Age of Empires 2 Civilizations Tier List [2023]

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 2023.

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
  • There are about 42 Civilizations in Age of Empire 2 till January 2023. 
  • Civilizations are ranked based on factors such as Game situations (Land, Water, Nomad), Power, Ease of Use, Cohesive Design, Flexibility, Focus, Team Bonus, Unique units, Unique Technologies, and Wonders.
  • S-Tier civilizations are considered the strongest and most powerful, with excellent economic, military, and technological capabilities.
  • A-Tier civilizations are still strong and versatile but may have some weaknesses compared to the S-Tier. They are good choices for ranked games.
  • B-Tier civilizations may struggle in certain matchups but can still perform well with good micro-management and strategy.
  • C-Tier civilizations are the weakest and may struggle to compete with the higher-tier civilizations as they do not have Unique Techniques and Good Focus.

Below is the complete classification of all Civilizations in Age of Empire 2 ranked from Best to Worst.

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 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.


The Aztecs are a formidable presence in infantry combat. Their economic bonus, while not as strong as some other civilizations, still gives them a clear advantage. The key to success as the Aztecs is to utilize their infantry aggressively in the early game with support from their technology tree and civilization bonuses.

They focus uniquely on monk-related technologies, which can enhance their army. However, it requires a significant gold investment to take advantage of this aspect fully. It’s important to carefully assess resources and plan accordingly when playing as the Aztecs.

One drawback of the Aztecs is their power level which decreases over time, but they remain effective if the game is ended before reaching that point. Overall, the Aztecs can be a potent force with the right strategy.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Infantry and MonkJaguar WarriorAtlatl (Skirmishers +1 attack, +1 range)

Garland Wars (Infantry +4 attack)

Great Pyramid of TenochtitlanRelics generate +33% gold


The Britons are a classic civilization renowned for their mastery of foot archery. Their key to success is a combination of archery technologies, special units, and bonuses, which allow for long-range arrow warfare

Early on, the Britons receive a boost to shepherd work, which greatly increases food production in the early stages of the game. Their core archers are also formidable, capable of inflicting heavy damage from a safe distance. 

Although the Britons’ technology tree may be lacking outside of their archery focus, they have the units needed to counter their main skirmisher opposition effectively. Their archery focus makes them a top choice for players who prefer a ranged approach to warfare. 

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Foot ArcherLongbowmanYeomen (+1 range for foot archers and +2 attack for towers)

Warwolf (Trebuchets do blast damage)

Chichester CathedralArchery Ranges work 20% faster.


The Chinese civilization has the advantage of starting the game with extra villagers, which gives a solid foundation for building their strategy. They have access to cheaper technologies and a useful farming bonus which can strengthen the army and economy

Their main focus is on archers, including the powerful unique unit Chu Ko Nu, as well as the Great Wall technology for defense and Rocketry technology for increased damage. 

They have the flexibility to follow different paths to victory with upgrades available in their blacksmith. Overall, the Chinese are a versatile civilization that can be highly effective on certain maps.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
ArcherChu Ko Nureat Wall (Walls and towers +30% HP)

Rocketry (Chu Ko Nu +2, Scorpions +4 attack)

Temple of HeavenFarms start with +10% food.


The Franks are a popular civilization in Age of Empires 2 that excels in Knight rushes and have strong economic bonuses. They have a strong cavalry unit and various bonuses and technologies to support it, as well as a special unit, Throwing Axemen, and technologies such as Bearded Axe and Chivalry to increase production speed and range. 

However, they may struggle against some popular civilizations and have limitations in the imperial age outside of their cavalry line.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
CavalryThrowing AxemanBearded Axe (Throwing Axeman +1 range)

Chivalry (Stables work 40% faster)

St. Vitus CathedralKnights have +2 Line of Sight.


The Vikings are a real force to be reckoned with on both land and sea maps. They boast a strong economic advantage with free upgrades for the town center, such as wheelbarrow and hand cart, to increase resource gathering rates. They have a dominant presence in the water, making them a top pick for players who enjoy mixed or random maps and want to dominate the sea.

