Balance Changes

Note: Regardless of the expansions you own, you have access to all the balance changes. That’s why we compiled them all in one big list below. This changelog is up to date since the latest balance changes were made in 5.8.

For the Changelog in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, please check here.

All civs


  • Cartography is free to research, requires a market
  • Coinage moved up to Castle Age, Banking moved up to Imperial age
  • Banking and Coinage research time increased from 50s to 70s
  • Banking cost increased from 200f/100g to 300f/200g
  • Coinage cost increased from 150f/50g to 200f/100g
  • Trade Carts now have a smaller collision radius (less blockages on trade routes)


  • Spearmen +5 attack vs camels
  • Pikemen +7 attack vs camels
  • Halberdiers +10 attack vs camels
  • Long swordmen +5 HP
  • Long swordmen (and up) +2 attack vs eagles
  • Man-at-Arms and upwards +1 attack vs buildings
  • Eagle Scout available from the Feudal Age
  • Eagle Warrior speed from 1.1 to 1.15 (Eagle scout is 1.1, Elite Eagle Warrior is 1.3)
  • Eagle Warriors +1 attack vs camels
  • Tracking cost decreased by 25f

 Archery Range

  • Cavalry Archers cost -10 gold
  • Elite Skirmisher upgrade cost reduced from 250w/160g to 200w/100g


  • Camels +1 attack, -1 bonus attack vs Cavalry
  • Heavy Camel upgrade -20 secs research time
  • Camels are no longer classified as ships, receive 1 bonus damage from fortifications
  • Husbandry cost reduced from 250f to 150f, research time reduced from 50s to 40s
  • Elite Battle Elephant cost increased from 800f 500g to 1200f 900g
  • Elite Battle Elephant research time increased from 80s to 100s
  • (Elite) Battle Elephant blast radius -0.1 (from 0.5 to 0.4)

 Siege Workshop

  • Capped Rams garrison 5 units (from 4)
  • Onagers can now cut trees
  • Siege Towers newly added to the Castle Age
  • Siege Tower collision size reduced from 0.50 to 0.45
  • Scorpion projectile size increased (fixes their lack of pass-through damage)
  • Scorpions +1 pierce armor
  • Villagers can be garrisoned inside rams


  • Palisade walls take +1 second to build
  • Stone walls take +3 seconds to build
  • Stone walls -50% HP in Feudal Age
  • ALL BUILDINGS: HP reduced in Dark and Feudal Age


  • Fireships +20 HP
  • Demolition ships +10 HP
  • Building HP reduced in Dark and Feudal Age
  • Trade Cogs carry +30% more per trip
  • Trade Cogs now turn instantly when returning from a Dock
  • Fire ships +1 ship armor
  • Fast Fire ships +2 ship armor
  • Fire Ships are affected by researching Ballistics
  • Fire Galleys and Demolition rafts newly added to the Feudal Age
  • Fire Galley Pierce Armor reduced from 5 to 4
  • Fire Galleys do 1 damage to fishing ships (reduced from 3)
  • Demolition Raft no longer does full damage to its complete blast radius (damage increases based on proximity)
  • Demolition Raft blast radius increased from 1.5 to 2.5
  • Demolition Raft pierce armor reduced from 3 to 2
  • Demolition Raft HP reduced from 50 to 45


  • Monks holding relics suffer from anti-monk damage too now
  • Fervor fixed (never worked in AoC)
  • Spanish, Huns, Mayans, Incas, Magyars, Slavs, Ethiopians, Malians monks now recharge faith at the same rate as other civs

 Town Center

  • Town Patrol costs -100 gold (300 food, 100 gold)


  • Houses cost -5 wood


  • Murder holes costs -100 stone
  • Chemistry affects Castles and Town Centers


  • Castles +1 LOS (range bug)
  • Petards cost -15 food (65 food, 20 gold)


  • Guard Tower, Keep +1 attack
  • Watch Towers, Guard Towers and Keeps cost +25w


  • Outposts cost -5 stone

 Fish Trap

  • Fish traps take 40s to build (instead of 60s)


  • Boars deal +4 damage to Eagle Warriors
  • Boars deal +3 damage to Cavalry

New General Units

 Eagle Scout

  • Available in the Feudal Age, costs 20f/50g, can be upgraded to Eagle Warrior in the Castle Age for 200f/200g.

 Fire Galley

  • Available in the Feudal Age, costs 75w/45g, can be upgraded to Fire Ship in the Castle Age with the “War Galley” upgrade.

