Budapest is unique among maps for its startup. Players in most maps start with a single Town Center, or sometimes, no Town Center at all (this being the case for Mountain Pass and Nomad). In Budapest, they have two Town Centers not far from each other, each one with its corresponding initial resources (6 Berry Bushes, 2 Boars, a herd of 4 Deer, 8 small herdables or 6 Cows and Gold and Stone Mines), and their corresponding Scout and Villagers.
The map usually depicts a tempered area. There are 4 big lakes, each one on one side of the map, so the initial settlements of each player are much closer than in most other maps. Elevations of various sizes are present on the map, but most of the terrain is flat and cliffs are absent. Medium-sized forests can be found on pockets, so wood is plentiful. Gold and Stone Mines outside the initial settlements are of normal variance.
Wild predators are present and scattered on the map in low numbers. Relics are present in normal numbers scattered on the map.
The double start-up in this map enables every player to grow their economy very rapidly, as well as enabling for fast Feudal Age times. It also means that less resources need to be invested in new Town Centers, and more Villagers can be pumped out than in most maps, to gather the land's resources.
In the case of Regicide, each player will have an additional King and an additional Castle (for two in total). A player will only lose if both of their Kings are killed. Similarly, in Sudden Death, the player will only lose if both Town Centers are destroyed.
Performing a turtle may be difficult, as sometimes one of the opponent's Town Centers are right near the player's settlement, but still possible. However, players can perform a Boom even without walling up early, and for this, creating a Dock on the nearest lake helps. Even if an opponent tries to raid one of the Town Centers, the other may be completely unmolested.
Raiding early and rushing is perfectly possible, but its impact may be lower than in most maps, for the reasons already explained (if raiding early one Town Center, the other one may still be completely unmolested, so the economy of the opponent will be much less disrupted).
The lakes on each side sometimes provides a place for naval engagements, though whether or not it is worth the effort to build a navy depends on their size. Either way, a military navy will be limited in defence, as the lakes are not connected to each other.
If playing on team games, Performing a Springboard is very viable since each player can advance fast to the Feudal Age in order to create a Market, so tributing can be done more earlier than in most other maps.
Civilizations with advantages include:
- Civilizations with advantages concerning their Town Centers statistics and production rates: Persians, Chinese, Teutons, Malay
- Civilizations with advantages for their Villagers: Indians, Koreans, Berbers, Vikings, etc.
- Civilizations with start-up bonuses regarding units and buildings: Chinese, Incas, Mayans,
- Civilizations with bonuses regarding, Docks, Fishing Ships or fishermen: Indians, Japanese, Vikings, Persians, Malay, Italians
- Civilizations with more initial resources: Lithuanians, Persians
- Special mentions: Vietnamese (their initial opponent Town center spotting bonus applies to both Town Centers), Burgundians (they may use the second Town Center for researching Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart in the Dark and Feudal Ages without interrupting Villager production)
Note that the Chinese, Indians, and Persians fall under multiple categories, theoretically making them very good fits for this map.
Civilizations that may struggle:
- Cumans; their extra Town Center bonus in the Feudal age is basically denied on this map.