While the technology tree is a bit weak, they excel in the infantry, particularly their unique Berserk unit, which boasts regenerating health and bonus damage to cavalry with the Chieftains and Berserkgang technologies. 

Additionally, they also have powerful Longboats and resource-boosting technologies, with big discounts for their ships and extra health for their infantry. 

The Vikings are the perfect choice for players who enjoy infantry and navy units and want to play a versatile civilization that can tackle both land and sea maps.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Infantry and NavalBerserk LongboatChieftains (infantry units get attack bonus against cavalry and camels)

Berserkergang (Berserks regenerate 100% faster)

Borgund Stave ChurchDocks are 15% cheaper.


The Lithuanians bring a strong start to the table with an extra 150 pieces of food in their starting stash. This gives players some room to maneuver in the early game and reduces the town center’s idle time. Their units, including spearmen and skirmishers, have improved armor and faster movement, making them a formidable presence on the battlefield.

Players will find a wealth of technology tree options to respond to the changing tides of the game. Their monks are a standout feature, and securing relics will boost the power of knights and the unique Leitis unit

Overall, the Lithuanians’ strong start and extensive technology options make them a top choice for nomad games where the starting position is unknown.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Cavalry and MonkLeitisHill Forts (Town Centers +3 range)

Tower Shields (Spearman line and Skirmishers +2 pierce armor)

Hill Forts (Town Centers +3 range)Monastery works 20% faster.


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. 


The Persians offer solid performance, particularly in Nomad games, where their starting food and wood advantages provide a strong foundation. This, combined with their town center work rate, allows players to maintain a steady economy and recover from any villager losses quickly.

With the War Elephant being a durable unit that can be paired with gold-free archers, the Persians are well-equipped to handle various challenges on the battlefield. The Mahouts technology provides an added bonus of increased movement speed to War Elephants, while the Kamandaran technology reduces the cost of archers from gold to wood. 

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
CavalryWar ElephantKamandaran (turns Archer-line gold cost into wood cost)

Mahouts (War Elephants move 30% faster)

Taq KasraKnight-line has +2 attack against archers.


The Berbers are a powerful civilization known for their expertise in both cavalry and naval units. They have two unique units, the Camel Archer and Genitour, and the support of the Kasbah and Maghrabi Camels technologies. 

The ability to have cheaper Stables in the Castle Age allows for easy access to the strong Camel Archer units, making the Berbers a great choice for beginners. The civilization’s emphasis on camels and the added bonus of faster castle work and faster regeneration make their army of Camel Archers and Riders a formidable force on the battlefield.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Cavalry and NavalGenitourKasbah (team Castles work 25% faster)

Maghrebi Camels (camel troops regenerate 15 hit points per minute)

Hassan TowerGenitours are available at the Archery Range starting in the Castle Age.


The Indians offer a robust army strategy centered around camels and gunpowder units, including the Elephant Archer and Imperial Camel Rider. These units boast passive bonuses such as extra armor and a +4 attack, while their economy is boosted by cheaper villagers, improved gold production through Sultan’s technology, and a faster fisherman work rate.

Despite the strengths of their camels, the reliance on this strategy makes the Indians easier to counter, keeping them in the A tier rather than the S tier. Despite this, the economic advantages, unique technologies in Sultans and Shatagni, and strong upgrades for camels make the Indians a formidable civilization in Age of Empires 2.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Camel and GunpowderImperial Camel RiderGrand Trunk Road (All gold production +10% faster)

Shatagni (Hand Cannoneers +2 range)

Maqbara-i HumayunCamel and Light cavalry units have +2 attack vs. standard buildings.


The Mayans bring their expertise in unit composition and transitions to the battlefield in Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition, making them a force to be reckoned with in tournaments. Their Plumed Archers are quick and well-armored, supported by a strong set of infantry units

Despite not having a strong cavalry presence, the Mayans compensated with their powerful Plumed Archers and solid defense thanks to 50% cheaper wall-building costs.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
ArcherPlumed ArcherHul’che Javelineers (Skirmishers throw a second projectile)

El Dorado (+40 hit points for Eagle Warriors)

Tikal Temple IThe walls are 50% cheaper.


