How to Increase the Population in "Rise of Nations"

By Kevin Bramer

Updated September 22, 2017

"Rise of Nations" was released for the PC in May 2003 to rave critical reviews. Featuring espionage, trade, diplomacy and war, this real-time game gives you countless options for building and destroying a civilization. The population cap is strictly set for the game, but with a little knowledge of programming or the ability to closely follow the given instructions, you can raise that cap as high as you would like.

Go to the "C:" directory on your computer. Open the "Program Files" folder and locate and open the "Microsoft Games" directory. Open the "Rise of Nations" folder and go into the "Data" folder.

Right click on "rules.xml" and select "Open in Notepad." Hit "Control" and "F" simultaneously to open a search bar. Type "" into the bar to search for it.

Edit the wanted population limit entries in quotation marks; for example to give the first portion of the game a cap of 2500 you would type " and enter the same number that you used for the last entry in the "" field; see the given example is Step 5. Search for "poplimits."

Edit each "entry" for the population cap you want. Enter the desired population limits in the data brackets for each category.

For example, the final result would be: then: and finally: 5000 This will set the population cap at 90,000.


Always create a backup of a backup copy of a file before editing a game file. Don't use quotation marks for any of the terms while using the search option. The "entry" portions refer to the seven specific portions of the game, so "entry0" would refer to the first smaller section, "entry1" to the slightly larger section and so on with "entry7" being the population cap for the largest section of the game. The first portion of Step 5 serves as an example to practically apply Step 3, the second portion is the practical application for the second part of Step 3 and the last portion of Step 5 is how to execute Step 4.


Be sure to follow these directions exactly and check out the links provided if there is any confusion; straying outside these parameters could damage the game integrity.