Rise of Kingdoms is, by far, one of the most intricate and complex strategy conquest games out there, involving a variety of systems and mechanics that intermingle with each other, and that players must keep in mind at all times if they want to succeed both in the battlefield, as well as in developing their towns effectively. One of such systems is the commanders feature, which lets you recruit powerful historical characters to your town and use them as the leaders of your armies and defenders of your territory. These are the units that are involved mainly in the combat of the game, mostly because your troops literally can’t function nor march if they don’t have a commander leading them.

Rise of Kingdoms Commanders Guide - Everything You Need to Know About Building and Using Commanders (Updated July 2022)

In Rise of Kingdoms, there are over 40 different commanders to recruit and choose from, which means that, like many other gacha games, knowing the best ones to recruit can be pretty difficult, especially if you’re new to the game. And just like in many other gacha titles, the main way to unlock these characters is via a randomized summoning system, in the form of opening chests in the Tavern building, which has a small chance of yielding commanders, as well as other valuable items.

There’s a lot to know when it comes to properly upgrading and using your commanders in Rise of Kingdoms, and in this commanders guide, we’ll be talking about some of the most important aspects about this part of the game.

Installing and Playing Rise of Kingdoms on PC With BlueStacks

Before jumping into the guide itself, however, we wanted to make a brief detour to talk about the best way to enjoy Rise of Kingdoms, which is by playing it on PC with BlueStacks. This is because while the game is designed to be played on mobile, our Android app player lets you enjoy it on a much larger screen, with the best graphics and performance, and with access to a plethora of tools to streamline, enhance, and even automate your experience.

Rise of Kingdoms Commanders Guide - Everything You Need to Know About Building and Using Commanders (Updated July 2022)

Playing Rise of Kingdoms on PC with BlueStacks is very simple, and takes just a few quick steps:

  1. On the BlueStacks website, search  “Rise of Kingdoms” and click on the relevant result.
  2. Click on the “Play Rise of Kingdoms on PC” link on the top left.
  3. Download and install BlueStacks on your PC.
  4. Click on the “Rise of Kingdoms” icon at the bottom in the app player.
  5. Complete the Google Sign-in to install the game.
  6. Click the “Rise of Kingdoms” icon on the home screen to start playing.

The entire process takes just a few minutes, after which you’ll be getting the best experience with Rise of Kingdoms on PC.

What Are Commanders and Why Are They Important?

As mentioned above, commanders in Rise of Kingdoms are leaders; strong people capable of leading your armies to victory, but only if you use them correctly. As such, we need to learn about a few terms to understand what a commander can do, and how best to deploy them according to their specialties and skills.

Rise of Kingdoms Commanders Guide - Everything You Need to Know About Building and Using Commanders (Updated July 2022)

Commander Skills

Every commander in Rise of Kingdoms, regardless of their rarity and specialty, has five skills—one active skill, and four passive skills. The former is used automatically in combat whenever the commander has gathered enough rage, while the other four are always activated, except for the ones that might have some activation conditions.

Rise of Kingdoms Commanders Guide - Everything You Need to Know About Building and Using Commanders (Updated July 2022)

For obvious reasons, the skills of a commander will determine, in great part, their potential role in your army. Some of them might be adequate for attacking, while others can be great for defending your town. Meanwhile, others might be ideal for gathering, while a scant few are optimal for leading fast-moving cavalry squads. Nevertheless, while these skills will be pivotal in identifying a commander’s ideal use, their specialties will be even more important still, as they will indicate what type of units they favor, as well as the types of bonuses they confer to the troops in their squads.

