Age of Empires II: HD Edition

Age of Empires II: HD Edition

294 ratings
Getting Started with AoE II HD
By Kelevandos
This short guide will help you understand the basics of the game and quickly dive into the world of Age of Empires II HD! It covers the basic strategies in the early game and other important aspects, like civilization differences and winning the game.

Well, I am Kelevandos and you will most probably spend the next few minutes reading my guide for Age of Empires II!

I have been playing the game for a looong time, actually since around the original release in 2000 I think :-) I know most strategies, civilizations and mechanics, so I decided to share a bit of this knowledge with you! Have fun reading, I sure hope it helps!

I am also a game reviewer, and you can find my review of the game, alongside with more screenshots, here {LINK REMOVED}. I review many other games, both in English and in Polish, so visit often. Also, you will find many competitions on the blog, in which full versions of the games may be won!

If you want to have a quick gameplay glimpse, you can find a little video review below

Once again - have fun reading and feel free to contact me for additional info!
Basics - Dark Age
Ok, so you started an AoE II game. You have a few villagers, a scout and no idea what to do, right? Ok, so here are some tips:

  • You will want to advance to the next age quickly. To do this, you are gonna need 500 food. Concentrate on getting it asap.
  • Most structures you will build during the first 2-3 ages use wood. You will want to stock on this, too.
  • Use your scouting unit to uncover the map, at first around your camp (to locate resources), and then further, collecting sheeps/turkeys and locating your opponents.
  • Depending on the civilization and the match settings, you may have access to the farm during the Dark Age. Do not use it then. It is a waste of wood.
  • In the first age, hunting is really OP. Villagers can carry 30-40 pieces of meat, compared to only 10-20 pieces of food from bushes. Get the Loom technology [Town Center], put together a group of 5 villagers and kill a boar or two. IMPORTANT: if you use your starting scout unit to help kill the boar, make sure to withdraw it soon enough or the meat will be wasted (only animals killed by hunters can be harvested)
  • When hunting, always try to kill the animal as close to a town center/mill as possible. With boar, consider pulling it with one villager (you need to shoot it 2 times for it to follow you) and then making other villagers finish it by the Town Center.
  • If you want to delegate 1-2 villagers to gather wood, build a Lumber Camp near the forest. It really speeds gathering alot, both in the Dark Age and throughout the game.
  • Do not create military units during the Dark Ages. They are a waste of resources and will not give you an edge anyway
  • If the map is dominated by water, consider building a harbor and a fishing boat, but use your scouting unit beforehand to make sure the water is not actually a small lake, as it would mean wasting a harbor.

I guess this pretty much sums up the basics. Try to get the 500 food quick while also creating additional villagers and gathering wood. When you have the 500 and have built two age-specific structures, hit the button at the [Town Center] to advance the age.
Down Along the Road - Feudal Age
Ok, so you have made it into the next age. Congratulations! From now, the guide will be even less precise. Why? Because Age of Empires II is a vast game and it would be very, very hard to cover all the civilizations. Again, lets give you a set of tips:

  • Make sure you know your civilization characteristics and bonuses, as they will give you an advantage. OR a disadvantage, if you do not choose to play by them. I have seen people plying Teutons and focusing on calavry. Do not do this. Know what you play! (You will find the one-sentence description of the civ and the bonus list on the tech tree)
  • From Feudal Age onward, gold will be crucial for most civilizations. Make sure to send2-3 villagers to mine it. And build a Mining camp there, of course!
  • Depending on the map and your civlization, you may want to for a 5-10 squad of military units and go harass your enemies. Just do not try to win the game yet. Leave the buildings alone, just kill some villagers and single troops.
  • In the Feudal Age, farming becomes the best source of food for most civilizations. Build a Mill and farms around it. It will speed up the gathering process. Also, queue some auto-reseeds when you have some spare wood.
  • Again, depending on the map, you may want to fortify yourself a bit. Gather some stone (remember the mining camp) and build some walls. Stone will also come in handy in the following age.
The Real Game Starts - Castle Age
Castle Age is most probably the most important one. Why not the next, Imperial, you will ask? Well, Imperial Age mostly upgrades the things you can get in Castle Age, so if you want to win the game, get ready now! Again, a set of tips:

  • There are two most crucial buildings of the Castle Age, quite much independantly of your play style and the map - The Castle and The Monastery. You will want to build them quick.
  • The Castle is where you will recruit your special units and research some important technologies. Special units vary greatly, some are really powerful (e.g. Teutonic Knights), some are quite much useless (e.g. Turkish Jannisaries), but you want to have the castle. You do.
  • IMPORTANT: Think where you build your castle, as it is a powerful defence structure. It will shower arrows on any enemies in range, so consider building it where it will be most useful.
  • Monastery produces Monks, who are healers, converters (meaning they can convert enemy units to your site) and relic carriers. Depending on your civilization, you will use some of their skills or all of them, but generally you want to have Monks.
  • While scouting in the Dark Age, you most probably came across a weird white-gold objects called Relics. Now that you have monks, you should gather as many of these as possible and place them in a Monastery. This way, they will generate gold and collecting them all is one of the ways of winning the game! To pick up a relic, simply click it while controlling your monk. If the Relic is far from your base, consider giving the monk some protection.
  • There are many important buildings and technologies that become available in the Castle Age. Which ones you want to build depends on your civilization and playstyle again. Be sure to check out the University and Siege Workshop.

As stated before, Castle Age is generally most crucial. Build an army of units matching your civilization, fotrify yourself and decide how you you want to win the game (more information on this in the Winning the Game section).
The Finishing Touch - Imperial Age
There is not so much to be told about the Imperial Age. As I said before, it is mainly a upgrade for the Castle Age, but still, there are some things worth pointing out:

  • When you reach the Imperial Age, your Castle will get three important options - Trebuchets, which are the most powerful siege unit in game, Elite Unique Unit technology and a Unique nation technology. Again, Unique units are not always that important, so for example Turks will wait before buing the upgrade, as there will be better causes to spend the resources.
  • For the gunpowder civilizations, Imperial Age offers a powerful unit called bombard, built in the Siege Workshop. You get 3-4 of these and no structure will resist!
  • Many units are upgraded in the Imperial age, e.g. the Light Cavalry becomes Hussars. Remember these upgrades and buy the ones that benefit you the most!

When you are done with polishing your empire, it is time to consider... Winning the Game!!!
Winning the Game
Basically, there are three ways to win a AoE game. There are also additional modes like Regicide or point game, but this guide covers the standard game victory. So, to win, you can:

1. Conquer your enemies!

This is quite stright-forward. You have to kill every last unit and destroy every last structure any of your opponents own. The last man standing wins. Here are some tips:

  • Walls and Gates do not count towards the structures you have to destroy.
  • Your Imperial Age castle offers a useful technology called Spies, which will reveal all enemy units and buildings, at the cost of 200gold*[remaining enemy villagers]

2. Build a Wonder!

In the Imperial Age, you will gain access to an important structure called Wonder. The cost in high (1000wood, 1000stone, 1000gold), but if you manage to build it and defend it for a certain amount of time, you won. IMPORTANT: Your enemies will get a message when you build the Wonder and will surely try to destroy it. Make sure you have enough forces to defend it!

3. Collect all the Relics!

There are special objects on the map called Relics (mencioned in Castle Age section). If you manage to collect all of them and then defend them for a set period of time, you won! Again, your opponents will be notified when you get all the relics, so make sure you can defend them!

If you manage to do one of these things - you are the Winner! Do some celebrating and come back for another match!
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Ravor Jun 25, 2016 @ 12:10pm 
first link was removed
Captain Jack Sparrow Jun 9, 2016 @ 6:04pm 
how do I get gunpowder
Autumn May 19, 2016 @ 7:32pm 
Thanks a lot rated 5 stars and favorited. Very helpful
rwanbat56 Apr 13, 2016 @ 8:11pm 
playing on microsoft 10?
Spks Nov 5, 2015 @ 11:50pm 
Doskonały poradnik :)
An obnoxious sax solo Oct 14, 2015 @ 9:01pm 
Cavalry for a teuton player is a relatively good option, because they do get paladins. Just as lons as you don't forget those teutonic knights.
Lithium May 27, 2015 @ 1:28pm 
It aint 12 year olds that are the problem its the 8 year old
Seanantimmins18 Feb 10, 2015 @ 6:06am 
I really wouldn't follow this guide for anything more than your first week playing the game. It's not very accurate. For instance, you want between 22-32 villagers before advancing to the feudal age(6-9 should be on wood btw, not 2!), really not sure why he claims Janissarys are useless, when a squad of vanilla 5 can insta kill a villager with loom from afar meaning the TC doesn't provide much defense also! But yea, I wouldn't even claim this guide as 'basic', as it will point you in a lot of bad directions. The unfortunate thing about AoE 2 is that it takes a good amount of skill and knowledge to even make it to the level of noob!

If you are looking to explore and start competent play, researching the basic strategies; booming, drush, trush, 20 knights in 20 minutes, micro, macro ect. try and work to getting castle before 25 minutes, then before 20 minutes, then before 18 minutes ect.
Ender Heart Jan 5, 2015 @ 6:26pm 
I can't figure out how to create military. Help! I want to beat my brother but i don't know how to create military....