The Poles are a well-rounded civilization that has access to a diverse range of units. They boast a solid Archery Range, with all key technologies and units available except for Ring Archer Armor, Parthian Tactics, and Hand Cannoneers. Their heavy cavalry focuses on quantity over quality, with the Szlachta Privileges’ ability reducing the cost of their Knight line. However, they lack access to Paladin upgrades and Plate Barding Armor. 

The Winged Hussars are a unique unit that can deal high damage, but lack durability, with the Lechitic Legacy ability increasing their trample damage. Their infantry is solid with all important upgrades available, except for Halberdiers, and the Obuch, their unique unit, excels in shredding enemy armor. Their siege weapons are usable, with access to Bombard Cannons, Siege Rams, Onagers, and Siege Engineers. Their navy is below average, missing several important technologies. 

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
CavalryObuchSzlachta Privileges (Knight line costs -60% gold)

Lechitic Legacy (Scout Cavalry line deals trample damage)

Wawel CathedralScout Cavalry line has +1 attack vs. archers.


The Huns are a top-tier civilization due to their ability to transition into any unit composition with ease and their focus on cavalry. Their special unit is the Tarkan, which can bypass armor and deal significant damage to buildings. 

The Marauders technology and stable bonus of 20% faster unit creation further enhances the strength of their cavalry forces. Additionally, the Huns start with the maximum population cap without the need for houses, giving them a strong starting advantage.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
CavalryTarkanMarauders (create Tarkans at Stables)

Atheism (+100 years for Relic/Wonder victories; enemy Relics produce -50% gold)

Arch of Constantine (ruined)Stables work 20% faster.


The Mongol civilization boasts a strong cavalry archery focus, with their unique unit being the Mangudai, a mounted archer effective against siege units. They provide additional support for their special unit with a bonus that increases firing speed for all their cavalry archers by 25%. 

Their Scout Cavalry has exceptional line-of-sight capabilities, and the majority of their cavalry units have additional hit points, making them formidable scouts. Developing the Mongols properly required time and effort, but once established, they are among the strongest high-skill civilizations.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Cavalry ArchersMangudaiNomads (Houses retain population when destroyed)

Drill (Siege Workshop units move 50% faster)

Great Tent of Genghis KhanScout Cavalry line has +2 Line of Sight.


The Portuguese offer a strong performance in both land and sea combat with their unique units, the Organ Gun and Caravel. The Feitoria building adds to their resource collection capabilities, while the Organ Gun offers effective area damage and the Caravel is enhanced by the Carrack technology, providing it with added armor and resilience. 

Portuguese players benefit from faster technology research and increased hit points on their ships, making them a force to be reckoned with on water maps. However, their emphasis on navy and gunpowder units may result in weaker performance on land maps, making them a less popular choice in competitive play.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Naval and GunpowderOrgan Gun


Carrack (Ships +1/+1 armor)

Arquebus (Gunpowder units fire more accurately at moving targets)

Belém TowerTechnologies (excluding Age ups) are researched 25% faster.


The best thing about the Spanish Civilization is that they can do every kind of research in the blacksmith without spending a lot of money. This gives them the advantage to upgrade their troops quickly and go on the offense. The best way to use Spanish civilization is to upgrade troops as quickly as possible and go attack other civilizations. 

Spanish villagers have a 33% increased speed in building, but they have no increased speed in gathering resources, so it’s better to use a standard opening. After gathering resources, as you can build faster than most of your enemies, you will have the advantage. The troops to use in battles are Siege Cannons and Cannoneers as they fire 15% faster. 

The drawback of using Spanish Civilization is that it is very weak during the early stages of the game. As they do not have any resource-gathering bonuses, because of this you have to use more villagers for mining. This causes your population to be used by villagers, leaving less space for you to produce offensive units. 

FocuUnique UnitUnique TechnologiesWonderTeam Bonus
Gunpowder units






The Torre del OroCarry 25% more gold


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.


The Japanese civilization offers a high degree of flexibility across its technology tree and bonuses. This allows players to have a viable option regardless of the type of map, with a slight preference towards water maps. The Japanese civilization provides a consistent albeit small boost to resources and fishing, which can accumulate into significant advantages if utilized effectively.

