Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV is a tactical simulation game in which the player takes the role of a ruler seeking to unite China in the era of the three kingdoms of Wei, Wu and Shu. The role of the ruler is to command a range of officers with differing characteristics - some cunning strategists, others brave warriors - and strengthen the military might of his or her kingdom. Foreign policy, involving forming alliances with certain kingdoms and hatching plans to weaken others, will play a major role in this process. Once players have developed a powerful enough military, it will be time to expand their borders through military conquest. Ultimate victory will only be achieved once all 43 cities in China lie within a player's control.