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?


Up to 3 hexes away, 36 hexes total

Plus one more for the hex the city is on.

Civilization 5

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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

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  • I'm guessing this is where the "you should have a 20 pop city" advice comes from? – srcspider Aug 12 '13 at 17:18
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    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 '14 at 9:00
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    @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 $$. – WillfulWizard Aug 29 '14 at 22:25
  • Interesting - same with strategic resources? – niico Aug 30 '14 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).

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    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. – Raven Dreamer Sep 25 '10 at 22:34
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    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 '10 at 23:31
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    An excellent answer! This prevented me from the trouble of asking a question on the earlier games. Thanks. – Mugen Jan 10 '11 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 '13 at 3:41

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

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