Rise of Kingdoms (iOS, Android) has many possible primary/secondary commander pairings, some of which are amazing, while others are absolutely terrible. Tier lists for commander pairings have been discussed by many people on YouTube, but I wanted to find a way to condense the information in those lengthy videos into a more digestible form. The goal was to create a quick and easy-to-use resource that could answer the question: “which commander works best with ____?”

I ended up creating D3.js force-directed graphs to show viable pairings between primary and secondary commanders, along with the rank for each pairing. One neat thing about force-directed graphs is that commanders with similar roles (e.g. gatherers, infantry) have a natural tendency to cluster together.

The visualization contains multiple graphs, each sourced from a different content creator, and obviously each individual has a different opinion about how the pairs should be ranked. I’m not making any claims about the correctness of the pairings, and nor do I necessarily agree with the rankings. I’m simply collating the original information and presenting it in graph form so that it’s quicker and easier to digest. So, if you disagree with the rankings I would suggest you contact the creator of the original guide! I would also recommend watching/reading the original guides if you want more information about how and why each pairing works.

I’d be happy to add more graphs if you can provide the data file, which is simply a CSV file containing the ranking of each commander pair. Contact me if you want more details on how to do this.

The original data and source code can be found on GitHub.


Note: Currently the graphs work best on a desktop browser. I will try to fix this soon for lower resolution devices (e.g. phones, tablets)

How to use/interpret the graphs:

  • Choose between different tier lists using the drop-down in the top left
  • Commanders are colored by their rarity (i.e. orange for legendary, purple for epic, blue for elite, and green for advanced)
  • The size of each circle represents the number of viable pairings that commander has
  • The line thickness between two commanders shows the rank of that pair
  • Hover over a commander to see a full list of their ranked pairings
  • Versatility is the number of viable pairings that commander has
  • Rank is how good the pairing is for that primary commander. Rank 1 is the top tier pair for that primary commander, Rank 2 is the second best option etc.
  • The graph does not show all possible commander pairs because many were missing from the original guides

EDIT (2/9/2019): Added the new epic commanders to the Legend Rhony ranking
EDIT (1/5/2019): Added Legend Rhony’s garrison commander guide

See the Pen Rise of Civilizations commander pairings by Simon (@sho-87) on CodePen.dark

If you’re interested, you can find my other Rise of Kingdoms posts here.

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mustafa uyar

good job ty brother


Well done sir. Well thought out and presented. Good way to put your skills to work on a passion you enjoy! Keep up the good work. I would also encourage an input area from outside players beyond the two shown. This would give a bigger subset of input for higher methodologies when pairing and drill down to the most used or preferred.




Exactly the kind of guide I was looking for this is underrated thanks