Commander Specialties

First off, while each commander has their own unique stats, they also have three different specialties, which in great part determine their roles. These specialties are color-coded in red, yellow, and blue, indicating the type of troop they enhance; their preferred role or task, and their specialty in combat, respectively. Carefully examining these three specialties will give you valuable insight on how to properly use a commander. Case in point, here is a list of all the specialties, categorized by their colors:

Rise of Kingdoms Commanders Guide - Everything You Need to Know About Building and Using Commanders (Updated July 2022)

Specialty 1 (Red)

  • Leadership: Utility skills that benefit all troop types.
  • Integration: Defensive skills that typically activate once troop strength drops considerably. Also contains valuable passive buffs.
  • Archer: Increases the effectiveness of Archers.
  • Cavalry: Increases the effectiveness of Cavalry.
  • Infantry: Increases the effectiveness of Infantry.

Specialty 2 (Yellow)

  • Peacekeeping: Enhances stats and confers bonuses when fighting against Barbarians (PvE).
  • Versatility: Utilitarian branch with varied buffs ranging from PvE bonuses, to PvP defense traits, and others.
  • Garrison: Defensive category with lots of bonuses for when the commander is stationed as garrison commander. Mainly used for PvP defense.
  • Conquering: Loaded with skills that favor PvP offense, such as when attacking other players.
  • Gathering: Utility skills for increasing the efficiency of gathering resources from the world map.

Specialty 3 (Blue)

  • Attack: Commanders that usually favor offense.
  • Support: Commanders with skills to support their troops in combat, rather than dealing damage directly.
  • Defense: Commanders with defensive bonuses that favor turtling and a more defensive approach.
  • Mobility: Commanders that offer bonuses to march speed. Ideal for making cavalry squads with high mobility.
  • Skill: Commanders that gain additional bonuses when using skills in combat. Also increases rage generation, meaning that these units can use their skills more frequently.

You can find a commander’s specialties by looking at their talent trees in the commanders menu.

Commander Rarities

Now, while the skills and specialties of a commander will give you all the info you need to know how to properly use them, the rarity is also an aspect that shouldn’t be ignored, since it will affect the character’s overall progression. Specifically, depending on the rarity of a commander, it will cost a different amount of upgrade materials to max them out. In this sense, Legendary commanders are the hardest to upgrade, while Advanced commanders are the easiest. Similarly, Legendary commanders are also the hardest to obtain from the gacha, which makes them essentially sought out only by P2P players. Meanwhile, F2P players are better off using Epic and Elite commanders due to their availability and ease of upgrade.

Rise of Kingdoms Commanders Guide - Everything You Need to Know About Building and Using Commanders (Updated July 2022)

Of course, this means that, as a F2P player, you’ll probably always be at a disadvantage in relation to P2P players both in the battlefield, as well as in other modes. Luckily, strength can be found in numbers, which is why you should always join an active alliance, so you can meet people to play with, as well as find comrades to watch your back and add their forces to your own in case of an attack.

Upgrading your commanders can be a prohibitively expensive process, but it’s more than worth it if you’re looking to spend a lot of time in the game. And while P2P players will always have an inherent advantage, this doesn’t mean that you’ll always lose, which is why you need a good alliance.

Upgrading Commanders

Enhancing your commanders in Rise of Kingdoms is quite simple, and involves a few different processes:

Rise of Kingdoms Commanders Guide - Everything You Need to Know About Building and Using Commanders (Updated July 2022)

  • Leveling Up: Gain enough experience, and your commander will level up. The max level of a commander is capped by their star level, with the base maximum being level 10 with 1 star. This level cap increases by 10 for every new star level gained, up to a maximum of 60 with 6 stars. Upgrading star levels requires reaching the current level cap, and then spending a varying number of Starlight Sculptures.
  • Unlocking Talents: Every time a commander levels up, they will gain a talent point, which can be spent in any of the three specialties. You must consider the commander’s role and function in order to determine the optimal talent build. And while you can always reset a character’s build, this costs expensive premium items, so it’s better to get it right the first time.
  • Upgrading Skills: By using Commander Sculptures, you can upgrade the skills of any commander, increasing their effectiveness in combat. This is one of the most significant upgrades that you can acquire, and is also one of the most time.consuming. Each commander rarity has its own tier of Commander Sculptures, and you need to always acquire the right ones in order to upgrade your characters.

