Approval

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Approval is the measurement of your people's happiness. Higher ApprovalSmall.png Approval leads to increased productivity while low approval decreases productivity. Approval is displayed as a percentage (%) however is actually calculated in points between 0 and 100, values outside this range are truncated to fit. Approval also affects the Security SecuritySmall.png of your cities, making them more or less prone to Espionage.

Cities have a base Approval of 60 which can be increased or decreased for a number of reasons, and your Empire has an overall approval rating, which is a weighted average of the approval of all cities in your empire. The way to calculate Empire approval is to take the sum of all cities' approval times their population, then divide that total by the empire population, essentially giving you the average approval of each population unit in your empire.

Approval Level Effects[edit]

City[edit]

Level Min ApprovalSmall.png Max ApprovalSmall.png Effects
Rebellion 0 10 -50% FoodSmall.png, IndustrySmall.png, -40 SecuritySmall.png on city
Unhappy 11 39 -20% FoodSmall.png, IndustrySmall.png, -20 SecuritySmall.png on city
Content 40 60 +20 SecuritySmall.png on city
Happy 61 89 +15% FoodSmall.png, IndustrySmall.png, +30 SecuritySmall.png on city
Fervent 90 100 +30% FoodSmall.png, IndustrySmall.png, +40 SecuritySmall.png on city

Empire[edit]

Level Min ApprovalSmall.png Max ApprovalSmall.png Effects
Rebellion 0 10 -50% DustSmall.png, ScienceSmall.png on empire
Unhappy 11 39 -20% DustSmall.png, ScienceSmall.png on empire
Content 40 60
Happy 61 89 +15% DustSmall.png, ScienceSmall.png on empire
Fervent 90 100 +30% DustSmall.png, ScienceSmall.png on empire

Penalties to Approval[edit]

Over the course of the game, various things can reduce the approval of your cities. Among them, the most common ways to reduce disapproval are by Empire Expansion Disapproval and disapproval generated by low-level Districts. Empire Expansion Disapproval is a penalty to Approval that reduces it by 10 ApprovalSmall.png in every city you control for each city you have past the first, and effectively serves as a way to restrict how quickly an empire can expand; you can take over a lot of regions very quickly sure, but you will probably suffer a seriously reduction in approval as a result. Similarly, the Borough Streets district that serves as the main way to grow cities incurs a -10 ApprovalSmall.png penalty while at level 1, making the early growth of a city reduce approval quite a bit. However, it should be noted that Borough Streets provides a bonus of 15 ApprovalSmall.png for each level after first, making it possible to get a net +5 ApprovalSmall.png from a level 2 district, which counters the disapproval generated by new districts after a certain point. The Allayi have their own district, the Garth of the Allayi, which incurs a smaller approval penalty of -5 ApprovalSmall.png.

Beyond that, there aren't many sources of Disapproval. There are a handful of winter effects that can appear, a city's approval is reduced while under siege, and it's possible for an enemy empire to reduce the approval of your city if they have control of both Chaka and Fakir, have unlocked the Urkan Power training, and have one of the two rooted in a region next to your city. However, Approval is largely meant as a means to balance expansion and prevent empires that are particularly good at it (like the Broken Lords) from expanding too quickly.

Increasing Approval[edit]

Reducing Empire Expansion Disapproval[edit]

Because Empire Expansion Disapproval is often one of the main sources of disapproval, knowing how to counteract it is very important to growing an empire without crippling it. Two of the most direct ways to reduce expansion disapproval are with the Bread and Circuses and State-Approved Theatre technologies, which both decrease expansion disapproval by 25%, and are available in Era III and V respectively. Similarly, completing the Beloved of the People Legendary Deed in Era V will reward you with the Patriotic Propaganda technology, which further reduces expansion disapproval by 50%. Managing to get all three of these technologies will reduce expansion disapproval across your empire to 0, allowing you to expand your empire freely.

