Age of Empires 2 Civilizations Tier List [With Detailed Comparison]

Discover the Best Civilization Strategies to Unleash Your Empire's Potential in AOE-II

Age of Empires 2 is a classic real-time strategy game that puts players in the shoes of historical civilizations as they build their empires and wage war against each other. In this Age of Empires 2 Civilizations Tier List, we have uncovered the best of the best civilizations the game has to offer in 2024.

Important: Each civilization has its own unique strengths and abilities; some have economic boost, others may be master of foot archery. Understanding each civilization’s unique traits is crucial in choosing the right one to fit your playstyle and strategy.
Key Takeaways
  • Age of Empire 2 features 42 civilizations.
  • Civilizations ranked based on factors like game situations, power, ease of use, design, flexibility, focus, team bonus, unique units, technologies, and wonders.
  • S-Tier civilizations are the strongest with excellent economic, military, and technological capabilities.
  • A-Tier civilizations are strong and versatile, suitable for ranked games.
  • B-Tier civilizations may struggle in certain matchups but can perform well with good micro-management and strategy.
  • C-Tier civilizations are the weakest, lacking unique techniques and focus

Comparison of All Civilizations In Age of Empire 2

CivilizationRankFocusUnique unitUnique TechWonderTeam bonus
AztecsSInfantryJaguar WarriorGarland Wars, AtlatlGreat Pyramid of TenochtitlanRelics generate +33% gold
BritonsSFoot ArcherLongbowmanYeomen, WarwolfChichester CathedralArchery ranges work 20% faster
ChineseSArcherChu Ko NuGreat Wall, RocketryTemple of HeavenFarms start with +10% food.
FranksSCavalryThrowing AxemanChivalry, Bearded AxeSt. Vitus CathedralKnights have +2 line of sight
VikingsSInfantry, NavyBerserk LongboatChieftains, BerserkergangBorgund Stave ChurchDocks are 15% cheaper
LithuaniansSCavalry and MonkLeitisHill Forts, Tower ShieldsHill Forts (Town Centers +3 range)Monastery works 20% faster.
PersiansACavalryWar Elephantkamandaran and MahoutsTaq KasraKnights +2 attack vs. Archers
BerbersACavalry, NavyGenitourMaghrabi Camels, KasbahHassan TowerGenitours are available in the Castle Age.
IndiansACamel and GunpowderImperial Camel RiderGrand Trunk Road, ShatagniMaqbara-i HumayunCamel and Light cavalry units have +2 attack vs. standard buildings.
MayansAArcherPlumed ArcherHul’che Javelineers, El DoradoTikal Temple IThe walls are 50% cheaper
PolesACavalryObuchLechitic Legacy, Szlachta Priv.The Wawel CastleScout Cavalry line has +1 attack vs. archers.
HunsACavalry, SiegeTarkanMarauders, AtheismArch of Constantine (ruined)Stables work 20% faster
MongolsACavalry, SiegeMangudaiNomads, DrillGreat Tent of Genghis KhanScout Cavalry line has +2 Line of Sight
PortugueseANavy, GunpowderOrgan GunCarrack, ArquebusThe Belem TowerTechnologies are researched 25% faster.
SpanishAMonks, GunpowderConquistador, MissionaryInquisition, SupremacyThe Torre del OroCarry 25% more gold
JapaneseBInfantry, NavySamuraiYasama, KataparutoTōdai-jiGalleys have a +50% longer Line of Sight.
ByzantinesBDefensiveCataphractGreek Fire, LogisticaThe Hagia SophiaMonks heal 100% faster.
IncasBInfantryKamayukAndean SlingMachu PicchuSpearmen and Skirmishers have +2 Line of Sight.
MagyarsBCavalry,Magyar HuszarCorvinian Army, Recurve BowThe Hunyadi CastleFoot archers (except Skirmishers) have +2 Line of Sight.
