Looking for the lowdown on Civ 6 leaders? Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is the latest in the beloved series of 4X games. For those new to this titan of turn-based strategy, the premise is as follows: assume the position of a notorious historical leader, and carry your people all the way from the early days of man to world domination via money, diplomacy, and more often than not, a very large battering ram. You’ll be up against a motley crew of other nations vying for space and resources on the map, and your job is to meet the victory conditions for one of the five victory types before one of your rivals does.
In previous Civilization games, leaders and civilisations were one and the same – not so in Civ 6, where some civs have multiple leaders (Greece, India), representing different points in their history – and some leaders have multiple civs (Eleanor – France & England), applying their unique leader abilities to different nations. There hasn’t been a huge amount of official content along these lines – as Firaxis have stated in the past that they hoped the modding community would fill in the gaps here – but it does mean ‘Leaders’ are now a distinct entity within Civ 6, separate from the civs themselves.
Each civ brings to the table a unique trait, a unique unit, and a unique piece of infrastructure, such as a tile improvement or a district. Each leader, on the other hand has their own unique ability, and has a specific agenda which partly informs their AI behaviour when you play against them.
The combination of a leaders’ unique traits and their civilizations’ specialisation comes together to inform their playstyle – and as our Civ 6 best civilizations guide will tell you, some are more formidable than others.
Once you’ve chosen who to embark upon your journey with, you’ll be competing with other Civ 6 Leaders for the crown – here’s everything you need to know about their agendas and how to take them down.
Civ 6 Leaders’ Agendas
Each Civ 6 leader has their own unique agenda, but also has a ‘hidden’ agenda which you must discover through espionage. This hidden agenda is different in every game, and is randomly determined, although there are some hidden agendas that certain leaders will never have, as they would be in direct conflict with their personality. Gathering Storm gives each leader two hidden agendas; one for early game and one for late game.
Related: Make sure you have all of the Civ 6 DLC you need
With the introduction of Civ 6 personas, some Civ 6 leaders have two alternative personas representing different stages of their rule – they’re the same character, but with different agendas and abilities, and a new visual model. At the moment, the only leaders with alternate personas are Catherine de Medici and Teddy Roosevelt, and you could only get them if you pre-ordered the Civ 6 New Frontier Pass.
You can find a full list of all the agendas in the game, including hidden agendas, on the wiki – but here’s our guide to how to placate or provoke each Civ 6 Leader, sorted by the topic of contention.
- Eleanor of Aquitaine likes civs with high population cities close to her borders, and dislikes those with low population cities near her.
- Gitarja likes civilizations who don’t settle or conquer cities on small landmasses, and dislikes those who do.
- Teddy Roosevelt, in his standard or ‘Rough Rider’ persona, likes peaceful civs who have cities on his home continent and dislikes civs who start wars on his continent.
- Amanitore builds as many Districts in each city as possible, and likes if you do the same – but will disapprove if you don’t.
- Menelik II settles cities on Hills, and likes those that avoid settling on Hills themselves – and will dislike you if you do.
- Chandragupta dislikes civs with cities near his borders, but likes civs that keep their distance.
- Tamar likes civs who build walls around their cities, and dislikes those who don’t.
- Trajan tries to accumulate as much territory as possible, likes those who do the same, and dislikes civs with little territory.
- Pachacuti tries to settle near mountains, and will dislike it if you settle near them.
- Dido will try to settle near the coast, and likes civs who keep inland – she won’t be happy if you set up on the seaside.
- Lady Six Sky will keep her cities close to her capital, and likes civs who settle far from her – if you get too close to her, she’ll dislike you.
- Victoria likes civs who have a city on her home continent – she will try to establish a city on each continent, and will dislike civs who have cities on continents she hasn’t yet established cities on.
Military & war
- Hojo Tokimune likes civs that have a strong military while also having high faith or Culture. He dislikes civs with strong militaries but weak faith or culture.
- Simón Bolívar likes cives who promote their military units, and dislikes those who don’t.
- Robert the Bruce is disinclined to attack his neighbours, likes those who keep the peace with neighbouring civs, and dislikes those who wage war on them.
- Shaka forms as many corps and armies as soon as possible, and likes those who do the same.
- Genghis Khan likes to be the only one with a strong cavalry, and dislikes those who rival him in this area.
