Civ 6: Complete Portugal Guide, Best Victory Types, Abilities, and Strategies

Get to grips with the new Civilization, Portugal, in our complete guide to the Civ 6 expansion faction.

Image Source: Sid Meier’s Civilization, via YouTube

Civilization VI has finally released the sixth and final part of the New Frontier Pass, and this time, we get the Portugal Pack. The new Civ 6 DLC Pack includes a new game mode and some new Wonders, but the big draw is definitely the addition of Portugal as the 50th unique Civilization. 

Players who have the New Frontier Pass or purchase the Portugal Pack separately will be able to start enjoying Portugal as an in-game Civilization from its release date, March 25. It can be exciting to try these new additions, but there’s also a lingering question about how to best make use of this new content. 

So, here’s how you should go about building your Civilization as Portugal when you get the new DLC.

How to use João III of Portugal and the Unique Abilities

Image Source: Sid Meier’s Civilization, via YouTube

The Portuguese are the 50th unique Civilization in Civ 6, and they are led by the new leader, João III. The King of Portugal from 1521 to 1527, João III made a huge impact on Portugal’s standing on the world stage, and he helped the Portuguese become the first Europeans to make contact with China and Japan. 

João III and Portugal will come with some unsurprisingly trade-focused and naval-centric bonuses in Civ 6, but these are definitely ones that can be utilized to an impressive extent. First, let’s take a look at the unique abilities and bonuses of this new Civilization and Leader. 

Portugal Civilization Ability: Casa da Índia

Portugal’s Civilization Ability is focused on Trade, and while the restrictions on where you can send a Trade Route may seem frustrating, the trade-off is more than worthwhile. Especially if you’re playing on a water-heavy map like Archipelago, Portugal is going to be a trading powerhouse with this Ability. 

  • Effect: International Trade Routes can only be sent to cities on the coast or with a harbor, but gain a +50% increase to all yields. Traders have +50% range over water, and can embark as soon as they are unlocked. 

João III Leader Bonus: Porta do Cerco

The Leader Bonus that pairs with Portugal through João III is also focused on Trade and water. Sight and open borders with City-States will help you quickly reveal the map. Every time you meet another Civilization in the process, you’ll earn yet another Trade Route capacity increase. 

  • Bonus: +1 Sight for all units. Meeting another civilization grants +1 Trade Route capacity. Gains Open Borders with all City-States. 

Portugal Unique Unit: Nau

Every Civilization has its own unique unit, and for Portugal, it’s the Nau: a Renaissance Era naval melee unit that replaces the Caravel. On top of its core stats, the Nau can use each of its two build charges to construct the Feitoria – a unique tile improvement only available to Portugal. 

  • Stats: Sight of 3, Movement of 4, Melee Strength of 55, and 2 Build Charges.
  • Starts with one free Promotion.
  • Lower Gold maintenance cost.
  • Unlocked with Cartography Technology.

Portugal Unique Tile Improvement: Feitoria

The Feitoria is an especially interesting tile improvement, largely because you’re not actually constructing it in your own territory. Instead, you’ll send your Nau to a foreign land where you’ve sent a Trade Route, and the tile improvement will benefit both that foreign Civilization or city-state whilst boosting your Trade Route. 

  • Improvement Effects: +4 Gold and +4 Production to the city that owns the tile, +4 Gold and +1 Production to Portuguese Trade Routes to this city.
  • Must be built on a Coast or Lake tile adjacent to the land and a Bonus or Luxury Resource in the territory of another Civilization or city-state with whom you have Open Borders.
  • It cannot be adjacent to another Feitoria and cannot be removed. 

Portugal Unique Building: Navigation School

This Medieval Era replacement for the University is a building that will go in your Campus District, delivering significant benefits. In addition to major Science boosts and help acquiring a Great Admiral or Great Scientist, it grants building-boosting Production for naval units, helping you to train more Nau and spread your naval trade empire. 

  • Buildings Effects: +25% Production toward naval units in this city, +1 Science for every two Coast or Lake tiles in this city, +1 Great Admiral points per turn, +4 Science, +1 Housing, +1 Citizen slot, +1 Great Scientist points per turn.
  • Unlocked with Education Technology.

Best Victory Types for Portugal in Civ 6

Image Source: Sid Meier’s Civilization, via YouTube

If you’re planning to use Portugal in Civ 6, there are two Victory Types that stand out significantly, and a third that is also a solid alternative. Due to the massive Science bonuses from the Navigation School, pursuing a Science Victory is the most obvious course of action. 

However, the significant amount of International Trade Routes you’ll be using also makes pursuing a Culture Victory a really great idea. The reason for this is that those International Trade Routes will make a huge impact on Tourism. 

Finally, you could look to pursue a Diplomatic Victory. This may be less clear, but these Trade Routes could very well lead to great relationships with other rival Civilizations and even City-States, which will help you to accumulate Diplomatic Favor to utilize on the way to a Diplomatic Victory

You could attempt a Domination Victory through naval combat or a Religious Victory if you felt like it, but these feel like significantly less efficient paths to victory when compared to the other options for Portugal in Civ 6. 

Best Victory Strategies for Portugal in Civ 6

Image Source: Sid Meier’s Civilization, via YouTube

The number one thing that you want to do with Portugal is to start heavy on naval exploration. Research key Technologies like Sailing and Cartography, and train-up naval units as quickly as possible. Once your naval units are trained, send them out on exploration voyages to meet other Civilizations immediately. 

It’s important to do this as early as possible, as you’ll boost your Trade Route Capacity in the process; the sooner you add those Trade Routes, the sooner you’ll get yields from them. Portugal’s boosted Sight for units will also help you establish these essential routes. 

Once you’re rolling, utilize the Nau both for exploration and to build the Feitoria improvement in foreign lands where you have a Trade Route. However, you’ll need to be careful not to end up at war with the Civilizations situated where you build the Feitoria. If that happens, your active Trade Routes to where the Feitoria was built will stop benefiting you, while that rival keeps their own bonuses. 

Continue this process, and it will boost your Science and Culture, charting your path to either a Science or Culture Victory, as mentioned above. If you want to pursue a different Victory Type, all of these methods and the Science, Culture, and Gold gained from them will still help you along the way. 

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