BohemiansBGunpowder and MonkHoufniceWagenburg Tactics, Hussite ReformsPowder Tower of PragueMarkets work 80% faster.
BulgariansBCavalry, InfantryKonnikStirrups, BagainsPreslav Round ChurchBlacksmiths work 80% faster
GurjarasBCavalry, CamelChakram Thrower, ShrivamshaKshatriyas, Frontier GuardsSomnath TempleCamel and Elephant units are created 25% faster.
BengalisBElephant and NavalRathaPaiks, MahayanaSomapura MahaviharaTrade units yield 10% food in addition to gold.
ItaliansBNavy, ArcheryGenoese CrossbowmanPavise, Silk RoadGenoa Cathedral, Cathedral of St. LawrenceAdvancing Age costs -15% food
MalayBNavyKarambit WarriorThalassocracy, Forced LevyKalasan TempleDocks have double Line of Sight.
SaracensBCamel and NavalMamelukeCounterwights, ZealotryGreat Mosque of SamarraFoot archers have +3 attack against standard buildings.
KoreansBDefensive and NavalTurtle ShipEupseong, ShinkichonThe HwangsanbulMangonel-line minimum range reduced to 1.
VietnameseBRanged combatRattan ArcherPaper Money, ChatrasBút Tháp TempleImperial Skirmishers +15 HP
KhmerBSiege weaponryBallista ElephantTusk Swords, Double CrossbowThe Angkor WatScorpions +1 range
MaliansBInfantryGbetoTigui, FarimbaThe Great Mosque of DjenneUniversity researches are 80% faster, Infantry +1 pierce armor
EthiopiansBArcheryShotel WarriorRoyal Heirs, Torsion EnginesBiete AmanuelTowers +2 Line of Sight, +3 Attack vs. Ships.
GothsCInfantryHuskarlAnarchy, PerfusionMausoleum of Theoderic IInfantry cost -20% starting from the Feudal Age
SiciliansCInfantry and CavalrySerjeantFirst Crusade, HauberkMonreale CathedralTransport Ships have +5 Line of Sight and cost -50%.
TeutonsCInfantryTeutonic KnightIronclad, CrenellationsMaria Laach AbbeyUnits resist conversion.
BurmeseCMonk and ElephantArambaiHowdah, Manipur CavalryShwezigon PagodaShwezigon Pagoda
DravidiansCInfantry and NavalUrumi Swordsman, ThirisadaiMedical Corps, Wootz SteelBrihadisvara TempleDocks provide +5 population space.
CeltsCInfantry and SiegeWoad RaiderStronghold, Furor CelticaThe Rock of CashelSiege Workshops work 20% faster.
CumansCCavalryKipchakCuman Mercenaries, Steppe HusbandrySarkel Fortress (ruined)Palisade Walls have +33% hit points
SlavsCInfantry and SiegeBoyarDetinets, DruzhinaKizhi PogostBarracks, Archery Ranges, Stables, and Siege workshops provide +5 population.
TartarsCCavalry and CamelKeshikSilk Armor, Timurid SiegecraftUlugh Beg ObservatoryCavalry Archers with +2 Line of Sight
TurksCCavalry Archer and Artillery JanissarySipahi and ArtilleryThe Selimiye Mosque25% quicker creation of gunpowder units
BurgundiansCInfantryCoustillierBurgundian Vineyards, Flemish RevoltsBrussels Town HallRelics generate +30% food per minute.

Our Tier List Picks

Below is the complete classification of all Civilizations in Age of Empire 2 Tier List, ranked from Best to Worst:

Tier Civilizations
S-Tier    Aztecs, Britons, Chinese, Franks, Vikings, Lithuanians
A-Tier   Persians, Berbers, Indians, Mayans, Poles, Huns, Mongols, Portuguese, Spanish
B-Tier  Japenese, Byzantines, Incas, Magyars, Bohemians, Bulgarians, Gurjaras, Bengalis, Italians, Malay,   Koreans, Vietnamese, Khmer, Malians, Ethiopians
C-Tier  Goths, Sicilians, Teutons, Burmese, Dravidians, Celts, Cumans, Slavs, Tartars, Turks, Burgundians

S-Tier

s tier civilizations - Age of empire 2
s tier civilizations

These Civilizations are overpowered, among others. These civilizations are great choices for players who want to win most of their games.

