* A well-balanced early game city location has at least a couple of resources, enough food for growth (at least some grassland), 2+ hills to build mines on, and is located next to a source of fresh water which increases city health and is required to build farms early on.
* A new city's top building priority should be a source of culture, usually a Monument, to allow its borders to grow. Granaries are also an early priority as they allow
them to grow much faster.
* When exploring the map, focus on the nearby areas first for potential city sites. Also, stick to forests and hills to have better odds against roaming animals and barbarians.