Civ 6 Update: Pirates Multiplayer Scenario and big changes revealed with October 2020 Patch Notes and video

Civ 6 fans, rejoice! 2020's October Update has arrived for players of Civilization 6, bringing the brand-new Pirates Scenario and much more. We've got the skinny on the patch notes for you right here, along with an eye-watering first-look video.

As the intro to the official Patch Notes explains, "This update includes the new Pirates multiplayer scenario, as well as some balance tweaks to previously-released New Frontier Pass content. We’ve also got some general fixes and AI adjustments included in this update. Read on for the full update notes."

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Keep reading for the full breakdown of this Civilization VI October Update, starting with that epic video...

Civ 6 Update: October 2020 Patch Notes video

As the developers behind the game have shared, here's the official video recap of what's going on in Civilization 6's October Update...

Civ 6 Update: Pirates Multiplayer Scenario explained

The new 'Pirates' scenario is described in the Patch Notes as "a fast, competitive scenario for 1-4 players. Each player takes the role of a Pirate King as they progress on their pirating career.

"Over 60 turns, players pillage ships and cities, build up their fleets, collect powerful Relics, and strive to become the most infamous pirate in the tropics. The scenario reimagines many aspects of Civilization VI so players can focus on new naval and scenario-specific gameplay.

"The four Pirate Kings aren’t only battling each other, however. There are also four AI civilizations (Spain, Netherlands, England, and France) fighting to control the map, as well as Buccaneers, this scenario’s version of Barbarians. Some of these barbarous fleets are even lead by history’s most recognizable Infamous Pirates."

As for how to win, we're told that "The Pirate King with the highest score at the end of 60 turns wins! Pirate Kings who lose all their units will be eliminated from the match."

Civ 6 Pirates Scenario Maps

The Patch Notes tell us about these two maps for the new scenario...

  • The Caribbean Islands: A handcrafted map of the historical Caribbean. Cities and ports are placed based on their real-world locations and should be familiar to anyone who has played Sid Meier's Pirates!
  • Pirate Islands: The Pirate Isles is a map script custom-built for the unfriendly seas of the Pirates scenario, full of mysterious islands, rich and vulnerable ports, and danger.

Civ 6 Pirate Leaders

The Dread Pirate is one of the leaders on offer here, and they're described thusly...

  • Walk the Plank (Active Ability): Can be used by every ship in the Dread Pirate’s fleet. Immediately sinks any badly-damaged enemy ship in exchange for +3 Movement and +5 Combat Strength for 5 turns.
  • Fightin’ is What We Do Best (Passive Ability): +10 Gold every time a unit engages in combat.

There's also Privateer, who's described like this...

  • Bring Her Home (Active Ability): Can be used by every ship in the Privateer’s fleet. Captures a badly-damaged enemy ship for the Privateer's patron. Using Bring Her Home grants +5 Infamous Pirate Points and +100 Gold in addition to the usual naval victory rewards. Takes 5 turns to recharge.
  • Letter of Marque (Passive Ability): Grants the Privateer a randomly-assigned AI civilization as a patron. The Privateer knows the location of all their patron's ports. Pillaging trade routes grants an additional 100 Gold.

Plus, there's the Swashbuckler...

  • Tack into the Wind (Active Ability): Every ship in the Swashbuckler’s fleet can Tack into the Wind to double their Movement for a turn. Takes 6 turns to recharge.
  • Sailing the Open Seas (Passive Ability): The Swashbuckler gains +1 Infamous Pirate Point for every 50 hexes revealed on the map.

And the Hoarder...

  • Chain Shot (Active Ability): As a free action, all ships in the Hoarder’s fleet can use the Chain Shot ability to anchor an enemy unit in place for two turns. Chain Shot takes 5 turns to recharge.
  • Mine! Mine! Mine! (Passive Ability): Unit Maintenance cost is reduced by 3. +10 Treasure Points for burying treasure. The Hoarder gets 3% interest on their gold reserves per turn.

Civ 6 Relics

There's also Relics to think about! "Relics are powerful unit upgrades that occasionally drop when performing actions such as visiting taverns, sinking ships, and finding treasure. Each Pirate King has three slots for active Relics and can swap Relics in and out to customize their playstyle." These include...

  • Singing Topmen: Reduces unit maintenance cost by 3 per unit.
  • Cursed Lucky Pieces of Eight: +3 gold per unit maintenance (higher chance of mutiny); 3% interest on gold reserves every turn.
  • Crates of Rum: +10 gold per turn.
  • Journal of Captain William Kidd: 50% chance of finding an additional treasure map when visiting a tavern.
  • Blackbeard’s Short Fuse: Every attack on an enemy ship reduces its movement on the next turn by 1 movement point.
  • L’Olonnais Cutlery: Gain gold based on the combat strength of defeated units.
  • The Krakannons: +1 Range for Sloops and Brigantines. +5 Combat Strength for naval units.
  • Jack Rackham’s Jolly Rogers: Gain 50 additional gold when pillaging a trade ship.
  • A Bonny Brace of Pistols: +1 additional attack for all units. All units can move after attacking.
  • Screaming Skull Fireshot: +3 Combat Strength for naval ships.
  • The North Sea Wind Fishing Floats: +2 movement for naval ships.
  • English Pointer Figurehead: Every ship will sense the closest unseen ship within 20 hexes.
  • Black Spot Branding Iron: +10 combat strength when fighting buccaneers or infamous pirates.
  • Dowsing Rod: Every ship can sense the closest treasure chest within 20 hexes.

