Top 15 Hardest Achievements in Civilization 6

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Civilization 6 lacks a main story or campaign you can clear to say, “I finished the game.”

There are scenarios, sure – but I wouldn’t say someone who’s just played through the scenarios once or twice has “cleared” Civilization 6.

If you want that kind of clout as a supreme leader, your best bet is to demonstrate your prowess with numbers.

You need to get 100% achievements.

Bragging rights don’t come cheap, though.

Before you go running in guns blazing, let’s check out the biggest obstacles between you and 100% completion.


15. An Engineer’s Dream

An Engineer's Dream achievement / Civilization VI

Governments evaluate hundreds of infrastructure projects that could solve the city’s many challenges. Rarely do they have the funds to do it all.

But if they did, it would be An Engineer’s Dream.

This achievement tasks you with constructing an Aqueduct, a Dam, a Railroad, a Mountain Tunnel, and the Golden Gate Bridge in a single city.

Not only does it take a lot of work and dedication, but you need to found a city within range of mountains, floodplains, and a river. Good luck!


14. Sid Meier’s Ditchdigging Simulator

Sid Meier's Ditchdigging Simulator achievement / Civilization VI

The construction of the Panama Canal was one of the most crucial trade developments of the 20th century. It’s also a key aspect of this achievement.

Sid Meier’s Ditchdigging Simulator tasks you with creating a seven-tile-long artificial river navigable by ships with two cities, two canals, and the Panama Canal.

You must found two cities one tile away from water and three tiles away from each other. You’ll build canals to the nearest water body and the three-tile-long Panama Canal between the two cities.

If you manage to pull this off in a way that’s actually useful in-game, you have my admiration.


13. It’s a Trap!!!

Modernized Trap / Civilization VI

Launched with João III’s Portugal back on March 2021, the Zombie Defense mode gives us a new, city-scale perspective on the matter of zombie apocalypse survival.

In this game mode, military tile improvements like Forts and Vampire Castles become critical to your survival, dealing damage to nearby zombies and helping keep your fighters safe.

Two new tile improvements are exclusive to Zombie Defense: the Barricade and the Trap. You’ll need both of them for this achievement.

You’ll get it after dealing a total of 50 (or more) trap damage to a single unit, on a single tile, in a single turn.

To do this, you’ll have to get a Military Engineer to build a Modern Trap (20 damage) flanked by two Reinforced Barricades (15 damage), then lure a zombie to its timely death.


12. The 25th Dynasty

Ancient Egyptian Capital Thebes / Civilization VI

The 25th Dynasty of Egypt is a line of Pharaohs who originated in Napata, deep within Nubia.

Among other titles, they were known as the Nubian Dynasty – and they came into power by invading and unifying north and south Egypt into their control.

This aptly-named achievement tasks you with doing something similar. As Amanitore, ruler of Nubia, you must conquer the Egyptian capital in a liberation war after the Egyptians have lost control of it.

The hardest part about this achievement is that, as a player, you have little control of what the AI does.

You can create the perfect climate for conflict by starting a three-empire match as Nubia against Prince-difficulty Egypt and a higher-difficulty warmonger Leader like Gilgamesh or Cyrus.


11. Court of Itzamna

Court of Itzamna achievement / Civilization VI

The Court of Izamna achievement requires you to establish a Mayan settlement adjacent to not one or two but four different luxury resource tiles.

Good luck finding that in nature!

This challenge became a lot easier with the introduction of the Heroes and Legends mode.

If you’re able to snag yourself Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (AKA Maui), you can just use his hero power to magically create four luxuries where you need them.


10. The End of the World as we Know It

The End of the World as we Know It achievement / Civilization VI

I remember the day I was told that the Sun would eventually grow into a red giant and swallow the Earth.

It was the day I understood that, even as an immortal leader like the ones in Civilization 6, annihilation would eventually come knocking on my door.

Nobody can outrun death, but you can make sure you make it farther than anyone else. At least, that’s the idea behind The End of the World as we Know It.

For this achievement, you must make it to the last phase of environmental degradation with at least one rival still in the game.

Then you either conquer the enemy’s remaining cities, or hope the raining meteorites take them out.


9. With the Army You Have

War Machine scenario / Civilization VI

When I hear the word “War Machine,” I think of the Soviet Union sending tanks straight from the factories to the battlefields on the Eastern Front.

I think of Rosie the Riveter abandoning a traditional household to enter the factory to produce ammunition for the brave American boys fighting in Europe and the Pacific.

This achievement goes against everything we know about war and forces us to win the military-focused War Machine scenario without training a single unit.

