From Civilization V Wiki
Ah, Gold! Gold is wonderful stuff. You can use it to build an army, to pay for a road network, to purchase buildings and Wonders, to buy the friendship of a city-state and to bribe an enemy civilization.
It may be true that "money can't buy you love," but it can purchase a submarine armed with nuclear missiles, and that's not bad.
For information on the Resource "Gold", See Gold.
Where to get Gold
Gold comes from a variety of sources. You'll get most of your gold by working the tiles around your cities, but other sources are available as well.
These tiles provide gold when your citizens work them:
- Coast Tiles
- Ocean Tiles
- River Tiles
- Natural Wonders
All resources (especially gold!) provide gold when worked.
- The Trading Post
Construct a trading post improvement in a tile to increase its gold output.
Many buildings – markets, banks – increase a city's output of gold, especially if you assign merchant specialists to them.
Some Wonders provide or increase a city's output of gold. Check out Machu Picchu and the Colossus. Also, if you're constructing a Wonder and another civ finishes it before you do, you get a gold bonus (the size of the bonus depends upon how much progress you've made on the Wonder).
- Trade Routes
If a city is connected by a road and/or harbor to your capital city, that city has a "trade route" with the capital. Each trade route is worth a certain amount of gold each turn, the amount determined by the size of the two cities.
An enemy naval unit within 2 tiles of a port city will "blockade" that city, rendering its harbor trade route inoperative until the enemy unit is driven off or destroyed.
- Barbarian Encampment
You'll earn gold each time you disperse a Barbarian Encampment
- Ancient Ruins
An ancient ruin may provide gold when it is explored.
A city-state may give you gold when you first meet. It may provide more later if you befriend it. (See the section on City-States for details.)
- Pillage Enemy Improvements
Pillaging enemy improvements will give you a modest amount of gold.
- Capturing Cities
You may gain a bunch of gold when you capture a city (city-state or civilization's possession).
You may gain gold – lump sum or an amount each turn for 20 turns – during negotiations with another civ.
- Perform a "Trade Mission"
A Great Merchant can perform a "trade mission" in a city-state. The Merchant is expended and you get lots of gold. (See the section on Great People.)
There's lots of stuff to spend gold on.
- Unit and Building Maintenance
Units and buildings both have "maintenance costs" that must be paid every turn. See the individual entries on the units and buildings for specific amounts. (Note that these maintenance costs are dependent upon the difficulty level at which you're playing.)
- Road Maintenance
You spend gold for each road tile that you construct. If you absorb another civ's roads into your territory, you pay for their maintenance as well.
- Purchase Tiles
You can extend your civilization's territory by purchasing individual tiles. Go to a City Screen, and then click on "Buy a Tile." The map will display all tiles available for purchase. Click on the tile to expend the requisite gold and purchase the tile. Purchasing Units, Buildings or Wonders You can spend gold to purchase units, buildings or Wonders in a city. Click on an item (if you can afford it!) and it will be immediately constructed in the city, and the amount deducted from your treasury. Note that "projects" – the Utopia Project, the Manhattan Project, etc. – cannot be purchased.
- Upgrading Obsolete Units
Over time, you'll learn new technologies that will allow you to create better military units than those you previously could. When this occurs, you'll have the option to "upgrade" the older units, turning them into the newer, more powerful models. (For example, once you learn Iron Working, you can upgrade any Warrior units you possess into Swordsmen.) Each upgrade costs some gold – the more powerful the upgrade, the more expensive it will be.
A unit must be in your territory to be upgraded. When an upgrade is available for a unit, the "Upgrade" button will appear in the unit's Action list.
- Buying Friendship with City-States
If you want to improve your relationship with a city-state, one way to do so is to give it some gold. Increasing amounts of gold may be given for larger boosts to friendship.
You can exchange gold with other civilizations for any number of reasons – trading it for resources, for example, to get the other civ to make peace with you, or to bribe the civ to attack a third. Gold is extremely useful in negotiations.
There are two different ways to exchange gold: flat fee and per turn.
- Flat Fee
A "Flat Fee" exchange is just that. You give or receive a one-time lump sum of gold, and then you're done.
- Per Turn
You can also negotiate an exchange that occurs over a number of turns (usually 20). For example, you might agree to pay the other civ 5 gold per turn for 20 turns. These agreements are rendered null and void if the two civilizations go to war.
- Getting Plundered
If the fiendish barbarians successfully attack one of your cities, they "plunder" some of your gold and you retain the city.
- Losing a City
If a civilization or city-state captures one of your cities, they take some of your gold (as well as the city).
Running out of Gold
If your treasury is at zero and you're running a negative budget, the difference is deducted from your Science. Beware: this can seriously slow down your acquisition of new technology, which can leave you extremely vulnerable to attack by more advanced neighbors. Get your budget in order as quickly as possible!