- Harald Hardrada is all about his navy – and will like you if you have a strong navy too.
- Cyrus will declare Surprise wars, and likes civs that do the same.
- Gandhi won’t ever warmonger, hates warmongers, and likes peaceful civs.
- John Curtin likes civs that liberate cities, and dislikes civs who occupy enemy cities.
- Cleopatra likes civs with strong militaries, and will seek powerful allies. She won’t like you if your military is weak.
- Ambiorix likes to have as many military units as possible, likes if you do the same, and dislikes if you don’t have many yourself.
- Alexander likes civs who are at war with other civs (but not at war with him). He dislikes civs who are at peace. In Gathering Storm, grievances against Alexander decay at twice the usual rate.
- Gorgo will never give up items in a peace deal, and won’t like you if you do, or if you’ve never gone to war. In Gathering Storm, grievances against Gorgo decay at twice the usual rate.
- Saladin likes civilizations who have his Worship building in their cities, and dislikes civs who don’t follow his religion, or wage religious war with him.
- Jayavarman VII likes civilizations with many Holy Sites and a high average city population, and dislikes civs lacking in these areas.
- Philip II likes civilizations who follow his religion, and won’t be friendly to you if you spread yours into his empire.
- Basil II likes civs that follow his religion, and dislikes those that don’t.
- Mvemba a Nzinga likes civilisations that bring religion to his people, and dislikes if you’ve founded a religion but have not spread it to him.
- Jadwiga tries to build as much faith as possible, likes those who do the same, and dislikes civs with weak faith output.
Great works/people, science, culture, and wonders
- Kristina dislikes civilizations that compete with her for great works, and likes civs that leave them to her.
- Pedro II likes civs who don’t compete for Great People, and dislikes civs that take them from him.
- Qin Shi Huang builds wonders whenever he can, and likes civs who don’t compete over them. He dislikes civs who have more wonders than him.
- Seondeok focuses on building science, so will approve if you do the same, and disapprove if you don’t.
- Peter likes civs who are ahead of him in science and culture, and dislikes those lagging behind.
Trade & wealth
- Wilhelmina likes civilizations who trade with her, and dislikes those who don’t.
- Mansa Musa likes rich civilisations, and dislikes civs with a weak gold output.
Espionage, alliances, and friendship
- Catherine de Medici in her ‘Black Queen’ persona likes civs who gain as many Spies as possible, and dislikes those who don’t.
- Gilgamesh is easy to befriend, likes civs that have declared friendship with him, and dislikes those who denounce or attack his friends.
- Tomyris is similarly approving towards declared friends, and dislikes civs who turn on former allies and declare Surprise Wars.
- Poundmaker tries to establish as many Alliances as possible, and dislikes those without Alliances.
Emergencies and competitions
- Wilfrid Laurier participates in emergencies and competitions, likes those who do the same, and dislikes those who don’t.
- Pericles likes civilizations that aren’t competing for the same city-state allegiance, and dislikes those that are.
- Frederick Barbarossa isn’t a fan of city-states, and will try to conquer as many as possible – he’ll dislike you if you’re a Suzerain of a city-state, or if you’ve conquered one.
- Matthias Corvinus will try to levy troops from city-states and likes those who do the same.
Happiness, resources, and loyalty
- Suleiman likes civs whose cities are happy and loyal, especially if they have taken cities from other civs. He dislikes civs with low happiness and loyalty, or civs who don’t own many conquered cities.
- Lautaro will try to keep his cities as loyal as possible, and dislikes civs with disloyal cities. He likes civs who gain cities through loyalty pressure.
- Catherine de Medici in her Magnificence persona collects as many luxury resources as possible, and will like you if you trade them to her – but will dislike you if you don’t.
- Montezuma wants to collect all the luxury resources possible – he’ll like you if you have the same luxury resources as him, but will dislike you if you have one that he doesn’t.
Environment & appeal
- Kupe avoids contributing to climate change, and likes those who do the same. He’ll dislike you if you’re a major contributor.
- Teddy Roosevelt in his Bull Moose persona tries to maximise the appeal of his tiles, likes those who do the same, and dislikes those who don’t.
That’s everything you need to know when going up against all the Civ 6 leaders – if you’re looking to set up a new game, our Civ 6 settings guide will help you out; if you’re looking to mix things up a little, our list of the best Civ 6 mods is where you need to be.