Age of Empires has never been easy or even beginner-friendly. The Age of Empires IV civilizations are correspondingly challenging to master. That’s why we compiled a guide for the different AoE 4 civilizations for you.
Table of Contents
1) Overview of the 8 factions
In Age of Empires 4, you have access to eight civilizations:
- Delhi Sultanate
- Abbasid dynasty
- Holy Roman Empire
As in the predecessors, the goal in most challenges is to defeat your opponent. This requires a powerful military force, but also an intact economy.
In contrast to the previous installments of the successful strategy game series, the Age of Empires 4 races sometimes differ significantly from each other. What previously only had an effect in the game in detail, becomes a clear difference in the latest part. For you, this means not only the usual focus on the military and economy but also the different priorities and tactics.
In this respect, not only is the look of the Age of Empires IV races among themselves strikingly different, but the individual factions come with unique units as well as other special features. For example, with the Mongols, you can grab your own base and rebuild it elsewhere. Such subtleties are what quickly decide victory and defeat in the individual AoE 4 civilizations.
Playing the Mongols in Age of Empires IV is quite different from playing any of the other civilizations. For example, you don’t need houses to increase the population limit since you already have a high limit from the beginning.
Furthermore, as usual with nomads, you’ll be able to pack up the buildings and move to another place. Additionally, the Mongols had as one of the eight AoE 4 peoples strong archers as well as a fast cavalry.
The English are rather hidebound but have very strong defenses. Combined with efficient agriculture, you can quickly create a bulwark of high walls and a stable economy.
Your gameplay is supported by the English longbowmen, a special unit that makes life difficult for your besiegers. Thus, among the Age of Empires 4 civilizations, the English are among the most balanced peoples.
The similarity between the French to the English can be found in their strong economy. Since the resource unloading places are cheaper, you can create the basis of a solid economy early on. With this, you can build up a powerful military.
Early in the game, you have access to strong horsemen with the French. These are particularly suitable for playing offensively and putting the enemy under pressure early on or hitting them hard.
The Chinese are an extremely flexible nation among the AoE 4 civilizations. However, you must first arrive in the knight era to be able to exploit the full potential of the faction. From the Knight or Imperial period onwards, the Chinese offer you many different technologies, with which you can achieve flexible gameplay.
Overall, the Chinese people grow very quickly under your leadership. Accordingly, it is difficult to fight against them or even destroy them.
The Delhi Sultanate has the great advantage that the development of new technologies does not cost gold. Although this takes a bit longer, you can compensate the Malus you have in this point compared to other Age of Empires IV civilizations with scholars.
In addition, you need some time for the Sultanate to strengthen economically and militarily. Often this is only given at later ages. Consequently, you need a safe strategy to buy yourself enough time in competition with other factions.
The Rus are one of the fast-growing AoE 4 races. However, they are less flexible at later ages, which is mainly due to the focus on trade.
On the other hand, they give you the option to build fortifications early on. This allows you to effectively protect your economy and build up behind it. The armored knights, which you can also fall back on early in the game, are helpful here.
The focus of this AoE 4 nation is on centralized construction. With the Abbasid Dynasty, you have to construct the buildings close to the House of Wisdom – at least if you want to get the maximum bonuses.
This means that you are very dependent on the current environment, especially at the beginning of your games, and you also have little flexibility in construction. On the other hand, you get camel riders in the knight era, which are much better than cavalry.
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire in Age of Empires 4 is a promising symbiosis of religion, a strong economy, and powerful and diverse technologies. This allows you to expand early thanks to relics. With them, you’ll get another view of the towers, more gold, and other bonuses.
The prelates also promote the fertility of your fields with blessings. Thus, with the Holy Roman Empire, you have a varied game experience, which, however, also challenges you again and again.
2) Which AoE 4 civilizations are suitable for beginners?
Depending on the Age of Empires IV civilization you choose, you’ll have an easier, more complicated, or more difficult start, especially as a beginner. Some races even require you to have game experience and a concrete plan of what strategy you want to pursue with them. We’ve created a quick overview so that you know what awaits you with each civilization.
With the Mongols, you have little choice but to pursue an aggressive strategy. They are quite vulnerable on the defensive, which makes them especially interesting for players who prefer to focus on expansion.
However, this requires a certain basic knowledge on your part. Accordingly, Mongols are the right choice, especially for advanced players.
If you choose the English, you’ll have the perfect nation in Age of Empires 4 to build your economy in peace with a defensive tactic. This defensive playstyle is supported by the longbowmen and, especially in the beginning, will give you time to get used to the game and familiarize yourself with important functions.
In contrast, the French civilization offers you an aggressive style of play, which, like the English, is based on a strong economy. With the powerful horsemen, however, you’ll have units available early on to put your opponents under pressure.
