Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition is a classic real-time strategy game that offers players the chance to control one of 42 civilizations. The game includes all the civilizations from the base game “Age of Kings” and the various expansions like The Conquerors, The Forgotten, The African Kingdoms, Rise of the Rajas, Lords of the West, Dawn of the Dukes, and Dynasties of India.
Each of the Age of Empires 2 civilizations is unique, featuring one or two unique units and two unique technologies, as well as specific military strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, each civilization has a unique Wonder that can be built in-game, giving players even more options for customization and strategy.
In this guide, we will provide in-depth information about all the Age of Empires 2 civilizations, including their strengths and weaknesses, unique units and technologies, and strategies for using them effectively in the game. We will also explore the new features of the Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition and how it affects the gameplay and the civilizations. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player, this article will give you all the information you need to excel with all the Age of Empires 2 civilizations.
Civilization Comparison Table (Age of Empires II)
|Civilizations||Unique Unit||Unique Bonuses||Team Bonus||Unique Techs|
|Aztecs||Jaguar Warrior (infantry)||Relics generate +33% gold|
|Bengalis||Ratha (cavalry archer/cavalry)||Trade units yield 10% food in addition to gold|
|Berbers||Genitour available in the Archery Range starting in the Castle Age|
|Bohemians||80% work rate on Markets|
|Britons||Longbowman (archer)||Archery Ranges work 20% faster|
|Bulgarians||Konnik (cavalry)||Blacksmiths work 80% faster|
|Burgundians||Relics generate both Gold & Food|
|Burmese||Arambai (ranged cavalry)||Relics visible on the map at the start of the game|
|Byzantines||Cataphract (cavalry)||Monks +100% heal speed|
|Celts||Woad Raider (infantry)||Siege Workshops work 20% faster|
|Chinese||Chu Ko Nu (archer)||Farms +10% food|
|Cumans||Kipchak (cavalry archer)||Palisade Walls +33% HP|
|Dravidians||Docks provide +5 population room|
|Ethiopians||Shotel Warrior (infantry)||Towers and Outposts +3 line of sight|
|Franks||Throwing Axeman (infantry)||Knights +2 line of sight|
|Goths||Huskarl (infantry)||Barracks work 20% faster|
|Gurjaras||Camel and elephant units created 25% faster|
|Hindustanis||Camel and light cavalry units +2 attack vs. buildings|
|Huns||Tarkan (cavalry)||No need for houses but start with 100 less wood|
10% cost reduction for Cavalry Archers in the Castle Age, 20% in Imperial Age
30% increased accuracy for Trebuchets.
|Stables work 20% faster|
|Incas||Spearmen and Skirmishers +2 line of sight|
|Italians||Condottiero available in the Barracks in Imperial Age|
|Japanese||Samurai (infantry)||Galleys +50% line of sight|
|Khmer||Ballista Elephant (mounted scorpion)||Scorpions +1 range|
|Koreans||Mangonel-line minimum range reduced|
|Lithuanians||Monasteries work 20% faster|
|Magyars||Magyar Huszar (cavalry)||Villagers can kill wolves with one strike|
Forging, Iron Casting, and Blast Furnace technologies are free
15% cost reduction for Scout Cavalry, Light Cavalry, and Hussar units.
|Foot archers +2 line of sight|
|Malay||Karambit Warrior (infantry)||Docks +100% line of sight|
|Malians||Gbeto (infantry)||Universities work 80% faster|
|Mayans||Plumed Archer (archer)|
Eagle Warrior (infantry)
|Starting with 1 additional villager, but 50 less food|
15% longer lasting resources
10% cost reduction for Archers in Feudal Age, 20% in Castle, 30% in Imperial Age.
