Custom religions in Civilization 6 are the perfect way to inject personality into your expansive, global empires. You get your Great Prophet, you choose your beliefs, and then it comes to picking a symbol and a name. Personally, I’m a pretty humourless Civ player. I like a straight-faced, realistic strategy game as closely modelled on real life as possible. But the Civ 6 fan community is vibrant and varied – and, as it turns out, pretty bad at giving serious names to religions.
“PDF,” says one Civ 6 fan, naming their religion after the infamously fussy file format, specifically for the sake of long-form joke – when rival cities and civilisations finally embrace the faith, they can giggle at the pop-up “Washington has converted to PDF”. Another player goes the trendy, camp counsellor way by trying to blend religion with rock music, saying “I use ‘Blue Oyster Cult’ exclusively. When I make rock bands [a unit in the game] I name them after BOC songs”.
It’s all down to taste. Personally, I’ve always been a sourpuss when it comes to gaming, preferring to play alone, engrossed in the premise and the spectacle, imagining I am the character in order to maximise the drama of it all. Since he always talks about avoiding the police and keeping his head down, as Niko Bellic in GTA 4, I always try to avoid hurting pedestrians or stealing cars. When I play Metal Gear Solid, it annoys me if I get seen by a guard, since I’m supposed to be Solid Snake, the world’s greatest secret agent.
Similarly, then, I use religion in Civ 6 as a means of characterising and defining my personal empire. My names are normally a bit bland – taking inspiration from my mother-in-law’s cat, and going for a kind of ancient Egyptian thing, I often go for “Felinism” – but it helps maintain the dignity of the game. Then again, when I look at some of the other names Civ 6 players invent for their religions, I can’t help marvel at the imagination on display.
“Free Healthcare” is the name of one player’s fictional faith. Another armchair president meanwhile shoots a little lower with “Krunchykrunchykrabism” and “Scaryscarysneks”. There’s also “Hip Hop”, “Dolla Dolla Bills Yo’”, and “The Chad Kroeger Fan Club”, the latter of which, we have to concede, has the potential to conquer the world.
If you’ve played so much Civ 6 that you can’t think of religion names any more, you might want to revitalise your game with some of the best Civ 6 mods. Or, if you fancy something else entirely, you can take a look at our best strategy games guide.