For defense, the Japanese have access to effective towers and trebuchets, with extra attack options and line-of-sight benefits. The infantry and archers are both capable technology lines for both offense and defense, with the special unit being the Samurai who have fast attacks that can be made even faster once the Feudal Age is reached.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
InfantrySamuraiYasama (towers fire extra arrows)

Kataparuto (Trebuchets fire and pack faster)

Tōdai-ji Galleys have a +50% longer Line of Sight.


The Byzantines are a reliable civilization known for their strong defense capabilities, and are ideal for newer players. Their buildings have extra hit points, and the town watch technology is free, providing an advantage in early to mid-game situations. 

The Byzantines are at their best on water maps, where their technologies combine for a powerful defense. Their monks can heal 50% faster, and the Cataphract, a heavy cavalry unit, is effective against infantry with the Logistica technology upgrade. This civilization is best used as a counter-pick against civilizations with a strong emphasis on infantry.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
DefensiveCataphractGreek Fire (Fire Ships +1 range)

Logistica (Cataphracts deal trample damage and +6 attack against infantry)

Hagia SophiaMonks heal 100% faster.


The Incas boast exceptional economic value, with their buildings taking 15% less stone to construct and farms being built 100% faster. Their villagers even receive benefits typically reserved for infantry at the blacksmith. Their unique units, Kamayuk and Slinger, are specially equipped to handle cavalry and infantry, respectively, with technologies like Andean Sling and Fabric Shields to enhance their abilities. 

Despite these strengths, the lack of cavalry units can make the Incas vulnerable to siege attacks. They are best known for their Feudal Age dominance and their focus on infantry units. However, their power tends to decline in later ages, making them a popular choice for villager rush strategies.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus


Andean Sling (Slingers and Skirmishers have no minimum range)

Fabric Shields (Kamayuks, Slingers, and Eagle Warriors +1/+2 armor)

The Temple of the Sun at Macchu PicchuSpearmen and Skirmishers have +2 Line of Sight.


The Magyars Civilization excel in the use of their unique, fast, and nimble Magyar Huszar cavalry unit. The Corvinian Army technology allows for this special unit to be produced at no gold cost, but the Magyars lack additional technological support. 

The best strategy is to launch multiple waves of Magyar Huszars for effective attacks, similar to the Ethiopians. Early on, they gain an advantage with an attack bonus on their Scout units, but their infantry, navy, and siege weapons are underpowered. They are a cavalry-focused civilization, and the Magyar Huszar is the primary unit of choice.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
CavalryMagyar HuszarCorvinian Army (Magyar Huszars cost no gold)

Recurve Bow (Cavalry Archers + 1 range and attack)

Hunyad CastleFoot archers (except Skirmishers) have +2 Line of Sight.


The Bohemians are a civilization that excels in gunpowder and Monks. Their advantages in gunpowder include early access to Chemistry and strong Hand Cannoneers, along with two unique gunpowder units that benefit from Wagonburg Tactics. For Monks, all Monastery technologies are available, and Hussite Reforms convert the cost of these technologies and Monks from gold to food, making them a potential trash unit. 

They also have above-average infantry with all available technologies and bonus attacks for the Spearman line. On the other hand, their cavalry and navy are weak, lacking upgrades and technologies, and lacking the presence of Cavalry Archers. Their archers and siege weapons are average, with the latter lacking Siege Rams and Siege Onagers. Their defense is strong, missing only Hoardings and Heated shots, while their economy is better than average with cheaper Blacksmiths and Universities, free Mining Camp technologies, and only missing Crop Rotation.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Gunpowder and MonkHussite Wagon


Wagenburg Tactics (Gunpowder units move 15% faster)

Hussite Reforms (Monks and Monastery upgrades have their gold cost replaced by food)

Powder Tower of PragueMarkets work 80% faster.


The Bulgarian civilization places an emphasis on infantry and cavalry units, with a distinctive special unit, the Konnik. This mounted unit, upon being defeated, will be reincarnated as an infantry unit and can be further enhanced with the Stirrups technology to increase attack speed. 

