Rise of Nations - PCGamingWiki PCGW (2024)

This page is for the original release. For the updated version, see Rise of Nations: Extended Edition.

Rise of Nations
Big Huge Games
Microsoft Game Studios
Big Huge Engine
Release dates
WindowsMay 20, 2003
macOS(OSX)December 2004
Monetization One-time game purchase, Expansion pack
ModesSingleplayer, Multiplayer
PerspectivesBird's-eye view, Isometric
Controls Multiple select, Point and select
Genres RTS
Themes Historical
SeriesRise of Nations

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Rise of Nations
Rise of Nations2003
Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends2006
Rise of Nations: Extended Edition2014


  • 1 Availability
    • 1.1 Version differences
    • 1.2 Trial versions
  • 2 Monetization
    • 2.1 DLC and expansion packs
  • 3 Essential improvements
    • 3.1 Patches
    • 3.2 Skip intro videos
  • 4 Game data
    • 4.1 Configuration file(s) location
    • 4.2 Save game data location
  • 5 Video
    • 5.1 Widescreen resolution
    • 5.2 Vertical sync (Vsync)
  • 6 Input
  • 7 Audio
    • 7.1 Localizations
  • 8 Network
    • 8.1 Multiplayer types
    • 8.2 Connection types
    • 8.3 Ports
  • 9 Issues fixed
    • 9.1 "MSXML4.0 is not installed correctly" on startup
  • 10 Other information
    • 10.1 API
    • 10.2 Middleware
  • 11 System requirements
  • 12 Notes
  • 13 References


SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see Availability for affected versions).
The Mac OS X version of this game does not work on Mac OS X Lion (version 10.7) or later due to the removal of support for PowerPC apps.
GameSpy online services have been shut down (see Network for solutions).

Rise of Nations is a singleplayer and multiplayer bird's-eye view and isometric RTS gamein the Rise of Nations series.

After its release, the game received the Thrones & Patriots expansion in April 2004, adding minor mechanics, new Conquer the World scenarios and new civilizations.

The game runs stable on modern systems, with the only potential issue being a broken Vsync feature. Patching the expansion pack requires an unofficial repack as updates were distributed exclusively through GameSpy prior to its shutdown. An as-is Steam release was likely planned, but the Extended Edition was released instead.

General information

Rise of Nations Heaven



SafeDiscv2 DRM[Note 1] for the base game, SmarteSECURE DRM for expansion pack.

SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).

Version differences

The Gold Edition includes the base game and the Thrones & Patriots expansion. The former has patch 4 applied, but the latter is unpatched. Some DVD versions may not have a disc check.

Trial versions

Free trial versions are available from GamePressure: base game, Thrones & Patriots.


Type Notes
Expansion pack The expansion pack includes new civilizations, units, government mechanic and Conquer the World mode scenarios.
One-time game purchase The game requires an upfront purchase to access.

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Thrones & Patriots

Essential improvements


Rise of Nations patch 4 and Thrones & Patriots patches 1 and 2 were distributed exclusively through GameSpy, which has been shut down.
The Rise of Nations patch 3 ( is available here. Patch 4 ( is available here, and also comes by default in the Gold Edition.
An archived distribution of the Thrones & Patriots official patch 2 ( is here. It includes changes from patch 1 ( as well.

Skip intro videos

Intro videos[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open rise2.ini.
  3. Change SkipIntroMovies=0 to SkipIntroMovies=1

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

Windows %APPDATA%\Microsoft Games\Rise of Nations\
macOS (OS X)

Save game data location

Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Rise of Nations\
macOS (OS X)


Graphics settings

Can only change resolution in-game.
Graphics featureStateWSGFNotes
Widescreen resolution
See Widescreen resolution.
HUD position affects gameplay. See Widescreen resolution.
See Widescreen resolution.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
WindowedOff by default; can be enabled in rise2.ini
Borderless fullscreen windowedSee the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)Force through video driver.
Anti-aliasing (AA)Force through video driver.
Vertical sync (Vsync)On by default; can be disabled in rise2.ini
60 FPS
120+ FPS
High dynamic range display (HDR)

Widescreen resolution

The minimum resolution is 1024x768. The game won't accept any resolution lower than that.
Widescreen[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open rise2.ini.
  3. Change AllowAllResolutions=0 to AllowAllResolutions=1
  4. If the in-game drop-down box still does not show your preferred resolution, edit Windowed Width and Windowed Height= lines in the configuration file


When the resolution on the X axis is lower than 1280, the game shrinks the size of game world graphics according to the X axis, not unlike Vert-.
When the resolution on the X axis is 1280 or higher, the game world graphics no longer change size. The game functions like any "pixel based" games. At maximum zoom, the game graphics now are the same size as their original assets (the TGA files in the "art" folder).

Vertical sync (Vsync)

The Vsync functionality may be broken on some systems.
Vsync fix
  1. Download d3d8to9.
  2. Extract the archive into the main game directory.
  • Gameplay settings


Mouse settings

Keyboard and mouseStateNotes
Mouse accelerationRelates only to map scrolling speed.
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Controller types


Audio settings

Audio featureStateNotes
Separate volume controlsSFX, taunts, music.
Surround sound
SubtitlesApplicable only in the Conquer the World mode.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio




Multiplayer types

LAN play8Versus
Online play8Versus
GameSpy server browser has been shut down in 2012.

Connection types

MatchmakingGameSpy server browser has been shut down.
Direct IP


ProtocolPort(s) and/or port range(s)
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

Issues fixed

"MSXML4.0 is not installed correctly" on startup

Reinstall MSXML 4.0. Use the installer on the disc or official download

Other information


Technical specsSupportedNotes
macOS (OS X)PowerPC only.[3]


CutscenesWindows Media Video

System requirements

Operating system (OS)98 SEME, 2000, XP
Processor (CPU)AMD Athlon 500 MHz
Pentium III
AMD Duron/Athlon 1.0 GHz or better
System memory (RAM)128 MB256 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD)800 MB
Video card (GPU) 16 MB of VRAM 32 MB of VRAM
macOS (OS X)
Operating system (OS)10.2.8
Processor (CPU)600 MHz1.0 GHz
System memory (RAM)128 MB256 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD)800 MB1 GB
Video card (GPU) 16 MB of VRAM


  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[1] or Windows 11 and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[2]


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