Civilization 6 Queen Wilhelmina

Civilization 6 (Switch) Beginners Guide 6: Great Persons

This week in the Beginners Guide part 6, we are going to take a look at Great Persons and what benefits they bring to your city or Civilization. If you like these weekly beginners’ tips, don’t forget to check them out under Civilization 6 Beginners Guide

The competition for Great People is on!

Great people or GP are historical figures with special abilities that can be earned once you have accumulated enough GP points. They can only be earned by Civilizations and not by city states. Every Civilization in the game can see and earn the same great people, so they are competed over by all Civilizations, not just your own. And a Great Person can only be earned once.

Let’s call Great Persons GP for now, alright? GP are era specific and each type of GP has their own points for that era. A Renaissance era GP Scientist will cost less GP points than a Modern era one and so on.

Accumulating Great Person points

Every source of the same type of Great Person points will contribute to a common pool. Whenever a civilization attracts the Great Person whether by acquiring enough points, or in other ways the pool is depleted and starts accumulating again.

You can choose to pass on a GP of certain types and you will still have the possibility to attract the next GP of that type. If you do, up until the person you passed on is earned by another civilization you will stop receiving points for that type of person.

All GPP gained by your civilisation are never lost, if you didn’t manage to earn enough points for a particular GP in an era those points carry over to the next era.

All GP can be seen in a queue by era in game by viewing the GP tab in the Left shoulder button menu. The queue starts in the Classical era and finishes in the Information era.This screen also shows you how far ahead of other Civilizations you are in earning a particular GP and what effect that GP brings to your Civilizations.

There are only maybe 2, 3 or 4 GP in each era available during a game, this seems to vary depending on how many players there are playing in a game.

What person to choose?

There are different types of Great People found in Civilization 6, and there are quite a lot to choose from: 179 in total!
  • Great Artists gives a great work, either a painting or sculpture.
  • Great Admirals gives bonus to naval exploration, warfare and trade.
  • Great Engineers gives an advancements of production and industry.
  • Great Generals gives an bonus to land warfare units.
  • Great Merchant gives a bonus to wealth, trade and luxuries.
  • Great Musicians, creates a great work of music.
  • Great Prophet, founds a religion
  • Great Scientist, gives an advancement in science and technology.

All GP are listed in the games Civilopedia in detail along with their Historical content.

How to earn Great Person points

GP points are earned in a variety of ways. Districts are one way, you receive Scientist points from the Campus Districts +1 per turn. Great General points come from the likes of the Encampment Districts+1 per turn, Great Merchant receives points from Commercial Districts +1 point Per turn and so on.

As you add to your Districts these points increase, so if you add a library to your Campus Districts that adds another +1 to your Great Scientist people points.

The Research Grants Projects at the bottom of the list in the Chose Production Screen in game also adds points to GP’s when they are used. As shown below ⬇️

Pantheons and City states can also give your Civilizations GPP’s, the Divine Spark Pantheon and the City State of Stockholm increase the number of Great Scientist points by +1 for each campus.

Policy cards are another way to earn points, the Frescoes policy card generates +2 Great Artist points per turn.

Building wonders can also generate GPP’s, building the Colossus and Great Lighthouse increases the Great Admirals points by +1 each.

Before I forget: there’s one other way to get a Great Person is to patronise.  them this involves paying with either Faith points or with Gold to gain that GP instantly. To do this you have to have the correct amount of either faith or Gold as shown on the GP screen in game, the faith or gold needed to patronise a GP is different for each Great Person.

Where to put the Great Person’s Work

In-game when you receive a GP the area they can be activated or used in is usually highlighted in white in the game. If you gain an Artist or a Merchant and do not have the appropriate Districts built you can not use those GP until those areas are built.

The left shoulder button shows you where there’s still a space in your buildings and districts to place your great works. Some buildings, like the Sidney Opera, only house musical pieces. Museum can only display artefacts etc.

That’s about it for this guide on Great People and how they help your game on your way to a victory. My tip is to read the screens in front of you while playing the game, as it does provide information on each great person you are looking to earn which in turn will help you achieve which ever type of victory you go for. Good Luck!




  1. Thanks again for the great guide ChamZen, very helpful!
    Interesting to pay more attention to.
    I have looked at the list of Great Persons, but usually just waited to see which one I got when.
    Except for the great prophet, as they are in limited supply.
    I like building the Harbor district. Extra money, food (housing when building the lighthouse).. but I keep getting great admirals whom I have no interest in at all.
    But that a luxury problem. 🙂
    I didn’t know the Great People changed with the era’s, although of course it makes a lot of sense when thinking about it.
    I will look into the ‘Divine Spark Pantheon’, and projects!
    Thanks again and happy gaming everyone!

  2. Thanks for this guide. I am used to the PC version. My wife is playing the Switch version now, and we cannot work out how to tell some things that you can tell by hovering over them with the mouse on the PC. Do you know, perhaps?
    For example, how much is an upgrade to a unit going to cost before we press the button? On the PC there’s a tooltip to help. When you have a great person already produced, how can you tell what their passive ability is? And how can you tell what change a builder is going to make when they build a plantation etc?

    1. Hi Gavin, thanks for reading.
      If you press the minus button on the switch it will bring up a little info box when you move over anything in the game, the same as the PC version.
      As for the charge a builder will make, I’m not quite sure what you mean. Each builder has three charges to make improvements or builds, but some builders have four depending on what leader you are playing as.
      To find out how much a unit costs to upgrade, well that appears on the little tool tip that appears when you highlight the unit, the info pops up, it includes the amount of gold needed and also any iron etc that is needed to upgrade a particular unit.
      I hope that helps you out. And thanks for commenting.

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