Additionally, the Bulgarians benefit from cost-effective Militia-line upgrades and blacksmith technologies, as well as faster blacksmith production. The Krepost, the civilization’s unique building, serves as a cost-effective alternative to a castle, providing defense and offense capabilities without the capability for technological research. 

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Infantry and CavalryKonnikStirrups (Cavalry attack 33% faster)

Bagains (Two-Handed Swordsmen +5 melee armor)

Preslav Round ChurchBlacksmiths work 80% faster.


The Gurjaras is a mechanically complex civilization that focuses on cavalry and camels, with a strong emphasis on food efficiency. They are designed for experienced players familiar with gameplay mechanics seen in Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds and Starcraft and offer a unique playing style with a strong cavalry and food-efficient strategy. 

However, their foot units may prove to be a weakness, lacking key upgrades and technologies in the late game.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Cavalry and CamelChakram Thrower

Shrivamsha Rider

Camel Scout

Kshatriyas (Military units cost -25% food)

Frontier Guards (Camel Rider and Elephant Archer lines +4 melee armor)

Somnath TempleCamel and Elephant units are created 25% faster.


The Bengalis are a formidable civilization with a focus on Elephants and the navy. They have a strong Elephant corps with nearly every upgrade, including Elite Battle Elephants, Elephant Archers, and Siege Elephants. Their Elephants take less damage and are resistant to conversion, and the unique technology of Paiks gives them increased attack speed. Their Monks also have great survivability with +3 armor against both ranged and melee attacks.

Their infantry and Stable units are average, lacking key technologies such as Supplies and Plate Mail Armor and having limited options for Stable units (Light Cavalry). They lack gunpowder units on land and Siege Onagers. However, their unique unit, the Ratha, offers versatility as it can switch its attack form.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Elephant and NavalRathaPaiks (Rathas and Elephants attack 20% faster)

Mahayana (Villagers take up -10% population space)

Somapura MahaviharaTrade units yield 10% food in addition to gold.


The Italians are known for their quick advancement through the ages, thanks to a 15% reduction in cost for advancing to the next age and a 33% reduction in cost for University and Dock technologies. This, combined with their 15% cheaper fishing ships, enables them to reach the late game before other civilizations. 

Although the Italians may not excel in unit production, they have a strong culture and the ability to research technologies at a faster pace. They have two unique units, Genoese Crossbowmen and Condottiero, and are best suited for water maps where their focus is on the navy and archers. 

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Archers and NavyGenoese Crossbowman, Genoese CrossbowmanPavise (foot archers (except skirmishers) and Condottieri +1/+1 armor)

Silk Road (trade units cost -50%)

Genoa Cathedral, Cathedral of St. LawrenceCondottieri are available at the Barracks in the Imperial Age.


The Malay civilization is unique in terms of focus on fishing and the navy. Their special unit, the Karambit Warrior, is cheap and quick but also fragile. The main advantage of this civilization is its fishing capabilities

With their docks upgradeable to harbors, they have increased line of sight, the ability to fire arrows with the Thalassocracy technology, and their fish traps are both cheaper and provide more food. 

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
NavalKarambit WarriorThalassocracy (upgrades Docks to Harbors, which shoot arrows)

Forced Levy (Turns Militia line gold cost to food cost)

Kalasan TempleDocks have double Line of Sight.


The Saracens are a strong civilization for players who prefer a trade-focused playstyle. Their advantage lies in their reduced market cost and low commodity trading fee, making it easier for them to establish a strong economy. 

They are particularly strong in both land and sea combat, with a special unit called the Mameluke and powerful naval capabilities. The Mamelukes are a close-ranged camel unit that benefits from the Zealotry technology, which grants them an additional 20 hit points. 

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Camel and NavalMamelukeZealotry (Camel Riders and Mamelukes +20 hit points)

Counterweights (Trebuchets and Mangonel-line +15% attack)

Great Mosque of SamarraFoot archers have +3 attack against standard buildings.


The Koreans excel in defensive tactics. With the technology of Eupseong, they have an advantage in increasing the range of their towers and receiving free upgrades. Their unique units, War Wagon and Turtle Ship, have high health and armor but limited attacking capabilities. 

