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I know in many (possibly all?) previous Civilization games, cities could only grow to a certain size, and usually you wanted to place your cities far enough apart that they'd all be able to grow without overlapping.

How far apart should I place my cities in Civilization 6 to make sure they don't overlap?

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  • 1
    Overlapping really isn't as bad as it was though, of course you have less space for citizens, but the district adjacency bonuses can actually make it worthwhile to still have cities closer together. Both have advantages now, while in previous games it was nothing but a hindrance. (Save for military/protection advantages maybe) – CoqPwner Oct 26 '16 at 14:27
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If you want exactly zero overlap and maximum space utilization - place them within 6 empty spaces of each other (each city has workable surrounding area of 3 tiles away from City Center).
It is though reasonable quite often to space them 4-5 tiles away from each other as cities don't usually grow that big.

See this answer to a related Civ V question for visual aid.

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  • Note that cities can work in a radius of 3 tiles, but they can expand to a radius of 5 tiles. You can't work those tiles but you can claim resources on them and use them for border control and territorial combat bonuses. If your aim is to cover as many tiles as possible (and you generate sufficient culture to expect taking more than a radius-3 territory in a city, it may be better to put your cities slightly further apart. – Flater Jan 9 '20 at 22:56
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With the new housing mechanic cities just can't grow that big that fast. Also border expansion is way slower than in civ5. Unless you invest tons of money into tiles there is no chance you will ever work the outmost tiles before industrial era or so. Thus I recommend against spacing out too far. Make sure you cover the important ressouces within two tiles of your city centers, that should be a priority early on. Spacing might be a problem, though, late game when you want to build lots of districts and wonders.

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  • Good advice. I've been wondering which mechanisms changed significantly between Civ 3-4-5-6. Border expansion is indeed v slow. But choosing a suboptimal initial placement and then constantly paying money to expand borders seems to be a waste - better to keep the money for emergency purchases/upgrades of units, esp for sudden defense needs. Or for diplomacy. Or for buying Great People and beating out your rivals. – smci Jul 8 '20 at 8:35
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The easy answer is about 6 tiles. Though ultimately you would likely be better off instead building cities based on luxuries, strategics, and wonders. I tend to create a military and take settlements that provide a luxury, wonder, or strategic resource I don't have. Then as I explore and come across more luxuries, wonders, and strategic resources build settlers to settle them.

Either way you will likely be fine so long as you don't settle as bad as the AI.

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