Having trouble figuring out which wonders are worth swinging for, and which aren’t worth a single hammer? Looking to prioritize just the few you’ll be able to grab on the higher difficulties? Maybe you want to discover which ones fit your particular strategy the best, or which ones will always or never be worth building? Well look no further! This guide’s here to give you an in depth look at each of the wonders: My thoughts about their strengths and weaknesses will be included under each one.
With that said, let’s jump right in!
- A Primer: Wonders in Civ VI and You
- The Hanging Gardens
- The Great Pyramids
- The Great Lighthouse
- The Oracle
- The Great Library
- The Colosseum
- The Colossus
- The Mahabodhi Temple
- Terracotta Army
- Chichen Itza
- Mont St. Michael
- Huey Teocalli
- Hagia Sophia
- Great Zimbabwe
- The Forbidden City
- The Venetian Arsenal
- Potala Palace
- Bolshoi Theatre
- Ruhr Valley
- Oxford University
- Big Ben
- Eiffel Tower
- Cristo Redentor
- Estadio Do Maracana
- The Sydney Opera House
A Primer: Wonders in Civ VI and You
To preface this guide, allow me to explain some of the core differences between 5 and 6, the strategy changes in play, and how that’s going to affect your wonder building experience.
First and foremost, wonders no longer go inside your city. They’re planted outside on a tile of your choice, so long as that tile fulfills the building requirements of the wonder. This is followed up by far more stringent requirements on wonder placement compared to civ V. For example, the pyramids have to be built on a desert tile, and stonehenge has to be built next to stone. This means if there’s a wonder you’re keeping an eye out for, you need to figure out where you’re going to put it and which city is going to build it long before you get to it. The last thing you want is to miss out on a powerhouse like, say, the Ruhr valley because you put a commercial hub in the spot you’d otherwise be putting the valley and have nowhere else to put it.
Second, civ VI is by design meant to be played much, much wider than civ V. There is no more global happiness, the game is a lot less specialist focused and a lot more raw yield focused, especially with science and culture, and there are tons of rewards for having clusters of smaller cities rather than a few tall ones, such as factory area of effect bonuses. If all of that isn’t enough, there’s a new system in civ VI called housing, which enforces a very tough soft cap on your cities when they reach certain population levels. It’s not until fairly far into the game that you unlock a way to boost the housing cap in large bursts unless you’re playing the kongo, so you tend to spread out a ton in the early game, grab the housing bonuses you can, and then focus more on infrastructure and population size later on. After that amenities (happiness) do a lot more to affect your pop growth than housing, but still not to the same extent unless you go very hard into the negatives. Because of this wide play you’ll often find yourself with less centralized production in the early game, meaning it can be a struggle to pump out wonders in a timely fashion. There are also only 3 different great engineers that can rush wonders, and all of them come relatively early, so definitely keep an eye out for those if there’s a early or midgame wonder you want to blaze through.
Third, it’s very hard to scrape up the hammers for a lot of the wonders early game before you really get going. You have a lot of competing interests early: your first districts, military, mass expansion, etc. Understand that to build a wonder means paying a large opportunity cost. You shouldn’t be building most of those wonders ‘because you can’: you’d be better off with more units or more buildings. If there’s a sort of average wonder you think that’ll help out, it may be better to shore up other problem areas first and then go back to the wonder if no one else has grabbed it. That situation can be surprisingly likely, especially for very specifically placed wonders or wonders specific to certain strategies because a lot of other players can’t or won’t build them.
However, there’s a lot of good news to these changes too. Because of the harder wonder placing requirements you’re a lot more likely to get the ones you want off the AI because they’re less likely to set things up for one, even on higher difficulties, so you won’t find yourself out of pretty much every wonder early game like you did in 5. Furthermore, as a direct result a lot of the wonders are more tailored towards certain strategies, though there are still a lot of general purpose wonders too.
With all that being said, let’s jump right in. The wonders in this guide are arranged first by production cost, and then in alphabetical order. Because of the way you might find yourself teching, you could end up skipping past some wonders for a long time or even the entire game. Make sure to check the tech or civics tree in game to figure out where you need to shoot to to get the wonder. Their requisite technologies will be included in here, but not the tech path to get to them.
