The Best Custom Leader Mods for Civ 6

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Firaxis put a ton of effort into the leaders for Civilization 6.

They managed to imbue them with personality and make us curious about their history and the explanation behind their agendas, unique abilities, etc.

Still, after you’ve cleared every scenario and played a fair amount of custom games, you start getting a particular itch to try something new.

Don’t worry. I’m not talking about switching to Stellaris or Endless Legend. I’m talking about mods! Specifically, mods that add new leaders and even civilizations to Civ 6.

From anime girls to national heroes, here are some fantastic leader mods you have to try out.


10. Artoria Pendragon of Britain

Artoria Pendragon Leader of Britain / Civilization 6 Mod

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Hailing from the mythical land of Arthurian Britain comes the “King” herself: Artoria Pendragon.

Those wondering why King Arthur is suddenly a cute anime girl can refer to TYPE-MOON’s Fate series, which features “heroic spirits” brought back to life to fight for a magical artifact known as the Holy Grail.

Regardless of the historical accuracy of her biological gender, Artoria has everything you’d expect from the leader of the Knights of the Round Table.

She leads a heavily militaristic civ with powerful bonuses like full damage to cities regardless of walls and automatic healing for her units each turn.


9. Wu Zetian of China

Wu Zetian of China / Civilization 6 Mod

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Another powerful woman with roots in accurate verifiable historical events is Wu Zetian – unofficial ruler of the Tang and Empress Regnant of the Wu Zhou dynasty of China.

Wu Zetian was the de facto leader of the Tang from 665 to 690, before ascending to the official position of Empress Regnant with the establishment of the Wu Zhou dynasty.

She was the first and only woman ever to formally lead the Chinese nation, giving her special historical significance.

Her leader traits and agenda here are based on her appearance in Civilization V.

She’s all about cultural domination and is obsessed with gathering Great Works.

The Chu-Ko-Nu unique unit outclasses the vanilla Crouching Tiger by a longshot, and her Paper Maker – which replaces the Monument – can give you a tremendous scientific boost in the early game.


8. Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union

Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union / Civ6 Mod

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The shadow of the Soviet Union and its extensive nuclear arsenal loomed over the Western world for a big chunk of the 20th Century.

Joseph Stalin was one of its most brutal leaders. He guided the nation to rapid collectivist industrialization with an iron fist at the cost of millions of lives.

Stalin’s Civ 6 civilization wages war on all fronts. The Soviets gain culture and tourism bonuses from Industrial Zones and the Naukograd unique scientific district. Their units also produce double yields when pillaging foreign territories.

Getting someone like John F. Kennedy to oppose the Soviet Union might make for a fun game.


7. The Elder Scrolls Civilization VI Pack

The Elder Scrolls Civilization VI Pack

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Most of the best custom leaders and civilizations for Civ 6 are based on real historical figures.

That said, mods are about taking the game to its limits and subverting your expectations.

One of my favorite non-historical leader collections is the Elder Scrolls Civilization VI Pack, introducing 15 new leaders representing 13 different nations and factions in Tamriel’s history.

This mod includes custom units, governors, religions, buildings, city-states, and wonders seen in games like Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim.

And similar mods exist for Game of Thrones and The Lord of The Rings.


6. Zara Yaqob of Ethiopia

Zara Yaqob of Ethiopia / Civilization 6 Mod

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History lessons the world over often overlook the great figures in Africa’s history.

One of them is Emperor Zara Yaqob, who led Ethiopia as a profoundly Christian leader and defended the faith against Muslim threats – even beyond the borders of Ethiopia.

Other than his fascinating background and history, this mod shines for the quality of Zara Yaqob’s 3D model. Where most new leader mods use static images, this one is fully animated like any leader in the base game.

Under Zara Yaqob, Ethiopia leads the charge toward a Religious victory. They can purchase civilian units with faith from Turn 1, and they get up to two extra Wildcard policy slots for every three Holy Site districts.


5. Baldwin IV of Jerusalem

Baldwin IV of Jerusalem / Civilization 6 Mod

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Another remarkable religious leader most people don’t know much about is Baldwin IV – better known as the Leper King.

Do you think ruling a country is hard? Imagine doing it while leprosy slowly eats you away.

Somehow, Baldwin IV not only kept Jerusalem going but ushered in a prosperous time, even repelling Saladin’s military actions more than once.

This civilization merges military might with religious piety. Holy Site districts are very powerful, and you’ll get plenty of extra faith by training military units.

Something exciting about playing as Baldwin IV is the opportunity to train Crusaders instead of Knights.

Finally, you can wage holy war like the real deal.


4. Robespierre of France

Robespierre of France / Civ6 Mod

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Maximilien de Robespierre is one of the most well-known figures in the history of France, especially by foreigners.

He was one of the leading power players during the French Revolution.

Though he advocated for fair laws like universal suffrage (for men) and the abolition of slavery, he’s also remembered as a symbol of the Terror – a period of massacres and executions following the revolution.

You’ll see some of the man’s charismatic brutality in this custom leader’s fully-animated interactions. The 3D model is truly a work of art.

As far as gameplay goes, Robespierre can extract more yields from Wonders and certain districts at the cost of loyalty. He’ll also get some free Governor Titles and a Wildcard policy slot from building the Committee of Public Safety.


3. Ingolfur Arnarson of Iceland

Ingolfur Arnarson of Iceland / Civilization 6 Mod

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Iceland is a beautiful territory full of mountains, glaciers, and hot springs. It’s really easy to see why Ingolfur Arnarson decided to start settling the place around 874.

What stories we still have of Ingolfur and his companions are dripping with glory and mystique. This translates to gameplay through several Great Writer-related boons.

As such a central figure in the settlement of Iceland, Ingolfur gets extra movement and sight on Settlers and Scouts. He’ll also benefit significantly from settling near appealing tiles.

This leader is fully voiced and animated, giving him many extra points in my book.


2. Oson of Akan

Oson of Akan / Civilization 6 Mod

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Another fully-voiced and animated leader you can’t overlook if you’re interested in African history is Oson the Elephant.

Oson was the first leader of the Fante people, who separated from the Bono tribes in 1252 and founded the Mankessim Kingdom in modern-day Ghana.

Under his leadership, this civilization can produce population and Great People non-stop. Producing Settlers doesn’t even consume population!

Oson is accompanied by Kwasi, a unique governor with a well-rounded profile.

He’ll provide envoys, extra combat strength to units produced in the city, and even Great Person points.


1. Vercingetorix of Gaul

Vercingetorix of Gaul / Civ6 Mod

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I was pleasantly surprised to find the Gallic people in Civilization 6.

It’s one of my favorite ancient cultures, and they had never been in the franchise until now.

But there’s someone I would have preferred to lead them instead of Ambiorix: Vercingetorix.

This legendary Gallic leader united his people against the Roman Empire during Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars, and though he lost, he’s regarded as France’s first national hero.

As leader of Gaul, he provides extra combat strength to every unit for each City-State you’re suzerain of and gives you a free Envoy with every Great General you recruit.

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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.