They are a slow-paced civilization, best suited for a defensive strategy, with a focus on towers and naval units. Despite their strengths in defense, they have limited options in terms of attacking and may struggle to secure victory.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Defensive and NavalTurtle ShipEupseong (Guard Towers and Keeps +2 range)

Shinkichon (+1 range for Mangonel-line)

Hwangnyong TempleMangonel-line minimum range reduced to 1.


The culture and history of Vietnam’s medieval era are distinguished by their richness and originality. A key component of the Vietnamese civilization’s gameplay is the use of strong ranged units and surprise attacks against opponents. They also possess a variety of unusual units and technologies that give them an overwhelming advantage on the battlefield.

What sets the Vietnamese civilization apart is their emphasis on guerrilla warfare which is exemplified by their Rattan Archer unit. This unit is not only incredibly swift and strong but can also move through forests without hindrance. Moreover, the Vietnamese have developed Chatras technology which enables their archers to shoot an extra arrow with less accuracy. This makes them ideal for hit-and-run tactics and ambushes, allowing them to quickly eliminate enemy forces before retreating to safety.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Ranged combatRattan ArcherChatras (gives Battle Elephants +100 HP) and paper moneyBút Tháp TempleImperial Skirmishers +15 HP


The Khmer civilization represents the formidable Khmer Empire that once held sway over modern-day Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos during the medieval era. The civilization boasts distinctive attributes such as its unique Ballista Elephant unit and potent Scorpion unit. Moreover, they have access to the Tusk Swords technology which amplifies the attack power of their battle elephants.

An intriguing aspect of the Khmer civilization is their architectural style which is inspired by the famed temple of Angkor Wat. In the game, the buildings have a unique design that reflects the temples’ intricate carvings and exceptional characteristics. The Angkor Wat Wonder, a monumental tribute to the real-life temple, is one of the game’s most striking Wonders.

In summary, the Khmer civilization is a captivating and faithful representation of the Khmer Empire’s rich history and culture.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Siege weaponryBallista ElephantTusk Swords, Double CrossbowAngkor WatScorpions +1 range


The Malian civilization is a portrayal of the once-powerful Malian Empire of West Africa. Their architecture is unique and takes inspiration from the Great Mosque of Djenne. They prioritize gold mining which reflects the historical significance of gold in West Africa. The Malians have access to a variety of distinctive technologies and units, such as the Gbeto and Farimba cavalry.

The Mandekalu Cavalry is a heavily armored unit that can serve as both cavalry and foot soldiers which makes them highly versatile. During mining, the Malians get additional gold, which makes it simpler for them to amass wealth.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
InfantryGbetoTigui, FarimbaGreat Mosque of DjennéUniversities work 80% faster


The Ethiopian civilization boasts powerful archers that excel at taking out enemy infantry along with access to unique technologies like the Shotel Warrior that can be effective against both buildings and infantry. Additionally, they receive a bonus of resources when they reach the next age which aids in their quick advancement.

The Ethiopians also place a strong emphasis on defending their territory with their Shotel Warrior and unique technology, Torsion Engines which enhance the range and accuracy of their siege weapons. This makes them an ideal choice for players who prefer a defensive playstyle. Overall, the Ethiopians offer an intriguing gameplay experience with their archery prowess and focus on territorial defense.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Archery Shotel WarriorRoyal Heirs, Torsion EnginesBiete AmanuelTowers +2 Line of Sight, +3 Attack vs. Ships.


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.


The Goths are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to their infantry. Their focus on infantry units resulted in cost reductions, increased damage against buildings, and faster barracks work speed. The standout unit, the Huskarl, boasts heavy armor to fend off archers.

The Goths have a unique technology edge with Perfusion, allowing the barracks to work at lightning speed, and Anarchy which enables quick and cheap production of Huskarls. Despite their strengths, the Goths suffer from a lack of damage boost, making them an easy target for opponents to counter.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
InfantryHuskarlAnarchy (Huskarls can be created at Barracks)

Perfusion (Barracks work 100% faster)

Mausoleum of Theoderic IBarracks work 20% faster.