The Hanging Gardens
- 180 production
- Placement: has to be next to a river
- Effect: Growth +15% in all cities
Dropped into one of the first techs you’re likely to come across, the hanging gardens is a very cheap to build early game wonder. It’s meant to help you grow your cities both in the short and long term, though in a much less centralized fashion than the hanging gardens of V. As a result of that and especially because of the housing cap, this wonder comes off to be a lot worse than its V variant. Because of the housing cap you’ll mainly find this wonder helping your cities hit that cap sooner rather than actually grow ultimately bigger than your rivals, at least for a while. Sure, that’s an advantage, but not a great one. Once you hit neighborhoods you’re likely to get more help from its growth boost, though even then I wouldn’t say it’s super strong. It is, however, better as the Kongo because they get their neighborhood building super early.
I wish this wonder gave a couple points of global housing or something. That’d make it a lot more powerful in the early and mid game.
- 180 production
- Placement: On flat land adjacent to a stone resource
- Effects: +2 faith; Gives you a free great prophet that can found a religion on stonehenge
Stonehenge’s usefulness ultimately is related to religion’s usefulness and whether or not you want to utilize religion in your game. Religion as a whole is much weaker now than it was in civ V, so as a result stonehenge isn’t much to talk about. It’s an extra blow against it that a lot of beliefs heavily involve the use of a holy site. Still, it’s by far the fastest way to get a religion, so if you have some religious strategy and can devote the hammers go for it. If you’re in no rush to grab a religion you’re probably better off just focusing on other things though, and getting up a few holy sites after you’ve handled your more important priorities, which tends to mean almost everything else. Russia and Japan are less incentivized to get this because of their cheaper holy sites, and Arabia similarly may be less inclined since they’re guaranteed a prophet, though waiting until the last one is probably a bad idea if you actually are swinging for a religious win with them, though that’s a victory best served with other leaders anyway.
If stonehenge also counted as a holy site it’d probably be a lot better, because then you wouldn’t ultimately have to build it AND a holy site if you want a bigger religious prescence for your empire. The ability to use the prophet on it is sort of meant to be *like that*, but you’ll soon find the need for an actual holy site depending on the benefits you want, like your worship building or the myriad number of effects that utilize the site.
The Great Pyramids
- 220 production
- Placement: flat desert (including flood plains)
- Effects: + 2 culture, all builders gain an extra charge and gain a free builder
Finally we’re starting to get to some of the good stuff. The pyramids is a fairly strong early wonder that increases the value of your builders. Since normal builders have 3 charges this basically means every worker you build is worth another 3rd of a worker. This is about the same increase in efficiency as the civics card Ilkum, though an extra charge tends to do you a lot better than increased production towards them because they have to ultimately walk around and do stuff after getting built, meaning there’s effectively going to be less walking from a city to somewhere else in this wonder. The free worker basically discounts this wonder by the hammers it’d take to make a builder too, which is a number that seems to go up over time (or maybe as you build more builders. If the latter I’m not sure if the free one counts towards that).
Note that the extra charge does apply retroactively, meaning if you have some half used or unused builders out there they will all immediately benefit, meaning you don’t have to build the pyramids before the builders so long as you don’t use up the builders. Overall this wonder will more than pay for itself over time, though whether or not you have its placement is pretty RNG unless your civ has a desert start bias. Overall a pretty strong wonder.
The Great Lighthouse
- Celestial Navigation
- 290 production
- Placement: On the coast adjacent to a harbor with a lighthouse
- Effects: +3 gold, +1 great admiral points, +1 movement for all naval units
Man, whatever happened to getting the building for free when we built the wonder? Now they make us build the building for so many of these, including this one, which is kind of lame. Oh well. This is a worse version of the civ V wonder, only giving your navy +1 movement. no sight bonus here. It also has far more stringent requirements and a pretty steep opportunity cost since you have to build a harbor, a lighthouse and it. Luckily for us harbor districts are actually pretty great because they give a trade route, and trade routes are amazing in civ VI. Sadly the lighthouse is a lot less amazing in comparison, though its mish mash of bonuses is ok. Combined with the 290 here overall it’s a pretty big investment. So is it worth it? Not really. Navies are a lot less useful in this game strictly because you don’t have to settle cities on the coast to get boat access. So you have to make a navy and an invasion force if you want to actually take a city. You won’t even be able to shoot at most cities if they’re inland harbor cities with your ranged boats until battleships, which don’t even get indirect fire anymore. Still, controlling the waves can be pretty important, especially in island based maps, so for that this wonder is ok, but don’t expect much help from it until you get boats that are worth a damn, and even then they’ll mainly be helpful for escorting your land army over to kill a city.
