The best city map creator, town map builder and village map generator is the holy grail for many worldbuilders. I think it’s because cities are the heart of settings. After all, they’re where you can show culture, traditions, peoples, items, plants, and animals – all in a tight space! Basically, they’re worldbuilding gold, and finding good places to make fantasy cities is tough. But no fear – here are 5 fantasy city map creators and generators to get you going!
By the way, if you’re not already on World Anvil, it’s the best place to create cities, settlements and geographic regions for your book or RPG campaign! (It’s won both Writers Digest awards and ENnie Gold awards, you know!)
Our worldbuilding templates inspire you with prompts, AND help you keep everything in your city organized! And our interactive maps make it easy to pin information to an image – helping you keep your world connected and easy to manage.
Writers and authors should check out our book and series bible features as well as our novel writing software which helps you reference your world as you write!
Dungeon Masters and GMs can manage all your NPCs, your lore and your campaign, with our campaign management features for Dungeon Masters! You can even make your maps interactive there, and let your players explore, or keep everything private!
City map creators come in two main types – generators, and builders. We’ll start with the generators, which create randomly generated maps that you can edit, to a greater or lesser extent. Then we’ll go onto builders, which let you manually place assets, and give you more control over your city map.
DonJon Fantasy Town Generator – a city map creator for the DM in a hurry!
DonJon was the first fantasy city generator I ever found, and I have to say, I really like it! This fantasy city generator will generate a name, some district names, and even some details about the world for you. It’s absolutely Tolkeinian / Medieval Fantasy focussed, but if that’s what you’re looking for, it’s pretty awesome. You can save your images as PNGs. (Pro-tip – convert your images as JPEGs to upload them to World Anvil’s interactive mapping suite! They’ll take up less space!)
You can toggle a lot of things, too, with this city map generator, like town size, biome, and the “race” (species – think Dwarves, Elves, etc) that built it. You can make it coastal, and toggle walls and rivers, too. And you can alter the culture. Not only does this change the image, but it also changes the supplementary information generated below- things like random NPCs (i.e. side characters), population, notable places, and surrounding areas.
Who’s this city map creator tool best for?
If you want a medieval fantasy city map, and you want it fast, DonJon is awesome. And if, on top of that, you want some Tolkeinian or Dungeons and Dragons-style fantasy info for your town too, then this city map generator is for you. I’d say it’s perfect for a Dungeonmaster in a hurry, someone looking for a start for a short story, or anyone looking for a quick map! It’s not ideal if your setting is not medieval fantasy, or if you’re looking to place individual buildings in your city with more care. If you already have your names picked out for your town, then maybe check out the next city map generator!
Watabou Fantasy Town Generator – a fast-but-tweakable town map generator!
Watabou is kind of like DonJon on steroids. Just like the DonJon city map generator, the idea is that you can generate a city map quickly, and it looks pretty good. But Watabou gives you much more customizability.
As well as being able to choose a small, medium, or large city map, you can also change the shape of it! Awesomely enough, the warp tool has a bunch of cool sub-tools, which allows you to change the way the pre-generated city is built. You can warp, bend, stretch, and liquify to your heart’s content, and the city will apply the changes. Best of all – it still looks like a reasonable city, even when you muck about with it! It’s not easy to break the thing altogether (this is high praise, coming from me!)
This fantasy city generator does automatically create names, but you can edit those if you want to. Which makes it more flexible in terms of setting and genre! There’s a tonne of presets you can toggle to add a castle in the center, or a shanty town, for example. You can also toggle the font of the names, the graphics, and all that good stuff. And you can export in PNG, SVG and JSON.
Who’s this city map creator tool best for?
Any writer of fantasy or historical fiction will love this city map creator. And any GM who needs a town or city map quickly will find this free city generator very useful! Because this free city map creator is less tied to the medieval fantasy/ Tolkein/ Dungeons and Dragons feel, its more universally useful. So if you’re looking for a more setting-neutral map, this might be for you.
