How is the cost of city maintenance calculated?

In BTS, hovering over the maintenance cost tells you that it includes a factor for "distance from Capital" and a factor for "total number of cities owned."

Does the maintenance depend on anything other than these two factors, such as the number of turns that have elapsed, or the number of buildings in the city?

  • 1
    AFAIK there is some kind of "inflation" (depending on number of turns as well I guess) that might affect maintenance cost, but this info is not good enough for an answer :).
    – kapa
    Sep 11, 2013 at 14:29
  • Short answer to the later questions: yes ("inflation" as mentioned) and no
    – Affine
    Sep 11, 2013 at 17:42

2 Answers 2


You can build new cities within the first 4 tiles from you capital without paying maintenance. So a city on the 3th and 4th tile from your capital are without upkeep for distance, you cannot place cities closer. To make things easier you can say for each additional 4 tiles you pay an extra gold.

You can actually place 8 additional cities without paying upkeep for distance to palace around your capital.

Gato Loco on civfanatics.com has done some further in depth research on the topic: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=138473

  • 1
    Could you clarify your first paragraph? I can't follow it. Some "actually"s less would also help ;)
    – Sentry
    Jan 16, 2014 at 16:12

Apart from the factors that drive up maintenance costs, there are also factors that lower them: Building a courthouse reduces the distance-from-capital cost by 50%. Adapting communism reduces it to zero.

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