- 290 production
- Placement: On hills
- Effects: Patronage of great people costs 25% less faith. +2 GPP from districts in this city based on the type of district (you get 2 for all the tourism Great people from the theatre square, not just writers)
Not really that great. It’s pretty unlikely you’ll be making tons of faith in this game unless you’re going for a faith purchasing based strategy or a religious victory, and even then your faith will often get thrown more at other stuff: either units for the former or missionaries/apostles for the latter. The second effect scales really badly past the early game, and is a bit too ‘general’ for my liking. You’re often only after a few types of great people, generally certain scientists, certain engineers, and certain merchants. Why would I build this when I can make a settler, something I should be doing a ton of at this point of the game, settle another city, and build a campus and a library, the former of which you have to build anyway to get the oracle effect, and which combined will net me more science as well as the same number of GPP for scientists with just those 2, and more in the future when I eventually make universities and then labs? That option’s even going to be cheaper in hammers early on, especially if you’re running colonization (which you will be).
Overall the oracle isn’t really worth your time unless you have a very specific reason to grab it, like some odd faith patronage strategy or something. The early GPPs, while nice, especially to start stacking up some writers and some artist and musician points, often won’t help you very much and require more investment past the wonder to actually get (the district), and the extra 2 isn’t likely to matter past that point when you’ve got 10 or more cities with plenty of districts and buildings.
The Great Library
- Recorded History
- 400 production
- Placement: flat land next to a campus with a library
- Effects: +2 science, +1 great scientist point, 2 writing slots, gain a free tech boost to every ancient and classical tech you haven’t gotten yet.
Wow. They took the great library in civ V and ruined it. There isn’t anything great about this library. I’m more likely to build this to get the great work of writing slots than to get the tech boosts. The main problem with this wonder is its cost and its very awkward placement in the civis tree: You’re not going to be rushing to recorded history. In fact you’re probably going to break into the medieval era on the civics tree with feudalism which, incidentally, doesn’t require recorded history, meaning you usually then go back to recorded history afterward so you can move into civil service and grab meritocracy. I don’t usually find myself doing that the other way around. By the time you unlock the civic even if you take it early you’re almost certainly not going to have very many if any techs that will work with this wonder that you also want any time soon. Furthermore it’s a pretty steep 400 hammers for its effect. At least the campus with a library requirement isn’t that bad, since you’ll probably build some of those pretty early on after your military and expansion priorities are covered so you can research all the techs you want quickly enough to not need this. Unless you really need the writing slots you’re almost never going to build this wonder. As an added deathblow amphitheatres were just patched to give 2 writing slots too, so you probably won’t even need this for that.
I guess if you were going for a super linear rushing strategy in the tech tree and ignored a ton of early techs you might maybe be able to get some use out of this, but that’s a stretch, and even then it wouldn’t be that helpful because by the time you went back to those early techs they’d probably already be 1 or 2 turns anyway.
- Games and Entertainment
- 400 production
- Placement: flat land next to entertainment district
- Effects: +2 culture and +3 amenities for all your cities within 6 tiles of the wonder
In a complete 180 from the last wonder on the list, the colosseum is easily one of the best wonders in the game. +2 culture and +3 amenities ain’t much by itself. +2 culture and plus 3 amenities in what will easily be something like 6 or 7 or maybe even 8 cities depending on placement is a pretty huge bonus. Immediately the culture per turn from this will allow you to build a pretty big lead in the civics tree, while the happiness often throws your cities into happy or even ecstatic, giving you some pretty nice bonuses there too. Later game the culture will still be somewhat meaningful unless you’re going heavy on theatre squares, and the amenities will be priceless once housing stops being an issue. The only problem with it is its requirement. You don’t often find yourself building E districts much in the early game or at all until you *need* them. It is, however, 100% worth it to build an E district if you think you can get this wonder and your city placement isn’t horrible for it, so long as you don’t have such a small military that you’ll get run over or something or are falling way behind in the tech tree, etc. Also an amazing wonder to use great engineers that give wonder production on. You don’t even need an arena first to build this, which kind of surprises me. Brazil especially loves this wonder since their carnivals are half off and don’t cannibalize a district slot. Germany also does because of their free district slot and even wider than usual tendencies. If you can get the colosseum you will be in a great place throughout the rest of the game.
