Rise of Nations Wiki
Unit Information Game Strategies History

Ancient Age to Enlightenment Age
Industrial Age onwards

The Merchant is a civilian unit used to collect rare resources to provide their benefits to the nation.

To gain the benefits of a rare resource, a Merchant needs to deploy next to it, thereby turning itself into a small "building" (it remains a unit, though, and takes damage like the mobile Merchant unit). Only one Merchant unit per nation is allowed to harvest a particular resource location. However, each nation may deploy its own Merchant next to a resource. Sending Merchants to rare resources located in friendly/allied territory is a common strategy.

The Merchant unit may also pack itself again and move on to another resource. This might be useful, if the current resource lands in enemy territory and the Merchant unit starts to take Attritio.png attrition damage from it. Note that Supply technologies prevents Attritio.png attrition damage in enemy territory while deployed for Merchants, since they are not moving.

Nation powers[]

  • The Chinese Power of Culture: Merchants are created instantly.
  • The Nubians Power of Trade: Merchants are 10% cheaper and have 50% more hit points. They also get a 50% bonus on the basic gather rate, if they harvest a resource in friendly territory.

Unique units[]

  • The Dutch train Armed Merchant instead of Merchant, which is equipped with a light weapon to provide basic defense against raiding attacks. However, the Armed Merchant will cease to provide its bonus while attacking.



  • The unused Gunpowder/Enlightenment Age Merchant icon.
    The game files show an unused Merchant icon possibly intended for the Gunpowder Age.png Gunpowder Age and the Enlightenment Age.png Enlightenment Age, as is the case with most civilian and support units. It is unknown why the icon ended up being unused in-game.
    • Amusingly, the icon bears a striking resemblance to Juan Valdez.