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Ahoy, Me Hearties! Civilization VI's free Pirates game mode is out now

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Fancy sailing the seas and becoming king of the pirates? We're not talking about One Piece but Civilization VI with the latest major free update out now.

Inspired by the classic Sid Meier's Pirates!, this freshly included game mode sees 1-4 players take on the role of a Pirate King. Across 60 turns, each player will go around pillaging cities, ships, build a big fleet, collect Relics to power up and attempt to become the true king. You lose by having nothing left, you win by having the most points at the end. It totally changes the gameplay, much like the Red Death battle royale mode did.

You're not alone either with four AI civilizations (Spain, Netherlands, England, and France) fighting to control the map, as well as Buccaneers, this scenario's version of Barbarians.

You can view their original explainer teaser of the pirate mode below:

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They also did a first-look video recently as well:

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Right now, it seems the matchmaking may have issues for Pirates, as it just seems to stay on "retrieving host information" in the Pirates mode and then never progresses. Thankfully, the game / server list works as normal, so you can still setup and manually join games.

I think it's great that Firaxis Games continue expanding what you can do in Civilization VI, and this Pirates mode is actually quite a lot of fun. Too limited with the turn timer perhaps, one I hope they tweak in future to allow more interesting games. As each time I tried it, I felt like half the game was gone before I had really been able to enjoy it. It goes to show it works as a game mode though, if we're still asking for "just one more turn". Sail between ports to grab fresh crew and a new treasure map, sink a few ships on the way to increase your score, send people ashore to dig up treasure - easily enjoyable.

Quick tip: on Manjaro/Arch you may need this launch option on Steam to run it:

LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/ %command%

Fedora may need this:

LD_PRELOAD=/lib64/ %command%

To do this:

  1. Right-click on the game title under the Library in Steam and select Properties.
  2. Under the General tab click the Set launch options... button.
  3. Enter the launch option from above
  4. Launch it

Sid Meier's Civilization VI is for Linux PC is available on the Humble Store and Steam.

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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jrt Oct 23, 2020
This looks like a lot of fun for a free update!
randyl Oct 23, 2020
Thanks for the distro specific tips. I think it's great you add those.
kaiman Oct 23, 2020
While this may have indeed Pirates as its sole inspiration, the whole competitive aspect reminds me more of the fighting fantasy book Seas of Blood.
Mountain Man Oct 23, 2020
Quoting: GuestThey need to just make a new Pirates game already!
Alternatively, just give the 2005 remake an HD remaster with all new art assets and widescreen support, and I'd buy it.
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