Best Civ 6 mods to download: Palaces, unit expansion, more

Firaxis Games

Whether you’re looking for simple quality-of-life upgrades or you want to engage in the time-honored tradition of total conversion, these are some of the best Civ 6 mods to download as of October 2021. 

The Civilization franchise is renowned for its colossal scale and deep mechanics, allowing players to recreate entire worlds in their image, controlling everything from the flow of food, to which pillars of society get studied and expanded on.

While first-time players might be completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices, veterans of the game continue to look for ways to enhance their experience and gain more control wherever possible. That goal is easier than ever thanks to tools like the Steam Workshop, and now there are so many options it’s hard to know which way to turn.

Article continues after ad

These are your best choices when it comes to customizing the game to fit your needs.


Anno Domini Total Conversion

Thrones & Palaces

Sukritact’s Simple UI Adjustments

Sukritact’s Oceans

Steel & Thunder Three Pack

Anno Domini Total Conversion mod

Helen of Troy in the Civilzation 6 mod Anno Domini.Rob8xft
Helen of Troy brings a touch of historical accuracy and the threat of Roman Spearmen along with her.

Anno Domini: Gathering Storm is a huge reimagining of Civ 6 that places the focus specifically on the Old World civilizations stretching from the very first human civilizations all the way to the end of the Roman Empire. Unlike some of the other mods on our list, Anno Domini is more of a standalone experience that emulates the feeling of the Civ franchise rather than enhancing the experience of the base game.

While that may sound limiting at first, the number of extra pieces added to the board is astounding, and the addition of historical figures like Helen of Troy makes the experience even richer than before. This mod features roughly the same amount of technologies from the regular version of Civ 6, but they’re all era-appropriate and offer new functions and strategies to build around.

Article continues after ad

This one may not be for everyone, but it’s a home run for players who want to experience building an empire from the earliest days of humanity.

Thrones & Palaces mod

The thrones and palaces menu features a huge palace for a Roman civilization.Technoluddite
It may not make the biggest adjustment to the game, but this is a classic feature that was missing from an otherwise complete game and it’s nice to have it back.

Thrones & Palaces is a simple mod that brings back the fan-favorite throne room from Civ II and the palaces of Civ III with some visual upgrades. These changes are entirely cosmetic and won’t alter your gameplay experience beyond the development points that you spend on the spaces.

These gigantic structures start off barren and ugly, so it’s up to you to decide exactly how magnificent they become. You can add this one to currently running games, but any mod that turns off the Historic Moments feature from the Rise & Fall or Gathering Storm expansions will limit your ability to earn enough points to upgrade your structure.

Article continues after ad

There’s no revolutionary change to be found in this one, but for dedicated fans of the series, it’s a nice touch to make the game feel exactly like you remember.

Sukritact’s Simple UI Adjustment Civ 6 mod

The Food Yield menu from Simple UI Adjustments showing the improvements from Civ 6's original menuSukritact
These kinds of changes make it much easier to understand the real state of your kingdom without losing yourself in never-ending menus.

The Civ franchise has always had a problem with losing players due to complexity. In a game this large, it’s easy to get completely lost and frustrated before even scratching the surface of what is truly fun about the experience. Thankfully, modders like Sukrictact have taken the problem into their own hands and made the game more beginner-friendly.

On the whole, Simple UI Adjustments removes some of the barriers to entry and makes the game easier to understand. These changes include tooltips to help see how your kingdom is performing in areas like crop yield and religion, while others focus on ease-of-access adjustments like being able to rename your city from the overview panel.

Article continues after ad

While this is all incredibly helpful, it’s not even the best thing that Sukritact has added to the game.

Sukritact’s Oceans Civ 6 mod

Bordered image of a seal in Sukritact's Oceans modSukritact
Oceans is the maritime upgrade that seafaring fans desperately needed.

The Oceans mod brings new life to the marine mechanics of Civ 6. Whether you’re interested in new resources such as Seals and Squid, luxuries like Lobster and Caviar, or you’re looking for new terrain such as the Kelp Forest to play with, this upgrade has a little bit of everything.

Gameplay enhancement is the key goal in this mod. with things like fisheries and water parks receiving some crucial upgrades. Overall, the beautiful animations and careful adjustments add some much-needed variety to one of the game’s most underserved features.

Article continues after ad

Steel & Thunder Unique Units Civ 6 mod

American upgrade in Civilization 6 for the Apache 84 HelicopterDeliverator23
There is so much more power to be unlocked through the Steel & Thunder mod set.

No Civ 6 mod list is complete without Steel & Thunder. Originally conceived under the name “MOAR UNITS,” this trilogy of mods brings a whole new set of combat options to the game. While you could only download the Unique Units kit, the other two mods add some additional customization options and a few more units as well.

Whether you’re looking to employ some Egyptian khopesh-wielders, or you want to send in a group of Apache helicopters to the fight, S&T makes all of that possible. Featuring a list of 50-plus brand-new units, these add-ons will change the flow of combat regardless of what era you are in.

Article continues after ad

There are a few pieces that have been disabled in Unique Units, but the third piece of the Steel & Thunder set, titled “Everything Enabled,” will put them back into the mix for anyone who’d like some extra toys to play with.

That’s all for the best Civ 6 mods to download. If you enjoyed this, check out our other mod guides here on the site, and keep an eye out for regular updates to this one.