Age of Empires 4 Best Civilizations Tier List: All Factions Ranked
Age of Empires 4 civilizations are more asymmetrical than those featured in previous franchise installments. There are eight nations to choose from at launch: Mongols, French, English, Rus, Abbasid Dynasty, The Holy Roman Empire, Chinese, and Delhi Sultanate. It seems a civilizations tier list is in order.
As you might expect, each faction has its own set of perks and advantages. But which civilizations are the best? Here's our tier list.
The Mongols are easily one of the best civilizations in Age of Empires 4, but they're also incredibly hard to play.
This nation's biggest strength lies in its ability to pick up and move its base at will; in any match, either online or against AI armies, this makes them a wildly unpredictable opponent.
If you're able to command a hit-and-run strategy properly, the Mongols can be nearly unstoppable. Splintering your town is also a viable strategy, which can allow you to flank enemy civilizations from multiple sides. It also helps you avoid defeat if your main base gets overrun.
Add onto this the fact that the Mongols immediately have the maximum population, and you don't need to waste wood resources constructing houses.
The final notch here is that the Mongols have one of the best early economies in Age of Empires 4; the Ovoo can mine stone by itself, freeing up villagers to gather other resources. None of the other civilizations have this capability.
The French are best for their deadly military forces, along with how easy they are to pick up and play. Playing as this civilization gives you perhaps the best bonuses across the board, and if you're looking for military might, you can't do any better.
The French have a unique influence mechanic that allows Stables and Archery Ranges to produce units at an increased rate if they're close to a Keep. This is instrumental in building an early army; it also aids the French's unique civilization trade mechanics.
This is the only civilization in Age of Empires 4 and on this tier list that can pick which resource traders bring back to base, providing players a ton of flexibility when it comes to resource management. On top of that, the Town Center produces units faster as you advance ages, giving the French a distinct advantage for economy-building.
Consider these alongside the French's strong cavalry and research bonuses, and they're one of the best civilizations for any player, new or seasoned.
The English are the most "basic" and balanced civilization in Age of Empires 4, but that's not a bad thing. This faction doesn't have any gimmicks, but its bonuses provide supremely high defense in fortified walls and increased range in the longbowmen unit. Both make conquering English bases a tough prospect, indeed.
The Network of Castles ability further makes the English the best turtle faction by increasing the attack speed of certain buildings, such as Keeps and Town Centers, by 25%.
The English also have access to fantastic Landmarks that further bolster their defensive nature, and they can build Farms at a reduced wood cost. Additionally, Farms built within the yellow footprint of Mills gain a boost to food gather speed, which makes food-collecting easier and much more efficient than other civilizations.
The Rus can be a hard civilization to get started, but they can easily be one of the biggest powerhouses by the end of any match. Playing as the Rus, it's absolutely essential to take advantage of their Bounty mechanics.
The more animals you hunt, the more bonuses your civ gets. As Bounty goes up, so does the rate of food gathering and the automatic income from Hunting Cabins.
The Rus civilization also has a couple of unique units that can give it an advantage. The Warrior Monk is a decent cavalry unit whose real strength lies in the ability to heal and buff allies. The Streltsy is an incredibly strong ranged gunpowder unit that can also hold its own up close.
The Rus shine with their late-game upgrades, such as Chemistry, which increases the damage for gunpowder units by 20 percent, and Biology, which increases cavalry health by 20 percent, so advance and age-up quickly if you play them.
The Abbasid Dynasty
The Abbasid Dynasty is one of those civilizations all about its anti-cavalry camel units, forcing opponents to change build their strategies around other units such as men-at-arms, archers, and spearmen. They also have the most unique age-up mechanic in the game, with advancement revolving around the House of Wisdom.
Instead of building new Landmarks for each age, The Abbasid Dynasty is a civilization that constructs the House of Wisdom, adding wings to it every epoch. These wings provide unique bonuses to resource gathering, unit production, and research.
Important to note is that constructing these upgrades to the House of Wisdom doesn't require villagers; you simply click them in a menu as you would to research or build any technology or unit. This allows you to focus on building other important structures and gathering resources.
The Abbasid Dynasty requires a bit of training to get the hang of, but once you know its unique units and House of Wisdom upgrades, it's a civilization to be reckoned with.
The Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire is a civilization almost exclusively focused on religion. Playing as this faction means you need to immediately focus on gathering relics and bolstering your religious power.
Housing relics in towers or outposts can boost this civilization's defense, range, and attack values, while housing them inside a dock can increase the assault speed of all ships, boosting an already considerable naval presence.
The Prelate is an essential unique unit that must be used strategically, as it can boost the productivity of villagers.
The biggest catch with the Holy Roman Empire is its focus on defense and relics, which can leave it a bit lacking in other areas.
The Chinese are an incredibly hard civilization to play, due mostly to their over-reliance on gold. This civ can access a wealth of research, but the way technologies and Landmarks work alongside this faction's unique Dynasty system can be tricky.
To advance to the next Age (or Dynasty), players must build both of the available Landmarks for the next Age. Unfortunately, advancing to the next Dynasty also locks out all of the research of the previous Dynasty.
The Chinese are the most adept civilization at gathering gold. Not only can they mine the resource, but they can gather it passively from base structures with the Imperial Official unit. The problem is that there's a heck of a lot to spend gold on.
One could argue that the Chinese are the best slow-burn civilization in Age of Empires 4, but this playstyle can put them at a disadvantage against some of the more aggressive enemies, which are able to advance faster than the Chinese.
In team games, with a chance to grow while under the protection of another ally nation, the Chinese can flourish into a powerhouse. But unless you have the intricacies of the civilization nailed down, this faction is a hard sell for single-player skirmishes.
The Delhi Sultanate
The Delhi Sultanate is the other Age of Empires 4 civilization that's hard to learn. That's mostly because you must make key decisions early in matches to make sure the Sultanate flourishes in the late game.
There are no research costs when playing as the Delhi Sultanate, but that comes at a price because it takes longer to research all technologies. The process can be sped up with the use of Scholars, though that doesn't make up for the slow pace of advancement when compared to other factions.
To (somewhat) make up for this, infantry units can construct defensive structures, which helps to keep enemies at bay but also means you're a much more defenseless turtle than the English. Other nations can easily overwhelm them.
Couple that with the fact that The Delhi Sultanate's most powerful and unique unit, the War Elephant, isn't unlocked until late-game, and you'll have to practice with this civilization to draft viable winning strategies.
And that's our Age of Empires 4 civilizations tier list. Of course, some factions and nations may rank differently for some based simply on playstyle. For even more tips and help, make sure to check out our Age of Empires 4 guides hub.