Tips and Tricks to Improve in AOE2

This guide will provide you with 30 Tips and Tricks to Improve in Age of Empires II.

Dropping off Resources

If your villager is carrying any resource, you can drop it off by constructing an economic building. It works the same for every resource.

Idle villager hotkey

The idle villager key bind is one of the most useful hotkeys, so make sure you have this as an efficient hotkey.

Control Groups

You can select a unit by holding ctrl and then clicking a number to create control groups. It will allow you to take control of your units without having to select them with your mouse.


The natural gold will run out as you enter the later stages of the game. You can generate gold with trade cards from a market or from the dock by sending the unit to an ally market or dock.

Start trading early

It is highly recommended to start trading early in the imperial age. The more distance you travel, the more profit you will get.

Priority order of economy upgrades

In most cases, the priority order of economy upgrades is food, wood, stone and gold. The second wood upgrade is often done before the gold and stone upgrades.

Wheelbarrow and Handcart

Wheelbarrows and Handcart are crucial technologies but it is recommended to have a lot of farms running before it’s worth investing in these.

Display the in-game clock

If you don’t see a timer during the game on the top, then press F11 and it will show up in-game.

Chat shortcuts

You can add a star at the beginning of your message to make it visible to everyone if you’re playing a team game. If you add a hashtag, the message will only be seen by enemies and a semicolon will only show it to your allies.

Target behind buildings

You will ignore enemy buildings by holding alt while right-clicking if you have military units selected. It will help you to target the unit easily if it’s hidden behind a building.

Military Units and Animals

If you want to lure a deer, holding alt will make you not attack and help you to lure a deer with a military unit that would normally attack it on right click. If herdable animals are killed by military units or buildings, they won’t give you any food. Villagers must kill them so you can collect the food.

Feudal Scout Bonuses

You will receive two additional lines of sight, two extra attacks and also move faster upon advancing to the Feudal Scout cavalry.

Castle Eagle Bonuses

Upon reaching the Castle Eagle, the training time of eagle scouts will reduce to 35 seconds and they will gain plus three attacks and bonus damage in the forms of plus two attacks versus cavalry and plus one attack versus camels.

Team bonuses

Your team bonus can be very helpful and your stabilization bonus also applies to the units that are available to you.

Monk conversion time

Monks are rng based and the time it takes for a monk to convert a unit can be 5 to 14 in-game seconds. Some units have extra resistance to conversion, making but there is still a small chance for quick conversion.

Switching conversion target

Monks have a short delay between when they start converting and when the conversion can first occur. They can switch targets while converting without resetting the timer.

Conversion resistance technology

You can find two texts that can help with conversions in the monastery. Heresy makes the converted units die instead of switching sides with the enemy and Faith will increase the average time it takes to convert your units.

Farming Tricks

Villagers can steal enemy farms and fish while monks can heal farms and fish traps. Fisherships can steal enemy fish traps and the food resets upon the completion of the steal.


Efficient hotkeys are very important to speed up the game, so it is recommended to try your best to make every hotkey as quick and efficient as possible.

Cancelling from the global queue

You can cancel units or researchers by holding control and left-clicking the icon in the global queue if you have the global queue activated.

Building repair cost

You will need half the original cost of the building to repair it. The town centres will require twice their wood cost.

22 Stone and TC repairs

You need to have one stone in your stockpile to repair the town centre.

Unique siege units and conversions

The Organ gun is the only unique unit that requires redemption to be converted and Ballista elephants also count as siege but there’s no need for redemption.

Xolotl warriors

If Xolotl warriors have a stable, Aztecs, Incas and Mines can train them. The unit has the same stats as a knight but cannot research the blacksmith armour upgrades for cavalry.

Garrisoning in Rams

Infantry can garrison inside rams to increase the ram’s speed and attack buildings.

Garrisoning in siege towers

Siege towers also move faster than infantry garrisons. Villagers and Archers can also garrison inside but can’t increase the attack and the movement speed.

Markets give allied vision

You will get the vision of all your allies upon building a market. there was research called cartography in the past that you had to research for allied vision at the cost of 100 food and 100 gold.

War galley upgrades all ships

You can research the war galley technology in the castle in the dock upgrades. Also the fire galleys and demolition rafts.

The second page of the dock

Demolition ships, Fire ships, Cannon galleons and unique union ships are located on the second page of the dock. You need to click the arrow to view them.

Khmer houses

Khmer villagers can garrison inside their houses and allied villagers can garrison inside Khmer houses. You cannot regenerate HP inside a house.