Civilization 6 Queen Wilhelmina

Civilization 6 (Switch) Beginners Guide Trade Routes and Amenities

This time in our series of Civilization 6 guides we’re going to have a look in more detail at trading, trade routes and amenities. And how both theses components help your empire grow.

All the other guides for Civilization 6 can be found in our Civilization 6 Beginners guides. Let’s start with trading.

Civilisation 6 trade and amenities LadiesGamers

Trading and Trade Routes.

What is a trade route?

Trade Routes represent the trade activities of civilizations either between their own cities or with foreign civilizations. For civilizations trading is an essential activity which provides multiple benefits. They boost Gold, Food, and Production among other yields, and will create roads when moving on land, and provide increased diplomatic visibility with other civilizations.

Trading routes and capacity are always displayed in the stats ribbon on the top of the screen, it’s the white circle with number beside it for traders.

Civilization 6 trade and amenities guide LadiesGamers
Foreign Trade Civic

After researching the civic Foreign Trade, you gain the ability to create Traders. Traders can start a route from the city they are currently in. Once you have built a trader and the trader is selected, you can see an action in the unit panel with the icon of a trade route (two arrows in a circle).

If you click that action, the Make Trade Route panel opens. From there, you can select a destination you want to trade to and then click Begin Route. Your trader will make the journey to the city and build the road while it travels. In the show Route box, the arrow with the number beside it shows many hexes the trade route will cross over on its route. Once the trade route finishes, the trader will be back in the origin city, available to be sent out on another trade route. To send a trader over sea on a trade route you need to have completed the Celestial Navigation in the Science tech tree. The Land route range for a Trader is 15 hexes while a sea route range is 30 hexes.

Civilization 6 trade and amenities LadiesGamers
Trade screen

Trading Posts

Once your trader arrives at the destination city a Trading Post is  automatically constructed in the city and source city of every finished Trade Route. Future routes (both land and sea) that pass through these cities will have an extended reach. They will effectively reset their range at the Trading Post. You can make use of this to reach farther and farther in the world with your Traders!  Trading Posts add 1 gold each to the route’s yield.

Civilization 6 trade and amenities guide LadiesGamers

Why have a Trade Route?

Benefits of Trade Routes 

  • If you want to grow and develop a city, you will want to send a domestic trade with the highest food and production route to that city.
  • Trader routes are the only way to build roads in the early game. That means at the start of the game, most of the trade routes are decided based on where you want your roads.
  • You can fulfill a city-state quest to Send a Trade Route, and earn an envoy with that city state. You can see which city-states have quests by the small quote icon next to the city banner in the Make Trade Route screen.
  • If you need to fund a huge army, or are trying to upgrade outdated units, you should pick the route with the maximum gold.
  • If you’re planning to declare war on a player. Send a trade route to them so you have a road leading to their cities. This allows you to reinforce the army with new units faster. Declaring war automatically cancels the trade route, and the trader will be back in the origin city it started from. 
  • If you are trying to win a cultural victory. You’ll would want to exploit the tourism bonus from trading with that player or city state that has a high cultural income.
  • If your competing for a wonder by sending a trader to that high production route, could make the difference to beat the player to that wonder.
    Civilization 6 trade and amenities guide LadiesGamers

      Quest from city state

Trading Capacity

What is Trading Capacity? 

Trading Capacity is the maximum number of Trade Routes you can have at the same time. Learning the Foreign Trade civic grants you a Trading Capacity of one, meaning that your empire can have one Trade Route at a time. Each city with a Commercial Hub or Harbour ( from Rise and Fall Expansion) a Market or Lighthouse increases your civilisations trading capacity by one. Though these bonuses don’t stack, as a city with both a Commercial Hub or Market and a Harbour or Lighthouse adds only one trading capacity, not two!

Civilization 6 trade and amenities LadiesGamers
Trade routes screen

Other sources of Trading Capacity include the following:

In base game only, the effect of Merchant Republic Government increases Trading Capacity by two. If you change governments you lose that extra trading capacity. Certain Wonders you can build increases trading capacity, such as the Colossus and the Great Zimbabwea.

