Resources are the most critical aspect to a nation in Rise of Nations. Without resources, technology could not be researched, buildings could not be built, and units could not be produced. Timber , food , metal , knowledge and oil are resources and they are the life-blood of a civilization , but cannot be used in their raw form; they must be harvested from the Earth.
Resources come in two main forms; Basic and Rare. Basic resources are what every nation must harvest in order to perform any task within the game. Rare resources , on the other hand, are special resources which aid the player by adding a special benefit as well as increasing the gather rate of 1 resource by 20 or usually 2 resources by 10, 15 or 20. Merchants can only gather Rare resources that are on land. However, Fishermen can gather the only 2 sea dwelling rare resources known as Whales and Fish .
Players must use Citizens in order to harvest Basic resources. In order to harvest the resource of choice though, citizens must build resource gathering buildings near the resource they wish to collect. The citizens will automatically harvest the resource, immediately adding to your coffers.