(This could be a religious thread, but no it's only a game ) Happiness, as we all know is the key to everything, much more important than health (don't flame me, I put another article on health here). This article identifies the factors that will lead a population to be happy, and also notes some of the unhappiness-causing elements. As the player selects more difficult levels, cities become quickly unhappy ("We just enjoy life" bonus gets smaller at higher levels) even with small populations, so having a good knowledge of the happiness factors will help the player to create and manage a stronger empire. Here you can see the happiness bonus you start with at every level : SETTLER : _ 6 CHIEFTAIN: 6 WARLORD : 5 NOBLE : _ _ 5 PRINCE : _ _4 MONARCH : 4 EMPEROR : _3 IMMORTAL : 3 DEITY: _ _ _3 Generally speaking, you will try to have more happiness than unhappiness. It doesn't matter where the happiness and unhappiness comes from. As long as you have more happiness than unhappiness, you have no angry faces. If unhappiness is higher than happiness, you'll have [unhappiness - happiness] angry faces = citizens eating and costing but not working. Note that you can not have a "we love our leader day" if there is an angry face in a city. It's not game changing, but it's a loss and it's avoidable. So, how do you get the happiness you need to grow? In vanilla cIv, there are exactly 7 ways to get more happiness (and a helluvah lot to have unhappiness). In warlords, you have 2 more ways to gain happiness : charismatic trait ("OH YEAH"), and vassals (yes, having vassals makes your people think they're big and strong ) resources (Fur;Ivory;Gems;Gold;Silver;Dye;Incense;Silk;Spices;Sugar;Whale;Wines) buildings (Palace, colosseum, theatre*, Broadcast Tower, temples, markets*, cathedrals*, forges*, barracks**) religion** (+1 isn't much, + 7 is better) civics (free religion, nationhood, environementalism, representation , Hereditary Rule) wonders (globe theater in the biggest city will make a huge difference in one city , Notre dame a small one but everywhere, Broadway/hollywood/rock'n'roll will provide a happy resource) commerce slider future techs : I won't expand a lot on future techs. Every future tech gives you +1 happiness in every city. But who cares? The game is over at this point! * : depends on a resource ** : depends on a civic. where does unhappiness come from : population itself = "too crowded" : 1 unhappiness for each population point (yes the 1st pop thinks it's already too crowded ) "We fear for our safety" : a big city (size 3 and more AFAIK) without garrison unit will have unhappiness. A warrior is enough to remove this. slavery penalty = "cruelty" : 1 unhappiness for each whip. The penalty goes away after 10 turns. If you whip more than once, the penalty only gets removed one at a time. (example :in the first turn after revolt you whip a captured city for a theater and a granary, you get 2 unhappiness for 10 turns, then 1 unhappiness for 10 other turns) drafting penalty = "we won't go": 3 unhappiness for every draftee in a city. The penalty goes away after 10 turns. war weariness"what is war good for?" : the more you fight outside your borders, the more unhappiness you get. full information on this in krikkitone's article : war weariness mechanics "we yearn to return to our motherland" : when you capture a city, the ancient culture of the previous owner gives you unhappiness. This is removed when your culture gets dominant (=more than the ex-owner's) or when you kill the ex-owner. "we won't fight our brothers in faith" : when you attack a civ which shares the religion of this city, you get another share of unhappiness "We demand emancipation" : If other empires run emancipation, and you don't, you get unhappiness. This can be huge, when most of the others run emancipation. WW, emancipation, brothers in faith, mother land penalties all are size dependant = a big population city will face a bigger penalty. edit : after so much time, I'll simply assume I have them all. Note that there are ways to reduce unhappiness. For example police state reduces war weariness, and emancipation removes unhappiness from lack of emancipation Jails also reduce WW, mount rushmore (national wonder) also reduces WW. Slavery : Whipping reduces population, and so reduces "too crowded", WW, emancipation, "brothers in faith", "mother land" unhappiness . example : here you see a size 6 city : 6 unhappiness "too crowded" a captured city (was german, now aztec) : 2 unhappiness "we yearn to join our motherland" a hinduist city, when in a war against a hinduist civ: 1 unhappiness from "we won't fight our brothers and sisters in Faith" This city has been whipped twice (temple and theater) : 2 unhappiness "we cannot forget your cruel oppression" war weariness : 4 unhappiness "war.. what is it good for? nothing" making a total of 15 unhappiness 1 happiness from the building (temple) : "some buildings are making us happy" 12 happiness from resources (including forge, market, theater doubling effect on resources like gold, ivory and dye) : "we enjoy our luxurious resources" 1 happiness from Hinduism being in the city while our state is hinduist : "in our religion we trust" 4 happiness from the culture slider (20% with a theater) : "we appreciate our entertainment" 1 happiness from Notre Dame (not in this city, but somewhere in my empire) : "some buildings are making us happy" [Could be clearer!] 4 happiness because it's monarch level : "we just enjoy life" for a total of 23 happiness = room to expand to size 14, or to stay at war while growing.