Choosing your civilization in Rise of Kingdoms has quite some effect on your whole game experience as each civilization has an individual bonus that will help you, some do more, some do less.
After all there’s not a single answer and the civilization you should choose depends heavily on your play style and also if you’re in the early, mid or late stages in Rise of Kingdoms.
If you look at my list below I’m sure you’ll find some really helpful hints that will help you choose your civilization.
This guide got totally reworked with the release of the Vikings as new civilization in Rise of Kingdoms
Changing Your Civilization? Yes, That’s Possible
By the time you’re reading this, you probably already have chosen your civilization, right?
Well, you can change your civilization after you’ve chosen it but it will cost you 10,000 Gems or a token for changing your civilization – so if you haven’t played that long (few hours or days), you might want to think about starting instead of wasting that amount of Gems for that.
It’s important to have the right civilization, but just think about how much you can get with 10,000 Gems or how long it takes to get that many Gems in Rise of Kingdoms.
You can do it in your profile by using the arrows next to your civilization.
But now let’s get back to the original question, what is the best civilization to choose?
One thing to mention here, if you change your civilization everything will change (but not get reset!), only your starting commander will remain the same!
If you also want to check out which commanders are really good in Rise of Kingdoms, you might want to check out my guide here.
Rise of Kingdoms Civilizations – Which Is The Best?
I have tried to put them in a tier list to give you an indication how well (or bad) they are, so you will the great civilizations to choose, the okay civilizations and the civilizations that I think are not really useful.
TL;DR: if you don’t want to get too deep into the background, here’s the best thing to do for you:
- Choose Japan if you start playing
- Mid-Game switch to either China (more action points) or Germany (Teutonic Knight) work really well
- Late-Game Byzantium is a great choice, Arabia if you’re the rally leader frequently
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The Civilizations To Choose
Before reading the table, please mind that the Starting Commander is only useful for starting as you can use any commander with any civilization later in the game! Never switch your civilization because of the starting commander, it won’t be affected by switching anyway.
Also, a ranked “S” Starting Commander means how useful a commander is at starting in Rise of Kingdoms, not how strong he is later in the game (refer to the commander tier list here to see what commanders are really strong).
Here’s an overview (sorted alphabetically) to give you main benefits. Below the table you will find a more detailed guide what civilizations I recommend:
*only if you’re the rally leader!
If you’re starting you will use mixed armies a lot so specialized units aren’t that important. Your main focus is getting a good start and also boost researching and building as much as you can.
For that reason I recommend using China as starting civilization with their additional action points, building speed and with Sun Tzu you will get a great starting commander as well.
When you have your T4 units unlocked and start specialization, there are multiple options for you:
- Rome, France or Vikings for Infantry
- Britain or Ottoman for Archery
- Germany for Cavarly
Switching your civilization here makes sense and although 10k Gems is a lot, it will help you in the long run and you have saved a lot of time if you picked the right starting civilization.
Details for All Civilizations
Arabia – actually this civilization has really strong buffs, but I put it here because only rally leaders and people starting rallies frequently will really benefit from the additional damage dealt to barbarians and the damage buff all allied troops will get.
Britain – they are good as well and the additional garrison capacity will hurt attackers a lot and the faster troop training is also helpful. However, it always depends on how active and good your alliance is. I’d only recommend them if you’re later in the game and training a lot of the T4/T5 units that take long where the faster training buff will come into play and you want to specialize in archery.
Byzantium – the main benefits here are the 5% additional health for cavalry troops and the 15% additional hospital capacity. This is really powerful because many are using cavalry units quite heavily and the extra 5% will help not letting them die because they are really expensive to train, especially later in the game. The additional hospital capacity will also help you to lose as few as possible of them so if you use cavalry units often (or plan to), this civilization is really great when you’re later in the game
China – that’s the best pick as starting civilization with the additional action points that help you get a lot extra resources from neutral stuff as well and the extra building speeds helps early in the game a lot until you come at the point where you start training T4 units, that#s the point where other civilizations are better.
France – for sure a civilizations that you can use in the end game. when you will see 20% additional healing speed and extra health for your troops as an advantage and it helps a lot to not have to wait for hospital capacity.
Germany – more action point recovery, faster troop training speed and the additional damage for cavalry units is really helpful. Also their special unit is pretty nice but I wouldn’t recommend running Germany as the first civilization as Chine or Japan are more useful there.
Japan – For me, that’s a great civilization when you’re starting the game. The 30% speed for scouts will really help you when you have most of the map uncovered (and believe me, the map is bigger than you could imagine). Also 3% troop attack buff and 5% resource gathering buff will be extremely useful to you in the earlier stages of the game.
Korea – this is a good civilizations in the later stages of the game where you will really appreciate the hospital capacity that can save you a ton of expenses for training new troops and the research speed buff is also a great help later when the researches take very long times. The archer defense buff, in fact, isn’t that useful after all.
Ottoman – if you specialize in archers later in the game, Ottoman Empire is something to consider. The additional skill damage applies to pretty much all archery commanders as they deal direct damage and the additional archer health is a great stat in the battle, paired with additional march speed a very nice pick mid-to-late game in Rise of Kingdoms!
Rome – with a really nice special unit and the extra march speed for everything the Romans are a civilizations many people pick for mid-game and don’t regret it. I wouldn’t start with Rome as the first civilization but at the point where you get T4 units a nice choice, along with France or Vikings.
Spain – is not a civilization that really works well anywhere and get outclassed by other civilizations. The extra exp from barbarians is nice early but the cavalry defense and resource production not that well as other civilization’s traits. Their special unit isn’t outstanding neither and the experience doesn’t play much of a role in mid/late game.
Viking (NEW) – the Vikings have one of the best special units with extra health and defense and are really strong overall. The 5% additional infantry attack and especially the counterattack damage are really nice. 10% extra troop load capacity is also nice to have. Nothing to start with, but a civilization you want to consider mid-game when you start training T4 units.