As the late American politician Donald Rumsfeld so aptly put it: “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”


8. God of the Sea

Vikings, Traders, and Raiders! scenario with Deity difficulty / Civilization VI

Most achievements can be cheesed one way or another by creating clever custom games.

Scenarios? Those force you to get good.

Vikings, Traders, and Raiders! is one of the most popular scenarios and one of the first to be released.

I’d say it’s also one of the easier scenarios, but clearing it in Deity difficulty will still require a bit of trial and error.

Several other achievements are related to this mode, so you’ll have time to practice.


7. Danse Macabre

Black Death scenario / Civilization VI

Released in 2019 as part of the Gathering Storm expansion, The Black Death is the bleakest, most depressing scenario in Civilization VI.

Considering there are both nuclear and zombie apocalypse modes, that’s saying something.

This mode revolves around Black Death, which devastated Europe and Asia in the 14th century. Estimates suggest it killed a third of Europe’s population and ravaged the world’s economy – so expect many challenges when playing this simulation.

Getting a Deity-difficulty victory for the Danse Macabre achievement is no walk in the park, but it’s a lot of fun: morbid fun.


6. Total A-Nile-hilation / That’s Some Good Kerma

Gifts of Nile scenario / Civilization VI

The history of Nubia is closely intertwined with that of Egypt.

You can experience the depth of their connection firsthand in the Gifts of the Nile scenario, included in the Nubia Civilization & Scenario Pack DLC.

To win a Gifts of the Nile match, you must be the first player to build seven Temples to Amun before the 125-turn timer runs out.

This is relatively easy at lower difficulties, but you must master the scenario to prevail against Deity AI.

Dominate the Nile with Egypt for Total A-Nile-hilation, or lead Nubia to victory for That’s Some Good Kerma.


5. Luftballons

Luftballons achievement / Civilization VI

Luftballons asks the player to use a bomber-class unit to carry out a nuclear strike. Easy enough, but regrettably not the only condition.

This has to happen in the continent of Nena, all while nine observation balloons fly over its territory.

It’s all a very over-the-top reference to the German band Nena and their decade-defining hit song 99 Luftballons, as well as the English version, 99 Red Balloons.

This achievement’s difficulty lies in finding the right continent – but keep trying, and you’ll get it eventually.


4. What is Matter? Nevermind.

Path to Nirvana scenario with Diety difficulty / Civilization VI

The phrase “What is Mind? No Matter. What is Matter? Never Mind” has been used for decades to shine a light on the nature of the self in relationship to its environment.

Answering these sorts of metaphysical questions is the main objective of all religious teachings worldwide – and few have done as thorough a job as the many religions of the Asian continent.

The Path to Nirvana scenario lets you take part in the conversation by assuming control of a great East Asian civilization and leading them to religious victory.

Obtaining the What is Matter? Nevermind achievement is your badge of honor for clearing this scenario on Deity difficulty.


3. Crom Laughs at Your Tanks

Crom Laughs at Your Tanks achievement / Civilization VI

Our ancestors from as little as 300 years ago would probably go insane just trying to wrap their heads around a smartphone.

The Gauls are built different, though. If they don’t understand something, they might just club it to death.

That’s exactly what needs to happen if you want this achievement – except, instead of a smartphone, your Gaesatae must use their bronze weapons to destroy a 20th-century tank.

Even if you make an Army out of your original Gaesatae and keep training them throughout the game, they’ll need a great supporting army to stand their ground against a tank.


2. The Accursed Share

The Accursed Share achievement / Civilization VI

The disaster and strife your civilization faces during the last “phase” of the Apocalypse game mode makes citizens look to questionable religious practices to appease the gods.

That’s where The Accursed Share comes in.

You must get a Soothsayer – a unique Apocalypse unit – to the highest promotion level and then use it to sacrifice a fully-upgraded Giant Death Robot for the gods.

Easier said than done, though.

Getting a Soothsayer to that level requires you to win the Appease the Gods event five times in a row: a tall order. In addition, you need to develop fully-upgraded GDRs.

Good luck finding time to worry about your survival.


1. You’re the Demonstrably Greatest

You're the Demonstrably Greatest achievement / Civilization VI

Words are cheap.

If you want people to believe you’re the greatest, you must find a way to demonstrate it.

You’re the Demonstrably Greatest has you prove your worth by clearing the Conquests of Alexander scenario with the highest possible rank (over 200 points) on Deity difficulty.

Anyone who’s played the scenario knows that just clearing it can tough the first time around. Getting top rank on Deity? Only the demonstrably greatest players could possibly do it.

Trust your Hetairoi and show the world who’s boss.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.