Is there a limit to the number of tiles a city can work? I've noticed that I can purchase and use tiles several spaces away from my city. How far can I go?

4 Answers 4


Up to 3 hexes away, 36 hexes total

Plus one more for the hex the city is on.

Civilization 5

alt text

All of the previous games in the Civilization Series used squares for the grid, and the maximum city radius was 2ish squares away. Take a look at the image below for what I mean by 2ish. (In words, the exact city radius is a 3x3 grid centered on the city, with one square from each corner removed.) That was a total of 20 squares, plus one more for the city square.

Civilization 4, and earlier

alt text

  • I'm guessing this is where the "you should have a 20 pop city" advice comes from?
    – srcspider
    Aug 12, 2013 at 17:18
  • 2
    Below someone implies that you can go up to 5 hexes in your capital or other situations? I want a luxury resource that is 4 hexes away - in my capital. Will I ever be able to buy or reach it?
    – niico
    Aug 11, 2014 at 9:00
  • 2
    @niico Your borders can stretch 2 hexes beyond this. But your population won't work the hex. IE: You'll get the happiness from the luxury, but not the $$. Aug 29, 2014 at 22:25
  • Interesting - same with strategic resources?
    – niico
    Aug 30, 2014 at 7:12

Your cities can get to hexes that are up to 3 away from them, although they all have to be contiguous, so you can't get to one that is 3 away until you have one that is two away connected to it. There is no limit to the number of tiles you can work (other than the limits on your population).

  • 8
    And even if you've claimed all 35 hexes within 3 of your city, your cultural borders will continue to expand over time, even if you can't reach them all. Sep 25, 2010 at 22:34
  • 2
    If you purchase a tile it has to be adjacent to an existing tile, but automatic expansion (which expands to up to 5 hexes) can also claim tiles which are not connected to any of your other hexes; that can happen when other civilizations' territories are in-between.
    – Oak
    Sep 29, 2010 at 23:31
  • 1
    An excellent answer! This prevented me from the trouble of asking a question on the earlier games. Thanks.
    – Mugen
    Jan 10, 2011 at 3:10
  • This is not strictly correct -- you can use tiles that are not contiguous with your territory as long as they are in your territory. It is possible for one city to work tiles that are in the cultural borders of another city that are not contiguous to your territory from that city. It is also possible for another civ to have territory separating your cultural borders in exclaves, and working those exclaves (though having them close enough to your city to actually be workable is unusual).
    – aestrivex
    Jul 31, 2013 at 3:41

The maximum limit is five tiles, but thats for very large, isolated(more resorces) cities and usually your capital.


In square or isometric (1-4) Civ games, you can work 2 tiles away except the 4 corners.

In hexagon (5-6) Civ games, you can work 3 tiles away.

You can access strategic or luxury goods within your border, but cannot work tiles outside of work limit. You can share tiles between cities, and transfer them by clicking on a tile in the city screen. You can also use cultural borders of another city to work a tile further away. With Civ 5-6, you could work a tile 3 away within having any tiles 2 away because it is within the cultural border of another city.

Culture Levels (numbers are for Normal Speed): Quick is 1/2x, Epic is 3/2x, Marathon is 3x.

  1. None (0)
  2. Poor (0)
  3. Fledgling (10)
  4. Developed (100)
  5. Refined (500), Civ4 Tutorial (1,000)
  6. Influential (5,000), Civ4 Tutorial (10,000)
  7. Legendary (50,000), Civ4 Tutorial (100,000)

Cultural Levels of the Civ4 Tutorial is different from the actual game in Normal speed. You could mod the XML so that Poor may require cultural points so that new cities start without any workable tiles; this is not recommended, as without Cultural Borders, anyone could capture by walking into a new city without any military units to defend.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .