How many times have you asked yourself – Why am I so bad at this game? – What to do to beat this guy? –What am I doing wrong?
Today, you will assimilate expertise and answers to all those questions and more in top 5 reasons why you keep losing games in Age of empires 2. Who knows… This is probably what you needed all along to improve at this game.
1- Less Villagers & Bad Economy Management
There is no doubt that villagers decide the faith of your game. Beginners usually fail to keep the town center constantly queuing villagers and especially early Dark Age.
In Dark Age you have to prioritize the gathering of food resources (Sheep, boars, forage bush and deers if possible), then wood comes second. However, Stone and Gold are optionally mined at the last second before clicking up to Feudal Age.
As soon as you reach Feudal Age, you are expected to research the economic upgrades (Double-Bit Axe, Horse Collar and Wheelbarrow) -unless you are doing a fast castle build order- while prioritizing once again the creation of villagers at your town center.
Age of Empire 2 is a slow paced game, thus the failure to make villagers constantly is going to put you in a horrible position later on that game.
When you click up to Castle Age you need to ensure that you have all the economic upgrades in addition to the gold upgrade and at least 13 Lumberjacks. This latter is important because you need extra 2 town centers upon reaching Castle Age.
At Castle Age, Bowsaw upgrade is a must research economic upgrade because Wood is the hero of this age. You will need to make military units, build a minimum of 2 extra town centers, seed more farms and construct more military buildings all in that particular order.
Post-Castle Age or around 30’ish mins game time, specifically 30 mins sharp you should have 27 or 30 farmers at least. Pulling this number of farmers at 30 mins is a good sign of paving your way to prowess at this game. Moreover, 30 farmers are needed to click up to the Imperial Age.
Just clicked up to Imperial Age? Starting from Dark Age to Post-Imperial, DO NOT stop making villagers. That’s where most players take the fall; it’s at late Imperial Age. They found themselves with lesser villager count compared to the enemy, as a result, the economy rapidly deteriorates with barely any resources to spare for trash army.
Multiplayer will certainly punish you for not using hotkeys. I wish I knew about hotkeys back when I discovered Multiplayer. It felt like all the players were cheating and building things way too fast, so one day I had to ask one of these players how do you build and attack faster? The answer was: Do you use hotkeys?
As simple as that, you should use hotkeys for everything while the mouse is only used for camera movement and unit assignment.
Your first time to give hotkeys a go? I recommend hotkey profiles from pro players because they are customized not to exhaust your hand muscles.
Interested in trying them out? Check out this post: How to Install Hotkey Profiles from Pro Players
You can still customize the hotkeys to fit your needs by accessing Options >Hotkeys
3- Practice Sheet
Nobody was born a pro gamer out of playing casually and randomly. Whoever is a pro today must have been playing the game smarter than you do.
It all comes up to capturing the tiniest deal of details from your gameplay. Details that have remained oblivion to you since a very long time. But as of today, I’m honored to unveil the secret behind playing smarter.
This is one of the secrets I have been sitting on for a long time. In fact, this excel practice sheet file I am about to share with you right now has helped me make the jump from 1600 Voobly ELO to 1750-1800 Voobly ELO. Another fact, I do not play on a regular basis…
Imagine what you could achieve if you are playing Age of Empires II regularly?
Here is a download link to my AoC Practice Sheet
Before you give this a go let me explain how it works
This practice sheet is a three column table in a critical order (Errors, Mistakes, Bad Habits) + a one column Table (Notes)
An Error simply means that something came out wrong with the build order but after watching a pro you finally could see what you were going wrong. Or doing something wrong until someday someone points that out to you.
A Mistake is rarely done 3 or 5 games out 10 games due to poor reasoning, carelessness and lack of concentration.
Bad Habits or negative habits are actions you always repeat in your gameplay. Try to replace them by positive habits.
Notes are to be used for intelligence gathering from a particular player or wisdom learning.
4- Ladder Anxiety & Insufficient Practice
How to defeat Ladder Anxiety?
Self-Confidence is the essence of your gameplay. If you fear your opponent and the game has not even started yet, you might as well just resign or play a different game.
So do not let some random non-perfect human being just like you get to your mind. Play for a learning experience and fun; only later comes a deserved win.
