There are six basic resources in Rise of Nations. These resources form the foundation upon which a nation builds itself and allows for the creation of units, buildings, and technologies. These resources are able to be gathered or earned by the player by using Citizens to harvest them (Food, Timber, Metal, and Oil), using Caravans and increasing territory (Wealth), or using Scholars (Knowledge).
Each of the basic resources (with the exception of Wealth) require a building and civilian units to gather/harvest them. Furthermore, there are buildings that can enhance the production rate of the civilian units. Additionally, sending Merchants to Rare resources can also increase the gathering rate of the basic resources.
|Basic Resource||Gathering unit||Gathering building||Enhancing Building|
|Timber||Citizen||Woodcutter's Camp||Lumber Mill|
|Oil||Citizen||Oil Well / Oil Platform||Refinery|
For Food, Timber, Metal, and Oil, a Citizen is needed at each gathering building in order to gather the resource. A Granary, Lumber Mill, or Smelter in a city increases the Food, Timber, or Metal production of Citizens in that particular city, respectively. Those buildings also have technologies that can further enhance the production of all Citizens in cities with those buildings. For Oil, each Refinery increases the production of all Oil Wells and Oil Platforms on the map. For Wealth, a Market is needed to build Caravans, but it is gained largely by the Caravans and the amount of territory the player controls (through Taxation technologies researched at the Temple) and not the Market itself, though it provides a basic income of 10 Wealth. On Sea maps, Fish can also be an important source of Wealth. For Knowledge, the University produces Scholars (which reside in the University), has technologies to increase Scholar productivity, and also provides a basic income of 10 Knowledge.
Despite the number of basic resources, each unit, building, technology, etc. requires at most 2 types of resources which makes resource usage more manageable. Additionally, different types of units and buildings require different resources, ensuring that with any resource mix, some unit or building can be made; the issue then is just a matter of whether or not that unit or building is well-suited for the task at hand.
Resource Management Edit
The primary means of gathering Food is by having Citizens work on Farms. This requires both Timber (to build Farms) and Food (to train Citizens) . On Sea Maps, Food can be gathered from Fish, requiring Timber (to produce Fishermen). Once you reach the Classical Age, you can build Granaries, which use primarily Timber and also a minor amount of Wealth. The Granaries will increase the Food production of all Citizens working on Farms in the same City; a Granary needs to be built in each City for that City's Citizens to receive the enhanced production rate. Additionally, you can research Agronomic upgrades at the Granary, which increase the production bonus for all Granaries and increase the productivity of Fishermen. These upgrades require Timber and Metal.
The primary means of gathering Timber is building Woodcutter's Camps near forests and having Citizens work them. Both Citizens and Woodcutter's Camps require Food, making Food very important for Timber production. Note that multiple Citizens can work at a single Woodcutter's Camp, depending on the number of forest tiles adjacent to that Woodcutter's Camp. Because of its ramping cost, you should strive to place Woodcutter's Camps near lots of forest tiles so as to not have to build too many of them. Once you reach the Classical Age, you can build Lumber Mills, which use primarily Metal and also some Food. The Lumber Mills will increase the Timber production of all Citizens working on Woodcutter's Camps in the same City; a Lumber Mill needs to be built in each City for that City's Citizens to receive the enhanced production rate. Additionally, you can research Lumber upgrades at the Lumber Mill, which increase the production bonus for all Lumber Mills. These upgrades require Food and Metal.
Note that you can build Woodcutter's Camps outside of City boundaries. However, those Woodcutter's Camps won't receive any Lumber Mill bonuses. Although not ideal, in some situations this may be necessary to ensure sufficient Timber production.
The primary means of gathering Metal is building Mines near cliffs or mountains and having Citizens work them. Citizens require Food, while Mines require Timber, so both are needed for Metal. However, multiple Citizens work each mine so more Food is needed relative to Timber. Once you reach the Classical Age, you can build Smelters, which require primarily Timber and some Wealth. The Smelters will increase the Metal production of all Citizens working on Mines in the same City; a Smelter needs to be built in each City for that City's Citizens to receive the enhanced production rate. Additionally, you can research Smelter upgrades at the Smelter, which increase the production bonus for all Smelters. These upgrades require Food and Timber.
Note that you can build Mines outside of City boundaries. However, those Mines won't receive any Smelter bonuses. Although not ideal, in some situations this may be necessary to ensure sufficient Metal production.
The primary means of gathering Oil is to build Oil Wells on oil patches (or Oil Platforms for oil patches at sea), and having Citizens work them. This requires Timber and Metal for the buildings, and Food for the Citizens. To enhance their production, one Refinery can be built at each City, requiring Timber and Metal. Each Refinery increases the production of all Oil Wells and Oil Platforms by 33%, stacking additively with each other. There are no technologies to enhance Oil production.
The primary means of gathering Wealth is by building Caravans at a Market and then having them set up trade routes between Cities. Caravans require both Food and Timber, while Markets require Timber. A Market itself will also produce 10 Wealth. On Sea Maps, Fish can also be a good source of Wealth. Another important means of gathering Wealth is by researching Taxation technologies at the Temple. The Taxation technologies gives Wealth based on the percentage of territory you control (as well as increasing the output of Rare Resources, including Fish). They require Food and Timber.
The primary means of gathering Knowledge is by building Scholars at a University. Scholars require Wealth, while Universities require Timber and Wealth. A University itself will also produce 10 Knowledge. The productivity of Scholars can be enhanced by researching Knowledge technologies at the University, which require Timber.
Unlike other resources, Knowledge cannot be bought using other resources nor traded among players. Also, it is not restricted by the Commerce Limit, other than the global limit of 999. Thus, it must be accumulated over time.
The following table summarizes which basic resources to use to increase other basic resources, in decreasing order of importance:
|If you need...||Use...||To Make...|
|Farms, Fishermen, Granaries, and Granary upgrades
Citizens (for Farms)
|Woodcutter's Camps, Citizens, Lumber Mills, and Lumber Mill upgrades
Lumber Mill and Lumber Mill upgrades
|Citizens and Smelter upgrades
Mines, Smelters, and Smelter upgrades
|Oil Wells / Oil Platforms, Refineries
Oil Wells / Oil Platforms, Refineries
|Caravans, Taxation technologies (at Temple), Market, Fishermen
Caravans, Taxation technologies (at Temple)
Universities, University Upgrades
Additionally, you can deploy Merchants at the Rare Resources which provide the resource you're trying to get, or build the Wonder(s) which boost the production of a particular basic resource. You can also buy/sell different resources at the Market, converting them to/from Wealth. In an emergency, you can even raze your own buildings which give plunder in different basic resources. For example, Woodcutter's Camps require Food to build, but gives its plunder in Timber. However, this is a very inefficient process, and not recommended for most situations. You can also request or trade resources (except Knowledge) from other players.
A number of Wonders will also increase resource production.
|Classical Age||Hanging Gardens||+50 Knowledge rate
-66% Granary, Smelter, and Lumber Mill upgrade cost
|Classical Age||Pyramids||+50 Commerce Limit for Food, Wealth
Increases Food gather rate by 20%
|Classical Age||Colossus||+50 Commerce Limit for Timber, Wealth
Increases Wealth gather rate by 30%
|Gunpowder Age||Porcelain Tower||Increases income from Rare Resources (in your territory) and Markets by 200%
Receive bonus abilities of all Rare Resources in your territory, even if you don't have a Merchant there
|Gunpowder Age||Temple of Tikal||+100 Commerce Limit for Timber
Increases Timber gather rate by 50%
|Enlightenment Age||Angkor Wat||+100 Commerce Limit for Metal
Increases Metal gather rate by 50%
|Industrial Age||Taj Mahal||+200 Commerce Limit for Wealth
Increases Wealth gather rate by 66%
|Modern Age||Eiffel Tower||+200 Commerce Limit for Oil
Increases Oil gather rate by 100%
|Information Age||Super Collider||The cost to buy resources at Market is never higher than 125 Wealth; the price to sell resources is never lower than 50 Wealth||800F, 800K|
- Knowledge is the only basic resource that cannot be bought or traded.
- Food and Knowledge are the only resources that are not dependent on the map (as they can be built by civilians whereas the other resources require forests, mountains, and oil patches).