There are many people say that Rise of Kingdoms is a pay-to-win game and that free-to-play players can’t beat anyone. While the previous phrase holds some truth when it comes to capturing certain objectives, it’s not the whole story. In ROK, a free-to-play player can still have fun and be a key role in Alliance.
In my experience, ROK offers great ways that make balance between Paid and Free Players where similar games do not. With that being said, I have created my own Free to Play guide. This guide aims not only to help FTP players, but also new and experienced players that are thinking of creating a new Kingdom.
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The most important tip that I can give people is to use the jumping method when creating a new account. This tip becomes even more crucial when it comes to being a FTP user, as jumping will ensure you start with an advantage. To be more specific, by starting an account in an earlier kingdom, you will start with more speedups, resources, tomes of knowledge (commander EXP), and technology/building upgrades. Obviously, I am only giving a quick overview of this method as it is not the subject of this guide.
When choosing your starting civilization, you should not be looking at the buffs or troops that a particular civilization gives. Rather, you should be looking for the best starting commander. Rise of Kingdoms gives a lot of free commander specific sculptures through quests and events.
Therefore, I suggest that FTP users start with either Rome, for Scipio, or Britain, for Boudica. In my opinion, these two commanders are the best starting epic commanders for FTP users. Scipio is great for mixed army compositions and being a tank in open field and Boudica is great for nuking and killing barbarians. After choosing one of these civilizations for their starting commanders, you should look to change your civilization to Japan once you reach CH10. They offer great buffs that increase the attack of all troops, scouting speed, and resource collection.
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How to Spend Gem
With gems being very limited when it comes to FTP players, this section will focus on how to efficiently use your gems to make the most of them! First, you should focus on rushing to VIP 7. This will offer you great buffs in every aspect of the game, grants you the second builder permanently and unlocks the 8hr speed up for 60% off in the VIP shop. After this, you should take advantage of the items in the VIP shop that level 6 unlocks, especially the AP potions and speedups. If you see any speedups in the merchant shop for 80% off or 3hr speedups for 70% off, these are also great to spend gems on.
How to Use Speedups
A key aspect of speeding up technology and building upgrades is to leverage the alliance help system in the game. You should not be using speeds until you’ve received the maximum amount of help from your alliance (you can check this by going to the help tab under the alliance page). Another great habit to form is to use task-specific speedups before the general speedups. In addition to these tips, you should be upgrading a building, training troops, gathering resources and researching technology at all times. Especially when going to bed.
This next section will be very similar to the previous section, but this section will be relevant when not using speedups. You should only upgrade what is needed to get the next city hall level. Meaning you should rush your main buildings like the tavern, mine, wall, etc. while neglecting other buildings such as resource production centres, the castle, watchtower, etc. The reason for rushing to the next city hall level as fast as possible is to get better technology unlocked. Particularly higher tiers of troops! In addition to higher tiers of troops, you should focus on upgrading technology that makes building/technology time go down as it will pay off in the long run.
Tips for Commanders
One of the reasons I made a new account after playing Rise of Kingdoms for a couple of weeks is because I ruined my legendary and epic commanders. In order to avoid these critical mistakes, I thought it would be great to add this section in this guide. Do not add stars to a commander until their first skill is maxed. This is important as the first skill for every commander in the game (except for gathers) is always the best. Another tip that pertains to FTP users is to only focus on one legendary commander. While strong, they are super expensive to skill up. Please note that you should not double up on commander talent trees. Only the primary commander talents are activated. Plus, by having commander specialize in different things you will be more versatile and ready for more situations.
A huge disadvantage of being a FTP player is that resources will be scarce. To combat this issue, I would strongly suggest levelling up your gathering commanders as fast as possible, after your primary commanders. The soft limit for gathering commanders is 27, this will ensure you get the talent that gives you additional resources. Eventually, you will want to take them to level 37 for the bonus gathering speed. Besides that, you should continuously exchange resources for resource buffs at the merchant shop and take advantage of runes (located at holy sites) that speed up gathering.
Suggested Commanders to Use
As mentioned before, you should only focus on one legendary commander as sculptures are hard to get. The same goes for Epic commanders in some capacity. This means that you should limit the number of Epic commanders you plan on using. Below I have listed 5 Epic commanders that you should consider using and why:
Great for armies consisting of multiple types of troops and gives powerful attack and defence buffs (tanky). Pairs well with Joan or Boudica
Performs well in both PvE and PvP making her very versatile. Pair with Pelagius for PvP or Lohar for PvE.
A strong cavalry commander while offering great rage restoration. Pairs well with Boudica.
Great for PvE, easy to max his skills with Lohar rallies and brilliant for levelling up commanders with his bonus EXP. Pair with Boudica for PvE
The best gatherer and pairs nicely with the commanders listed above. Pairs with almost everyone in the game.
You can read more: Top Commander Pairings in Rise of Kingdoms – Epic and Legendary