This allows you to expand quickly without having to wait behind your defensive structures. Accordingly, the French are well suited for newcomers and beginners.
With the Chinese, the focus is on rapid growth. Especially in later times, the full potential develops, since you can fall back on flexible technologies with this people.
However, this requires a basic knowledge of AoE 4. Accordingly, the Chinese are especially suitable for players who already have experience with the current installment of the series.
The Delhi Sultanate is similar to the Chinese. Especially at the beginning, you have to struggle with slow growth. At later ages, however, the potential increases.
The gameplay is quite demanding until then, which means that you should already have invested some game time in Age of Empires 4 before tackling this nation.
The Rus, on the other hand, focus on trade and thus achieve quick access to gold. Likewise, with them, you’ll soon have armored knights, which gives you an advantage over other AoE 4 races. But you have to be able to deal with the lack of flexibility. Therefore, the Rus civilization is recommended for advanced players.
In the Abbasid dynasty, you have to struggle with the inflexible structure of your settlement. Although you’ll quickly have strong camel riders at your disposal, who are superior to the enemy cavalry, this nation is only suitable for beginners to a limited extent.
Holy Roman Empire
Also only not quite suitable for beginners is the Holy Roman Empire. The focus is on expansion, but it is supported by a strong combination of technology, religion, and infantry. In this respect, the Holy Roman Empire is also only not fully recommended for beginners.
3) Age of Empires 4 races and their special features
Already at the beginning you have the maximum population with the Mongols. In addition, you can simply pack up your tents and rebuild them at another location. Likewise, you get cavalry in the 1st era and knights from the 2nd era.
- Ger – food, wood and gold are stored here.
- Ovoo – is placed on the quarry and independently collects stone.
- Pasture – produces 1 sheep every 90 seconds for animal production up to a limit of 30 sheep.
- Steppe Redoubt – yurt that increases gold production.
- Khaganate Palace – this produces mangudai, knights or horsemen every 90 seconds.
- Mangudai – very accurate archers on horseback that strike quickly and are just as nimble on the way back.
- The Khan – you can command only one Khan at a time. He can strengthen units and use a falcon as a scout.
The English start with stronger villagers who defend themselves with short bows. In addition, they already have strong fighting units in the 1st era with the Weapon Servants. Likewise, when defending from the city center, they shoot twice as many arrows.
- White Tower – acts like a castle, but trains all unit types you can produce as an Englishman.
- King’s Palace – like the White Tower, but this one functions like a village center.
- Abbey of Kings – passively heals nearby units.
- Council Hall – produces layered archers 100% more nimbly.
- Longbowmen – high range archers with the option to protect from horsemen with pile buildings.
- Villagers – English villagers resort to their shortbows in case of emergency.
Thanks to the influence system, as a player of the French it is possible for you to reduce the unit costs in terms of shooting stands and stables. To do this, they must be built near the castle. In addition, with the ages, the speed of unit production in the village center increases.
- Chamber of Commerce – allows obtaining additional resources.
- Cavalry School – this is where the mighty knights are produced.
- Royal Institute – research of all technologies of all ages.
- Guild Hall – increases the production of resources by storing them.
- Artillery school – produces gunpowder units.
- Royal Knights – heavily armored equestrian units capable of breaking through defensive lines.
- Arbalétrier – crossbowmen who can protect themselves from enemy fire by a shield placed in front of them.
At the beginning of Age of Empires 4, as a representative of the Chinese people, you always have additional villagers. In addition, they can construct buildings twice as fast as the other AoE 4 races. In addition, at the beginning, imperial officials help to collect taxes and accumulate gold.
- Imperial Academy – Influences nearby buildings so that more tax money is generated.
- Barbican of the Sun – fortress for protection.
- Imperial Palace – with it you can spy on the opponents.
- Astronomical Clock Tower – grants siege weapons a hit point bonus of 50%.
- Gatehouse of the Great Wall – powerful defensive facility that strengthens your own units.
- Ghost Path – enables the training of dynasty units.
- Zhugenu – the fastest firing repeating crossbowmen in Age of Empires 4.
- Fire Lancer – cavalry unit that can attack with lances or fire rifles.
- Bee’s Nest – artillery that fires multiple missiles.
Focus is on technologies and the option to trigger multiple upgrades in each era. Resources are saved in the process and likewise scholars can be trained to speed up research.
- Mosque – training of scholars.
- Dome of Faith – cheaper production of scholars.
- Tower of Victory – increases combat power of surrounding units.
- House of Learning – unlocks religious as well as economic upgrades.
- Defender’s Complex – infantry can now build walls and palisades.
- Sultan’s Palace – automatic production of war elephants.
- Hisar Academy – passively produces food.
