Top 5 best civs in AOE2: Return of Rome

Top 5 best civs in AOE2: Return of Rome

Published at: 05/15/2023
Updated at: 05/17/2023

Best civilization in Age of Empires 2: Return of Rome

If you just started playing AoE2:RoR or want to improve your gameplay, I might be able to help you out.

I have been playing AoE1:DE quite a lot in the past years, and these are the best civilization you can find in Return of Rome!

Please consider that in general, choosing a goood civ does not mean winning more easily. You will also need to choose the right combination of units and strategies to defeat your opponent!

5) Carthaginians: academy units, elephants, camels

The Carthaginians have bonuses that increase the hit points of elephants and academy units by 25%, and the hit points of camels by 15%. Also on RoR they have free Nobility upgrade after building the government center.

Please keep in mind that Nobility increases the hitpoints of your camels and horses by 15%. This applies even to chariot archers and horse archers. Carthaginians do not have chariot archers, but they can surely be used for a very nice cavalry or camels opening in the bronze age.

This can probably be defined as the anti-cavalry civilization par excellence: we could produce camels to counter the Yamato, but also centurions to annihilate our opponents' base.

4) Yamato

The Yamato have the advantage of being usable in all ages: the less expensive scouts allow us to make a Scout Rush opening, or we can much more easily produce cavalry units to raid the opponents as soon as we get to the bronze age.

Perhaps best of all, this bonus also applies to horse archers in the Iron Age, allowing us to create very large armies with less resources.

On the other hand it should be kept in mind that the Yamato are not very strong on siege and infantry. However, they have centurions, which allow us to possibly respond to an opponent who is creating camels, elephants or chariots to counter our cavalry.

3) Choson

The "Choson one" (did you like this pun? No? aight) are one of my favourite civs.

Their towers have +2 range which makes them really dangerous especially for a tower rush or to fill your opponent's base with towers, but also to take control of the map. Combine this with ballistics and alchemy and you will have real snipers who in many cases manage to defend themselves even from siege weapons such as normal catapults and helepolis.

The best part of the Choson is their infantry units bonus: axemen have +5 hit points, but above all swordsmen will have +15 and +20 life points for short sword and broad sword, and even +60 and +80 hit points for longswords and legionnaires.

If we combine this with Logistics, which halves the population space occupied by barrack units, this means that we can get to produce a very dangerous number of legionnaires.

2) Assyrians

The Assyrians have become one of the best civilizations in my opinion, because in addition to having archers that shoot 33% faster, and siege upgrades that cost 50% less, they now also have siege labs that work 20% faster, thanks to the team bonus.

In practice, in the Bronze and Iron Age they can become a real nightmare to face when we see their chariot archers, or horse archers, united with their catapults and helepolis in the field.

Also keep in mind that they have access to the Legionaries and Cataphracts. On the other hand, they do not have Heavy Horse Archers.

They probably remain a bit less powerful in the Tool Age, not being able to create slingers they become more predictable: our opponent who uses the Assyrians will likely make simple archers or archers and axemen, which we could counter with archers and slingers, or men with axes and slingers.

About this, also read: 5+1 strategies in the Tool Age

1) Hittites

Hittite warships (exploration and galleys) are great on maps like Islands, where the increased range of our ships can really make a difference. Both units have a base range of +2, thus producing scout ships in the Tool Age that, with even just the first upgrade of the wood cutter, already have 8 range, surpassing in this any other Tool Age unit.

On the other hand, this civilization does not have triremes, in any case the galleys reach a total range of 12, exceeding that of many towers and siege weapons.

As if it was not enough already, on RoR their wheel costs 50% less and is researched 50% faster than other civilizations! This will allow us an excellent opening with chariot archers, also considering the +1 attack bonus of all archers.

In practice, at least until the Bronze Age they can dominate water and also have very dangerous chariot archers.

In the Iron Age they still have heavy horse archers who, in large groups, can do a lot of damage, and they have heavy catapults with over 200 hitpoints that can be crafted quite quickly.


Now that you know some good civilizations to use, try them out and let me know!

If this guide was useful to you please share it, follow me on Facebook and subscribe to my Youtube channel!

Also read:

Leave a comment

All comments will be subject to approval after being sent. They might be published after several hours.

You can just use a random nickname, it is usefull to allow me to at least answer your comments. And if you choose to submit your email, you can receive a notification whenever I reply to your comment.

  • 2023-12-16 10:13:52

    Author: eartahhj

    @mrslezak1 thank you for your feedback. Surely Palmyrans fit very well the requirements you wrote indeed. They are the most flexible civ and they become really dangerous late game (100+ pop). Their villagers cost more but they work faster so, basically, with a good economy you have a much greater efficiency for the same population. If you have like 150 vills with 250 pop limit, it would be almost like having 40-50 vills more compared to your opponents. The game has been updated a few times since I wrote this article, and maybe I should revisit the top 5 now. Hittites in particular are not that good anymore since the slingers received their boost (and it was needed). Same goes for Assyrians with the same reason. Carthaginians are very strong even in bronze age, and Lac Viet are very good for a fast tool rush because of their better foragers. Shang also are very flexible and can be used for a fast tool rush (cheaper vills).

  • 2023-12-14 11:47:54

    Author: mrslezak1

    Hello! I think there is almost no one to discuss this topic, so let me explain my own chart. I usually don't play multiplayer, tool age rush and water maps, hence my view is totally different than majority has. Basically I was looking for civilizations that have the most opened tech tree for cavalry, fast archers, hoplite line, also ballista and chariots for trash fight. Basically I want the greatest possibility to counter different units with something strong, so it will be economically and populacy efficient in large games agains many AI opponents (bronze/iron age), but without great sacrifice on siege units and defences. I don't care much about elephants, priests, foot archers, and even less about swordsmen line and ships. The result is that I play mostly with Palmyrans who were hated by many online players. I was playing original edition a lot, and switched to Return of Rome just lately. I think in RoR could be Palmyrans faster because of their research time bonus. None of their combat units is perfect, but they have some stages of everything I use. Also with quick work of their villagers, they can save some population space. When I choose gold or ally dependent civilization, I prefer Macedonians over Yamato or Carthaginians, because I like their resistency to conversion and pierce shield of hoplite line. Yamato has a weaker siege, while Carthaginians weaker archers and basically are more directed to slow units that does not always fit to my play style. If I sacrifice higher stages of hoplite and want a good civ for trash fights, there are candidates that I ordered based on my view: 1.Lac Viet - they train units faster and still have an access to Conscription, I guess they can save resources instead of creating many production buildings OR they just overload opponents during trash wars. 2.Shang - cataphracts, helepolis and villager eco bonus are no joke. 3.Assyrians - archer bonus, cataphracts, helepolis. Sadly they lack scythe chariot. 4.Hittites - they have bonus for archers, also available phalangite and ballista towers, but still lack ballista and heavy cavalry, so they are last in my list. Best regards.