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Civilizations are a slightly unique feature of Empire Earth when compared to other RTS games. Like others, Empire Earth allows you to chose a civilization to play with. Civilizations give bonuses to your society in the form of unit or building bonuses. However, in Empire Earth, they do not limit the technology tree like other RTS games. All units and upgrades are available, no matter what bonuses are in your civilization. In Art of Conquest however, some special powers introduce additional units/buildings/technologies if the power is in a player's civilization.

There are two different types of civilizations: default and custom. Default civilizations are embedded into the game and cannot be changed. In random map games, if custom civilizations are disabled, players must choose from the list of default civilizations. Their specific bonuses are shown on the selection screen. If custom civilizations are enabled, players may build a civilization in real time at the selection screen, or load one that was previously saved in the Civilization Builder.

Default civilizations

Default civilizations are divided into categories based on different time periods, suggesting they are strongest in such epochs. These categories are only guides, as the player may chose any civilization from the entire list, no matter what the starting epoch happens to be.

The civilizations have approximately 100 point cost, but some venture over the mark, making them impossible to entirely build in the custom civilization builder. In Art of Conquest, the addition of a special power to each civilization puts each one over the 100 point mark, while also making some civilizations overpowered in random map games.

All civilizations also have historical significance. They were all powerful societies during their specified time periods, and have bonuses that reflect their historical strengths.

List of default civilizations

Prehistoric to Dark Ages

Middle Ages to Industrial Age

Atomic Age to Nano Age

Digital Age to Nano/Space Age

Custom civilizations

Custom civilizations allow players to chose exactly what bonuses they would like. Bonuses are divided into different categories based on unit type, buildings, economy, and a few other general bonuses that are uncategorized. As previously stated, the Art of Conquest expansion introduces special powers, which have their own category.

When building custom civilizations, each bonus has a specific point cost, while the player has a maximum limit of 100 points to use for his civilization. When the player chooses a bonus, the point cost of remaining bonuses in its category are increased by specific number of points (i.e. 2, 3, 4...). That number varies from category to category. For example, in Aircraft categories, each time a bonus is chosen, the rest increase by 2. On the other hand, Civ - Economy bonuses increase by 6, and Civ - General bonuses do not increase at all.

Bonuses provide either an increase or decrease to an attribute by a certain percentage. Examples of types of increases are attack, hit points, and range. Decrease types include build time and cost.

List of civilization categories

  • Special powers (AoC Only)
  • Aircraft - Bombers
  • Aircraft - Fighters
  • Aircraft - Helicopters
  • Archers - Foot
  • Cavalry - Ranged
  • Cavalry - Spear (Melee)
  • Cavalry - Sword
  • Citizens & Fishing Boats
  • Civ - Bldgs, Walls, & Towers
  • Civ - Economy
  • Civ - General
  • Cybers - Combat
  • Cybers - Ultra
  • Field Cannon & Anti-Tank Guns
  • Infantry - Ranged
  • Infantry - Spear (Melee)
  • Infantry - Sword
  • Religion - Priests
  • Religion - Prophets
  • Ships - Battleships & Carriers
  • Ships - Frigates & Cruisers
  • Ships - Galleys, Transports, & Subs
  • Siege Weapons & Mobile AA
  • Space Fighters (AoC Only)
  • Spaceships (AoC Only)
  • Tanks