S-Tier Civilizations Description
Aztecs Formidable in infantry combat with economic bonuses providing an early advantage. Effective with aggressive infantry strategies, although their power decreases over time.
Britons Renowned for foot archery mastery, excelling in long-range arrow warfare. Despite lacking diversity in technology, they counter skirmisher opposition effectively.
Chinese Begin with extra villagers, allowing for versatile strategies and stronger economy. Access to cheaper technologies and useful farming bonuses enhances their effectiveness.
Franks Excel in Knight rushes with strong economic bonuses and a powerful cavalry unit. However, they may struggle against certain civilizations and have limitations in the imperial age.
Vikings Dominate on both land and sea maps with strong economic advantages and prowess in naval warfare. Perfect for players who enjoy infantry and navy units.
Lithuanians Start with extra food, providing early game flexibility and reduced town center idle time. Their units possess improved armor and faster movement, making them formidable on the battlefield. Ideal for nomad games due to their strong start and versatile technology options

A-Tier

Age of empire 2 a-tier civilizations
a-tier civilizations

These civilizations are strong and popular, providing an advantage over other opponents in ranked games, and are suitable for beginners. All A Section Age of Empires 2 Civilizations are recommended. 

A-Tier Civilizations Description
Persians Solid performance, especially in Nomad games, with advantages in starting resources and durable units like the War Elephant.
Berbers Expertise in cavalry and naval units, with unique units like the Camel Archer and Genitour, along with economic bonuses.
Indians Robust army centered around camels and gunpowder units, benefiting from economic bonuses and strong military units.
Mayans Expertise in unit composition and transitions, with powerful Plumed Archers and solid defense despite the lack of cavalry.
Poles Well-rounded civilization with access to a diverse range of units, including a strong Archery Range and heavy cavalry.
Huns Top-tier civilization known for their versatile unit composition and focus on cavalry, starting with maximum population cap.
Mongols Strong cavalry archery focus with the powerful Mangudai unit and additional bonuses for cavalry units.
Portuguese Strong performance in both land and sea combat with unique units and bonuses for technology research and naval units.
Spanish Quick access to blacksmith upgrades, enabling rapid troop upgrades, although weak in the early game due to lack of resource-gathering bonuses.

B-Tier

AOE-2 b-tier civilizations
b-tier civilizations

The B-ranking Age of Empire 2 civilizations tier list are well-balanced and suitable for casual gameplay, but in the hands of skilled players, they can still score victories.

B-Tier Civilizations Description
Japanese Flexible civilization with advantages in resource gathering and defense, particularly effective on water maps.
Byzantines Reliable civilization with strong defense capabilities and bonuses for early to mid-game situations, best utilized as a counter-pick against infantry-focused civilizations.
Incas Strong economic value with benefits in construction and farming, specializing in infantry units despite vulnerability to siege attacks.
Magyars Excel with their unique Magyar Huszar cavalry unit, focusing primarily on cavalry while lacking strength in infantry, navy, and siege weapons.
Bohemians Specialize in gunpowder and Monks, offering strong gunpowder units and unique Monk bonuses, but lacking in other military aspects.
Bulgarians Emphasize infantry and cavalry units with a unique Konnik unit and cost-effective Militia-line upgrades, alongside faster blacksmith production.
Gurjaras Focused on cavalry and camels with a unique playing style suitable for experienced players, but weaknesses in foot units.
Bengalis Formidable civilization with a focus on Elephants and the navy, boasting strong Elephant units and survivable Monks.
Italians Known for quick advancement through ages and reduced technology costs, best suited for water maps and focusing on navy and archers.
Malay Unique focus on fishing and the navy, with advantages in fishing capabilities and dock upgrades, although fragile special units.
Saracens Strong in trade-focused gameplay with reduced market costs and powerful naval capabilities, with Mamelukes as a special unit.
Koreans Excel in defensive tactics with increased tower range and free upgrades, although limited options for attacking strategies.
Vietnamese Utilize strong ranged units and surprise attacks, with unique units and technologies providing an advantage on the battlefield.
Khmer Distinguished by unique units and technologies, such as the Ballista Elephant and potent Scorpion unit, reflecting the formidable Khmer Empire.
Malians Portrayal of the powerful Malian Empire with versatile units like the Mandekalu Cavalry and distinctive technologies, focusing on gold mining.
Ethiopians Boast powerful archers and access to unique technologies, excelling at taking out enemy infantry and receiving resource bonuses upon reaching the next age.

