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Pre-Order Age of Empires III: DE – The African Royals NOW!

On August 2nd, 2021, Get ready to experience history from the unique perspectives of some of Africa’s most famous rulers: Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition – The African Royals is available for pre-order RIGHT NOW!

We’re bringing a new continent to Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition, adding two brand-new civilizations and their magnificent kingdoms: the Ethiopians and the Hausa of Africa! Gain new Alliances with every Age and use your Influence to hire units and research technologies. In addition, experience 3 all-new Historical Battles, 15 new African maps, 5 new Indigenous African Civilizations to Ally with, and play your way through several new Achievements!

New Civilizations

With the two new civilizations—the Ethiopians and Hausa—construct a Palace to recruit Mercenaries, Alliance units, Imported Artillery, or the new Gatling Camel! Build a Granary to lure huntables and boost your food gathering, or a Livestock Market to trade Sanga and Zebu Cattle. Be crafty with your herd, as market prices will only rise and become profitable slowly over time, or go all-in with a legendary Royal Banquet, securing a generous amount of Influence for your allies!

NEW: Influence Resource

With this expansion comes a brand new gameplay feature and resource: Influence! Influence is spent primarily at the Palace on Native Warriors, Mercenaries, and unlockable units from Age-Ups. Two technologies are unlocked each Age, depending on which African Alliance (Politician) you choose. There is a variety of ways in which you can obtain this extremely valuable resource:

  • Trading Posts: Resource toggle
  • Native Settlements: Can trickle Influence
  • Shipments and Crates
  • Owning large herds of Cattle: Livestock trickle Influence; fattened animals trickle faster
  • University: Unique Hausa Building that trickles XP or Influence under the Sphere of Influence aura. Trickles fastest when near a Town Center, Trading Post, or Palace
  • Mountain Monastery: Unique Ethiopian building which Villagers and Abuns can be tasked to gather coin and Influence. This building is constructed on coin mines
  • Age-Up Alliances: Offer unique technologies which often enable new ways to generate Influence

Unique Hero Abilities

  • The Hausa “Emir” and Ethiopian “Ras
  • African heroes share the Chaos ability, which briefly causes Treasure Guardians to turn on each other; the effect lasts longer on stronger guardians (based on Kill XP)
  • African heroes have a “Fealty Aura” where their stats are improved by each nearby allied unit
  • Players can obtain additional Heroes from various cards and technologies

Shared Buildings

  • Livestock Market: Functions as a market and livestock pen; can exchange animals for resources
  • Palace: A large defensive building with a ranged attack; features powerful elite units and trains all unlocked units as well as Mercenaries; all units/techs cost Influence
  • Port: A dock that always features a mercenary warship and can gain access to European naval vessels
  • Hut: Supports 10 population as usual; different militia can be levied using Influence cost
  • Field: Two villagers may gather food or coin from it; very cheap to construct, but takes a long time to sow
  • Granary: Has a gather aura which boosts Villager food and field gather rates; attracts nearby huntables
  • War Camp: Trains all African military units (no ranged attack)
  • Watch Tower: An Outpost that can train Outlaws (not mercenaries)
  • Town Center: Trains villagers and Ages up
  • Walls/Gate: Defensive barriers

Age-Up Mechanic

Both new African civilizations advance by forging an alliance with a potential ally. The Ethiopians and Hausa both have unique alliances available to them. Alliances offer technologies, buildings, and unique units such as the Arsenal Wagon or Camel Rider to complement your expanding African forces, creating a strong and unique royal army!


Make the “Roof of Africa” your home with Palaces and Mountain Monasteries, while Shotel Warriors break the enemy lines and your mortars rain explosive shots on enemy units and buildings alike. Train the mighty Oromo Warriors to cut down enemy cavalry charges, Neftenyas to take potshots at opposing infantry, or use any of the Alliances at your disposal to orchestrate the perfect strategy for your playstyle.

