Civ VI Experience

A guide on how XP works in Civ VI

  1. Victoria

    Units gain experience for actions taken. This experience can be increased using cards or governments or legacy bonuses. Experience is rounded up to the next whole number.
    Promotions are not covered here, there are many lists on google.

    Experience bar
    When you select a unit a thin bar shows at the bottom of the unit panel depicting how much XP the unit has and how much more is needed to get to the next level


    Experience Levels
    You need 15 XP * the level you are currently on to get to the next level.

    Once you have enough experience to be promoted any additional XP is not given to your unit and is lost.
    The maximum level of promotions you can have is 6 (5 promotions)
    Once a unit has been promoted once a small promotion number shows in a white box with the unit. This is the number of promotions the unit has gained as opposed to its level. A level 3 units has 2 promotions.

    Combat Experience
    A unit typically gets more XP from attacking than defending. This XP is shown briefly above the unit after combat, it is only shown for your own units.
    When you promote a unit, it heals 50% of its original health.
    Once a unit is promoted it will only gain 1XP from combat with barbarians
    XP gained from combat is limited to 8XP per combat with the exception of city combat.
    There is no XP limit per turn, the main limit is reaching the next promotion level.
    By selecting a unit and them moving your mouse over the graphic at the bottom right of your screen you can identify the XP bonuses a unit will get.

    Combat experience mechanics
    The Base XP value is calculated as the enemy’s base strength divided by your unit’s base strength. If the enemy is killed this value is multiplied by 2.
    For example, your warrior is attacking a spearman and kills it the base XP = 2 x 25/20 = 2.5

    To this base XP the following are added to gain a calculated XP

    +1 if the combat is ranged
    +2 if the combat is melee
    +1 if you are attacking

    So a warrior attacking and killing a spearman is 2.5 base XP +2 for non ranged +1 for attacking is 5.5 calculated XP

    The calculated XP is then give a % XP bonus if the unit gets one. For example a calculated XP of 5.5 with the unit getting +25% XP from a barracks is 6.875.

    Finally the bonus XP is rounded up at the end of calculations to the next whole number, in our example a warrior attacking and killing a spearman with +25% bonus will gain +7XP

    XP from cities
    City XP is not capped at 8 XP max per combat
    A unit taking a city gains 10 XP plus any bonus XP %
    A unit attacking a city gains 3 XP plus any bonus XP %
    A unit being attacked by a city gains 2 XP plus any bonus XP %
    When a city garrison is reduced to 0 HP that counts as a kill (1 XP before bonus)
    When a city has 0 garrison left further attack provide no extra XP.

    Corps, armies, fleets and Armadas
    These larger or joined units still count as a single unit for XP.

    When joining units together XP is used to decide the outcome. The XP value and the promotions of the unit with the highest XP is what is applied to the newly formed unit. When both units have the same XP the values of the target unit (in the blue hex) are used. If the lesser XP unit hs an XP bonus that is lost.

    Units that change type
    A fighter will count as melee when fighting other fighters but otherwise counts as ranged
    A scout counts as melees but ranger and special ops upgrades count as ranged.

    When is XP not given
    Cities receive no XP nor could they use it.
    Any unit attacking a land tile rather than a combat unit gains no XP
    Aircraft attacking anti-aircraft units (AA and SAM) gain no XP
    Attacks against support units gain no XP
    You get 0 XP for using a nuke.
    Sea dog captures and Aztec worker captures gain no additional XP.

    Bonus XP and stacking
    All bonuses are added together and applied as a single modifier.

    Scouting XP
    Scout discovering wonder – 10 XP
    Scout clearing goody hut – 5 XP

    Civilization Bonus XP
    Gilgamesh’s Adventures with Enkidu provides joint war partners with 5 tiles of the combat the XP gains that Gilgamesh’s troops gain.

    The Nubia Ta-Seti special ability gives all their ranged units +50% XP

    The Mapuche Toqui ability provides +25% for units trained in a city with a governor

    Government Bonus XP
    Oligarchy has a legacy card bonus of 20% XP for all units.

    City States Bonus XP
    Being Suzerain of Kabul provides you with double XP from combats you initiate

    Great person Bonus XP
    Industrial great admiral Laskarina Bouboulina give +25% experience to a naval unit when retired
    Modern great admiral Togo Heihachiro gives +50% experience to a naval unit when retired
    Atomic great admiral Sergei Gorshkov gives +100% experience to a naval unit when retired
    Information great admiral Clancy Fernando gives +200% experience to a naval unit when retired
    Medieval great general Timur grants 25% experience to a military unit when retired
    Modern great general John Monash grants 75% experience to a military unit when retired

    Information great general Vijaya Wimalaratne grants 100% experience to a military unit when retired

    Unique Unit Bonus XP
    The American Mustang gains an additional 50% XP
    Zulu Impi gain 25% additional XP

    Civic Bonus XP
    The Survey military policy doubles the XP for recon units
    The dark age policy Elite Forces provide 100% XP to all units

    Encampment Bonus XP
    The encampment district provides no XP benefit.
    Buying troops in an encampment also gives XP, even if the encampment is occupied and the unit appears in the city it gets the XP bonus. This is also true of harbours and Aerodromes.

    The Barracks provides +25% experience for all melee and ranged units trained in the city
    The stable provides +25% experience for light and heavy cavalry trained in the city and also siege units.
    The Armory provides an additional +25% experience for all units trained in the city
    The Military Academy provides +25% XP for all land units

    Harbour Bonus XP
    The Lighthouse provides +25% XP for all naval units
    The shipyard provides +25% XP for all naval units
    The seaport provides +25% XP for all naval units

    Aerodrome Bonus XP
    The Hangar provides +25% XP for all air units
    The Airport provides +50% XP for all air units
    The seaport provides +25% XP for all air units

    Espionage XP
    Spies can only be promoted to level 4 (3 promotions, the number 3 showing against the unit)
    Each successful mission allows the spies a promotion, they do not really gain XP, just promotions for successful missions.

    Religious XP
    No XP here, just faith.

    Difficulty change to XP
    Settler 45% bonus XP
    Cheftain 30% bonus XP
    Warlord 15% bonus XP
    King AI gets 10%
    Emperor AI gets 20%
    Immortal Ai gets 30%
    Deity AI gets 40%

    Speed Change
    Marathon 300% of XP needed to increase levels (rounded down)
    Epic – 150% of XP needed to increase levels (rounded down)
    Standard 100% of XP needed to increase levels (rounded down)
    Quick 67% of XP needed to increase levels (rounded down)
    Online 50% of XP needed to increase levels (rounded down)

    1. The 8 XP cap is easily met, especially for melee class units and so many % increase benefits make little difference apart from to ranged units that shoot at cities.
    2. Taking a city is at least 10XP so take it with a unit that can benefit from 10 XP or that you want promoted fast. For example if you want a level 4 scout fast get it to take all cities.
    3. If you want to give your scout good XP the double scouting XP card combined with taking cities or discovering natural wonders gives a great experience boost.
    Game Parameters (12/6/2020)

Recent Reviews

  1. kryndude
    Does this mean that XP bonus stacking is mostly useless, especially for melee units?
    1. Victoria
      Author's Response
      After 8 ... unless taking a city.
  2. Fluphen Azine
    Fluphen Azine
    Time well spent reading this information!
  3. squall39
    clair et précis, excellent
  4. Southern_Hunter
    Handy and succinct explanation of experience and how to get it
  5. cankurr
    very usefull
    1. Victoria
      Author's Response
      Yes, and not what I expected when I started looking at XP. If you want to be a good player understanding when units will get a promotion is useful.