6X games represent a sub-genre of strategy games that emphasize exploration, expansion, exploitation, extermination, experience, and expression. These games offer deep strategic gameplay and a rich, immersive experience, often requiring players to think several steps ahead. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of 6X games, offering strategies, tips, and insights to help you excel. Whether you are new to 6X games or a seasoned veteran, this guide will enhance your understanding and enjoyment of these complex and rewarding games.

What are 6X Games?

6X games expand on the traditional 4X (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) model by adding two additional elements: experience and expression. These games typically involve managing an empire, navigating through complex systems of resources, diplomacy, technology, and combat. The additional elements, experience and expression, focus on the personal growth and customization of your empire or characters within the game.

Key Elements of 6X Games

1. Exploration

Exploration is the foundation of 6X games. Players begin with a limited view of the game world and must explore their surroundings to discover resources, allies, enemies, and strategic locations. Effective exploration can give you a significant advantage by revealing valuable territories and potential threats early on.

2. Expansion

Expansion involves growing your empire by establishing new settlements, conquering territories, and increasing your influence. Balancing expansion with resource management is crucial, as overexpansion can lead to overextension and vulnerability.

3. Exploitation

Exploitation refers to the efficient use of resources to fuel your empire’s growth. This includes managing resources such as minerals, food, and energy, as well as developing technologies and infrastructure that enhance your resource production and utilization.

4. Extermination

Extermination involves the strategic elimination of rivals and threats. This can be achieved through military conquest, sabotage, or other means of weakening your opponents. Effective extermination requires careful planning, tactical execution, and an understanding of your enemies’ strengths and weaknesses.

5. Experience

Experience focuses on the growth and development of your characters, units, or empire over time. This can involve leveling up units, unlocking new abilities, or achieving milestones that provide bonuses and advantages.

6. Expression

Expression allows players to customize and personalize their empire or characters. This can include creating unique units, designing your cities, or making choices that reflect your playstyle and strategic preferences. Expression adds a layer of depth and immersion, making each game experience unique.

Popular 6X Games

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is a classic example of a 6X game, incorporating all six elements seamlessly. Players guide their civilization from the ancient era to the modern age, exploring new lands, expanding their empire, exploiting resources, exterminating rivals, gaining experience through technological and cultural advancements, and expressing their unique vision for their civilization.

Endless Legend

Endless Legend is a fantasy-themed 6X game that combines deep strategic gameplay with a rich, immersive world. Players choose from various factions, each with unique abilities and playstyles, and embark on a journey to dominate the world of Auriga. The game emphasizes exploration, expansion, and customization, allowing players to shape their empire in countless ways.


Stellaris is a science fiction 6X game that focuses on space exploration and empire building. Players control a species that has just achieved space travel, exploring the galaxy, expanding their territory, exploiting resources, exterminating threats, gaining experience through research and development, and expressing their unique cultural and ideological vision.

Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Age of Wonders: Planetfall combines elements of traditional 4X games with tactical turn-based combat. Players explore a post-apocalyptic world, expand their empire, exploit resources, and exterminate rivals, all while developing their units and customizing their strategies.

Total War: Warhammer II

Total War: Warhammer II blends grand strategy with real-time tactical battles. Players control one of several fantasy factions, exploring the world, expanding their territory, exploiting resources, exterminating enemies, and gaining experience through battles and campaigns. The game’s customization options allow players to express their unique tactical and strategic preferences.

Galactic Civilizations III

Galactic Civilizations III is a space-based 6X game that emphasizes exploration, expansion, and customization. Players build and manage a galactic empire, discovering new planets, exploiting resources, and exterminating rival civilizations. The game offers deep customization options, allowing players to design their ships, create unique factions, and shape the galaxy according to their vision.

Tips and Strategies

Effective Exploration

To maximize your exploration efforts, prioritize scouting units and technologies that enhance your ability to discover new territories and resources. Establishing early contact with potential allies or enemies can provide valuable strategic insights.

Balanced Expansion

When expanding your empire, focus on balancing growth with resource management. Establish settlements in resource-rich areas and develop infrastructure that supports sustained growth. Avoid overextending your empire, which can lead to vulnerabilities and resource shortages.

Resource Management

Efficient resource management is crucial for maintaining a strong and stable empire. Prioritize technologies and policies that boost resource production and optimize the utilization of your available resources. Trade with allies to supplement your needs and gain strategic advantages.

Strategic Extermination

When dealing with rivals, adopt a strategic approach to extermination. Analyze your enemies’ strengths and weaknesses, and plan your attacks accordingly. Use a combination of military force, diplomacy, and sabotage to weaken your opponents and eliminate threats.

Experience and Development

Focus on the growth and development of your characters, units, or empire to gain long-term advantages. Invest in technologies, policies, and infrastructure that enhance your units’ abilities and unlock new opportunities for expansion and conquest.

Express Your Vision

Use the customization options available in 6X games to express your unique vision for your empire. Design units, cities, and factions that reflect your playstyle and strategic preferences. Personalizing your empire adds depth and immersion to your gaming experience.


Q1. What is the difference between 4X and 6X games?

While 4X games focus on exploration, expansion, exploitation, and extermination, 6X games add two additional elements: experience and expression. These elements emphasize the growth and development of your characters or empire over time and allow for greater customization and personalization.

Q2. Are 6X games difficult to learn?

6X games can be complex and challenging, especially for new players. However, many games offer tutorials, guides, and difficulty settings that help players learn the mechanics and gradually improve their skills.

Q3. What are some beginner-friendly 6X games?

Sid Meier's Civilization VI and Endless Legend are considered beginner-friendly 6X games due to their intuitive interfaces, helpful tutorials, and adjustable difficulty settings.

Q4. Can I play 6X games with friends?

Many 6X games offer multiplayer modes, allowing you to play with or against friends. This adds an additional layer of strategic depth and competition, enhancing the overall experience.

Q5. How can I improve my skills in 6X games?

Improving your skills in 6X games involves practice, strategic planning, and learning from your mistakes. Study guides, watch gameplay videos, and participate in online forums to gain insights and tips from experienced players.


6X games offer a rich and immersive strategic experience that challenges players to think critically and plan ahead. By mastering the elements of exploration, expansion, exploitation, extermination, experience, and expression, you can build a powerful and unique empire. Whether you are new to 6X games or a seasoned veteran, this guide provides the strategies and insights you need to dominate the game and achieve success.

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