How to Make Your Own Country in Rise of Nations

By Michael Butler

Updated September 22, 2017

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In Rise of Nations, a real-time strategy game released by Microsoft in 2003, players choose from 18 historical civilizations and lead one from the stone age to the industrial age. The game engine does not allow players to add new countries, called nations or tribes, in the game. However, players can modify one of the existing nations into a new nation.

Choose a nation to replace. This guide will assume you chose the French, but choose any nation you want.

Locate where the Rise of Nations game files are stored on your hard drive. Normally, you will find them in the "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Rise of Nations" directory. If you cannot find them in that directory, use the "Search" menu in your taskbar. Type "Rise of Nations" in the search field and press "Enter."

Back up the file “french.xml” located in the “Rise of Nations\tribes” directory. Back up the file “rules.xml” located in the “Rise of Nations\data” directory. Either copy and rename the original files, or store copies somewhere else on your hard drive.

Open “french.xml” in your text editor. Edit the name of the tribe, the tribe leaders' names, and the city names. If you do not want your new nation to have as many leaders and cities as the original nation, delete the extra lines. You can also change the “unit continent” and “build continent” values to change the building and unit artwork for your new nation. Save your work and close the file.

Open “rules.xml” in your text editor and search for the name of the original nation. You will see a list of powers that the nation has in the game. Change the values to suit your new nation. Save your work and close the file.


You can change the “help.xml” file so that the in-game help screens have information about your new nation without altering gameplay.

If you do not choose to replace the French, then make sure you change the values for the tribe you choose, and not the French.


If you do not back up the original game files before beginning to modify them, you might have to reinstall the entire game to play the original version.

Changing the values of your nation's powers could make the game unbalanced. Experiment with the values you choose.