We're still waiting on word from Firaxis about when we can expect mod tools, but all the loose Lua and XML files hanging out in Civilization 6's directories already give us the opportunity to do some good tweaking. Mostly thanks to the eagle eyes of the Civit subreddit, here are a few ways to customize Civ 6 to your liking and get it running better. (Also read our Civilization 6 review if you haven't already—we like it a lot.)
Fix slow loading or freezing
As always, update your video drivers if you haven't recently. But if you've done all the standard troubleshooting and just getting to the Civ 6 main menu is still a long process, or it hangs on the way there, Windows Defender may be causing your grief. It definitely was for me: before I added an exception, loading the menu took ages and it would hang if I alt-tabbed.
To create a Windows Defender exception in Windows 10, open your PC's settings from the Start Menu. Click on 'Update & Security' and then select 'Windows Defender' in the side menu. Select 'Add an Exclusion' and choose to exclude a folder. Select the whole Civilization 6 install folder—if it's installed to the default Steam directory, that'll be: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Sid Meier's Civilization VI.
And that's it. If Windows Defender was your problem, the main menu should now load much faster and it ought to be a little more forgiving about alt-tabbing. If that doesn't work, Reddit user LoadTimes has some other suggestions.
Disable the startup logos
It's easy to disable the main intro video—it's in the options menu, under 'Application'—but also getting rid of the logo splash screens is slightly trickier. The trick comes from Reddit account Civ6LogoSkip, which is a very specific account to have, but a very useful one to us.
Navigate to \Base\Platforms\Windows\Movies in the Civilization 6 install directory—see the fix above if you don't know where to look, or right click on the game in your Steam library, then select Properties > Local Files > Browse Local Files. Unfortunately, just deleting logos.bk2 will cause Civ 6 to hang while loading. Instead, we have to replace it with a blank video.
Rename logos.bk2 to something else, and then either make a copy of WipeRight.bik and rename it logos.bk2 to replace the logos with a brief pattern, or (even better) download this blank bik video and use it instead.
Use WASD to control the camera
Reddit user Xacius has the details on this tweak. First, unbind W and A in the settings so you don't accidentally attack when you mean to move the camera. Now navigate to Civ 6's UI directory ([Your Install Directory]\Base\Assets\UI) and open the file WorldInput.lua with a text editor (WordPad works fine). Search for 'DefaultKeyDownHandler' to find the function we want to edit. You'll see four if/then statements which handle input from the arrow keys: Keys.VK_UP, Keys.VK_RIGHT, Keys.VK_DOWN, Keys.VK_LEFT. To add WASD control, we just need to tell it to also check if the WASD keys are pressed.
Here's how the 'if' statements should look when you've edited them:
if( uiKey == Keys.VK_UP or uiKey == Keys.W ) then
if( uiKey == Keys.VK_RIGHT or uiKey == Keys.D ) then
if( uiKey == Keys.VK_DOWN or uiKey == Keys.S ) then
if( uiKey == Keys.VK_LEFT or uiKey == Keys.A ) then
Now find the 'DefaultKeyUpHandler' function and make the same change, save the file and try it out. For more on how to muck with the controls, check out Xacius's comprehensive post.
Increase scroll speed
This is another tweak from Xacius. Open WorldInput.lua (in the folder \Base\Assets\UI) and search for the variable local PAN_SPEED. The line should look like this:
local PAN_SPEED :number = 1;
Just change the number to 2 to get around the map faster.
Change font sizes
Settings for fonts and their sizes are stored in Civ6_FontStyles_EFIGS.xml, which you'll find in \Base\Assets\UI\Fonts. Open the file with a text editor to start mucking with it, but save a backup first. I haphazardly set all the fonts to size 24 or higher and the result wasn't exactly attractive, as expected.
Turn off unit cycling
Unit cycling—which automatically swaps focus to the next available unit—drives me pretty nuts in wartime, so I was happy to see Reddit user Miramosa's tweak.
The option to turn off unit cycling did make it into the options file, but apparently not into the actual menu. The file you're looking for is UserOptions.txt, which you should be able to find in Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Civilization VI. Find the line that reads 'AutoUnitCycle 1', change the 1 to a 0, and save.
Enable team multiplayer
As Andy has written about in more detail, there is a way to enable team multiplayer in Civilization 6, even if Firaxis isn't ready to enable it officially. A 2K rep told us that this is "not a feature supported" by Civ 6, and recommends backing up any files you mod.
Team multiplayer is easy to flip on, though. Find the file StagingRoom.lua in your Civilization 6 install directory (it'll be in \Base\Assets\UI\FrontEnd\Multiplayer\) and open it in a text editor. Search for the line 'playerEntry.TeamPullDown:SetHide(true);' and change its value to false. Note that 'playerEntry.TeamPullDown:SetHide' appears other places in the file, but only one is set to true by default, so be sure to find that one. There's a note above it that reads 'IMPORTANT: DISABLING TEAM PULLDOWNS UNTIL DAY 0 PATCH' if you aren't sure. We're our own Day 0 patch!