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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.

Sources of Unhappiness:

  1. Starvation: This one can be fatal, so be careful. If a city is starving, this function looks at the value of that starvation (i.e. the negative value of food being consumed) and compares that to the rate value of the function.
  2. Pillaged tiles: Similar to city connections, this function will generate unhappiness based on a rate per citizen value which looks at the number of pillaged tiles. The more pillaged tiles there are, the higher this unhappiness.
  3. Poverty: This looks at gold yields. If these yields do not exceed the rate criteria, your city has some element of poverty. This is largely inevitable in all but the wealthiest cities. Fairly common.
  4. Isolation: Blockades or a lack of a city connection will generate unhappiness based on a rate per citizen value. Should only be a problem if you are besieged from the sea, your routes are pillaged and/or you have not connected your cities together. If you connect cities to your capital via an internal trade route (daisy chain or individually), this unhappiness penalty is negated (so blockades or long-distance cities can be "connected" to your capital via trade). Indonesia does not get Isolation [UA].
  5. Crime: This function looks at the defensive capabilities of your city and its garrison. This test takes defense as a "yield" (i.e. the defense produced by defensive structures and garrisons) and subtracts city damage, if any. If these yields do not exceed the rate criteria, your city has some element of crime. This is inevitable in large cities or cities under siege, especially if you do not have a garrison. Cities that are damaged or surrounded by enemies have increased crime. Fairly common.
  6. Religious Tension: This looks at the majority religion of the city, and compares it to the number of citizens that are not part of that religion. If that value exceeds the rate value of the function, you will have some religious strife. This is largely inevitable in most large cities, but should never be a major source of unhappiness. You can reduce this value further by building more faith-producing buildings in the city (high faith production has the ability to subtract from your minority population), or simply converting people to your one, true faith.
  7. Illiteracy: This looks at the science yield of the city. If this yield does not exceed the rate criteria, your city has some element of illiteracy. This is largely inevitable in all but the smartest cities.
  8. Boredom: This looks at the culture yields of the city. If these yields do not exceed the rate criteria, your city has some element of boredom (i.e. your citizenry is not entertained). This is can be circumvented by building Arena and other such buildings, or through Great Works. Also increases other players' Tourism modifiers against you.
  9. Specialists: Specialists generate unhappiness at a flat rate based on the number of specialists in your empire. Three Specialists produce 1 Unhappiness.
  10. War Weariness: Is now available throughout the game.
  1. Affected by length of the war, cultural influence, and damage recieved by the other player - scales with your technological level (so early game war weariness is less rapid/severe than late-game war weariness).
  2. More damage (i.e. lost units, lost cities, etc.) increases your war weariness
  3. Wars against civs that have cultural influence over you increase your War Weariness more quickly.
  4. Starting a war, or having war declared on you quickly reduces war weariness due to enthusiasm/fear.
  5. Unhappiness (value is diminished by number of cities you own, so tall civs are hurt a bit more by this!).
  6. Unit Supply (longer and/or more decisive conflicts reduce your unit supply, up to +75% of your max possible).
  7. Unit Production/Gold cost (longer and/or more decisive conflicts increase your unit costs, up to +75%)

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.

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.

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