Civilization 6 secret societies explained

Civilization 6’s secret societies are part of one of the best game modes, so follow our guide to get to grips with how everything works

A picture of a map in a game of Civilization 6. The map is made of hexagonal tiles and has different things like grass, sand, and snow covering it. On top are various buildings and characters that are not to scale, appearing much bigger than they would in real life. It looks like a hyper-realistic board game.

Civilization VI is such a massive game, developed over many years and then added to over its lifetime. There are three different versions of the main game, alongside different add-ons that can change the experience dramatically.

One such addition is Civilization 6’s secret societies. There are four that you can join, each giving a different bonus. Some civs fare better by pairing with specific societies, too, so choosing the right one can be super helpful. There are also different methods for discovering each secret society, so we’ve explained how to do that too.

That’s why we’re here to help, explaining how each of Civ 6’s secret societies works and how to join them, and, thanks to the wonderful Reddit community, we’ve also got a rough idea of which civs work best with which society. For more of the same, check out our guide to the best games like Civilization, or, for something different, check out our Xenoblade Chronicles 3 preview to see how it’s looking so far.

Civilization 6’s secret societies

There are four secret societies in Civ VI. You can find them below, alongside the different bonuses each one offers.

Art for Civilzation VI, showing a giant volcano in the background, with lava flowing down it. In the middle and foreground is a large swathe of land from a bird's eye view, with various modern buildings, bridges, clouds and billows of smoke all over it.

The Owls of Minerva

  • Discovered when you send an envoy to a city-state
  • One additional economic policy slot
  • Bonus envoys from trade routes to city-states
  • Gilded vault unique building, offering culture adjacency bonuses and an additional trade route for cities with a harbour

The Hermetic Order

  • Discovered when you find a natural wonder
  • New resource ley lines which gives adjacency bonuses to all speciality districts
  • Bonus yields whenever a great person is earned
  • Alchemical society unique building that replaces the university, offering additional great merchant and engineer points, alongside increased production and gold

The Voidsingers

  • Discovered when you visit a tribal village
  • Old god obelisk unique building that replaces the monument, offering additional faith and great work slots
  • The cultist, a unique unit which can recruit followers in enemy cities to reduce their loyalty

The Sanguine Pact

  • Discovered when you defeat a barbarian camp
  • Vampire unique unit that gets stronger when adjacent units die
  • Vampires don’t die, rather they retreat and can be healed through pillaging
  • Vampire castles that offer defensive bonuses and extra yields (they can be built on an empty tile in territory that’s yours or empty)
  • Vampire castles can be used as teleports in later eras

How do I join one of Civilization 6’s secret societies?

Joining a secret society is super easy. Each society has a unique governor. All you have to do is choose the governor of the society you want to join and promote them. Easy as pie.

Which of Civilization 6’s secret societies is best?

That’s a little harder to define, so I’m going to turn to the community for help. The Civ community is massive, and, thanks to everyone’s passion for the game, they can be really helpful with understanding how all the different elements in the game function.

One Reddit user, Parkesy14, posted a Civilization 6 secret societies tier list, matching different leaders with the best society for it. You can check out the post here, and be sure to read the comments as there’s even more helpful information there too.

That’s all we’ve got on Civilization 6 secret societies. For more, check out our Xenoblade Chronicles 3 release date, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 trailers, and Xenoblade Chronicles 3 direct guides to get hyped for this massive RPG.