Demolition Raft

  • Available in the Feudal Age, costs 75w/50g, can be upgraded to Demolition Ship in the Castle Age with the “War Galley” upgrade.

Siege Tower

  • Available in the Castle Age, costs 200w/160g, can be used to scale walls with non-mounted units.

 Battle Elephant

  • Available in the Castle Age for Southeast Asian civs, costs 120f/70g, can be upgraded to Elite Battle Elephant in the Imperial Age for 1200f/900g.

New General Technologies


  • Available from the Castle Age in the Dock, (200 wood, 150 food): Fishing ships work +25% faster


  • Available from the Castle Age in the Barracks (150 food, 50 gold): Infantry do more damage vs. buildings (+2 bonus attack)


  • Available from the Imperial Age in the University (250 wood, 250 food): Towers attack increased (+1/+2/+3 for Watch Tower/Guard Tower/Keep)

Civilization Changes


  • Free loom removed, start with +50 gold instead
  • Jaguar Warriors +1 pierce armor
  • Elite Jaguar Warriors +1 attack vs infantry
  • Military creation bonus (+16.5%) no longer applies to Monks.
  • Receive Demolition Ships
  • Atlatl: new Castle Age UT (400f/350g), increases Skirmishers attack and range +1


  • Cavalry discount staggered to -15/20% in Castle/Imperial
  • Receive Ring Archer Armor
  • Non-elite Genitour -1 attack, +1 range.
  • (Elite) Camel Archer -5 HP (from 60/65 to 55/60 without Bloodlines)
  • (Elite) Camel Archer -2 armor vs Camels (from 2 to 0)
  • (Elite) Camel Archer -2 armor vs anti-cavalry archer attacks (from 2 to 0)
  • (Elite) Camel Archer -2 attack vs Rams (from 2 to 0)
  • (Elite) Camel Archer +1 bonus attack vs infantry removed
  • (Elite) Camel Archers training time +4s (from 21s to 25s)


  • Receive Cannon Galleons
  • Longbowman creation time -1 sec
  • Receive Heavy Scorpions
  • Yeomen moved to the Castle Age
  • Warwolf: new Imperial Age UT (500w/250g), gives Trebuchets blast damage


  • (Elite) Arambai search radius increased by 2
  • (Elite) Arambai -0.05 speed (from 1.35 to 1.3)
  • (Elite) Arambai -1 attack
  • Elite Arambai -2 armor vs anti-cavalry archer attacks (from 2 to 0)
  • (Elite) Arambai cost 80w 60g (increased from 50w, 60g)
  • Manipur Cavalry effect now split evenly over armor classes 21 and 11 (so researching masonry negates 50% of the effect)
  • Howdah cost +200f (from 200f 300w to 400f 300w)
  • Howdah effect reduced from +1/+2 armor to +1/+1 armor


  • Greek Fire: new Castle Age UT (300g/250f): Fire ships have +1 range


  • Furor Celtica gives siege units +40% HP
  • Stronghold: new Castle Age UT (250f/200g): Castles and Towers fire +20% faster


  • Chu Ko Nu creation time -3s
  • Town Center LOS +5 (moved from Teutons)
  • Great Wall: new Castle Age UT (400w/200s): Walls and towers receive +30% HP


  • Torsion Engines now properly affects Scorpions.
  • (Elite) Shotel anti-building bonus reduced to 0/1 (down from 2/3)
  • Halberdier upgrade is no longer free


  • Foragers work +25% faster
  • Receive squires
  • Throwing Axeman missile delay -2 (from 12 to 10, elite stays at 8)
  • (Elite) Throwing Axeman +0.1 speed
  • (Elite) Throwing Axeman +10 HP
  • Elite Throwing Axeman research cost -100 gold
  • Knights +20% HP changed to Cavalry +20% HP
  • Chivalry: new Castle Age UT (400w/400g): Stables work +40% faster


  • Treadmill crane removed


  • Cannon Galleons removed
  • Treadmill crane removed
  • Cavalry Archers cost -10% Castle Age/-20% Imperial Age (instead of -25%/-30%).
  • Tarkans +10 HP
  • (Elite) Tarkans +1 pierce armor
  • Marauders: new Castle Age UT (300w/200g): Tarkans available at the Stable


