AI Attitude Study

I spent a few weeks with an unpatched version of PTW and no internet access (to dowload the patch), so I decided to spend some of that time testing AI attitudes. This test was with the 1.01 version of PTW, so there might be a possibility that some of this was changed in a patch, but most likely this all still applies to the latest patch.


In the debug mode of PTW there are numbers beside the attitude to give a more accurate rank of the AI attitude towards you. I ran my test on a map made entirely of desert (to prevent the AI from building cities), sometimes making an island to determine whether being on the same landmass made a difference. The test was sometimes with 24 civs, but most of the test was with 2 AI civs. I did some of this test with every civ starting with the same techs, so the value of techs wouldn’t alter power rankings, although map exploration would affect power rankings, especially for expansionists.

If you consider that the default attitudes of AI towards you starts at 0 the following things will affect this number.

KEY NOTE: Good things actually give you a negative number, and bad things give you a positive number.

Here are the attitude ranks:
-11 and lower = Gracious
-1 through -10 = Polite
0 = Cautious
1-10 = Annoyed
11 through 100 = Furious

At the very start (4000 B.C. before ending your turn), power rankings are equal, so the following determines the ‘default’ attitudes before power rankings affect things or if the AI has a power lead:
Remember, negative numbers are GOOD.

Starting attitudes

Start (no factors taken into consideration): 0

-1 You are in the same culture group
Example: So the Americans would have -1 for the Iroquois and Aztecs (all in the ‘American’ culture group), France would have -1 for all civs in the European culture group.

Aggression level of AI:


5 = +2 (Germany, Zulu, Mongols)
4 = +1 (9 Civs)
3 = 0 (6 Civs)
2 = -1 (China, Iroquois, Carthage, Korea)
1 = -1 (France, India)


5 = +3
4 = +2
3 = +1
2 = 0
1 = -1


5 = +3
4 = +3
3 = +2
2 = +1
1 = 0

You could look at it as Regent-Monarch is the default level and Chieftain-Warlord decreases the aggression levels by 1, and Emperor-Deity increases the aggression levels by 1 when figuring out attitudes.

On Chieftain-Warlord, only Germany will automatically start out as annoyed (+1), unless you are in the European culture group, then there are 5 civs or so that will be cautious with you. Everyone else will be polite.

On Emperor-Deity, everyone starts out annoyed with you, except the 5 civs that have despotism as their favorite government (explained below), and the 2 civs with the lowest aggression level (India, France), and there are 4 civs who will be cautious (because of aggressive level of 2, but will be polite if you are in their culture group)- Iroquois, China, Carthage, Korea. But once the AI has a culture lead (explained below), India and france will be cautious and the 4 civs who were cautious, will be annoyed (unless you are in their culture group).

Situational/temporary Attitudes (may change during the game)

-1 You are in the same government as the AI (of course at the start, everyone is in despotism).
Because everyone is in despot in the beginning, this gives the impression that a higher aggression level gives the default 0 (cautious). Start at 0, -1 for same government, then +1 for aggression level of 4 on chieftain for example, brings it back to 0.

AI’s favorite/shunned governments:
-5 Favorite government (only applies if both you and the AI are in this government)
+4 Shunned government (only applies if you are in this government and the AI is not)

The worst that can happen is you switch from the AI’s favorite government, that you both are in, then only you switch to the AI’s shunned government (net result +9). An example would be if you switch from despotism to republic and Egypt, Zulu, or Celts stays in despotism or goes to Monarchy. Or you go to Monarchy and the Aztecs stay in Despotism or goes to Republic. Mongols is the other civ that favors despotism, but democracy is their shunned government.

For the most part, the AI is in Republic-Democracy while at peace and monarchy-communism while at war, regardless of what their favorite/shunned government is. So even though there are an even 6 AI for both republic and Monarchy, the Republic would apply more often for favorite government because the AI would also be in that same government. For attitude purposes, republic would only be bad for you if most of the other AI is still in despotism or going to a war-time government because of wars. If you are still in despotism, while the rest of the world has switched governments (more frequently seen on higher levels), you’ll see the AI attitudes worsen.

-1 if you have done any recent trades (maps or techs) or currently have a 20 turn deal with them (gold/turn, trade embargo against another civ). Trading maps every turn does not help improve attitude! It would only help if the map knowledge is being the decisive factor in who has the power lead. Offering very generous trades (example: giving them 5,000 gold for Alphabet) does not help. You sometimes lose this point every once in awhile usually due to some tiles that you have uncovered/improved, or simply as time goes by. You usually lose it more often than every 20 turns, but certainly not every turn or two in most cases. Just remember to trade maps once in a while. Multiple trades does not increase this bonus, either you get the point or you don’t. If techs or gold is used in combination with another treaty this point will apply.

-1 If you sign a trade embargo against another civ. This counts in the same category as having a recent trade, so if you’ve already recently traded maps/techs, signing a trade embargo won’t help.

+10 for the victim of the trade embargo.

-1 If you have a culture lead. +1 if the AI has the culture lead.