With that being said, here’s a breakdown of the number of commander sculptures it takes to completely upgrade the skills of units according to their rarities:

  • Advanced Commander: 240 sculptures.
  • Elite Commander: 340 sculptures.
  • Epic Commander: 440 sculptures.
  • Legendary Commander: 690 sculptures.

It’s worth pointing out here that, when it comes to both leveling up, as well as increasing star levels, the amount of experience and sculptures required will increase along with the commander’s rarity. And just like with the skill upgrades, the rarer the commander, the more prohibitive the upgrade cost. As such, leveling up too fast might not be ideal for beginner players. Instead, focusing on upgrading skills first is the way to go.

How to Build Commanders Effectively

Building commanders, not to be confused with upgrading commanders, will vary greatly according to their intended use. Whether a commander is meant to be used as a pure attacker, or a defender, or a gatherer, or even a speedy transporter/ambusher, will greatly determine their build.

Rise of Kingdoms Commanders Guide - Everything You Need to Know About Building and Using Commanders (Updated July 2022)

A commander “build” in Rise of Kingdoms, refers to the combination of both the talent and the skills of a commander, as well as the types of units that are assigned to their squads. And just like with your access to commanders of the highest rarity, the builds that are viable for every occasion will vary depending on whether you’re a F2P or a P2P player. Nevertheless, in a nutshell, depending on what you want to do, the general rule of thumb for building commanders is, first and foremost, choosing one whose specialty aligns with your purpose, and secondly, investing heavily on the talents that favor said purpose.

For instance, a “gatherer” commander in Rise of Kingdoms could be one that has the “Gathering” yellow specialty, as this will offer talents that increase gathering speed and capacity, as well as other passives for improving this aspect. To complement this talent, you’ll also want to look for other utilitarian specialties that improve other aspects of the gathering process, such as “Support”, “Integration”, or perhaps even “Defense”. Some examples of good gatherer commanders include Matilda of Flanders, Joan of Arc, Gaius Marius, or Constance, among others. And if you’re a P2P player, you could even aim for Cleopatra VII, Seondeok, or Ishida Mitsunari.

On the other hand, a PvE commander, which is a unit dedicated exclusively to fighting barbarians and assaulting barbarian forts, will probably be your main commander early on, especially since PvE is quite important for grinding experience, as well as for farming for special items. All the commanders that are ideal for this purpose are those who have the “Peacekeeping” specialty, as well as those who have passive skills to increase their abilities against barbarians, or to increase the experience gained from defeating these enemies. Some of these PvE commanders for F2P players include Boudica, Diaochan, Keira, or Scipius Africanus, among others, or Cao Cao, Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Mulan, or Æthelflæd for P2P users, to name a few.

Rise of Kingdoms Commanders Guide - Everything You Need to Know About Building and Using Commanders (Updated July 2022)

Meanwhile, PvP commanders are mostly similar to their PvE counterparts, except that they require the “Conquering” specialty instead of Peacekeeping, which increases their effectiveness when attacking enemy bases. On the flipside, if you want a PvP defender, you’ll want a commander that has the “Defense” specialty, coupled with the “Garrison” and even the “Integration” specialties. These will give you the boosts necessary for fending off enemy attacks. Some good PvP commanders for F2P players include Baibars, Hermann, Kusunoki Masashige, or Osman I, among others, or Alexander the Great, Artemisia I, Attila, or Charlemagne for P2P users, among others.

Finally, when it comes to pairing commanders with their recommended units, it’s better to just stick to the troops that they benefit the most. For example, a commander that has the “Archer” specialty will heavily benefit from having mostly archers in their squad. However, creating a specialized squad is costly and takes time, especially for a F2P player, since you can only really train one batch of units of each type at a time. For this reason, F2P players are better off using commanders that have no preferred unit type, such as the ones with “Leadership” or “Integration” specialties.

There’s a veritable ton of info and aspects to consider when building the perfect armies and commanders in Rise of kingdoms. However, with the info in this guide, you should at least be able to grasp the basics and start discovering your own way. Without getting lost in the process.