- 400 production
- Placement: on the coast next to a harbor
- Effects: +3 gold, + 1 trade route slot and get a free trader
A nice little wonder. In a bit of an awkward place on the tech tree: you’re often not going to take shipbuilding super early on unless you’re on an island map, waiting to go back for it so you can work towards the production techs it eventually leads to. Its placement is good: no lighthouse requirement here, and you’ll be building harbors pretty much always in cities that can because of the trade route slot you get from the harbor. The free trader is basically a discount to its cost, and it’s nice to have immediately when the slot opens up. The problem here other than its tech placement is you’ll likely want to build a harbor and a commercial hub before you build this, because all of them give trade route slots and the harbor and commercial hub are probably going to be cheaper and can have other helpful buildings on them. Still, it’s worth building it when you have time but not worth rushing to or prioritizing. Overall decent bonuses that will help you immediately and give you that slot for the rest of the game.
The Mahabodhi Temple
- 400 production
- Placement: Must be built in the woods next to a holy site with a temple, and the player needs to have founded a religion
- Effects: +4 faith, gain 2 free apostles
Now we get to see if any of the religious wonders (besides stonehenge) can help make religion worthwhile!
Spoilers: they don’t.
You’re paying 400 hammers to get 2 apostles. That’s the definition of a horrible trade. There’s really not much else to say, except that its placement is extremely specific. Might be worth it late game if you have a city with an asston of production sitting around that can build it in a very small number of turns when apostles start getting really expensive. But because the AI is obtuse and seems to forget that it’s apparently able to ♥♥♥♥ out apostles for obscenely cheap, they’ll probably build it before then anyway.
- 400 production
- Placement: flat desert or floodplains
- Effects: the city that built it gains 2 food, 2 gold, and 1 production on all its non floodplains desert
Pretty much the exact same sort of bonus in V, meaning you either really, REALLY want this wonder or don’t give a sod about it. Turns a city with a lot of desert (especially desert hills) into a powerhouse. Sadly no free trader or trade route too here, but that’s ok because you’re going to build it anyway in that one desert city you put down specifically to take advantage of it or started with.
Highly competitive if someone else in the game needs it. Often worth taking with little desert to deny it to someone too. Also one of if not the best wonder to use one of the wonder engineers on if you have one at this point, since the petra city will often suck at everything until it’s built, including sucking at building it.
If you have a desert start bias be wary of other civs that are near you and those that also have desert start biases, since you’ll often be racing them for this with game winning or losing consequences.
- 400 production
- Placement: grassland or plains next to an encampment with a level 1 building in it (baracks or stable)
- Effects: +2 great general points per turn: every land unit you have gains a promotion, and your archaeologists can enter others territory without open borders
Kind of an middling build requirement, though you usually end up with an encampment pretty early on if you need to build something you only have one strategic resource for anyway. The barracks or stable is more optional early but often still worth making before you make an army. The T. Army is ok for rushing someone really fast and helping your units stick, since it essentially gives every one of your units a heal once it’s done, though depending on your gamespeed that may be more or less useful. Trying to use it to get pricier promotions is also nice if you have a lot of veterans sitting around. The archaeologist thing can be nice since the AI won’t war you to kill them when they enter their lands, but I wouldn’t go trying to take advantage of that in a multiplayer game.
I’m kind of negative on this wonder. I’m not a big personal fan overall: if I’m going to war I’d probably rather just have the hammers go to more units than this. Still I haven’t experimented terribly often with it, so maybe I’m underrating the free heal/promo on everyone.
