Civilization’s Science victories have become the most popular of any, likely because of, firstly, the frightfully compulsive feeling gained from progressing along that tech tree, and also the wonderfully predictive nature of those last few steps towards the looming world of Future Tech.
In Civilization 6, Science and the Scientific victory functions in largely the same way as before. You must still get to almost the end of the Technology tree, and still assemble multiple components for space travel, albeit with the caveat that, this time, your final destination is the colonisation of Mars.
Before diving in here though, be sure to have read up on our dedicated guides to general Civilization 6 tips and tricks in our guide hub, a detailed look at Districts and the most optimal District placements, a walkthrough of Civ 6 Leader profiles and agendas, our early, mid, and late game Civ 6 strategies, and our guide for earning and spending gold.
Scientific Victory conditions
To delve into the specifcs of Science then, the Scientific victory is split into three components – although each of those actually requires multiple steps to compete themselves. The key three milestones that must be accomplished are:
- Launch a satellite.
- Land a human on the Moon.
- Establish a Martian Colony.
To launch a satellite, you must first:
- Research Rocketry on the Technology Tree, which in turn allows you to…
- Build a Spaceport district in your cities.
- With the Spaceport built, you can then construct a Satellite project from the Production menu in any city with that district.
To land a human on the Moon, you must first:
- Research Satellites on the Technology Tree, which in turn allows you to…
- Begin a Launch Moon Landing project from any city with a Spaceport.
To establish a Martian Colony, you must first:
- Research Nuclear Fusion on the Technology Tree, which in turn allows you to…
- Begin the Launch Mars Reactor project from any city with a Spaceport.
- Research Robotics on the Technology Tree, which in turn allows you to…
- Begin the Launch Mars Habitation project from any city with a Spaceport.
- Research Nanotechnology on the Technology Tree, which in turn allows you to…
- Begin the Launch Mars Hydroponics project from any city with a Spaceport.
As you can probably see, achieving a Scientific victory is actually harder than it sounds, particularly because you’re required to not only amass a huge amount of Science to get to the end of the tech tree, but also because you’ll need to shift that Science focus into Production once it comes to completing Space Race projects. You can track your progress towards a Science Victory from the Science tab on the World Rankings menu.
How to get Science – every method for earning Science in Civilization 6
Amassing Science is your primary objective for the majority of the game, then. There are several ways to boost it, from Religious Beliefs to Research Agreements, which we’ve outlined for you below:
- +5% Non-food yields (which includes Science) when the city is happy (has more Amenities than required).
- +2 Science in your Capital city.
- Military Research: Military Academies and Seaports generate +1 Science;
- Five-Year Plan: +100% Campus and Industrial Zone district adjacency bonuses;
- Market Economy: international Trade Routes provide +1 Gold, +2 Culture and +2 Science per Luxury and Strategic resource improved at the destination;
- Natural Philosophy: +100% Campus district adjacency bonuses;
- Rationalism: +100% Science from Campus district buildings;
- Trade Confederation: +1 Culture and +1 Science from international Trade Routes;
- International Space Agency: +10% Science per city-state you are the Suzerain of;
- Raj: +2 Science, Culture, Faith and Gold from each city-state you are a Suzerain of;
- Inspiration: +2 Great Scientist points per turn;
- Nobel Prize: +4 Great Scientist points per turn.
- All Great Scientists will provide you with a boost to scientific progress in some form or another, from unlocking Technologies to providing Tech Boosts, but the following will specifically boost your Science income:
- Albert Einstein; Charles Darwin; Galileo Galilei; Hildegard of Bingen; Hypatia; Isaac Newton; Janaki Ammal; Mary Leakey.
Religious and Pantheon Beliefs
- Divine Spark: +1 Great Person point from Holy Sites, Campuses, and Theatre Squares;
- Wat: allows construction of Wats (see buildings, below);
- Stewardship: each Campus or Commercial Hub district in a city following this religion provides +1 Science or +1 Gold respectively.
- Mercury (+1);
- Tea (+1);
- Aluminium (+1);
- Iron (+1).
- Great Library: +2 Science, +1 Great Scientist point per turn, +2 Great Works of Writing slots;
- Oracle: patronage of Great People costs 25% less Faith, districts in this city provide +2 Great Person points per turn of their type;
- Oxford University: +20% Science in this city, awards 2 randomly-choses free technologies when completed, +3 Great Scientist points per turn, +2 Great Works of Writing slots;
- Campus Research Grants: district-based project which provides Science and Great Scientist points when completed.
- Trade Routes provide yields based on the destination city’s districts. Trade with a city that has a Campus district to earn Science from that route.
- Routes that pass through Trading Posts (automatically set up in a location once a Trade Route there has successfully completed) grant bonus yields.
- +1 Great Scientist point per turn; +1 Science from each adjacent Mountain; +1 Science from every 2 adjacent Rainforest tiles; +1 Science from every 2 adjacent district tiles; +2 Science per citizen working Campus tile; +1 food from domestic Trade Route destinations with a Campus; +1 Science from international Trade Route destinations with a Campus.
