Civilization 6 (Switch) Beginners Guide 5: Envoys and City States

This week in the Beginners Guide part 5, we are going to take a look at what benefits Envoys and City States bring to your Civilization. If you like these weekly beginners’ tips, you can find them all under Civilization 6 Beginners Guide

Let’s take a look at Envoys

An Envoy is a diplomatic representative of your Civilization that acts as your representation in a city states.

Envoys are earned with influence points which are gained in numerous ways throughout the game, Governments and policies are the primary sources of influence points. However the other ways to earn influence points or envoys are:

  • Some civics on the civics tree give free envoys when completed.
  • Completing Quests that City States give you upon discovering the city state will give you an envoy in that city.
  • Diplomatic policy cards.
  • A few Great Generals and Great Merchants will provide an envoy when you use them.
  • Liberating a City State will earn you however many envoys that city state has in it!!

Envoys stay in the city state they are sent to unless war is declared on that city state. Envoys are visible to all players and placing them in a city may have diplomatic consequences.

Sending Envoys to City states will earn you a bonus for each envoy sent to a city state. Be aware that each city states has a type like Culture or Science or Industrial. This will earn you more of the equivalent type bonus. Envoys placed in a city state also increase that city by one tile!

City States can be a big help

City States are singular AI controlled cities and they act independently from other Civilizations and Leaders. They do not compete for victory but will help you in your quest for victory. Once you have developed a relationship with a city state by sending enough envoys to it and completing its quests you can become Suzerain of that city state.

Once you have earned an envoy the game will prompt you to send your envoy to a city state. You can pick what city to send your envoy to. You can send envoys to all the city states you have discovered. Or only to the city states that will give you a bonus towards whatever victory your aiming for to win a game or you can conquer a city state. All your city states are listed in the panel on the Right of the screen.

The benefits of being a Suzerain

To become a Suzerain of a city state you must have completed the following,

  • Sent at least 3 Envoys to the city state
  • Have sent more Envoys to the city state than any other Civilization.

Becoming Suzerain of a city state comes with its own benefits as well, the city state follows you into war and peace with other players. City state tiles become friendly territory and your units can move to them, heal and upgrade there.

Your Builder can improve the tiles of a city state, you gain ownership of the city states resources and you can pay a levy to take temporary control their military units.

There can only be one Suzerain for any given state at one time, and New City state quests are awarded upon a first encounter with the City state and every time an era is advanced there after.

The different kinds of city states

There are 6 different kinds of city states which go by the colour of their name icon: Culture, Scientific, Religious, Trade, Industrial and Military. They all give the bonus listed below when you send envoys.

Culture City States (Pink)

  • 1 Envoy = +2 Culture in the main capital3 Envoy = +2 Culture in every Theatre Square district.
  • 6 Envoy = Additional +2 Culture in every Theatre Square district.

Scientific City States (Blue)

  • 1 Envoy = +2 Science in your main capital.
  • 3 Envoy = +2 Science in every Campus district.
  • 6 Envoy = Additional +2 Science in every campus district.

Religious City States (White)

  • 1 Envoy = +2 Faith in your main city.
  • 3 Envoy = +2 Faith in every Holy Site district.
  • 6 Envoy = Additional +2 Faith in every Holy Site district.

Trade City States (Yellow)

  • 1 Envoy = +4 Gold in the main capital.
  • 3 Envoy = + 4 Gold in every Commercial Hub district.
  • 6 Envoy = Additional + 4 Gold in every Commercial Hub district.

 Industrial City States ( Orange)

  • 1 Envoy = +2 Production in the main capital when producing wonders, buildings and districts.
  • 3 Envoy = +2 Production in every Industrial Zone district when producing wonders buildings and districts.
  • 6 Envoy = Additional +2 Production in every Industrial Zone and districts when producing wonders, buildings and districts.