-1 You pay tribute to the AI.

+1 If you call the AI’s bluff when he demands tribute (and he doesn’t declare war of course).

-5 If you have a Right of Passage with the AI.

-10 If you have a Mutual Protection Pact with the AI. Just remember that a MPP is risky, because they can get you into a war you don’t want to be in.

-3 if at war with a common enemy.

-2 If you then sign an alliance.

So a -5 if you sign an alliance and go to war with that enemy.

-1 to -3 for each enemy unit (of common enemies) you destroy and tiles you pillage, -7 for razing an enemy city, but all of this is temporary – AFTER the war or the civ is destroyed, you will get the +1 penalty for each razed city added back on, plus the +1 penalty for declaring war (even if you had joined the alliance). Any damage you did prior to signing the alliance (but during that same war) gets immediately added on. The total effect seems to cap at -15 for doing damage and having an alliance, -13 if you do everything else, but don’t have the alliance in place. This decays at -1 each turn, unless you destroy a unit or pillage a tile each turn to keep it at the maximum. So when peace comes and the -15 ‘temporary’ points is automatically taken off, it may seem like you took an attitude hit by signing peace or destroying the civ, because the other AI have a worse attitude towards you.

+1 to +3 for using privateers (the victim adds on the penalty).

-5 If you trade or donate a resource. Trading multiple resources seems to have no effect.

+1 If they ask you to leave their territory, +4 if you are given the orders to leave or declare war. These are only temporary, and as long as you leave when forced to, you get the points back the next turn. You can continually send 1 troop in, spend 1 turn there and claim you will leave, leave when you are forced to, but go back into their territory the next turn, and the AI attitude will not drop in the long run, just keep cycling between +/- 5 pts.

Any recent wars can add a penalty, seemingly depending on the casualties the AI took. Most of this decays after being at peace for awhile (and the AI re-builds lost troops).

+4 for failing at an espionage mission (any mission or attempting to plant a spy). Other civs don’t care, just the civ you tried to plant the spy in, or perform a mission in. You can recover these points after 10-20 turns. Actually from what I’m figuring now +3 (which you can recover) is temporary, +1 is permanent.


-1 for each 10 gold worth of techs/gold you donate, up to a maximum of -10 (100 gold). This bonus decays at about 10 gold/turn. The larger of a gift you give above 100 gold, then longer you will get to keep the -10 maximum pts. Example: Giving them 1,000 gold will keep them happy for 100 turns, 500 gold would be 50 turns. gpt donations are added on immediately, but the effect of it may disappear before the deal is done.

Permanent Attitude Changes

Note: Some of the attitude changes you do to a victim during war is hard to test, since it’s hard to find the difference between acts, because you can’t find the attitude level until the war is over with. And figuring the difference between what penalties are just from being at war, and what was caused by breaking treaties, razing cities, etc.

Most penalties are temporarily erased if the civ is at war with the civ who you broke a treaty with. Example: Say the Aztecs have added +10 points because of things I have done to the Iroquois. If the Aztecs go to war with the Iroquois, those 10 points are taken away, so the Aztecs will feel better towards me, but once they sign peace with the Iroquois the 10 point penalty is added back on. So penalties are only added for friendly civs, not enemies.

-2 If you have an embassy with the AI

+2 You demand tribute from the AI. Whether they actually pay the tribute or not. If they have a good attitude towards you, this will be +1, but once they are annoyed/furious it will be +2 each time you demand tribute. You can make 50 tributes in one turn and get a civ at +100 towards you (very, very furious).

+1 if you raze the city of another AI. +12 if you raze a city of that civ. Other civs don’t add any more penalties than the standard +1 if the city had contained any Great wonders. It doesn’t look like the victim adds more than the +12 permanent penalty either, but there may be a temporary penalty.

+4 if you’ve declared war on that civ before. If the AI had declared war on you, it is possible to get the attitude back to pre-war levels, providing you don’t raze any cities or other bad things.

+12 for breaking an alliance. +2 is what other civs will add.

No penalty for destroying the last city of an AI (unless you raze it, then just the +1 for a razed city). But the ‘temporary’ effects of doing damage to a common enemy, alliances, etc. will disappear since no one is at war with that civ anymore.

+1 You declare war on a friendly civ (all civs who are at peace with this civ will add on the point, others will add the point if they ever sign peace with this civ). The trick is to get others to declare war on you. Example: Aztecs were at -17 with me, I declare war on the Iroquois, so now I’m at -16 with the Aztecs. If I get the Aztecs into the war via an alliance I now am at -22 (-5 for the alliance, then recover the +1 point since I’m no longer at war with a civ that is friendly with the Aztecs). But after war, the +1 penalty is added back on.

+4 if you break a trade route (like pillaging your own road) that cancels a treaty. In addition to the -5 you lost since you are no longer trading resources, it will feel like +9. Other civs will add +1.

+1 If you sell them one of your workers (not sure why this is, maybe it’s confused and thinks you were at war at one point and thinks that is how it got your slave?). You restore the point if you buy the worker back.

