Gameplay mainly revolves around managing numerical statistics, each representing an attribute of a city or character. For example, a city will have statistics indicating the amount of food stored within its walls, its vulnerability to disasters such as floods and earthquakes, how content the people are, etc. Characters have statistics to reflect his/her fighting prowess, intelligence and loyalty to his/her ruler among other attributes. Most players will spend more time on improving these statistics than waging war against neighboring territories, as the artificial intelligence of the other rulers tends to be peaceful unless the player attacks them first, or unless they have reached a point of the story where war must break out. Even during such situations, rampant warfare is discouraged. Only editions VII, VIII and X were compounded with RPG aspects, allowing the player to play as a ruler, an adviser, a prefect, a general or a vassal, whereas the player can only control the ruler in other editions. In addition, different characters have various skills to aid them in combat, such as the ability to lure a group of enemy soldiers away from the others or to trick them into retreating. Экономико-политическая стратегия. Схематическая карта Китая разделена на множество территорий. Одни из них заняты, другие - свободны от чьей-то власти. Ваш герой обладает характеристиками персонажа ролевой игры, что влияет на отношение к вам и удачу в боях. Необходимо завоевывать территории, управляя своими, договариваясь и воюя с остальными.