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A city connection, also known as a trade connection, is created when a player's capital is connected to one or more of their other cities by roads, bridges, Ports, Outposts, Algae, or Mycelium. A city connection grants one population to both the capital and the connected city. A connected city will have a road symbol next to its name. A player does not need to research any technology to form connections, although structures needed to do so do require it.

The Network task, unlocked with linking a city to the capital, awards the Grand Bazaar monument once five or more cities have been connected to the capital.

Forming Connections[]

Outpost for Trade Connections

An Outpost and Roads being used in combination to form a city connection

Building a continuous path from a city to the capital or an already-connected city with any combination of roads, bridges Ports, and Outposts will complete a city connection. City connections can use roads in neutral and ally territory but not those in enemy territory. Connections will not be made if roads or water tiles are hidden by fog.

Ports and Outposts can form connections with other Ports or Outposts that have five or fewer water or ice tiles between them. Therefore, roads are not required to form city connections if there is a Port or Outpost adjacent to the capital. Port and outpost connections will form show blue lines akin to land roads. These connections can only be made over own, neutral or ally territory without fog. Navigation must be researched in order to have connections crossing ocean tiles.

In multiplayer games, if a piece of neutral road is connected to more than one player's city, only the player that comes first in host order (listed first in the multiplayer games menu) can use that piece of neutral road to form city connections. This does not impact established city connections, e.g., no one can break a city connection by connecting their city to a piece of neutral road used to form a city connection. This rule does not apply to connections made over water.

Breaking Connections[]

Connections can be broken if a connected city is captured. If a city is captured, then all connections using the roads in that city's territory will also be severed. This will remove the population provided by the city connections and may lead to negative population (especially in the capital). Connections can also be broken if a peace treaty is revoked such that a former ally's roads cease to be usable.


  • Before the "Power" update, connections over water were not limited in length.