Rise of Nations combines real-time strategy and several elements from other games, all made it into one outstanding game. Developed by Big Huge Games, Rise of Nations is a real-time strategy game released in 2003. 

Fans of RTS games will immediately notice the uncanny resemblance to Age of Empires; however, the game has far more unique and interesting features that provide a gap between the two games.


The game was re-released in 2014 in both the Windows 10 Store and through Steam. Read on to learn more about Rise of Nations, and check out what the game is about and how to play it below.

Rise of Nations: How to Play
Image Source: Polygon

What Is Rise of Nations?

Rise of Nations is a real-time strategy game released at the height of the genre's popularity. In the game, players construct a settlement and expand it by building different offensive, defensive, and utility structures. 

Enemy players also do the same with their settlement until both clashes for the resources or the expansion of their settlement. Players obtain different resources that are used to build structures or recruit units to defend the settlement or help expand the territory. 


There are many ways to win in the game or meet the end conditions. Capture, territorial superiority, wonder victory, or score victory are common ways to win the game.

Gameplay and Features

There are over 18 different civilizations to choose from in Rise of Nations. Each of the civilizations has 4 to 8 units with unique attributes that correlate to the theme of the chosen civilization. 

Some unique units are based on real-life military units while others are fictional or based on what units those nations could have built if it was not destroyed in real life.


The gameplay is reliant on balancing between different structures and units with the goal to either defend, expand the territory through offensive means, and enhance the economy. 

Players need to understand and familiarize themselves with what each unit does to win the game. Specific units are weak against another unit while such unit is strong against another.

Multiplayer Feature

Terrain also plays a major role in the game. Formations are also available which forms a tactical advantage depending on the type of unit you want to control. Units that have more firepower but are vulnerable to attacks tend to be placed at the back while defensive units are in the front for protection.

Rise of Nations has a multiplayer feature that is available through Steam. The ranked games incorporate an ELO system that provides a ladder to players on the leaderboard. This shows how good you are as a player as you gain ranks and make it to the top of the ladder.

Tips and Tricks

Rise of Nations: How to Play
Image Source: Without The Sarcasm

The first thing that you should know in playing Rise of Nations is to know what your units can do. Take advantage of your nation's attributes and work with your strengths to push for objectives in the game. It will help make the game easier to play if you play with your strengths.

Be aware of your terrain. Units that move in rivers tend to move very slowly and take extra damage. This could also be taken as an advantage if you catch enemies moving through a river so you can position your army surrounding the river and deal more damage to finish them off quickly.

Take full advantage of healing units. Medics and healing units are often underestimated in this game. Place units inside buildings to heal or repair it and you save a lot of your precious resources from building your base from the ground up after a heavy battle.


Rise of Nations is a very strategic game that rewards players who plan attacks and defend their settlement. You can get an advantage in almost every possible way but it is up to you as a player to learn more about the game by playing it.