Gameplay focuses heavily on creating a balance between offense, defense, and the nation's economy based in the city. In each battle, economy is vital to win. If a nation loses all of its cities, then that nation has lost that battle. Generalship is also needed in this game like most RTS games; this includes a knowledge of the troops and what they are good at fighting (pikemen will kill cavalry easier than cannon will). Learning the surrounding terrain of one's empire to defend from attack and to flank an enemy army will allow a player to fight more efficiently. Generals can also be created from a fort to aid an army.
Five tactical formations are also available, including the ability to compress or expand the line of battle. When a formation is chosen, the selected units automatically reposition themselves accordingly, typically with faster moving units in the front and slower moving, vulnerable units in the rear. With sufficient skill in creating proper unit distributions in an army and fielding that army, it is possible to defeat a numerically superior enemy in Rise of Nations.
In a manner similar to chess, slight strategic mistakes early in the game can turn into major tactical problems later on. For example, if a player starts with the nomad setting (where no city is built at startup), it is wise to scout for an area that has resources before building a city, for without resources there is no army and the player will lose.
Minimum System Requirements
CPU : 500 MHz
RAM : 128 MB RAM
VGA : 16 MB 3D card
OS : Windows XP/2000/ME/98
HDD : 800 MB
Sound: audio board with speakers and / or headphones
Network : Online/multiplayer requirements: 56.6 kbps or better for internet play