  • Receive Keep
  • Receive Guilds
  • Receive Block Printing
  • Receive Thumb Ring
  • Slingers no longer require castle
  • Free llama bonus is no longer tied to the scout; requires Town Center on nomad-style maps
  • Kamayuk +0.05 speed (same base speed as Samurais and Throwing Axemen)
  • Kamayuk now do +20 damage to Elephant type units
  • (Elite) Kamayuk (+4) +2 attack vs camels
  • Couriers: Imperial Age UT effect changed to +1/+2 armor instead of +10% movement speed on Eagle Warriors, Slingers and Kamayuks
  • Couriers cost 600f 600g (increased from 400f 200g)


  • Villagers cost -10% Dark, -15% Feudal, -20% Castle, -25% Imperial Age (5% extra per age)
  • Receive Guilds
  • Receive Ring Archer Armor
  • Lose Arbalest upgrade
  • Elephant Archer +30 HP
  • Elite Elephant Archer -20 HP
  • (Elite) Elephant Archer -1 pierce armor
  • (Elite) Elephant Archer -10 food (now costs 100 food, 80 gold)
  • (Elite) Elephant Archers +2 archer armor vs anti-archer attacks (from -2 to 0)
  • (Elite) Elephant Archers -2 armor vs anti-cavalry archer attacks (from 0 to -2)
  • Camels no longer receive +1 melee armor bonus


  • Condottiero now have unique armor class (only resisting bonus damage from gunpowder units, not from other anti-infantry attacks)
  • Condottiero -1 pierce armor (from 1 to 0)
  • Condottiero +0.2 speed
  • Condottiero creation time increased from 11s to 18s
  • Genoese Crossbowman cost reduced from 50w, 50g to 45w, 45g
  • Elite Genoese Crossbowman +1 attack vs camels
  • Receive Hussars
  • Pavise now affects Foot Archers (excluding Skirmishers, instead of just Genoese Crossbowmen)
  • Pavise cost changed from 550f/300g to 300f/150g
  • Advancing to the next age 15% cheaper (instead of 10%)
  • Gunpowder discount increased to -20% (was -15%)
  • Fishing Ships cost -15% instead of having +2 LoS


  • Receive Bloodlines
  • Receive Gold Shaft Mining
  • Receive Treadmill Crane
  • Yasama: new Castle Age UT (300w/300f): Towers shoot extra arrows


  • Receive Arbalest upgrade


  • War Wagon creation time decreased from 25 to 21 seconds
  • War Wagons are correctly classified as Cavalry Archers (so they take bonus damage from Camel Archers & Elite Skirmishers)
  • Fortifications built faster (walls and castles 25% faster, towers 5% faster)
  • Team Bonus changed: Mangonels & Onagers minimum range reduced (instead of maximum range increased)
  • Turtle ship no longer requires Castle
  • Turtle Ships -10% cheaper (180 wood, 180 gold)
  • Turtle Ships are now created faster with a Turkish ally
  • Panokseon: new Castle Age UT (300w/300f): Turtle Ships move +15% faster


  • Receive Siege Engineers
  • Magyars no longer need to build a blacksmith to receive their free blacksmith upgrades
  • Scout Cavalry, Light Cavalry, Hussar cost -15% (up from -10%)
  • Recurve Bow now adds +1 attack and +1 range (up from +1 range)


  • Malay cheaper fishing ship cost removed
  • Malay age up bonus decreased from 100% to 80%
  • Karambit Warrior +1 attack (from 5 to 6)
  • Elite Karambit -1 attack (from 8 to 7)
  • Elite Karambit warrior -1 pierce armor (from 2 to 1)
  • (Elite) Karambit Warrior cost 30f 15g (increased from 25f 10g)
  • Battle elephants 30% cheaper (rather than 20%)


  • Lose Halberdier
  • Wood bonus no longer affects farms
  • Gold Shaft Mining is no longer free
  • Elite Gbeto attack reduced from 14 to 13


  • Base cost for Plumed archers increased to 50g, 50w
  • Resources lasting longer reduced from 20% to 15%
  • Farmers work at closer speed to the farmers of other civilizations. (0.8 work rate multiplier)
  • Obsidian Arrows: new Castle Age UT (300g/300f): Archers, Crossbowmen and Arbalests do +6 damage vs buildings


  • Elite Cannon Galleons removed
  • Mangudai frame delay decreased from 10 to 5
  • Elite Mangudai frame delay increased from 0 to 5
  • Nomads: new Castle Age UT (300w/150g): Houses don’t lost their population room after being destroyed


  • War Elephant now does trample damage in the Castle Age
  • Boiling Oil: new Castle Age UT (200w/100s): Castles do bonus damage vs Rams


