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Rise of Kingdoms: Upgrade Troops or Train New Ones after Unlocking Them?

As you go up the ages in Rise of Kingdoms (formerly Rise of Civilizations) and you upgrade your Headquarters more and more, you will eventually unlock new troop types via research.

And once you do, you are faced with a dilemma: should you upgrade your existing units into the better tier troops or keep the old ones and start training new ones?

I am assuming from the beginning that it’s pretty much obvious that the newly unlocked units are always better than the old ones and you should never train a previous type of unit anymore. This is a rule.

To prove that, here are a couple of screenshots comparing the Arcuballista (level 2 Siege Unit) with the Battering Ram:

The weaker unit is good for starters…
The new unit brings massive improvements

As you can see, everything but the Marching speed is way better with the superior level unit. So this is what you should be focusing on after unlocking these new units: better stats and numbers!

Even though the marching speed is slower, you won’t really feel the difference and the time “lost” is greatly compensated by the added power your new units have.

And as you go up the tiers in Rise of Kingdoms, you will see that troops get slower and slower anyways!

But what about the existing ones? Should you upgrade the existing troops or let them be and start training new ones?

Should you instantly increase your army’s strength by upgrading to the new tier units, or just start training the new and better troops, keeping the old ones as they are?

My opinion is that you should take the time and upgrade existing units into the better ones instead of ignoring them and only training new ones.

If you are wondering why I say that, there are actually various reasons. The most important is time required to get the better troops, as you can see in the example that I will be listing below.

Taking some infantry troops as an example – just for the sake of diversity – we can see that training new Level 2 units (Swordsman) takes a bit over 2 hours:

However, if I am to upgrade the existing troops, I only need a bit over one hour and a lot less in terms of resources as well:

But this is not the only reason why you want to upgrade your existing troops before you train new ones. Each commander in the game has a specific troop capacity.

So simply getting a million units won’t actually help make you better in battle: you need the best troops you have available in the game in order to achieve that.

Previous tier troops become obsolete extremely fast and simply upgrading them basically doubles your nation’s power, while increasing the stats of the said units a lot.

So this is the route you should always follow in order to make sure that you’re doing what is best for your civilization: start upgrading existing troops first, as soon as you get to a new tier. And only afterwards start training new units for your kingdom.

But make sure that you are active and log in often in order to get done with the upgrade process as fast as possible in order to get that boost ASAP.

Exception to the rule

There is one situation where I would say that you should stick to your old troops and train new, better tier ones first: if you don’t have enough troops to fully fill three main armies.

Eventually, as you reach Tier 2 and Tier 3 troops, you will be able to send a total of 3 armies to battle at once. By that time, your commanders will probably be of a really high level and they will be able to carry a lot of troops.

If in this situation, in some cases (for example, if you have been attacked often and lost many troops), you might not have enough units to fully fill three armies.

In this case – and this case only – you should start training new troops first and only start upgrading previous tier units once you have a large enough army to go fully stocked with three sets of commanders.

If you need more tips and tricks about Rise of Kingdoms, you can simply browse this website and search through the archives to find useful content that helps you get the most of the game.

If you’re just getting ready to start, for example, you can check out my guide to civilizations here or read the tips and tricks for beginners.

I’m also publishing new content constantly and you’ll have more and more to choose from, so make sure to check back often or like us on Facebook to be up to date with the latest articles.


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  1. I disagree:

    I actually found that it stagnates the pace in which your civilization increases in power tremendously.
    I was constantly on par with 2 alliancemembers on power overturning eachother every now and then. now after about a week of upgrading i am down 100k in comparison to the other 2 who have been training new troops and just let the old ones die in war anyway. (there’re no maintenance costs anyway so there’s no reason to get rid of them)

    In my case i can’t log in hourly because of work etc. so actually putting in longer queues by training new troops is beneficial to my specific time schedule. This is coming from someone who’s now playing about 1,5 months in and nearing the 2m power working towards t4 troops. Takes about 12 hours to get the T3 infantry x900 trained.

    An alternative option which I could recommend is the following:
    T1: New troops building of course
    T2: Only train new troops
    T3: Upgrade all T1 troops remaining and focus on new t3 after
    T4: Upgrade all T2 troops remaining and focus on new t4 after
    T5: Upgrade all T3 troops remaining. Then focus on new T5 until you have plenty to keep at least 2 commanders filled with max capacity T5 troops and after you work to upgrade all remaining T4 troops.

    This schedule is quite effective when you’re in an active alliance that goes to war on a weekly basis and it thins out your troops anyway.

    Hope that helps!

    1. Good points! It really depends on your level of activity and how active is your alliance. If you expect to lose troops to alliance wars, then there is indeed no point in wasting time and resources upgrading the lower tier units.

  2. There is one more exception: You don’t want to upgrade your Siege if all you do with them is farm. It is way more efficient to farm with t1 siege, than t3 or t4, since the load increase is only minimal and when you inevitably get attacked your losses are way lower.
    The downside is, they easily clog up your hospital.

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