Earning Great Merchants are another way to increase your trading capacity. If you have the Gathering Storm expansion Great Admiral Zheng He increases your trading capacity by one. You’ll find more details on Great Merchants and Admirals in our guide on Civilization 6 Beginners Guide Great People. 

Being a Suzerain of a Carthage city state ( base game only) can increase the trade route by one for each Encampment. You’ll find more details about City sates in our Civilization 6 Beginners City State guides.

Civilization 6 trade and amenities. LadiesGamers
Pick a trading route

Various Leaders have ability bonuses, such as Mansa Musa’s ability increases Mali’s trading capacity by one each time he enters a Golden age. Dido and Victoria’s leader abilities also help with trade capacity. Civilizations such as Persia and Cree increase your trading capacity by one when they learn the Political Philosophy civics and Pottery techsYou can find more details and other leaders and civilisations in our Civilization VI Beginners Guides. 

When Secret societies gameplay mode is enabled the Owls of Minerva can build the Gilded Vault, which increases a capacity by one if the city has a harbour. And passing outcome A of a trade policy resolution in the World congress will temporarily increase the target city trading capacity by one.

Civilization 6 trade and amenities. LadiesGamers


What are amenities? 

Amenities are needed in your cities to help keep your citizens happy along with food. Happiness measures the contentment of your people in a single city, and is measured by seeing if the population of that city has as many amenities as expected. Each individual city requires certain number of amenities, determined by the city’s population.

The first 2 Citizens of any given city do not require any amenities. The third Citizen will require 1 amenity. From 3 citizens and beyond every additional 2 Citizens increase the number of amenities required for the city to be content by 1. For example, a city with a population of 5 or 6 will require 2 amenities to be Content, while a city with a Population of 11 or 12 will require 5.

Amenities can come from a wide variety of sources. Such as Civics, Entertainment, Great People, Religion, National Parks and Wonders.

Civilization 6 trade and amenities. LadiesGamers
Happy citizens

Luxury Resources

Each type of Luxury resource can contribute up to 4 amenities to your empire equivalent to 1 per city to the 4 cities that need them most. Distribution happens automatically so you don’t have to worry about that. As long as the Luxury resource is improved such as a Plantation improvement built on Spices.

Luxury resources are one of the main sources of Amenities especially in the early game. These are things like Diamonds, Citrus, Cocoa, Dyes, Ivory, Marble, and lots more.

Amenity Buildings

One of the more important sources of Amenities is Entertainment, made possible by the Entertainment Complex and the Water Park (Rise and Fall expansion) and its buildings. Though for basic buildings the effect is local and only give amenities to the city it is built in.

While the more advanced buildings will spread their effect to all cities whose city centres are located up to 6 tiles or 9 tiles for Water Park buildings from the district.

The Entertainment Complex provides an initial +1 amenity. The buildings inside the Entertainment complex such as the Arena, Zoo and Stadium and the Water Park’s Aquarium, Ferris Wheel and Aquatics Centre provide +1, +1, and +2 amenities respectively.

Civilization 6 trade and amenities. LadiesGamers
Natural wonder discovered

Wonders that Provide Amenities

There are certain Wonders when built that will provide amenities.

  • Alhambra which is unlocked with the Castle tech will give +2 amenities.
  • Colosseum unlocked with the Games and Recreation civic will provide +3 amenities built within 6 hexes of a city.
  • Estádio do Maracanã  unlocked with the Professional Sports civic provide +2 amenities to all cities in your civilization.
  • Golden Gate Bridge unlocked with the Combustion tech will provide +3 amenities from entertainment.
  • Great Bath unlocked with the Pottery tech provides +1 amenities from entertainment.
  • Huey Teocalli unlocked with the Military Tactics tech +1 amenities for each adjacent lake hex.
  • Temple of Artemis unlocked with the Archery tech provides +1 amenities for each pastures camp and plantation within 4 hexes of the temple.

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