Is there any purpose to having cede a city in the trade screen? Originally cities remained occupied forever until ceding but now they automatically become ceded when becoming a free city or ending a war. Is there any purpose to having cede a city in the trade screen now?

  • Are you sure that "ending a war" isn't just having them cede the city in the peace agreement? Otherwise there literally would be no reason to cede, but yes loyalty is one method to getting around this.
    – Shelby115
    Feb 12, 2018 at 15:53
  • @Shelby115 exactly, "ending a war" automatcally cedes all cities. It never used to work that way, so now what is the point of having an option to cede cities in the trade screen it makes no sense??? I must be a) missing a scenario where this would be useful or b) they forgot to take it out sort of like how they removed defensive pact.
    – CodeCamper
    Feb 12, 2018 at 18:05
  • I mean I have ran into situations where the AI refused to cede a city in the peace agreement, that was before the expansion came out though so I'm not certain if it has changed since the expansion and I missed that part or if you mean Civ 5 when you say "used to work that way".
    – Shelby115
    Feb 12, 2018 at 20:58
  • @Shelby115 all cities automatically cede when you make peace whether cede is in the trade screen or not. It definitely never used to work that way...
    – CodeCamper
    Feb 12, 2018 at 23:15
  • That must be a bug. Of course, cities I captured in my first game revolted due to loyalty in 3 turns (during the war) so it became useless to keep them at all. Burn, baby, burn! Feb 13, 2018 at 3:28

2 Answers 2


This is a question that has long haunted Civ 6 players however I think now I may be able to piece together a definitive answer until/unless the mechanic is changed/fixed/removed.

According to Victoria from CivFanatics in this thread, having an AI cede their cities to you following a war has the effect of doubling the warmonger penalty with the only payoff being that the city will count towards your total score. Conversely, if you make a peace deal and do not explicitly demand the city be ceded, you will have the normal warmonger penalty but the city will not count towards your score for number of cities.

The following are paraphrased quotes from Victoria's posts:

I playtested this both in firetuner and the real game. The simple answer is that the mechanic is broken.


If you capture a city during a war, upon seeking peace there are three possible outcomes:

  1. Give the city back and have the warmonger penalty removed for doing so
  2. Do not demand the city be ceded: take the e.g. -8 warmonger penalty and keep the city, however the city does not count towards your total score
  3. Get them to cede the city to you: the city counts towards your score, but you get an additional -8 warmonger penalty (for -16 total)


There is also a bug where if you accept a peace deal on the same turn as capturing a city, but before you choose to keep it, it will stay in occupied status regardless of whether it is ceded during the peace deal.

You will still have a penalty with that civilization for "You occupy one of our cities" whether or not it is ceded. This is an additional diplomatic penalty specific to the civilization to whom the city belongs, on top of the base warmonger penalty.

I can't say what the intended behaviour is for this mechanic; it is poorly explained ingame and penalising players for having a city ceded to them is certainly counterintuitive.

In its current state, it would seem that the optimum choice is to avoid accepting ceding of cities and instead taking more gold or resources as part of a peace deal. Players should also avoid making peace before choosing to 'keep' a city, to avoid a bug where cities are locked into 'occupied' status.

  • Amazing that they can't fix such an obvious issue.
    – CodeCamper
    Mar 12, 2018 at 21:45

This has been changed in Gathering Storm. Now there are two options:

  1. The city is ceded and goes to the conquerer
  2. The city is returned to the player it was taken from.

It is no longer possible to take a city without the owner ceding it, so the question is now moot.

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