  • Feitoria now cost 250g, 250s (changed from 250g, 250w)
  • Feitoria production rates are now 0.8f, 0.8w, 0.45g, 0.25s (from 0.7f, 0.7w, 0.45g, 0.45s)
  • Arquebus increases projectile speed of Bombard Cannons and Bombard towers by +0.2 (from 0 to 0.2, used to be 0.5 prior to patch 5.2)
  • Organ Gun +1 spread damage (from 1 to 2)
  • (Elite) Organ Gun have 1 min range now
  • (Elite) Organ Gun lose -1 bonus attack vs infantry


  • Market costs -75 wood
  • Elite Mameluke missile delay increased to 5 (up from 0)
  • Mamelukes receive 5 less damage from Halberdiers
  • Madrasah: new Castle Age UT (200f/100g): Monks return 33% of their cost after being killed


  • Farming rate fixed to 1.28 rather than 1.18. Actual farming rate is now at +15%
  • Boyar speed increased from 1.35 to 1.4


  • Missionaries affected by Bloodlines
  • Missionaries no longer require castle
  • Team bonus for trade is 25% more gold instead of 33%.
  • Inquisition: new Castle Age UT (300g/100f): Monks convert faster


  • Town Center LOS restored to normal (moved to Chinese)
  • Town Center garrison +10 units, maximum arrows +5
  • Town Center +2 attack removed
  • Teutonic Knight +10 HP
  • (Elite) Teutonic Knight +0.1 speed
  • Team bonus no longer overrides Faith technology in post-imperial age start game
  • Ironclad: new Castle Age UT (400w/350g): Increases melee armor of all Siege weapons


  • Elite janissaries are now affected by the Turkish teambonus
  • Gold miners work 20% faster (up from 15%).
  • Sipahi: new Castle Age UT (350f/150g): Cavalry Archers +20HP


  • Chatras effect increased from +30 HP to +50 HP
  • Turks no longer have access to Imperial Skirmisher in a post-imperial start with a Vietnamese ally.
  • (Elite) Rattan Archers +1 bonus attack vs infantry removed
  • (Elite) Rattan Archers +5 HP
  • Vietnamese archer HP bonus changed to immediate +20% HP to Archery Range units (no longer staggered per Age)


  • Team Bonus: Docks -15% cheaper (rather than -25%) (Docks cost 128 wood instead of 113 wood)
  • Viking ship cost now staggered per age: 15% cheaper in Feudal, 15% in Castle, 20% in Imperial
  • Receive treadmill crane
  • Berserk +4 HP
  • Berserk creation time -2s
  • Longboats no longer require castle
  • Berserkergang cost changed to 850f/400g (from 500f/850g)
  • Chieftains: new Castle Age UT (400f/300g): All Infantry get attack bonus vs Cavalry
  • Chieftans give +2 attack vs camels (from +2 to +4)

Random Map Changes

General Changes

  • Deer variance removed, each player has the same amount of deer at more or less the same distance from TC
  • Fish density improved: fish appear at more regular intervals thus reducing chances of unlucky dock placement


  • Bonus islands appear in the centre
  • Gold distance variance reduced


  • Relics can no longer appear stuck in walls
  • Relic distribution improved, most relics will now appear outside of player bases
  • Wall distance variance removed, distance set to 20


  • Larger base size, preventing players to be too close to water
  • Wolves removed

Black Forest

  • Forests remade to prevent the occurrence of bubbles in which resources and relics often got stuck
  • Larger base size
  • Gold and stone distribution balanced
  • Relic distribution balanced


  • Larger base size for players

Crater Lake

  • Larger base size
  • Gold moved slightly further
  • Central island’s position improved


  • Fish removed

Ghost Lake

  • Inland sea rounded
  • Bonus sheep scattered around more evenly

Gold Rush

  • Central gold mines’ position improved


  • Variance on distance of extra boar and sheep reduced


  • Bonus islands appear in the centre
  • Larger base size to prevent noodle-shaped islands


  • Central sea rounded
  • Larger base size, prevents players from being too close to water
  • Wolves removed


  • Sheep and deer distance variance improved, 2 sheep appear very close to TC
  • Wood distribution improved
  • Distance of gold mine improved
  • Gold and stone no longer appear on the shores of mainland


  • Forest enlarged, same distance from TC for everyone
  • Fish removed in the central pond


  • Water edges remade: 50% water covers all edges of the map, 50% none
  • Bonus islands appear in the centre

Salt Marsh

  • Map remade from scratch, a ring of water with shallows appears in the middle


  • Ice patches are broken into smaller pieces and scattered around more evenly


  • Boar variance removed