- 710 production
- Placement: hills next to an encampment
- Effects: +1 great general point, + 2 amenities, + 1 military policy slot and acts as a fort
Alhambra is the first of the ‘policy slot’ wonders. Policies in civ VI are generally quite powerful, so anything that gives you more makes for a pretty strong bonus. Military slots, however, are overall the weakest as they tend to carry the more situational bonuses or weaker overall bonuses compared to economic slots. Alhambra tries to make up for that with its amenities. 2 amenities for that city is nice but not a gamechanger, and the fact it acts as a fort is just a random addition that makes sense with the wonder.
More helpful if you’re running governments with less military policy slots. Though military policies are overall the weakest, their slots are worth more the less you have (this is true of all the slots, except wildcards which are always worth more than the others because anything can go in them). There are also plenty of decent bonuses you can get with them, like amenities from a garrison or reduced maintenance cost, which are nice to keep in while you run the more specific cards like maneuver. Overall a good wonder, but not nearly as strong as the other 3 policy wonders.
- 710 production
- Placement: in a rainforest
- Effect: all rainforest tiles in this city’s radius give you 1 extra production and 2 extra culture.
Similar in many aspects to petra, this will turn a rainforest city into a more powerful city. If you get quite a few rainforests in a city’s radius, you can make that city really strong culturally, which can be quite nice if you are going weak on the theatre squares (you usually are). Not as worth prioritizing as petra though, but if you have a city that can make use of it it’s probably worth it if there aren’t any other super pressing matters. It can be a bit expensive for the cities that would best utilize it, and is a lot more optional for a rainforest city than Petra is for a desert city.
Mont St. Michael
- Divine Right
- 710 production
- Placement: Floodplains or Marsh
- Effects: +2 faith, 2 relic slots, all your apostles get the martyr promotion
Looks like it’s another miss for the religious wonders. Mont St Michael gives you a bonus for something that you don’t want to happen as opposed to something you do.
In theory you could use all but one of the charges on an apostle and then send them into combat mode, killing as many other religious units as it can before it dies off, then taking the relic. But why would I do that when I can run this cavalry speed unit back to a holy site to heal, and murder any enemy apostles with my military that come close to it in the meantime, before sending it out on another debate mission, provided I didn’t just use it up in the first place? Not to mention your religion loses a ton of influence in a large radius when a religious unit gets killed. Martyr doesn’t even proc when killed by enemy military units for some reason.
Hilariously the civilization this wonder would actually be best with, the Kongo, can’t even make good use of it because they can’t found a religion, meaning they can’t make a ton of apostles to get a lot of (7) relics from (they do get apostles in specific situations, but they can’t churn them out like no one’s business or grab holy site buildings with slots for them. They also can’t make holy sites and thus can’t make temples which means they’re limited to 7 relics if you build this [5 in the capital 2 on this]. yay?). According to the placement you don’t need a religion to build it for… some reason, so I guess they could still use it, but then you have to let yourself get converted and it turns into a bit of a luck based affair at that point. For everyone else it’s pretty much trash.
You also might not even take divine right, instead opting to move towards exploration because merchant republic is the best tier 2 government almost all the time. It’s totally optional. Though if you’re going hard on religion and want theocracy you’re going to have to take it anyway, which I guess would be the only time you even think about taking religious wonders anyway.
- Military Tactics
- 710 production
- Placement: Lake tile next to land
- Effects: + 1 amenity from entertainment for each lake square next to it. +1 food and +1 production for each lake in your empire
How often do you find an area full of big lakes in civ VI? Pretty much never. That’s about how often this wonder comes in handy too. Obviously it’s going to be a lot more useful if you have tons and tons of lakes in your empire… but when does that happen? Even then the bonuses it throws on those lakes pale in comparison to petra and are weaker than chichen, despite the fact its tile type is a whole lot rarer.
To add insult to injury this wonder is on what may very well be the worst technology in the game: a dead end tech that gives you this and pikemen, which is a unit that may actually be even more useless than this wonder. It takes only 3 techs to get to knights and twice as many to get to pikes, and with the anti cav bonus pikemen only have 3 more strength than a unit that can move twice as fast as it. You’ll almost never even unlock huey, much less build it.
- 710 production
- Placement: flat land next to a holy site. You need a religion
- Effects: +4 faith, +2 great prophet points (which is meaningless because you need a religion to get this wonder), missionaries and apostles can spread an extra time
Finally a religious wonder that isn’t complete and utter trash! Though it is complete trash unless you’re going for a religious victory or need to spam spread your religion for some reason, but at least this wonder has a use. You can get a butt ton of spreads combining this with mosques, which is more value for each of your religious units, which makes a religious win that much easier.
