There are multiple factors that can influence your success as a player in this game, many of which we already covered in our essential Rise of Kingdoms tips and tricks. But one of the most important factors is your choice of civilization. Each civilization has its own set of unique bonuses and benefits that can help you during different stages of the game.
In this article, we’ll discuss the best Rise of Kingdoms civilizations or nations for the early, mid, and late game so you can choose the best one for your situation.
Rise of Kingdoms Best Civilizations for Early-Game
The early game of Rise of Kingdoms is a crucial time when you are just starting out and building the foundation for your kingdom. During this time, you should focus on gathering resources and developing your city as much as possible. The best civilizations to choose in the early game are:
The best Rise of Kingdoms civilization for the early game is Spain for two main reasons: it offers a nice experience bonus from defeating barbarians and other neutral units on the map, as well as an excellent resource production boost.
The bonus you get from defeating barbarians will help you level up your commanders much faster, while the resource production boost will help you quickly accumulate the resources you need to upgrade your buildings and units. These are great advantages for the early-game economy and will significantly speed up the development of your civilization.
Some players prefer having China as their starting Civilization because of the building speed bonus, but this is not a good strategy in the long run as building upgrades require a lot of resources. Plus, the 5% building speed bonus you get with the China Civilization is not as significant as the bonuses offered by Spain.
What you get with the Spain civilization:
- Starting Commander: Pelagius
- Special unit: Conquistador (cavalry)
- Cavalry defense +5%
- Exp from barbarians +10%
- Resource production +20%
China is another good option for the early game, particularly if you want to focus heavily on building up your civilization. The Troop defense bonus is always useful, although is quite low. But the most unique bonus is the building speed increase, which is great if you want to focus more on building upgrades from start.
However, I find this to be like a chicken and egg situation, as you need a good, steady resource income to speed up the building process. That’s why I think Spain is a much better choice to start your Rise of Kingdoms journey with.
What you get with the China civilization:
- Starting Commander: Sun Tzu
- Special unit: Chu-Ko-Nu (archers)
- Troop defense +3%
- Action point recovery +5%
- Building speed +5%
Rome is another alternative for early gameplay and is a great choice if you plan on playing defensively or simply because you like the Roman Legionary units (who doesn’t?). The Rise of Kingdom’s Rome civilization provides a decent bonus to infantry defense, troop march speed, and food gathering speed, a good combination if you like to mix things up and want to take part in PvP fights from the beginning.
The march speed increase will make a big difference in your ability to move around and engage hostile forces, especially because Infantry troops have the slowest march speed in Rise of Kingdoms.
As for the food bonus, although the percentage is double the other two bonuses, you will get plenty of Food from hunting and gathering on the map, so it’s not a big deal.
What you get with the Rome civilization:
- Starting Commander: Scipio Africanus
- Special unit: Legionary (infantry)
- Infantry defense +5%
- Troop march speed +5%
- Food gathering speed +10%
The Byzantium civilization is also a good option for the early game in ROK if for some reason you don’t want to pick Spain, or you might want a better defense strategy. Byzantium gives you a solid increase in Hospital capacity, which is always nice to have, especially if you might plan to take part in many PvP and PvE fights from the get-go.
Speaking of which, Belisarius is great for attacking Barbarians, and has good mobility. The stone gathering bonus is also nice, but unfortunately, you don’t get any other resource bonuses as you get with Spain.
What you get with the Byzantium civilization:
- Starting Commander: Belisarius
- Special unit: Cataphract (cavalry)
- Cavalry health +5%
- Stone gathering speed +10%
- Hospital capacity +15%
Rise of Kingdoms Best Civilizations for Mid-Game
The mid-game in Rise of Kingdoms is where you begin to take a firmer hold of your area and start to branch out into other parts of the map. This is when you should think about transitioning from one civilization and start building a powerful army.