There are also a number of Hero Capacities and Skills that can reduce the expansion disapproval in a specific city, but those will be covered in the section on Heroes further down.

Districts[edit]

As mentioned before, each level 1 district reduces approval by 10, but this can be counteracted by leveling boroughs or the city center, as level 2 provides an approval bonus. Building districts in a double-wide line or in triangles helps to get level 2 bonuses efficiently. On top of this, there are a number of special districts - ones that can only be built once per city, empire, or in the world - that increase a city's approval. All of these districts have additional effects not listed here, and instead only the effect on Approval is listed.

Name Faction Obtained IndustrySmall.png StrategicIcon.png Effect
City Center FactionIconSmall.png All On Settle +15 ApprovalSmall.png per extra Level on City Tile
Borough Streets FactionIconSmall.png All except Allayi At Start Varies -10 ApprovalSmall.png on City Tile
+15 ApprovalSmall.png per extra Level on City Tile
Garth of the Allayi AllayiIcon.png Allayi At Start Varies Varies Pearls.png -5 ApprovalSmall.png on City Tile
+15 ApprovalSmall.png per extra Level on City Tile
Abbey of Anomalies FactionIconSmall.png All 3rd Winter 400 10 Pearls.png x2 ApprovalSmall.png on City Tile
Limited to one copy in your City
To be built on Anomaly
Altar of Auriga FactionIconSmall.png All At Start 150 10 Pearls.png +5 ApprovalSmall.png per level on Altar of Auriga
Limited to one copy in your Empire
Cargo Docks FactionIconSmall.png All Era III 600 +10 ApprovalSmall.png on City
Limited to one copy in your city
Can only be built on coastal waters or ocean with exploitation
Museum of Auriga FactionIconSmall.png All At Start 500 5 Titanium Color 256x256.PNG
5 Glassteel Color 256x256.png
+20 ApprovalSmall.png per level on Museum of Auriga
Can only be built once in the World

City Improvements[edit]

This list includes any City Improvement that increases a city's Approval. Many of the improvements listed have additional effects that do not affect approval, but for simplicity those effects are not listed.

Name Faction Obtained IndustrySmall.png StrategicIcon.png Upkeep Effects
Sewer System FactionIconSmall.png All Era I 75 1 +20 ApprovalSmall.png on City
Central Market FactionIconSmall.png All Era II 250 2 Glassteel Color 256x256.png 2 +25 ApprovalSmall.png on City
Altar of Transcendence ArdentMagesIcon.png Ardent Mages Faction Quest 1000 30 Adamantian Color 256x256.PNG/Palladian Color 256x256.PNG
30 Mithrite Color 256x256.PNG/Hyperium Color 256x256.PNG
7 +30 ApprovalSmall.png on City
Limited to one copy in your Empire
Auriga Institute DrakkenIcon.png Drakken Faction Quest 800 5 Mithrite Color 256x256.PNG 4 +20 ApprovalSmall.png on City
Requires an income of 20 InfluenceIcon.png from the City
The Ogmakwan WildWalkersIcon.png Wild Walkers Faction Quest 5000 10 +80 ApprovalSmall.png on City
Limited to one copy in your Empire
Arts Council FactionIconSmall.png All Era V 2000 10 Glassteel Color 256x256.png
5 Mithrite Color 256x256.PNG
10 +30 ApprovalSmall.png on City
Imperial News Network FactionIconSmall.png All Era V 2000 5 Glassteel Color 256x256.png
10 Mithrite Color 256x256.PNG
10 +20 ApprovalSmall.png on City

Heroes[edit]

Capacities[edit]

While there are no capacities that directly increase a city's Approval, there are a couple that reduce the effects of Expansion Disapproval, though they are fairly rare.

Hero Icon Name Effect
Breyos Master Icespear AbilityExpansionSupport1Small.png Expansion Support 1 -25% expansion disapproval received on city
Ystros Watcher Firespike AbilityExpansionSupport2Small.png Expansion Support 2 -50% expansion disapproval received on city

Skills[edit]

As with the capacities, some of these skills target expansion disapproval rather than directly increasing approval.