Unique Units

  • Gascenya (II): Agile ranged infantry armed with javelins, spear, and shield. Takes on the role of Musketeers; attacks faster the closer it is to the target
  • Shotel Warrior (II): Shock infantry that attacks quickly by duel-wielding curved swords
  • Neftenya (III): Powerful, expensive Skirmisher with high hitpoints
  • Oromo Warrior (III): Powerful 3 population heavy ranged cavalry that shoots faster the closer they are to a target; has a powerful melee attack. Great at countering light infantry
  • Javelin Rider (II): Ranged cavalry. Good against hand cavalry, particularly in melee
  • Sebastopol Mortar (IV): Gargantuan mortar which annihilates units and buildings; slow and expensive
  • Abun (I): Ethiopian Bishop who can heal friendly units from range, even whilst they’re fighting or gathering; may also gather at the Mountain Monastery like a Villager

* Note that civilization balance and bonuses may change between now and release.


Build a flourishing Hausa Kingdom with inspiring Griots, lucrative Livestock trades and influential Universities, then guard your possessions with Maigadi Guards and Imported Cannons. Or, get ahead of your adversary early by razing their empire with a mix of resourceful Fulani Archers, fast Raiders, and imposing Lifidi Knights.

Unique Units

  • Lifidi Knight (III): Powerful Heavy Cavalry with exceptional HP but lower damage; has dual resistances
  • Raider (II): Mobile Hand Cavalry with decent siege damage. Good against Light Infantry and Villagers
  • Fulani Archer (II): Foot Archer armed with a short bow for a fast attack. Good against Heavy Infantry and Ranged Cavalry. Can gather Livestock
  • Maigadi (III): Powerful Heavy Ranged Infantry with a deadly melee attack
  • Javelin Rider (II): Ranged Cavalry. Good against Hand Cavalry, particularly in melee
  • Griot (I): Inspiring musician and storyteller who can increase the work rate of buildings and speed of nearby units. Uses instruments to intimidate enemies which slows their attack speed

* Note that civilization balance and bonuses may change between now and release.

New Historical Battles

The Battle of the Three Kings

Sebastian of Portugal, a young and jealous king, has launched an invasion into Morocco under the pretense of a crusade. The Saadis, however, are not impressed and gather their army to meet the invaders. The Iberians may have superior technology, mercenaries, and the help of a local puppet sultan, but the sultan’s forces are fighting to protect their homes.

Fall of the Hausa

Exiled from the Hausa city-state of Gobir for criticizing the greed and immorality of the city’s elites, the scholar, writer, and military leader Usman dan Fodio united Fulani nomads, Hausa peasants, and escaped slaves to spark a revolution on West Africa’s Sahel.

The Era of the Princes

For over a century, Ethiopia struggled as local warlords vied for power in the declining old empire. There seemed to be no way out of the conflict until a man named Kassa Hailu stepped in. Kassa, a veteran of the Ethiopian-Egyptian wars, could no longer bear to watch as his country was torn asunder. He would fight the warlords and gift the loot to the impoverished Ethiopian peasants.

New Achievements

Achievement Name Achievement Condition Points
Well Studied Build a University near a Town Center, Palace, and Trading Post. 10
Holy Mountains Earn 10,000 Coin from Mountain Monasteries on Mines. 20
Raiding Party Deploy ‘8 Lifidi Knights’ from your shipments as the Hausa. 5
Big Bombardment Deploy ‘2 Sebastopol Mortars’ from your shipments as the Ethiopians. 5
Safari Collect 10 Treasures on African maps. 15
Influencer Spend 10,000 Influence playing as the Hausa or the Ethiopians. 20
Cash Cow Gain 500 Coin from a single sale at the Livestock Market. 15
Hausa Victory Win a game as the Hausa. 5
Ethiopian Victory Win a game as the Ethiopians. 5
Ruler of the Seven Kingdoms Pick each Hausa Alliance once. 25
King of Kings Pick each Ethiopian Alliance once. 25

Pre-Order Now!

Experience all this and more with the launch of The African Royals for Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition beginning August 2, 2021. Purchase this civilization expansion for only $9.99 on the Microsoft Store or Steam.

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