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.
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
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.
- None (0)
- Poor (0)
- Fledgling (10)
- Developed (100)
- Refined (500), Civ4 Tutorial (1,000)
- Influential (5,000), Civ4 Tutorial (10,000)
- 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.