The Sicilians stand out with their focus on heavy armor for their land units. Their special unit, the Serjeant, can construct Kreposts and has a high armor rating, but it mainly serves as a deterrent. A key advantage of playing as the Sicilians is their land units’ ability to absorb 50% of incoming bonus damage.

Though they can be effective tanks in multiplayer battles, the Sicilians lack the tools to emerge victorious on their own. Despite being a new civilization, they are considered underpowered due to weaknesses against many matchups and a lack of strengths on various maps.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Infantry and CavalrySerjeantFirst Crusade (Each Town Center (max 5) spawn a one-time group of 7 Serjeants; units are more resistant to conversion)

Hauberk (Knight-line +1/+2 armor)

Monreale CathedralTransport Ships have +5 Line of Sight and cost -50%.


The Teutons are a resilient civilization in Age of Empires 2, renowned for their powerful healing and preservation capabilities. Their monks have a double healing range, allowing them to keep units healthy from a safe distance, and their towers and town centers boast increased garrison capacities for added protection. With technologies like Murder Holes and Herbal Medicine, the Teutons have the potential to keep their units secure in the heat of battle.

In addition, the Teutons have the unique technology Crenellations, which extends the range of castles and makes them even more formidable in combat. These advantages make the Teutons a balanced civilization that can be ideal for beginners, with a focus on Teutonic Knights and infantry

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
InfantryTeutonic KnightIronclad (siege weapons +4 melee armor)

Crenellations (Castles +3 range; garrisoned infantry fires arrows)

Maria Laach AbbeyUnits resist conversion.


The Burmese are another famous age of empires 2 civilizations known for their specialty in Battle Elephants, with quick access to both relics and gold at the start of the game. The civilization’s technologies further strengthen the Battle Elephants by providing extra armor through the Howdar technology. Additionally, the Burmese monasteries have the ability to research benefits faster, making them a formidable force in the game.

One of the unique technologies of the Burmese is the Manipur Cavalry, which grants all the civilization’s cavalry, including elephants and their special unit Arambai, an extra 6 attacks against buildings. Although the Arambai unit has the potential to cause significant damage, it is not considered a valuable unit due to its lack of accuracy.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Monk and ElephantArambaiHowdah (Battle Elephants +1/+1 armor)

Manipur Cavalry (Cavalry +5 attack against archers)

Shwezigon PagodaRelics are visible on the map from the game start.


The Dravidians are a well-rounded civilization that excels in naval and infantry power, with strong early-game capabilities due to their 200 wood bonus. They have a strong navy, fully upgradable Champions and Halberdiers, and an infantry-focused unique technology, Wootz Steel. Their archers are also noteworthy, with fully upgraded Arbalesters, Hand Cannoneers, and Elite Skirmishers. 

However, their cavalry is their major weakness, lacking Plate Barding Armor and Cavalry Archers, making them lack mobility and firepower. Their late-game economy is also lackluster, lacking key economic technologies, and their Monks are mediocre due to the lack of important Monk upgrades. These weaknesses make the Dravidians vulnerable to siege units and Bombard Cannons.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Infantry and NavalUrumi Swordsman, ThirisadaiMedical Corps (Elephants regenerate 20 HP per minute)

Wootz Steel (Infantry and Cavalry attacks ignore armor)

Brihadisvara TempleDocks provide +5 population space.


The Celts are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to siege capabilities. Their siege workshops have the advantage of working 20% faster, enabling them to produce siege weapons more quickly, and their siege weapons fire 25% faster. The unique technology “Furor Celtica” adds even more power to their siege weapons, giving every unit produced at the siege workshop an extra 40% hit points.

Their special unit, the Woad Raider, is a swift infantry that excels in taking down enemy buildings. However, the Celts lack technology upgrades to enhance these units further, aside from the passive bonus of all infantry units moving 15% faster.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Infantry and SiegeWoad RaiderStronghold (Castles and towers fire 25% faster)

Furor Celtica (Siege Workshop units have +40% HP)

Rock of CashelSiege Workshops work 20% faster.