Do you often hesitate to host a game room or join a 1v1 game? That could be a sign of “Ladder Anxiety” but you can overcome that in three simple steps.
3 Steps To Defeat Ladder Anxiety
Step 1: Take a deep breath and try to imagine all those glorious and positive moments you had in multiplayer and follow that with a wide smile (make sure nobody is looking at you).
Step 2: Forget about the existence of your enemy. Think of him as a computer bot, or a hot woman/man (not judging) that needs to be impressed by you.
Step 3: Most important step. Do not focus on winning the game but rather focus on improving very little things in your gameplay or what I call them small goals e.g. (In the next game, (Small Goal 1)I want to practice walling starting from 12 population at dark age, (Small Goal 2) I want to have 14 farms at 14 mins)
The moment you achieve a small goal your brain is going to feel positively encouraged to play and practice more because you have genuinely achieved and improved something out of a loss or a victory – It’s a win-win situation either way.
What’s the right way to practice a build order?
You may often find yourself intimidated and destroyed by some opponents then all you could think about next is to switch strategy instead of learning to adapt to the same strategy.
That is why you keep losing over and over because you do not let yourself get accustomed to the mechanics and reactions that every build order requires you to deliver.
You may ask: what are these mechanics and reactions?
- APM distribution: Some advanced build orders require higher apm to manage both an attack and economy (e.g. Drush + Fast Castle, Men At Arms). Whereas standard build orders (e.g. Scout rush, 23 archers require lesser apm because the first 12 minutes of the game are more economically focused.)
- You are expected to react multiple times during the game-play after scouting your opponent (e.g. The enemy is spotted mining stone earlier dark age: Reaction => Anticipate the locations from where the enemy would probably hit you with the tower rush then prepare a defense such as “2 or 3 militias + scout + 2 villagers” or “5 villagers only” to deal with that.) For a more detailed post to dealing with such aggression, I recommend this read: How To Counter A Tower Rush “Trush”
The pinpoint here is to stick with one strategy and divide your build order into pieces of ‘small goals’ then practice piece by piece until perfection – Instead of wasting your time learning the entire build order at once.
5- Bad Internet
I am pretty sure that most of you are familiar with desyncs, lag and connection drops. Those are gameplay learning killers.
I drew a table to help you better understand who is responsible for these issues; how to address them and fix them.
|Who’s Responsible?||Desyncs||Lag||Connection Drops|
|Steam||Desyncs are Very Common because there is no anti-cheat system.||Computer Lag: the game is severely slow and stuffers on most computers.|
Multiplayer Lag: 250 ping is considered a “yellow” ping and may introduce a bad multiplayer experience
|Once disconnected and reconnected from internet Steam is may or may not drop you from the game 50%-50% chance.|
|Voobly||Desyncs are do not Exist! Thanks to a powerful Voobly anti-cheat system||Computer Lag: Do not exist! Thanks to UserPatch.|
Multiplayer Lag: 450 ping is considered a “yellow” ping and only may introduce lag in team games however in 1v1 450 ping is not that bad.
|Once disconnected and reconnected from internet Voobly is going to drop you from the game and crash too.|
|Yourself||Cheats, corrupt maps and different game files from other players trigger desyncs.||Computer Lag: Only low rig computer users should avoid running CPU hog programs such as Chrome, Photoshop or using internet security protection while playing the game. Also, gameplay performance on Voobly takes minimum resources compared to Steam.|
Multiplayer Lag: Whether you play on steam or Voobly you must access your router and do port forwarding (See info below)
|You can avoid internet drops by plugging in an Ethernet cable directly to your pc instead of using Wifi. Also, aggressive Antivirus protection, Windows Updates or Firewall programs may drop you from the internet for no reason.|
Ports to forward For Age of Empires II HD on Steam:
- TCP: 27015-27030, 27036-27037.
- UDP: 3478, 4379-4380, 27000-27031, 27036.
Ports to forward For Age of Empires II on Voobly:
- UDP: 16000
If you need help with this port forwarding section feel free to join our active discord channel to receive help:
I hope these tips will improve your game day.
Have fun playing Age of Empires 2.