It comes at a bit of an awkward time though. Typically when you hit education you’re going to want to spit out some universities pretty fast. So this is going to have to wait until after that most of the time. Plus enemies can war you to murder your religious units which pretty much makes religious victory impossible if your opponents have a brain. Luckily for you the AI do not.
- 920 production
- Placement: This one’s really weird. Next to a commerce hub with a market and next to a cattle resource. What?
- Effects: +5 gold, 2 great merchant points per turn, +1 trade route slot, trade routes from this city gain 2 gold for each bonus resource in this city.
This wonder is weird. It’s placement is oddly specific for what it does and it’s generally going to be random as to whether you can build it or not in a city unless you plan specifically for it. It’s bonuses are also sort of a random mish mash. The trade route slot is nice but it’s not 920 hammers nice. 5 gold is what a bank gives you, so if you want that just build a bank. What really makes or breaks this wonder is the 2 gold for bonus resources in this city for trade routes. You need a ton of bonus resources and the willingness to put all your routes in that city to really make this worthwhile. Though I guess it could be good in a city you want to centralize food and production in using internal trade routes (which is typically what you use your routes for) that also has a ton of bonus resources and nothing better to do, but that’s really specific. Overall you’ll have other things to build at this point, like the next wonder on this list, and you’re unlikely to be hurting for money or have a city that makes this worth it.
The Forbidden City
- 920 production
- Placement: On flat land adjacent to the city center
- Effects: +5 culture, + 1 wild card policy slot
Arguably the best wonder in the game. If it isn’t then it’s easily number 2. And it damn well better be because it’s the only thing printing actually gives you. But it’s so good that it’s worth rushing printing just to get this wonder. Prime candidate for both of gustave eiffel’s wonder building charges too if you’ve got him. Its placement is really easy, its effect is simple and amazing, and it even has a bit of culture to boot.
This wonder is the epitome of how strong policies are in this game. Just to have one more slot that takes any policy is enough to make this wonder one of if not the absolute best in the entire game.
The Venetian Arsenal
- Mass Production
- 920 production
- Placement: on the coast and adjacent to an industrial district
- Effects: You get two ships every time you build one ship: it’s Scythia’s ability but for boats. Also 2 great engineer points per turn
Amazing on an island map for making a big navy. Useless in any other situation. Getting double value for anything is great if you’re going to use that thing, so venetian arsenal is great if you’re going to make lots of boats. It’s placement requirements are sort of odd though. Overall navies are also worse in this game than armies because of the whole ‘don’t need to settle on the coast to build a navy’ thing. But a strong navy is still useful in a water map, and if a strong navy is what you seek, the arsenal will give you that in spades. Just make sure you build enough boats to actually get value off of this. After all, if you only build a couple of frigates after this you haven’t generated enough free hammers to make it worth it. Think big.
- 1170 production
- Placement: on a hill next to a mountain
- Effects: +2 culture, +3 faith, +1 diplo policy slot
One of the better wonders in the game for sure. It’s placement isn’t as hard as you might think it would be. Diplomatic policies tend to be weaker than economic ones overall, but you also tend to have less diplo slots than anything else except wildcards, meaning having an extra one is often worth quite a bit.
Again, policies are quite strong in this game, so more is better. With diplo policies you’re usually focused on city states or spies, and spies are quite strong in this game, so getting the extra slot gives you more room for stuff like cryptography, the suzerain based diplo cards, or gunboat diplomacy/charismatic leader, which all will do well in your government.
- Opera and Ballet
- 1450 production
- Placement: next to a theatre square district on flat land
- Effects: +2 great writer and great musician points per turn, 1 slot for a writing and music, 2 free civics
Eh. It’s a tourism wonder. It’s probably worth building if you’re going tourism. Otherwise I don’t think you’ll even unlock it, because opera and ballet is a dead end tech. It feels like one of the weaker tourism wonders with only 2 slots too, with only one of them being a music slot (don’t forget amphitheatres give 2 writing slots now, so writing slots are a lot less of a problem). The 2 free civics are nice, but if you’re going tourism and actually want to unlock and build this you’re probably making so much culture that it isn’t really that big a deal. If you’re anyone else you have to unlock this civic to build it, meaning you only effectively would get 1 free civic because otherwise you’d skip it. That’s effectively one civic for 1450 hammers, which sucks. Not to mention you probably won’t have built many if any theatres in the case where you aren’t a tourism player.