The Cumans, a nomadic tribe from the Steppes, are a solid choice in the C tier due to their strong economy and a few key advantages. Their special unit, the Kipchak, is a fast-shooting cavalry unit that can wreak havoc on the battlefield. The Cumans also have the technology Steppe Husbandry, which allows for the Kipchaks to be trained 50% faster.

Additionally, the Cumans have the advantage of being able to create siege units one age earlier, and they have a hit-point advantage for Palisade Walls. Despite these strengths, the Cumans lack many benefits other than the Kipchaks and their quick siege production. Their Palisade Walls become less useful as players advance in age, and the civilization does not have many upgrades for their archers and infantry.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
CavalryKipchakSteppe Husbandry (Scout Cavalry, Steppe Lancer and Cavalry Archer lines are trained 100% faster)

Cuman Mercenaries (team members can create 5 free Elite Kipchaks per Castle)

Sarkel Fortress (ruined)Palisade Walls have +33% hit points.


The Slavs are a strong civilization with a focus on siege and infantry. The Boyar, their unique unit, is heavily armored and deals significant damage, while the Druzhina technology enhances their infantry further. 

They also have economic benefits such as faster farmer work speed and cheaper siege workshop units, making them a formidable force on the battlefield. Although their archers and navy may be weaker, the Slavs’ dominance in land battles makes them a strong choice for players who prefer infantry and siege.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Infantry and SiegeBoyarDetinets (replaces 40% stone cost of Castle and Tower with wood)

Druzhina (infantry units damage adjacent units)

Kizhi PogostBarracks, Archery Ranges, Stables, and Siege workshops provide +5 population.


The Tartar civilization represents the nomadic tribes of Central Asia with a specialization in cavalry units. They possess the Keshik, a mobile cavalry archer unit that generates gold when attacking enemy units. Their Silk Armor technology provides additional armor for their cavalry.

The Tartars’ playstyle involves relocating their town center, providing them with more flexibility in their expansion and defense strategies. They also receive bonuses for hunting and foraging, contributing to their strong economy. Furthermore, their team bonus offers an extra line of sight for their scout cavalry which makes them an excellent choice for scouting and map control.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Cavalry and CamelKeshik Silk Armor and Timurid SiegecraftUlugh Beg ObservatoryCavalry Archers with +2 Line of Sight


The Turks are experts in using gunpowder units and they have access to strong technologies like the Sipahi which raises the hit points of the cavalry and artillery technology which boosts the gunpowder units’ assault and range. Its special unit is the Janissary, a ranged infantry that can fire musket bullets and is efficient against both troops and structures. Their special Hussar, a quick and nimble force that can be developed into a potent cavalry archer dubbed the Elite Hussar, demonstrates their concentration on cavalry.

The Turks are a deadly opponent on the battlefield due to their advantage over other nations in that they can generate their gunpowder units more swiftly. Turkish architecture is influenced by the renowned Ottoman style which is known for its elaborate tilework and domes. One of the most breathtaking wonders in the game is the Selimiye Mosque, a magnificent memorial to the famous Ottoman Ruler Suleiman the Magnificent.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
Cavalry Archer and Artillery JanissarySipahi and ArtillerySelimiye Mosque25% quicker creation of gunpowder units


The Burgundians specialize in both cavalry and infantry units. Their Coustillier unit is a heavily armored cavalry unit that deals extra damage against infantry. They also have access to the Flemish Militia, a powerful infantry unit that is produced by sacrificing Villagers.

Burgundians receive a food bonus when advancing to the next age which allows them to quickly gain access to strong technologies and units. Their Bearded Axe technology increases the attack of their infantry units, further increasing their combat effectiveness.

Furthermore, Burgundians also receive a bonus that provides extra food from farming. Burgundian architecture which is distinguished by half-timbered structures and beautiful masonry served as inspiration for their distinctive architectural design.

FocusUnique unitUnique technologiesWonderTeam bonus
InfantryCoustillierBurgundian Vineyards, Flemish RevoltsBrussels Town HallRelics generate +30% food per minute.

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 Rizwan

A veteran writer passionate about gaming and rarely ever spotted in the streets, Rabiya is either cooped up gaming or watching anime all the time. Striving to be a competitive gaming-based writer, she currently employs her writing skills working for eXputer.

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