There are six basic resources in Rise of Nations, which 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.
|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.
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...|
|Farm, Fishermen, Granary and Agronomics technologies|
|Citizen (for Farms)|
|Woodcutter's Camp, Citizen (for Woodcutter's Camps), Lumber Mill and Woodworking technologies|
|Lumber Mill and Woodworking technologies|
|Citizen (for Mines) and Metallurgy technologies|
|Mine, Smelter and Metallurgy technologies|
|Oil Well/Oil Platform and Refinery|
|Oil Well/Oil Platform and Refinery|
|Citizen (for Oil Wells/Oil Platforms)|
|Caravan, Fishermen, Market and Taxation technologies|
|Caravan and Taxation technologies|
|Scholar and University|
|University and University technologies|
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.
- Main article: Food
- Main article: Timber
- Main article: Metal
- Main article: Oil
- Main article: Wealth
- Main article: Knowledge
A number of Wonders will also increase resource production.
|Increases your Knowledge production by 50.||200 |
|Increases your income from rare resources (in your territory) and Markets by 200%.||400 |
Temple of Tikal
|Raises your Commerce Limit for Food, Timber, Metal, and Oil by 200.||700 |
|The cost to buy goods at the Market is never higher than 125 Wealth; the price to sell is never lower than 50 Wealth.||800 |
- 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).