explained in depth.
How much is too much gold in Civilzation 6?
If you're asking this question, you're clearly feeling very wealthy indeed!
There is, of course, no amount of money that should be considered too much. However, you needn't hang on to it and should instead consider spending it in any of the ways outlined above.
Be aware that hording your gold might cause some leaders to grow envious or to demand a far greater amount when trading than if you have a more modest bank balance. However, as the ever helpful Civilopedia points out, "Money can't buy you love but it can purchase a submarine armed with nuclear missiles, and that's not bad."