Citizens who are happy make your cities grow faster and the key to having happy citizens is having plenty of amenities to go around. Happiness from amenities, plus food, is what makes your cities grow, have a shortfall of either and your city will struggle to get any kind of growth. How do you get amenities and what are the best amenities to have?
Tiles with improved luxury resources provide enough output for 4 cities when improved, trading with another civilization can provide enough amenities for at least 4 cities, Entertainment Complexes when built provide benefits not only for the city they are part of but to surrounding cities as well. Lastly, becoming Suzerain of certain city states can provide enough luxury resources for up to 6 cities.
The happiness of your citizens can be checked at the City Info screen, this screen gives a breakdown of where your amenities come from on a city by city basis. You need to navigate to the next city to see the info for that city.
Food is the main denominator in determining city growth, but amenities can affect the rate of that growth, both positively and negatively. One amenity is needed for every two citizens after you reach a population of 3 in your city in order to keep them content, and anything below or above that will affect the growth rate of the city, +10% if you have extra amenities and your populace is happy. You can get a growth bonus of 20% if they’re ecstatic and -15% if you don’t have enough amenities to go around, which can eventually lead to rebels being created and an eventual loss of the city as amenities become more sparse.
You make your citizens ecstatic when you have at least 5 extra amenities (these stats are for the Gathering Storm Expansion). There are increasing amounts of discontent but the most serious occurs when you are short 8 amenities or more in city. This leads to zero population growth and an outright revolt! With a deficit of a little as 6 amenities growth stops completely and because everyone is so unhappy rebel units start forming up in the city’s territory.
There are numerous ways to get amenities, from luxury resources found on the map to buildings producing amenities to Natural Wonders, to name only a few.
Luxury Resources and Buildings
Luxury resources are one of the more important ways to gain amenities since they can help out with up to 4 cities, and things like diamonds or cocoa are easy to obtain if they are within the city’s limits. A luxury resource of one type, like diamonds, is distributed to up to 4 cities, but no more than 4 unless some type of modifier is in effect. Cities with the greatest need for amenities are automatically chosen by the game. Having two sources of the same luxury resource does not make that resource available to 8 cities instead of 4 but the extra resources can be used for trading. By trading with another empire you can get access to other luxury items they might have, which can then be distributed to your cities, making trade an important aspect to keeping everyone happy.
An especially good way to increase amenities is with an Entertainment Complex, which is a specialty district. Careful placement of these is essential so they can provide the most benefit to a maximum number of cities. Once built it gives one additional amenity to its city, plus buildings can be added to it for even more amenities, like a Zoo, Stadium or an Arena.
The Arena becomes available in the Classical Era and it gives a boost of 1 Amenity to its city. The Zoo is available in the Industrial Era and it has an even bigger benefit of not only adding one amenity to the city it is a part of, but it will also add an amenity to any city that has its City Center within 6 tiles of it.
The Stadium can only be built once a zoo is built. In the Gathering Storm rule set it gives 1 amenity to all cities within 6 tiles of it.
An alternative to an Entertainment Complex is a Water Park (both cannot be built in the same city). This gives 1 amenity to the city it is part of, plus the Aquarium and Aquatics Center can provide benefits to cities up to 9 tiles away versus the 6 tiles of an entertainment complex. The drawback is that Water Parks can only be built on a coast or lake tile, so it’s almost certain that every city in your civilization won’t be able to build one.
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Wonders, City-Sates and Policy Cards
Wonders you build are good sources of amenities too. The most impactful Wonder for generating amenities is the Colosseum. It provides an increase of 3 amenities and 2 culture to all cities within six tiles of it unless you have the Rise and Fall Expansion. In that case it only provides 2 amenities to all cities within 6 tiles and still provides 2 additional culture, but it also has the added benefit of producing 2 loyalty to all cities within 6 tiles as well.
If you become Suzerain of the city-state Zanzibar it will provide enough Cinnamon and Cloves to for you to distribute to up to 6 cities. Zanzibar is the only source of these 2 luxury resources.
National Parks give a city 2 amenities, plus the 4 closest cities get 1. Due to its strict placement requirements it can be difficult to build and may not be worth the extra, long-term planning that’s required unless you’re pursuing a Cultural Victory. Since a National Park can provide anywhere from a minimum of an 8 increase in Tourism to a maximum of 24 it is well worth the extra effort it takes in establishing one when chasing after a Cultural Victory.
There are also government policy cards that can affect Amenities; Retainers provide 1 amenity to a city if it has a garrisoned unit. The Liberalism policy card gives an additional amenity to a city that has two specialty districts or more, the New Deal card gives 2 amenities to any city having 3 specialty districts or more, and Sports Media card gives 1 amenity to cities having a Stadium.
Negative modifiers are things like war weariness and bankruptcy. They are empire wide modifiers, meaning their negative affects aren’t limited to one city. The Police State policy card is another civilization wide negative modifier. While it reduces enemy espionage levels it also reduces amenities in all cities by 1.
Some Great People like Great Merchants can increase amenities that are available to your civilization. The Great Merchant Helena Robinson provides 4 amenities through her cosmetics and John Spilsbury gives 4 amenities with toys. Other Great People, like Great Engineer John Roebling, can create 1 amenity for a city.
The most impressive Great Person when it comes to creating Amenities is Estee Lauder, she generates 6 amenities through her perfume. A little bit goes a long way!
You can also gain amenities with religion. If your religion has the Zen Meditation Belief then any city with at least 2 specialty districts gets a bonus of 1 amenity.
What are Amenities in Civ 6?
Amenities are one of the major influencers of how happy the populace is in each city, on a city-by-city basis. For example, you might have a high number of extra amenities in one city, resulting in an ecstatic populace, while a neighboring city in your empire is in a stage of revolt due to an inadequate source of amenities.
The main sources of amenities are luxury resources, like diamonds or tobacco, and Entertainment Complexes. Both can not only provide benefits to the city they are a part of, they can also produce empire wide benefits as well. Luxury resources are items that are in high demand by your citizens simply because everyone likes and values them. You can gain access to the benefits of these resources by improving their tiles. For example, to make diamonds available to your cities construct a mine in the tile containing the resource.