I’d like this wonder better if it gave you a musician.
Disclaimer: I haven’t really experimented much with tourism victories. I assume tourism wonders are worth building for tourism victories, but it’s very possible they aren’t and that you should just be going hard on the theatre square buildings for the work slots and using seaside resorts otherwise with a super wide focus, and putting the hammers after that into other things rather than tourism wonders. In that case you’d only want eiffel tower and cristo, which is a MUCH cheaper tourism path in terms of hammers. The game gets very tourism wonder heavy in the late game.
- 1450 production
- Placement: next to an industrial hub with a factory and a river
- Effect: this city gets +30%(!!!) production, and +1 production to all its mines and quarries
Remember when I said forbidden palace was only arguably the best wonder? That’s because the Ruhr exists. And The Ruhr is incredible. Production is far and away the most valuable resource in this game because of housing limiting your returns on food, and the Ruhr gives you a TON of it.
Here’s what you do with the ruhr. You put it in your central city, usually your capital that will be benefitting 100% from your factory and powerplant ring of production. You then send all/most of your internal trade routes from that one city. The ruhr then takes all that, and gives you another 30%, as well as increasing your mines power by another hammer before that 30%, and your quarries similarly. Throw in communism if you want later on and that becomes 40%. You will easily break 200 hammers in a well setup city with the ruhr. That’s before you throw in any specific bonuses like cav bonuses or the great people that double your production towards space parts. You will laugh at how fast you ♥♥♥♥ out units and spaceship parts when you’re using a set up Ruhr city. And the setup isn’t even that hard, in fact it’s something you’ll do in every game even without the ruhr. If you get one of the 100% bonuses to spaceship part great people, you will build those parts so fast it’ll make your head spin.
Be careful you don’t accidentally block the placement of this with a commerce hub. That tends to happen with germany because hansas get 2 production off commerce hubs, and commerce hubs like rivers. Otherwise the placement isn’t usually that hard, but you may need to think about it before you plop down the industrial zone.
Bonus points that this wonder is on a tech that you really really want. The factory requirement is a tier 2 building, which would be annoying but you’re going to build factories ASAP anyway so you won’t care.
- Scientific theory
- 1450 production
- Placement: flat grasslands or plains next to a campus with a university
- Effects: Gain 2 random technologies. +20% science in the city. 3 Great scientist points and 2 writing slots
Not that great overall. If this was more centralized like V a 20% boost to a city’s SPT would be nice. But in 6 it really isn’t. The 2 free techs are also random, meaning you could get 2 important techs or you could get military tactics, and no one wants military tactics. Usually you’re not that wanting of science at this point anyway, especially if you got some of the good great scientists. Its placement requirements aren’t that tricky, and the writing slots are ok I guess, but the 1450 hammer cost is really steep for what this does. This ain’t no ‘use oxford to break into radio for an ideology’ situation, sadly. Those 1450 hammers could go to something way more useful. Like the ruhr. In fact if you take nothing else from this guide, the one thought you walk away with should be “I must build the ruhr and the forbidden palace”.
- 1760 production
- Placement: next to a river and a commerce hub with a bank
- Effects: +6 gold, +1 economic policy slot, doubles current treasure
Pretty freaking great, though you still won’t find yourself rushing to it that often. Don’t know why, but the way the tech tree stacks up you usually don’t find yourself hitting economics super fast compared to other techs. Regardless this is often worth prioritizing when you get it, even with the high hammer cost. Economic policy slots tend to be the strongest besides wildcard ones, and if that weren’t enough it doubles your money, which can open up some really neat and money heavy purchasing/upgrade/patronage strategies if you save up your gold before building this. Even if you wouldn’t make much money off it though it’s still worth building for the slot.
