Luo is confirmed to have lived in the late Yuan Dynasty and early Ming Dynasty by the record of his contemporary, the playwright Jia Zhongming (賈仲明), who met him in 1364. It states that he was from Taiyuan, while literary historians suggest other possibilities about his home, including Hangzhou and Jiangnan. According to Meng Fanren (孟繁仁), Luo can be identified in the pedigree of the Luo family, and Taiyuan is most likely his hometown.
Recent research has suggested that his date of birth was between 1315-1318.
The stories forming the bulk of Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Water Margin are thought to have been developed by many independent storytellers. Shi Nai'an is thought to be the first to assemble Water Margin into a unified work, and Luo subsequently brought it to the current form of 100 chapters. Luo is usually considered the author of Romance of the Three Kingdoms.