Civilization VI's winter update helps the computer think better


— 10:00 AM on December 22, 2016

The Winter update for Civilization VI is now live, bringing new features alongside a variety of smaller fixes that promise to improve the gameplay experience. On top of this free update, Firaxis also released a pair of DLC packs that bring new civilizations with their own leaders and natural wonders.

The winter update brings a new standard-size Earth map and easier access to scenarios. Once you jump into the game, you'll be able to put your units into a new "Alert" mode, similar to previous titles' Sentry mode. Once in Alert mode, units will simply sleep until they spot an enemy unit, leaving you to focus on more important things.

Alongside those new features, Firaxis is touting some AI improvements. Your AI opponents should now evaluate deals and promises better. Promises in particular will now be more heavily influenced by factors like the AI's opinion of you and whether or not you've kept previous promises. In a game where diplomacy is a key mechanic, these could make a big difference in strategic plays.

If you're itching for some new civilizations to play, Civilization VI's new DLC packs should provide a satisfying scratch. The Polish Civilization pack adds the Poland civilization and leader Jadwiga to the game, as well as the Jadwiga's Legacy scenario. The scenario tasks you with defending Poland, Prague, and Vienna from the Teutonic Knights and Ottoman turks, and adds the Winged Hussar unique unit and the Sukiennice unique building.

The Vikings Scenario Pack, Firaxis says, is the "most detailed scenario released yet" for Civilization VI. It includes six new city-states, adds three new natural wonders to the base game, and adds the "Vikings, Traders, and Raiders!" scenario. This scenario lets you play as one of three Viking leaders, and has you invading England, conquering Paris, finding Vinland, or sailing through Gibraltar and raiding the Mediterranean Sea.

The Civilization VI winter update is available now, as are both the Poland and Vikings packs. The update is free and should automatically install on your game. Both DLC packages are $4.99 on Steam.

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