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Starting HappinessEdit

The amount of happiness that your civilization begins with is determined by the game's difficulty setting. The moment you construct your first city, that number will begin to decline.

What Causes UnhappinessEdit

City happiness is no longer directly affected by the number of citizens in a city. Instead, happiness is based on a set of functions that look at economic variables. Overall, population is still key, however per-city unhappiness is a bit easier to manage (and tailor to certain play-styles). This makes Tall and Wide gameplay equally feasible, so long as your empire is well-managed. Furthermore, Citizens can only be "unhappy" for one value at a time, based on a scale of want. If a citizen is unhappy from Poverty, for example, that same citizen cannot be unhappy from anything else until the Poverty issue is resolved (thus the unhappiness generated by any one city is capped at the population of the city).
How this works: The yield-based functions combine the yields of your city, dividing this value by its population. This value is then compared to the rate value per citizen as a global average of all city yields per pop. If the global rate value per citizen is higher than the rate value of your city, (i.e. you are not producing as much as the rate value expects), the difference between the two is factored by the per-citizen unhappiness value and the unhappiness is generated. In other words, if your cities are behind the global average in yields per pop, the difference will be converted into unhappiness. This Global Average will gradually increase as the game progresses (all cities become more and more wealthy over time, therefore the Global Average of what defines Poverty changes), and increases gradually (around 2%) for every City you found or conquer There are four things that increase needs modifiers in cities:

  • Empire size - currently 'founded cities X 2,' scaling with map size (only applies to large/huge for scaling)
  • City pop - is just the flat # of citizens, converted to a % (so 10 citizens = 10%)
  • Capital status - if capital, +25%, otherwise it doesn't apply.
  • Tech level - % of techs you've completed (out of total # of techs), divided by 2. So caps at 50% by the end of the game.

Sources of Unhappiness: Edit

  1. Starvation: Starvation occurs when a city begins to starve by having a net negative food output. If a city starves, the unhappiness total can add up tremendously and can occur when enemy units start pillaging and blocking yields from being worked causing mass starvation.
  2. Pillaged tiles: People don't like seeing their houses constantly burning and will start generating unhappiness for their leader to do something about it.
  3. Poverty: Poverty is measured through the gold yields of a city. As a city begin to grow and develop, poverty will be created and people will be needed to find a way to generate gold to counteract this balance. A fairly common source of unhappiness in many cities if not the wealthiest.
  4. Isolation: Isolation is created through a lack of city connections to its capital as a city grow over time. Isolation can also be created through a blockade which along with pillaged tiles and starvation and cause a city to easily fall into unhappiness. Isolation can, however, be counteracted even through a blockade as long as a trade route can still connect the capital to the city.
  5. Distress: Distress is measured through the imbalance of a city's food and production. As there will always be an imbalance of food and production, Distress becomes the most common source of unhappiness as there are little means to counteract the effects of Distress unless a leader intentionally delays production and food growth.
  6. Religious Tension: Religious Tension is measured through the religious diversity of a city. If a city grows more diverse in their religious followers, tensions will be created. However, a high faith-based population will suffer less religious tensions from such diversity than a low faith-based population.
  7. Illiteracy: Illiteracy is measured through the science yields of a city. Represented through the citizen's literacy, promoting trade routes to much-advanced civilization can help reduce illiteracy.
  8. Boredom: Boredom is measured through the culture yields of a city. As an empire even grows and expands, boredom is increased and represents a sort of cultural pride among an empire. If a Civilization is heavily "bored", they can easily fall to certain small civilizations with vast tourism. However, trade routes to more cultured civilizations are recommended to counteract boredom.
  9. Urbanization: Specialists generate unhappiness (-.34) at a flat rate and represents the realism of the people living in the city such as pollution and a high population density.
  10. War Weariness: can be described thoroughly here.
  11. Random Events: Of course, random events may make you unhappy.

What Causes HappinessEdit

The following increase your happiness:

  • Luxury Resources: Improve resources within your territory or trade for them with other civs. Each kind of resource improves your happiness. Luxuries grant happiness as a factor of total empire population. The higher your pop, the more happiness your luxuries provide. This makes luxuries less vital early on, as +1 Happiness is not as big of a deal, yet it does not punish tall or wide strategies because the focus is on overall population, not the number of cities. In short, Luxuries "level up" as your empire grows in population.
  • Buildings: Certain buildings increase your happiness, while others reduce Unhappiness from things like Crime and Poverty (thus indirectly boosting your Happiness). These include the Arena, the Circus, the Zoo, and others. Otherwise the only buildings that give Happiness directly are the Stadium and Bomb Shelter.
  • Wonders: Certain wonders like Notre Dame and the Neuschwanstein can give you a big boost in happiness.
  • Social Policies: Policies provide a lot of happiness, but in different ways.
  • Technologies: Technologies in themselves do not provide happiness, but they do unlock the buildings, wonders, resources and social policies which do.
  • Random Events: Just as random events can make you unhappy, they can also make you happy.

Levels of HappinessEdit

There are three levels of unhappiness. Unhappy, Unrest, and Revolt. An Unhappy civilization will reduce growth in all cities and the value of your national yields (i.e. your total science per turn). A civilization experiencing Unrest can have many more problems, including combat penalties and open rebellion, and a civilization in Revolt can potentially have cities abandon your empire.

Happy Edit

When you have a positive amount of happiness you get a % increase to your yields like 20xGold and 20xScience5, up to 10%. Also excess Happiness is added as GoldenAge5 Points.


When your happiness is negative and your happiness icon is looking sad 20xUnhappiness5, your population is "Unhappy." An unhappy population's yields are penalized contrary to the happy bonus as is 20xProduction ( via -%'s). Like wise Unhappiness lowers accumulated GoldenAge5Points and your Units' ability to fight. The penalty goes greater than -10%.


When your happiness is negative and your happiness icon is looking angry 20xUnhappiness, your population is experiencing "Unrest." If your population is experiencing Unrest, your cities stop growing altogether, you cannot build any Settlers, and your military units get a nasty combat penalty. Additionally, you might have rebels (barbarians) appear within the borders of your empire.
Remember that unhappiness is not permanent. You can always increase your citizens' happiness - no matter how pissed off they are at you - through the methods outlined above.


When your unhappiness reaches -20, your population will be in "Revolt." At this stage, your empire will experience all the penalties from "Unrest", and your cities may abandon your empire, "flipping" to the civilization that is most culturally influential over your people.