|Walls cost -50%|
|Mongols||Mangudai (cavalry archer)||Scout Cavalry, Light Cavalry, Hussar +2 line of sight|
|Persians||War Elephant (cavalry)||Knights +2 attack vs. Archers|
Winged Hussar (cavalry)
|Scout Cavalry, Light Cavalry, Hussar +1 attack vs. Archers|
|Portuguese||Technologies researched 25% faster|
|Saracens||Mameluke (camel rider)||Foot archers +2 attack vs. buildings|
|Sicilians||Serjeant (infantry)||Transport Ships +5 line of sight and cost -50%|
|Slavs||Boyar (cavalry)||Military buildings provide +5 population room|
|Spanish||Trade units generate +25% gold|
|Tatars||Cavalry Archers +2 line of sight|
|Teutons||Teutonic Knight (infantry)||Units resist conversion|
|Turks||Janissary (hand cannoneer)||Gunpowder units created 25% faster|
|Vietnamese||Imperial Skirmisher upgrade available in the Imperial Age|
|Vikings||Docks cost -15%|
Unique Units and Technologies
Each civilization in Age of Empires 2 has its own unique units and technologies that set it apart from the others, and each of these Age of Empires 2 civilizations give their own distinct playstyle and strategy.
For example, the Byzantine civilization has access to the Cataphract, a heavily-armored cavalry unit with high hitpoints and damage, while the Persian civilization has access to the War Elephant, a powerful unit that deals high damage to buildings and infantry.
The Chinese civilization has access to the Chu Ko Nu, a unique archer unit that fires multiple arrows at once, and the Chinese civilization also has access to the Rocketry technology which allows their Scorpions to fire rockets.
Military Strengths and Weaknesses
In addition to unique units and technologies, each civilization also has its own set of military strengths and weaknesses. These strengths and weaknesses should be taken into account when choosing a civilization and planning your strategy.
For example, the Teutons civilization has a strong infantry, but weak archers, while the Britons civilization has strong archers, but weak infantry. The Aztecs civilization has strong infantry and strong archers, but no cavalry access. The Celts civilization has strong infantry and siege weapons but weak archers and cavalry.
Understanding a civilization’s military strengths and weaknesses can help you to effectively use that civilization in battle and to counter the strengths and exploit the weaknesses of your opponents’ civilizations.
Where to find Civilization weaknesses and strengths?
Tips for Using Each Civilization Effectively
Byzantine: The best defensive civilization and high potential at countering all units. You can easily counter cavalry civilizations by spamming cheap camels; counter archery/cavalry archer civilizations by spamming cheap skirmishers and spearman lines. Counter all infantry units including halberdiers with your unique unit Cataphract. This could be by far the best civilization if you plan your strategy and make unit transitions on time.
Persians: does not only have the best booming potential due to villagers queuing faster from town centers but also the best elephants in the game which you can spam in closed maps like black forest and be unstoppable. Military wise, their knights get +2 free bonus damage against archery units and their unique castle age technology lets them create archers without any gold cost which should buy you time against enemy pikemen or camels.
Chinese: Make use of the Chu Ko Nu’s high rate of fire by using them to take down enemy archers, and use their unique technology, Rocketry, to boost the Scorpions’ attack power. Use their unique unit, the Elite Chu Ko Nu, to take down large groups of enemy units.
These tips will give you a starting point for using each civilization effectively, but remember that each game is different and you should adapt your strategy accordingly.
Strategies for Different Game Modes and Opponents
Deathmatch: In this game mode, the goal is to eliminate all other players. Choosing a civilization that has strong military units and technologies, such as the Aztecs or the Celts, can give you an advantage in this mode.
Wonder Race: In this game mode, the goal is to be the first player to build a Wonder. Choosing a civilization that has strong economic bonuses, such as the Chinese or the Persians, can give you an advantage in this mode.
Defend the Wonder: In this game mode, the goal is to protect your Wonder while trying to destroy the opponent’s Wonder. Choosing a civilization that has strong defensive bonuses, such as the Teutons or the Britons, can give you an advantage in this mode.
Against a civilization with strong archers: against a civilization with strong archers, choosing a civilization that has strong anti-archer units, such as the Aztecs, Goths or Celts. Or a surprise/fast attack with Sieges Rams and Skirmishers is the most devastating.
Against a civilization with strong cavalry: against a civilization with strong cavalry, choosing a civilization that has strong anti-cavalry units, such as any camel civilization: Persians or Berbers. Or infantry civilizations with unique bonuses for instance Japanese high attack speed Halberdiers, or cheap Halberdiers from Goths and Byzantines.
Against a civilization with strong infantry: against a civilization with strong infantry, choosing an archery civilization or a civilization with strong anti-infantry units, such as the Byzantine Cataphract or the Celtic Woad Raiders, or technologies that can boost the attack power of your units like Aztecs +4 attack damage from the unique tech “Garland Wars”.