+1 for each captured worker you disband (of their nationality). Think of it as disbanding = killing. Using the slaves, selling them, or joining them into cities, seems to have no effect.
Edit: If you starve citizens of their nationality (from joining slaves into cities, or starving a captured city), there is a penalty-don’t know if this is permanent or not.

Breaking a ROP treaty:
+4 If you have no units in their territory when declaring war with a ROP treaty in place, other AI will add +1, but will still sign ROP with you. +6 If you have any units in their territory when you break the ROP treaty, and other civs won’t sign ROP with you anymore and will add +2.

+4 for breaking a peace treaty with that civ. +1 is what other civs will add on for breaking a peace treaty with another civ. These numbers are doubled if you figure in the fact that you are declaring war-(example: +4 for breaking the treaty +4 for declaring war).

Nukes: Victim of the nuke adds +32! Other civs will add on +16, regardless of whether they declared war on you or not. These penalties are permanent.

+1 for failing at an espionage mission (any mission or attempting to plant a spy). +3 is temporarily added, but the +1 is permanent from a limited test I did. Other civs don’t care, just the civ you tried to plant the spy in, or perform a mission in.

Other factors

+1 if you accept a city that wants to flip. -1 if you refuse to accept the city flip. These are cumulitive if there are multiple flips, but I’m not sure if these are permanent or temporary.

Having resources that the AI does not have doesn’t seem to affect things (although it would affect power rankings and might affect the possibility of war, but not attitude). Nor does being on the same landmass affect attitude. Making a ‘culture attack’ (building a city right on their border and rushing culture to try and flip their city) does not affect attitude.

Power lead: If you have a power lead, most of the good effects (negative numbers) are halved. ROP is one of them that still gives you the full points no matter who has the power lead. Example of what is affected: Maximum of -5 for donations instead of -10. So the Americans start off with the Aztecs at -6 (-5 for favorite government, -1 same government, -1 for same culture group, +1 for agression level) with them at 4000 B.C. on Chieftain, but this drops to -3 at 3950 B.C. on the lower levels, because already the human has a power lead. If the AI has a lead in power, you’ll see the full effects, or normal numbers (all numbers I‘ve listed in my study). If I give myself 5000 gold and donate everything I have that turn, the donation part of the formula will be at -5, but when I end my turn, the power rankings are calculated and the AI now has the power lead, so it will jump up to the full -10. If the civ is extremely furious, positive things seem to have less of an effect.

Summary : This could be used as a checklist for anyone concerned about AI attitude.

I’m not sure what the best you could get a civ at because there is no way to figure how many culture flips you have refused (-1 for each one). But with no culture flips involved, the best would be -58 by having the following:
AI has power lead.
You have a culture lead (-1).
AI Civ with aggression level of 1 on Chieftain-Monarch, or aggression level of 1-2 on Chieftain-Warlord: (-1)
Same culture group: (-1)
Traded maps/techs recently (-1)
Recently paid them tribute (-1)
Donated enough gifts (-10),
You and the AI are in the AI’s favorite government (-5).
Same government as the AI (-1)
You have an embassy with that civ (-2)
You have a ROP with that civ (-5)
You have a MPP with that civ (-10)
You have an alliance against a common enemy and have done enough damage to the enemy this turn (-15).
You are trading resources (-5).
You have never declared war on anyone, disbanded slaves, broken treaties, razed cities, demanded tribute, refused to pay tribute, sold any of your workers to them, used nukes, get caught doing espionage, used privateers recently, or accepted culture flips.
Theoretical maximum: -58.

The maximum you can get a civ mad at you is 100. There are countless ways to get it this high. Ways civs could be mad at you:
You have a power lead.
You haven’t been trading with the AI.
You haven’t given any gifts.
You don’t have any embassies, ROP, or MPP.
Selling your own workers.
AI has a culture lead.
Your not in the same culture group.
No alliances in place (or not doing damage to the enemy during the alliance) , or not at war with common enemies.
You are in the AI’s shunned government, and the AI isn’t in that government.
You are in a different government than the AI.
You’ve used nukes.
You have razed cities.
You use privateers.
You accept culture flips.
You disbanded slaves.
You starve off foreigners.
Not paying tribute.
You have trade embargos against them.
You’ve declared war (you’re a warmonger).
You’ve been at war with that civ before/recently.
You’ve broken treaties (ROP abuse, peace treaties, trades, etc).
You got caught using spies.
You demand tribute from the AI.
AI’s aggression level (it is higher on higher difficulty levels for attitude purposes, this does not mean it will affect sneak-attack possibilities and other things).
‘Border infractions’ (this is only temporarily applied for 1-2 turns).

If a civ is very furious with you (above +20 in most cases if you have the power lead, +40 if you don‘t have a power lead), you can see there just isn’t enough positive things you could do to realistically get them back to annoyed or better.

According to Sir Pleb’s study, the AI must be at least polite or better to vote for you in the UN, otherwise, they will abstain or vote for the other guy.

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