- Library: +2 Science, +1 Citizen slot on Campus tile, +1 Great Scientist point per turn;
- Madrasa (unique to Arabia, replaces University): +5 Science, bonus Faith equal to adjacency bonus of the Campus district, +1 Housing, +1 Citizen slot, +1 Great Scientist point per turn;
- University: +4 Science, +1 Housing, +1 Citizen slot, +1 Great Scientist Point per turn.
- Research Lab: +5 Science, +1 Citizen slot, +1 Great Scientist point per turn; Wat: +3 Faith, +2 Science, +1 Citizen slot for Holy Site district.
Diplomacy and City-States
- Geneva – 1 Envoy: +2 Science in your Capital; 2 Evoys: +2 Science in every Campus district; 6 Envoys: Additional +2 Science in every Campus district. Suzerain Bonus: Your cities earn +15% Science whenever you are not at war with any civilization.
- Hattusa – 1 Envoy: +2 Science in your Capital; 2 Evoys: +2 Science in every Campus district; 6 Envoys: Additional +2 Science in every Campus district. Suzerain Bonus: Provides you with 1 of each Strategic resource you have revealed but do not own.
- Seoul – 1 Envoy: +2 Science in your Capital; 2 Evoys: +2 Science in every Campus district; 6 Envoys: Additional +2 Science in every Campus district. Suzerain Bonus: When you enter an era, earn one random Eureka moment for that era.
- Stockholm – 1 Envoy: +2 Science in your Capital; 2 Evoys: +2 Science in every Campus district; +6 Envoys: Additional +2 Science in every Campus district. Suzerain Bonus: Your districts provide +1 Great Person of their type.
Looking for more Civilization 6 advice? 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, Leaders and their Traits and Agendas, plus the best ways to get Gold.
How to win the Space Race – the best way to earn a Science Victory
As any Civ player will tell you, there just simply isn’t one way to win the game by any victory type. Instead, winning a Science Victory is about adapting to the world around you, with all its complexities of diplomacy, war, religion, and natural resources.
There are, however, some defining principles which will generally hold true at all times:
- When placing Districts, prioritise your Campuses above all others – aside from perhaps your Industrial Zone, which will help with constructing projects for the Space Race – and think about not only the Campus but positioning for Scientific Wonders, too. You’ll want some land next to a Campus for Oxford University, for example, but you should also be keeping an eye out for mountain ranges and jungle tiles that you can use to your advantage, too. We’ve explained the surprisingly deep complexities of Distric placement in our dedicated guide to District placement, if you want more detail.
- Don’t neglect your other resources like Culture and Religion – whilst you can, and must, specialise for the best chance at victory, you’ll also suffer greatly without advancing down your Civics tree, for instance, at a decent rate. The Great Library, for example, is a Scientific Wonder locked away behind Civic progression, whilst Religious Beliefs like Wat allow you to construct the Science-generating Wats by spending Faith, which could be the difference.
- Aim for at least one Scientific Wonder– Two is probably too much, and extremely hard to achieve, when one is locked away in the Technology Tree (Oxford University) and two (Oracle and Great Library) in the Civics tree. You’ll be very fortunate to have the strength of both Culture and Science incomes to be racing down both of those trees ahead of all other Civlizations, and likewise you won’t be so far behind without all Wonders to be unable to win the game. Your priority, really, is stopping another Civlization from obtaining two or more of the three, so pick one and rush to it first.
- Watch your Housing and Amenities like a hawk – They might seem minor, but actually both your Housing and Amenities play a huge part in your success. With a Housing deficiency, your cities will slow, and eventually cease, their growth, which you can’t afford to lose at almost +1 Science per citizen. Likewise, your population’s happiness is measured by Amenities in Civ 6, and that happiness dictates the bonuses or restrictions to non-Food yields (like Science) in each city. Try to hit that happiness bonus as often as possible.
- When you’ve researched the necessary techs, put everthing into Production – Unless you need to win via Score Victory, or acquire some essential Nuclear technology, there’s no point at all in amassing Science after unlocking the techs required for Space Race projects. Instead, put every city you have onto a production focus, choose Trade Routes with the highest Production yield possible, chop down any forest tiles you have left, and rush those projects to completion. For us, even with a full tech tree unlocked, those projects generally took more than 20 turns each, so anything you can shave off that could end up making the difference.
- Don’t be afraid to go Nuclear – Aside from being maniacally enjoyable to watch, Nuclear weapons can win you a Science Victory with surpising efficiency. Keep an eye on the Victory progress menu, and scout your nearest oppoents’ land for Spaceports and, less importantly, Industrial Zones. If you can hit more than one with a ‘nuke, you’ll significantly slow their progress in the Space Race. Just be prepared for a bit of a diplomatic slap on the wrist…