Roles of Civilizations in Team Games
- The Byzantine civilization can serve as a spearhead for your army, thanks to its trash units and unique technology, Logistica.
- The Persian civilization can serve as a siege breaker, thanks to its strong War Elephant and unique technology, Mahouts.
- The Chinese civilization can serve as a strong archer civilization, thanks to its Chu Ko Nu and unique technology, Rocketry.
- The Teutons civilization can serve as a strong defensive civilization, thanks to its strong infantry and unique technology, Ironclad.
- The Britons civilization can serve as a strong archer civilization, thanks to its Longbowman and unique technology, Yeomen.
- The Aztecs civilization can serve as a strong infantry civilization, thanks to its Jaguar Warrior and unique technology, Garland Wars.
- The Celts civilization can serve as a strong all-around civilization, thanks to its strong infantry, archers, and cavalry.
- The Berbers civilization can serve as a strong cavalry civilization, thanks to its Camel Archer and unique technology, Kasbah.
- The Khmer civilization can serve as a strong siege and defensive civilization, thanks to its Ballista Elephant and unique technology, Imperial Age.
- The Cumans civilization can serve as a strong cavalry civilization, thanks to its Tarkhan and unique technology, Keshik.
These are just general guidelines, and in team games, it is important to coordinate with your allies and to adapt your strategy to the overall strategy of your team.
Definitive Edition Changes
Overview of Changes in the Latest Version
The latest version of Age of Empires 2, Definitive Edition, includes a number of changes and improvements to the game, including 4K graphics, new and remastered sound and music, new civilizations, and new game modes. Some of the key changes include:
- A new civilization, the Lithuanians, was added to the game, featuring unique units such as the Winged Hussar and the Ballista, and unique technologies such as Battle Cry and Winged Hussars.
- The AI was improved, making the computer-controlled opponents more challenging and adaptive.
- A new game mode, Historical Battles, was added to the game, allowing players to replay famous battles from history.
- A new game mode, The Art of War, was added to the game, featuring new challenges and scenarios.
- The game’s graphics and sound were updated, making the game look and sound better than ever before.
Impact on Gameplay and Civilizations
The changes in the Definitive Edition of Age of Empires 2 have a significant impact on the gameplay, particularly when it comes to the Age of Empires 2 civilizations. The addition of new civilizations, such as the Lithuanians, and game modes, such as Historical Battles, adds more variety and replayability to the game.
The new civilizations have unique units, technologies, and strengths and weaknesses that can change the way the game is played. The improvements to the AI make the game more challenging and engaging, and the new graphics and sound make the game more immersive and enjoyable.
Overall, the changes in the Definitive Edition make Age of Empires 2 a more complete and enjoyable game for players of all skill levels, particularly for those who are interested in exploring the different Age of Empires 2 civilizations.
Best Civilizations for different level of players
Britons: Their strong archers and unique technology, Yeomen, make them a good choice for beginners who are still learning the game.
Huns: They don’t need houses , have cheap cavalry archers and stables work 20% faster – make them a good choice for beginners who are still learning the game.
Persians: They start with +100 food and +50 wood, and town centers queue villager faster each age – make them a good choice for beginners who are still learning the game.
Franks: Their strong infantry and unique technology, Chivalry, make them a good choice for intermediate players who want to focus on a strong ground-based army.
Goths: Their strong infantry and unique technology, Perfusion, make them a good choice for intermediate players who want to focus on a strong ground-based army.
Khmer: Their strong siege and defensive capabilities and unique technology, Imperial Age, make them a good choice for intermediate players who want to focus on strong siege and defensive capabilities.
Vikings: Their strong navy and unique technology, Berserking, make them a good choice for advanced players who want to focus on naval warfare.
Tatars: Their strong cavalry and unique technology, Keshik, make them a good choice for advanced players who want to focus on cavalry-based warfare.
Cumans: Their strong cavalry and unique technology, Steppe Husbandry, make them a good choice for advanced players who want to focus on cavalry-based warfare.
In this article, we have discussed various aspects of Age of Empires 2 civilizations including the number of civilizations in the game, unique units and technologies, military strengths and weaknesses, gameplay strategies, and changes in the Definitive Edition. We also discussed the best civilizations for different level of players, and tips for using each civilization effectively.