This is the definitive guide to all the civilizations for the new version of Age of Empires II, Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. This guide will be updated as more civilizations are added to the game and new civilizations are released.

The best civilizations tier list is one of the most hotly debated topics in the gaming community. I won’t name any specific forum threads about it, but believe me, it’s a big topic. I personally have an opinion, and I’m going to share it with you.

I am a long time fan of AOE 2 and I have been playing it since the beginning of it’s existence, through all of the patches and updates. I have always liked the game and have never received any complaints in regards to the game from my friends or family, so I figured I would write an article on the best civilizations tier list, which can assist a potential new player in choosing which civilization to pick.. Read more about best civilization in age of empires 2 definitive edition and let us know what you think.

Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition brings new content, such as new civilizations and ultra-textures, that were not seen in the first HD version of the game. AoE2 DE currently contains 35 unique civilizations (races) that you can play with and conquer. Each of these civilizations has different units, bonuses, technologies and some upgrades for units that make them even stronger. Because one race may be more numerous than another, another race may not have a population limit – meaning you don’t have to build houses to reach the population limit of 200. Some civilizations are more powerful than others, especially for beginners and those just starting to play AoE 2 NL. In this list of civilization levels of Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition, we look at each of the races available in the game and identify the strongest civilizations in AoE2 DE, based on the results of numerous professional player matches and 1v1 matches in the latest patch.

Level of civilization descriptors

S Tier – is predominant. Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition’s civilizations are incredible in the latest patch, and they’re practically banned from professional games because of their power. Any of these civilizations is a good choice if you want to win most of your games.

A Tier – Powerful. The civilizations of Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition are very popular and give you an advantage over other opponents, especially in ranking matches. These civs are strong and very good for newcomers, as AoE2 DE can be difficult for new players at first.

B Tier – is balanced. Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition civilizations in balance. These races lend themselves to a regular run when you are enjoying the game and not focused on beating your opponent. However, in the right hands, either one will be more than enough to win.

C Tier – Not powerful enough. The civilizations in Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition are hard to play and not worth it if you’re desperate to win. These civilizations are destroyed by all other A and B level races.

List of civilization levels

This list of AOE 2 DE Civ levels has been updated for the latest patch 47820 (May 3, 2021).


Lithuanians are incredibly strong on hybrid cards, and their starting food bonus makes them an excellent starter qiva. If you play against the Lithuanians, you are guaranteed an extra 150 food at the start, allowing this civilization to win most encounters in the early and middle game. Excellent cavalry units combined with a strong endgame thanks to the halberdiers and scouts that grow very fast make this civilization popular in ranked and professional games. The Lithuanians mainly focus on the cavalry and the monks.

The Chinese always start with six villagers, which can increase your civilization on some maps where the food is close to the center of town. They focus on archers, and Chu Ko Nu is a unique unit. The Great Wall of China and Rocketry are unique technological upgrades, and overall the Chinese are a very versatile civilization that can be very powerful on certain maps. The

Aztecs are incredible in the early game, but their power diminishes in the late game because they lack the transition options to counter certain types of opponents. This means that Aztec players prefer to end their game relatively quickly or hinder their opponent so that he cannot return. They focus mainly on infantry and monks, and their unique combat unit is the jaguar warrior. Although their power will decrease in the future, they are still one of the strongest civilizations you can choose from right now.

Vikings have unique units, Berserker and Longboat, as they focus on infantry and fleet. Viking ships get a big discount, which makes their naval composition even better, and the fact that infantry gets extra health also makes them a solid choice for land battles. Overall, Vikings are fantastic on maps like Arabia, as they offer a lot of variety in battles against other civilizations.

The Mayans are the best tournament civilization in Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition because they have unit compositions and transitions for every map and situation. The feathered archers are their most valuable units, accompanied by a strong set of infantry. Their cavalry isn’t very good, but the fact that the plume shooters so fast make up for it.


