There are 11 nations to choose from in Rise of Kingdoms and the choice that you make will most likely have a major effect on your game experience.
That’s why I have decided to write this article and help you answer the burning question: what nation / civilization to choose in Rise of Kingdoms?
In order to answer this question, we will have to check out all the available civilizations in the game and look at the bonuses that they offer.
The bonuses are, in my opinion, more important that the commanders they start with because you will unlock more commanders in the game as you play it anyway.
Therefore, even if your starting civilization doesn’t have the best commander in the game (none does, actually), you will eventually unlock better ones as you progress and therefore have more options.
Because, yes, all commanders are actually available to be unlocked by all nations. But the bonuses and unique troops are specific to your civilization – and this is why I consider these the most important.
Now, with these in mind, let’s find out more about all nations in Rise of Kingdoms!
IMPORTANT: This article has been updated in 2019, after the introduction of 3 new nations and changes made to the original setup.
Glory of the Empire: Infantry defense increases 5%. Troops March Speed increases 5%. Food Gathering Speed increases 10%.
Unique unit: Legion (infantry).
Starting Commander: Scipio Africanus (Leader, Good at PvP Combat)
What does this mean? Rome offers a civilization that can attack faster than others, focusing on a solid infantry.
Eagle of Germany: Cavalry attack increases 5%. Troops training speed increases 5%. Action Points recovery speed increases 10%.
Unique unit: Teutonic Knight (Cavalry)
Starting Commander: Hermann (Disabler, Archer, Defender)
What does this mean? Germany trains troops faster than other civilizations and also recovers action points faster, meaning that you can conduct more raids and attack barbarians more often. Hermann is also good at defending your city, so overall things are pretty good here.
The Sun Never Sets: Archer attack increases 5%. Troop Training speed increases 5%. Ally Garrison capacity increases 20%.
Unique Unit: Longbowman (Archer)
Starting Commander: Boudica (Nuker, Jungler)
What does this mean? Britain focuses on being the support civilization in the game, thanks to the boost it gets to archers. It had its second bonus changed, making it a better choice, even though focused more on defense. It does have one of my favorite commanders in the game, though.
Chivalry: Troop health increases by 3%. Wood Gathering speed increases 10%. Hospital Healing speed increases 20%.
Unique Unit: Throwing Axemen (Infantry)
Starting Commander: Joan of Arc (Support, Gatherer)
What does this mean? France is a good nation when it comes to gathering resources on the map, but also thanks to the commander it starts with. Otherwise, the healing speed and troop health boost combo is not the best around since for most part of the game, it doesn’t really matter that much.
If you are warring a lot, the Hospital Healing speed becomes better, but I’d still not choose this nation for this bonus alone.
The Matador: Cavalry Defense increases 5%. Experience gained from PvE battles increases 10%. Resource production increases 20%.
Unique Unit: Conquistador (Cavalry)
Starting Commander: Pelagius (Nuker, Cavalry, Defender)
What does this mean? Spain is a good nation that has been tweaked a lot since launch. You will be battling barbarians most of the time, so the extra XP comes in handy. Overall, a good nation in my opinion.
Art of War: Troops defense increases 3%. Action Point recovery increases by 5%. Building speed increases 5%.
Unique Unit: Chu-Ko-Nu (Archer)
Starting Commander: Sun Tzu (Nuker, Defender, Infantry)
What does this mean? Focused mainly on defense (despite current tweaks), China has a nice boost from the building speed increase, but action point recovery is only slightly useful if you are an extremely active player.
Bushido: Troops attack increases 3%. Scout march speed increases 30%. Resource gathering speed increases 5%.
Unique Unit: Samurai (Infantry)
Starting Commander: Kusunoki Masashige (Nuker, Defender, Archer)
What does this mean? Japan has some good bonuses – like the 3% boost of attack and extra gathering speed. The Scout’s march speed is great if you are extremely active and focused on PvP. It is a solid nation for offensive, active players, with a good starting commander too.
Balance of Yin and Yang: Archer Defense increase 5%. Hospital capacity increase 15%. Research speed increases 3%.
Unique Unit: Hwarang (Infantry)
Starting Commander: Eulji Mundeok (Nuker, Defender, Infantry)
What does this mean? Korea is another nation that’s pretty much mediocre in the game. You don’t really need much of the hospital space anyway (unless warring a lot), while the research speed boost isn’t really a game changer. Good commander, but that’s about it!
Boundless Oasis: Increase cavalry attack by 5%, damage dealt in PvE battles by 10% and damage dealt by rallied armies by 5%.
Unique Unit: Mamluk (Cavalry)
Starting Commander: Baibars
What does this mean? Arabia is clearly focused on attacking, so if you plan to be active in the game and attack a lot (which you should), this is a good civilization for you – and the starting commander is really good too, further expanding the Cavalry bonus.
Realm of the King: Increases archer health by 5%, troop march speed by 5% and active skill damage by 5%
Unique Unit: Janissary (Archer)
Starting Commander: Osman I
What does this mean? Another new civilization and a pretty solid one in my opinion. Not as good as Arabia since it’s a bit more defense-oriented and the active skill damage could’ve been better, but overall a good nation to choose
Heavenly Light: Increases cavalry health by 5%, stone gathering speed by 10% and hospital capacity by 15%
Unique Unit: Cataphract (Cavalry)
Starting commander: Belisarius
What does this mean? While this is not the best nation in the game, it’s not the worst either. An interesting mixture of bonuses that touch attack, gathering and defense/troop management
So… which is the best nation in Rise of Kingdoms?
The good thing is that these civilizations don’t have humongous bonuses that really overpower one compared to another.
So if you really want to choose a civilization based on personal preferences and not its bonuses, you can still do so without being at a large disadvantage.
However, there are some civilizations that stand out in my opinion and it’s a better idea to choose them if you want to make it as easy as possible for your kingdom to thrive.
There are actually three civilizations that stand out in my opinion: Germany which is the best overall thanks to its troop training boost and faster action point recovery; but Spain and Arabia are really good, too, both of them being more offense-oriented and more fun to play.
I am personally playing with Germany at the moment and extremely happy about this civilization. However, I started the game before the new civs were introduced and if I were to start again, I’d choose Arabia.
Can you change civilizations in the game?
It is possible to do so, although not really the cheapest option. You can switch at any time by tapping your profile icon and then the arrows near your civilization – but it costs a whooping 10,000 gems.
So it’s a much better idea to choose right from the beginning!
What do you think, though? What’s the best nation to choose in Rise of Kingdoms?