There are two types of resources in Rise of Nations: Basic and Rare Resources. Basic resources, and the citizens who gather most of them, are the backbone of nation's economy, which depends on them in every endeavour, from building an army to researching new technologies. Rare resources are non-vital commodities that merchants can control. When a rare resource is secured, not only does increase the gather rate of one or two basic resources, it also provides significant bonuses that may tip the balance of an entire game in favor of the nation controlling them.

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