A good time to switch your civilization for the first time is when you reach Town Hall level 10 as you get a free civilization change token. The best civilizations to choose in the mid-game are:
Britain is the best civilization for the mid-game because it offers a great combination of attack and troop training bonuses. Boudica is a fantastic Epic commander with her Integration talent tree as it allows her to lead any type of troop, not just archers.
On top of that, you get a great attack bonus for your Longbowmen, especially after upgrading the Longbowman to Elite Longbowman (T5). The troop training bonus is also great for quickly building up your army, while the impressive Ally garrison capacity bonus will help you protect your city better by having more troop reinforcements from your allies. All in all, Britain is the perfect civilization for mid-game play in Rise of Kingdoms.
What you get with Britain:
- Starting Commander: Boudica
- Special unit: Longbowman (archers)
- Archer attack +5%
- Troop training speed +5%
- Ally garrison capacity +20%
Germany is a close second to Britain when it comes to the best civilization for mid-game. The bonuses you get with this civilization will help you quickly build up a powerful army and begin expanding your area. Additionally, Hermann can help you better defend your city with his Garrison talent tree.
The drawback of Germany is that Hermann excels at leading archers, which are not the troops you are getting the attack bonus for. Still, Germany is a great choice if you want to rush through the mid-game and take grow fast.
I would say, pick Britain if you want to have a larger reinforcement capacity and the best archer special units in Rise of Kingdoms, otherwise, choose Germany if you want better Cavalry units.
What you get with Germany:
- Starting Commander: Hermann
- Special unit: Teutonic Knight (cavalry)
- Cavalry attack +5%
- Troop training speed +5%
- Action point recovery +10%
Egypt is the newest civilization in Rise of Kingdoms and also a good choice for mid-game, provided you have accumulated enough resources or built a good economic system to support the next level of growth. Egypt has both, building and research speed bonuses, which can be extremely useful if you want to upgrade buildings and research techs faster.
Additionally, Imhotep is a good Epic commander as he can reduce the rage of his targets. Combined with a similar hero like Hermann, which not only can reduce the level of rage but also silences them and offers additional march speed, will give you a nice advantage in open-field combat.
Egypt also has the rally attack bonus, which will increase your chances of winning fights with your allies while attacking Barbarian Forts, Alliance Fortresses, etc. The downside of Egypt is it does not offer any troop training bonuses like Britain or Germany, which is essential if you want to grow your army faster.
What you get with Egypt:
- Starting Commander: Imhotep
- Special unit: Maryannu (archers)
- Archer attack +5%
- Rallied army damage +5%
- Building and research speed +5%
Arabia can be a great civilization if you are more into the PvE aspect of the game as it offers a great combination of bonuses that will increase your damage while attacking barbarians and enemies on the map that require a rally. Baibars, the starting commander can offer you a good advantage while attacking other cities as he has the Conquering talent.
And since you get the barbarian damage bonus, it will help you defeat them faster, which means faster leveling for your commanders. However, is still not as great as the first two mentioned civilizations for mid-game in Rise of Kingdoms as it does not help your army growth that much.
Here’s what you get with Egypt:
- Starting Commander: Baibars
- Special unit: Mamluk (cavalry)
- Cavalry attack +5%
- Damage to barbarians +10%
- Rallied armies damage +5%
To be honest, France is not a great civilization for mid-game as it does not offer any bonuses that will help you grow your city faster. It is not a good choice for late-game either, as it does not include any damage increase. However, if you are looking for a civilization with better support for your army, France is a good choice.
The bonuses it offers will help your troops last longer in tough battles, as well as faster healing. This can be useful if you prefer a more defensive playstyle. Joan of Arc, as we explained in our previous Rise of Kingdoms tier list, is also a great Epic commander for this civilization as she can further boost your army’s defense with her support talent. She is also good at gathering resources and can lead any type of unit.
