With the release of Civilization VI: Gathering Storm, this is a perfect time to check out what’s happening in the mod community as fans begin to create their own tweaks and adjustments to improve upon the new content. There are a good many mods whose perks can be either invaluable or useless depending upon your playstyle, but there are also a few out there that can be universally appreciated no matter your victory end goals, fixing some of the oversights and errors that weaken the overall experience. The following are the ones that were made specifically for Gathering Storm, mods I wish I had for my first few playthroughs. Grab any of ‘em—or all of ‘em—if you want to enhance your game.
Gathering Storm includes an interesting new feature to support its focus on land: geographical landmarks featuring the names of real locations. With Mappa Mundi, even more of those places are added to the game’s random generator—over 15,000 in fact. The sheer scope and variety is amazing, and, with a script that pulls from Wikipedia to include valleys, mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, volcanos, glaciers, deserts and more from all over the world, you may even see something from your own neighborhood.
This mod is especially useful in light of the way Gathering Storm forces you to rethink how strategic resources are used. While the expansion helpfully quantifies resources so you now know exactly how much you have or how much is needed for a building project, it doesn’t necessarily make the best use of those resources, especially in the long term. The changes that this mod makes are too numerous to be easily summarized, but basically if you ever thought it a shame that Civilization doesn’t have more practical applications for strategic resources, this is the one for you. It will make sure that materials like Iron, Horses, Copper and Aluminum are not only relevant over a longer portion of the game, but also make them more of a valid bargaining chip in negotiations with other civilizations, as well as a serious geographical consideration during wars.
Tourism was a nice addition to Civilization V, but in Civilization VI it struggles to be relevant across more than one strategy. With this mod, a point of Diplomatic Favor is earned for every +100 Tourism generated, giving an incentive to establish a cultural exchange with other civilizations beyond just a Culture Victory (without completely disrupting the balance of the game).
The ability to use mountains as a workable resource is a pretty nice perk, one that only the Inca get to enjoy, unless you use this mod. No more do mountains have to be a lost tile on the map; you can make them generate +1 Production instead.
While I appreciate that Gathering Storm tries to make mountain terrain a little more useful, the addition of the Ski Resort building feels a bit hollow. This mod, for use with Workable Mountains For Everyone, adds smart and lucrative adjacency bonuses to the Ski Resorts, ones that reward careful placement with additional Gold and Culture.
One thing I really wished I could do in the later stages of the game, as climate change advanced to the point of coastal flooding, is decommission my power plants to immediately reduce my carbon footprint. Sure, solar panels and wind farms are helpful, but they don’t shut the grid. With this mod, as the name suggests, you can now go into your management panel and simply turn them off. A version of this is also available from _Zee.
Sure, it’s nice that the tundra tiles in Gathering Storm have a few more uses than in the vanilla game, especially if you use volcanic overflow to create farmable land. But there are a few oversights that just don’t make sense. Why can’t solar panels be built on all that otherwise unusable snow? Enter the Snowlar Panels mod. It lets you turn all that tundra into a massive source of energy by extending the conditions under which solar panels are built. With this you can turn some of your northern settlements into high powered, Production focused cities that can funnel resources to the rest of your civ, establishing fields of panels instead of letting all that land go to waste.
Holly Green is the assistant editor of Paste Games and a reporter and semiprofessional photographer. She is also the author of Fry Scores: An Unofficial Guide To Video Game Grub. You can find her work at Gamasutra, Polygon, Unwinnable, and other videogame news publications.