Imperia Online is set in Medieval times. Its current version 6 is called "The Great People", although there are still active version 5 realms as well. Each player starts the game as the emperor of an undeveloped Province. The Province can be developed by constructing - and later upgrading – various economic and military buildings amongst which resource-generating buildings as well as universities, used for researching key technologies. Recruiting and training military units allows players to attack other Provinces to plunder their resources, and defend from enemy attacks. Players may trade their resources with other players after they've built a marketplace on their own territory. The Province grows into an empire through territory annexing and colonizing. Players can communicate with each other using in-game messages and may join alliances for military and economic co-operation with other players.