The very foundation of Age of Empires is its diverse civilizations, and the available civs are more varied than ever in Age of Empires 4, creating a more asymmetric emphasis on gameplay. But which are the best civilizations to pick first?
If you’re picking up the series for the first time, it can be hard to decide which civilization to pick first. Some civilizations are more powerful than others against all enemies, while others have steep learning curves and should only be used once players come to grips with the systems in AoE 4.
Bear in mind that this isn’t a tier list of best civilizations in Age of Empires 4. This is for newer players looking to start AoE 4 on the right foot. For example, though the Rus are probably one of the strongest empires in the game at launch and perfect for long-time veterans and the current meta, they may not be the best for new players.
Best Beginner Civilizations in Age of Empires 4
The English civilization is by far the easiest to pick up and learn. They have the fewest unique mechanics. Part of what makes the English so easy to pick up is that they have incredibly high defense and very powerful ranged units.
Network of Castles can create an uncrossable defensive line, and even better is that English Keeps can produce units. Add to this the fact that Farms are cheaper, meaning a lower emphasis on hunting and gathering, and gain a bonus for being built near Mills, and you have a civilization that’s welcoming to newcomers.
Longbowmen are also invaluable, ensuring you have a powerful army early on. Playing as the English should help you learn the ins and outs of Age of Empires 4’s core gameplay, and the civ’s high defense can help make up for any mistakes you might make along the way.
The French are the other valid choice for a great starting civilization, as they boast a fantastic early economy, quick unit training, and devastating cavalry. As the French age up, the Town Center produces units faster, which means more villagers for gathering and building.
At the same time, the civ has the tremendously useful ability to build traders that can trade with Trading posts or other civilizations to bring back any resource. This can be a gamechanger if you have trouble figuring out how to effectively gather a specific resource.
The other major benefit of the French is that Stables and Archery Ranges near a Keep produce units at a lower cost, which can translate to more units at a faster pace than other civs.
Moving to More Advanced Civilizations
Every other civilization in Age of Empires 4 has incredibly unique mechanics that can take players a while to master. After understanding how Age 4 works with the British and French, new players will want to move to the Rus or Holy Roman Empire, and avoid the:
- Abbasid Dynasty
- Delhi Sultanate
That’s until they’re confident in the mechanics of the game. After learning the English and French, however, a good civilization to move to is the Rus or Holy Roman Empire.
The Rus have an incredibly unique playstyle that focuses on aggression, and they can gain gold and stat bonuses by hunting animals and gaining bounties. They can’t build stone walls but have stronger palisades and warrior-monk cavalry that can heal units.
The Holy Roman Empire, on the other hand, puts a huge emphasis on religion, while also being fairly well-rounded. By storing relics, the Holy Roman Empire can earn extra income and enhance the defense of buildings.
For even more tips, tricks, and help, make sure to head over to our Age of Empires 4 guides hub.