The blacksmith is a must use building in Age of Empires 2 due to upgrades being a game changing factor only if you know which upgrades have priority over others. In this guide, we will be looking at which upgrades you should be getting first and learn more about upgrading your unique units because some of them are tricky.
Blacksmith upgrades are divided into 2 categories, Attack and Armor upgrades as shown in the table below:
AoE2 Upgrades (Found in the blacksmith building)
|Fletching||Padded Archer Armor|
|Bodkin Arrow||Leather Archer Armor|
|Bracer||Ring Archer Armor|
|Forging||Scale Mail Armor|
|Iron Casting||Chain Mail Armor|
|Blast Furnace||Plate Mail Armor|
|Scale Barding Armor|
|Chain Barding Armor|
|Plate Barding Armor|
Tip: Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer also provide additional range for units and buildings.
What Blacksmith Upgrades Should you Research First?
Archery Unit are favored with a priority to Attack Upgrades e.g Fletching, Bodkin and Bracer () are more important than any Armor upgrades.
Why? Non-upgraded Archery units initially have less attack and are usually created in large numbers thus attack upgrades will double their damage input however armor upgrades have secondary priority. Attack upgrades for archery units also provide an additional range giving these units an offensive opportunity from further distances.
Cavalry Unit are favored with a priority to Armor Upgrades e.g. Scale Barding, Chain Barding and Plate Barding () are more important than any Attack upgrades.
Why? Cavalry units tank a lot of damage from all units and have high hit points stats thus it makes more sense to upgrade armors first so they tank even more damage. Knights for example start a high base damage of 10 attack.
Infantry Unit are favored with a priority to Armor Upgrades e.g. Scale Mail, Chain Mail, and Plate Mail () are more crucial than any attack upgrades.
Why? Infantry units are initially weaker against archers and upgraded cavalry that is why upgrading armors should increase their resistances in the battlefield therefore more damage is dealt.
Now these are all the upgrades available at the blacksmith for every Age
Feudal Age Blacksmith Upgrades
I have purposefully added military buildings next to every upgrade because an upgrade affects units of an entire building or two buildings the case of “Forging”.
In other words,
Fletching affects all Archery Range units except
Padded Archer Armor affects all Archery Range units including
Forging affects all Barracks & Stable units
Scale Mail Armor affects all Barracks units
Scale Barding Armor affects all Stable units
Castle Age Blacksmith Upgrades
Once you research feudal age upgrades, new upgrades will be unlocked in the same spot making it easier for you to keep upgrading the same unit.
Let me walk you into it again
Bodkin Arrow affects all Archery Range units except
Leather Archer Armor affects all Archery Range units including Hand Cannonner
Iron Casting affects all Barracks & Stable units
Chain Mail Armor affects all Barracks units
Chain Barding Armor affects all Stable units
Imperial Age Blacksmith Upgrades
Finally, Imperial Age unlocks even more upgrades and it is worth mentioning that “Blast Furnace” exclusively provide +2 attack.
Yet another walk through
Bracer affects all Archery Range units except
Ring Archer Armor affects all Archery Range units including Hand Cannonner
Blast Furnace affects all Barracks & Stable units
Plate Mail Armor affects all Barracks units
Plate Barding Armor affects all Stable units
Excellent! So far we have learnt that blacksmith upgrades affect 3 basic buildings: Archery Range, Barracks, and Stable.
Let’s move on and have a quick look at blacksmith upgrades for UU (Unique Units).
Blacksmith Upgrades For Unique Units
To make it easy for you to quickly memorize upgrades for each Unique Unit, I will add upgrade icons near every UU.
But before I do that you must know the following:
- Any Unique Unit that fires arrows or long spears is considered as an Archery Unit and affected by
For example, Mangudai, Rattan Archer, Camel Archer, Elephant Archer,etc.
- Any Unique Unit that carries a sword or spear is considered as an Infantry Unit and affected by
For example, Samurai, Karambit Warrior, Jaguar Warrior, etc.
- Any Cavalry Mounted Unique Unit that fights with a sword or robe is considered as a Cavalry Unit affected by
For example, Tarkan, Cataphract, Boyar
Exceptional Unique Units
There are some tricky Unique Units that can deceive you into thinking they are archers but in fact they are Infantry or Cavalry units, thus require different upgrades. Let take a look at all those exceptional unique units.
Arambai is a Dart Thrower Unit and affected by + (Burmese do not have access to the rest of archer armor upgrades)
Organ Gun is a Siege Unit and affected by (NO BLACKSMITH UPDARADES!) But (Ballistics only if you research the unique technology Arquebus)
Throwing Axe-man is an Infantry Unit and affected by +
Gbeto is an Infantry Unit and affected by +
Conquistador is a Cavalry Powder Unit Unit and affected by +
Janissary is a Powder Unit and affected by + (Chemistry is a free upgrade for Turks once you hit imperial. You won’t )
Mameluke is a Cavalry Melee Thrower and affected by +
War Wagon is an Archery Unit and affected by +
War Galley is a Naval Unit and affected by +
Are Blacksmith Upgrades Good Enough?
At Feudal Age, the Blacksmith upgrades are only good enough for infantry and Archery Units. Cavalry Units on the other hand are better off with ) before considering the blacksmith.(
At Castle Age, the Blacksmith upgrades are yet important for infantry and Archery Units. Later on and as far as Archery Units are concerned, It’s highly recommended to consider the following:
An Archery Unit is divided into two types: Mounted Archery Unit, Foot Archery Unit and () is a must research as soon as possible because It makes it possible to take down moving units.
Mounted Archery Unit benefits from ), (), (), () and () (
Foot Archery Unit benefits from ) and () (
A Cavalry Unit benefits also from () and ()
An Infantry Unit benefits also from (), () and ()
A Naval Unit benefits also from ), Careening () and Dry Dock (). (
What Buildings Benefit From Blacksmith Upgrades?
The blacksmith upgrades also affect defensive buildings and they benefit from both attack and range except the Town center which can not have more range.
Town Center is an Economic/Defensive Building and affected by attack upgrades only!
Watch Tower is a Defensive/Offensive Building and affected by
Bombard Towers is a Defensive/Offensive Building and affected by
Castle is a Defensive/Offensive Building and affected by
Was there any you learned from this guide? Suggestions? Questions? Feel free to get down to the comment section where I always answer any queries and read your comments as fast as possible.