The Japanese have cheaper buildings to collect, which gives them a huge economic advantage throughout the game. They are also very mobile, which means that they can change relatively quickly between water and land formations. The Japanese concentrate on infantry units and the samurai are their special forces. The Yasama and Katapurato are unique technologies that allow the Japanese race to easily overpower their enemies.

The Koreans get free armor upgrades, cheaper wooden units, and their generals are very hard to handle. They concentrate on turrets and naval units – tanks and torpedo boats. The Koreans are essentially a defensive civilization to play slowly with, as most of their units are limited enough to chase and siege the enemy.

The Franks are a great civilization for new players. They specialize in cavalry, and the throwing axe is their only combat unit. Knights and bearded axes are special technologies, and they are superior to knights. Their cavalry is easy in formation and their infantry is incredible. It’s true, the archers are very weak and the siege weapons are bad. The Franks have a 25% cheaper castle, farm improvements are free, and feed is 25% faster. Finally, their cavalry gets +20% health.

The Italians, like the Malays, are essentially a water card civilization focused on navy and archery. Their fishing boats are much cheaper, commercial units are cheaper, and improvements to fishing docks are cheaper too. The Genoese crossbowman is a unique unit of the Italian race, and Italians are incredibly flexible on hybrid cards. The Italians have a high level of performance in all phases of the game, which easily makes them an A-crop if used correctly. Huns have long maintained their place in the S grade because they have no house requirements and are very versatile, so they can be built into any unit.

The Huns love cavalry, and Tarkan is their special unit. Marauders and Athems are special upgrades, and they have access to a fully upgraded Paladin, making them very powerful with a strong economy.

The British are not a very diverse civilization, but they do have less expensive urban centers. They mainly focus on archers because the archer is their best unit, and in generally ranged units are much better than melee units in AoE 2 DE. The British are easy to counter, but unless your opponent manages his units very well, you have a big advantage if you choose the British.

The Malians offer many transition opportunities and a timber advantage, as their buildings cost less timber. The Malians focus mainly on infantry units – the Gbetos are their special forces. You give your whole team the speed to explore, and the Malians themselves mine the gold for free. Cavalry and infantry are specific carriers in this particular civilization that must be strategically placed to win battles for the rest of the game.

The Vietnamese are a very underrated civilization in that they exhibit a very smooth transition from the feudal era to the castle era. They target the rattan archers and manage to unlock a free unit for their entire team. Their archers are really good, and overall they are an above average citizen on most maps.

Portuguese are generally the least playable race in league games, unless it’s a water card, as they largely dominate water cards. They concentrate on sea and gunpowder troops, which means they’re not so good on maps. The organ cannon and the caravan are their unique units. Caravels can hit multiple units at once, making them an exceptional water unit, but otherwise, the Portuguese have nothing special to offer.

The Khmer have a strong imperial era, but they have a high gold price that becomes prohibitive at certain points in the game. They focus on siege guns and battle elephants with ballistas. The Khmers excel with elephant troops and siege weapons, and that’s about it. Their infantry and cavalry are mediocre at best, but they are much better than any other B- or C-level city. It is worth noting that January 2020. patch Khmer allowed farmers to drop off food immediately instead of going to the TC or mill, which significantly increased their valuation.

Mongols need a lot of time to develop properly. But once they do, they become one of the strongest civilizations with high skills in Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition. They specialize in cavalry archers, and Mangudai is a unique unit for them. Nomads and drills are special technologies, and in general probably the best civilization, especially in the hands of an experienced player.


The Berbers are a strong civilization, relying on cavalry and navy. The camel archer is his only unit, and the camels of the Kasbah and the Maghrabi are the main technologies of this race. The cheaper stables in Castle Age give you a big advantage over other players. As a Berber, you can transition into camel shooting fairly easily, making it an excellent civilization for beginners. Slaves get a % bonus to the farmer’s speed, as well as free tracking and supplies.

