Age of Empires 2 Blacksmith Upgrades Explained

age of empires 2 blacksmith explained

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:

Attack Armor
fletching Fletching padded archer armor Padded Archer Armor
bodkin arrow Bodkin Arrow leather archer armor Leather Archer Armor
bracer Bracer ring archer armor Ring Archer Armor
forging Forging scale mail amor Scale Mail Armor
iron casting Iron Casting chain mail armor Chain Mail Armor
blast furnace Blast Furnace plate mail armor Plate Mail Armor
scale barding armor Scale Barding Armor
chain barding armor Chain Barding Armor
plate 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 (fletchingbodkin arrowbracer) 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 (scale barding armorchain barding armorplate barding armor) are more important than any Attack upgrades.

Why? Cavalry units tank a lot of damage from arrows thus it makes more sense to upgrade armors first so they tank even more damage.

Infantry Unit are favored with a priority to Armor Upgrades e.g. Scale Mail, Chain Mail, and Plate Mail (scale mail amorchain mail armorplate mail armor) 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 resistance therefore more damage is dealt.

 

Now these are all the upgrades available at the blacksmith for every Age

Feudal Age Blacksmith Upgrades

Blacksmith Upgrades for Feudal Age

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  Fletching affects all Archery Range units except Hand Cannonner hand cannoneer

padded archer armor Padded Archer Armor affects all Archery Range units including hand cannoneer Hand Cannonner

forging Forging affects all Barracks & Stable units

scale mail amor Scale Mail Armor affects all Barracks units

scale barding armor Scale Barding Armor affects all Stable units

 

Castle Age Blacksmith Upgrades

blacksmith upgrades for castle age

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  Bodkin Arrow affects all Archery Range units except Hand Cannonner hand cannoneer

leather archer armor Leather Archer Armor affects all Archery Range units including Hand Cannonner hand cannoneer

iron casting Iron Casting affects all Barracks & Stable units

chain mail armor Chain Mail Armor affects all Barracks units

chain barding armor Chain Barding Armor affects all Stable units

 

Imperial Age Blacksmith Upgrades

blacksmith upgrades for imperial age

Finally, Imperial Age unlocks even more upgrades and it is worth mentioning that “Blast Furnace” exclusively provide +2 attack.

Yet another walk through

bracer  Bracer affects all Archery Range units except Hand Cannonner hand cannoneer

ring archer armor Ring Archer Armor affects all Archery Range units including Hand Cannonner hand cannoneer

blast furnace Blast Furnace affects all Barracks & Stable units

plate mail armor Plate Mail Armor affects all Barracks units

plate barding armor 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 fletching padded archer armor bodkin arrow leather archer armor bracer ring archer armor

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 scale mail amor forging chain mail armor iron casting plate mail armor blast furnace

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 scale barding armor forging chain barding armor iron casting plate barding armor blast furnace

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 Arambai is a Dart Thrower Unit and affected by padded archer armor

throwing axemen Throwing Axe-man is an Infantry Unit and affected by scale mail amor forging chain mail armor iron casting plate mail armor blast furnace

gbeto Gbeto is an Infantry Unit and affected by scale mail amor forging chain mail armor iron casting plate mail armor blast furnace

Conquistador Conquistador is a Powder Unit Unit and affected by  padded archer armor  leather archer armor  ring archer armor

janissary Janissary is a Powder Unit and affected by padded archer armor  leather archer armor  ring archer armor

mameluke Mameluke is a Cavalry Melee Thrower and affected by scale barding armor forging chain barding armor iron casting plate barding armor blast furnace

war wagon War Wagon is an Archery Unit and affected by fletching padded archer armor bodkin arrow leather archer armor bracer ring archer armor

galley War Galley is a Naval Unit and affected by fletching  bodkin arrow  bracer

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 Bloodlines (bloodlines) 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 Ballistics (ballistics) is a must research as soon as possible because It makes it possible to take down moving units.

Mounted Archery Unit benefits from Bloodlines (bloodlines), Husbandry (husbandry), Thumb Ring (thumb ring), Parthian Tactics (parthian tactics) and Chemistry (chemistry

Foot Archery Unit benefits from Thumb Ring (thumb ring) and Chemistry (chemistry

 

A Cavalry Unit benefits also from Bloodlines (bloodlines) and Husbandry (husbandry)

An Infantry Unit benefits also from Squires (squires), Tracking (tracking) and Arson (arson)

A Naval Unit benefits also from Ballistics (ballistics), Careening (careening) and Dry Dock (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! Not range fletching  bodkin arrow  bracer

Watch Tower is a Defensive/Offensive Building and affected by fletching  bodkin arrow  bracer

Bombard Towers is a Defensive/Offensive Building and affected by fletching  bodkin arrow  bracer

Castle is a Defensive/Offensive Building and affected by fletching  bodkin arrow  bracer

 

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.

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Jeremy

Great guide. Your use of the game icons, as well as breaking things down into sections, makes it easier to digest.