Hi there Age fans!

We’ve been watching some of your wonderful beta streams, and come to realize that no matter how good you are at the other Age games Age of Empires: Definitive Edition might take a little bit of getting used to! To help with that the best Age player on our team here at Microsoft Studios, Will McCahill, wrote up this list for you!

Good luck everyone, and have fun playing!!

A Quick Reference for Age II HD Players Who Want to Play AoE: DE


Key differences:
No starting scout – you only get 3 villagers. Use one of your villagers to scout at the start
No garrisoning – you can’t hide your villagers in the event of an attack
– No equivalent early game upgrade in Age:DE, villagers are a little stronger though
Houses support only four population – Unlike Age 2’s five
No Palisade walls or equivalent
– Walls cannot be made until they are researched at the granary starting in the Tool Age



  • Granary: can only accept food from Berries and farms
  • Storage Pit: Accepts all wood, gold, and stone. Can only accept food from elephant, shore fish, crocodiles, lions and antelope.
  • Town Center: Any resource can be dropped off at the Town Center
  • Hunting: Gazelle (deer equivalent) spawn in larger groups and can be hunted efficiently
  • Farms: Aren’t available until a market is built. A market can’t be built until the tool age. Cost 75 wood each (compare to Age 2’s 60 wood each)
  • No Sheep or equivalent
  • Berries – Are the same!
  • Wolves – Replaced with lions and alligators. Villagers can kill lions and alligators 1 on 1 without upgrades if they throw the first spear (alligators are slow so you might want to micro your villager back a bit)
  • Boar – Replaced with elephants. Elephants have high DPS but are slower than a villager enabling you to kite.
  • Trees – Have a variable amount of wood. Generally, 40 wood per tree (compare to Age 2’s 100 wood)
  • Blacksmith upgrades are at the Storage pit – Upgrades are available starting in the Tool Age


Stone Age – Dark Age

  1. Drush – Clubmen are only slightly stronger than villagers. It is rare to be able to do any real damage to your enemy until the tool age


Tool Age – Feudal Age

  1. Upgrade Cost – 500 food, same as AOE2
  2. Market – Unlocked in the Tool Age (requires granary).
    • Required for farms
    • Has villager efficiency upgrades by resource type
    • Wood efficiency upgrade also improves archer range
  3. Slingers – Strong anti-archer/anti-fortification unit that costs food and stone. Created at the barracks. Has no upgrade path meaning it’s strength peaks in the Tool Age. Generally used for rushes


Bronze Age – Castle Age

  1. Upgrade Cost – 800 food (no gold!)
  2. Wheel – Critical upgrade from the Market that improves villager movement speed by 30% and unlocks chariots
  3. Chariots/chariot archers – Very strong “trash” units in that they only cost food and wood to create. Chariots are created at the Stable. Chariot Archers at the Archery range
    • Chariot archers – upgrades for wood improve chariot archer range, other upgrades are at the storage pit
    • Chariots – Can be upgraded to scythe chariots (which are basically paladins with splash damage) in the Iron age
  4. Swordsmen – Prior to Bronze, players have access to Clubmen and Axemen. Those units cannot be upgraded to Swordsmen. Short Swordsmen can be created at the Barracks starting in the Bronze age and have an upgrade path similar to AOE2 Militia.
  5. Academy – Requires a stable. Strong and expensive infantry (Hoplite, Phalanx, Centurion) can be made at the academy
  6. Government Center
    • If you are booming – this should be your first building in the Bronze age
    • Town Center – Government center is required to build a second town center (You can build them for just 200 wood! Much cheaper than AOE2)
    • Functions similar to a University
    • Logistics – Key upgrade for infantry focused civilizations. Makes barracks units cost only ½ of a population slot
    • Nobility – key upgrade for cavalry focused civilizations. Prerequisite to upgrade for scythe chariots


Iron Age – Imperial Age

  1. Upgrade Cost – 1000 food, 800 gold, same as AOE2
  2. Zealotry – Similar to the Spanish Supremacy unique upgrade and Loom, Zealotry greatly increases villager strength/combat capabilities. It also provides a speed bonus but reduces resource collection by 50%


And for those of you who learn best by watching, here are some good AoE Youtube channels to watch:




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