Slavs – infantry civilization with emphasis on a single unit Boyarin and improvements Orthodoxy and Druzhina. Their cavalry, monks and infantry are incredibly strong, although they lack archers and marines. Archers are compensated by cheaper siege weapons, leveling the playing field in land battles. It’s a bad citizen for the water cards, but who plays water cards? The Incas don’t have much other than the population of 10 houses.

The Incas flourished during the feudal era, but after that their power declined greatly, becoming primarily a civilization known for village battles. Infantry is their main unit category, and Kamayuk and slingers are typical Inca units.

Persians have faster town center production, a knight bonus against crossbowmen, and a good tech tree. They focus on cavalry units and combat elephants. Kamandaran and Mahuta are their special technologies available in the AoE2 Definitive Edition. Interestingly, the Persians are the only civilization in the game to have a full cavalry technology tree, including upgrades to forges. Persians are the first choice for most hybrid cards, but there are usually much better options.

The Celts were a Western European civilization that emphasized infantry and siege weapons. The unique Celtic units are the Raiders of Waid, their special technologies are Stronghold and Furor Celtica. The Celtic civilization has strong infantry due to their faster movement speed, but their archers and cavalry lack improvements. On top of that, the fleet is incredibly weak and the monks even weaker, though this civilization is still B-level thanks to strong siege weapons.

The Turks are a very gold hungry civilization that has serious problems when there is no easy gold on the map. If your opponent cuts you off from the gold, you’re no longer a Turk. The Janitsars are a typical Turkish unit, and that country puts a lot of emphasis on buscross units, and they succeed because their buscross units have more range, health and service than anyone else in the game.

In the first patches, the Kumans were completely unplayable, and even after many nerfs, they were still at the top of the draw lists. The nerves have continued, patch after patch, and now they are at level B because their economy is still strong enough. The Polovtsians concentrate on the cavalry, a very popular and unique unit of the Kipchak, which has been reduced to a minimum. They still have fully upgraded hussars, paladins and steppe lancers, as well as steppe farms, making them a solid choice.

The Magyars get an early advantage due to the attack bonus of their scouts. It is largely a cavalry civilization, with Magyar hussar units as the centerpiece. The Magyars have excellent mounted units, but their infantry, naval and siege guns are struggling.

Ethiopians get 100 free food items and 100 gold coins each time they move to a higher era. This is an incredible passive skill that greatly benefits this civilization in the early stages of the game. The Ethiopians focus on archers and siege weapons. Royal heirs and twist engines are their unique technologies, and the Shotel Warrior is a special unit. Ethiopians are underutilized citizens because they are hard to play with.

The Byzantines emphasize defense, with unique cataphractic units and Greek technology in fire and logistics. They have a huge boom in technology, with only economic modernization and herbal medicine missing. This civilization has an excellent fleet, monks and archers, but the cavalry lacks improvement. On top of that, their siege division is missing a lot of key units, so it’s mediocre at best. Overall, Byzantium is an incredible civilization, only in the hands of an experienced player and mediocre for a beginner.

The Bulgarians rely on infantry and cavalry. They reduce the cost of stone for economic buildings, which is very useful in the early game. It also allows Bulgarians to make some incredibly fun rolls early in the game, as the second city center costs 50% less stone. They also have a fort, a miniature version of a castle.

Spaniards suffer from unsafe wood and stone lines, which means they are not a preferred race on some maps, making them meta-dependent. Being a civilization of monks and gunpowder, they concentrate on those areas, and the Conquistador and the Missionary are their only units. Overall, it’s a solid burger for a normal round, but if you want to win, there are much better options.

The Indians get a big economic bonus, as their fishermen work faster and the villagers get cheaper as you progress through time. They specialize in camel and coach cruiser units, and their special units are the elephant gunner and the imperial camel. Sultans and Shatagni are a unique technology for Indians, and their camels have excellent improvements. What makes it a B level is the fact that everyone knows you’re going to walk on camels as an Indian civilization, so it’s easy to counter.