The cities created in Watabou could even, reasonably, be passed off as a modern European city, as long as you add the shantytown setting. That adds extra buildings outside the walls, which makes it feel more modern. If you DO find it useful, why not shoot its creator, Oleg Dolyam some support over on their Patreon? They also have a village map generator, if that’s useful!
Remember, of course, that you can link all of your settlement maps to your region maps in World Anvil – using our free interactive maps features – to keep track of everything! Check out the video below to see how it looks!
Cityographer – an old-school city map generator
OK, so I’m not a massive fan of this one, but I’ll include it for completeness. Cityographer and its update, Worldographer, are downloadable, freemium city map-making software and, as the name suggests, world map-making software. In the city level, it also autogenerates information about your setting, like automatic NPCs and shops. So what’s wrong with it?
Well, really nothing! It clearly works just fine, and in terms of functionality it’s pretty complete. This is all about personal taste. For me, it’s VERY old school Dungeons and Dragons. That means it’s not great for writers, and also not ideal if you’re playing or worldbuilding anything more modern in feel. It’s also not to my aesthetic taste – the art will appeal to many, but it’s just not my cup of tea. I just can’t get behind a hex map. Sorry. Maybe it’s just me…
If you’re curious, though, you can check out the video below! That shows off the hex maps and the city map generation process.
Deios/ DungeonFog – a city map builder with ULTIMATE CONTROL (and gorgeous art!)
If you’re looking for more control than a city generator, why not try a full-on CITY BUILDER!
Project Deios will be a Freemium service, which means you can create city maps for free with it. The art assets are from the famous fantasy illustrator Caeora so the assets are totally gorgeous, and you can upload your own too. And of course, this is an asset placer. That means you have total control over where you put what in your city! Yes, you can autogenerate something cool, like in the previous examples, but you can also individually place assets to really customize your city map. It’ll also be integrated into World Anvil and provide the last word in mappiness for worldbuilders!
So what’s the rub? Well, it’s not out yet. The project kickstarted to HUGE success, and the Alpha 1 – just released – is already amazing, but we won’t see cities until Alpha 2. Keep an eye out for this one, though, guys. It’s going to have assets for different cultures and biomes, and it’s going to let you make everything from star maps to dungeon maps (obviously with city maps being my favorite!). It’s worth mentioning that these guys are our personal friends, and we’re affiliated with them, too.
Inkarnate – an all-in-one cartography tool
Inkarnate is a browser-based mapmaking software using the freemium model. So that means, you can make city maps for free (with restrictions) or spring for a subscription to get the whole toolset and all the assets.
Like Deios, Inkarnate is a browser-based, asset-placing toolset that allows you to create landmasses and add things too them. They have a fairly standard set of assets available for free, and you can get way more if you pay. Honestly, I’ve seen some really impressive maps made with Inkarnate! It seems to be great for region maps as well. So if you’re looking for a city mapmaking software to use right now – something more advanced than a generator – then definitely give Inkarnate a whirl. After all, you can try it for free!
Flowscape – for 3D city map-making and scenes
So Flowscape isn’t exactly a cartography tool. It’s a downloadable, 3D modeling program and you can create your own 3D scenes! But you CAN place beautiful building assets in a 3D space. And you CAN take a birds-eye view snapshot with it. So, basically, it can do the job of a fantasy city map creator, if you want it to!
Right now Flowscape’s for windows if you get it on Steam, or you can get it on Itch.io for a mac version. But beyond that, the computer requirements aren’t too crazy! You can pick up this amazing program for under 15 dollars on Steam or Itch.io, and it’s easy to use.
If you’re creating cities, you’ll know the frustration of forgetting what all those little buildings and quarters are! World Anvil’s interactive maps allow you to add context to your city maps. You can add pins to denote which buildings are which, and even reference articles about them – they pop up on the right, just like in the video below! Imagine being able to immediately check shop names, tavern menus, and the like!
Oh, and you can also give this information to your players and readers if you want to, or keep some or all of it secret! Designed by writers and GMs, for writers and GMs. 🙂
Do you know other city map creators I’ve missed? Or did you find one of these particularly helpful? Let me know in the comments below!