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Some civilizations have a starting bias, which affects the starting positions they get assigned on map generation. This is done so that each civilization can gain terrain that best benefits their abilities, infrastructure, and unique units. The bias is usually based on historical data.

Upon generation, the map is split into equal parts for each civilization that is in the game. Each civ starts far enough from the others so that they have enough space to grow. The exception is with the Māori, who do not get any land allocated to them. Civs' starting positions (that is, where their initial units are situated) will be distributed around the map according to their start biases. If a section has a lot of rainforest, it is likelier that Brazil will be placed there instead of Arabia. Start biases are ranked by tiers, with tier 1 being the strongest and tier 5 the weakest. It is not guaranteed that each section will directly correlate with a civ, as the map generates without taking into consideration which civs are in the game.

Civilization Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 5
American
American
Arabian
Arabian
Australian
Australian
Coast Coast Resources improved by Pastures:
Cattle Cattle
Horses Horses
Sheep Sheep
Aztec
Aztec
Babylonian
Babylonian
River River
Brazilian
Brazilian
Rainforest Rainforest
Byzantine
Byzantine
Canadian
Canadian
Tundra Tundra
Tundra (Hills) Tundra (Hills)
Snow Snow
Snow (Hills) Snow (Hills)
Chinese
Chinese
Cree
Cree
Dutch
Dutch
River River Coast Coast
Egyptian
Egyptian
Grassland Floodplains Grassland Floodplains
Plains Floodplains Plains Floodplains
Desert Floodplains Desert Floodplains
River River
English
English
Coast Coast Coal Coal
Iron Iron
Ethiopian
Ethiopian
Grassland (Hills) Grassland (Hills)
Plains (Hills) Plains (Hills)
Desert (Hills) Desert (Hills)
Tundra (Hills) Tundra (Hills)
French
French
River River
Gallic
Gallic
Copper Copper
Diamonds Diamonds
Iron Iron
Jade Jade
Mercury Mercury
Salt Salt
Silver Silver
Georgian
Georgian
German
German
River River
Gran Colombian
Gran Colombian
Greek
Greek
Grassland (Hills) Grassland (Hills)
Plains (Hills) Plains (Hills)
Desert (Hills) Desert (Hills)
Tundra (Hills) Tundra (Hills)
Hungarian
Hungarian
River River Geothermal Fissure Geothermal Fissure
Incan
Incan
Grassland (Mountains) Grassland (Mountains)
Plains (Mountains) Plains (Mountains)
Desert (Mountains) Desert (Mountains)
Tundra (Mountains) Tundra (Mountains)
Snow (Mountains) Snow (Mountains)
Indian
Indian
Indonesian
Indonesian
Coast Coast
Japanese
Japanese
Coast Coast
Khmer
Khmer
River River
Kongolese
Kongolese
Rainforest Rainforest
Woods Woods
Korean
Korean
Grassland (Hills) Grassland (Hills)
Plains (Hills) Plains (Hills)
Desert (Hills) Desert (Hills)
Tundra (Hills) Tundra (Hills)
Macedonian
Macedonian
Malian
Malian
Desert Desert
Desert (Hills) Desert (Hills)
Resources improved by Mines (except Uranium):
Aluminum Aluminum
Coal Coal
Copper Copper
Diamonds Diamonds
Iron Iron
Jade Jade
Mercury Mercury
Niter Niter
Salt Salt
Silver Silver
Māori
Māori
Mapuche
Mapuche
Grassland (Mountains) Grassland (Mountains)
Plains (Mountains) Plains (Mountains)
Desert (Mountains) Desert (Mountains)
Tundra (Mountains) Tundra (Mountains)
Mayan
Mayan
Grassland Grassland
Plains Plains
Grassland (Hills) Grassland (Hills)
Plains (Hills) Plains (Hills)
Luxury resources improved by Plantations:

Citrus Citrus
Coffee Coffee
Cocoa Cocoa
Cotton Cotton
Dyes Dyes
Incense Incense
Olives OlivesR&F-Only.png
Silk Silk
Spices Spices
Sugar Sugar
Tea Tea
Tobacco Tobacco
Wine Wine

Desert Desert
Desert (Hills) Desert (Hills)
Tundra Tundra
Tundra (Hills) Tundra (Hills)
Snow Snow
Snow (Hills) Snow (Hills)
Desert (Mountains) Desert (Mountains)
Tundra (Mountains) Tundra (Mountains)
Snow (Mountains) Snow (Mountains)
Mongolian
Mongolian
Horses Horses
Norwegian
Norwegian
Coast Coast Woods Woods
Nubian
Nubian
Desert Desert
Desert (Hills) Desert (Hills)
Resources improved by Mines:
Aluminum Aluminum
Coal Coal
Copper Copper
Diamonds Diamonds
Iron Iron
Jade Jade
Mercury Mercury
Niter Niter
Salt Salt
Silver Silver
Uranium Uranium
Ottoman
Ottoman
Niter Niter
Persian
Persian
Phoenician
Phoenician
Coast Coast
Polish
Polish
Portuguese
Portuguese
Coast Coast
Roman
Roman
Russian
Russian
Tundra Tundra
Tundra (Hills) Tundra (Hills)
Scottish
Scottish
Scythian
Scythian
Horses Horses Grassland Grassland
Plains Plains
Spanish
Spanish
Geothermal Fissure Geothermal Fissure
Sumerian
Sumerian
River River
Swedish
Swedish
Vietnamese
Vietnamese
Rainforest Rainforest
Woods Woods
Marsh Marsh
Zulu
Zulu

Some City-states have starting biases too:

City-state Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 5
Mogadishu
Mogadishu
Coast Coast
Nan Madol
Nan Madol
Coast Coast
Nazca
Nazca
Desert Desert
Rapa Nui
Rapa Nui
Volcano Volcano
Coast Coast
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