- War Elephants – do high damage to buildings as well as units.
- Tower War Elephants – like the War Elephants, but with 2 additional archers on their backs.
As a hunter, nature-loving people always have a reliable gold yield ready for you in Age of Empires 4. So there’s no normal mill, but a hunting lodge. Likewise, wooden palisades and wooden castles can be built early as a defense.
- Golden Gate – improved conditions for trade.
- Kremlin – a castle made of wood and special technologies.
- Abbey of the Trinity – improved warrior monks.
- High Trading House – automatic generation of gold and deer.
- High Armory – enables powerful siege equipment.
- Redeemer’s Tower – defensive building that can be occupied by troops.
- War Monk – mounted religious unit that dispenses buffs and fights by itself.
- Strelizen – a unit armed with hand cannons that defends itself in close combat with axes.
- Mounted archers – like the Mongols, the Rus can also rely on this unit.
If you choose this Age of Empires IV civilization, you won’t need villagers to build landmarks. This is because it advances without them. For this, however, wings must be built in the House of Wisdom, with which you start, in any order.
Instead of unique buildings, you’ll get new units in each age. For example, in the Feudal Age you train camel archers, and in the Knight Age you train camel riders.
- Camel Archers – powerful mounted archers. They deal more damage than the usual mounted ranged fighters.
- Imam – serves to inspire the population.
Holy Roman Empire
Right from the beginning of Age of Empires 4, religion plays a big role. The prelate is available for recruitment at the village center. So you don’t need a church. Accordingly, you’ll progress quickly and can focus entirely on expanding the economy.
- Aachen Chapel – increases the efficiency of prelates.
- Meinwerk Palace – discounted blacksmith upgrades.
- Burgrave’s Palace – improves the training of landsknechts.
- Regnitz Cathedral – stored relics provide high gold income.
- Elzbach Palace – makes your buildings more resistant.
- Swabian Palace – acts as a new village center with increased production of inhabitants.
- Landsknecht – infantry with light armor and high area damage.
4) How should each Age of Empire 4 civilization be played?
With the Mongols, you have everything at hand to implement an aggressive play style with fast attacks and retreats. The main focus is on the horsemen. Since it is harder to build up an economy than with other AoE 4 civilizations, burning down enemy buildings helps.
If you play the English in Age of Empires 4, you not only have the ultimate starter race, but also strong defenders. Combined with the longbowmen and the efficient supply of food, you can build up and expand well.
The French provide you with a strong military presence with gunpowder-based siege weapons. While they lend themselves to an aggressive play style, they can also be moderately successful. What is certain is that their knights are capable of breaking through other peoples’ defenses.
With the Chinese, you have an enormously fast-working race at your disposal. Nevertheless, you must plan well. Since they can also build two special landmarks, you’ll quickly develop them from an ecological power to an expansionist military one.
This Age of Empire 4 nation focuses on the development of powerful technologies, with the help of which you’ll be able to lead the war elephants against enemy cities in the course of the game. Particularly handy is the defense capability of the military units, which can give you significant advantages in close combat.
The Rus, on the other hand, offer you a ranged attack style. Especially the mounted archers and the strelizens are excellent and mobile archers. In addition, you have a reliable source of gold with hunting and landmarks.
With the Abbasid Dynasty civilization, you can pursue a balanced game strategy. Thus, the focus is on inventiveness, with which you can increase research, production, and collection rates. At the same time, you’ll lead camel riders and camel archers into battle, which are equally effective.
Holy Roman Empire
With the Holy Roman Empire, you can also expand quickly and engage your enemies in close combat early on. This is because you have knights-at-arms at your disposal early on, which you can upgrade very well. Later on, the Landsknechte will inflict heavy losses on the enemy in close combat with their area damage.
5) What are the strengths of the AoE IV peoples?
- Mongols: mobility, nomadism and aggressiveness
- English: defense, economy and longbows
- French: economy, cavalry and aggressiveness
- Chinese: Expansion, dynasties and gunpowder
- Delhi Sultanate: Research, defense and military
- Rus: Expansion, trade, conquest
- Abbasid Dynasty: Research, Golden Age and Anti-Cavalry
- Holy Roman Empire: religion, defense and infantry
6) Which races in AoE 4 are particularly strong?
Any race can dominate in Age of Empires 4 due to its strengths and weaknesses. However, some show up stronger in-game against other players in terms of advanced play.
In the Late Game, the Delhi Sultanate performs the worst. The same is true for the English and Abbasid dynasty. Rus, French, and Holy Roman Empire, on the other hand, show themselves quite effective against all other nations.
However, the Mongols and the Chinese are the strongest when played correctly. This is due to the expansive game strategy and the focus on the economy (Chinese) and raids (Mongols).
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