What you get with France:
- Starting Commander: Joan of Arc
- Special unit: Throwing Axeman (infantry)
- Troop health +3%
- Wood gathering speed +10%
- Hospital healing speed +20%
Rise of Kingdoms Best Civilizations for Late-Game
This is when you need to take advantage of any possible boost that increases your army and its power in Rise of Kingdoms. By now, you should have developed a good economy, as well as a relatively large army and a good defense system and it’s time to engage in wars and tough battles. At this point, you must choose a civilization that offers great attack bonuses. Here are our top picks:
Vikings is by far the best civilization for late-game in Rise of Kingdoms because it helps your armies deal more damage by providing attack bonuses and allowing you to have more troops in your marches. These bonuses are useful in any type of combat, whether you are attacking Barbarians, Alliance Fortress, or other players.
Bjorn Ironside is also a great starting Epic commander as he can deal good damage and is great in rallies. However, he has a slow march speed, which might not be the right hero for attacking other players’ cities and managing to escape in time.
But if you are on a new server, with relatively weak/equal opponents, Bjorn can be a great asset. Therefore, Vikings is a good choice if you want to increase your army’s power, once you have built a strong city base.
What you get with the Viking civilization:
- Starting Commander: Bjorn Ironside
- Special unit: Berserker (infantry)
- Infantry attack +5%
- Counterattack damage +3%
- Troop load +10%
Japan is a close call with Vikings and should be considered a great civilization for late-game, mostly because of the general troop attack bonus. Unlike other civilizations in Rise of Kingdoms, Japan is the only civilization that offers a direct attack bonus for all troop types.
You also get a faster march speed for your scouts, which could be useful when scouting other players’ cities or the map. On top of that, the resource speed increase is always a plus. Another advantage of this civilization is the special unit, the Samurai.
Upgraded to tier 5, the Elite Samurai, you will have the most powerful Infantry units in Rise of Kingdoms. However, I would still pick Vikings as the best civilization for late-game because of the additional troop load and counterattack damage bonuses it offers.
What you get with Japan:
- Starting Commander: Kusunoki Masashige
- Special unit: Samurai (infantry)
- Troop attack +3%
- Scout march speed +30%
- Resource gathering speed +5%
Personally, I don’t think the bonuses offered by the Ottoman Empire civilization provide enough value to make this a great late-game civilization, but it’s still worth considering. Osman I is a good commander for attacking other players’ cities due to his Conquering talent and the ability to lead large armies in battle.
If you are looking for a civilization to increase the damage of your commanders’ active skills while also providing a small march speed increase, then Ottoman Empire should be your go-to choice. Otherwise, there are better civilizations for late-game in Rise of Kingdoms.
What you get with Ottoman Empire:
- Starting Commander: Osman I
- Special unit: Janissary (archers)
- Archer health +5%
- Troop march speed +5%
- Active skill damage +5%
The last civilization on this list is Korea and I must say, besides the generous Hospital capacity increase, there isn’t much else this civilization has to offer. The research speed increase is quite small while the archer defense is not really useful either.
The only thing that’s worth considering this civilization for late-game is the starting hero, Eulji Mundeok. This hero is good for protecting your city as well as leading your Infantry troops into battle. However, if you are looking for a civilization to help you increase your power faster, then Korea is not the best choice.
What you get with Korea:
- Starting Commander: Eulji Mundeok
- Special unit: Hwarang (archers)
- Archer defense +5%
- Hospital capacity +15%
- Research speed +3%
Rise of Kingdoms Civilization FAQ
When can I switch civilizations in Rise of Kingdoms?
You can switch civilizations in Rise of Kingdoms as soon as you get a Civilization Change token or 10,000 Gems. You will receive your first free Civilization Change token at city level 10.
Is changing civilizations necessary in Rise of Kingdoms?
Yes, changing civilizations in Rise of Kingdoms is essential to your progress in the game. You could keep the same civilization for the entire game, but it's best to switch based on your progress, so you get better bonuses.
How many times can I switch civilizations in RoK?
You can change civilizations as many times as you like, as long as you have the required Gems or Civilization Change tokens.