C-Tier

AOE-2 civilizations in c tier
c-tier civilizations

The Underpowered Civilizations are hard to play and easily beaten by Civilizations in the upper tiers. The C Tier Section of the Tier List is normally not recommended.

C-Tier Civilizations Description
Goths Infantry-focused civilization with cost reductions and faster barracks work speed, but lacks damage boost, making them vulnerable.
Sicilians Known for heavy armor land units and absorbing bonus damage, but lack tools for victories and considered underpowered due to weaknesses.
Teutons Renowned for powerful healing and preservation capabilities, with monks having double healing range and increased garrison capacities, but lack offensive strengths.
Burmese Specialize in Battle Elephants and quick access to relics and gold, with technologies strengthening Battle Elephants, making them formidable, but lack flexibility.
Dravidians Well-rounded civilization excelling in naval and infantry power, with strong early-game capabilities, fully upgradable units, but lacks distinctive strengths.
Celts Siege-focused civilization with faster siege workshops and firing, enhanced siege weapons, and swift infantry, but lacks further technology upgrades.
Cumans Solid choice with strong economy and fast-shooting cavalry unit, but limited advantages and may struggle against stronger civilizations.
Slavs Focus on siege and infantry with heavily armored unique unit and economic benefits, making them formidable on the battlefield, but weaker in archers and navy.
Tartars Specialization in cavalry units with mobile cavalry archer and relocation of town center, strong economy, and scouting advantage, but lack distinct advantages.
Turks Experts in gunpowder units with strong technologies and ranged infantry, but concentration on cavalry and lack of versatility may limit effectiveness.
Burgundians Specialize in cavalry and infantry units, with powerful unique units and technologies, but lack distinctive strengths and may struggle against stronger civilizations.

How To Use Age of Empires 2 Civilizations Tier List?

The best civilization in Age of Empires 2 depends on the game situation, including land, water, and nomad maps. In 1v1 land encounters, civilizations with strong bonuses and units are favored. For water maps, a civilization with a capable navy and a wide technology tree is best. In nomad maps, those civilizations are preferred that have the flexibility and the ability to adjust in different situations.

The overall rating for a civilization takes into consideration all scenarios and is best focused on if you want to specialize in a small pool of civilizations or play in random situations. No civilization in Age of Empires 2 can do it all, and no civilization is rated as S tier overall.

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Rabiya is a versatile writer at eXputer who can cover everything from guides to tier lists and the hottest news in the gaming industry. Rabiya earned her Bachelor's in English Literature, further enhancing her writing skills. With hundreds of hours on Persona 5 and Genshin Impact, Rabiya has proudly played video games for eight years. Follow Rabiya's gaming activities on her Steam and Xbox Profiles!

Experience: 2+ Years || Mainly Covers Tier Lists & Guides || Education: Bs English Literature, Ms. Applied Linguistics, Writing & Editing Course, English for Journalism.

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