Skill Tree Level Icon Name Effect
Ardent Mages 4 PersuasiveMethods.png Persuasive Methods Level 1: -50% expansion disapproval received on city.
Level 2: -50% expansion disapproval received on city.
Roving Clans 2 FeetontheStreet.png Feet on the Street Level 1: +100% Ownership recovery rate on city.
Level 2: +50% Ownership recovery rate on city. x0 Expansion disapproval on city.
Drakken 5 CulturalAmbassador.png Cultural Ambassador Level 1: +10 ApprovalSmall.png on city.
Level 2: +10 ApprovalSmall.png on city.
Level 3: +10 ApprovalSmall.png on city.
Morgawr 2 CultofTides.png Cult of Tides Level 1: +10 ApprovalSmall.png on city with oceanic exploitation.
Level2: +10 ApprovalSmall.png on city with oceanic exploitation.
Level 3: +15 ApprovalSmall.png on city with oceanic exploitation.
Kapaku 2 HeatoftheHearth.png Heat of the Hearth Level 1: +2 Approval ApprovalSmall.png for city center and expansions on Volcanic terrain.
Level 2: +2 Approval ApprovalSmall.png for city center and expansions on Volcanic terrain.
Sisters of Mercy 1 RighteousCause.png Righteous Cause Level 1: +10 ApprovalSmall.png on city.
Level 2: +10 ApprovalSmall.png on city.
Level 3: +10 ApprovalSmall.png on city

Accessories[edit]

Only the Mithrite Tomes provide a bonus to Approval of a city when equipped on a governing hero, increasing it by a small amount for each unit garrisoned in the city.

Item Material Tier StrategicIcon.png Effect
ItemTomeStrategic5Tier1Large.png Mithrite 1 24 Mithrite Color 256x256.PNG +2 ApprovalSmall.png per unit on city
ItemTomeStrategic5Tier2Large.png Mithrite 2 48 Mithrite Color 256x256.PNG +4 ApprovalSmall.png per unit on city
ItemTomeStrategic5Tier3Large.png Mithrite 3 96 Mithrite Color 256x256.PNG +8 ApprovalSmall.png per unit on city

Miscellaneous[edit]

Assimilation[edit]

The Eyeless Ones provide an assimilation bonus of +5 ApprovalSmall.png on Cities per pacified and rebuilt village, up to +30 ApprovalSmall.png.

Empire Plan[edit]

Tier 2 of the Empire and Expansion branch of the Empire Plan increase the Approval of all cities by 25 ApprovalSmall.png

Resource Boosters[edit]

One of the best ways to gain approval, Luxury Resource boosters all provide a boost to Approval while they are active. Dye, Emeralds, Gold, and Spices all provide a bonus 5 ApprovalSmall.png on Cities while their boosters are active in addition to their other effects, while Wine provides a bonus 30 ApprovalSmall.png to all cities, making it the best way to increase approval in the early game. All other luxury resources provide a bonus of 10 ApprovalSmall.png.

Technology[edit]

As mentioned before, there are a handful of technologies that reduce expansion disapproval, but there aren't many that directly increase Approval. The only exception to this is the Necrophages' faction-exclusive technology, Demanding Gods, which they can research in Era II. This technology allows the Necrophages to sacrifice 1 PopulationSmall.png in a city in order to increase the city's Approval by 30 ApprovalSmall.png for a number of turns equal to the population at the time the sacrifice is made, though the duration can be increased by sacrificing another PopulationSmall.png.

Urkans[edit]

An empire that has control of both Chaka and Fakir will be able to unlock the Urkan Power training, which makes it so that when either Chaka or Fakir are rooted in a region next to a city, that city will get +50 ApprovalSmall.png if it is owned by the person who controls either or is owned by an ally of theirs, or a -50 ApprovalSmall.png penalty otherwise.