BySimon Rune Knudsen, writer at
A tryhard person enthusiastic about dad rock and weird beers.
Simon Rune Knudsen

Since the game's launch in October 2016, thousands of empires have risen and fallen in Civilization 6 and most of them have been built upon principals of harmony and peaceful prosperity with neighbouring empires. Not because we didn't want to stab Gandhi—that gullible fool—in the back, but simply because this has, so far, been the easiest way to deal with the game's lackluster and sometimes really douchey AI.

Until now, launching any kind of military offensive in would result in severe warmonger penalties for some 3000 years. Just stationing a couple of defensive troops on your border when a bipolar Montezuma settled in your backyard or not sharing your religion, when you actually had no religion, could basically cause the entire world to hate you for the rest of the game. Utterly decimating your plans of world domination forever.

War Is Now OK But The AI Is Still Weird

Gilgamesh. Easily pissed off like every other AI in Civ 6 [Credit: 2K Games]
Gilgamesh. Easily pissed off like every other AI in Civ 6 [Credit: 2K Games]

Luckily, this has changed in Civilization 6's latest Spring Update. The AI has become easier to work around as warmonger penalties have been scaled back across the board (both in diplomacy and when capturing cities) to more realistically portray the hostility of human nature and our bloody history.

So if you, like me, have left Civilization after finding the hippy gameplay boring and became tired of being jumped upon every time you unsheathed a sword, submerged a submarine or rolled around the country in the tiniest of tanks, this is your time. Domination Victory has become easier to achieve and the warmonger AI mechanic made a whole lot more reasonable.

With that said, it is worth taking a general look at the baffling AI of Civilization 6. Its automated rigidity is actually kind of hilarious, but not only when it judgmentally labels you as a warmonger. At other times it's just really mean.

Here's five times Civilization 6 AI was absolutely terrible.

1. AI Declares Surprise War On You But Loses. You're A Warmonger For The Rest Of The Game

The Civ AI is always up for a fight.
The Civ AI is always up for a fight.

Winning a war against a backstabbing AI like Teddy Roosevelt or Gilgamesh is extremely satisfying but the consequences can be severe. Even though you were in no fault for starting the war, as you were just going about your own business of building wonders, digging up archaeology sites and outputting tourism.

What the hell is that? I've even tried sparing my attacker's life, leaving them with a couple of cities to build up their empire once again. But no matter how little you choose to retaliate, it seems the mere fact you're defending your empire against an invading force is enough to make you a warmonger in the eyes of world society. Imagine if the real world worked like that. Screw you Tunisia for defending yourself against from the Romans way back when. It wasn't and still isn't ok.

  • Level of artificial stupidity: 3 out of 5 malfunctioned brain processors

2. AI Settles Near You, Proceeds To Denounce You For Settling Near Them

Don't look at me like that.
Don't look at me like that.

This is annoying. Sometimes the AI will settle near you and afterwards denounce you for being too close to their borders. Yes. They place their new city next to you, then complain that the city being close to you is your fault. And in a couple of turns they'll most likely declare war, which they'll lose, and then you'll be the world's most hated aggressor for centuries.

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There isn't really a solution to this, but the new patch should allow you to fight back as the AI encroach on your territory without making enemies of the whole world.

  • Level of artificial stupidity: 4 out of 5 malfunctioned brain processors

3. AI Proposes A Joint War Against Another AI, Proceeds To Denounce You For Going To War

Gandhi. He's the worst.
Gandhi. He's the worst.

This is some next level backstabbing. A joint war is supposed to strengthen the bonds between two nations as their soldiers fight and die on the battlefield together, but in Civilization 6 it is different. Here, a joint war is just another chance for the AI to commit opportune treachery.

As the above image exemplifies, not even a straight edge guy like Gandhi can be trusted when it comes to playing war together. Just don't agree to it. Your wartime pal will, along with the rest of world society, label you as a tyrant and you'll be suffering the consequences for the rest of the game.

Once again, we're glad this isn't how real life works. Imagine the Allied forces denouncing each other in the middle of WW2, succumbing to squabbling and rivalry among themselves instead of fighting the Axis powers.

  • Level of artificial stupidity: 5 out of 5 malfunctioned brain processors

4. Armyless AI Asks How You Can Hope To Lead Your People Without An Army

AI (green) to you (yellow): Your army is puny.You're a bad leader.
AI (green) to you (yellow): Your army is puny.You're a bad leader.

This is something you come across a whole lot in Civilization 6: AI's bragging about the size of their army. Even though it's pretty small in a lot of cases. We guess this is actually a very human thing to do, projecting strength when there is none to be found.

But it gets really annoying when the AI keeps criticizing your leadership skills because of your (in their opinion) small army. They might even denounce you for the "weakness" and exclude the possibility of your empires ever becoming allies. And then you find out their own army is almost non-existent. Talk about double standards.

  • Level of artificial stupidity: 4 out of 5 malfunctioned brain processors

5. AI Denounces You For Not Sharing The Religion You Don't Have

This is only struggle the faithful Civilization 6 player will face, but for them it is very real. Often, when you found a religion, you actually want to spread its word and fortunately an eager AI might want to listen once in a while.

The problem is these AI are often a little too eager, asking you to spread your religion even before you actually manage to spawn a Great Prophet and found Sikhism, Shinto or whatever belief you're looking to get going.

It is impossible to spread it beforehand, but if you don't do it fast enough the AI will feel insulted, get angry and denounce you. It's almost like they're looking very hard for a reason not to like you. In the end, the denunciation may lead to war, and at this point you'll, once again, be the biggest warmonger on the face of Earth.

What a diplomatic jigsaw puzzle Civilization 6 is.

  • Level of artificial stupidity: 3 out of 5 malfunctioned brain processors

What are your experiences with the AI in Civilization 6?


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