- Natural History
- 1760 production
- Placement: next to a river
- Effects: 3 artist points, 4 great work of art slots
It’s a tourism wonder with quite a few slots and nothing else, though for some reason it seems only regular art or archaeology museums get theming bonuses in this game, which is lame. Again, like bolshoi if you’re going tourism you’ll probably wanna build this for the slots and the wonder tourism. Otherwise you’re not going to unlock it anyway unless you need zoos, which is true sometimes and sometimes isn’t.
- 2100 production
- Placement: flat land adjacent to your city center
- Effect: all your tiles gain +2 appeal
Normally you’re going to use this for a tourism victory involving seaside resorts and maybe a park or 2, but this also helps out your neighborhoods, so it’s more flexible than your typical ‘tourism victory only’ wonder. Overall I wouldn’t build this just for the neighborhoods, but if you plan on using lots of seaside resorts it’s worth going for. Less good as kongo because of how their neighborhood works, but you’ll still often end up building it as them if you want and are able to make lots of resorts. Also goes well with the next wonder.
- Mass Media
- 2100 production
- Placement: Hills
- Effects: +4 culture, tourism from holy cities and relics not diminished by other civs with the enlightenment civic, all your seaside resorts give double tourism
Man, they’re really stacking up the tourism wonders. The holy city and relic bonus is kind of useless: it might give you a few points of tourism here and there but you almost certainly aren’t going to stack relics, and there’s a good chance you won’t even bother with a religion. So this is really carried by its resort bonus. Are you doing a tourism game with lots of resorts? If yes, this is great. If not, then don’t waste your time. Goes well with the eiffel tower.
- Mass Media
- 2100 production
- Placement: flat land next to theatre square
- Effects: 3 great writer and great musician points, 1 slot for writing, 2 slots for music, free random atomic era civic boost
It’s ANOTHER tourism wonder. And on the same civic as Redentor too. Your production queue is stacked you late game tourism players. We need more civics and techs in this game to spread stuff out and add more stuff (and especially more pre reqs. This game lacks a lot of pre reqs that should exist). But anyway, build it for tourism games, don’t otherwise. I’m sounding like a broken record at this point. Its civic boost is worthless: if you’re actually building this you’ll be making so much culture one random boost isn’t going to matter. But we both know you’re going to build it anyway for the Xcom easter egg woven into its design.
I’d like this wonder better if it was 3 music slots. And if it had theming. Seriously, Why don’t these wonders have theming?
Estadio Do Maracana
- Professional sports
- 2835 production
- Placement: flat land adjacent to an entertainment complex with a stadium
- Effects: every city gets 2 amenities. +4 culture
This is supposed to be a better colosseum. Sadly, unlike the colosseum -which is amazing- Estadio sucks. In essence its main problem is that it’s too little too late. It has a steep cost with a steep requirement (you don’t want to be building stadiums willy nilly. I mean, you probably have nukes you should be building so you can nuke all the AI the turn after you win the game). The 2 amenities everywhere is nice, but it’s realistically going to be active probably at most, what, 50 turns? By the time you get to it you’ve probably already dealt with your amenities problems anyway and are busy focusing your production on your victory condition rather than things like this. A wonder that’d probably be a lot better if it were available a lot earlier.
The Sydney Opera House
- Cultural heritage
- 3300 Production
- Placement: Coast next to a harbor.
- Effects: 3 music slots, 8 culture, 5 musician points per turn
Here we are everyone, the last wonder in the game. And it’s another tourism wonder that’s not interesting at all. Great. Still can’t theme these wonders for some reason. I will complain about that until I’m blue in the face.
3300 hammers is more than the spaceship parts, so it’s not a cheap investment by any means. If you’re going tourism and you don’t feel like your late game tourism wonder build queue is full enough already then Sydney will fix that problem for you.
An added note: if you built every tourism wonder in the game, including redentor, the eiffel tower, and anything that gives you great work slots (not mont st. michael, relics aren’t cool enough), it’d cost you 14660 hammers. To build a spaceport, the satellite, the moon landing, and all three parts, you pay 15000 hammers. It’s obvious that that you don’t need to build all these wonders to win tourism, but I thought it was funny how hammer intense it can get for tourism, especially in the late game, provided these wonders actually are sort of worth building for tourism. The good news is you’re probably the only person who’s actually building those wonders if you’re going tourism, so you’re not pressed for time other than the whole ‘someone else could win the game’ thing.