Sometimes another leader comes sniveling that I am settling cities too close to them. One option is to agree to "stop settling cities so close to us" or something to that effect.

How do I know whether or not settling a particular location will break my agreement? I cannot find any obvious criteria from playing the game, and there is no warning popup when I settle cities.

edit: To clarify, I'm asking about after I agree to "stop settling cities near [them]". What I want to know is where I am permitted to settle a city without breaking the agreement.

  • No numerical evidence but from pure experimentation i found that if your cities max borders would overlap with their cities max borders, then it is considered 'too close' as you would effectively pinch land and resources from them
    – user48195
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 15:13
  • I also don't have any evidence however every time I settle a city in a place that a neighboring nation would also consider close enough for their city expansion my neighbor seems to get angry and tell me to stop settling near them.
    – Quinma
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 16:29
  • it also depends on the leaders personality. a non expansive leader like Gandhi doesnt care if you settle right next to him. I just did this in my last game. Although he didn't like it when i took his capitol because he was stealing all the wonders i wanted -_-
    – Paralytic
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 15:03

5 Answers 5


In my experience, If your city is at least 7 tiles away they will not object. 7 tiles is the minimum distance to prevent any overlap in workable tiles, as RhysW mentioned in his comment.

  • 1
    ah i thought it might be this, was still unsure though!
    – user48195
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 19:55
  • 7 tiles away from the border or the closest city?
    – Nolonar
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 8:35
  • My experience is that this is not true. Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 13:15
  • 1
    @AaronKurtzhals Are you saying that you can settle farther away than that and have them complain, or that you can settle closer with no issues. Additionally, you need to be certain they don't have any cities that you can't see in the fog of war too.
    – Lawton
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 14:34
  • @Nolonar from the closest city
    – Lawton
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 14:59

I've had good luck following the rule that if you can't see any of their tiles from your newly formed city when it's founded, you're fine. In other words, there must be at least two tiles from your new city to any tile within their territory. I wouldn't bet heavily on this being correct, but it's seemed to work for me.


Well... I don't know if the difficulty also affects this, but on emperor difficulty I settled even as far as 11 tiles away and my closest neighbour was like "yo what are you doing bro? You wanna start a war? why you up in my space? Yeah I'm gonna denounce your ass in about 10 turns".

I think higher difficulties set the diplomatic penalties way too high. Once Denmark sign a friend treaty with me. Asked me to start a war with a country of bad reputation, upon agreeing, he immediately backstabbed me and attacked. Rest of the world didn't seem to think much of that, but when I retaliated by taking over 2 Denmark's cities, the whole world started denouncing and declaring war on me. Don't make much sense. :D

  • Hi Allu, welcome to Arqade! What does "yo what are you doing bro?" mean in this context? Was it considered "near us", as per the OP's request? Your second paragraph seems completely redundant here. Pleas take the Tour to familiarize yourself with this platform (hint: this is not a forum).
    – Joachim
    Commented Sep 2, 2023 at 17:59
  • As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Sep 3, 2023 at 6:04

I think it is best to try by experimentation. The current leading answer to this question, 7 tiles, was incorrect in my game. It took eight tiles between me and his nearest city for him to be cool with it. As others have mentioned perhaps it depends on his personality or some other factor, so founding and then if he complains load a save, i.e. experimentation, seems prudent without further knowledge.


counting from city( where their city is tile 0) you must count 8 tiles before placing on the 9.th to be fare enough away

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