Military City States ( Red)

  • 1 Envoy = +2 Production in the main capital when producing units.
  • 3 Envoy = +2 Production in every Encampment district when producing units.
  • 6 Envoy = Additional +2 Production in every Encampment district when producing units.

Receive bonuses for being the Suzerain

Once you have Suzerainty of a city state you also receive that city’s Unique Bonus for Suzerain.

Culture City States Suzerain Unique Bonus

  • Antananarivo, Your Civilization gains +2 Culture for each Great Person it has ever earned.
  • Kumasi, Your trade routes to any city state provide +2 Culture and +1 Gold for every specialty district in the origin city.
  • Mohenjo-Daro, Your cities have full housing from water, as if they were next to a river.
  • Nan Madol, Your district on or next to Coast tiles provide +2 Culture.
  • Vilnius,  When you enter a new era you earn 1 random Eureka inspiration from that era.

Science City States Suzerain Unique Bonus

  • Geneva, Your Cities earn +15% Science whenever you are not at war with any Civilization.
  • Hattusa, Provides 1 of each Strategic resource you have revealed but do not own.
  • Palenque, City growth is 15% higher in cities with a Campus district.
  • Seoul, When you enter a new era you receive a Eureka from that era.
  • Stockholm, Your  districts provide +1 Great Person point of their type, Great Writer, Great Musician, Great Artist for Theatre Square Districts.

Religious City States Suzerain Unique Bonus

  • Armagh, Your Builder’s can now make Monastery improvements.
  • Jerusalem, Automatically converts to the religion you have founded and exerts pressure for that religion as if it was a Holy City.
  • Kandy, Receive a Relic every time you discover a new NaturalWonder and earn +50% faith from all Relics.
  • La Venta, Your Builder can now make Colossal Head improvements.
  • Yerevan, Your Apostle unit’s can choose from any possible promotion instead of receiving a random promotion.


Trade City States Suzerain Unique Bonus

  • Amsterdam, Your trade routes to foreign cities earn +1 for each luxury resource at the destination.
  • Bandar Brunei, Your trading posts in foreign cities provide +1 gold to your trade routes passing through or going to the city.
  • Lisbon, Your trade units are immune to being plundered on water tiles.
  • Muscat, +1 Amenity in cities with a Commercial Hub district.
  • Zanzibar, Receive Cinnamon and Cloves Luxury resources. These can not be earned any other way in the game. Provides 6 Amenities each,

Industrial City States Suzerain Unique Bonus

  • Auckland, Shallow water tiles you own provide +1 Production, additional +1 when you reach the Industrial era.
  • Brussels, Your cities get 15% Production towards wonders.
  • Buenos Aires, Your Bonus resources behave like a Luxury resource and provide +1 Amenity per type.
  • Hong Kong, Your cities receive +20% Production towards city projects.
  • Toronto, Regional effects from your Industrial zone and Entertainment Complex districts reach 3 tiles farther.

Militaristic City States Suzerain Unique Bonus

  • Carthage, Your Encampment districts provide +1 trade route capacity each.
  • Granada, Your Builder can now make Alcazar improvements.
  • Kabul, Your unit’s receive double experience from battles they initiate.
  • Preslav, Your light and heavy cavalry units have +5 strength when fighting on hill tiles.
  • Valletta, City centre buildings and Encampment district buildings can be bought with Faith. Cost of purchasing Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Walls is reduced but can only be bought with Faith.

Rake in the rewards with Envoys

So as you can see, making friends by sending Envoys to city states can bring in a lot of rewards for your Civilization. You can control where you send your envoys, if you’re short on Gold or you’re wanting more production, pick the city states that will give you those. You can change it again to suit whatever type of victory you’re hoping to achieve.

On the City State screen in game, have a look at the list of cities. It lets you know how many envoys to send to a city state to become Suzerain as I’ve highlighted on the image below.

Send those Envoys  out and get help on your way to what ever victory you chose!


