Building big cities is one of the attractions of 4X games, but old worldThe urban centers of are a bit different from those of its cousins. From Babylon to Rome, your Bronze Age cities will, under your leadership, become legendary metropolises whose names will be remembered throughout history.

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Building cities in the Old World requires a careful balance of resources, as well as forethought and an eye for clever tile mining. The number of cities on the map is limited, so your strategy will also have to include expansion by military means. This guide has all the information you need to cover the world of civilization’s shining beacons.


City sights

Cities can only be built on or near City sights, which are scattered freely across the map. Each city site is surrounded by one or more city tiles, and any of these can serve as the foundation tile for your next city. To found a new city, move a Settler to an eligible tile and choose a noble family to monitor it.

Before colonizing a city, it is good to hover over each of its Urban tiles with your colon selected. This will show an overview of the initial city borders, which may change depending on the location of the city center. try to get as many resources and productive tiles as possible In one time.

If a military unit is positioned directly on an empty city site, only the controller of this unit can found a city there. Parking your troops on prime terrain will prevent your opponents from taking over the land before your settlers arrive.

Each tribal and barbarian encampment is positioned on a city site, so a lot of your first expansion may require hunting them down. These camps are not cities themselves, so even if you eliminate the units guarding it, you will still need to use a settler to activate the city site. A camp cleaned but left unattended ends up causing his guards to reappear.

Once a city is founded, it remains a permanent feature on the map. The only thing that can destroy a city is to see its city center ransacked by the barbarians. A nation that violates a downtown must maintain a military unit there for several consecutive turns force a change of ownership.

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City statistics

Each city has three main stats, which can be seen on the city screen or checked at a glance by watching under the name of the city on the world map. These statistics are:


In green, the citizens represent the city qualified population. Cities gain a citizen each time their growth reaches a certain threshold, so crop and livestock operation Where construction of attics is an effective way to boost your population.

Every citizen can be continuing education as a specialist, allowing you to get the most out of the upgrades you build. See below for more information on specialists and upgrades.

A city with more Citizens than City tiles will begin to suffer penalties. A city affected in this way can be easily spotted, as the number of citizens will be displayed in red. Build urban improvements on rural tiles to add the housing and infrastructure needed to support your growing population – no matter what urban improvement you build, any will do.


Culture represents the city arts development, from poetry and theater to painting and sculpture. Shown in teal, it’s a measure of the overall greatness of the city. Once a city has developed enough culture, its culture level will increase. This provides the owning player with victory points and allows the town to build upgrades and more advanced projects.

If a city with a high culture level changes hands, its victory points are immediately transferred to the new owner. The same goes for all the Wonders present in the city. Conquering a Splendid City in the late game may be all it takes to secure a victory.

The cultural level of a city is easily indicated by a symbol to the left of its name:

Cultural level Symbol
Weak drama mask
Development Lyre
Strong Trophy
Legendary Laurels

Cities that reach legendary culture can keep leveling up, becoming Legendary 2 or, in truly exceptional cases, Legendary 3 and beyond. Only the most glorious cities will ever reach this point – will yours be one of them?


As you’d expect, unhappiness is a stat you want keep as low as possible. In most towns, Doom grows with each turn, eventually leveling up, as does Culture. A skilled governor, fair laws, and entertainment can control misfortune, but it almost always grows.

With an aggressive combination of odeons, theaters, amphitheatres, temples and their associated specialists, it is technically possible to get a net reduction in a city’s unhappiness per turn. It’s an expensive and time-consuming proposition, so depending on your priorities, it’s often best to just deal with the misfortune.

Each level of Unrest increases the upkeep costs of the city and results in a unlikely hostile rebels to spawn. The occasional festival will remove much of the unhappiness, but it always comes back.

Cities that are attacked will suffer a small amount of unrest, and unrest growth increases if a city’s defenses are not repaired. A city that suffers a prolonged siege will likely see its level of discontent rise rapidly.


Upgrades are the main way to enhance a city and are built directly on the board by Workers and Disciples. Each tile within a city’s borders can have until improvement. Urban improvements can be built on any tile, but if built on a rural tile, they will permanently become an urban tile. Rural improvements, on the other hand, can be built only on rural tiles.

Rural improvements

The first upgrades in most towns will be on rural tiles. These improvements produce raw materials – Food, iron, stone and wood. Your empire will need plenty of each if it is to thrive, so when in doubt, it’s always worth building a new rural improvement!

If a city tile contains a resource, build the appropriate improvement on it modify or improve the result of the improvement. For example, building a quarry on a marble deposit will not only produce significantly more stone than usual, but also provides the city with two Civics per turn.

Urban improvements

City upgrades tend to produce societal resources that will either directly improve the city or benefit your empire as a whole. Growth, culture, civics, training, and science are all common returns from urban improvements. Urban improvements also allow heavier investment via specialists than rural upgrades, allowing you to get the most out of a single tile if you’re willing to put in the time.

Many city upgrades, such as fortresses, can only be built in a city that has reached a sufficient level of Culture. These will have the corresponding Culture icon next to their name.

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Most upgrades allow the city to train a specialist, which further increases the production of its tiles. Rural specialists are needed to extract resources from the map, which is especially important because it allows you to store luxuries to trade. They too claim all neutral tiles adjacent to their own once they have completed their training.

Urban Specialists can be trained multiple times, progressing from Apprentice to Master to Elder and increasing their output with each level. Upgrading an Urban Specialist allows you to get more benefits from it without further relying on the city specialist limit.

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From training troops and specialists to expanding the city’s bureaucracy, projects are carried out downtown. Each requires a different resource and consume all of the city’s production of that resource while it is running. This allows you to specialize cities, but also encourages players to run the production of a city for the sake of their reserves.

With the right laws, the right governor or the right noble family, the project of a city can be accelerated complete it in one turn. The cost of doing so depends on the capacity used, and always suffers a slight increase in unhappiness.

Many projects have an initial raw material cost on top of their production cost per turn.

training unit

The City Project can be dedicated to training units. Growth is used to train civilian units, while training is used to produce military units. Militia and conscripts, although combat units, are counted as civilians for this purpose. This means that if the going gets tough, you can keep pumping in troops while still booking your training for battlefield promotions and assignment of generals.

Specialists and bureaucracy

Specialists are trained using Civics, so investing heavily in them can slow down your ability to appoint governors or councillors, pass laws and choose a state religion. The same goes for bureaucracy upgrades such as Treasures, festivals and forumswhich provide both a one-time bonus and a permanent bonus for the city in which they are built.

The level of a bureaucracy upgrade adapts to the cultural level of the cityso they will still be useful even for legendary cities.

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