The Saracens are a culture of cavalry and sailors, centered around the Mamluks. They have unique technology upgrades for Madrasa and Zelottery, and overall their fleet is very powerful, as is their cavalry. It is true that they lack infantry and archers.

The Tatars can get 50% more food from grazing animals, and they mainly target cavalry units. They have an incredibly strong cavalry of archers, and they get the Parthian Tactics upgrade for free, as well as a 50% bonus to damage if they rank high (yes, Anakin, you heard me). A unique unit of the Tartars is the Keshik, a heavy cavalry unit that earns gold by fighting other units.

The Teutons are right, and that’s it. There’s nothing good or bad about them right now. It focuses on the Teutonic knights and infantry in general. Overall, this is a very strong civilization that can attract newcomers by increasing the garrison of towers and urban centers.

Malays are very good on maps with lots of water, as they focus on fleet and infantry. Being primarily a maritime civilization, its naval lineage is fully manned, making it a great civilization. The biggest problem arises when you find yourself on a map without water, in which case civilization becomes almost useless.

The Burmese have a free upgrade to the lumber camp and cheaper monastic technology. They focus mainly on elephants and monks, and Arambai is a unique entity. The Burmese have excellent cavalry, monks and infantry, but their archers are useless without many significant improvements.

Goths are probably somewhere between B and C level, because your opponent will always know in which direction you will build and concentrate your units – infantry. This means that this civilization is easily countered, so it’s not the best race for competitive play, but for casual players and beginners, it’s more than enough… Huskari are the unique units of Goth, and Anarchy and Perfusion are unique technologies.


The Sicilians are a new civilization, and they’re not very good. They are currently the most outdated civilians, as they are opponents in many matchups, and they don’t thrive on any of the maps either. The Sicilians have a unique sergeant unit, unique technologies from the First Crusade and Scutalu, and a unique dungeon building.After making it through two games of this one-of-a-kind real-time strategy, I took my time leveling up my civilization and found that the best way to do so was to build a combination of military units and buildings that were best at dealing with the opposing civilization. If you don’t understand the term “survey” I suggest watching the video above..

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the strongest civilization in Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition?

Grand Ages: Rome is a strategy game based in the Age of Empires universe. The game was developed by Paradox Interactive in collaboration with the original Age of Empires developers Ensemble Studios. It was released in January 2017 for Microsoft Windows. What is the strongest civilization in Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition? It’s a question that no one can answer for sure, but hopefully we can help you come up with a good idea! The game is designed so that you can play as many civilizations as you want, and the best way to find out which civilization is toughest is to play them all in the same game.

Which version of AOE is the best?

All the maps in AoE 2 are comprised of land masses, and each land mass has a number of regions/areas/cities. Some are small, but others are large enough for a couple of regions or more. The size of each region has been made bigger over the years, and now it is possible for most regions to have 25-50 districts, which is more than the old regions of 12-15 districts. The number of districts in the game was reduced in the update, and this led to a few maps having too many cities, so they were redesigned with fewer cities/regions. Do you think that AoM’s tier list is just another fan-made list or is there some more objective way of ranking civilizations? Read on to find out! And for your reference, the list we are talking about is the one on the AoM wiki.

How many civilizations are in Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition?

Age of Empires II (AoE2) is a real-time strategy video game developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft. AoE2 was released in 1999 for Windows 95, 98 and Millennium, and is the sequel to the Ensemble Studios’ original Age of Empires game, which was released in 1997. The game contains three playable factions: the European (European civilization), American (American civilization) and Asian (Asian civilization) factions. The game focuses on the western world’s conquest of the New World, the rise of European empires, and the development of firearms. AoE2’s sequel, Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, was released in 2000. Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition was released to the public in March of 2018, and as such, players around the world have had the chance to experience it for themselves. The Definitive Edition has been highly rated in terms of gameplay, and has proven itself a worthy title in the Age of Empires franchise.

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