Thanks to the popular Switch port, gamers are finding Civilization 6 to be a phenomenal game with a lot of complexity and depth on even the standard difficulty settings. This is what makes Deity difficulty such a herculean feat if you’re unprepared for it. The AI is smarter, faster, and comes with bonuses that give it an edge over your empire.
While your strategy will largely depend on the map, your civilization, and your enemies’ goals, there are some general things you can do to get started on the right foot and increase your odds of winning.
10 Defense First
The very first thing you need to do when the match begins is to establish a defense. Nearby Barbarians and neighboring civilizations are a major threat and you want some units in place to fend off the initial attacks. Odds are you’ll have to handle at least one declaration of war.
Have a mix of slingers, warriors, and archers to hold off whatever is thrown at you. It might be tempting to focus on production, but it’s better to sacrifice a little growth for that extra security right away.
9 Take Advantage Of Early Fights
Once you’re confident in your initial defenses it’s a great idea to get aggressive with whoever is near you. Take a small army and invade any vulnerable neighbors or conquer a City-State. Ideally you’ll secure another position for yourself and take out a potential threat right out of the gate.
At the very least you’ll be providing your soldiers with some experience that will make them better equipped to handle future battles and provide greater defense. Just don’t stretch yourself too thin when doing this and make sure you have proper defenses while some of your fighters are away.
8 Get 5 Cities Quickly
After winning a few fights or if for some reason you don’t have anything to attack then start focusing on expanding to five or six cities as quickly as you can. Buy or steal the settlers you need and make the cities you create in a cluster near each other.
This allows you to keep your defense costs low as you aren’t having to spread you army across the map. Having these cities closer together will also provide some benefits when you focus on getting your production and industry going later.
7 Ignore Religion
There are a lot of benefits to establishing your own religion and is even part of a victory condition, but honestly in Deity mode you should completely ignore it. Part of this is because Deity Mode makes getting a Religion an annoying and difficult process in the first place.
The other reason is that your resources and time are better spent expanding your military and working on establishing stability and solid growth to try and keep up with the AI. Unless you have a very specific, tried and true strategy for obtaining and using a religion in Deity Mode, just ignore it.
6 Early Game Is The Main Hurdle
The early parts of the game are by far the most dangerous making it your biggest challenge to winning Deity Mode. You can obviously lose in later parts of the game but getting through early game gives you a fighting chance.
It’s important to establish a solid foundation, deal with any immediate threats, and start growing as quickly as possible. If you can survive the initial slog you’ll find the game gets a tad easier and you can start getting things done to progress towards victory.
5 Play To Your Strengths
It’s important to understand the ins and outs of your civilization and play to its strengths. If your civilization is strongest in the early game then obviously do whatever you can to take advantage of that fact.
If you’re civilization doesn’t get it’s legs until late game then be prepared to hunker down and grind your way to that point. Any civilization can win Deity Mode, but you’ll have an easier time with those strong in the early game like Scythia or one that caters best to your style of play.
4 The Big Three
As you start entering the mid game and for the rest of the match it's important to focus on three aspects of your civilization; gold, science, and production. Focus on exploiting the resources in your immediate vicinity and start building your commercial and industrial empire.
Traders are a huge help, harbors are great if you can build them, and having a few campuses and theater districts are all ideal for expanding your efforts. Most victory conditions need one of the three and focusing on all of them will give you options.
3 Domination Victory Is Easiest
Most victory conditions are viable in Deity Mode, but Domination is by far the easiest to achieve. Part of this is because the AI is going to outpace you in growth and research while their military efforts won’t be as strong.
Considering you also will need a strong military to survive and conquer the Wonders and resources you need it only makes sense to synergize these efforts with a Domination victory. Get a variety of units built, establish powerful armies, and start progressing towards nuclear submarines and nuclear weapons.
2 Be Aggressive
Whether you’re going for Domination Victory or not it’s important for you to be aggressive. Part of this is because you’ll want to scoop up anything useful before the enemy does and if you wait too long you’ll be fighting stronger civilizations.
The other reason is that sitting at the top of domination rankings makes you seem like a greater threat and the AI will hesitate to attack you. Even if you aren’t going for the military win at least consider getting in enough scuffles to make yourself more intimidating. If you need practice being aggressive consider playing The Red Death mode a few times.
1 Sabotage The Enemy
Finally the main thing to keep in mind is that the AI is a lot faster and more efficient than you are thanks to their bonuses and you need to even the playing field. Making active and continual efforts to sabotage the plans of other civilizations is critical to your victory.
Pillaging, espionage, invasions, anything you can think of to disrupt expansion, cut off resources, delay research, or discourage religious conversion. In this race you start out behind and the only way to catch up is to hamstring everyone in front of you so get busy doing whatever you can think of to delay the enemies’ progress.