  1. Wow, a lot of awesome bonuses up there, definitely worth some effort to get them!
    I didn’t know you could change them. Do you just press on the left button? I haven’t tried because I assumed you couldn’t change it.

  2. Hi Ronja,
    If you mean changing envoys from city to city you can’t, once and envoy is sent to a city they stay there,.
    I meant you can change what city you send an envoy to on the next turn, sorry if I didn’t explain that well.

    Do you have any requests for what you would like to see in a Civilization 6 guide, if so please let us know,
    Thanks for reading.

    1. Hi,
      How do the Envoys actually work? Do I press Y button to activate it after the city is selected? Do I need a trade route? It seems like I collect them (every 100 or 150 points), but then I can’t seem to get them activated so that I can actually become the Sulzstain. Thank you.


      1. Hi Jim thanks for reading. Yes Envoys do work, when you have enough points the envoy screen will pop up and you add envoys to the city states that way. Once enough envoys have been sent to a city state then you become Suzerain of that city state. When your Suzerain of a city state that city state will form an alliance with you if you go to war or in peacetime. And yes you press the Y button once you have selected the city state you want to send the envoy to. Hope that helps you out.

      2. My game does not provide me opportunity to send envoys. I accumulate lots of envoys but am unable to select where they go, and they go nowhere.

        1. Hi Thanks for reading, I’m sorry I’ve no idea why you can’t send out envoys. Have you tried turning the game off and on some times that help.

  3. Hi ChamZen!

    Changing envoy’s once you sent them would have been to powerful so it’s good you can’t.
    I have a couple of idea’s, thinks I haven’t figured out yet.
    The questions are not there for you to answer now, but just idea’s for things you could explain in a potential future guide. 🙂

    I don’t quite understand how resources and trading works.
    If you have a luxury resource in a city, you get 1 amenity for it.
    But what if you trade that resource, say marble, for another luxury resource, say sugar. Where does the sugar go?
    Do all your city’s proffer or just the city that had the marble? And what if more city’s have marble, which one is ‘taken’?
    Do you keep the amenity from the marble, even if you trade it away?
    From what I understand you don’t actually collect the luxury/ bonus/ strategic resources. It just makes you people happy or lets you build certain units and provide extra yields for the city. It get’s used or eaten and doesn’t ‘stack’ is that right?
    Is there a place you can see all your trading agreements?

    You could do a guide about trading routes.
    I used to think you could sent them away and get the profit when the trader arrives in the other city.
    But now I found out that’s not the case and you get the ‘profit of the route’ every turn. (at least I think..)
    But I still haven’t figured everything out.
    What do the trading posts do you automatically make when sending traders to a city?
    Does the trader go to the city and then back, or does he go multiple times?
    If you indeed get the ‘profit of the route’ every turn the trader is on the way, what’s the downside to long and profitable routes? (except for him being away longer, and not getting to change the route in that time)
    The number that accompanies the city’s you can trade with is the number of turns the trader spends to get there/ the number of turns you can’t use him?

    You could do a guide about borders.
    Borders close automatically when you have a certain government policy unlocked? I’m not sure..
    What units can travel through closed borders? (traders and religious persons, right? are there more?)
    What makes you borders ‘free to pass’ for another Civilization? I know war does, but does friendship, alliance, denouncement anything else?

    What can enemy’s destroy in your city? Can they do thing’s to tiles/ districts you can’t fix?
    I had a tile I couldn’t fix once, I think it was a farm. (maybe they destroyed a bonus resource?)
    What’s the best strategy when being attacked? Guard the city center, or you districts/ bonus tiles to?

    I have trouble planning where to put my districts for optimal adjacency bonus.
    Or more to the point, I don’t plan, I just put it where it is the most profitable at that time, but I think I should plan it more in advance.

  4. How do you actually send the Envoy or know it’s engaged? Which buttons? Y button, then let the city get highlighted afterward, when it goes to the map and shows the map of the city colored?

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