‘Civilization VI’ will let you befriend barbarians in its next free update

Pillage them as before, or work with them to take on your opponents.

Fraxis / 2K

Over its 30-year history, there’s been one constant to the Civilization series, and that’s barbarians. Since 1991, they’ve been there to act as a thorn in your faction’s progress and a way for you to earn some early gold. But that’s about to change.

In a video spotted by Eurogamer, Civilization VI developer Fraxis detailed the game’s upcoming Barbarian Clans mode, which you’ll be able to download for free on February 25th. The mode adds six barbarian tribes that will spawn near different areas of the map. For example, you’ll find the Hills Clan near hills, while the Rover Clan will have settlements near horses. Each tribe will field its own unique units, and they’ll working be towards becoming a city-state. How you interact with a nearby clan will affect its progress toward that goal.

As usual, you can opt to eliminate each tribe as you can encounter them. But if you want to get crafty, you can bribe them to attack one of your opponents. It’s also possible to hire barbarian units to add them to your army, as well as sack their settlements for gold. Those changes should make gameplay more interesting, but they'll also help the game better reflect history. Rome, for example, may have been sacked by the Visigoths, but it also worked with them to defeat the Huns at the battle of the Catalaunian Plains. The Roman Empire wasn't above bribing different tribes to stay away from its borders either.