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Total War: Rome Remastered: City Building Guide

With the release of Total War: Rome Remastered, it’s time to revisit the classic city-building strategies of old. However, there have been some changes and tweaks to the overall mechanics, and some of those old strategies might not be as quite as effective.

Whether you’re playing as a Roman faction, storming Europe as a Barbarian faction, or conquering the Oases of the Middle East as the Seleucids, there are certain patterns to successful build orders. Here’s everything you need to know about what to build in your cities, when to build them, and what to prioritize.

Population Is Everything In Rome Remastered

Unlike many of the modern Total War games, Rome: Total War had a very unique population system. This is quite different from the mechanics in Warhammer 2. The number of people in your cities is directly affected by the armies you train, whether there is a disease spreading, and how often the city might have been conquered. This is important to remember because the success of a city is pretty much solely governed by the population inside.

Extra citizens mean extra population growth. At certain levels, the city will upgrade. The city-scale ranges from a simple Village to a Huge City. To produce the highest-tier units in the game, because this is primarily a military strategy game, you need to reach this top-tier city. Ideally, you want to get there as quickly as possible.

Here are some tips for boosting population growth in your Rome Remastered cities:

  • Build Farms – Farms are great, they provide a good population boost and a small amount of income.
  • Focus On Population Only In One City – Focus on some population-growth cities, typically your capital. This means you should not train armies inside and try to funnel the population back to it.
  • Transfer Population – You can transfer population between cities by training peasant armies and moving them to your population city’s region.
  • Enslave Conquered Cities – While the extra initial coins might seem like the best option from city-conquering options, you should generally enslave cities. The population is sent back to any city governed by a member of your family. You can game this system by keeping a general in only one city at a time. All conquered citizens will go to that city, boosting its population massively.

Things To Keep In Mind About Population Growth

Population growth might sound fantastic, but it isn’t without its downsides. Population management was always a bit of a sticking point in the original Rome: Total War, and it’s still going to give you problems in the Remastered version. High-population cities will be rife with problems: disease is more likely, law and order fall through the floor, and the overall happiness will decline. This can lead to rebellions.

Here’s how to keep your massive cities happy:

  • Build The Right Religious Buildings – Certain religious buildings for each faction will provide bonuses to happiness and public order. You can check the top-tier version of a faction’s temples by viewing the city planner.
  • A Well Enforced Garrison – More soldiers means happier citizens. While a big garrison might be expensive, it will improve the overall happiness of citizens in the city.
  • Regular Games – Certain factions have access to buildings that allow them to host regular games, such as the Arenas for the Romans. Gladiators keep the people happy.
  • Destroy Nearby Rebel Armies – Rebel armies in the surrounding region will cause disruption in cities. Keep a small rebel-squashing force nearby to purge your land of bandits and brigands.

Suggested City Build Order In Rome Remastered

Much of the success of a Rome Remastered campaign is based on what you do in the very early stages, just like it was in the original. Knowing which buildings to prioritize goes a long way to setting a powerful foundation for the campaign. This is very important if you’re playing on Very Hard Difficulty.

  • Population Is Good In The Early Game – Prioritize Farms as an early construction. They’re cheap and help your city grow quickly.
  • Religion – Early game temples are cheap and can offer a mild boost.
  • Roads – Roads can be good if you’re planning a rapid expansion, especially if you’re moving troops throughout your empire.
  • Military Buildings – You should consider splitting your cities between military and population cities (for the reasons mentioned above).
  • Ports and Markets – These buildings make money based on how many people are in your city, therefore it doesn’t make much sense to build them early if you have small cities. However, these are where you make most of your coins, so you should build them at some point.

Streamlining your build order to reach the maximum military buildings quickly is a great way to make the campaign a lot easier. If you’re producing top-tier troops, you’ll be able to defeat pretty much any other low-quality army in the game, even if you’re wildly outnumbered. It’s even possible to hold out with a small number of hugely upgraded Archers and Phalanx in Sparta against hordes of Egyptian soldiers.

Each City Is Unique

Each city, or rather each region, is unique. Some areas will be more fertile (better farm income and productivity), whereas others will come with local resources that benefit from early trade buildings. Take the area around the Egyptian city of Memphis: those lush planes along the River Nile are prime for extensive farming.

Before you decide on what you should build in each city, take a quick look at the City Browser. This detailed guide will show you everything that is possible to build in the city, as well as what the final forms of each building will eventually offer, potentially in 100 turns or more.

NEXT: RTS: The 10 Best Real-Time Strategy Games On Consoles, Ranked

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Harry Alston is a writer based in the UK. He was once number one in the world on Call of Duty: Black Ops and now spends his days chasing that past glory.

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