Civ 6 October Update Full Patch Notes

Promising new game updates and plenty of balance/polish, the October Update for Civilization VI is not to be scoffed at. Here's a breakdown of ll the new stuff and what has changed...

Maya & Gran Colombia Pack

  • Reduce Llanero adjacent strength to +2 (was +4).
  • Drop Comandante Generals to no bonus movement (was +1 Movement).
  • Drop Hacienda to .5 Housing.
  • Hacienda can be affected by Drought natural disasters.
  • Cost scaling for purchasing the Nihang unit (Tech progression scales to 4x its base cost).
  • Fixed an issue preventing forest fires and meteor showers from showing up as intended in non-Apocalypse games.
  • [Gathering Storm] During Apocalypse mode, EYJAFJALLAJOKULL (Vikings Scenario Pack) erupts and can be triggered by soothsayers.
  • [Gathering Storm] Comet strikes that eliminate districts now permit the player to build the district (in a suitable location) again.

Ethiopia Pack

  • Trade City-States now give 2, 4, and 6 gold as their envoy bonuses.
  • Vampires now count Free Cities units as Barbarians for gaining combat strength.

Byzantium & Gaul Pack

  • [Rise and Fall] In Dramatic Ages, repeated Dark Ages will no longer result in a negative Golden Age threshold score. It is now a minimum of 0.
  • Updated the Era Score meter in Dramatic Ages to properly display information.


  • Spy missions can no longer be performed in cities of a player you have an Alliance with.
  • Recruit Partisans mission now pillages the Neighborhood district (so that it cannot be spammed), and spawns only anti-cavalry units (weaker units than previously).

Game Speed Scaling

  • Faith from the Initiation Rites pantheon and Barbarian camps.
  • [Gathering Storm] Favor cost of voting.
  • [Gathering Storm] Aluminum cost for the Lagrange Laser Station and Space Race project.
  • [Gathering Storm] Uranium cost for nuclear weapons.
  • Yields from both Tier 1 Naval Raider promotions (Gold), Gorgo’s Thermopylae ability (Culture), God of War Pantheon Belief (Faith), Native Conquest (Gold), Rough Riders (Culture), [Gathering Storm] from kills with the Mandekalu Cavalry (Gold), and [Maya and Gran Colombia Pack] Nihang’s Trehsool Mukh promotion (Faith).
  • The Great People points gained from the Great Scientist Alfred Nobel.
  • The amount of Gold obtained from a Barbarian camp.
  • [Gathering Storm] The Science gained from the Fez City-State.
  • Unit experience no longer scales with game speed.

General Fixes

  • [Gathering Storm] Rock Bands can no longer play on pillaged buildings and districts.
  • Fixed an issue where the Netherlands bonus of +50% towards Flood Barriers was not working.
  • When forming a Corps or Army within range of a Great General, only apply abilities marked as permanent to the Corps/Army.
  • Various crash fixes.


  • Reduce interest in AI trading for diplomatic favor in the ancient and classical era.
  • Decrease AI desire for Diplomatic favor.
  • Increased desire for Oracle and Pyramid.
  • Ensure AI repairs city defenses promptly.
  • Increase value of wall repair project based on value of the city.
  • Reduced the number of Spaceports an AI builds.
  • Reduced the value of Faith if they have an already high income.
  • Improvements to protect Settler units.
  • Additional AI updates.


  • [Ethiopia Pack] Re-order Governor panel to show Secret Society governors first.
  • Policy cards now feature their full description in the tooltip.
  • Fixed an issue where Civilopedia page history hotlinks were not working properly.
  • The progress meter is no longer shown on Techs or Civics once that it has reached the Researched state.
  • Civilopedia will no longer leak info on unrevealed techs or civics in Techs and Civics Shuffle Mode.
  • Unit panel now updates on turn end to show correct states for unit actions.
  • Beliefs are now sorted by type in the Religion screen.
  • [Gathering Storm] Added government lens color and used the standard palette for Gathering Storm government colors so they work with colorblindness adaptations.
  • Added support for painting and selecting tiles in World Builder on touch screens.
  • Various text updates.


  • [PS4/XB1/Switch] Fixed an issue where the loading animation for “Loading, please wait…” failed to appear after selecting the Exit to Main Menu button on the pause menu during gameplay.
  • [XB1] Fixed an issue where a second profile would be missing DLCs after switching from another profile.
  • [PS4/XB1/Switch] Fixed an issue where only enabling Tech and Civic Shuffle mode caused the incorrect mode information and image to display in the Create Game menu.
  • [PS4] Removed profile button prompt display in the multiplayer staging room.

And that's your lot! We're sure you'll agree this is a pretty significant update for Civ 6. Do we want to jump straight into some Pirates action? Yarrr!!

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