In this thread i will collect everything (i can think of) that helps new (or newer) players with founding their empire, and learning the basics of this wonderful game I will not get into advanced mechanics like keeping barbarians out, preparing war or annoying AIs, etc. which can be for another thread. Part 1 Founding your first city (capital) Every game starts here, and while turns are moving fast cos there are only few units available, an early turn counts as much as later ones (we already have our first important lesson). Many decisions that are made now will define your game later. So let's jump right in, here is an example of what we see first. I use "Blue Marble graphics", hopefully it's not too different to regular ones. Spoiler : We always have a warrior (or scout if our Civ starts with hunting), and a settler. Our first task for the warrior / scout will be assisting with the settling decision. Maybe he can reveal more tiles, that we eventually want for our first city? Moving west or southwest makes good sense, could be something in the fog. Next we look at the visible resources and tile yields. Every (good) city should have some food, and Rice on a river provides +5. We would not want to move away from this tile, unless we see something better Now there are some options with this start, settling on Ivory i.e. will gain an extra hammer for our city square. While i will not go into detail here, 2 screenies of how SIP (settling in place) and settling on Ivory compare, as food for thought: Spoiler : So either scouting or settling on Ivory by default also shows an extra cow. Please notice how the improved city square reduces worker build time from 15 to 12 turns. Conclusion: While the map generator usually picks okay spots for our settler, improving by moving is very possible. Part 2: What shall we build first? For this i will run a "simulation". In pic 1 i thought okay i want size 2 before holding all my growth and building a worker. In pic 2 i started on my worker right away. Spoiler : What can we see? With worker first i am 1 improved cows & 3 turns ahead, despite holding city growth on T0. Conclusion: on a regular inland start, start with your worker build right after settling. With improved tiles being so much more powerful, show patience while waiting 15 (or 12) turns. Part 3: What should i research first? There are a couple choices, also depending on Civ specific starting techs. Always possible are Mysticism, Agri, Fishing, Hunting, Wheel and Mining. AH (Animal Husbandry) is available if you start with Hunting or Agri, and BW (Bronze Working) with Mining. Others are not important for now. We can categorize them. Food techs are Agri, AH, Fishing, Hunting (with Deer) Religion: Mysticism, as we could found one with the next tech. Road network: Wheel Production: Mining, Hunting (with Ivory) We found out in part 2, that we want a worker as first build. So what if we tech mysticism first, eying a religion? Let's see.. Spoiler : We are about to found Buddhism (luckily another AI took Hinduism..), but our worker stands at the Rice and looks sad cos he can only build a road (our starting tech, wheel) This will slow down city improvement and settler building, by at least 12 turns. What will Buddhism do for us, besides putting a nice symbol at our city? Honestly? Nothing for now. Would hunting first have made sense, maybe? Not really, with Ivory being 1 food tiles we would not improve growth and also slow down progress. Conclusion: ignore religious techs at start, and improve your food. In this case Agri and AH. Part 4: When do i start my first settler? Let's go back to our best start, with worker first and improving Rice and 1 Cow by turn 21. Spoiler : If we start a settler now, we need 10 turns. Cows advance as best tile before Rice, with both food & hammers counting for settlers and workers. But wait..why not 15 production (4+5+6)? Each population costs 2 food, so at size 2 we have to deduct 4. Cows are in fact 4 production here, Rice 3 and so on. Why am i highlighting this? To show how weak unimproved tiles are, and how important worker first. One of those other tiles would only add +1 production for our settler. So do we want to start now already? Nope, seeing how strong cows are we want size 3 in this case, so we can add cow #2 when completed. Conclusion: normally start your settler production when all "super tiles" can be included, use growth before. Part 5: What should my warriors and / or scouts do meanwhile? They can walk into areas closer to our capital, and look for nice city spots. At start everything is covered by fog, and we want to know more of "our" lands Should they wander off and look for AIs? Nope, that can be for later and is not important at all early. Would it be helpful if one warrior sits in the capital? Nope again, on regular starts our cap can grow until size 4 before eventually looking for a military police unit against unhappiness. Barbarians won't enter culture borders until much later, and animals never do. So the unit would waste it's potential. Here i already spotted something very nice in the west: Spoiler : While Tundra deer counts as rather weak food (but still better than nothing), gold tiles are powerful. They provide 7 commerce once improved & worked, and having one connected with roads will also give +1 happiness to all cities. We would like to know more about this area, and our warrior can jump on both gold hills next (improved sight on height), then look around the deer tile. After some turns we found out: no other interesting tiles are around. Where to go now with the warrior? Spoiler : If you find such an important spot (an early commece center), i recommend that it's guarded by an unit. So i would sit on the circled gold tile, barbarians and animals can only spawn in the fog. By having our warrior close, the immediate area will stay free of them. This helps settlers with moving later (no fear of getting eaten ), and maybe a worker will also be grateful that he can build roads in peace. On higher levels, barbarian cities can also spawn rather fast, and the warrior would prevent that from happening . With our first unit staying put now, we also have the question answered: what are we building after the worker? Answer: another warrior, who can look for more nice spots. As you can see, we have no time or units yet to wander off further.